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Favorite Find Friday: Mustela 2-in-1 Hair and Body Wash

Written on January 24, 2014 at 12:26 pm , by

 

My beautiful niece, Hadley, at just nine months old. Look at all that hair!

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.

Favorite Find Friday: Softsoap Limited Edition Maui Coconut Splash Moisturizing Body Wash

Written on May 31, 2013 at 9:00 am , by

While the majority of New Yorkers are getting a little cranky due to the 90-degree temps, I’m loving the recent heat wave. Though it does make me wish I was jetting off to a tropical island in the middle of nowhere. And while no such vacation exists on my summer calendar (wah!), I made my own quiet little escape—in my shower. It’s not as glamorous, I know, but I grabbed Softsoap’s Limited Edition Maui Coconut Splash Moisturizing Body Wash ($3, drugstores) from the beauty closet and scrubbed up after the gym. The formula is luxurious with a rich, hydrating lather, but the scent is what’ll really get you. The bright floral notes mixed with a hint of sweet coconut intoxicate you like your favorite fruity, umbrella-on-the-side cocktail. This might sound a bit dramatic, but seriously, the experience is so relaxing it might just be enough to hold me over until I can finally get to that white-sanded slice of paradise.

Reward Yourself with a Luxurious Bath

Written on February 13, 2013 at 3:14 pm , by

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

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

Softball Star Jennie Finch on Beauty, Brawns and Being a Busy Mom

Written on September 18, 2012 at 5:40 pm , by

Jennie Finch representing Team USA.

Jennie Finch is one of the most recognizable faces of women’s softball. Formerly a Team USA and Chicago Bandits’ pitcher, Finch retired from the sport in 2010 to focus on her family in Louisiana. With two kids and a third on the way, time-saving beauty products are key. We chatted up the busy mom on looking good and staying fit.

What are some your must-have beauty products?

“I love Phiten hair products (yuko-usa.com)—their shampoo, conditioner and leave-in conditioner. I also like Natural Advantage Skincare All Day Moisturizer (naturaladvantage.com)—it’s not too heavy and yet I feel hydrated, and it has SPF 15 which is so important. For makeup, I use MAC foundation (maccosmetics.com) if I’m going out, but I try to stay away from wearing makeup if I don’t have to. I love MAC mascara (maccosmetics.com); I can’t get enough on my lashes. If I’m not wearing much makeup, I’ll add a little bronzer to give me that sun-kissed look. I like Estée Lauder bronzer (esteelauder.com). I try to get away with lip balm unless I’m going to an event. I also love anything from Kiehl’s (kiehls.com).”

How do you stay active?

“I met this awesome running group when I started training for the New York City Marathon last year. We were new to the area and I was able to meet incredible women and friends and workout with them so that was a huge blessing. We mix it up by doing Cross Fit and running. I’ll do squats, lunges, and Pilates, too. I get bored so I like to switch it up. With kids, it’s not like you can get a full hour in everyday so I try to fit it in wherever I can like taking the boys for a walk, jumping on the trampoline, a quick game of soccer, whatever gets your heart rate going. I’ll try to take the stairs, park a little further and pick up my pace when walking; just as long as I’m getting my heart rate up. For me, exercise is a stress reliever so I just feel so much better if I just get out for a walk and get outside. I try to get the most of that in as I can. Pregnancy is getting a little uncomfortable now but I try to run as long into the pregnancy as I can. As my pregnancy goes further along, it’s a lot of biking and doing the elliptical so I don’t have a lot of bouncing.”

You are a busy mom of 2 boys. What’s your get-ready routine like?

Jennie with her husband, Casey Daigle, and two sons, Ace and Diesel.

“When you have kids, it’s all about being adaptable and quick. It’s kind of like getting ready whenever I can. If they go down for a nap and I know I need to get ready for a certain thing, I do it then when they’re sleeping. Sometimes, I’ll let my youngest play with my makeup bag to keep him entertained, or put him in the bathtub which frees me up to get ready because he likes playing in the water. We live in Louisiana in the country so I don’t get ready very often. I’m super casual unless I have to be at a function. When I’m home, I’m home and it’s just me and my boys and animals and country living.”

Do you change your beauty routine when you are pregnant? 

“I feel like with my last pregnancy, I wore a lot of makeup because I was trying to feel pretty at certain times so sometimes I wore a little extra makeup usually on my eyes. But not much has changed. Moisturizer is so important and I have all sorts of cocoa butter and lotions that I use. It’s all about comfort when you get down to it. The most beautiful thing about pregnancy is that it’s not about you so whatever makes you comfortable and makes it easy on you and what helps you enjoy it is that most important thing.”

How do you like to pamper yourself?

“For me, I travel a bunch so when I’m home I hate to take the time away from my kids but if I do get pampered, a manicure and pedicure is at the top of the list. I grew up in Southern California and the difference from that and Louisiana, it’s just a whole different lifestyle and pace and I’ve come to enjoy it and just enjoy that quieter life. Even just a couple minutes with my coffee in the morning just those 10 minutes or whatever time you have to yourself is important and enjoyable.”

As November approaches, many New Yorkers are getting ready for the New York City Marathon. You ran it last year just 4 months after giving birth! Do you have any advice for runners this year?

“I think just enjoy it. I got teary eyed probably 15 times throughout the race. It’s the most amazing thing to be a part of and I never compare anything to the Olympics but it’s comparable just to be a part of something so much bigger than yourself. To run through the 5 boroughs and to soak up the whole city with people from around the world is so magical. A lot of people are going for times and pressure but first and foremost just enjoy it. There’s a lot of things you can’t control with your body that happen so just roll with it because you’ve put so much time into accomplishing that goal. I was so touched by so many people running for different causes, all different shapes and sizes and ages and diversity and a lot of incredible athletes. I was so inspired. It’s hard to even explain. After running it, I understand why people get so addicted to it because it’s so special.”

Favorite Find Friday: Pooka Pure & Simple Fresh Sugah Whipped Cream

Written on July 6, 2012 at 12:30 pm , by

We’ll admit it: We’re suckers for beauty products that smell like all manner of sweets— coconut, vanilla, chocolate; we don’t discriminate! The scents, when authentic, conjure up visions of candy bars, cupcakes, and ice cream, and provide a calorie-free way to satisfy our sugar cravings. Our latest love, Pooka Pure & Simple Fresh Sugah Whipped Cream, is a body moisturizer that smells delightfully, but not overwhelmingly, like our grandma’s buttercream frosting. And the texture actually resembles dessert: It’s fluffy and close to, well, whipped cream. The formula contains only shea butter, soybean oil, vitamin E, fragrance, and essential oils, so it feels silky, not sticky and leaves skin supersoft.

Tell us: What’s the sweet-smelling beauty indulgence you can’t resist?

More Buzz-Worthy Beauty Finds

Written on May 8, 2012 at 1:50 pm , by

The hand-crafted Worker B Lotion Bar is made with organic almond oil, olive oil, beeswax and propolis.

Our office was flooded with beauty products packed with vitamin-rich, nourishing extracts like honey, beeswax, propolis and royal jelly while we worked on our May 2012 “Buzz-Worthy Finds” Beauty Buys page. We couldn’t fit all our favorite picks on one page, so here are more sweet steals that had the beauty department buzzing.

ALL OVER

BODY

FACE

FEET

HAIR

Big Dipper Wax Works 100 Percent Beeswax Sphere Candles come in three gorgeous carved designs.

HANDS

HOME

Be A Model Citizen

Written on April 4, 2012 at 12:55 pm , by

From left, bottle designs by Angela Lindvall, Josie Maran and Petra Nemcova.

Cult favorite cure-all Josie Maran 100% Pure Argan Oil is getting the model treatment this month: Catwalk stunners Angela Lindvall and Petra Nemcova, along with Josie herself, have decked the bottles in limited-edition designs that reflect the charity closest to their hearts. Ten percent of the price of each bottle sold will be donated to their respective causes— Healthy Child Healthy World for Angela, Petra’s own Happy Hearts Fund and Women for Women International for Josie. Virtually scent-free, the nongreasy, fast-absorbing argan oil inside is a superb nourisher for face, body and hair. Try rubbing it into cuticles and elbows, onto heels before slipping on socks, adding a few droppers to your bath for a moisture boost, and smoothing over fried strands for an instant hydrating fix.

Life-Saving Soaps

Written on April 2, 2012 at 1:01 pm , by

Tiffany blue Hand in Hand Sustainable Suds soaps make adorable, affordable hostess or shower gifts.

Do good while you wash up with soaps from Hand in Hand Sustainable Suds and SoapBox Soaps. Similar to the Toms Shoes “One for One” credo, for every soap purchased from these brands, one is donated to a child in a developing country to prevent the spread of water-related illnesses, which kill more than five million people per year worldwide. And you’re not sacrificing quality for conscience: The hydrating glycerin and shea butter-based bars come in sophisticated, fresh scents like orange blossom, lavender and lemongrass.

SoapBox Soap in fresh, citrusy Lemongrass, our favorite scent.

Favorite Find Friday: Eco-Armour Shaving Foam & Body Wash in Soothing Citrus

Written on March 16, 2012 at 2:49 pm , by

We’d always been indifferent to shaving creams— until we found one that could double as body wash: Eco-Armour Shaving Foam & Body Wash in Soothing Citrus. The fluffy, light as air formula comes in an easy-to-use pump bottle, rather than a bulky can, and is based on a cocktail of natural ingredients like coconut oil, glycerin and aloe that leave skin smooth. And we can’t get enough of the refreshing bergamot and grapefruit essential oil-derived scent.

Tell us: Do you use a shaving foam, cream or gel? If so, what’s your go-to?