Best of Summer: Sunscreens


Best of summer sunscreens

Chances are, you’ve already gone through one or more bottles of sunscreen this summer—and that’s a good thing! It means you’re out enjoying what makes summer so great, and you’re also protecting your skin as you should. Whether you’re ready to buy a new bottle, or need one for a mid-summer outdoor activity, here are eight of our favorite sunscreens we’ve found so far this summer.

If experts agree on one thing, it’s that sunscreen is the most important step in reducing your risk of skin cancer. Dr. Richie Lin, of Short Hills Dermatology takes it a step further and tells us…

  • No sunscreen is truly “waterproof” or “sweatproof,” since all sunblocks will dissolve in water eventually. In fact, these labels will soon be a thing of the past since the FDA has ruled that only the term “water-resistant,” with a time limit, can be used on a label. If you are swimming, exercising, or even just sweating from a day of walking around, you should reapply your sunscreen every 1-2 hours for continued protection.
  • Sunscreens with an SPF below 15 do not protect against skin cancer or premature aging. The FDA will now require these products to state that they only protect against sunburns, but not against the carcinogenic effects of the sun. Make sure you pick a sunscreen with enough SPF.
  • Swim shirts and brimmed hats with UV protection are very popular right now. You see every toddler and young child at the pool or beach wearing them. If adults are mindful enough to protect their children from large doses of sun exposure, shouldn’t the same rules apply to big people? Protecting yourself with a swim coverup that contains SPF and a wide-brimmed hat means you will be stylish and safe at the beach!

With Dr. Lin’s tips in mind, check these out!

No-Ad SPF 45 Sunscreen Lotion

It’s true—just because a sunscreen is more expensive, it doesn’t mean it’s necessarily better in the protection department. More expensive sunscreens might have special skincare ingredients aside from the protection factor which can often make them more expensive, but a lot of that price reflects the cost of the marketing. No-Ad has been providing effective suncare solutions since 1962 on a more affordable level, since they skip advertising altogether. The result is a budget-friendly choice that still scores high in ratings by leading consumer publications. $9.99, drugstore.com

[Read more…]

White Sands UnderCover Hair Styling Spray Review


white sands undercover spray 1

Skip the “crunch”!

As someone with fine hair, if I don’t use some sort of styling spray when I’m curling my hair—forget it! I stand no chance of even making it out the door before you can’t even tell my hair was curled in the first place. So, to stop the flop, I’m always armed with a lightweight spray. The problem is, a lot of them make my hair crunchy and stiff once the heat hits them. I usually have to pick my battle—deal with some crunch, or go without curls. I usually deal with a little crunch. Sound familiar?

Here’s a product from White Sands that promises to give that control I’m looking for, with light, brushable hold—their UnderCover Styling Spray. I’ve been using it for a while now, so let’s check it out a little closer!

white sands undercover spray 2

White Sands UnderCover Styling Spray

UnderCover Styling Spray is a multi-tasking thermal protectant that offers a very light level of hold that’s perfect for using with hot tools. It’s fortified with Pro-Vitamin B5, aloe vera, UV protectants, and hydrators for healthy results. It’s not just fit for heat styling—you can also use it for very light scrunching, and even to keep braids together while still looking natural. For those who are sensitive to fragrance, UnderCover has a light floral scent. [Read more…]

Best of Summer: Body Scrubs


best of summer body scrubs

The best scrubs of summer!

Whether you’re self-tanning this summer, or just want smooth, soft, and healthy skin—these body exfoliation solutions are the keys to your success. Check out eight of the best and brightest scrubs we could find this season. Fresher, smoother, brighter skin is just a few minutes away with these!

Simple Sugars Strawberry Sugar Scrub

I knew I had to purchase this product immediately when I saw the teenage founder and creator of Simple Sugars, Lani Lazzari on ABC’s Shark Tank. This savvy teen scored funding from Mark Cuban, and she really knew her stuff! I purchased a few scents, but I fell in love with the Strawberry—it smells like fresh strawberry jam, and the blend of sugar and natural custom-blended oils leaves my skin baby smooth and hydrated. This scrub contains a mild astringent quality due to the strawberries, and the berries are also a natural source of Vitamin C. $11.95-$16.95, simplesugars.myshopify.com

LATHER Coconut Foaming Scrub

Go coconuts for this deliciously scented body scrub that contains bamboo stem powder, fruit extracts, coconut shell, and cane sugar. When emulsified with water, it slightly foams and gives the perfect amount of friction that’s both gentle to the skin—but sloughs off icky dead skin with a quickness. Everything about this body scrub is divine, right down to the tropical coconut and vanilla scent. Paraben and sulfate-free. $19, lather.com [Read more…]

Dior Nail Glow Review, Photos, Swatches


dior nail glow 1

Believe it or not, for being a beauty junkie and a nail polish lover—I’m actually quite a minimalist when it comes to my fingernails. Occasionally, I’ll wear a nail color, but I swatch and test so much that it often makes it impossible to stick with any one color for very long. I usually leave the nail salon with clear on my nails after my manicures because I do like the shine. (I should probably just get them buffed!) Inevitably, I chip that clear the very next day. I get frustrated, take it off, and wind up with bare nails anyway.

Dior recently released a new nail enhancer—Dior Nail Glow. I had a few reservations about this product, because it seems like people really love it, or they really dislike it. I figured I was never going to know unless I tried it out, so I plunked down the $24 to find out myself! I’m not going to lie—it took a lot for me to part with that much cash for a tinted nail enhancer! I’m also a big believer though in letting people spend their own wallets, so I hope this helps you.

dior nail glow 2

note the brush shape

Nail Glow is available in one universal shade, a glossy clear with a bright pink tint. The purpose is to make the pink of your nail pinker, while adding contrast to your natural tips. I’ve had people say that this makes the whites of their nails whiter, but to be honest—I think if anything it’s just a contrast trick with the color, and I don’t think it adds a french manicure effect. I’m pretty happy about that, though! I really did just want something to make my natural nails look healthier, and I think I get that with Nail Glow. [Read more…]

Nuance by Salma Hayek AM/PM Anti-Aging Super Eye Treatment Review


nuance salma hayek am pm eye treatmentDilara is checking in with the latest from Nuance by Salma Hayek! —Amber

I’m going to be completely honest here. Whenever I see a product with a celebrity’s name on it, I usually run the other way. Maybe that dates back to my experience with Debbie Gibson’s Electric Youth perfume from the late 80’s, but I’ve always found that celebrity-endorsed products were more about capitalizing on the celebrity’s fame and not their actual ability to create a solid product.

And now I shall eat my words.

Salma Hayek’s Nuance Anti-Aging Super Eye Treatment is just that—a super eye treatment. Packed with Vitamins A & E to help moisturize and replenish the delicate skin around the eyes, this stuff really does the trick for me. Unlike some eye treatments, this one isn’t greasy or sticky. It is relatively lightweight and has the consistency of a regular lotion with just a tiny bit more firmness to it. There is no fragrance to it, which I love and is great for sensitive eyes and skin anyway. It goes on smooth and sinks right in. I noticed this product also contains rice bran and did a quick check—it is an ingredient used for centuries in Asian cultures to help smooth and refine skin. I totally agree that it does just that.  [Read more…]

IT Cosmetics Hello Light Anti-Aging Radiance Creme Illuminator Review, Photos, Swatches


it cosmetics hello light

Hello light!

It’s no secret that I’m a fan of luminizers, I almost don’t feel like my makeup is complete if I’m not wearing something that adds points of light to my face. I’m lucky enough to be able to use both powders and creams, and I’ve stumbled across the latest one from IT Cosmetics—their Hello Light Anti-Aging Radiance Creme Illuminator.

it cosmetics hello light illuminator

Hello Light is an antioxidant-rich creme luminzer that promises anti-aging benefits. It’s blush colored, and shimmers slightly when blended in. Hello Light is paraben free, and contains a hydrating blend of waxes, collagen amino acids, and hyaluronic acid spheres. It also contains aloe, silk, green tea, grapeseed, and Vitamins A, C, and E. It’s pretty loaded for a highlighter/luminizer! [Read more…]

Urban Decay Brow Box Review, Photos, Swatches—Brown Sugar, Honey Pot


urban decay brow box

New & improved Brow Box!

The eyebrows are such an important feature to give emphasis to, they frame the eyes so that they’re pretty as a picture, and they give the perfect finish to any look. I always feel like I have time for nothing else—if I have my brows and mascara on (and maybe a little lip balm or gloss), I’m good on easy days! Urban Decay just revamped their cult classic Brow Box, so now it’s even better than ever. Let’s check it out!

inside urban decay brow box

Brow box has two compartments

I had the previous version of the Brow Box, and I loved it dearly. This one is a step up, it has two levels of brow goodies—with tools (tweezers and angled brushes), brow powder, setting wax, and two mirrors (one magnifying, one regular). Brow Box is available in two shades; Honey Pot (dark blonde/light blonde), and Brown Sugar (dark brown, light brown). If you’re a redhead (lucky you!), I think Honey Pot should be okay for you. [Read more…]

My Amazing Blow Dry Secret Review


my amazing blow dry secret

I am a former hairstylist that absolutely hates blow drying my hair! You’d think I would be a total pro at it by now, and if I take my time, I can give myself a pretty decent blow out. But I don’t necessarily like it—because it feels like it takes forever, and by the time I finish I’m totally sweating in my hot bathroom. Even worse, the hair on my neck is often drenched again. If someone launches a product that speeds up drying time, trust me—I’m all over it!

blow dryerMeet the latest innovation in hair styling technology—My Amazing Blow Dry Secret. This trio of products promises to cut blow dry time in half, while adding silky shine, and a nice bounce. It’s not hocus pocus, there really is a science behind this—the Virgin Coconut Oil Hydrosol (VCOH) Accelerating Dispersion Matrix. This matrix disperses water throughout the hair, to help it evaporate faster.

The secret:

  • Natural, fractionated, cold processed virgin coconut oil hydrosol, a special form of coconut oil with super-fine molecules, disperses quickly through the hair, taking the water with it and helping it evaporate much faster.
  • When the water evaporates, the ultra fine coconut oil clings to the hair, carrying the moisturizers, heat protectants, frizz fighters and shine enhancers, so they remain on the hair even after rinsing.  [Read more…]

Sneak Peek Review: Urban Decay Limited Edition Nail Color in Vice & Addiction


Urban Decay Nail Polish Color Vice Addiction

It’s about time! I’m so happy about the upcoming fall releases, and I’m testing out some exciting new products from Urban Decay which I’ll be bringing to you soon. But one thing I couldn’t wait on, was the new limited edition nail colors. These will be extremely limited I’m told, so I wanted to make sure you saw them in case they were all scooped up quickly!

Way back in 1996 when Urban Decay launched, the line debuted with just 12 nail polishes and 10 lipsticks. I totally remember the nail polishes, and I purchased several of them. I remember at the time, the polish colors were sort of out there, and they were some of the first shades I ever owned that were truly “outside the box”. These days, the sky’s the limit with nail polish shades, so they’re not so shocking anymore! But back in those days, they were very, very cutting edge.

Urban Decay Vice Addiction Nail Color Polish

Addiction, Vice

Since then, Urban Decay went the way of releasing mini sets of nail polishes here and there, but the demand has been high for new full size shades. Happy to indulge us in our desires, they’re going to bring us two full size, limited edition shades every season, hand-picked by Wende herself! [Read more…]