Archive for August, 2013

DIY beauty solutions

       
Wednesday, August 14th, 2013

DIY beauty solutions

While do-it-yourself projects typically involve hot glue guns and MacGyver-like skills, you can also DIY when it comes to your beauty products.

In fact, there are likely a multitude of items in your drawers, cabinets and pantry that could be used in beauty treatments (powdered milk, anyone?). The best part about DIY beauty is that because you're concocting the solutions yourself, you can customize the formula to address your specific hair concerns, skincare needs or makeup preferences. Here are just a few DIY ideas for some products you can make with simple ingredients.

Haircare
If you're dealing with dry, dull strands, this mask will instantly make locks more lustrous. All you need, according to Self magazine, are two or three thoroughly mashed bananas, 1/3 cup olive oil and 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar. Mix the concoction together and apply evenly to your hair, letting it sit for 15 minutes before you wash it out. Bananas are high in potassium, which can infuse strength into strands weakened by the sun, heat styling and other stressors. Self noted that the apple cider vinegar acts as a clarifying agent to get rid of product buildup, while the olive oil's fatty acids hydrate strands.

Skincare
Dry skin is a downer, but Adina Grigore, founder and chief formulator for S.W. Basics, told Refinery 29 that you can mix a moisturizer so rich that parched, damaged skin becomes softer, smoother and fully hydrated. Just mix together 1/2 cup of shea butter, 1/4 cup cocoa butter and a drizzle of coconut oil into a glass bowl. Make sure the bowl can withstand heat, as you'll be putting it over a a double boiler on low heat for several minutes. Once the consistency is fluid, use an oven mitt to take the bowl off the burner and let it cool. Then put a lid or plastic wrap over the bowl and refrigerate the homemade moisturizer. An hour later you can apply the cream to your face and body – and take a deep breath, because the scent is heavenly.

Makeup
Looking for a great glow? Sometimes it's hard to find the right shade of bronzer – if it's too light it's ineffective, and if it's too dark it looks entirely fake. The idea is to achieve the kind of radiance you'd naturally get from a day basking on the beaches of St. Tropez, and there's no better way to get the color just right than to mix it yourself. Self magazine recommends mixing together 1/2 cup cinnamon powder, 1/4 cup cocoa powder and three tablespoons of baby powder and sifting it into a bowl before mixing in four to five drops of coconut oil. By adding body lotion, you can personalize the shade: More lotion will make the bronzer more subtle while less will make a richer, deeper pigment.

Top beauty looks from the 2013 Teen Choice Awards

       
Monday, August 12th, 2013

Top beauty looks from the 2013 Teen Choice Awards

We certainly learned some fashion and beauty lessons from the established actresses at the Emmy Awards and the Tony Awards this year, and there's plenty more to learn from the young trend-setters at the 2013 Teen Choice Awards. No matter your age or personal style, you can take a cue from these starlets for a daring new look that's just as wearable for every day as it is on the red carpet.

Au naturale
​Some of the young starlets at this year's awards proved that less is often more when it comes to makeup. For example, Jordin Sparks appeared virtually bare in terms of beauty products, but still managed to look flawless with perfectly arched eyebrows and a subtly shimmering eyeshadow. For a similar effect, trace your lips with a liner that's only a half shade darker than your natural color and then glaze over them with a sheer lip balm. 

Another star who went for the beauty bare minimum is Nina Dobrev, who sported a pink glow on her cheekbones and a neutral lip color. The main attraction of this starlet's look was her luxuriously long lashes. If you want to copy Dobrev, don't forget to sweep mascara on both top and bottom lashes, which really makes eyes pop. And who knew a ponytail could be so chic? Parade recommended trying a mussed up version like Dobrev's to give the hairstyle a sizzling appeal.

Saccharine sweet
Other actresses opted for a more innocent, youthful look – this is the Teen Choice Awards, after all. The secret to Maia Mitchell's angelic appearance isn't her halo-like braided hair style, despite what you may think. Follow Mitchell's lead by dabbing a tiny bit of copper shimmer into the inner corners of your eyes and along your bottom lashline.

Lucy Hale perfected the girl next door look with a side part, soft waves and petal pink lipstick. For the same kind of understated glamor, trace your eyes with a fine-tipped liquid liner on both the top and bottom.

Brittany Snow rocked a slightly more vibrant take with bright coral lips, which truly made her iceberg-blue eyes stand out. The key to getting Snow's fresh-faced appearance is to forgo eyeliner completely and choose a mega lash-boosting mascara.

Bold and becoming
Some of the attendees definitely amped up their makeup this year, including the former Disney starlet Selena Gomez. A sharp cat-eye and some sheer lipgloss are all you need for this alluring look. Or you could take a cue from Bella Thorne, who proved that nude lips and a metallic brown smoky eye are steamy enough to command attention. Tia Mowry also turned heads with her unconventional electric violet eyeliner.

Bright eyes: How to wear colored lashes

       
Friday, August 9th, 2013

Bright eyes: How to wear colored lashes

Long, voluminous lashes have essentially always been in style – but who says they have to be black? Mascara in eye-popping shades from fuchsia to emerald can completely transform your look. If you've been too timid to try this trend, there are a few factors to consider that can help you to select an ideal color. Follow these tips and in no time you'll be rocking a hue that complements your skin tone as well as your eyes.

Green
Were you green with envy watching the models on Dior's fall 2013 catwalk sporting electric lashes? Refinery 29 explained that this color is just as wearable in real life as it is on the runway. Makeup artist Mylah Morales told Elle magazine that deeper shades are divine on blue eyes, while a brighter green enhances brown eyes. She also recommended choosing a coordinating eyeliner that's slightly darker than the mascara to make the lashes appear vibrant. Blinc Mascara in Dark Green is stunning with any eye color, and the innovative formula stays on all day and night. Unlike traditional oil-based products, this mascara encapsulates each lash with a tube to keep them clump-free and smudge-proof.

Blue
Feeling blue? While it may seem counterintuitive to apply this shade if you have the same color eyes, Rue La La noted that doing so can cause the whites to appear brighter and clearer. This color is also ideal for balancing out skin with yellow undertones.

Morales, who has applied this hue to Rihanna's peepers, advised using black liquid liner and applying blue mascara to both the bottom and top lashes. If a vibrant cobalt is too dramatic for you, opt for the waterproof PureLash Lengthening Mascara by Jane Iredale in Navy, which is a subtler take on the trend.

Purple
No matter your skin, hair or eye color, purple mascara looks striking – though Rue La La stressed that the shade looks especially ravishing on redheads and can pull out the green flecks in multicolored hazel eyes. One of the advantages of a dark purple is that it can be barely visible except when lashes are hit by the light, which means it's also wearable during the daytime. Superiore State-of-the-Art Mascara by Borghese in Prima Plum has the perfect amount of pigment without being too garish. Seventeen magazine suggested following Taylor Swift's lead by pairing purple lashes with a bright red lipstick for a bold yet playful look.

Butterscotch nails: The sweetest nail trend to end summer

       
Thursday, August 8th, 2013

Butterscotch nails: The sweetest nail trend to end summer

While your seafoam green and shimmery coral nails worked for the beach, it might be time to look for a new color as summer slowly comes to a close. But what hue could possibly be sunny enough for the final dog days and still transition nicely into fall? The answer is yellow, but not just any shade: a butterscotch that's playful and looks like the sinful dessert topping drizzled on your nails. Funky with a white bikini and boho beautiful with chocolate brown riding boots, the hue is stunning even as the leaves change.

The key to this look is to find a flattering polish

"Yellow is definitely a tough color to pull off," said celebrity manicurist Steph Stone, according to Lifestyle Mirror.

She then explained that proper application is crucial for the trend to work.

"Yellow nail polish is not forgiving, and if applied poorly can look like you just got done playing in finger paint," she told the site.

After putting on your nail primer, Stone advised brushing on a coat of white polish. Try a shade like the Lippmann Collection's Amazing Grace, which will make the yellow appear even richer and brighter. Two layers of butterscotch should be enough, and finish with a high-shine or a matte top coat, depending on your preference.

Your nails will look irresistibly sweet – just try to remember they're not edible.

The grass is always greener: A smoky eye tutorial

       
Thursday, August 8th, 2013

The grass is always greener: A smoky eye tutorial

By now, it's pretty apparent that the smoky eye isn't going anywhere. Incredibly versatile and alluring, this look can be toned down during the day or amped up for high drama at night. While a classic black or even a brown smoky eye never goes out of style, choosing another color can be more intriguing. As summer fades into fall, green is a great option for a more eclectic take on the trend. Just follow these steps for a gorgeous green sheen.

Getting started
First thing's first: It's crucial to apply an eyeshadow primer to prevent the pigment from fading, creasing or smearing. While a little smudging is the key to a smoky look, you don't want to end up with raccoon eyes. Next, dab some concealer onto your lids to mask any imperfections. Camouflage Cream by BABOR is formulated specifically for the sensitive eye area, and can cover up any redness, dark circles or other discolorations. This provides the perfect base so that your green shadow looks vibrant.

Get green with envy
Next it's time to choose a color. A metallic moss looks whimsical on a hot summer night, while a deeper forest green looks stunning for autumn. Whatever you select – you'll need two different shades of the same hue. Start with a shadow that's just a shade darker than your natural skin tone all over your eyelid. Next, using a small brush, apply the lighter of the two green shadows from the outer edge of your eye across the crease and toward the inner corner. Sweep the deepest hue at the outer corner of your eye.

For a more natural daytime look, only dab a small amount of darker shadow on the upper edge, but for high impact at night, wet the brush to create a rich pigment. Using the Smudge Brush by GloMinerals, keep blending to create a softer smoky quality. Finish by dusting on more of the medium shade across the lid to enhance the gradient effect.

Now, carefully glide a black liquid liner on the top lash line for a cleaner take. Or, if you're looking for more intensity, go all out by lining the upper and lower lashes with a green pencil – like the Too Faced Perfect Waterproof Eyeliner in Perfect Moss. 

No smoky eye would be complete without a sweep of lengthening mascara. Start at the outer corners to really make your peepers pop – and don't be afraid to brush the bottom lashes, too, for extra oomph.

Whiteout: How to rock the hottest nail trend now

       
Wednesday, August 7th, 2013

Whiteout: How to rock the hottest nail trend now

While bright nail colors are undoubtedly fun, white polish can be just as striking. The Telegraph reported that Scarlett Johansson, Jennifer Lopez and Rihanna have all been spotted sporting this trend. Whether in stark alabaster, iridescent pearl or a soft ivory, this look can appear innocent or just plain elegant. The best part about white nails? They go with absolutely everything.

Ready to see the light? First, Marie Claire magazine recommended clipping nails to a shorter length. While a square shape is classic, the magazine noted that a rounded oval edge can make fingers appear longer. Next, apply the Turn Back Time Rejuvenating Base Coat by the Lippman Collection, which can minimize yellow stains or any other flaws and ensure the white polish goes on as brightly as possible. 

When selecting a shade, Marie Claire pointed out that it can be helpful to consider your skin tone. While brilliant white really stands out against darker skin tones, paler complexions might want to opt for a polish with a pink undertone or some colored glitter so nails don't blend right into the skin. The magazine also suggested painting on some nail art, like polkadots or stripes, for a mod look.

After applying a few coats of your chosen hue, brush on the Lippmann Collection's Umbrella Waterproof Top Coat for strong, shiny, chip-proof nails.

Braid breakthrough: How to rock 4 new styles

       
Wednesday, August 7th, 2013

Braid breakthrough: How to rock 4 new styles

Braids have come a long way from their prairie days. In recent years, celebrities from Sienna Miller to Vanessa Hudgens have been rocking these hair styles in a multitude of new ways, showing that it's possible to make them elegant, edgy and even sexy. In fact, The Huffington Post reported that "braid bars" are opening up in cities around the country as a result of the trend.

Try these styles for a look that's anything but immature.

Go fish
A fishtail braid is perfectly playful for the beach, but starlets like Blake Lively have demonstrated that this style is just as appropriate for more formal affairs. For a sleeker look, braid sections tightly together. However, if you're hoping for a less polished, more piecey effect, PopSugar recommended tugging on the braid to loosen it up, as Jennifer Morrison has done. Spritz on Structure Naturelle by Leonor Greyl to finish for touchable, all-day hold.

Bun with a twist
A fusion of a braid and a bun is both sophisticated and eccentric. Try a low chignon with just a braided piece, which is chic for the evening. Alternatively, braiding all of your hair and wrapping it into a bun high atop your head can really show off the texture. Before braiding, apply a bit of Sleek Finish Texture Cream by Jack Black to keep strands slick and and flyaway-free.

Crowning glory
Who needs a headband? A braid that weaves across your hairline looks regal while framing your face. Opt for a slender version for a subtle style or use chunkier sections to amp up the drama. PopSugar noted that Hayden Panettiere rocked a totally different angelic take simply by pushing the braid farther back on her head. You could even try weaving in some ornate pins for a whimsical look. If you want a messier, more bohemian effect, try pulling out small pieces of hair around your face after you've finished the braid. Spraying En Root Flexible Hold Hair Spray by theBalm will keep your crown in place, even with exposure to extreme humidity.

Understatement 
The undercut braid has been an increasingly popular style for celebs who want a grungier alternative, according to Refinery 29. The source reported that Cara Delevigne sported this rock-and-roll style at the Met Gala, but she wasn't the only one: Model Chanel Iman displayed the same daring look at the event, according to PopSugar. Work in Gel a La Keratine by Leonor Greyl at the roots, which hardens when it dries, keeping the braid locked in.

Spotlight on BB Cream: How to use it

       
Tuesday, August 6th, 2013

Spotlight on BB Cream: How to use it

The buzz about BB creams has been building in recent years, and with good reason: These multi-tasking products are a perfect solution when you don't want to wear heavy concealer or foundation. While moisturizing your skin, a BB cream can also provide just the right amount of sheer coverage without a caked-on appearance. Moreover, most of these products have SPF to protect against sun damage. In addition, they can act as a primer for the rest of your makeup and survive through sweat for a long-lasting look.

Finding your match
With a slew of BB creams out there, it can be hard to know which one to choose. The best BB cream for you depends on your specific concerns and priorities. If you're looking for a product that can lift sagging skin while fighting fine lines, the B. Kamins Chemist BB Cream is chock-full of powerful vitamins and antioxidants that revitalize aging skin. Not only that, but particles in the cream reflect light on your face for a boost in radiance.

The G.M. COLLIN Mineral BB Cream SPF 25, on the other hand, is a great alternative if you just want to correct any discoloration while hydrating and smoothing out the skin. This cream is also lightly pigmented to give you a healthy bronze glow. However, if you're looking to address serious breakouts or blemishes with BB cream, She Knows advises getting a dermatologist's opinion to help you decide on a product.

Let the benefits begin
Before applying the selected BB cream, thoroughly cleanse your face. If your skin is ultra dry, celebrity makeup artist Piper Cline told She Knows that it can be helpful to first put on a moisturizer. Next, take no more than a tiny dollop and dab it onto areas in need of correction, such as redness in the cheeks or dark undereye circles. Finally, use a foundation brush to distribute the product evenly across the rest of your face. Cline also noted that dusting on a finishing powder afterward can help to achieve a flawless, shine-free complexion all day long. 

There are plenty of uses for BB cream beyond evening out your skin tone. Allure magazine explained that applying BB cream over a blush, whether it's a cream, powder or stain formula, can tone down a cheek color that's too intense. The magazine also pointed out that mixing a shimmery loose powder into the BB cream can brighten up a drab complexion or act as a highlighter on cheekbones, browbones and the collarbone.

Bare all with nude lips

       
Tuesday, August 6th, 2013

Bare all with nude lips

Sometimes subtlety can make a bigger impact than a loud statement. Take nude lips, for example: Celebrities from Kim Kardashian to Heidi Klum have been rocking this au-natural look both during the daytime and on the red carpet at night. Beauty expert Anastasia Soare, who has worked with Jennifer Lopez and Penelope Cruz, explained to FOX News that nude lips don't fight for attention, letting you amp up your other features, whether that entail highlighting eyes with emerald liner or going for a bold peach cheek. There are endless opportunities when it comes to this trend. No matter your skin tone, you can make the look your own by following these simple tips:

Choose your weapon
First, you'll want to find a lip color that complements your complexion. Those with alabaster skin should opt for a shade with rosier undertones to avoid looking washed out, and fair-to medium-skinned ladies should also select hues on the pinker side of the spectrum. Olive skinned beauties look stunning in a sheer nude that has a coral base, while darker complexions are radiant with a pale petal gloss. The idea isn't to choose a shade that matches your skin, but rather one that slightly amplifies your natural lip color.

It's also important to consider the formula. LeAura Luciano, a makeup artist that's worked with Zoe Saldana and Amanda Seyfried, told FOX that shiny and shimmery glosses actually make teeth look whiter, while glittery colors can cause the illusion of a gray tint. She also advised against using ultra-matte lipsticks, which can dry out your lips, making lines and cracks more visible.

A range of possibilities
Now you'll need to decide on the overall look you're trying to achieve. If you're going for barely there, understated beauty, Elle magazine recommended keeping things simple with black eyeliner and a coat or two of mascara. However, nude lips also present the perfect chance to wear that vibrant, daring eyeshadow you've been dying to try. Alternatively, Elle suggested that you can pair neutral lips with a dramatic smoky eye by smudging your eye pencil and using a volume-boosting mascara.

Finishing touches
No matter the statement you're trying to make, Luciano stressed that the key to making nearly naked lips work is never overpowering them with too much pigment elsewhere. Still, he advised sweeping blush onto your cheekbones for a "healthy glow."

Even though you put in some work for the perfect nude look, people will just think your lips are naturally that gorgeous.

Blowout bliss: A step-by-step guide to perfection

       
Monday, August 5th, 2013

Blowout bliss: A step-by-step guide to perfection

There's really nothing that boosts your confidence like a fresh salon blowout. However, achieving the same look at home can be a struggle without the right tools and products. Whether for date night, a summer soiree or an important job interview, use these tips for a coif that looks like it was handled by the professionals.

Prep with products
A good blowout starts with the shampoo. If you expose your hair to heat frequently, the Protein Rx Reparative Shampoo by Fekkai not only helps to nourish strands, but the soy and milk protein also strengthens them to prevent future breakage. If your hair tends to fall flat, opt for the Advanced Full Blown Volume Shampoo, which amps up thin tresses for a fuller finished look. An ultra-moisturizing conditioner is also key for a shiny blowout, as excessive heat can leave hair looking like straw. Treat hair to the Ristorativo Di Vita Conditioning Treatment by Borghese, which hydrates brittle strands while transforming the texture for softer styles. Gregory Patterson, a hairstylist at Blow in New York City, told Women's Health magazine that it's important to thoroughly rise out any conditioner for a long-lasting look.

Fight frizz by spritzing in lightweight Serum de Soie Sublimateur by Leonor Greyl, which smoothes the hair shaft without weighing it down for a poof-proof appearance. If your hair is highly unmanageable, opt for Condition Naturelle by Leonor Greyl, which contains protective proteins and seaweed extracts for shine and buoyancy.

Time to dry 
Now you're ready to pick up the hairdryer. Real Simple magazine recommended starting with the bangs when they're still wet. For more volume, hold hair in a round brush vertically above the head, but for a sleek, pin-straight look you'll want to pull hair downward. Next, Real Simple suggested moving to the back sections, which can be harder to perfect, and working forward toward the face. Always keep the blowdryer constantly moving – directing heat in one spot for too long can scorch your hair and cause serious damage.

Preserve and protect
After all that work, you'll likely want to make your blowout last. In Women's Health, Patterson recommended using dry shampoo, which can absorb oil and keep your style looking fresh. He also advised using a clip or a headband instead of an elastic because they won't leave a pesky crimp.

Follow these steps and your hair is bound to blow everyone away.