Stories for: Beauty

Beauty, SkincareIndie Lee COQ-10 Toner

indieleeq10Toner is one of those debated beauty items (kind of like facial mists), where it’s hard to get a definitive answer on if you really need it. One of the most common reasons you hear for using toner is that it’s supposed to help remove any last traces of product that has made it past your cleanser. This might be true, but instead of stocking up toner, it makes me want to buy better makeup and cleanser. In other words, I never felt convinced enough to incorporate a toner into my beauty regimen.

When Indie Lee COQ-10 Toner landed on my desk though, it completely changed my perception of this category of beauty products. This non-alcoholic toner is infused with so many hydrating ingredients from hyaluronic acid to citrus aurantium flower oil, that it’s actually quite effective as a moisturizer on its own. I discovered this by accident one day when my face felt so dry and tight (thanks a lot crazy weather) that I grabbed the first thing within reach and slathered it on. That thing happened to be Indie Lee’s toner, sitting closest to me in a queue of things to test. I was immediately impressed with this product right after I applied it–my skin felt soothed and softer instantly. To test how long lasting the results were, I opted not to put an additional moisturizer over it–and it turns out, even hours later, my skin still felt comfortable. Now would I recommend this in place of your moisturizer? No–but in extreme weather or if you suffer from dry skin, it can be a very effective additional step to incorporate into your routine. I now use it every evening and after my morning showers. Dry skin begone…and yes, any stubborn makeup remnants as well.

Indie Lee COQ-10 Toner, $32, Dermstore.com.

Beauty, HairDavines Hair Makeover

DavinesNounouShampooResolutions are so much easier to keep when they involve treating yourself well! My new year, new hair resolution has been so fun to explore, and much needed as my hair was feeling limp and neglected. With the help of Davines’ line of high-quality products, I have a good feeling that this resolution’s going to stick around. I first learned about the brand when I asked an Italian acquaintance what her secret was to effortlessly gorgeous hair. Happily, she didn’t reply that it was chalked up to good genes and I had no hope, but that the eco-friendly Italian line Davines was worth chasing down. Armed with this bit of information, I started exploring their products from shampoo and conditioner to hair oil, with fabulous results.

I admit that I take my hair for granted, and it’s easy to forget that hair can age too–and very quickly if it’s not given some regularly-scheduled TLC. I began using Nounou shampoo, which is specially formulated to nourish and illuminate color-treated hair which typically has a damaged keratin structure. Nounou shampoo is a must-have for preserving color, since the last thing you want after sitting through a long hair appointment is to let it all go down the drain! Even if you wash your hair on a daily basis like I usually do, hair never feels dry after treating it with Nounou. Although there isn’t a huge amount of lather, my hair feels very clean following the shampoo treatment. The clean and sophisticated scent makes me feel like I’m in a salon and instead of harsh chemicals including sodium chloride that can strip color-treated hair, locks are fed with rice proteins, and silicon microemulsions. Nounou shampoo deeply moisturizes with carbohydrates (hair has to eat too!), vitamins, mineral salts, and lipids through nature’s best source, chestnut milk. A welcome side-effect is that it’s moisturizing to my scalp, so even with the cold weather I don’t get flaky.

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BeautyPerfect Pairing: Guerlain Météorites Clair Pearls & Powder Brush

Processed with VSCOcamPolar vortex, Arctic tundra, too cold to breathe–whatever phrase anyone is using to describe this cold front, the next sentence is usually the same: “I wish it were spring already!” 

Unfortunately, since winter isn’t showing any signs of letting up soon (or perhaps because of it), I’m strongly gravitating towards any spring-y makeup that lands on my desk. The product I’m reaching for most frequently these days? Guerlain Météorites in (02) Clair, the brand’s newest face powder and part of their 2014 Blossoms collection. Just looking at the pastel pearls immediately reminds me of Paris (a little Miss Dior Cherie throwback anyone?) and Easter all in one. It’s happiness inducing, and luckily the glow it’s giving my cold weather-battered skin is just as warm. The colorful blend of pearls are infused with “Stardust technology,” a light-creating polymer which gives skin that romantic youthful glow. But the real genius is that each color pearl performs its own vital function: yellow and green help counter redness, pink to add freshness, mauve to catch light, and white to illuminate the complexion. READ MORE

Beauty, Skincare5 Oils That’ll Change How You Approach Skincare

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ESPA Optimal Skin ProSerum
Kiehl's Midnight Recovery
Sunday Riley Juno Hydroactive Cellular Face Oil
Origins Planscription Youth-Renewing Face Oil
Joanna Vargas Rejuvenating Serum
.ESPA Optimal Skin ProSerumKiehl's Midnight RecoverySunday Riley Juno Hydroactive Cellular Face OilOrigins Planscription Youth-Renewing Face OilJoanna Vargas Rejuvenating Serum

They call it a skincare routine for a reason: you’ve probably been doing that same old wash/moisturize two step for as long as you can remember. Even as an avid beauty product connoisseur, I find it pretty hard to incorporate a new product regularly beyond the initial testing phase. But every once in a while, something so good comes along that you have to make room for it–on your bathroom counter and in your beauty schedule. In this case, I’m talking an entire category of products: oils, which dare I say, has even replaced my usual face cream this winter.

According to Dr. Harvey Leo, a research scientist at the University of Michigan who spends much of his time studying how ingredients interact with skin, oils are some of the most effective products for helping skin lock in and retain moisture. Ample hydration, as we know, is the key not only to a healthy complexion, but that coveted glow (and despite what you may think, none of the grease). Even something as simple as canola oil can do the trick, says Dr. Leo, but I totally get it if you’d prefer to leave the Crisco in the pantry. Below, I’ve rounded up my five favorite oils of the season–try any of them and I’m pretty sure they’ll become the favorite part of your new beauty routine.

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BeautyPerfect Pairing: Anastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow & Duo Brush

anastasiadipbrow

Brows: seriously underrated and often overlooked. People frequently cite mascara or lipstick as their can’t-live-without-product, but when was the last time you heard anyone lament about not being able to leave the house unless her brows were perfectly groomed? Well, that would be me, and once you start paying attention, the before/after will seem so stark that you’ll actually feel naked without a little brow touchup. Thanks to Anastasia Beverly Hills new Dipbrow Pomade and #12 Large Duo Brush, achieving polished, defined brows are now easier, quicker, and more foolproof than ever. READ MORE

Beauty, NailsScotch Naturals Red Hot Trio

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Well, here’s a novel concept: a nail lacquer so pure and free of chemicals that it doesn’t smell. While I usually tend to avoid sniffing polishes, I found myself bringing bottles of Scotch Natural up to my nose on more than one occasion in disbelief that I really couldn’t detect any scent aside from a very mild whiff of almonds. Crazy right? And that is how, through the unlikely sense of smell that I first fell in love with one of the most luxurious and innovative polish brands on the market.

Scotch Natural polishes are created using a unique water based (as opposed to solvent based) formula and are absent of a slew of chemicals typically found in nail polishes. In addition to being free of all toxins, Scotch Natural polishes are also vegan, cruelty free, gluten free, fragrance free, and paraben free. What’s left is water, an adhesive agent, and color–a rainbow palette of 43 shades ranging from the softest blush to the moodiest indigo. Now in time for Valentine’s Day (and for red-lovers, any day), Scotch Naturals has released a trio of their favorite reds: Tartan Swizzle, a vibrant magenta, Stiletto, a pink-red creme, and Whisper, a shimmery pale pink in a beautiful, giftable set complete with their Sticky Base Coat and On The Rocks high gloss top coat. The polishes are highly saturated and evenly coats the nail bed with just one swipe for chip-free color that lasts (3 days and going strong!). Added bonus: the polishes also seem to dry quicker than their non-toxic counterparts, now officially leaving you with zero reasons not to get on the better-for-you bandwagon.

Beauty, Makeup4 Essential Red Lipsticks For your Beauty Wardrobe

essential_red_lipstick_shades

Let’s stop calling red lipstick a trend and start calling it what it really is–a staple. As with any wardrobe essential, I believe in buying that perfect product in various shades and textures to have one on hand for any mood or occasion that may come calling. Below, the four shades you’ll need to for the complete red collection.

The Festive Red

For dinner parties, girls night out, or whenever you’re feeling cheerful and whimsical. Pair with gold baubles, champagne shimmer, chevron stripes, and cozy angora sweaters. Try Kate Spade Beauty Supercalifragilipstick! in Fanciful Merlot , a creamy and cushiony red that adds a bubbly, spirited look to any outfit.

The Fiery Red

Think fire engine loud, racy, and even more striking than your classic crimson. Wear with plunging black tuxedo suit (nothing underneath!) and nails to match or whenever you’re feeling daring. NARS Cinematic Lipstick in Short Circuit, inspired by the provocative photos of Guy Bourdin, blends just the right intensity of red and orange with a glossy finish for even more sex appeal.

The Vampy Red

Dark, deeply-hued, and dramatic. Wear to channel your inner Dita von Teese whenever. Kevyn Aucoin Expert Lip Color in Blood Roses is the perfect black-red that doesn’t wander over into purple territory.

The Retro Red

A gorgeous true red that’s neither too bright nor too dark and best worn matte. Matches everything from evening gowns to jeans. Lipstick Queen Velvet Rope Lipstick in Brat Pack keeps the color classic but upgrades the technology for a formula that’s weightless, nourishing, and long lasting.

BeautyPerfect Pairing: Sunday Riley Tinted Primer & Koh Gen Do Liquid Treatment Concealer

sunday_riley_koh_gen_do_concealer

New Year’s Beauty Resolution #1: Always put my best face forward–effortlessly polished, natural but better. New Year’s Beauty Resolution #2: Don’t give up on Resolution #1 seven days into January because it’s the coldest it’s been in decades and my ideal morning routine is better described as “turn over and go back to bed.”

Thanks to two powerhouse products in my bathroom cabinet, “effortlessly beautiful” takes on quite a literal meaning–and it can be achieved even with just a minute to spare. I start with Sunday Riley’s aptly named ‘Effortless’ Breathable Tinted Primer which I substitute for both moisturizer and foundation on super busy, lazy, or just-can’t-get-it-together mornings. Absent are the heavy silicones found in most primers; instead, the product is formulated with anti-aging peptides, moisturizing agents and Rejuvenox to keep skin hydrated, oxygenated, plump, and smooth. The tinted formulation also delivers a fair dose of color coverage–enough to even out any light blotchiness and sallow tones. Whatever it can’t hide, I simply touch up with Koh Gen Do’s Liquid Treatment Concealer, step 2 of the easiest two-step beauty routine in existence. The multi-tasking concealer is equally as effective at covering blemishes as it is as brightening under eye. The brush pen tip dispenses a saturated dose of color–a little goes a long way. I smooth the concealer onto the back of my hand and tap (never rub) the product wherever needed on the face with fingers.The gentle formulation, packed with botanicals and emollients covers and brightens, but never cakes. Whatever I have left over, I apply down the forehead and nose bridge as highlighter for the finishing touch. So simple yet so effective–who knew New Year’s resolutions could be this easy to keep?

Sunday Riley Effortless Breathable Tinted Primer, $48, available at Dermstore.com.
Koh Gen Do Liquid Treatment Concealer, $48, available at Sephora.com.

Beauty, MakeupA Most Radiant Universe

 

sephora_universe

This post is a little late due to technical difficulties on my part (i.e. my lack of internet access over the holidays, which was even worse than it sounds. Thank God for my iPhone, which helped a little. A very little…) but in a rare turn of events, that’s actually a good thing because I was planning a piece raving about the SEPHORA+PANTONE UNIVERSE holiday collection, but now that it’s post holidays, the collection is actually on sale. Don’t you love when that happens?

First, you’re going to want to pick up the Lavish Jewel Gloss Set (on sale for $15). There are four glosses in it, all in pretty shimming jewel tones and a total steal at less than $4 apiece! Then you’re definitely going to want to throw both of the Precious Metal Mousse Shadows in your cart (possibly with backups of both). The creamy eyeshadow mousse (with a really cool texture) comes in Silver and Gold – both gorgeous – with a fabulous metallic finish that shimmers and pops. You can use it all over your lid as a shadow, but you can also use it as a liner (because you know, holiday parties are now over). These were the unexpected standout of the collection for me, so don’t pass them up. READ MORE

BeautyBejeweled Vaseline Lip Therapy Rosy Lips

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Cult fans have long traveled to the UK to stash up on the little tins of Vaseline Lip Therapy Rosy Lips, swearing by its effectiveness at soothing dry chapped skin (lips and elsewhere), light rosy fragrance, and pretty pink sheen. Now, just in time for winter (we all know January and February conditions are the worst), Rosy Lips has made its stateside debut so the rest of us can also experience this little miracle. The simple formulation consists of 100% triple-filtered petroleum jelly with added berry color and rose vanilla scent and feels a bit thicker and softer than its British counterpart. Each tubs retails for $1.99–I have already acquired multiple, one for each winter coat pocket. A limited edition collector’s version is entirely encrusted in Swarovski crystals and can be found for $45 at Fred Segal and Shop Kiton. Though I had originally deemed the bedazzled tub too pretty to use, one swipe of the content inside quickly changed my mind.

Vaseline Lip Therapy Rosy Lips ($1.99) at drugstores nationwide. 

The Daily Obsession draws from the expertise of a coast-to-coast editorial team offering dedicated readers reports of the most luxurious products and trends. We provide sophisticated and relevant angles on the latest fashion trends, must-have beauty products, insider interviews, travel destinations and of course, our current obsessions.

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