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Beauty

Get Exclusive Offers and Amazing Rewards from Sephora’s New Beauty Insider Club

Written on August 6, 2013 at 9:00 am , by

Calling all beauty junkies: If you spend a majority of your extra cash on mascara and nail polish, you probably already belong to Sephora’s Beauty Insider program. But if you don’t, there are more reasons now than ever to join the program. The trailblazer in beauty retail is re-launching their entire loyalty program on August 12th to make it bigger and better. The new and improved Beauty Insider program will include:

  • A premium new membership level – The new rewards level, VIB Rouge, is for serious product addicts. You’ll earn bragging rights with this tier when you spend $1,000+ in a calendar year and you’ll get insider access to one-of-a-kind experiences and rewards. The chic and shiny red card opens the door to private events, advance access to new products, free shipping on sephora.com, unlimited complimentary services at Sephora Beauty Studios and your own beauty concierge hotline. For more info, click here.
  • Ultimate digital headquarters – The new Beauty Insider digital hub (accessible online here, on-the-go via mobile web or on the new Sephora To Go App for iPhone and iPod Touch) lets you view the latest rewards and exclusive offers, check your point balance and get access to members-only products and events. You can also keep track of products you love and past purchases (so you never forget the name of your favorite shade of foundation again).
  • Revamped rewards for all tiers – The already-in-place Beauty Insider tiers (Beauty Insider and VIB) have gotten a makeover, too. The program now features new ways to use your points, members-only beauty classes, first access to the most coveted new products (like the Marc Jacobs Beauty launch this fall) plus, all the benefits members already love, like the free birthday gift—yay!

Don’t forget, membership is free and from August 12-18th, Sephora is celebrating their loyal customers with double point purchases for Beauty Insiders, triple point purchases for VIBs, and quadruple (!) point purchases for VIB Rouge Members. Think it can’t get any better? Think again—now you can transfer your newly acquired points to friends and family for access to rewards that money can’t buy, like a chance to win a once in a lifetime trip for two to Paris with Make Up For Ever or a trip to Los Angeles for you and a friend to get a haircut by the man behind Jennifer Aniston’s famous style, Chris McMillan. Click here for more info on these to-die-for prizes. Happy beauty shopping!

Actress Christine Taylor Opens Up About Going Organic and Being The Face of Nourish (A New Organic Beauty Line)

Written on May 9, 2013 at 3:31 pm , by

You probably know Christine Taylor from her roles in laugh-out-loud movies like Dodgeball: a True Underdog Story and Zoolander (and even as Melody from the Nickelodeon TV show, Hey Dude), but off camera, she’s spreading her passion for health and wellness to everyone around her. As the spokesperson for the 100% USDA certified organic beauty line, Nourish, she’s sharing her personal journey of integrating better health into her family’s lifestyle and encouraging others to live greener. Here, she shares her story and secrets to staying fit and keeping her family healthy.

What interested you about Nourish?
“Well, when I had my children, I started to look at labels more. I was always health conscious about food and I would try to buy organic and eat as cleanly as possible, but when I had these little babies, I was all about looking at the labels of the creams and the lotions and shampoos and I didn’t want any chemicals. It really took me a while to connect the dots that what you’re putting on your body is just as important as what you’re putting in your body. So when Nourish came along, it was one of those stories where I got to meet the brains and the incredible guys behind it and we just clicked. It was amazing to me because they put these products in front of me, which are packaged beautifully. The girl in me loves the pretty packaging but nine times out of ten, that pretty packaging would be terrible and wouldn’t work well. So when I sat down to look at these products, they were beautiful to look at.  The product themselves work extremely well. And the big kicker for me: each product is under ten dollars, which is unheard of. At least for me, particularly for an organic product, it was music to my ears because I felt that this is a great way to make organic products accessible to everyone. And it’s USDA certified, which is important because something that I’ve learned is that consumers can get tricked when they hear something is all natural. Well, natural is very different from organic. Natural just means it could have a few natural products in it, whereas organic means everything has to be organic especially with the USDA seal. I think it just gives me complete peace of mind. It’s gentle enough for the kids and my whole family can use it.”

Do you have a favorite product in the line?
“I’m a fan of their Body Butter ($10, nourishorganic.com). I have naturally dry skin and living in New York in the wintertime my skin gets really dry. The fresh fig is my favorite scent. I love it because I can just put it on my feet, hands and cuticles before I go to bed. And it’s not so greasy that you get it all over your sheets. It actually really saturates your skin and you just wake up with sweet-smelling, soft hands like little baby skin.”

When it comes to beauty, do you have any great tips to share?
“Something that I’ve learned along the way, my cardinal rule, is a good clean face. I just feel like keeping your skin clean is one of the most important things. I’ll never fall asleep with makeup on or skip washing my face in the morning. Those are two of the most important things to start and finish your day with from a beauty perspective and an anti-aging perspective. Another thing that I’ve joked about forever is sleep. It’s one of my greatest beauty tips. I don’t get enough of it, but I always feel like it makes a huge difference.”

How do you incorporate healthy eating into your household?
“My daughter, who is now 11, made the decision at 7 that she was going to be a vegetarian. It was over the summer. We were on a vacation and we were at barns and farms. There were lots of chickens. She spent all of this time with the animals and came home and we went to a barbeque and she connected the dots that the barbeque chicken was the same as the cute chickens she was playing with; and she was really firm about it and said I don’t want to eat it anymore. So as a parent, I was at a time in my life where I just wasn’t as interested in meat. So I think when she made that decision, I naturally had been gravitating toward natural plant-based foods and greens. And I realized that if my daughter wants to do this, I would have to get a little bit more proactive about what’s healthy and what are good ways for her to get protein because she can’t just be a carbotarian. So I just figured out ways to get protein in her. I’m not a chef or anything so it was a fun project for me to take on. I got really interested in the foods that we haven’t been used to eating like beans and brown rice. So everything was just sort of just cleaning up in the house as far as what was in the cabinets. I still have two kids and we eat treats, but I thought it was just important for us to start as a family integrating overall health and wellness.”

Do you have any favorite on-the-go snacks for the kids?
“Absolutely! I wish I could tell you that when you open up the fridge, it’s perfect and that you see green. Those are all in there but the reality is that we do a lot of driving. You know, I take the kids back and forth to school, so we have to have snacks. One of the best things that I’ve found for a quick snack is edamame. It’s a little protein that can fill you up a little bit. And for the munchie stuff, I just try to go more organic with those things because I think that kids want to have something a little crunchy. So instead of getting the overly processed, I’ll try to find something at Whole Foods that’s more organic and maybe has less sugar. But the truth of the matter is, I have two very normal kids.”

You obviously have a busy schedule as a working mom. Are you able to find the time to workout?
I feel like I need to carve out time during the week. When the kids are in school, it’s easy. I’m a big yoga person, I love yoga and I do two different kinds. I do a real sweaty kind of powerful yoga. You get this great workout. It’s exhausting and I’m sore so that’s one of my favorites to do. And the other one is Kundalini yoga. For me, it’s very meditative. Yes, you’re in poses but it’s a very different kind of yoga. It’s an important thing for the body, mind and soul. It’s not as sweaty or strenuous as power yoga. And because I have two little kids and a busy life and a lot going on, it really centers me and I feel like that’s the biggest gift that I can give to myself. If I can get one of those sessions in a week and then add to it a couple of the power yoga sessions then that’s the best or the most that I can ask for. And when the weather is nice, I like hiking and playing tennis. I love being outside. In the summertime, I like swimming and getting in the water as well.”

Favorite Find Friday: Chapstick Cupcake Creations

Written on March 29, 2013 at 9:32 am , by

I have a serious sweet tooth but try to curb my cravings and only indulge once in a while (chocolate is my weakness!). Lucky for me, I recently stumbled upon Chapstick limited-edition Cupcake Creations ($2, drugstores) available in decadent Cake Batter and Velvet Cupcake flavors. They glide on lips like butter and instantly make any flakes disappear. But the best part, of course, is that they’re 100 percent guilt-free. And though they aren’t quite as satisfying as a cupcake, I’ll be reaching for these balms as a treat numerous times a day.

 

—Jessica Carter, beauty intern

Karolina Kurkova Discusses her Role on The Face and as a Health-Conscious Mom On-the-Go

Written on March 12, 2013 at 3:37 pm , by

Photo Credit: Laspata DeCaro: Oxygen Media

Czech-born supermodel, Karolina Kurkova is more than just a pretty (OK, insanely gorgous!) face. As a fashion and beauty icon, she’s lending what she’s learned throughout years in the fashion industry to the hopeful contestants on Oxygen Network’s The Face. Hosted by Nigel Barker, Kurkova joins supermodels Coco Rocha and Naomi Campbell as coaches of aspiring models as they compete to become the new face of ULTA beauty. Here, she talks about her role on the show, how she squeezes in workouts around her 3-year-old son, and how she keeps her family healthy.

What interested you in becoming a coach for The Face
“What I liked about The Face is that it was a real mentoring show where we really get to work with these girls. We had four girls on a team, so there was a lot of personal attention. We were able to give our time to them and work with them more intimately, which I think is great.”

How would you describe yourself as a mentor? 
“I am who I am. I’m very real; very natural. I think being a mom has made me very nurturing. I take my role of being a coach very seriously. These girls put their lives on hold. Some of them have kids and families and work five jobs, so I really felt a huge responsibility to make sure they had an incredible experience throughout the show no matter what happened. Then I’ll give the best and be the best and do whatever I need to do to get them to always feel good about what they’re doing. And win, of course, because if I don’t win, I could lose a girl, which is very sad when you get to know these girls, you don’t want them to go home. So, I’m more like a nurturing coach.”

How do you find ways to stay fit as a mom with a busy work schedule? 
“It’s hard! I don’t have the luxury to exercise as much as I use to. Growing up, I was a ballerina; I played basketball; I grew up with loads of sports so that’s very important in my lifestyle. Not just the physical part for how it makes you look but also mentally. When I feel strong physically, I feel strong mentally. I think both of those things really affect each other. So I really have to be very creative. Sometimes I may have half an hour or ten minutes. I have to really improvise and get it in whenever I can. Having a three-year-old definitely keeps me very busy. He’s a boy and super energetic. I’m running a lot with him and he’s very active. He keeps me very active.”

You’re always on the go, do you have any favorite snacks to have on hand?
“Whether I’m traveling or on the go, snacks are very important for my son and for my family. If I’m on the go, sometimes I don’t have the time to have a sit down meal and so I try to have things that I love like these Chia Bars from Health Warrior, which are great. They have a lot of protein but they are also great for fiber. Or nuts like almonds and cashews or apples. Anything that’s raw, sprouted and healthy that is going to hold you over. That’s important.”

Any other great healthy eating tips?
“One green juice a day keeps the doctor away.  For me that’s something that I really try to have everyday or make everyday. Now you can even buy some at Whole Foods. Stores are opening up little juice cafes. So I think for me that is something that is huge when I travel a lot or when I’m tired. That’s a fast way to get some vegetables and some nutrients in my system.”

Do you also have any favorite beauty products you like to travel with?
“I like a water spritzer, like a thermal water. I have my bag here, I can tell you exactly. I like a face cream for when my skin feels dry. And a hand cream, the one I actually have in my bag right now is called Weleda.”

Tune in to The Face on Tuesday nights at 9 PM ET/PT on Oxygen Network.

 

photo credit: Laspata DeCaro:Oxygen Media

Kitchen Beautician: Spruce Up Your Beauty Routine with Baking Soda

Written on February 25, 2013 at 12:09 pm , by

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.

Hair detoxifier:
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.

Natural deodorant:
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.

Brightening mouthwash:
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.

 

Newly-Crowned Miss America Mallory Hytes Hagan Shares Her Beauty and Fitness Secrets

Written on January 22, 2013 at 5:21 pm , by

Artistry—the official cosmetics and skin care provider for the Miss America Pageant—recently introduced us to their star products, as well as, 2013 Miss America, Mallory Hytes Hagan. Here, the beautiful blonde gives us the lowdown on how she stays pageant-ready.

So, how does it feel to be Miss America?
“It’s kind of strange. I think the experience that I’m having is different from previous Miss Americas because I came back home [after the pageant]. This is what I was doing as Miss New York. To be back in New York doing it, it feels normal. So I’m sure I’ll feel it more as I travel the next couple of weeks. It’s a really big deal that I’ll be moving around so much. It’s awesome to know that for the rest of my life, I’m Miss America.”

How do you stay fit?
“I try to switch it up a lot. I worked with a California-based trainer named Sohee Lee, who wrote me a really wonderful training plan and I worked with a nutritionist, Richard Talens, who started Fitocracy, the online fitness app. I also worked with Mark Fisher Fitness here in the city, so I’ve gotten it from all angles. In order to keep it mixed up, I did SoulCycle, Bikram Yoga and Cross-Fit, just trying to keep myself motivated in any way that I could. Some weeks I would be like ‘I’m not going to the gym, I refuse,’ so I would go to Bikram Yoga and SoulCycle. I know it’s so hard for so many women to keep on top of it because life gets in the way. Find something that you enjoy doing this week, and hey, maybe next week is different.”

What does your diet entail?
“My meals consist mainly of chicken and broccoli. I tried to stick with a certain macronutrient range as I was getting prepared for Miss America. I had a lot of weight to lose, so on days when I was working out I would eat 120 grams of protein, no fat and 40 or 50 grams of carbs. On days when I wasn’t working out, I was having 150 grams of protein, 25 or less grams of fat, and no carbs. So it’s just maintaining those macronutrients when I’m working out and when I’m not, making sure that my body is functioning properly when I’m in the gym, and resting properly when I’m not as well.”

What is your go-to healthy snack?
“I’m really into eating celery and peanut butter—they call it ants on a log. It really hurt my feelings to leave off the raisins because they’re so high in sugar, but celery and peanut butter is a really big thing for me. I also love miso soup. Until I had to cut down on sodium, miso soup was a great option, and you can get it anywhere, which is great.”

Can you tell us your favorite diet tip?
“Order your sushi wrapped in cucumber—leave the brown rice off. It’s a great way to remove those calories and it still tastes delicious and fresh.”

We hear you want to get into the Cosmetic industry. How so?
“I’m studying advertising, marketing and communications at FIT, and they have a wonderful Cosmetics and Fragrance Marketing bachelors program, so I have another semester in my associates and then hopefully, if I’m accepted into the program, I’ll be completing my degree in that.”

Tell us one beauty product that you could never compete without.
Artistry’s Signature Eyes Automatic Liquid Liner ($20, amway.com). I’m in love with it. My eyelids are so oily, so I always end up with my eyeliner on the top of my eyelid from blinking. Their eyeliner doesn’t budge. It stays on all day long and wipes off really easily with makeup remover so it’s not tough to get off.”

How do you keep your skin clear?
“I really like the Artistry Essentials Balancing Skin Care System in the mini travel set ($19, amway.com). I have combination skin, so it’s really good to use a system like that’s going to target both my oily spots and my dry spots. It includes a cleanser, toner and moisturizer and it comes in a little travel pack, which is great because I can throw it in my carry on suitcase.

How do you maintain your glowy skin?
“I self-tan. It’s one of my biggest beauty secrets. I don’t think people realize how much more glowing you can look if you add just a little color to your skin—it doesn’t have to be a lot. My self-tanning secrets are to exfoliate, then moisturize. Tanning salons tell you not to moisturize; I say do it. Your tan won’t last as long but it will be more natural when it’s applied.”

Do you have any tips for exfoliating?
“I do the most traditional home remedy for exfoliating: sugar, salt and just a little bit of olive oil. I rub it on my feet, hands and knees.”

Who is your beauty icon?
“Charlize Theron is so beautiful and fresh and put together. She always looks phenomenal with no makeup, with just mascara, with a face full of makeup, with smoky eyes, everything. Whoever her stylists are, they should be commended.”

 

—Jillian Ruffo, beauty intern

Favorite Find Friday: Elizabeth Arden Beautiful Color Eye Shadow Single in Shimmering Taupe

Written on January 18, 2013 at 9:00 am , by

I usually opt for shimmery nude shadows for my everyday look—they’re subtle yet they still highlight and define my eyes. Elizabeth Arden Beautiful Color Eye Shadow in Shimmering Taupe ($19, elizabetharden.com) is a perfect go-to shade. The gray-brown color coordinates with nearly every blush and lipcolor combo imaginable and the soft pearlescent finish has just the right amount of sophisticated sparkle. I use it all over my lids, or along my crease to add depth to my look.

Favorite Find Friday: ChapStick Sport Ready

Written on January 11, 2013 at 9:00 am , by

I’ll admit it: I’m a self-declared lip balm addict. I need one in my purse at all times. This week, I somehow misplaced one of my many tubes (talk about traumatic!) so I ran to the beauty closet for a last-minute replacement and came across ChapStick Sport Ready ($3, drugstore.com). Not only did it immediately hydrate my tight, dry lips, but I also fell in love with the subtle, lemon-y scent. The convenient clip attached to the cap makes it perfect for athletes or anyone on the go since it allows for easy, one-hand application. Plus, it’s perfect for all seasons (think: clipping it on your gear while speeding down the slopes or attaching it your bag before heading to the beach.) Its water resistant formula with SPF 30 protects lips no matter where you are or what you’re doing. I’m going to put some on right now…

FITNESS Beauty Intern’s Gym Bag Beauty Must-haves

Written on January 10, 2013 at 11:29 am , by

Courtesy of Under Armour

Compiling the ultimate beauty-equipped gym bag can be tricky, especially if you exercise before work or during your lunch break. Here’s a roundup of products that keep my bag light while still meeting all of my beauty needs.

I wash my hair only a few times each week, but sometimes I’m left with no choice (like after Spinning). Bumble and bumble’s Be Color Minded Kit ($28, Sephora) is great for dire-wash situations since the 2-ounce shampoo, conditioner and styling balm are all free of sulfates and harsh chemicals that can dry out hair when used often. And for days when my hair needs a little pick-me-up, dry shampoo is my hero. I keep a mini can of Redken Powder Refresh 01 ($8, redken.com for salons) in my bag at all times. I love that it adds volume with leaving an annoying white residue.

If your gym’s locker room doesn’t provide a blow dryer, look for a lightweight folding one, such as the X5 Superlite Mini Nano Tourmaline & Ionic Dual Voltage Travel Dryer ($49.99, Folica.com). This packs a surprisingly powerful blast despite its small size.

Moisturizing after a shower is an absolute must (especially during the winter months), so I always make sure to keep mini bottles of body lotion on hand. Burt’s Bees Naturally Nourishing Milk & Honey Body Lotion costs only $1.99 (burtsbees.com) for the travel size and leaves skin super soft. It smells fresh, and its lightweight formula won’t leave your skin slick or sticky.

If you don’t want to bring your entire stash of makeup with you, invest in an interchangeable palette, like Bobbi Brown 3-Pan Palette ($10, Bobbibrown.com), which allows you to swap out blush and shadow colors according to your look that day. And, if you have any contact lens cases lying around, here’s a trick: fill one side with your favorite face cream and the other with foundation. This way, you don’t have to miss out on your must-haves in order to downsize.

 

—Jillian Ruffo, beauty intern

Ski Star Julia Mancuso on Skin Cancer Awareness, Sunscreen and Squats

Written on January 2, 2013 at 5:00 pm , by

Julia Mancuso, professional skier and three-time Olympic medalist, knows a thing or two about sun protection. Not only is she religious about shielding her skin on the slopes, she’s the granddaughter of a dermatologist. So when she was asked to team up with the American Academy of Dermatology for their SPOT Skin Cancer initiative to raise awareness for skin cancer, it was the perfect fit. As a “SPOTlighter” for the campaign, Mancuso is spreading the word to better the public’s understanding of the deadly disease and motivate them to change their behavior to prevent and detect skin cancer.

Tell me about the SPOT Skin Cancer Campaign and why it’s important to you.
“I grew up being really in tune with taking care of my skin and wearing sunscreen and taking the right steps to protect myself on all occasions. I actually preach to my teammates all of the time, saying, ‘Make sure you’re wearing sunscreen!’ And then my grandpa mentioned something about the America Academy of Dermatology, and working with them and how they were coming up with a new campaign. They contacted me and it was just a real natural introduction and fit to help promote the campaign.”

Many people mistakenly think they only need sunscreen during the summer or at the beach, so why is sun protection important year round?
“It’s so important—especially for someone like me who spends so much time outdoors training in the sun in the winter. In the past, I’ve been guilty of having a goggle tan, so that’s the first indication to me that you get a lot of sun outside in the snow, even when there are clouds and you think that it’s not penetrating. I’m proud to say that I haven’t had a goggle tan since I was a young girl. It’s really important to protect yourself at all times.”

What’s your sun protection plan when you’re training?
“Every morning, I wake up and put on a moisturizer that has SPF 30, and then I put a regular sunscreen on top of that. We spend a lot of time training and then take a break in the lodge so I always reapply when I go inside or I keep it with my water, so anytime I stop for a drink, it reminds me to put more sunscreen on. In the summer when we’re training outside in high elevation for glacier skiing, I try to wear a handkerchief to block sun reflecting off the snow, too.”

Do you have any favorite sweat-proof sunblock products?
“I like wearing Shiseido products—they’re really great for all-weather protection. I like to wear the Shiseido Sun Protection Liquid Foundation ($35, shiseido.com). I think that it’s nice you can get a little coverage when your skin gets red from being outside.”

What are your other beauty must-haves?
“Well, recently, I’ve been using Osea Malibu, they use all-organic algae in their products. I use the Essential Hydrating Oil ($28, oseamalibu.com), which I find really good in the winter because you’re not putting heavy creams on. You can moisturize with a clean oil, even just the spots that get dry, and then you’re not putting on too much product that feels heavy underneath scarves and hats.”

What are some of the best exercises skiers can do to become stronger?
“A basic squat is the most typical exercise because skiing involves a lot of core strength and quads and glutes, but for me, I think the biggest myth for skiers is that you want to have really strong quads, but it’s actually that you want to balance your hamstrings and quads. So when I’m doing a lot of exercises, I focus on lifting my tailbone coming up so I’m really engaging my hamstrings as well which prevents knee injury.”

How do you like to stay in shape during the off-season?
“I think a great thing for skiers is biking. I really like to ride my road bike, so I do a lot of road biking and spend time in the gym doing squats and Olympic lifting and jumping. Agility work, box jumps and other plyometrics are great for skiing.”