You ladies know I get spoiled on a daily basis having the best job in the world… And, as much as I’m not jaded about all the freebies I receive, it takes a lot for a skincare line to completely take over my vanity (with a few complementary exceptions, which I will get to in future posts). When I was writing my story Naturals 2.0 for the San Francisco Chronicle, I was introduced to Hillary Peterson, CEO and Founder of True Nature Botanicals (TNB) and I was completely blown away by her story and the brand. Peterson is a cancer survivor who was determined to create luxurious results-driven non-toxic skincare. I can affirm — mission accomplished.
Keep in mind that when I met Peterson, I had already visited at least 3 or 4 other ‘next generation natural’ brands (by next generation I mean high-performance lines backed by and formulated with green chemistry) which were adorning my vanity. But, when I started playing with the beautiful TNB products, I simply fell in love and I found that the brown glass TNB bottles quickly occupied almost every step in my skincare routine.
The TNB product line literally makes me giddy for my nighttime skincare ritual. Now, these products are luxurious to use because they smell and feel AMAZING, but the true beauty of the line lies in its performance. My skin has never been smoother, plumper and more even (read: less temper tantrums).
You ladies know how bitchy and temperamental my skin is — imagine me using a retinol — now imagine me hiding in my house, waiting for my skin to return to a “not scaring the kids” mode. Despite all the scientific studies backing up retinol’s performance as a powerful anti-aging ingredient, I’ve never been able to find a retinol that didn’t put my skin in a tizzy, until… you guessed it… I discovered Pacific Night Serum with Retinol for Sensitive Skin ($150). This gentle night serum gives you just the right dose of retinol to “active, not irritate.”
Another standout is the TNB Pacific Topical Vitamin C Treatment, which makes me feel like an alchemist every other night (when I’m not doing retinol) as I open the capsule of powdered vitamin c and sprinkle it in the super-nourishing Pacific Face Serum ($140).
I apply the retinol and the vitamin c-spiked serum as my last step in my skincare regimen. So, lets back up a bit and I’ll tell you the rest:
1) 2-3 times a week I start with the Pacific Exfoliating Cleanser (yeah that’s right, gentle enough even for my overly sensitive skin) which combines a patented mushroom extract with a gentle exfoliator.
2) Then I spray the unbelievably heavenly-smelling Pacific Mist ($48) way too generously (I’m terrified I’m going to run out soon!) to hydrate and breathe in the neroli-scented (naturally of course) deliciousness. Of course I can’t help myself from misting myself every time I walk by my vanity.
3) Then I pat and press into my face the Pacific Face Oil ($110), a combination of active oils and Marine Essential Fatty Acids.
4) If it’s daytime, I finish with sunscreen (obviously) and nighttime I either use the retinol serum or Face Serum + Vitamin C capsule combo.
So, I know the line is a little pricey, but I can assure you that there is good reason (and that I’m not getting paid to write this). There is zero filler here — you are getting nothing but active naturals and non-toxic ingredients in the most luxurious products imaginable. And guess what? TNB is giving my readers a 15% discount for the next week!
So go ahead and spoil your skin and get 15% off your entire True Nature Botanicals order for a limited time by entering promo code BINGE at checkout.Posted by janna Tags green beauty, Luxury Skincare, non-toxic, non-toxic beauty, True Nature Botanicals
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 Tags green beauty, natural beauty, toxin-free
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
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
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
Never. Drink. Tequila. Again.
I hope everyone enjoyed the long holiday weekend, and quite frankly, that you didn’t make the same mistakes I did. We double dated Saturday night with a couple that apparently brings out my wild side. Now don’t get your panties in a bunch… I didn’t start dancing on the bar and lifting up my shirt (Let’s not forget I breastfed Stella for several months. If I flashed the bar all I would be doing is mortifying the other patrons). What I did do was ingest ungodly amounts of tequila and sake (that’s right, sake – we had drinks at a mexican restaurant, then went for sushi, and then went back to the mexican restaurant to ensure we really killed our Sunday).
Okay, so I’m pretty embarrassed to confess this next part of the story. To be quite honest it’s worse than flashing pancake boobs… I slept in my makeup for the first time in probably 15 years! I won’t even attempt to make excuses for my careless actions. I was actually considering telling you that I did it on purpose as field research so I could properly dish out advice. But even I can’t convince myself of such lies. So, to make a long ugly story short — I woke up with my lash extensions sealed together and skin that hasn’t been this pissed off since the Clinton administration.
If you’ve experienced my dreadful situation, I’m sure you were tempted to scrub the hell out of your skin the next morning. No bueno. It’s just teasing the bear — your skin is already red and irritated, don’t anger it further! First, apply a deep cleansing oil-based cleanser like Elemis ‘Pro-Collagen’ Cleansing Balm to dry skin and leave it on for at least a minute to allow the cleanser to penetrate and start dissolving skin sludge. Then, slowly add water and massage. Next, use your Clarisonic Cleansing Brush to gently (GENTLY!!!) go over your face and rinse. If you don’t have a Clarisonic, use a super soft face cloth or a moistened cotton pad.
Now, assess the damage in the mirror. And by the way, don’t be fooled and think you’re staring back at the worst of the damage. Your skin will air its distain with your alcohol-induced decisions by surprising you with pimples, dry patches, whiteheads and blackheads for the next 24-48 hours. Your strategy is to calm down your skin’s tantrum so no picking, squeezing or over-treating!
I digress… After your skin is cleansed, swipe or spray on a hydrating, alcohol-free toner like Indie Lee Co Q10 Toner which has skin-plumping Hyaluronic acid and soothing Aloe Vera. Then, press into your skin a calming serum like Jurlique Calendula Redness Rescue Restorative Treatment Serum and if your skin is dehydrated (which most hungover skin is) then apply a Hyaluronic acid-based serum like Kerstin Florian Correcting Hyaluronic Serum. Since Hyaluronic acid attracts 50 times its weight in water, I spritz mineral water and then follow with a calming moisturizing cream like REN Evercalm Global Protection Day Cream.
For the rest of the day I try and do the obvious things to avoid conflict with my skin — stay out of the sun, go makeup-free, avoid hot steamy showers, say no to the hair of the dog, etc. And, if you do brave the sunlight, slather yourself with non-irritating mineral sunblock and don your biggest, most glamour sunglasses. If you do have blemishes that pop up or detect a painful red bump that you fear will morph into an alien-size pimple, instead of drying it out with topicals try zapping out the bacteria with a TANDA Zap Power.
I can’t promise your skin will bounce back to its glorious self by Monday. In fact, mine still isn’t speaking to me and punished me this morning by having me wake up to still-dehydrated skin and red angry patches. Fun times. Eventually we’ll make up and everything will go back to normal. In the meantime, maybe I should avoid the tequila and sake and just stick with vodka. Jokes!
Disclosure: I was gifted some of these products with no editorial obligation.Posted by janna Tags Anti-Redness, Clarisonic, Dehydrated Skin, Dry Skin, Elemis, Indie Lee, Jurlique, Kerstin Florian, REN, Tanda
For those of you longtime readers, you know I’m a complete disaster when it comes to sunless tanning. No matter what brand of self-tanner I tried, either I ended up looking like an Oompa Loompa (that was the best case scenario) or I would have enough streaks and white spots (I tended to consistently miss entire areas of my face and body) to make me look like I was suffering from a rare skin condition. And quite frankly, I felt like most self-tanners would piss off my sensitive skin and make me breakout. So at some point I simply just gave up and resigned to the fact that a pale face is better than a wrinkled one.
But that was before I started testing new products for my upcoming summer story for Huffington Post…
I couldn’t resist trying the Tarte Maracuja Bronzing Serum because A) Tarte is one of my favorite brands B) I love slathering on the Tarte Pure Maracuja Oil every night for a dose of hydration and essential fatty acids C) Tarte calls it a “gradual bronzing serum” — “gradual” being the operative word for someone like myself who is self-tanner challenged.
The serum itself is lightweight and absorbs quickly. I apply a few drops at night after I cleanse and then follow with my nightly moisturizer. If you have oily skin you can definitely use this serum alone since it has the same hydrating and brightening power as the original Maracuja Oil. When you wake up and rush to the mirror you will be greeted by a subtle natural glow. It’s so natural-looking and streak-free I’ve applied it every night for the past seven nights and I love the results.
Since the serum is so gradual I thought I would try the By Terry Tea to Tan to give my color a little depth. Again, I’m usually not a fan of liquid or cream bronzers because they always look and feel too heavy and unnatural (especially the way I tend to apply them). What makes the By Terry Tea to Tan so different is it’s literally a water consistency and provides two different looks — 1) Don’t shake the bottle and you get a subtle natural tan 2) Shake the bottle and you get a little glimmer to your tan. I tend to shake it every time since the glimmer is so slight. The bronzing elixir is buildable and works beautifully on days when you don’t want to apply makeup and just want a healthy glow. The elixir is also tea-based (hence the name) so it’s chockfull of skin-loving antioxidants. It’s more like tinted skincare rather than a bronzer with beneficial ingredients.
So ladies, now I’ve given you a viable alternative to worshipping the sun. I don’t want to hear your sob stories this summer about premature wrinkles and unsightly uneven skin tone because you decided to ignore my sage advice.
If you insist on sunbathing, at least do me the courtesy of wearing a wide-brimmed hat. My sister Loni gets a gold star for picking up her first wide-brimmed hat this week. Good girl! Now wear it to the beach!!!
Disclosure: I was gifted these products with no editorial obligation.Posted by janna Tags By Terry, self-tan, sunless tanning, Tarte
Hello, my lovelies! Please forgive me for my prolonged absence! Things have been a bit busy, but rest assured I’m back and ready to binge!
You all know I’m a whore for a good face mask… With a 7-month-old baby who just learned (like 2 nights ago) how to sleep through the night, you can imagine my skin is a bit stressed (along with the rest of me). I don’t have loads of time so I try and decompress a few nights a week with a little mask love — exfoliating, hydrating, soothing, purifying — I mix it up depending on my bitchy skin’s latest demands. When a lovely publicist sent me the Radical Skincare Instant Revitalizing Mask ($65) my first thought was,”that’s a small ass bottle for $65.” I’m so judgey.
Little did I know before I made my ugly snap judgement, that this mask starts as a serum so you need about a dime size for your entire face. You give it a good shake before you start, to get all those oxygenating bubbles excited. Once you put on the thin serum, the mask starts thickening into a foam. Then, the magic happens a few minutes later…
The mask starts tickling your face and it begins to crackle and pop in random spots. It’s not subtle either. Put it this way, you’re going to want to rush to a mirror and watch the mask transform. And if you have a stoner friend, but nice and let him or her watch the magic.
Wait until all the excitement has died down (you’ll know you’re done because the foam will have disappeared) and rinse. The results? Brighter, smoother, clearer skin. A word of warning – if your skin is sensitive, use the mask at night. I got a little pink, but the next morning my skin looked amazing.
I’m not sure if Willy Wonka has opened a skincare factory, but I’m pretty sure this mask is made by Oompa-Loompas. It’s that magical…
From their website:
Restores, Stimulates, and Boosts Radiance.
The Instant Revitalizing Mask is the ideal coach for the skin: it delivers the nutrients necessary for hydration and regeneration while teaching it to breathe, stock up on energy and optimize its oxygen resources in rarefied conditions.
- Optimize oxygen resources for a lasting youthful glow
- Stimulates energy production
- Controls oxidation reactions
- Smoother skin
- Antioxidants are the best defence against free radical damage and ageing.
- The strongest antioxidants are found in nature’s dark night shade fruits like resveratrol, coffee berry, acai, grapeseed, red wine extract, pomegranate, and cranberry to name a few.
- Multiple antioxidants are required to fight the numerous types of free radicals. Using one or two antioxidants is simply not enough.
Posted by janna Tags Mask, Radical Skincare, Sensitive Skin