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Favorite Find Friday: St. Tropez Gradual Tan Everyday Body Lotion

Written on June 20, 2014 at 9:00 am , by

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!

Favorite Find Friday: Dr. Jart+ Water Fuse Beauty Balm SPF 25 PA++

Written on June 13, 2014 at 9:00 am , by

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!

Karina Smirnoff: How She Stays So Fit Plus Her Best Beauty Secrets

Written on June 4, 2014 at 12:10 pm , by

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.”

Free Skin Cancer Screenings Coming to a Town Near You!

Written on May 22, 2014 at 1:59 pm , by

Barbeques, beach weekends and outside workouts—summer is finally here! With all of the bliss associated with the gorgeous weather, it’s easy to slack on your suncare game. But don’t, since the sun’s harsh rays can accelerate aging (think brown spots and fine lines) as well as cause skin cancer. So load up on your favorite SPF—30 plus, please (checkout some of our favorite brands: SkinCeuticals, La Roche-Posay, L’Oréal Paris, Banana Boat, SunBum, Neutrogena, Aveeno, Supergoop!—the list goes on). The latest formulas are so light and yummy, there’s no excuse not to slather yourself in them from head-to-toe. Pick out a cute wide-brimmed hat for beach days (and rock an old school baseball cap when running for extra protection) and treat yourself to a pair of UV-blocking sunnies. See, sun protection can be fun, right? Equally important, pop into your derm’s office to get a skin cancer screening once a year—it’s quick and painless. Don’t have a derm? No problem. You can utilize this awesome program The Skin Cancer Foundation’s “Road to Healthy Skin Tour” presented by Rite Aid. This potentially life-saving RV stops in 53 communities around the country and offers free full-body skin cancer screenings by local dermatologists who volunteer their time. Remember: Skin cancer is the most common, yet the most easily treated form of cancer, so it’s essential for you and your loved ones to get screened. To find a stop near you, click here. Have a happy (sun smart!) summer!

Connie Britton: The Secrets Behind Her Gorgeous Skin and Enviable Hair

Written on May 7, 2014 at 9:00 am , by

In real life, Connie Britton is a little different from her Nashville character, Rayna Jaymes—mainly that she’s not a country singer with a drama-packed personal life. But when it comes to beauty, both women have the same MO: glowing skin and to-die-for hair. (Who hasn’t tried to replicate those waves?) We recently chatted with Britton to find out her beauty tricks (spoiler: her go-to skincare product is a classic). Bonus: she let us in on what’s coming up in the last two episodes of Nashville. Tune in tonight, May 7th at 10pm on ABC to find out and click below to watch our interview!

Let’s Talk Pits…And How To Make Ours Look And Feel Prettier

Written on March 5, 2014 at 3:05 pm , by

Our underarms are often one of the most-overlooked places on our bodies. Besides shaving and swiping on deodorant, we don’t usually treat our armpits to any special skin care routine. Dove Advanced Care Deodorant is setting out to change that. They’re launching a new campaign—“Dear Armpit”—to encourage women to finally speak out about the way they feel about this mysterious place. To celebrate, they are offering women tips on how to give themselves a “PitiCure” (more on that below) and helping them to see their armpits in a new light. You can join in on the conversation, too, by tweeting your thoughts to @Dove with the hashtag #deararmpit. We recently stole some time with NYC-based dermatologist, Dr. Ellen Marmur, who has partnered with Dove to improve women’s underarm care. Read on for her expert tips.

Let’s talk about how the “Dear Armpit” campaign is helping raise awareness for taking care of your underarms.
“So we’re launching this campaign by having real women put on sleeveless blouses and sleeveless tops and taking a photo in a photo booth and raising their armpits and getting a ‘PitiCure.’ As a dermatologist, I have been telling my patients for so many years how to take care of their skin, and the armpit skin has its own list of issues that no one talks about. Every time people shave, especially if they’re using an old razor, they are stripping away about 36 perent of their skin’s surface cells, not just the hair, so they’re stripping their skin and causing irritation. Then you’ve got the underarm sweat, which has salt and enzymes, and you’ve got any debris from your clothing and things rubbing in that area that can lead to rashes, which can cause the skin to get thicker, which we call alligator skin. Once you get any irritation or redness, that can lead to blemishes, meaning brown discoloration, in the underarm and I think that leads people to feel really embarrassed and ashamed about wearing certain clothing.”

So what exactly is a “PitiCure” and how can someone give themselves one at home?
“So the ‘PitiCure’ is Dove’s way of making it really lovely and easy to think about. The idea is that it’s like a pedicure, where you take special care of your feet, which also used to be considered ugly; the ‘PitiCure’ is a way to take care of your armpits. It is a three-step process, where you might do it three times a week.

1. In the shower gently wash, not scrub, the underarms to get rid of any impurities or debris using your favorite cleanser.

2. Rinse with warm water and pat dry. With my patients and in general, people forget to dry their skin thoroughly after their bath or shower and they leave water droplets under their arms that can trap water and lead to further problems with the skin.

3. Apply Dove Advanced Care Deodorant ($5, drugstores) which is a multitasker and I think this is the ‘Aha!’ moment which is that your underarm care can have a multi-tasker: a deodorant, an antiperspirant and the nutrient moisture. Swipe it on just three times and that is enough to give you 48 hours of protection.

I think it doesn’t occur to most people to actually moisturize their underarms but this is where you can prevent those issues. No one ever tells you how much deodorant to put on but if you do, say, five swipes, you’re going to end up with residue which can irritate you as well, physically, and if you do only one swipe, you’re not getting enough of the product.”

Is there any danger with deodorant penetrating the skin’s surface?
“That’s a really good question. I want to go back to the basics, where skin’s number one function is to protect. So the skin has all these myths about it, like that it breathes or that it absorbs; nothing absorbs into the skin easily. So, products that you put onto your skin, they go into the top dead surface cells, but they actually don’t penetrate down into the vessels, where the blood vessels would absorb it into the body. And even the tiny ducts, they have their own skin-lining them, so you’re still not absorbing the product. I asked that same question and I looked into the data, because I also want to be counseling in a safe way, so we’ve been looking into studies. The ingredient that has led to controversy is the aluminum ingredient and it’s found in the body, but it’s considered to be in the body because of the foods we eat, and that does make sense that you’re eating food that goes into the gut and the gut’s main job is to absorb, but they weren’t able to detect any absorption, especially around the armpit where you would get it from applying deodorant.”

And what if you have any nicks from shaving? Is there any risk from applying deodorant over that?
“The deodorant has a powder ingredient in it, and powder itself causes bleeding to stop. Like if you cut your finger and put baby powder, or even baking powder, it actually causes the blood to clot. So it is safe in that sense, it’ll stop the bleeding and the moisturization and glycerin that’s in the nutrient moisture will actually help it heal faster. If it’s a huge gash, see your dermatologist. You definitely don’t want to try to fix something like that yourself.”

 

Head-To-Toe Dry Skin Solutions: Arctic Weather Edition

Written on February 11, 2014 at 11:40 am , by

With not one but two polar vortexes under our belts, those of us in the Northeast are cold, cranky and, well, feeling anything but sexy (think chapped lips, cracking hands and flaky legs—gross). We’ve rounded up some of the most moisturizing potions to keep your skin happy and hydrated because, let’s face it, winter has only just begun (wah!).

Face: CeraVe Moisturizing Lotion ($14, walgreen.com)
This dermatologist favorite provides a controlled release of essential ceramides and other skin-soothing ingredients throughout the day so your skin stays supple from the time you eat breakfast until you hit the sack.

Lips: Mustela Hydra Stick ($10, sephora.com)
Protect your pout with this convenient little stick. Made with cold cream, shea butter and beeswax, it infuses moisture into your lips or anywhere your skin needs it (like around your nose or even your cheeks). Tuck it in your pocket for quick touch-ups while you’re shredding the slopes (or after you’ve endured a rough commute).

Hands: Fresh Brown Sugar Hand Cream ($19, sephora.com)
If only mittens could keep your hands both warm and moisturized. Slather on this rich lotion, which contains shea butter and vitamin E to prevent moisture loss. The caramel and brown sugar scent is intoxicating, yet 100 percent guilt-free!

Body: Jergens Crema Deep Conditioning Shea Butter Body Cream ($7, drugstore.com)
Turn your post-shower routine into a little daily indulgence with this tub of luxurious body cream. Rich shea butter quenches scaly skin, and it absorbs quickly so you can slip into your coziest sweater/leggings combo and prepare to bear the elements.

Feet: Soap & Glory Heel Genius Amazing Foot Cream ($16, Sephora stores)
Sleep your way to softer heels with this yummy foot cream. Just massage a generous amount onto clean feet, slip on cotton socks and drift off. Macadamia oil, menthol and orange and lemon fruit acids will work the night shift so that come morning, your soles will be soft and soothed.

Hair: Kérastase Masque Nutri-Thermique ($18, keratase-usa.com)
Often we’re so focused on taking care of our skin in the winter (the flakes!), we neglect our strands. This heat-activated deep-conditioning hair mask nourishes  locks from roots to tips and protects your mane from drying-out in the future. Yes, please!

Other Problem Areas: Avéne XeraCalm A.D. Lipid-Replenishing Cream ($32, dermstore.com)
Specially created for eczema-prone skin, this cream will soothe, relieve discomfort and soften tender skin. It’s safe for use on the face and body on infants and adults. Whether you have eczema or not, this cream has your dry spots covered (literally)!

 

—Chelsea Burns, beauty intern

Favorite Find Friday: Nude Skincare Purify Toning Water

Written on January 3, 2014 at 9:00 am , by

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

Favorite Find Friday: Dr. Jart+ Premium Beauty Balm SPF 45

Written on November 1, 2013 at 11:51 am , by

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

Favorite Find Friday: Fresh Crème Ancienne Ultimate Nourishing Honey Mask

Written on October 25, 2013 at 9:00 am , by

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!