That little orange box of Arm & Hammer Baking Soda ($3, drugstore.com) isn’t just for your favorite cookie recipe or absorbing funky smells in your fridge anymore. It’s actually a super-convenient (and inexpensive) way to give your beauty routine a boost. Here are some new ways to use it.
Exfoliating manicure & pedicure:
The next time you go to change your polish, try this: make a paste with three parts baking soda to one part water. Apply it to your hands and nails or feet and legs and gently rub in a circular motion to exfoliate and smooth. Rinse clean with warm water and paint away.
Nix product buildup in your hair by sprinkling in a quarter-size amount of baking soda into your palm along with your favorite shampoo. Shampoo as usual and rinse thoroughly.
Dust Arm & Hammer (the handy shaker version works best for this) under your arms or in your shoes as needed to feel fresh all day. The baking soda neutralizes acids and bases to remove odors rather than just covering them up.
Soothing bath soak:
Ease tired muscles after a long day at the office or a tough workout by adding a ½ cup of baking soda to your bath—when combined with water, it’ll soften your skin and sooth mild irritation like a sunburn or bug bite.
Make your pearly whites sparkle by adding one teaspoon of baking soda to a ½ glass of water and swish the solution around in your mouth (being careful not to swallow) and rinse.
Newsflash: Not all beauty editors have perfect skin. You can trust me when I tell you I actually have problematic skin. Some people brush this off to me being dramatic or exaggeratory, but really, I have a pretty serious case of cystic acne and some serious skills when it comes to covering it all up (even my derm was fooled when I walked in for acne treatment). I’ve tried everything under the sun, and I mean everything, from spot treatments, to 3-step systems, even kitchen remedies—you name it, I’ve tried it. Topically, nothing has really worked that well for me until I started using BeautyRx Skincare by Dr. Schultz. I’ve only been using the products for two weeks and am already seeing a major improvement. My blemishes are cleared (and no new ones are threatening to pop up), my pores are smaller and my complexion has a new-found glow thanks to the Daily Exfoliating Serum ($65, beautyrx.com). It’s an 8% glycolic exfoliant that helps unclog pores and brighten dull looking skin. I apply three drops all over my face before bed and wake up to a fresher and clearer complexion (and one step closer to finally having my dream skin).
Whether you’ve been to one yoga class or one hundred, the importance of breathing is always a vital component—inhaling and exhaling drives the practice and helps you move from posture to posture. Recently, we grabbed our mats and headed to practice with Elena Brower, founder of Virayoga in Manhattan. Yes, we focused on breathing in the good and exhaling the bad, but we couldn’t stop ourselves from sniffing in Givescent, Brower’s recently-launched fragrance, over and over again.
With notes of vanilla, sage, grapefruit and bergamot, this scent “smells like Italy,” says Brower, who called the country home for two years. Sicily’s signature smells—think citrus lemon trees, rich olive oil and the city’s vanilla and butter pastries—served as her inspiration. “It’s a deliciously feminine scent; it has a grounding musk to it that balances the sweetness and makes it completely irresistible.”
So irresistible, in fact, that people would stop both Brower and Alexandra Lyon Perelman, her partner in the creation of this new fragrance, on the city streets to ask about this unique perfume. So the two decided to sell the scent, under one condition: “Inherent in our business model was a giving component. That was the only way starting a business made sense to us—it had to have giving as part of the plan.”
Since both worked with Women for Women International—a nonprofit that provides women survivors of war, civil strife and other conflicts with the tools and resources to move from poverty to stability and self-sufficiency—choosing a charity was as simple as slipping into downward-facing dog. In fact, Givescent sales sponsor two sisters and five percent of its proceeds will go to this organization.
Yogis and non-yogis alike have another fragrance to look forward to: Givescent Orange plans to launch in June, perfect for lighter, carefree days. “[It] maintains the essence of our signature scent, but is supercharged with sun-ripened citrus,” says Brower. Plus, a portion of its proceeds will benefit Every Mother Counts, which aims to make pregnancy and childbirth safe for all moms-to-be.
—Carrie Stevens, editorial intern
The weather in New York City has been pretty unpredictable lately—a nor’easter one week; sunny the next. Sudden changes in temperature and humidity (or Nemo!) pretty much wreak havoc on my skin and leave it looking dry and dull until I slathered on First Aid Beauty Dual Repair Face Cream ($44, firstaidbeauty.com). I massaged it into my tight skin before bed and instantly felt more hydrated. When I woke up, my skin looked dewy and even. The texture, which helps to strengthen your skin’s natural moisture barrier, feels like a gel-like cream—super light and fast-absorbing—a must-have for the rest of this crazy-weathered winter!
Brooklyn Decker Dishes on Mixing Up Her Workouts, Her Best Beauty Trick and Her Facial Hair Preference on Tennis Star Andy Roddick (Swoon!)
Brooklyn Decker is known for her smokin’ hot Sports Illustrated spreads and acting alongside some A-list stars like Jennifer Aniston and Adam Sandler. But when she’s not on set, she’s just like the rest of us: she splurges on sweets (especially on Valentine’s day), gets bored with her workouts and loves kissing her smoothly-shaven husband, hottie Andy Roddick. Today, she teamed up with Gillette to host The World’s Largest Shave & Kiss Event conveniently on—you guessed it—Valentine’s Day. Gillette conducted a month-long, nationwide social experiment where women were asked to kiss their guys before and after they shaved to pick their preference: a smoothly-shaven smooch or a stubbly kiss. The results are in…drum roll, please:
So what’s the verdict? Do women like their men shaven or stubbly?
“Well, Gillette traveled to 16 states and found out that 85% of women actually prefer guys to be clean-shaven, which is surprising because facial hair is so popular now so I would think that it would be around 50/50. But it turns out that the majority of women do prefer a smooth face.”
And did they prefer just the look of it or the feel when kissing?
“Both. But how they did the study was that they had couples kiss pre and post shave. Then they took the survey with the women after the kiss, so it had a huge influence. They definitely preferred kissing the guy more when he was clean-shaven, which obviously, on Valentine’s Day is very important.”
Definitely! And which do you prefer with your husband?
“I like the look of stubble but I hate the beard burn that I get on my face. It’s almost like razor burn but on my face! It’s like these little red bumps.”
And it hurts!
“Yea! I figure, I have to shave my legs so I feel like the guy should have to shave his face. And luckily the Gillette Fusion Pro-Glide ($13, drugstore.com), is the number one dermatologist-recommended razor for sensitive skin. So a guy can protect his face and protect yours as well, which is kind of nice. So girls, if you want to do a roundabout hint to your guy, a subtle hint, give him a razor for Valentine’s Day!”
So, I love all of your active pics on Instagram. What are some of your favorite workouts?
“Yes! I do all sorts of stuff. I’m really into weight-lifting lately because I have a trainer. A lot of people are like, “You jerk, you have a trainer!” So I know I’m lucky. But he helps me a ton. He’s a big believer in women lifting weights because you’re protecting your bones, it’s so much healthier, you can eat more and you have more muscle mass so you don’t have to worry so much about it so I’m doing a lot of that. I’m training for a marathon, so I’m running. I’m kind of like an ADD worker-outer. I want something different all the time. So I’m always trying to find something new, whether it be hiking outdoors or being indoors in a gym working out. Just something to keep your blood moving a little bit.”
Do you ever workout with Andy?
“I do! I do, actually. It’s usually me, desperately trying to keep up but yea, occasionally. My ego takes a little bruising so it’s a rare occasion.”
Does he make you play tennis?
“No! Not even in the slightest.”
That’s good! Okay, so Valentine’s Day usually involves lots of sweets and sugar. What are some of your strategies for staying on track with healthy eating?
“I think you should indulge! I think that’s the fun in Valentines Day. I mean, for as long as I can remember, since I was a little kid, you give each other little circle lollipops and candy. There’s something really fun and nostalgic about that and I don’t think that should be ignored but I also don’t think it should derail any fitness or health goals you have. I love sweets. I think the biggest thing is just eating what you want, not everyday, not all the time, but as long as you’re staying physical and you’re staying active, you can allow yourself to indulge on Valentine’s Day because you deserve it and it’s fun. But I think the more women obsess over it or the more people obsess over it, the worse it gets, the harder it gets to stay on track.”
Any great insider beauty tips you want to share?
“I think some of the best beauty tips probably involve multi-purpose products— products that can be used for several things. Makeup artists are constantly doing that. You can use a razor to shave; or you can also use it to exfoliate your skin before a spray tan. There are all sorts of things you can do. You can use a lip balm for example on you lips, cheeks and eyes for a glow. I constantly find, because makeup artists are usually in a rush, they’re trying to get you out the door and looking really good fast, so multi-purpose products are always a big secret that they use.”
Post-workout, I treat myself to a warm soak to ease my sore muscles. While testing bath-friendly beauty products (tough job, right?), I stumbled across these three standouts, which have helped transform my bathroom into a spa-like sanctuary. I even use them as an incentive while working out (just one more mile until some TLC)!
Set the mood:
Bath & Body Works White Barn 3-Wick Candle in Honeysuckle ($20, bathandbodyworks.com)
Dim your lights (it’s you time!) and activate this candle. In a few minutes, the subtle blend of honeysuckle and creamy vanilla will fill the air. The best part: the sweet scent lingers for hours after the flame goes out.
Soak it up:
Lush Peaceful Lavender Bathing Under the Stars Bath Bomb in Twilight ($6, lushusa.com)
A fun alternative to bubble bath, this fizzy bath bomb will bob around the tub and dissolve, turning the water into frothy pink and purple swirls. Lavender essential oil will help you unwind—perfect for taking the edge off before bedtime.
Soften your skin:
Victoria’s Secret Seriously Soft Body Cream in Jasmine & Water Lily ($12, Victoriassecret.com)
Once you’re out of the tub, lightly pat your skin with a towel. While it’s still damp, slather on this rich cream. Hydrating coconut and sunflower oils will leave your skin feeling silky, while the tropical scent will put you in a vacation-mode mindset.
—Jessica Carter, beauty intern
Girls’ Star Allison Williams Spills on Her Hit Show, Her Skin-care Routine and Her Obsession with SoulCycle
Breaking beauty news: HBO’s Girls’ star Allison Williams was just crowned the new face of Simple Skincare. Let’s just take a moment to talk about her shiny, perfect hair, her gorgeous smile and her fluttery long lashes. I had the pleasure of chatting with her about the insider beauty secrets she picked up in hair and makeup, her favorite workouts and what’s it’s like to work on one of the hottest shows in television. Watch my interview here!
With Valentine’s Day less than a week away, there’s no better time to get all romantic and wear the most classic color in the beauty world: red (obvi). From sheer cherry to true red to vampy oxblood, there’s a shade for everyone. Here, three sexy ways to wear it.
On your lips for day:
Clinique Chubby Stick Intense Moisturizing Lip Color Balm in Mightiest Maraschino ($16, clinique.com)
“After trying red after red, this one is now my favorite go-to red lipstick. The juicy cherry color—it’s the perfect combo of red and pink—pops against my ivory skin tone. The subtle shine makes it feel fresh and less severe than a matte lipstick. Plus, the hydrating formula keeps my lips feeling soft all day—very kissable!”
-Molly Ritterbeck, associate beauty editor
On your lips for night:
L’Oréal Paris Infallible 8hr Lip Gloss in Cherry Flash ($10, lorealparis.com)
“I usually stay away from red because it can be a little tricky to pull off, but this sheer gloss makes it so easy. It’s so long-lasting—perfect for long nights when re-applying is not always convenient. The vibrant color stays true and leaves my lips looking full and shiny.”
-Jessica Carter, beauty intern
On your nails:
Kevyn Aucoin The Nail Lacquer in Blood Roses ($26, Barney’s stores)
“I was never a huge fan of red nails until I swiped on this deep berry plum polish. It has a black base so it’s a little grungier than most red shades. I wear two coats of it on short, squoval nails and feel instantly chic.”
-Heather Muir, beauty director
If you’re overwhelmed by the contents of your makeup bag (what you should be using, what colors you should be wearing, how you should be applying them?) then Make Up For Ever’s Mobile Beauty School could be your beauty life-saver! The Paris-based professional brand and its artists are hitting the road to help women everywhere learn how to do their own makeup. As part of their Make Up Bag Remix program, their team of professional artists will take a look inside your makeup bag and teach you how to properly use all the products you already have, regardless of the brand (yes, that means you don’t need to break the bank on new loot!)! They’ll also help you ditch the ones that aren’t right for you due to shade or texture. Think of it as a makeover for your makeup bag. Bonus: the service is totally free!
Now through April, the mobile tour bus will be visiting these major cities:
- San Francisco, CA: February 9th – 10th
- Las Vegas, NV: February 16th- 17th
- Dallas, TX: February 23rd-24th
- Miami, FL: March 2nd – 3rd
- New York, NY: March 9th – 10th
- Boston, MA: March 23rd – 24th
- Chicago, IL: April 6th – 7th
- Toronto, ON: April 13th – 14th
Visit facebook.com/MAKEUPFOREVERUSA to book a 30-minute one-on-one makeup bag evaluation appointment with a professional artist. Sessions are available from 12:00pm – 8:00pm on Saturday and 11:00am – 7:00pm on Sunday.
After your hands-on lesson explaining how to utilize all your products, you’ll walk away with a new makeup bag, a custom face chart detailing how to use each product, and a list of additional product recommendations from an artist to round out your look. Plus, there will be a pro photographer on site to capture your “after” look!
For those of you who are on-the-go, you can still stop by the tour bus for quick lip and complexion touch-ups throughout the day.
I love a good nude lip so I was thrilled to discover Laura Mercier Stickgloss Lip Color ($22, lauramercier.com). It’s the perfect combo of a lipgloss and lipstick in one. My favorite shade is Brown Sugar: a subtle neutral color with a hint of pink shimmer. The formula glides on smoothly and the creamy texture hydrates my lips. I wear it every day—it complements any makeup look.
—Jessica Carter, beauty intern