Posts Tagged ‘How To’

5 Budget-Friendly Beauty Tips For The New Year

       
Thursday, January 2nd, 2014

5 Budget-Friendly Beauty Tips For The New Year

It seems that there is a miracle cream or solution for every part of your face these days, but buying all of those supposed life-changing products can break your budget. Use these five simple and natural beauty tips to look radiant without breaking the bank this year.

1. Scrub With Salt
Fine-ground sea salt is perfect for an exfoliating scrub. Put a small dab of gentle soap in your palm, add a pinch of sea salt and scrub your face gently. If you have oily skin, this will also help reduce the shine and replace it with a radiant glow.

2. Whiten Teeth With Baking Soda
One of the quickest, easiest and safest ways to brighten up your smile is to use a dab of baking soda with water. Put it on your toothbrush, and gently scrub your teeth in a circular motion for one to two minutes twice each day. Make sure to use a soft toothbrush to avoid damaging your pearly whites.

3. Brighten Eyes With Potatoes
Nobody likes to deal with puffy eyes, skin discoloration or dark circles. Did you know potato slices can make your eyes look radiant? They contain many vitamins and minerals such as vitamin C, vitamin B6, fiber and others. In addition to this, they have natural bleaching agents to even your skin tone. Make sure to slice them thin so they are more flexible.

4. Use DIY Face Masks
There are numerous natural mask recipes online, and the ingredients are easy to find. One simple example is oatmeal, avocado and milk. Mix one avocado with 1/4 cup of milk and 1/4 cup of rolled oats in a blender or with a mixer. Slather it on your face, and let it sit for 30 minutes. If you want to add some vitamin C, place fresh peach slices on your face after washing off the mask.

5. Improve Nails With Lemon Slices
If your nails are brittle or if you have used acrylic nails for a long time, you may notice a persistent yellow coloring. Gently rub lemon slices on your nails twice per week for about one minute on each nail to whiten them.

Two different takes on the timeless top knot

       
Tuesday, December 31st, 2013

Two different takes on the timeless top knot

Hair style trends come and go, but the top knot appears to be here to stay. Some of the hottest celebrities from Emily Blunt to Rachel McAdams embraced this look in 2013, rocking it on the red carpet or just in everyday life. That’s the beauty of the top knot: It’s effortless enough to look casual but can also appear impossibly elegant. It works year round, and for a variety of occasions, making it a chic and easy option when you just can’t deal with having your hair down.

So if you haven’t already, it’s time to try this trend in 2014. Take some inspiration from your favorite stars and follow these steps:

Bedhead beautiful
A top knot can come in and save the day when you just don’t have time to shower. In fact, this messy version looks best on a ‘do that’s one or two days old.

Start by applying dry shampoo on your scalp and combing through to soak up any excess oil and give your strands some texture. After fluffing your hair to enhance its natural body, sweep it back with your fingers into a ponytail. To ensure the pony isn’t too tight, tug at the top and sides a little. If you’re going for maximum volume, back-comb your hair with a fine-toothed comb and mist with hairspray. Begin twisting your tresses about halfway down the pony and then coil onto your head into a half ballerina bun.

While holding the half bun, grab the rest of the hair that’s hanging loose and spread it out over the bun to create a mussed up, tousled look. Secure an elastic around the entire bun, twist it and pull it over the top a second time. For bigger impact, tug some strands out of the bun.

Sleek and sophisticated
The key to a polished top knot, like the one seen on countless runway models this year, is first getting the perfect neat ponytail. Apply a shine serum to your strands and brush them back, securing with an elastic near the crown of the head.

Next, divide your hair into two sections and start twisting them around each other to create a rope braid. After you’ve reached the ends, twirl the braid around the elastic at the base of your ponytail. If there are any wild pieces sticking out, carefully tuck them into the braid and under the elastic. Finish with a generous application of strong-hold hairspray to keep your ‘do locked into place and flyaway-free.

The lowdown on the low pony

       
Wednesday, December 18th, 2013

The lowdown on the low pony

Sometimes you just don’t feel like going through the effort of creating an elaborate ‘do. You’re tired of flattening your hair into submission with your straightening iron, but you know that leaving it alone just won’t cut it. That’s where the hottest hairstyle of the moment comes in: the low ponytail. It looks stunning, but it’s surprisingly simple to achieve.

Ready to rock this effortlessly elegant hairstyle? Follow these steps:

  1. Start by making a middle part down your head with a comb. One way to make sure your part is perfectly centered is to place the comb at the tip of your nose and glide it up toward your hairline.
  2. If your hair has some unruly pieces around the hairline, use a flat iron to quickly smooth them down.
  3. Next, apply a shine serum to give your locks a glossy, lustrous look.
  4. Pull your hair back into the low ponytail, making sure that you can tie it right at the nape of your neck.
  5. After securing the pony with an elastic, use a pomade to slick down any flyaways.
  6. A mist of medium hold hairspray is an essential final step for making sure your pony looks polished all day long.

Hair how to: Brunette with red highlights

       
Wednesday, December 18th, 2013

Hair how to: Brunette with red highlights

Blondes aren’t the only ones who can have a little fun. If you have darker strands and have been bored with your hair color, the problem may be that your color is one dimensional. Highlights aren’t just for those with golden locks, and can give brunettes the added intrigue they’ve been looking for. One of the hottest trends going into 2014 is red highlights, and they look especially striking in hair that is colored a deep, rich hue. When the light hits your locks, it will seem aglow – even on fire.

Eager to get this effect? Here are a few ideas to consider before you hit the salon chair:

For light brunettes
Whether you have a light chestnut or amber brown, you can still rock red highlights. The key is to choose the right shade that won’t clash with your current color, and only enhance it. Look to Jessica Alba, who has sported a warm brunette for years. In an interview with InStyle magazine, Jennifer Aniston’s colorist Michael Canale explained that her highlights provide subtle hints of a wine hue, which bring light and radiance to her natural color without overwhelming it. He noted that you’ll see the truest and brightest color on virgin hair. However, even if you’ve already color treated your hair, you can still achieve this look. It’s best to see a professional as highlighting over already-colored hair will rarely result in the color you saw on the box.

For medium brunettes
If your hair is a slightly deeper shade of chocolate or coffee bean brown, you can go for something more striking. You might consider getting just a few thicker “peekaboo highlights” for a playful but still bold look. Essentially, this requires highlighting the under layer of your hair around your face so that when you pull pieces back, the red pieces peek out from beneath. The best thing about this effect is that you can opt for a brighter, richer shade of red because you’re only coloring small sections of your hair. Plus, it gives you the option of flaunting the fiery highlights or hiding them depending on your mood or the occasion.

For dark brunettes
Lucky you – with such dark, nearly black tresses, you have the freedom to go for a dramatic look with your red highlights. Marie Robinson, whose clients include brunette beauties like Natalie Portman and Anne Hathaway, told Allure magazine that vibrant red ombré highlights are an edgy option that even Salma Hayek has experimented with. She suggested asking your colorist to lift the color on your mid length and ends several shades lighter than your natural color first, and also adding in a few warm brown highlights along with the red ones.

Slicked back: How to get Hollywood’s hottest hairdo

       
Tuesday, December 17th, 2013

Slicked back: How to get Hollywood's hottest hairdo

There’s one hairstyle that’s sweeping Hollywood, and it’s not your typical ‘do. From Lea Michele and Khloe Kardashian to Miley Cyrus, fashion-forward celebs in every industry seem to want in on this trend. All of them have proved that this look is stunning on the red carpet and surprisingly wearable for everyday occasions, too. Not only that, but designers like Catherine Malandrino, Alexander Wang and Donna Karan had their models strutting down the catwalk with ultra slick hairstyles. The best part about this trend? It works on hair of any length or texture, from tumbling long curls to a cropped pixie cut.

Ready to take the plunge? This look is surprisingly simple to achieve. Just follow these steps to get the dramatic ‘do yourself:

For high intensity
If you want the wet look that Miley has been rocking, you need to start with wet hair. Celebrity stylist Aubrey Loots told HollywoodLife.com that after combing through your locks, you should reach for a styling cream or gel. Smooth it throughout all of your strands, combing through to ensure the product is evenly distributed.

Next, pick up a large barrel round brush and use it to pull back the top section of your hair. Turn on your blowdryer and blast the air in a backward direction, holding the round brush in place. This will give you the amped up volume you want while making sure that your ‘do stays polished. Finish with a mist of high shine hairspray to ensure your look is flyaway free.

For a subtler effect
Lea Michelle went for a decidedly less intense look. Her style was still slicked back, but had a certain understated elegance that works just as well for a formal affair as it does for a casual event.

To get the same effect, start with hair that has already been blow-dried or air-dried straight. Then, Loots recommended rubbing some styling cream into the palms of your hands and applying it only to the top and sides of your hair. Then spread the product using a fine-toothed comb, but make sure that you leave the ends dry. To make the hairstyle more laid-back, you can always secure your locks into a slick ponytail, too. Of course, a spritz of strong hairspray is crucial for ensuring your look stays locked in.

The most important thing to keep in mind with this ‘do, though, is that you need to be confident to pull it off.

A step-by-step guide to pink ombré lips

       
Tuesday, December 17th, 2013

A step by step guide to pink ombré lips

The ombré effect made a big splash over the past few years, as many celebrities traded their perfect highlights and dye jobs for a grown-out, faded look. We all rejoiced because truth be told, it meant that we could wait a little longer in between salon trips and still look polished. Now, ombré is going beyond hair and becoming a major lip trend. While matte lipstick is no doubt still having a moment, an allover lip shade with consistent intensity can sometimes get boring. The best part about ombré lips is that with varying richness of pigment, you can dramatically boost the fullness of your pout.

Ready to draw attention to your lips? Here’s how to get this stunning two-tone look:

  1. You’ll need two shades of pink, one lighter and one that’s two to three shades deeper, for the ombré effect. The possibilities are endless, so feel free to play around with dusty rose, bubblegum pink and even electric fuchsia. However, it’s important that they are the same hue, so if you’re using an icy cool pale pink, make sure that your darker shade is in the same color family and also has cool undertones. Conversely, a golden or coral pink lipstick should be used in conjunction with a warmer dark color.
  2. Start by dabbing the deeper shade on the center of your lower lip. Press your lips together so that it smudges to the middle of your top lip as well.
  3. Now it’s time to apply the darker shade along the outer lined of your lips. Makeup artist Benjamin Puckey told InStyle magazine that he likes to use a firm flat lip brush, as this helps to ensure a precise line. This step is key because it provides definition to your pout.
  4. Next, it’s time to reach for the lighter color. Dab it into the middle of your top and bottom lips and blot them together one time. The paler tone will illuminate your pout, which gives you a plumping effect.
  5. Now that your ombré lips are complete, how do you finish the look? You want to make sure that your pout stays in the spotlight, so this isn’t the time for dramatic eyes or cheeks. Consider adding a light layer of pink blush to the apples of your cheeks for a fresh-faced flush. Then, create a subtle and sleek cat-eye with some liquid liner and you’re good to go.

Dazzle That New Year’s Party with These Beauty Products

       
Monday, December 16th, 2013

Do's and don't's for dramatic lashesArrive at end-of-the-year celebrations with New Year’s-worthy looks and super-glam style. Makeup, hair, clothes and accessories are key, but prepping with indulgent beauty treatments will make you feel luxurious and beautiful. What better way to walk in oozing confidence and glamour?

Early in the Day

Allow plenty of time to relax. There’s nothing less radiance-inducing than rushing around and stressing yourself out, so clear your schedule in advance. Set the stage for a fun-filled evening with a pre-party soak.

The Bod Squad by Bliss contains all the essentials. Soften and relax with citrus- and sage-scented Soapy Suds and Body Butter. Feel slinky in your holiday outfit by applying skin-firming Fatgirlslim. Get your digits ready for hugs and hand-holding with High Intensity Hand Cream.

Party Prep Basics

Today is not the time to try new products or intense treatments. Skin sensitivities could cause all eyes to be on you for the wrong reason. Test new products well in advance to prevent bad reactions. If your skin is prone to redness, scaliness and rashes, stick with hypoallergenic products made for sensitive skin. MD MOMS Baby Silk is a fragrance-free head-to-toe cleanser that gently cleans adult skin too.

Sloughing Off

Exfoliating gives you radiant, baby-soft skin. Glamglow Youthmud gently resurfaces skin and triggers collagen synthesis for a younger look. Apply this or another exfoliating product early in the day for best results. Moisturize within two minutes of exfoliating to provide a smooth, glowing canvas for your makeup palette. Follow with a rich, intense eye moisturizer like Babor’s HSR Lifting Extra Firming Eye Cream.

Making Up is Easy to Do

Keep under-eye circles and other imperfections at bay with concealer. New Year’s parties demand a flawless look. If you weren’t born with perfect skin, consider a full-coverage option like Dermablend Cover Creme. Even if you usually go au naturel — makeup-wise, that is — tonight calls for a foundation made for your skin type. Heavy powder ages almost anyone, but a little bit looks polished and pretty. Apply a light dusting of translucent powder, avoiding the under-eye area.

Tonight is the night to break out that smoky eye or vamp-y red lipstick. Just be sure to perfect the look well in advance by practicing and watching online video tutorials. Put on your holiday best, spritz on a chic fragrance, stash some oil-blotting tissues, and you’re ready to ring in the new year in style!

Say goodbye to chapped lips

       
Thursday, December 12th, 2013

Say goodbye to chapped lips

Chapped lips are an inevitable side effect of winter but they can really put a damper on your look, not to mention they're rather uncomfortable. Trying to keep your pout smooth so you can rock the matte lips trend? Or, are you just hoping for a smooch under the mistletoe?

Either way, these tips will help you to protect your lips against the dry, cold air:

Hydrate
You've heard time and again that you're supposed to drink eight glasses of water a day. Hydration isn't just essential for your health, it's also important for ensuring that your lips don't dry out. Even if you drink plenty of water throughout the day, you may notice some cracks. In that case, you may want to invest in a humidifier for your home.

Exfoliate
Just as you exfoliate your face to get rid of flakes, you should to do the same on your lips. However, it's critical to be careful when you're buffing your pout or you could make dryness worse. A damp washcloth or a soft bristled toothbrush can certainly be used to slough off the dead skin. For the best results, though, use a gentle solution like the Bliss Fabulips Sugar Lip Scrub. Simply smooth it on a circular motion and the natural oils, butters and vitamins in the formula will nourish your skin while the the exfoliants get rid of dry surface cells. The result? A flawless canvas for all your favorite lip colors.

Moisturize
A moisturizing treatment is essential for avoiding chapped lips, particularly right after you exfoliate. The only bummer about a lip balm is that sometimes you want a little pigment to amp up the color of your pout. In that case, reach for the Lip Treatment Moisturizer SPF 15 by BORGHESE. This rich formula is infused with an innovative Acqua di Vita Complex to maximize moisture, and even protects your pout against damage from UV rays. Plus, it comes in four lustrous shades that are flattering on nearly any skin tone, including the perfectly peach Naturale and the alluring deep Berry.

Treat
Hopefully after treating them with care, you won't experience chapped lips. However, sometimes harsh conditions prevail and you need to alleviate the discomfort. Rue La La recommended making a DIY remedy by steeping a green tea bag in warm water and applying it to your pout. The calming tannins in this solution will help to soothe any burning sensation. Alternatively, the source suggested letting rose petals soak in milk for a few hours, mashing them into a paste and applying the mixture to your lips several times a day to calm them down and even enhance their natural pigment.

Pointers for maintaining a pretty pixie cut

       
Wednesday, December 11th, 2013

Pointers for maintaining a pretty pixie cut

This year, the pixie cut had a major moment. Everyone from Beyoncé to Jennifer Lawrence chopped off their locks in favor of this super cute 'do, demonstrating that it's actually ultra flattering for a variety of face shapes and features. Still, maintaining a pixie cut isn't necessarily easy. Having less hair to deal with can take some of the work out of styling, but you still need to put some effort in to make sure your tresses look polished. 

If you already went for a super short cut or are thinking about rocking a pixie, use these tips and tricks:

Consider your hair texture
There's no one size fits all pixie cut that works for everyone. You should definitely think about your hair type, and let that dictate the length and style. Manhattan-based hairstylist Julien Farel told Teen Vogue magazine that a super short cut can give fine hair some much-needed body. On the other hand, she pointed out that it's best to keep curly hair slightly longer to prevent frizz. Thick hair types have the freedom and flexibility to experiment with different lengths. However, layers are key to making sure the hair still has some natural movement.

Get a glossy sheen
Don't overdo it on the products with a pixie cut – in fact, less is more since you don't have a ton of hair. Instead, you want to focus on infusing shine into your locks so they look as healthy as possible, thus accentuating the shape of the cut. After showering, spritz some of Fekkai's Advanced Brilliant Glossing Sheer Shine Mist into your hair, which will give it a lustrous finish that lasts all day long without weighing it down.

Learn to love dry shampoo
Shampooing your hair every day is going to lead to a parched pixie, so it's best to give your hair a break by waiting a day or two. That's why dry shampoo should become your go-to solution when you're sporting a short 'do. Refinery 29 production assistant Chloe Daley admitted that she swears by this product for extra volume, even when her hair is clean. The key, she said, is to turn your head upside down when you apply it and massage it into your scalp. When her hair is looking particularly greasy, she simply sprays in some dry shampoo and changes her part. Reach for the​ Balm En Root Dry Shampoo to soak up excess oil, lift your strands at the roots and extend the life of your style between shampoos.

How to be a blushing beauty

       
Monday, December 9th, 2013

How to be a blushing beauty

Even though you've been wearing blush for years, you still may not have gotten it quite right. In fact, this is one of the most common makeup mistakes. A natural-looking flush requires more than just sweeping some color onto your cheeks with a brush - you need a combination of just the right tools and tactics.

Follow these tips and you'll have the perfect rosy glow in no time:

Prep properly
Before you even reach for your blush, it's important to prepare your complexion with the right products. Achieve a flawless canvas by starting with primer and then either the foundation formula of your choice or tinted moisturizer. Primer is essential because it ensures that your foundation and your blush go on evenly, and that they both last longer. Once you have evened out your complexion and covered up any flaws, then you

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can add some color back with blush.

Pick the right pigment
Choosing the right hue depends on your skin tone. Essentially, you are trying to mimic the color that your cheeks naturally turn when you're cold or a little bit bashful. If you're not sure of the right shade, you can always pinch your cheeks to help you figure it out. Those with fair skin and cool undertones should stick with pink blushes. However, if you have lighter to medium skin with golden undertones, a peachy or coral pigment is best. If you have darker skin, you can opt for deeper berry shades like raspberry and plum. 

Place it strategically
When you're applying pink blush, be sure to focus on the apples of the cheeks, where rosy color tends to pool naturally. Don't know how to find your apples? Look in the mirror and aim for those rounded front parts of your cheeks that pop up when you smile. Placing one finger at the edge of your mouth will tell you where to stop when applying the pigment. Peach blush is better used for sculpting the cheekbones while adding a subtle glow. So when you're applying a blush in this hue, place three fingers along the outside edges of your lips to determine where you should stop brushing it on.

The best kind of brush is dense with soft bristles, has a dome shape and a flattened edge. This kind of tool ensures you can more effectively concentrate color in the right areas.

Swirl the brush into the pigment and then tap it on the edge of the compact to eliminate any excess. Using circular motions, lightly sweep it onto your cheeks.