Written on July 18, 2014 at 2:51 pm , by Molly Ritterbeck
The past few weeks, I’ve been training for the New York City Triathlon, which means a lot more time spent in the pool than I’m used to. And though training has reminded me that swimming is one of the best total body workouts, it’s also pretty tough on your hair and skin. Not only am I extra dry, I’ve been walking around smelling like a pool all day—ick. So I tested out SwimSpray ($15, swimspray.com), an 100% natural vitamin C spray that neutralizes the odor of chlorine on your hair, skin and suit. After swimming, simply rinse off, spritz the solution on the chlorine-smelling areas (I spray it in my hair and over my skin before jumping in the shower and on my bathing suit before washing it) and then shampoo or wash as usual. Since the formula is all natural (made up of just vitamin C and water) it’s great for kids and the convenient spray bottle packaging allows you to spritz the little ones even when they’re squirming all over in their suits. I would thank the makers for helping me deal with that unmistakable chlorine stank, but honestly—I think my cube neighbors are more grateful!
Written on July 15, 2014 at 9:25 am , by Molly Ritterbeck
We all know Dial as a classic hand soap brand, accompanying sinks for years. Personally, we love their body washes and lotions (like the Frozen Yogurt Body Wash and 7-Day Moisturizing Lotion), but now—they’re breaking into the acne business with three new products clinically proven to give you clearer-looking skin in just three days. The new Acne Control line features a dermatologist-developed formula with two-percent salicylic acid, which helps slough away excess oil and dead skin to prevent breakouts. It’s available in three forms: a face wash, body wash and body and face bar, so whether you’re seeing pimples pop up on your face or struggling with bacne, there’s an option for you. The best part–everything is under $7 and available at mass retailers so you can get your hands on it (and get clearer skin) fast! We’re going to toss one in our gym bag to help prevent breakouts from tough sweat-sessions at the gym!
Written on July 4, 2014 at 9:00 am , by Molly Ritterbeck
Independence day is a once-a-year opportunity to celebrate our freedom and enjoy time spent with family and friends. But we would never have that freedom if it weren’t for the brave men and women who serve in our military. When this holiday rolls around, I’m always looking for ways to sport some red, white and blue and I was excited when the Band-Aid Our Veteran Heroes Adhesive Bandages ($3, drugstore.com) came across my desk. These fun band-aids feature patriotic stars and stripes and military-inspired designs like camo (so fun for kids!). But the best part is: Band-Aid is partnering with Team Red, White & Blue, an organization that helps enrich the lives of American’s veterans by connecting them to their communities through physical and social activities and will donate 5% of the purchase price to a charity supporting vets. When you pick up a box of these, you can feel good knowing you’re contributing to a great cause. So for any scratch, scrape or cut that happens over this holiday weekend, slap on one of these to show your support and have a safe July 4th!
Written on July 2, 2014 at 1:51 pm , by Molly Ritterbeck
Bold lip and eye looks can intimidate even us makeup junkies. How do you know if that fuchsia lipstick you saw your coworker applying in the bathroom will look as chic on you? L’Oréal Paris is finally putting an end to the makeup-purchasing guessing game! Introducing the first-ever virtual makeup tester app Makeup Genius (available to download for free here). This app allows you to test out L’Oréal Paris products before you buy them and experiment with full-faced beauty looks you’ve been dying to try. Makeup Genius transforms your smartphone’s front-facing camera into a virtual mirror that allows you to see what the products would look like on. But this is not like the virtual makeup tools of the past where things look wonky and don’t quite line up. This is a first-of-its-kind augmented reality tool that captures head movements, tracks facial points and examines skin texture for exact feature display in order to get a perfectly accurate read of your face. (Honestly, you have to see it to believe it!) The steps are simple: just scan your face, choose a product or a look offered in the catalogue (you can scan L’Oréal products while at the store, too!) and begin testing out your personalized makeup look. I was able to sit on my couch in sweats and try on dozens of lipsticks, eye shadow palettes and foundations without having to venture into the overwhelming beauty aisles at the drugstore or the somewhat terrifying makeup counters for some new finds. Amazingly, all of the makeup applied virtually moved with my face, in real time as if it had been expertly applied and I was looking in a mirror. I was able see how the colors looked with various facial expressions and in different lighting. After finding a look you love, you can buy your desired product directly through the app, making your beauty shopping hassle-free. So for all you crazy busy beauty addicts out there, your new look can now be tried, tested and purchased all from the comfort of your couch! Now that’s genius!
Check out these fun pics of me playing with the app:
- Julie Ricevuto, beauty intern
Written on June 20, 2014 at 9:00 am , by Molly Ritterbeck
Anyone who knows me, knows I am a huge fan of St. Tropez self-tanning products. This obsession started at a young age when I read about the amazing bronz-ability of their self-tanner in a magazine and begged my mom to buy me a starter kit on eBay (!). Ever since, I’ve been hooked. Their spray tan formula is one of the best, drying in just 60 seconds! (You can find salons that use it here). I often turn to the Self-Tan Bronzing Mousse ($32, ulta.com) for weddings. It’s so easy to apply and the color develops into a rich brown tone, never orange. But lately, I’ve fallen in love with the St. Tropez Gradual Tan Everyday Body Lotion ($30, ulta.com). Usually, I apply this after I shower to give my naturally pale skin a healthy glow all summer. But I also use it to prolong the results of a spray tan. I usually get sprayed before a beach vacation but after several days of swimming, showering and shaving, my color starts to fade and I don’t want to bother with a full self-tanning routine (I’m on vacation, after all!). So I stash this in my bag and apply it everyday as my body lotion. Not only does it keep my color looking fresh and my skin radiant, it also hydrates for a baby soft feel. Forget the bronze, that’s gold medal level to me!
Written on June 13, 2014 at 9:00 am , by Molly Ritterbeck
I’ve been upfront about my love affair with full-coverage foundations and powders on the blog (see: here and here), so when the BB cream craze blew up, I really wasn’t that interested. BBs, which stand for beauty balms, are like a one-step, does-it-all miracle worker for your skin. While offering universally flattering sheer coverage and SPF protection, most also boast hydration, antioxidants and anti-aging ingredients. This all sounds amazing, except for the fact that they lack the full-coverage I prefer. I never found one I could make an exception for until I tried Dr. Jart+ Water Fuse Beauty Balm SPF 25 PA++ ($34, sephora.com). It’s like a huge glass of H2O for your skin in a tube. The moisturizing formula has a unique water bead technology that hydrates and maintains healthy moisture levels throughout the day, resulting in a dewy, fresh look. People have actually been asking me what I’m using on my skin! It glides on smooth (you can literally just swipe it on with your fingers!) and has SPF 25 for added protection from the sun. The coverage is sheer but I use it on the weekends when I just want to even out my complexion without piling on makeup. It’s made up of 50 percent water and actually has a cooling effect when applied so it’s great for neutralizing redness after a workout. I’m hooked!
Written on June 11, 2014 at 2:17 pm , by Molly Ritterbeck
Beauty—er, grooming—products probably aren’t the first things that come to mind when hunting down the perfect gift for your dad, but since men rarely buy these goods for themselves (after all, there’s no grooming aisle at Home Depot), they make amazing presents. So spoil him with these foolproof Father’s Day finds. No matter what type of guy he is, we have something he’ll totally gush over.
The Role Model: What little boy doesn’t want to be just like his dad? Create an Instagram-worthy moment for father and son to share by getting him Harry’s Father-Son Shave Set ($30, harrys.com). This kit contains a limited edition three-blade Winston razor for the big guy, a toy razor for the little guy and a how-to picture book so they can “shave” side by side. Too cute for words!
The Jetsetter: Whether he’s flying from one business meeting to the next or driving to see different clients, this on-the-go dad might run into some snags along the way. Keep him prepared for anything with the Pinch Minimergency Kit for Him ($13, pinchprovisions.com). So small, it can be stashed in a carry-on or glove compartment and includes 13 must-haves: lip balm, dental floss, breath freshener, stain remover, mending kit, safety pin, extra buttons, shoe shine towelette, nail clipper, hand-sanitizing towelette, deodorant towelette, adhesive bandage, and pain reliever.
The Classic: This guy is simple but he cares about his skin and he doesn’t like all the girly stuff his wife uses. Stock him up with a dopp kit—grab the new PC4MEN Complete Skincare Kit ($98, PC4MEN.com), which includes complexion-perfecting essentials (face wash, shave gel, after-shave, sunscreen and night cream) that are free of fragrance and irritating ingredients so he can always put his best face forward. Bonus: he gets to keep the preppy travel bag, too!
The Man’s Man: Beer, bacon and the great outdoors. Sound like your guy? Give him a little taste of his favorite things with a Yankee Candle Man Candle ($28 each, yankeecandle.com). Allow him to escape in his man cave with scents like On Tap (the cool, golden smell of a freshly poured draft) MMM Bacon! (the mouth-watering aroma of sizzling meat) and Camouflage (a natural woodsy fragrance that’ll transport him to the wilderness).
The Gym Warrior: This guy makes pancakes in the morning, reads bedtime stories at night and yet he still finds time to fit in a sweat session every dang day. Turn his quick locker room shower into a spa-like experience that invigorates the senses with Organix Citrus Mint 3 in 1 Shampoo + Conditioner + Body Wash ($7, drugstore.com). The three-in-one formula saves him space in his gym bag and has citrus extracts to stimulate his hair and skin and refreshing spearmint and peppermint oils to re-energize after a hard workout.
The Sophisticate: Sleek and suave, smart and stylish—what man doesn’t want to be just like Bond, James Bond? He’s every guy’s favorite spy and now you can help your favorite father unleash his sense of sly adventure with the James Bond Quantum 007 Fragrance ($40, kohls.com). The fiercely masculine scent has a mix of earthy moss and a touch of lavender while notes of British crisp apple and sandalwood give it a modern twist. Offer him a spritz and then follow it up with a martini—shaken not stirred, of course.
Written on June 4, 2014 at 12:10 pm , by Molly Ritterbeck
Photos Courtesy of Karina Smirnoff
As a pro dancer on ABC’s hit show, Dancing with the Stars, Karina Smirnoff is an expert on two of our favorite things: fitness and beauty. As she prances around the dance floor making a fast-paced foxtrot look easy, she’s glammed out in full hair, makeup and of course, bronzer from head-to-toe. We recently grabbed a few minutes with the Ukrainian stunner to chat about how she stays camera-ready through tough routines and how she likes to stay fit off the dance floor.
You have to keep your skin camera-ready through sweaty performances. What’s your skincare routine like?
“Yes, the sweat is not only mine, it’s usually your partner’s too! It’s definitely not the most glamorous part of the show but in the very first season of DWTS, my skin actually started breaking out pretty badly because you have heavy makeup on for hours, especially on the day of the show. We get our makeup done at six, seven or eight in the morning and we don’t go live until five p.m. and then comes touch-ups, where they put more and more on you. So my skin was breaking out really badly. But you find a way to keep it healthy and clean and right now, I’m obsessed with the Apothederm Acne Clarifying Treatment ($33, apothederm.com). I use it two to three times a week during the season and it keeps the blemishes away. I always wash my skin when I’m off the air and try to take off all the makeup. I use an exfoliant or the Clarisonic brush (prices vary, clarisonic.com), which is amazing because all you do is hold it to your skin and it does the job. There are different types of cleansers that have some parabens in them but Apothederm doesn’t and it’s incredible. It lifts all of the makeup off of your skin. And if you use it with the Clarisonic, which you don’t have do it every day but maybe once or twice a week, it gets out everything from inside the pores as well. I love when you have time off and you can use a mask and sometimes, I even make my own mask when I go to a sauna. I mix salt with honey and use it as an exfoliant on my skin but its also very moisturizing because of the honey.”
You wear some pretty intricate hairstyles on the show. Do you have any tips for keeping them in place during such active performances?
“Yes, besides hairpins and bobby pins, they have these little metal clips with teeth (similar here: L. Erickson Mini Mini Metal Jaw 8-Pack, $18, franceluxe.com) and they are the size of your pinky nail and they hold onto your hair so well to keep it in place. And not to mention, the excessive amount of hairspray! I can’t go out to places that have live fire just for the sake of catching my hair on fire!”
Everyone on the show is so bronzed! What is the self-tanning routine like?
“We get spray tanned on Sundays for the show during the season with a great company called South Seas Tanning, which gets you darker but it doesn’t get you nearly as dark as what we actually look like on the show. So there are different bronzers that I mix to create my own concoction for the body and you put it on and it dries so it doesn’t get on your clothes. It gives you that shimmery, glowing skin. I mix Rimmel Sunshimmer Instant Tan (available in the UK, boots.com) with South Seas Beach Bling Shimmer Lotion ($18, southseas.com), that’s the one that keeps it dry and then I add LORAC TANtalizer Body Bronzing Luminizer ($32, loraccosmetics.com). I mix it all in my hands. I wear gloves because it’s easier and you don’t have to wash your hands after and then you just put it all over! I love to look tan. But the funny part is I never spray tan my face, I only spray tan my body so you kind of have the floating head when the face is pale against the rest of the body, but I don’t want to clog my pores.”
The show is so glamorous but on a day when you’re not feeling your best, what’s one beauty move you do to boost your confidence?
“Oh, well, I always believe that a great pair of heels and mascara is all a girl needs to feel sexy!”
What’s your favorite mascara?
“I really like the new Blinc Mascara ($26, sephora.com). It’s not like a normal mascara. This one has an ingredient [tube-technology] so when you wash it off, you don’t get raccoon eyes. It gets soft and just comes right off like gel. I also like Marc Jacobs Gel Definition Mascara ($26, sephora.com) and Stila mascaras ($22 each, stilacosmetics.com). L’Oréal Paris Voluminous Power Volume 24H Mascara ($8, lorealparisusa.com) is great, too. It makes your eyelashes look twice as long!”
So when you’re not dancing, how do you like to stay in shape? What are your favorite workouts?
“I do everything, from martial arts to Krav Maga, to yoga to jogging, running, hiking. I like to spice it up and keep it different every time because I get bored really fast. And the ADD doesn’t help that either! So I try to do different stuff every time but to me, the best workout is dancing. That’s why I have the DanceFIT-KS. It’s a dance-inspired workout because it’s moves that dancers use to keep in shape and no matter how often you do it, your body never gets used to it because you never use the same muscles twice. We do dance camps, too and we take it to different hotels in the summer. It’s a win-win situation, with the travel, the amazing vacations, you get to work out, stay in shape, meet new people.”
Do you have any favorite snacks that you like to fuel up with before a workout or performance?
“I do but when you perform and dance you don’t want to feel full. Me, personally, when I eat, all I want to do is sit on the couch with the remote control. I get into the couch potato mode. And when I dance I don’t want to feel hungry but I want to feel light and alert. So I try to snack on things like pineapple or watermelon because they’re diuretic and go right through your system. I eat nuts a lot, like walnuts because they are a brain food and we could all use a little brain food! Sometimes I even do dried cranberries because they are a great source of energy. And you can never go wrong with dark chocolate. Dark chocolate is a divine food.”
Written on June 2, 2014 at 4:06 pm , by Molly Ritterbeck
Photo Courtesy of Landon Donovan
Pro soccer stud Landon Donovan is encouraging men to become pros at sun protection. He teamed up with The Skin Cancer Foundation and Energizer Personal Care, the makers of Banana Boat and Hawaiian Tropic sunscreens, to launch “Sun Blunders,” a public awareness campaign that aims to educate people on proper sun protection. In its second year, the campaign includes an educational video featuring Landon with his father Tim, a skin cancer survivor, speaking on the dangers of the sun. We stole a few minutes to chat with the athlete about his top sun protection tips.
Tell us more about the campaign.
“I’ve partnered with The Skin Cancer Foundation and Energizer Personal Care for the second year in a row, to teach men about the importance of sun protection. Many people don’t realize that melanoma is the fifth common cancer among men, and in a survey by The Skin Cancer Foundation, almost half of males admitted to not wearing sunscreen in the past year. My father, Tim Donovan, used to be one of those men, and this year, he’s joining me to support the campaign and share his personal skin cancer story. As we get ready for the upcoming games in Brazil, I’m also excited to share that from now through July, Energizer Personal Care will be making a $5,000 donation for every goal scored by the USA Soccer Team [up to $50,000!]. Funds will be given to The Skin Cancer Foundation in support of skin cancer research and education. More information can be found at SunBlunders.com.”
How important is sunscreen to you?
“Skin cancer has always been an important issue to me but it really became personal when my father was diagnosed with skin cancer a few years back. Thankfully, the doctors caught it early and he is doing great now. With my family history, and as a soccer player who spends a lot of my time outside, I definitely need to be careful in the sun and use protection. You don’t have to play an outdoor sport or be at the beach to get a sunburn, though, it can happen during everyday activities like walking the dog. I’ve gotten into the habit of wearing sunscreen and remembering to stay safe outside in the sun by throwing on a hat or wearing long sleeves on particularly sunny days.”
What do you look for in a sunscreen formula?
“I prefer to wear a broad spectrum sunscreen SPF 30 or higher—especially while I’m out on the soccer field in the direct sunlight.”
People always forget to reapply. Do you have any tricks for remembering?
“I make sunscreen application part of my morning routine to make sure I’m covered at the beginning of the day, and I keep sunscreen in the locker room and in the car to make it convenient to reapply while I’m on the go. It’s taken a bit of practice to get into a routine, but I make it a rule to re-apply during half time at games and in the middle of practice.”
Written on May 29, 2014 at 9:34 am , by Molly Ritterbeck
Though summer is probably when you’re most diligent when it comes to applying sunscreen, pro tennis beauty Maria Sharapova and suncare brand, Supergoop!, want you to think of SPF as an everyday essential—despite the season. Here, Sharapova’s secrets on staying safe in the sunshine.
Tell us why you partnered with Supergoop.
“As an avid user of Supergoop! daily for a number of years, I was drawn to not only the quality of the product but also the opportunity to educate people around the world about the importance of practicing safe sun habits everyday. I love that Supergoop! began for the sole purpose of sun protection, as opposed to other brands that just add suncare to existing beauty products due to trends. Supergoop! is not just another brand endorsement; I truly believe in the products and everything the brand stands for.”
As a tennis player, you compete and practice outdoors a lot. How important is suncare?
“Suncare is essential to me. My mom always told me that I should start thinking about anti-aging at a young age. Suncare became a habit from an early age because I wanted to make sure that I always kept my skin looking youthful. Being out in the sun so much, it is crucial that I protect my skin—both from an anti-aging perspective and as a preventative measure against skin cancer. If only everyone realized how important quality SPF protection is not only when outdoors, but also indoors.”
How do you find a formula that won’t melt down with sweat, sting your eyes or give you a slippery grip on your racket?
“The Supergoop! products are non-greasy. On match days, I always wear the Every Day Sunscreen ($19, supergoop.com) because it is so lightweight that I don’t feel like I am wearing anything, but my skin is always super-protected. The formula is good for sensitive skin and eyes.”
How are you and Supergoop! working together to spread the word on the importance of sun protection?
“Supergoop! and I will challenge consumers to think past ‘sunscreen’ and seasonal use of sun protection and instead, see it as an essential start to a healthy lifestyle— just like diet and exercise. I incorporate sun protection into my daily beauty routine and I make sure I am covered at all times. With this relationship, we have a lot of exciting plans coming up to help get the word out on how important it is to incorporate sunscreen into your beauty routine every single day.”
Besides sunscreen, what are your other beauty must-haves before practicing or a match?
“I don’t wear any makeup on the court, but I always make sure I have my Nike visor on as an extra sun blocker. This helps as an extra skin-protector.”