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
If there’s one thing I’m sure of (besides the fact that you should never wear makeup without first applying primer), is that I have a dream job. I am covering New York Fashion Week right now for the San Francisco Chronicle’s Style section online. You can see my trend report here. All of the photos except the Rebecca Minkoff shot are my own. As you can imagine, having backstage access to all these shows I’ve managed to capture tons of photos the Chronicle didn’t end up using. Enjoy my backstage photo diary from the past couple days…janna Tags Backstage Beauty, Backstage Makeup, Fashion
I was invited to a press event at Sephora this past week to experience one of their complimentary classes at their San Francisco flagship store on Powell Street. I sauntered in (late of course) to a small group of style writers and makeup artists discussing the “if you were stranded on a desert island, which beauty product would you bring?” conundrum. The makeup artists went first. Of course they were pragmatic, naming multi-use makeup palettes like Smashbox Master Class Palette III Color & Contour and other multi-use products and palettes. Then, the style writers went around the room choosing generic makeup items like mascara, lipgloss, etc. When it was my turn, I chose AMOREPACIFIC ‘Color Control’ Cushion Compact Broad Spectrum SPF 50 because if I’m going to be stranded on an island, you better believe I’m not leaving my grass hut without a flattering, buildable CC Cream packed with high sunscreen. (Leave it to me to choose something not offered at Sephora. Whatever.)
After we had gone around the room divulging our most beloved products, Makeup Artist Kenya Garrett gave an interactive tutorial on how to contour and highlight. Now, I’m no stranger to contouring and highlighting. Meaning, I know how to do it, but I don’t aspire to look like Kim Kardashian in any shape or form. Occasionally, I’ll lightly contour the hollows of my cheeks with a matte bronzer and slap a cream highlighter on my cheekbones. But, I usually end up blending away the contour powder because it just never looks natural.
Well, Kenya must have been reading my mind because she declared the Kim Kardashian way “wrong” and gave us a thorough tutorial on how to make contouring and highlighting actually look flattering and natural. She also gave some pro tips I hadn’t heard before:
1) Wear a foundation with more coverage when contouring and highlighting so that redness and other discolorations do not show through.
2) Apply highlighter first so that your face tells you where to contour. Meaning, once you’ve applied your highlighter and you tilt your face down in front of the mirror, you will more clearly see the hollows of your cheeks (where the contour powder goes)
3) Do NOT use a matte bronzer when contouring. Use a taupe with grey in it so that it more resembles your natural face shadows. BRILLIANT! MADE A HUGE DIFFERENCE!
After Kenya’s demonstration, we were teamed up with makeup artists for one-on-one sessions. I was paired with the knowledgable Elisia Huck, who showed me how to color correct my puffy eyes to make them look flattened and brighter. Then, when I told Elisia I already had the coveted Anastasia Contour Kit but I was only using it as eyeshadow, she showed me the right shade (you guessed it grayish taupe) to use as a contouring powder and how to apply it.
Okay, so I’m the first to admit this class showed me that in fact I don’t know everything. (Yes, it was shocking for me as well) The classes range from “Contouring and Highlighting” to “Day-to-Night Smoky Eye” and you can make a reservation online here. Added bonus: every class attendee gets a little goody bag with fun samples! Classes are complimentary to Beauty Insiders. If you’re not a Beauty Insider yet, well quite frankly, I’m shocked you read my blog. It’s free to join the Beauty Insider program and as beauty addicts like myself can attest to, membership (and spending hundreds of dollars at Sephora) has its privileges.Posted by janna Tags Bright Eye Makeup, contouring and highlighting, makeup, Makeup Artist, MUA, Sephora
There is nothing I love more than recommending a makeup item that instantly flatters the masses (Cle de Peau Beaute Concealer, CLINIQUE Almost Lipstick in Black Honey, Tarte Cheek Stain in Blissful )… Granted, these magical beauty products obviously don’t work on everyone, but they make enough women look in the mirror and say “wow” to be called iconic.
Marc Jacobs Beauty Highliner Gel Eye Crayon in (Plum)Age 60 is the newest product to achieve icon status in my world. I tried this gel pencil on my cornflower blue-eyed friend Melissa on her wedding day and her eyes literally twinkled in every photo. The eyeliner made my friend Shana’s dark green eyes nearly jump off her face.
Even though I own eyeliner in every color, form, and brand I always reach for this one. It makes my dark blue eyes look bigger, bluer, and the subtle shimmer give my eyes a sparkle. The gel pencil easily glides along your lash line, leaving behind smooth, vibrant color. The eyeliner lasts all day and doesn’t leave the dreaded ring above your crease.
When you wear it, you should keep the rest of your eye makeup subdued. I cover my entire upper eye area with Bobbi Brown Eye Shadow in Ivory using a flat eye shadow brush. Then I apply a matte brown eye shadow like Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Buck in my creases in a back and forth windshield wiper motion. Matte brown eye shadow in the creases makes eyes appear instantly larger! Then I blend to soften any lines with a loose eye brush in small circles.
Now, don’t be turned off by the plum hue. I know, I know… you’re probably married to your faithful brown or black eyeliner you’ve been using for years. Trust me when I say that once you try this one, you will banish your boring black and brown eyeliner to the beauty graveyard forever.Posted by janna Tags Eyeliner, Marc Jacobs, Marc Jacobs Beauty
I feel like every winter I romanticize summer. I curse my dry itchy skin and say I can’t wait for summer when the humidity will bring much-needed moisture to my bitchy skin. I imagine myself running through a field of sunflowers, hair flowing under a crown of daisies, my skin giving off a glistening glow (but only along my cheekbones, obviously)… The reality: Me cursing the heat and humidity as soon as I step out of my air conditioned haven, wiping layers of skincare and makeup away as I fervently try blotting the sweat pouring from my face. I rummage around in my bag for a hair tie since my hair feels like a dead animal around my neck. As soon as I step into the sun my cheeks start burning. Oh, I didn’t forget sunscreen… It’s the molotov cocktail of skincare products I’m using in my regimen. God only knows which product is the culprit. Once I get in front of a mirror I see enlarged pores and a couple little bumps that could morph into blemishes if I’m not careful. Oh, and did I mention I see a few lines around my mouth and eyes that I had only seen before in my anxiety dreams? Even being in the sun for for a short time with SPF 50 and a floppy hat can’t prevent the evil sun from doing its damage. Okay, enough crying. Let’s talk solutions… PROBLEM (SENSITIVE SKIN): Fine Lines, Enlarged Pores, Whiteheads, Blackheads SOLUTION: Perricone MD Chloro Plasma Anti-Aging Treatment Mask ($75) Okay, clocking in at $75 this mask is not cheap. I know this. But, I can honestly tell you this is a miracle mask. It’s by far the only mud mask that hasn’t made me look like I got caught in a chemical fire, and my skin actually looks smoother and brighter after one use. What Perricone MD Says: Perricone MD Chloro Plasma is an anti-aging treatment mask formulated with innovative plasma technology and phytonutrient-enriched microcapsules to deliver deep detoxification and purification benefits to your skin while smoothing wrinkles and dramatically minimizing the appearance of pores. With one application, your skin is instantly illuminated and your healthy radiance is restored. PROBLEM (Normal / Combination /Oily Skin): Enlarged Pores, Whiteheads, Blackheads, General Greasiness SOLUTION: Queen Helene Mint Julep Masque ($6.00) As much as my teenage skin loved this refreshing mint mud mask, my adult skin pitched a fit the last time I tried to use it to clear up some unsightly blackheads. Luckily, not everyone has my tantrum-prone skin… My beauty addict friend who has oily skin ditched all her expensive masks when I turned her on to this little gem. Of course she first thought I was kidding and asked, “Are you also going to recommend Sea Breeze to really make me feel like I’m back in high school? Perhaps I should spritz myself with Love’s Baby Soft and tease my bangs?” What a comedian. She wasn’t laughing the next time I saw her and she showed off her tightened pores and blemish-free skin. What Queen Helene Says… Mint Julep Masque is the original natural home treatment developed by a dermatologist that helps dry up acne pimples, rinse away blackheads and shrink enlarged pores. Simply apply Mint Julep Masque to your clean face and neck. Within minutes it firms and hardens, drawing out impurities from your pores. After the masque is removed, your skin will feel clean, refreshed and smooth. PROBLEM: Sunburned, Irritated, Pissed-Off Skin SOLUTION: Skinceuticals Biocellulose Restorative Masque for Compromised Skin($107) Yeah, yeah, yeah… I know this mask is pricey but holy shit it’s worth it. Made for post-procedure skin, this mask immediately sucks up redness and inflammation, leaving you with visibly smooth, calm skin. So the next time you ignore my advice and bake out in the sun for too long, you best have this mask on-hand to clean up your mess.
It astounds me how many women stick to their same skincare regimen during their periods. Hurricane Flo blows into town wreaking havoc on your moods, your body, and of course your skin — but you don’t think to go easy on the skincare? Really? Did you happen to notice your mood isn’t the only thing that’s easily irritated during this special time? SO TAKE IT EASY!
– Replace your aggressive cleansers and exfoliators (especially anything with a physical scrub) with a soothing cream cleanser like Fresh Soy Face Cleanser.
– Unless you have very oily skin, give your Clarisonic a rest and use a damp cotton pad to remove any remaining makeup or grime.
– Skip your usual dose of topical Vitamin C, which can irritate sensitive skin, and instead apply a soothing serum like Jurlique Calendula Redness Rescue Restorative Treatment Serum.
– Avoid moisturizers with active ingredients and replace with soothing hydrators like REN Evercalm Global Protection Day Cream for day and Korres Greek Yoghurt Advanced Nourishing Sleeping Facial for night.
– Put off applying sunless tanner to your face if you’re prone to breakouts or oiliness. Sunless tanners can block pores and you don’t want to take any chances when your body is going through a hormonal roller coaster.
DON’T YOU DARE:
– Apply a toner with alcohol. Instead, opt for a botanical or herbal toner like Kiehl’s Since 1851 Calendula Herbal-Extract Alcohol-Free Toner.
– Pick or pop pimples, blackheads or whiteheads. You are just asking for ugly marks that are going to have an even harder time healing that usual.
– Over treat said pimples with aggressive products. Most pimple medications will just dry your skin out and make your skin even angrier. I always use my TANDA Zap Power a few times a day to blast pimples without dryness or irritation.
– Get a facial. That’s right — it’s the only time (besides the week before your wedding) I will advise you not to get a facial. You think extractions usually hurt? Try getting them on your period. Not only will the prodding and squeezing hurt like hell, but expect those ugly red welts to stick around a lot longer than usual. Even if you wanted to get a facial without extractions, the exfoliation process could put your skin over the edge.
Don’t forget to take Advil or something similar, which will not only help your cramps but will help calm your skin down as well. And, if all else fails — keep a pint of ice cream handy.
Disclosure: I was gifted these products with no editorial obligation.Posted by janna Tags Clarisonic, Fresh, Hormonal Skin, Jurlique, Kiehl's, Korres, REN, Sensitive Skin, Tanda
Well my lovelies, it’s that time of year again… You may call it the middle of summer — I call it my Vietnam. What once looked like perfect applied makeup and a sleek blowout can morph into your worst nightmare within a few minutes of being exposed to the ungodly head and humidity. You don’t have to suffer! Read my Ultimate Summer Beauty Survival Guide on Huffington Post to find out how to beat the heat into submission this summer.Posted by janna Tags Huffington Post, Melting Makeup, summer makeup