Written on February 14, 2014 at 11:38 am , by Molly Ritterbeck
When I was younger, I changed my perfume after every breakup (such a teenage-angsty thing to do—I know). There was just something about a fragrance that was so closely tied to the memories of the relationship, that after it ended, I wanted a fresh start. And a fresh scent. But since I’ve been very happily attached for the past six years (!), I’ve had to come up with a new smell strategy. It was around the time when my guy and I first started dating that I began crushing on Ralph Lauren Romance Eau de Parfum ($68, ralphlauren.com). Described as a fragrance that “captures the timeless essence of falling in love,” it seemed like the perfect match for the start of a budding romance. I loved the sensual florals, like white violet and sun goddess rose that created seductive chemistry when combined with the musk of exotic woods. As time went on, I fell more and more in love with my beau and my perfume. But the winter melted into spring and I needed to switch things up (in the fragrance department, not the BF one!) so I swapped in the summer edition—Ralph Lauren Romance Summer Blossom Eau de Toilette Spray ($74, ralphlauren.com). A lighter, fruitier version of the original, this sunny and playful scent has notes of mandarin and waterlily that lightly flutter on top of the woodsy, vanilla base. One spritz gives you that pit-of-your-stomach butterfly feeling and ignites those summer love sparks, even in a long-term relationship. I continue to alternate between the two and since I’m loyal to the collection, I’m anxiously awaiting the latest launch, Midnight Romance coming out this April. So after years of testing out all those other
guys perfumes that weren’t a perfect fit, I’m blissfully happy to have finally found the one for me. And today, I thought it was the appropriate timing to share this ode to oud with all of you. Happy Valentine’s Day!
Written on February 7, 2014 at 8:00 am , by Molly Ritterbeck
Let’s just say this has been one rough winter for us here in the northeast. There have been polar vortexes, followed by apocalyptic snow storms, followed by plummeting temperatures, followed by rain, sleet, hail, slush—the kind of stuff you remember from the 90s. I’m from northeast PA, not too far outside the city but at a much higher elevation so this is nothing new to me. But sadly, my skin has adapted to the closer-to-sea-level altitude of NYC and it has not been happy with the forecast. White, dry and flaky: my skin’s condition sounds more and more like the weather that’s causing it as each wintery day passes. I needed some serious help so I grabbed Suave Professionals Moroccan Infusion Body Lotion ($5, walgreens.com). I slather it on right out of the shower (waiting more than just a few minutes can mean less hydration) and it sinks in deep to hydrate extra dry skin. It’s infused with authentic Moroccan argan oil, a lightweight ingredient known to be rich in nutrients and antioxidants, so after just a few days of using it, I noticed my skin looking more radiant than before. The effects last all day so I know I’m covered until I reapply before bed (seriously, my skin drinks this stuff up.) And since those meteorology-savvy little groundhogs Punxsutawney Phil and Staten Island Chuck both saw their shadows this year, predicting six more weeks of this arctic assault in the northeast, I guess I’ll be relying on every last drop of this skin saver until spring.
On a side note, if you’re like me and dreading this weather, but wishing for brighter days, Suave has teamed up with the dapper celebrity fashion stylist, Brad Goreski, to help make your dreams come true. Just tweet your wish (which can be anything from silky, glowing skin to a sunny vacay) to @SuaveBeauty with hashtag #RadiantWishes to be entered into the sweepstakes or head to the Suave Beauty Facebook page to enter the Radiant Wishes Sweepstakes for a chance to win Suave Professional Moroccan infusion products, a spa day or a trip to sunny Los Angeles. A few lucky winners’ wishes will be fulfilled!
Written on January 24, 2014 at 12:26 pm , by Molly Ritterbeck
One of the benefits to being related to me is that I hook my family up with the best beauty goodies (I like to spread the love!). What’s better is that then, when I travel to my loved ones’ homes, I can leave my massive bag of beauty “essentials” behind and bank on them having the right products to share with me. This works out best between my sister and I, as she pretty much uses everything I tell her to (which is pretty much everything I use). During my last visit to her house, I was using the guest bathroom, which has now been taken over by my 16-month old niece. Now—you might think a little baby doesn’t require many beauty products exactly, but then that would mean you haven’t seen this little girl. She was born with a full head of hair. Like, so much hair that she had to get it cut four times before her first birthday (!). So washing it is a must. My sis loves Mustela products and uses the Mustela 2-in-1 Hair and Body Wash ($10, mustela.com) on my niece. I usually shudder at the thought of a 2-in-1 for hair (I need more conditioner!) but since my options were limited mid-shower, I reached for it anyways. The gel formula was so hydrating, I completely forgot about conditioner and because it’s formulated for the delicate skin of babies, it’s soap-free and ultra gentle. I liked it so much, I then proceeded to shave my legs with it! It left my skin feeling soft and smooth; not dry in any way. So the lesson to learn here is to steal from babies. Kidding! But seriously, they usually have the best beauty products.
Written on January 10, 2014 at 1:53 pm , by Molly Ritterbeck
When it comes to foundation, I’m not afraid of major coverage (let’s just say, I’m not a tinted moisturizer kind of girl). Having struggled—and sometimes still struggle—with acne for years, I know that foundation, concealer and powder are my complexion’s best friends. But when using all three, you run the risk of your makeup looking heavy and caked on (what we like to call friends without benefits). So you really have to look for formulas that hide breakouts but still look natural—like real skin. Enter Cover FX Pressed Mineral Foundation ($35, coverfx.com). Even though I work in the beauty industry and have access to hundreds of products, I was introduced to this one through a friend. It was just that good that she had to share it. The first time I used it, I was hooked. You can apply it alone as your base with the included sponge (damp or dry) or you can swipe on your favorite foundation and brush this over top as a finishing powder like I do. It offers additional coverage to the spots where you need it most and sets your makeup in place without looking thick. It comes in 24 shades so there’s a match for everyone. I keep two shades in my makeup bag at all times: one for the summer and one for the winter. Just like your bestie is there for you through, say… a break up, I can always rely on my favorite powder through any breakout.
Written on January 3, 2014 at 9:00 am , by Fitness Magazine
When it comes to my nightly skincare routine, I have one goal: get it done as quickly as possible so I can hit the sack. So when I attempt to add new products into the mix, they never last very long because I get tired of the extra step…until I was introduced to Nude Skincare Purify Toning Water ($26, sephora.com). Toners remove excess oil and dead skin cells that may be left behind after washing. You simply put a few drops on a cotton ball and swipe it across your face and neck then follow up with your moisturizer or night cream. It is formulated with natural ingredients, like cinnamon, ginger and burnet root to help purify your pores and balance oil production. I have not only seen improvement in the tone of my skin but I’ve also noticed my skin looks smoother and gets less oily. Well done, toner, you have officially landed a permanent spot in my highly coveted nightly skincare routine.
—Chelsea Burns, beauty intern
Written on December 20, 2013 at 12:08 pm , by Molly Ritterbeck
stressful lovely time of year when you wrack your brain trying to think of the perfect gift to give loved ones. For us beauty girls, we love sharing the gift of pampering and helping people feel pretty. The perfect way to do this: gift someone with a Julep Maven Box ($20 per box, julep.com). Simply go to julep.com and sign yourself or your friend or family member up for Julep’s monthly beauty subscription. Complete the quick quiz so your Maven box (delivered each month) is full of products customized to your style (if it’s for a loved one, do your best to answer for her). The box includes exclusive access to new hand-picked trendsetting nail colors, cult favorite skin care products and the latest beauty tools delivered right to your door.
Holiday bonus: there’s an exclusive promo code just for FITNESS readers! Enter FITNESSDEC2013 at checkout now through December 31st, 2013* and your first Maven Welcome Box is free. Doing so also signs you up for the Julep monthly beauty subscription. There are no obligations so you have the option to cancel, skip or send your box to a friend at any moment.
If you’re looking for a last minute present, this is the gift that keeps on giving all year long.
Written on November 22, 2013 at 11:14 am , by Molly Ritterbeck
After months of working on a short hair makeover story (check it out in the February issue!) and toying with the idea of cutting my long locks shorter, I recently chopped off six inches of my hair. This apparently was hardly noticeable to some (ahem, boyfriend who thinks “it doesn’t really look that different”) but a really big deal to me. And though I’m loving my new cut, styling it has been quite an adjustment. No longer can I sleep in a bun and wake up with effortless waves (tragic, I know). Since I prefer my naturally straight hair to have some texture, this posed a problem. So, I’ve recently been spending some quality time with my curling iron. After years of working in the beauty industry, I consider myself pretty handy with one, but even the most-skilled pro can sometimes struggle with getting the dreaded dent. Unless—that is—you’re working with my new favorite tool, Babyliss Pro Nano Tools 1” Rotating Curling Iron ($60, naimies.com). This iron is so easy to use, it actually makes my styling session faster. It has a rotating base, so you don’t have to nearly break your wrist trying to create a curl, and a super thin clip plate so you can chose not to use it if you prefer the feel of a wand. Plus, it’s made of a hybrid mineral complex (a mix of nano ceramic and Japanese kiyoskei) so it smoothes your hair, leaving each strand shiny and frizz-free. With 40 different heat settings up to 430°F, it’s perfect for any hair texture. Seriously, this thing is so awesome; your hair practically curls itself! (Now wouldn’t that be nice…)
Written on November 15, 2013 at 9:00 am , by Molly Ritterbeck
This is the time of year when my schedule gets crazy hectic (I’m sure you agree). I just returned from a whirlwind trip to Berlin, Germany (traveling’s fun but stressful) and with the holidays right around the corner, deadlines get tighter, the calendar fills up and getting ready on the run is not out of the ordinary. Half of the battle is just being organized and for makeup junkies like us, that can be tough. But I found a little lifesaver amidst the chaos: Sonia Kashuk Completely Organized Makeup Bag ($15, target.com). It comes in three different sizes (grande, classic and petite) and looks like a chic makeup bag on the outside, but it’s like having a personal organizer on the inside. The multiple-sized compartments neatly hold all of your essentials—from your cell phone and keys to makeup brushes and eyeliners. This pouch can be tossed and turned yet it still keeps everything in place. Plus, it’s made of a stain-resistant material so when one of my favorite lipsticks broke in it this morning (wah!), I just wiped it down with a damp cloth and it was as good as new. A definite must-have for any girl on-the-go.
Written on November 1, 2013 at 11:51 am , by Fitness Magazine
I know everyone claims this, but my skin is super sensitive so I’m careful with my makeup routine as to not disturb—what I like to call—the red-faced monster. That’s why I love when skincare companies venture into color because you get the best of both worlds. After some trial and error, I found the perfect match for my skin came in a pretty gold tube labeled Dr. Jart+ Premium Beauty Balm with SPF 45 ($39, sephora.com). Its airy texture glides on so smoothly, you can barely feel it, yet it provides enough coverage to mask imperfections. Plus, it has a high level of broad-spectrum UVA/UVB sun protection (a must). I apply it every morning, and especially when I ski because it protects my face from the glare of the sun on the slopes (yet I still look like a fresh-faced snow bunny when I take a break in the lodge with my friends!).
—Chelsea Burns, beauty intern
Written on October 25, 2013 at 9:00 am , by Fitness Magazine
Winter is right around the corner and I can already feel my skin cringing at thought of the harsh elements. So when I saw the Fresh Crème Ancienne Ultimate Nourishing Honey Mask ($130, Fresh.com) I couldn’t help wanting to slather in on my face ASAP. This luxe pot of sweet goodness, which contains two and a half tablespoons of pure honey, melts into skin to deliver up to six hours (according to the company) of nourishment. It’s also packed with Echinacea extract, which helps improve skin’s resilience to environmental aggressors like pollution and smog (a big plus for big city dwellers!). While I’m leery of thick masks due to my oily, acne-prone skin, this one didn’t clog my pores or trigger a breakout, since honey is actually a natural antibiotic and works to pull out dirt and grime while also healing existing acne marks. Before bed, I smooth it over cleansed, damp skin and leave it on for ten minutes before rinsing with warm water. I wake up with a radiant glow. Warning: the mask’s super-sweet honey fragrance may cause a midnight snack craving!