Forget microdermabrasion and laser facials. Across the globe, unusual beauty treatments are giving “normal” ones a run for their money. With promises of glowing skin, reduced wrinkles, and an overall more youthful look, women continue to prove they’ll do some pretty gruesome stuff in the name of beauty. From fish soaking off your dead skin to bath tubs filled with red wine, here’s a skeptical look at four of the most bizarre treatments:
In the last two years, blur has become every beauty junkie’s favorite buzzword. Billed as an Instagram filter for the face, blur products promise to diminish pores, smooth wrinkles and lines, even tone and prep skin for long-lasting makeup. La Roche-Posay’s vice president of medical and media relations Tyler Steele gushes, “Blur means instant correction for a visibly flawless complexion in seconds. It’s like a photo filter, but better because it’s a true representation of your skin.” Rather than Instagram, the television, a veritable dinosaur of the information age, kicked off the blur craze. Readying for a TV appearance, Dia Foley, a vice president at Canadian beauty firm Indeed Laboratories, sought a product to give her face a soft finish – and Nanoblur, a pioneering blurring product, was the result. The blur segment quickly grew jammed. Along with Nanoblur, among the early standouts on the blur scene were L’Oreal Paris’ Revitalift Miracle Blur, Lancôme’s Visionnaire [1 Minute Blur], Garnier Skin Renew 5 Second Blur Instant Smoother and Kiehl’s’ Micro-Blur Skin Perfector. Well, social media progresses rapidly – today, Snapchat and Periscope are competing with Instagram for social media mavens’ time – and so does the blur category. A new crop of blurring blockbusters is taking the blur movement to the next level. Beef up your blur bonafides by checking out these products:
For most of us beauty hoarders out there, our makeup drawer could easily be compared to a black hole – many items will enter but few will make it out. In our defense, it’s hard to let go of that beloved bronzer or perfect pink lip shade. But like they say, all good things must come to an end. Since companies aren’t required to put an expiration date on cosmetic products, it can be a challenge to know when it is time to let go. You’ve probably noticed some products will have a jar symbol with a number next to it that tells you how many months you have until it should no longer be used. The problem there is you have to know when you actually purchased the item, which is an issue if you have that black hole style makeup drawer I mentioned.
I like to think I’m pretty up to date on the latest and greatest beauty products out there, but when it comes to makeup brushes I’m admittedly a few steps behind. I’m all about the instant gratification you get from finding a new foundation or lip color that suits you perfectly, which is certainly not something to take for granted. Makeup brushes just don’t do it for me though. I’m working to change my lack of brush enthusiasm after continually hearing how crucial they are to your makeup routine. It seems like beauty websites have been inundated with articles questioning makeup artists on the importance of a good brush and when to use which kind lately. So I figured it’s finally time to ditch my careless brush ways and revamp my collection. Not only is there a type of brush (flat, round, fan, etc) for whatever product you’re applying, there’s a million versions of each type. ELLE helps declutter the saturated market with their list of the 12 best makeup brushes for tackling every beauty need. Byrdie does some further investigating and finds the best brushes for your budget, and their inside expert knowledge is pretty crazy – who knew there was so much behind a makeup brush?
You know those Instagram accounts that have perfectly filtered pictures of the sunrise and an inspirational quote about seizing the day? I’m always really jealous of those because a picture like that will likely never grace my feed. I’ve been trying to cross over to the land of bright eyed and bushy tailed morning people for years now, and I just don’t think it’s in the cards for me. I’m blaming it on genetics because there’s really nothing I can do to change my love for a late night over an early morning. While I may never be a full blown morning person, I’ve picked up some pretty good tips over the years to make it look like I’m running on nothing less than the doctor recommended 8 hours of sleep. Advice on how to look your best after a long night is nothing new, and I’m not claiming to reinvent the wheel here but I do consider myself a bit of an expert in the field.
If you’re into beauty products at all I’m sure you’ve seen tons of lists naming the makeup artist staples, cult favorites, and Holy Grail must haves. With so many buzzed about products out there it’s hard to tell what’s really worth splurging for and what’s a drugstore bargain that actually measures up. Regardless of how amazing some products are, it can be hard to justify spending half your paycheck on makeup when things like rent and eating are also sort of important. While there are some products that are truly worth a splurge and being stuck eating Ramen for a week, I’ve found plenty of drugstore swaps that work just as well, or better, than their high-end doppelgangers.
Have you heard the joke about how many dollars it takes to shine light on your face? No, well, it’s more funny uh-oh than funny ha-ha. LED therapy, which uses light-emitting diodes similar to those illuminating your remote control to combat acne and wrinkles, can annihilate your beauty allowance. At the spa in the Four Seasons’ Washington, D.C. hotel, for example, a 50-minute session of brand Kate Somerville’s DermaLucent Phototherapy runs $230 to $300. In its overview of LED, Paula’s Choice Skincare estimates the cost of receiving an LED treatment at a doctor’s office ranges from $50 to over $200, and multiple treatments are necessary.
Self-tanners have come a long way since their debut, but it can still be a scary guessing game trying to master the art of perfectly bronzed legs. You run the risk of looking too orange or too streaky, and if the application really goes awry you’ll probably have some very unnatural dark spots around your knees and ankles. After doing the right thing by avoiding tanning beds and arduously slathering on your SPF when you’re in the sun, it’s really not fair to be stuck with a bad self-tan. With so many products on the market promising a faux golden glow, the trial and error process that comes with them is less than appealing. Thankfully, Violet Grey has done the work for us and put together a simple three step guide to achieve bronzed perfection in just minutes. If you have a little more time and want to take your glow to the max, you can’t go wrong with allure’s ten commandments of self-tanning. Like they said, self-tanner applications may fade, but the pictures will live on Facebook forever.
Remember when Korean beauty was about one step: the BB cream? I certainly do. Around the same time Psy’s “Gangnam Style” pervaded YouTube and radio, the BB cream introduced most Americans to the boundless inventiveness of Korean beauty. (Let’s ignore the part about a German derm originally formulating BB.) These days, it seems like new Korean imports – essence serums, sheet masks, cleansing sticks and so on – are inundating U.S. beauty aisles. But BB cream remains unmatched. Whether its acronym stands for beauty or blemish balm, the comprehensive product did something very un-Korean to beauty routines: it eliminated steps by hydrating, covering, brightening, moisturizing and protecting.
As someone with short, fine lashes I’ve come to terms with the fact that my hunt for the best mascara may be never ending. I can’t say I’ve found the perfect tube just yet, but after much experimentation with mascaras that run the gamut from drug store steals to makeup artist staples, it seems the only real way to get the triple threat (length, volume, and curl) is with three different formulas. Mascara wands are all created with different purposes in mind, and combining the right ones can create a pretty spectacular effect. It may be a bit time consuming, and by no means an everyday occurrence, but when the occasion calls I’ll gladly take the time to layer on different formulas for the added drama. We are living in the era of the Kardashian faux-lash look after all. My ideal trio might be different by the end of the month but right now I’m seeing some major results from this combination: