Archive for April, 2011

Things every lady needs in her clutch

       
Tuesday, April 19th, 2011

Things every lady needs in her clutchThat's right – we're talking clutch, not purse – the famed fashion accessory that's designed especially for formal occasions, and as such, requires a different set of tools than the ones you carry with you on a day-to-day basis.

Because clutches are formulated to be just big enough for you to carry your bare essentials, it's important to downsize your materials just enough to have your bases covered. Forget about carrying your entire cache of shadow palettes – in this instance, a couple key items are all you'll need to carry you through the night.

Every woman's clutch should be able to fit a small tube of concealer and a pressed powder compact – that way, if your makeup rubs off, you can do a spotcheck without bringing your entire bottle of foundation, and you can take periodic trips to the powder room to help control that shine. If the compact doesn't fit, a pack of oil-removing face wipes can be a great alternative.

As for makeup, you should get a natural flush from dancing the night away, so don't worry about your blusher. Do bring eyeliner and mascara if you tend to need touch-ups, and as always, your lipstick or gloss deserves a spot in your carry-on.

Smokey eyes and thick frames are a match made in heaven

       
Tuesday, April 19th, 2011

Get an airbrushed look to blast any DWTS star out of the waterEver wondered how those contestants always looked so flawless on Dancing With the Stars? The answer isn't airbrushing – Melanie Mills, the show's head makeup artist, told BellaSugar.com the real deal when it comes to making up those tiny dancers.

To start, each star sits out a total of three to four hours getting done up backstage, but the products they use aren't really that complicated – it's mainly creams and foundations that get them looking so radiant, no matter how sweaty they are towards the end.

"The big concern comes with body makeup, depending on what they're wearing and what kind of dance they're doing, and if they're rubbing on someone else," Mills pointed out. "We kind of watch and look out for that."

For the uninitiated, body makeup is essentially what it sounds like – makeup that's designed to help you cover up your flaws on any part of your body that isn't your face.

CoverBlend Corrective Leg and Body Makeup SPF 18 can help you keep anything under wraps, ranging from the most stubborn bruises to those unsightly varicose veins or stretchmarks. To make your body shine like the stars, top it off with an all-over body glistening cream such as GloMinerals Body Glisten.

Smokey eyes and thick frames are a match made in heaven

       
Tuesday, April 19th, 2011

Smokey eyes and thick frames are a match made in heavenRegardless of whether or not some of you thought that glasses couldn't make waves on a formal occasion, Anne Hathaway is sure to change your mind. The actress recently showed up to the premiere of her new movie Rio in Los Angeles flaunting a pair of oversized "nerd chic" glasses.

We know Hathaway doesn't wear glasses on a regular basis, but that just goes to show that a hot pair of specs can be the perfect accessory to any dressed-up ensemble, just as much as any clutch or bangle. Plus, they actually tend to enhance your eye makeup when you know just how to balance the two.

Makeup artist Troy Surratt told Allure.com that thick frames tend to complement heavier eye makeup, while thinly-wired glasses are great for natural makeup looks – which means those pair of retro cat-eye specs are the perfect accessory for a smoldering smokey shadow.

Sweep your favorite intense, dark hue over your entire lid and blend into the crease, winging it out just enough so that it doesn't extend past your glasses. Use your specs to "frame" the shadow if you will, and be sure to brighten up around those inner corners for eyes that gleam brightly beneath those lenses.

Which teeth-whitening products to avoid

       
Monday, April 18th, 2011

Which teeth-whitening products to avoidWe're confident most of you wouldn't douse your teeth in Clorox to attain the perfect shade of whiteness, but it's always useful to know what to look for in specially-formulated teeth-whitening systems.

"The at-home whitening systems that use peroxide are just as effective – but not as fast – as office treatments, which combine peroxide and a light or laser," according to Allure.com. "Avoid trays that were not created with a mold of your mouth – the peroxide can leak out and irritate your gums."

Beyond this, it's always a good idea to reach only for products that have been approved by the American Dental Association (ADA). You wouldn't want to take medicines or vitamins that hadn't passed safety standards, so why take risks with your teeth?

Lastly, it's important to stick to a product you find manageable. Strips and professional whitening systems are among the most effective do-it-yourself products, but many people prefer to whiten up in other ways – check out Supersmile Whitening Floss or Supersmile Professional Whitening Gum if you're curious.

Insider tip: Most bathrooms are stocked with this unsuspecting beauty aid

       
Monday, April 18th, 2011

Insider tip: Most bathrooms are stocked with this unsuspecting beauty aidWe're willing to bet that more women suffer from oily skin at the end of the day than those who actually come stocked to handle these issues. Beyond preaching to all of you about the importance of carrying face wipes around, we thought some of you would enjoy this handy little trick.

Bella Sugar editor Annie Tomlin recently reported on one of Sarah Jessica Parker's best beauty secrets. You know those toilet seat covers you use to protect your bum? They're made of the same waxy material as most oil-removing face wipes, which means you can always rip off a piece and dab away the shiny when you're stuck in a jam at work or at a bar.

Other savvy women might decide they'd rather forgo this issue altogether.

If you're a preemptive type, stock up on shine control skincare products that can help tame excess oil before they get a chance to smudge up your day. Combine Phytomer Oligopur Shine Control Purifying Mask with Phytomer Oligopur Hydra-Matifying Control Cream for the optimum dewy complexion.

Natural makeup is the ultimate crowd-pleaser

       
Monday, April 18th, 2011

Natural makeup is the ultimate crowd-pleaserYou can't win 'em all, but plenty of surveys have shown that most people tend to gravitate toward women with natural-looking makeup. It's the guideline, after all, when dressing to impress for a job interview, and this is one thing that seems to be fairly universal.

"I've had male friends tell me they're wary of a woman who wears a lot of cosmetics because they fear what lies beneath, but most of them don't seem to mind when it's applied to look natural," Sarah Wexler writes on Allure.com, pointing out that many famous celebrity couples involve a man who loves his woman looking effortlessly au naturale.

That doesn't mean men necessarily prefer women when they're sans-makeup, as Wexler points out. Makeup applied to enhance your natural features without looking overt or obvious is a winning option when negotiating this territory, which is one of the many reasons so many ladies have been all over mineral makeup as of late.

Mineral makeup is a step up in beauty technology, as it can often do the job of a base, concealer and finishing powder in one – all while using all-natural ingredients and providing a fresh, clean, barely-there finish to your radiant complexion.

Beauty fixes to stock your pantry with

       
Saturday, April 16th, 2011

Beauty fixes to stock your pantry withLest you thought that all of your cosmetics belonged on your vanity table or in your bathroom cabinet, we encourage you to think again. Some of the most vital beauty fixes are things you would normally find in your kitchen, lending true meaning to the old adage – “you are what you eat.”

If you’re of the mindset that beauty comes from within, it goes to say that the vitamins and nutrients with which you supply your body have a lot to do with how you look on the outside. That being said, many of us may know this to be true without any knowledge of the food items or their individual applications. For the hungry and the curious, here’s a short, simple guide.

Fountain of youth

Before we delve into the nitty gritty, let’s all bring our attention to what’s arguably the most vital nutrient of them all. Water not only constitutes the bulk of our planet, our bodies and our life-force as a whole, but it’s also one of the most influential beauty tools.

Drinking your eight glasses is not a bunch of quackery – when you’re properly hydrated, you feel more energized, your skin glows brighter and even you hair retains more moisture.

Good, clean wholesome fun

Not surprisingly, what’s generally good for your nutritional health also packs some weight when it comes to your complexion.

“Diets rich in fruits, vegetables and whole grains can make your skin glow, help clear up acne and fight aging and sun damage,” according to StyleList.com. “Likewise, meals laden with trans-fats, white flour, sugar and chemicals can leave your complexion looking dry, dull and lackluster.”

Their most basic advice? Skip processed foods, avoid anything that’s deep-fried, ditch the sugary drinks and opt for brown sugar or whole-wheat flour whenever you can.

Stock up on omega-3s

There’s a reason why Eskimos tend to be so happy – they’re always eating fish, after all. Not only do omega-3 fatty acids offer a major boost to your sense of well-being, as found in major recent studies, but they also offer a cure for a handful of different beauty ailments.

According to StyleList, foods rich in omega-3s are a good antidote for dry skin, psoriasis, acne, redness and inflammation.

Wondering how best to get your hands on this miracle worker? “These ‘good fats’ are found in fatty fish including salmon, mackerel, tuna, herring, halibut, as well as ground flaxseed, flaxseed oil, canola oil, soybean oil, walnuts, leafy greens, and tofu,” Health & Fitness reports.

Hair revival

There’s a whole grocery bag’s worth of stuff that will help you nab good hair days forevermore. According to The Frisky, reaching for salmon will get you the omega-3 fatty acids, protein, vitamin B-12, and iron that your tresses crave. Other hair-friendly foods include dark green vegetables, beans, nuts, poultry, eggs, whole grains, oysters, low-fat dairy items, carrots, beef and brown rice.

What’s your backup plan?

Getting the most out of the stuff you eat doesn’t involve a major dietary turnaround alone – lots of people take nutritional supplements to boost their intake of vital nutrients, and this can help give you that added boost that may be hard to attain just from one day’s worth of meals. Good news for you is that many companies create custom dietary supplements to specifically target your skin, hair or overall beauty needs, so you can be sure you’re getting all the good loving you need to look amazing.

Try Murad Pure Skin Clarifying Supplement for a complexion that can’t be beat, or try Sprayology Hair + Nail Tonic for beautiful hair and nails from the inside out – just two sprays below the tongue and you’re good to glow!

How to give yourself a royal treatment

       
Friday, April 15th, 2011

How to give yourself a royal treatmentIf you’ve already had it up to here with “the royal wedding this” and “the royal wedding that,” have mercy on us. We couldn’t help but be intrigued by Kate Middleton’s choice to do her own makeup for the grand affair, especially when you bear in mind the vast influence she’s had over feminine style and sensibility.

Perhaps Miss Middleton is here to teach us that you don’t need to shell out big bucks in order to look your best, especially if you already look amazing given the makeup skills you’ve perfected over the years.

Either way, we’re sure some of you are clamoring for a piece of the royal pie too – here are some basic do-it-yourself beauty tips, inspired by the ever glamorous and practical Kate.

Skin

Ever wondered how Kate managed to keep her skin so radiant and flawless through the months-long media circus that ensued following her engagement? Alright, we relent, not all of us have our photographs airbrushed when we make public appearances, but at least we can’t chalk this one up to our lack of a team of professional makeup artists.

Fortunately for us, it’s not beyond our grasp to get our hands on the same products that Kate relies on to nourish her dewy complexion. Ever since she was introduced to them by a friend, Kate swears by products developed by Swiss beauty brand Karin Herzog, according to Style.com. Karin Herzog’s U.K. managing director, Julie Cichocki, told the news source that Kate uses the Professional Cleanser, the Vita-A-Kombi 1, the Vita-A-Kombi 3 Spot Zapper and the Oxygen Face Cream.

This last ingredient in particular is something that will let women everywhere breathe a little easier – Karin Herzog was one of the first companies to use oxygen in its beauty products.

“Stress is the number one culprit for depleting oxygen in the skin, and, poor girl, what could be more stressful than an international announcement of a royal wedding, with cameras from every news agency pointed at you,” Cichocki told the news source. “A wedding of any kind is stressful for a bride, and still, her skin looked just beautiful – dewy, plump, fresh.”

Hair

You and I both know that we wouldn’t be so captivated by Kate’s effortless glamor if it weren’t for those commercial-worthy chestnut locks.

Kate’s hair is the next shiniest thing besides her engagement ring, so ladies who want to cop her look should reach for moisturizing shampoos and conditioners. A shine-enhacing serum or spritzer can help add a little extra reflective oomph.

As for that classic polished style, Glamour.com instructs women everywhere to nab it for themselves using “the round-brush twist.”

“Using a medium-sized, boar-bristle round brush, blow out your hair as usual, until it’s about 80 percent dry,” the news source explains. “Then start rolling sections onto the brush and [flip] it vertical to your head. Hold each section that way and blast with heat from the dryer for several seconds, then pull the brush straight down until the hair slides up and off.”

Voila – you’ve got sleek, subtle ringlets that will make for a rather royal impression.

Makeup

Last but not least, the moment you’ve all been waiting for – the beauty prowess that is now so accessible to women everywhere. Kate has inspired many with her clean, basic makeup that bodes well for a run down the grocery aisle just as well as it does for a professional photoshoot.

With the already-impeccable complexion you acquired thanks to Kate’s skincare regimen, apply just enough tinted moisturizer or foundation to even out your skintone.

A soft, rosy blush paired with sheer pink or neutral gloss will add the subtlest tint of color to lips and cheeks, as eyes are what tend to steal the show in true Middletonian fashion. A basic rim of black or dark brown liner applied to the top and bottom lash line is of utmost importance, followed by a couple coats of black mascara and a pencil or mousse to get those brows in tip-top shape.

If you thought that was easy, rest assured – the hard part largely involves waiting on that prince to show.

Makeup shy? Go ahead and blush

       
Thursday, April 14th, 2011

Makeup shy? Go ahead and blushEven though makeup comes in a rainbow of varieties, it may not always feel as though we have that many choices as to which features we wish to emphasize. Do up your eyes, or go for a bold lip – never both, but still, these are only two routes to choose from.

Shy of playing up either of these features? Perhaps the right thing for you to do is to continue blushing – by letting your cheeks take center stage, of course.

"If you're not crazy about following trends but still want to freshen up your makeup look for spring, upgrading your blush alone is a simple way to transition your entire look," StyleList.com suggests. "Go for a warmer, peachier hue applied to the apples of the cheeks to rev up your complexion and bring the focus to your eyes."

Since the rest of your makeup is staying fairly minimal, don't be afraid to go for a slightly brighter shade than usual. A cream blush can help take your look from flat to exceptional, especially for those days when you just want a bit of a dewier finish.

Spring makeup recalls a tulipy sheen

       
Thursday, April 14th, 2011

Spring makeup recalls a tulipy sheenThe natural enthusiasm of the life force can be seen behind all the blossoming buds this spring, and we're willing to bet some of you feel like a flower that's ready to burst. Why not make it apparent for all to see with colorful, glossy springtime makeup?

You can look fresh as a tulip petal with dewy, flawless skin, rosy cheeks and clean, vivid hues on both your eyes and your lips.

Sidewalk-chalk-inspired eye shadow hues are all the rage this spring, offering an even more vivid approach to the classic pastel color family. You can easily turn this into a runway-inspired glossy lid by applying a touch of Jane Iredale Eye Gloss – just be sure to keep the rest of your makeup minimal.

Lips should follow with such vivid sheen, made easily available through indulgent options such as ModelCo Lip Lights Ultra-Shine Lip Gloss or ModelCo Glass Ultra Lip Gloss. Layer on bright variations of your favorite honeysuckle, tulip and orchid shades!