It’s been almost a decade since I swore off actual tanning—you know, in the sun or in a tanning bed—so self-tanning is a familiar ritual for me. With a fresh faux tan, I feel younger, thinner, more glowy … ready to take on the world! With that in mind, I wholeheartedly recommend the experience. What I definitely don’t recommend is cutting any corners. To succeed in the art of self-tanning, one must play by the rules! Here, I’ve put together a list of the most important ones I’ve learned through experience.
Microdermabrasion has come a long way since its debut in dermatologists’ offices. What was once regarded as a high end treatment for celebrities and the wealthy is now extremely accessible – you can stop by your doctor’s office on your lunch break or do an at home treatment after work. Microdermabrasion continues to gain popularity as a non-invasive, quick way to improve the appearance of your skin. So how does such a simple procedure work so well? In layman’s terms, it sands away the dead skin cells that have accumulated and cause a dull complexion. When microdermabrasion is done at a professional’s office, a hand-held device streams tiny crystals across your skin. An attached vacuum simultaneously suctions those exfoliating crystals back into the machine, along with the dead or loosened skin.
When your friend says she’s going to the salon to get hair extensions or eyelash extensions, you probably don’t think much of it except for maybe a quick bout of jealousy that you’re not the one treating yourself. When she says she’s getting eyebrow extensions you might question her judgement a bit more. With the ongoing quest for eyebrows to be on ‘fleek’ (whatever that means) salons have started to up their brow capabilities. Tinting, threading, waxing, and tweezing are taking a backseat to eyebrow extensions – the latest craze in the beauty biz that’s on its way to mainstream America.
Part of me wanted to title this article “my new favorite beauty product.” But I didn’t want to risk sounding deceptive, or to make it seem as though I’ve been commissioned by Caudalie to tout their product. (I never intend to be, and haven’t.)
However, after finally getting around to giving their cult-status Beauty Elixir a whirl, I’ve added another product to my heavily edited list of everyday musts. I love it so much I’ve even gotten my husband into it, and believe me, I could never sell him on an extra skin care step unless a) I’m really passionate about it and b) there’s some sort of immediate payoff. Which explains how he’s both an eye cream snob (YonKa Phyto Contour or bust) and a sunscreen-phobe. A sip of wine, a sip of water, am I right?
We here at BBTA aren’t usually inclined to wear makeup looks ripped straight off the runway. We don’t like to shock our bosses, boos and supermarket baggers too much. But, when glitter became a major beauty trend during the recent fashion weeks in New York and Paris, our sparkle-loving hearts went pitter-patter. Bling is an eyelid accent we can embrace as long as it’s not too extreme or too girly. Unless we end up face down in glitter, chances are we’ll avoid dousing our eyebrows with it à la the arch glitz at Giambattista Valli. With apologies to Emanuel Ungaro, we generally reserve glistening hot pink for our lips or cheeks. However, the chic gild makeup artist extraordinaire Pat McGrath placed above the lashes at Tommy Hilfiger is a refined take on shimmer we’d be delighted to test drive. Part of an undone/done vibe the makeup was cultivating, McGrath said, “The play with gold palettes [a.k.a. glitter] over the eyelids (starting in the corner of the eye) persists with the idea of the woman who wants to embellish herself and dress up.” Although the inspiration was a free-spirited downtown girl, we think the illuminating flecks were quite adult. To help us conquer sparkle in a similarly elegant manner, we turned to Galit Strugano-Wigdor, founder of Girlactik, a beauty brand that started offering subtle shine in 2000 when going big with glitter was de rigueur, to fill us in on a five commandments to follow to keep our glimmer grown-up.
When beauty brands sense a trend is rising, they can really pounce. Two years ago, we might have thought sheet masks were parts of ghostly Halloween costumes. Today, we can’t browse a beauty store without crossing them. There are no fewer than 20 varieties at Sephora, Ulta and Glow Recipe, an online destination bursting with thin beauty gauzes from Korean brands. And more American brands everyday are riding the sheet mask tsunami that started abroad: Estee Lauder, Colbert MD and Peter Thomas Roth are among the latest to release versions of the skin care sheaths. Not that we’re protesting. We’re fans of the instantaneous tautness sheet masks deliver as well as their promises of long-term radiance. But the proliferation of sheet masks has left us confused about how to best distinguish between them and apply them appropriately. To unmask sheet masks, we sought guidance from the sheet mask intelligentsia in the form of Glow Recipe founders Christine Chang and Sarah Lee. Here are four of their top sheet mask suggestions:
For years, I bought food at Whole Foods and beauty products at Sephora, Target and CVS. I simply pushed my cart past the supermarket’s personal care aisles on the way to pick up milk and eggs. They were filled with brands I didn’t know (no CoverGirl, Pantene or Maybelline in the bunch) and products I didn’t think were effective. Then, like any dutiful beauty editor with a stash of goodies to sift through, I started testing items that happened to be stocked by Whole Foods.
No pressure or anything, but Valentine’s Day is right around the corner. If you’re like us, you haven’t quite sorted out a surprise for your sweetie. But we’re not panicking, and neither should you. We’ve put our beauty thinking caps on and are contemplating picking out a first-rate fragrance to celebrate the lovers’ holiday. When correctly selected, perfume is an ideal Valentine’s Day present because it’s thoughtful, personal and intimate. It can definitely miss the mark, though. Usher, Sean Jean or David Beckham colognes could be too conventional for your unique someone and make it seem as if you didn’t put a ton of consideration into the purchase. “By taking time to explore outside the mainstream, you’re sending a romantic message that this special person deserves a special scent,” says Antonia Kohl, owner of San Francisco scent haven Tigerlily Perfumery. Exploring multitudes of unfamiliar fragrances, however, can be challenging. To land on the best choice for your companion, we asked Kohl and Rachel Ten Brink, cofounder and chief marketing officer of fragrance subscription service and online retailer Scentbird, to help us narrow down the fragrance field. Here are their sage suggestions:
If you think selfies are just for social media posts, think again. Curology, a service offering customized acne and anti-aging prescriptions, uses your selfies to help you shoot even better selfies by evaluating your skin care problems based on them and issuing treatments designed to address those problems. Formerly called PocketDerm, Curology is at the forefront of telehealth, a wave of advancements in medical care that’s linking patients with doctors through computers, iPads and smartphones. Curology’s technology allows dermatologist David Lortscher, its cofounder and chief executive officer, to be a modern-day version of the old school family doctor, who made house calls and knew his or her patients personally. Lortscher cares for patients across the country without putting miles on his car. He took time out of his packed schedule of seeing them to talk to us about Curology and the benefits of virtual dermatology. While we had an acne expert on the phone, we seized upon the opportunity to lob a few questions at Lortscher about adult acne, and he gamely supplied informative answers.
Now that we’ve kicked off June, it’s all sun and sand from here. It may not technically be summer for another 17 days but as far as I’m concerned it’s already here. Regardless of where you’re headed to soak up the sun, you can’t show up empty handed. Finding the perfect suit is always important, but a properly packed beach bag is key to making the most of your well-deserved time in the sun. Here are some of my personal necessities: