Okay let’s not jump to any ugly conclusions… Yeah, I know I’ve been gone for a few months, and if you’re a long time reader, you know how much I love my wine… But by no means do I have a problem (that’s my story and I’m sticking to it. I live 27 minutes from wine country; I’m just supporting local businesses).
My problem isn’t my wine consumption — it’s my dirty beauty products. I just finished an in-depth piece for the San Francisco Chronicle which previewed online today (read it here) and will be on the cover of the Style section Sunday. I’ve been working on this piece for several months and I’ll be frank, what I learned scared the living shit out of me.
I know what you’re thinking right now… Okay, so Janna moved from New York three years ago and now she’s morphed into a hippy-dippy crunchy Californian. Let’s not get crazy. Sure, I bought a pair of Birkenstocks (they’re so comfy!) and I’ve been known to sign a petition or two, but that’s not what this is about. I was mortified to learn that my government is doing nothing about the toxins in my beauty products. That’s right. Nada. Let’s put it this way… the FDA has banned 9 ingredients in the past 75 years and Europe has banned over a 1000!
So what damage can such a small amount of toxins do to you? Unfortunately a lot. New studies have shown that even a small amount of exposure can lead to cancer, reproductive issues, and many more scary ailments. I know it’s tough to actually believe that such a small amount of something could lead to cancer 20 years from now, but the science doesn’t lie.
Scare tactics aside… In my research for this story, I was introduced to several beautiful non-toxic brands like True Nature Botanicals, Marie Veronique, and Vintner’s Daughter. Before I started using the products, I assumed these natural brands would smell nice and feel good on my skin but I wasn’t expecting miracles for my red, blotchy bitchy tantrum-throwing skin. I couldn’t have been more wrong. We’re talking actives like natural retinol and topical vitamin c blended with Mother Nature’s most potent blend of soothers and anti-agers. Bonus: they also smell amazing and feel great on my skin.
MY SKIN HAS NEVER LOOKED SO GLORIOUS!!! SERIOUSLY!
And not only does my skin look amazing but these products have really made me fall in love with beauty all over again. I feel like I’m in my friend Meredith’s bathroom in sixth grade, applying her Clinique loose powder for the first time. I literally look forward to my nighttime skincare ritual.
Now, while my skincare is 100% non-toxic my makeup and haircare are slowly getting there… Keep in mind that even if you replace just a few of your dirty products you’re reducing your exposure dramatically, so go ahead and take it slow.
While you wait with bated breath for my first product review (wait until after the July 4th holiday), start paying attention to your ingredients. No clue where to start? Download the Think Dirty app, scan your beauty products, and get informed. Want a quick cheat sheet? Try the free downloadable pocket guides from my new favorite beauty subscription box service Spa Heroes (and while you’re at it sign up — the founder curates AMAZING products and you end up saving money).
Go enjoy the weekend and don’t forget to apply sunscreen (make sure it’s a mineral sunscreen!)…
Posted by janna
Oh, dark circles… Over the years, you’ve never failed to miss an opportunity to broadcast my shitty sleep or hangover by making me look like I got caught in a bar fight. I’ve had enough of you and your purplish-blue bullshit and it’s time to say… “buh-bye.”
STEP 1: tarte Maracuja C-Brighter™ Eye Treatment ($38)
Yeah, that’s right. My favorite brightening eye cream is under $40. And, I can assure you this little cream will run circles around its insanely expensive competition. This is one of the only eye creams I’ve ever tested that gave me instant brightening results. Packed full of antioxidants and hydrators, this little eye cream will be your new best friend.
STEP 2: Bobbi Brown Corrector Light Bisque ($25)
The key to concealing dark circles is to use a pink or peach-based concealer directly on the dark areas. With 16 color options, Bobbi Brown definitely has the best line of these correcting concealers. Use either your ring finger or a concealer brush to lightly tap the corrector on the offending areas. Lightly blend with a beauty blender.
Because I’m also plagued with puffy eyes, I follow up with the Nudestix pencil in the shadow of my under-eye bag. If you feel like you need powder to set the under eye area (I tend to skip this step though I know many makeup artists swear by it) opt for an soft-focus, light-reflecting finishing powder like Laura Mercier Invisible Pressed Setting Powder.
That’s it! You’re done!
So, let’s give one more “buh-bye” to the dark circles for good measure…
Posted by janna Tags Bobbi Brown, Concealer, Dark Circles, Eye Cream, puffiness, Sephora, Tarte, tarte cosmetics, undereye bags
I’ll be the first to admit I was dubious when I first saw the NUDESTIX Concealer Pencil. How could a pencil possibly be gentle enough for the delicate under eye area? What if it tugs at the skin? What if it’s drying? What if it doesn’t blend??
But come on, what kind of beauty writer would I be if I didn’t take some chances for the sake of research? I bought two of them. That’s my level of dedication.
Each pencil comes in a cute little mirrored tin with a sharpener that fits on the end of the pencil so you don’t lose it. I bought Light 3 for concealing under-eye darkness and puffiness and Medium 4 to cover up blemishes and redness around my nose and chin.
Starting with the Light 3 pencil, I created a dotted line right along the shadow of my eye bag and used my ring finger to lightly blend. The concealer is creamier than you would expect from a pencil so there’s zero drag. I also love that the formula manages to be matte (no powder required) without being drying (miracle!).
I hate to be dramatic but the results were, well, dramatic. I looked at myself in the car mirror (always the true test) and my bags looked deflated. I feel like the precision of the pencil tip combined with the hydrating, long-wear formula makes the Nudestix Concealer Pencil so effective under the eyes.
Next, I used the Medium 4 to draw lines around my nostrils and made little dashes on my chin. Again, the concealer blended seamlessly with the tip of my finger. Wondering how the pencil performed on pimples? Two words: pure genius. The fine tip and matte finish make it ideal for hiding little imperfections.
The pencils are slim enough to fit into the smallest of evening bags so obviously they are my lipstick’s new constant companions. I’ll be honest… I’m in love.Posted by janna Tags Concealer, makeup, Nudestix, Puffy Eyes
“Disappointment” cannot even begin to describe how I feel about my new Foreo Luna Silicone Cleansing Brush.
Yeah, that’s right. There is absolutely nothing redeeming about this ridiculously overpriced ($199) vibrator being advertised as “a silicone facial brush for sensitive skin that channels both T-sonic pulsations for deep and gentle cleansing, and lower-frequency pulsations to reduce the signs of aging.”
There is no deep cleansing. There is no gentle cleansing. There is no cleansing.
Using the Foreo Luna basically feel like you’re trying to cleanse your face with the wrong end of your Clarisonic cleansing brush.
So, why did I plunk down $200 in the first place? Because I’m a helpless beauty addict. Sometimes I just can’t resist believing all the hype I read in the magazines and blogs. In this case, I desperately wanted to believe the hype since I constantly over-anguish about bacteria growing on my Clarisonic cleansing brush (these are the things that keep me up at night). As a silicone cleansing device, the Foreo Luna is “nonporous to resist bacteria buildup, making it up to 35x more hygienic than standard sonic-cleansing brushes.”
How could I resist?
Obviously I didn’t, and I was instantly disappointed when I opened the box. The cleansing device is a really awkward design — it doesn’t fit easily in your hand and the tip isn’t narrow enough to effectively get to small areas like the corners of your nose or between your eyes.
Once the Foreo was fully charged, I followed the instructions and applied cleanser to my face, ran the device under water, and then begun the “cleansing” process. I would love to describe the “cleansing” experience more eloquently but, in short, it sucked.
It felt like the hard ridges were catching and tugging on my skin. I wet the tip a couple more times and it didn’t help. Then, after rinsing my face I went to the true test — I swiped a rose water-soaked cotton pad across my face and, you guessed it, the cotton pad showed traces of makeup.
Total. Epic. Failure.
And with that, I cast the Foreo Luna into the beauty graveyard… Where all useless beauty products go to die.janna Tags Beauty Graveyard, Foreo Luna
Let me start by saying I was beyond elated that Boyhood and Transparent took home top honors at the Golden Globes last night. Bravo! Bravo! Of course my elation started way before the first gilded award was handed out. Aside from the usual invasion of the boring nude lip, the red carpet screamed Hollywood — just the way I like it! There were sultry smoky eyes, statement red lips, and old Hollywood waves, oh my!
I would be remiss if I didn’t share how to get the best looks of the night:
Amal Clooney’s Makeup
Mrs. Clooney’s makeup was almost as inspiring as her impressive resume. UK Celebrity Makeup Artist Charlotte Tilbury created the look: “I went into today knowing what she likes, so I created a retro beauty look inspired by the silver screen sirens that fits her classic style.” Mission accomplished. She looks absolutely stunning.
Get the Look:
- Charlotte applied Charlotte Tilbury ‘Charlotte’s Magic Cream’ Treat & Transform Moisturizer to the entire face followed by Charlotte Tilbury ‘Wonderglow’ Instant Soft-Focus Beauty Flash to create a flawless soft focus and an instant “spotlight” effect, which acted as the perfect base to the Charlotte Tilbury ‘Light Wonder’ Youth-Boosting Perfect Skin Foundation in 7 Medium.
- Charlotte applied Charlotte Tilbury Charlotte Tilbury ‘The Retoucher’ Conceal & Treat Stick in 2 Fair and 3 Medium underneath the eye. Rid the face of any unwanted oils with a dusting of Charlotte Tilbury ‘Air Brush Flawless Finish’ Skin Perfecting Micro-Powder Skin Perfecting Micro-Powder in 2 Medium down the middle of the face only to keep Amal’s skin dewy and fresh.
- Next, Charlotte used Charlotte Tilbury ‘Brow Lift’ Three-Way Shape, Lift & Shade Eyebrow Pencil to perfect brows and shape the face.
- To bring out the golden highlights in Amal’s eyes, Charlotte applied the pop shade from Charlotte Tilbury ‘Luxury Palette – The Dolce Vita’ Color-Coded Eyeshadow Paletteacross the lids. Charlotte Tilbury ‘Rock ‘n’ Kohl’ Iconic Liquid Eye Pencil was applied around the eye. To soften the liner, Charlotte Tilbury ‘The Classic’ Eye Powder Pencil was applied over the top. Charlotte applied three coats of Charlotte Tilbury ‘Full Fat Lashes’ 5 Star Mascara to the top lashes and only one coat to bottom lashes to create an open-eyed look.
- Charlotte used Charlotte Tilbury ‘Filmstar Bronze & Glow’ Face Sculpt & Highlight to highlight and sculpt the cheek, nose, jawline and temples.
- To create the perfect cheek, Charlotte used Charlotte Tilbury ‘Cheek to Chic’ Swish & Pop Blush across the cheekbones.
- Finish with the perfect velvety red lip by using Charlotte Tilbury ‘Lip Cheat’ Re-Size & Re-Shape Lip Liner Savage Rose along with Charlotte Tilbury ‘K.I.S.S.I.N.G’ Lipstick Night Crimson .
Finally! Pantone chose a color that’s actually practical for makeup! Sure, 2014’s Radiant Orchid was a pretty purple but not everyone can rock purple eye shadow. (Especially those of us who are over 40 and should finally surrender vibrant-colored eye makeup to our younger friends; Yes, I’m talking to myself) Never fear lovelies of all ages… This year, Pantone chose Marsala – an earthy reddish brown that looks, dare I say, amazing on almost everyone!
Sephora was kind enough to send me their exclusive Sephora + Pantone Universe Marsala collection, and after testing all the products I quickly discovered Marsala had found a permanent home in the Beauty Binge lineup. My two favorites from the collection:
SEPHORA+PANTONE UNIVERSE Pure Marsala Matte Lip Creme Marsala ($18): I’ve been fighting the big nude lip trend since it began a couple years ago. It just never made sense to me to wear a color that makes your lips disappear from your face. (Obviously this sentiment does not apply when wearing dramatic eye makeup) Think of this lipstick as the next generation of nude — minimalist, yet still draws attention to your lips. It’s darker than a traditional nude and the slight reddish brown warms my complexion. Its creamy, semi-matte formula feels like a lip treatment and lasts like a long-wear lipstick.
SEPHORA+PANTONE UNIVERSE Marsala Metalshine Liquid Liner Marsala ($18) - I was a little dubious when I first tested this metallic reddish bronzy liquid liner on the back of my hand. I thought it might be too metallic and bold for my age, but when I swiped the wand across my lash line I noticed right away that my eye looked bluer and brighter. I gave one to my young, brown-eyed friend Emily and her eyes looked richer and brighter too. Everybody wins.
The collection also includes Bold Marsala Mascara & Brow Highlighter ($20), Cooling Marsala Multi Stick Marsala ($25), Facets of Marsala Multi-Finish Eye Palette ($39), and Marsala Layering Lip Collection ($28).
Available at Sephora stores and Sephora. com.Posted by janna Tags liquid eyeliner, Marsala, nude lipstick, nudes, Pantone Color of the Year, Sephora, Trends
No, Rita Hazan is not paying me to write this nor does her publicist have naked pictures of me from my college days. (Maybe from my twenties… Kidding!!) You know I’m a lifelong beauty addict, which means I’ve heard (and fallen for) every promise of magical elixirs that turn dull, frizzy hair into shiny, bouncy, kitten-soft tresses. But, I call ‘em like I see ‘em – Rita Hazan Weekly Remedy literally transformed my hair after one use.
I received the Rita Hazan Weekly Remedy from her lovely publicist (who to reiterate does not have naked pictures of me) and I made it a priority to test it on my coughed-up hairball hair. Seriously, the dry heat blaring from the vents combined with the very rainy season here in the Bay Area made my hair into a dry, brittle, frizzy mess. I even seemed to be getting tangles that resembled dreadlocks underneath. I stand by my coughed-up hairball description.
The treatment is a fast, two-step conditioning process. I mention “fast” because I’ve owned so many hair masks that I never end up using because the process was too much of a time suck. I remember one hair mask said I was supposed to shrink wrap my head and hold a hairdryer on it for 10 minutes. You would think I would have discovered that tidbit before I plunked down $30. I was young and stupid once too.
After I applied and rinsed both treatments, I honestly felt the difference in the texture of my hair right away. I applied my regular styling products and let my hair air-dry for about an hour, and then diffused it. I flipped my head up to reveal, you guessed it, hair that looked like I just stepped out of a salon. Just imagine me flipping my head up in slow motion, curls bouncing everywhere.
From Rita Hazan:
A revolutionary formula that instantly transforms strands into lustrous, healthy, shiny hair with vibrant color. The innovative and lightweight treatment fixes the hair from the inside out immediately for instant gratification. Four oils deeply condition & hydrate while rice proteins strengthen and fortify.
Treat It ( Step 1 ) treats and opens the hair cuticle for optimal penetration of conditioners, proteins, and UV protectors.
Seal It ( Step 2 ) -seals and locks in reparative nutrients and conditioners for deep and lasting hydration, while color is preserved with a protective shield.
Posted by janna Tags frizzy hair, Hair, Rita Hazan
It was the most inflamed of times, it was the shiniest of times, it was the age of visible redness, it was the age of large pores, it was the epoch of angry skin, it was the epoch of visible shine, it was the season of dryness, it was the season of t-zone troubles….
Ok, you get it.
What I’m trying to say (aside from my poor attempt to Dickens up my post) is my skin is going through two very ugly phases right now:
1. Tons of redness and irritation that tends to flame up from stress (good luck avoiding that), a glass of wine (I have a better chance avoiding the stress), and coffee (I would rather pull my eyelashes out one by one than give up coffee)
2. My pores are huge and I seem to get shiny in my t-zone regardless of the weather or situation
Luckily, I found two primers that are helping me through these woeful times. Yes, it sucks that I have to apply two separate primers but it’s better than the unsightly alternative. First, banishing the redness…
I tried CLINIQUE Redness Solutions Daily Protective Base SPF 15 without expecting much. I’d heard it all before — soothing, redness-reducing, blah blah blah. I’ve tried almost every green-tinted skin product out there, all of them made big promises to correct my angry red skin. So, I wasn’t expecting much when I slathered the creamy, green dill-scented primer all over my face. It felt cool and comforting upon application. Then I looked in the mirror and noticed my skin looked borderline normal! Sure, there was still some visible pink but it wasn’t the usual “I just walked through a chemical fire” face.
Protects skin from the UVA/UVB exposure that can aggravate skins with Rosacea or reactive redness. Does it without chemical sunscreens. Comforting, oil-free makeup primer with a sheer green tint visually corrects redness, evens skin tone.
Overall, my skin looked healthy and dewy. This definitely isn’t the type of primer to give you that flawless airbrushed finish. My pores were still large and in charge and obviously the dewy finish wasn’t doing my shine any favors.
Enter primer #2…
Tarte Timeless Smoothing Primer is a blurring primer to help fill in fine lines and enlarged pores, and put the kibosh on shine. If you have oily skin, this primer is your new best friend. It literally melts into the skin giving you an airbrushed, “blurred” finish.
A melt-in smoothing primer with innovative blurring and filling technology for a youthful appearance perfectly primed for makeup application.
Product Performance: Turn back the hands of time with tarte’s new timeless smoothing and filling primer formulated to fade out your biggest beauty boundaries such as large pores, fine lines and wrinkles. The antioxidant-rich formula infused with vitamins C & E and green bean extract gently melts into the skin delivering a surge of moisture, peptides and other naturally-derived elixirs for a firmer, smoother appearance. You’ll love the lightweight texture and fresh powder scent as it provides the perfect blank canvas to enhance the look and wear time of makeup. It can also be worn alone as part of your skincare regimen, blurring out skin imperfections and signs of aging for a flawless, soft-focus finish.
Powered By: vitamin E: natural preservative that also acts as an anti-inflammatory emollient and antioxidant
vitamin C: antioxidant that fights free radical damage and premature signs of aging while brightening skin
green bean extract: known for anti-wrinkle and pore minimizing properties
mineral pigments: soothe and soften skin
A word to the wise… If you have combination skin like me you only want to put this mattifying primer on your trouble spots or your skin will end up looking flat. And as Dickens may have said himself, had a been a beauty blogger…
“It is a far, far better primer that I wear, than I have ever worn; it is a far, far better skin that I have, than I have ever known.”
Posted by janna Tags Clinique, Enlarged Pores, Oily Skin, Primer, Redness, Sensitive Skin, shine, Tarte, tarte cosmetics
Okay, maybe my headline should have read “Like a kitten willingly rubbing up against your face…” Poor kitty. All I know is that before I discovered the Clarisonic Luxe Facial Brush Head – Cashmere Cleanse my ultra-sensitive, tantrum-throwing skin would limit me to using my Clarisonic (with the standard sensitive brush head) 1-2 times a week max.
Not only does this ultra-soft and gentle brush head allow me to use my Clarisonic every day, but it feels like heaven and leaves my skin clean and tantrum-free. It honestly feels like a thousand fairies fluttering their wings on your face.
The Clarisonic Cashmere Cleanse Facial Brush Head features a dynamic dual-layer design that gently massages facial skin — generating fluid forces to cleanse 6x better than hands alone while simultaneously increasing skin’s natural hydration levels. Compatible with all Clarisonic facial cleansing devices.
The Clarisonic Luxe High Performance Brush Head Collection
A symphony of performance and comfort, the Clarisonic Luxe High Performance Brush Head Collection features innovative tapered, ultra-long filaments to deliver uncompromising cleansing efficacy with enhanced hydration results. Perfect for even the most mature and dry complexion, these brush heads gently glide over skin, leaving it feeling clean and supple.
So, go out and buy this brush head so you don’t have to use Fluffy to gently exfoliate away those blackheads.
Posted by janna Tags Clarisonic, Sensitive Skin
Photo by Janna Mandell
Oh, my loves… I hope you don’t think I abandoned you! I needed a little time to recuperate after a very exhausting fashion week. I’ve also been a busy little bee, writing a follow-up piece for this coming week’s San Francisco Chronicle Style section (so if you’re in the Bay Area pick up a paper on Sunday!) and a fun piece on Huffington Post “5 Things I Learned from Being Backstage at Fashion Week.“
You should definitely check out my Huff Po piece for a little dose of fun and honesty (and the rest of my NYFW photo diary). But, I thought I would add a couple bonus backstage secrets for my beautiful Beauty Bingers:
1) Kell on Earth? Not so much. The reality show, starring Kelly Cutrone (above), the founder of the public relations, branding and marketing firm People’s Revolution, may have only aired for one season on Bravo back in 2010 but I can assure you I’ve watched all eight episodes multiple times. As a devoted fan, you can imagine I was a bit intimidated when requesting show invites from People’s Revolution since, well, the name of the show should say it all. Sure enough, at 11:30 the night before Day 1 of fashion week I got an email from a People’s Revolution intern, cc’ing Ms. Cutrone, asking which media outlet I would be covering the shows for. Totally valid since I’m a freelance writer. When I told them I would be covering beauty for the San Francisco Chronicle’s style blog I didn’t hear back. I frantically kept refreshing my inbox, terrified that I would get to my first show of fashion week, Nicholas K, and find that my invite had been rescinded.
The next morning I timidly walked up to the check in desk to get my seat assignment. Of course I wasn’t expecting an actual seat rather I expected to be standing behind the seats in gen pop. You can imagine my surprise and elation when I found out that not only would I be attending the show but I even had a front row seat! Throughout fashion week, People’s Revolution was amazing to me – giving me seats at all their shows, obliging plus one’s, party invites etc. And, of course I loved seeing Ms. Cutrone in her element – working the crowd, kicking seat poachers back to gen pop and directing the show from the production box.
2) This isn’t so much a backstage secret more a fashion week revelation… I can’t handle heat. NYC was boiling hot and humid as it was, then you get under the lights at the shows and backstage and it feels like the temperature goes up about 50 more degrees. No bueno. In fact, sweat-related drama…
On the first morning, after emerging from the criminally hot subway station I tried blotting away my practically dripping face with blotting sheets. What a joke. My face was way past shine and trying to fix the problems with blotting sheets was like putting a band-aid on a gunshot wound.
Once I got inside I was still shvitzing because of my Kelly Cutrone-related anxiety. I fervently dabbed my face with a tissue as I waited for to check in. Once I found out my seat, I practically skipped inside to the Nicholas K show waving my first row seat assignment. I entered the dimly lit room, trying not to gape at the celebrities and fashion editors. I hurried to my seat and first pulled the biggest fashion week rookie move ever — I looked at the black tote bag on the empty seat and asked the guy sitting next to it if the seat was open. He looked at me, looked at the bag and looked back at me like I had to be joking. “Sweetie, that’s your gift bag.” Whoops. I moved my gift bag and happily settle into my seat, drinking in my glamorous surroundings.
Then, I felt a gentle tap on my arm from the nice fashion blogger next to me. “Sweetie, you should know you have what looks like tissue stuck all over your face.” Wow. It took me a few seconds to register the ramifications of what he just told me. I had checked into a show, roamed the Mercedes Benz Fashion Week main lobby and sat down at a hot fashion show with tissue stuck all over my face. I didn’t have a choice but to ask the fashion blogger to help me pick the pieces of tissue off my face. Luckily we got all the offending pieces off before the first model hit the runway.
Of course once the first model hit the runway, huge hot spotlights illuminated the front row. I basically sat there melting like a Dali painting.
Okay one more quick sweat-related drama… The next day I felt I had learned my lesson and judiciously applied Benefit Cosmetics The POREfessional Agent Zero Shine to my t-zone. Now, I’m not a powder girl but I am prone to shine and this powder has totally worked in the past to keep me shine-free without looking powdery or cakey. I had cursed myself for not thinking of it the first day! Needless to say, to make a long story short, I walked a few blocks in ungodly heat to get to the Kate Spade show. I checked in backstage and was totally swept away by the flawless models and the whole scene.
After I had gotten my interviews and photos I jumped into a cab, jubilant and ready for my next show. I grabbed my compact and found that I had three-dimensional droplets of sweat all over my face. They were just sitting there like boils. It was horrifying. I later divulged my mishap to good friend and makeup artist Maria Luxen and she said matter-of-factly, “the powder probably has silicone.”
Ahhh… she was right. Lesson learned. Had I simply blotted my face (not with a tissue!), the powder would have kept my skin matte while paper towels or blotting paper would have absorbed the droplets. I end with one question… Why the hell didn’t ANYONE at that show say, “hey, you’ve got something going on” and handed me a tissue?? Perhaps they saw me at Nicholas K and felt I was better off with the droplets.
The good news? Next NYFW is in February so I can’t bitch about the heat!Posted by janna Tags fashion week, Kelly Cutrone, Mercedes Benz Fashion Week, New York Fashion Week, Nicholas K, NYFW, shine