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Think Pink: Five Beauty Goodies that Give Back!

Written on October 25, 2012 at 12:45 pm , by

October marks Breast Cancer Awareness month, which means companies are churning out beauty products that not only help you look good but do good, too. We’ve spent the past few weeks sifting through them. Here are our faves:

Ahava Hope Blossoms Mineral Bath Salts ($22 for 32oz., ahavaus.com). Sprinkle a capful of these white floral-scented salts into a warm bath to soothe achy muscles after a tough workout. Even better than the spa-like effect: Ahava will make a 10% donation to the National Breast Cancer Foundation in support of their mission to help fund research and promote education and early detection.

Nails Inc. Nail Lacquer in Pinkie Pink ($9.50, sephora.com). This is the perfect way to show your support—right down to your fingertips. Paint just one nail (like your pinky) with this metallic pink polish to add extra sparkle to your manicure. $1 from every sale will be donated to Breast Cancer Campaign.

Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Formula Swivel Stick ($3, drugstores). Meet a great multi-tasker to toss in your gym bag. Use it as lip balm, body balm or rub a little between your fingertips to tame pesky flyaways. Palmer’s will donate 15% of sales of specially-marked Palmer’s products (with a minimum donation of $100,000) to Susan G. Komen for the Cure®.

Stila Positively Pink Set ($18, stilacosmetics.com). The adorable pink ribbon blush adds just the right amount of pink to your cheeks to fake a post-workout flush. Top off your look with a swipe of shimmery lip glaze and you’re good to go. $1 from every purchase will be donated to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation®.

Clinique Great Skin, Great Cause Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion ($36, clinique.com). This cult classic facial moisturizer is not only super light and hydrating, but it comes with an adorable charm key ring. $10 from every sale of this limited-edition product will benefit The Breast Cancer Research Foundation® while supplies last.

Favorite Find Friday: Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Top Coat

Written on September 21, 2012 at 11:34 am , by

I love painting my nails (especially for the weekends!) but I don’t have the time or the patience to wait for them to dry. I would love to leisurely relax post-manicure while my polish dries, but instead, I instantly feel the urge to use my hands to do something and end up with a smudged mess. That was until I got my freshly-mani’ed hands on Sally Hansen Insta-Dri, ($6, drugstores). This anti-chip topcoat dries in seconds, seriously, and gives your nails mirror-like shine for days. I even started bringing it to the salon with me and asking the manicurist to use it as my topcoat so I can walk right out and get on with my day.

Senior Editor Bethany Gumper’s DIY Nail Art!

Written on June 6, 2012 at 10:29 am , by

Bethany's beautiful two-toned manicure!

When Senior Editor Bethany Gumper came by our desk showing off her DIY nail art, we had to share: The dual-toned mint green and purple manicure is perfect for late spring/early summer, and looks intricate but is super-easy to do. She modified these simple instructions from Julie Kandalec, a celebrity manicurist in New York City in our May 2012 “Nail It!” feature:

  • Paint on two coats of a base color, like mint green, and let your nails dry.
  • Using an accent color, such as lilac, swipe two more coats over half of your nail.
  • Finish with a topcoat for shine and staying power.

3 Surprising Tricks for Making Your Manicure Last

Written on April 19, 2012 at 12:50 pm , by

A few easy tips can make even a vibrant manicure withstand workout wear and tear.

Our May “Nail It!” feature (starting on page 43) is packed with the hottest new lacquer hues, a yummy three-step at-home manicure, special effects you can do yourself, and four superquick ways to make nails look polished on the go. Here, a three more genius tricks for keeping your tips and toes in top shape from Jane Park, founder of eco-friendly nail care brand Julep.

  • Seal the deal. Swipe the tips of your nails with polish to seal the edges, which minimizes peeling and cracking.
  • Beat the heat. Avoid steamy activities like hot yoga, washing dishes, and warm showers or baths for four hours after a manicure or pedicure— heat can soften the polish, making it prone to dents.
  • Ice down. Once your manicure is dry, wash your hands with cold water to set it and prevent smudging.

What’s The Craziest Beauty Trend You’ve Tried?

Written on January 11, 2012 at 12:14 pm , by

Black lipstick, crimped hair, false lashes, the Snooki “pouf”: Most of us are guilty of taking beauty experimentation a little too far. We asked FITNESS staffers to spill the craziest trend or treatment they’ve tried:

“One of the DIY hair masks recommended in a beauty magazine that involved mashed banana and honey. The instructions didn’t mention that you had to mash the banana into a liquid, and I ended up with small pieces of banana in my hair. I had to shower and rinse about five times before it all came out—surely stripping away any of the conditioning power the mask was supposed to have!” —Karla Walsh, editorial assistant

“I’ve tried it all (lash extensions, neon eyeliner, nail patterns, a four-handed massage– you name it!), but recently I’ve been obsessed with tinting my brows. Giving extra definition to your brows by temporarily darkening them really makes a difference and helps to frame your face. I go to the Boom Boom Brow Bar or the Benefit Cosmetics Boutique in NYC.” — Eleanor Langston, beauty director

“A fish pedicure! My cousin’s spa offered the pedicures where you dip your feet in a tank with tiny garra rufa fish. It was ticklish and weird at first, but after a few minutes you got used to feeling the light bites. I think I’ll stick to regular pedicures, though.” —Marianne Magno, associate web editor

“Putting toothpaste on a pimple overnight as you sleep, and it’s supposed to disappear by morning! I have tried this and it actually worked. Unless it was just a fluke!” —Jenna Autuori-Dedić, fitness editor

“Bright, Jersey Shore-esque, press-on acrylic nails. They aren’t something I’d typically wear, but they’re fun for that week that they last.” —Grace Murney, photo intern

“Back in middle school, during the time when funky makeup brands like Urban Decay and Hard Candy had just launched, I thought it was a good idea to wear almost-black lipstick. Every single day. Definitely not the most flattering look on a 13-year-old— or anyone!” —April Franzino, associate beauty editor

Tell us: What’s the craziest beauty trend you’ve tried?

—By Leah Cayson, beauty intern

Holiday Tips!

Written on December 22, 2011 at 4:26 pm , by

Manicures are my guilty little pleasure– they never fail to make me feel clean and polished (pun intended)! To celebrate the season and spice up my nails, I chose OPI Nail Lacquer in Big Apple Red for my most recent mani. I love pairing the polish with a vibrant red lipstick because it adds a little extra holiday cheer to my style. The classic crimson will last you through the season’s parties and is a chic way to punctuate your look all year long.

Tell us: What’s your favorite nail color for the holidays?

—By Leah Cayson, beauty intern

Making Nail Polish with Deborah Lippmann!

Written on November 22, 2011 at 10:28 am , by

A bathbtub filled with Deborah Lippmann nail polishes at the event- how amazing!

Last week, I was lucky enough to get to mix my very own shade of nail polish with lacquer queen Deborah Lippmann herself, who’s famous for her stunning, outside-the-box shades and chunky glitter finishes. She and her talented staff very patiently guided me as I blended tiny drops of saturated yellow-red, black, yellow, white, and ruby pigments in a lacquer base to create a dusty lilac hue. Here’s a peek at my workstation (before and after!):

Below, the finished product, which I named Tough Love, since it took so much time and effort to get just right. I now have a profound appreciation for the skill it takes to create something as deceivingly simple-sounding as a nail polish!

Unconventional Beauty Solutions

Written on September 27, 2011 at 10:03 am , by

Primping products and treatments can be costly: Save some money by cashing in on these household products that do double beauty duty.

  • Cooking Spray The trick to mastering an at-home manicure is making sure you don’t smudge your newly painted nails, since we don’t have those handy salon dryers. Instead of waiting the requisite half hour for your digits to dry, grab cooking spray (like Pam) from your kitchen and spritz an even application onto nails. They’ll be dry in mere minutes!
  • Antibiotic Topical Cream (like Neosporin) As if having zits weren’t traumatic enough, once they’re gone, they can leave scars behind. Instead of rushing out and buying a skin tone corrector with a hefty price tag, dab a little Neosporin on the afflicted areas. Within days your pesky scars will begin fading away.
  • Dryer Sheets Dryer sheets are handy for more than just laundry. Run the sheet over your hair to tame static and flyways, fast.

Tell us:  What unconventional beauty solutions do you use?

—By Jaclyn Smock, beauty intern

OPI + Serena Williams Team Up for U.S. Open!

Written on August 30, 2011 at 4:29 pm , by

To coincide with this week’s U.S. Open Tennis Tournament, nail polish brand OPI is launching the last set of lacquers in the Serena Williams Glam Slam! Collection: Pros & Bronze, a sparkly pinkish-gold (below, left), and Love is a Racket, a shimmery red/fuchsia hybrid (below, right). We had the privilege of having lunch with Serena herself last week when she introduced the collection—she’s absolutely gorgeous in person and has incredible style. See above for a (slightly blurry) shot of us together. Here’s what the nail enthusiast—she went to school to become a manicurist!—had to say at the lunch:

“Once I narrow down the color family that I want, I choose a nail shades based on their namesone of the reasons I love OPI is because they have the best names! I love nails because on the court I don’t always feel attractive with all the grunting and sweating that comes with playing, so I use nail polish to make myself feel pretty and confident. You can be glamorous and strong at the same time!”

Tell us: Do you wear polish when you’re playing sports? Why or why not?

Our Meet & Greet with CoverGirl Taylor Swift!

Written on July 25, 2011 at 10:01 am , by

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Last week, we had the privilege of meeting CoverGirl Taylor Swift before her first Speak Now World Tour show in Newark, New Jersey. Taylor was one of the sweetest celebrities we’ve ever met, complimenting our outfits when we met her, giving big hugs, and jumping up with excitement when we recognized she was wearing her new fragrance, out in late fall. We found out that her vibrant red lip came courtesy of CoverGirl Lip Perfection Lipstick in Hot—”The brightest shade they have!” On her nails, she sported a creamy seafoam green shade, similar to Essie Nail Polish in Mint Candy Apple. Check out the photo of my sister, Taylor, and I above—the night was definitely a dream come true!