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
And on the eighth day, God created the Neiman Marcus Beauty Event…
Sure, other department stores have their share of Gift with Purchase (GwP) bonanzas but none top Neiman Marcus in terms of brands and goodies. Neimans is the granddaddy of them all… Not only does this iconic institution offer a bag stuffed with samples from the likes of premium brands like ReVive, Cle de Peau, and Oribe, but most of the brands offer their own fabulous GwP incentives.
Granted, the spend minimum on some of the GwPs are ridiculously expensive (like you have to spend $650 at ReVive) but then there are some totally attainable goals like spend $150 at Armani Beauty or $100 at NARS.
Take it from me… with all these amazing GwPs it’s a little TOO easy to go a bit crazy and wind up spending the rent money. So take the beauty event in stride, especially if you plan on visiting a Neiman Marcus in person. The bright pretty products and delicious-smelling air can be a quite intoxicating. Though, the brands do offer all kinds of special in-store events like facials and makeovers, which can be fun as long as you don’t lose yourself and buy out the entire counter.
So what should you buy? Here are my top picks:
Cle de Peau Concealer ($70): Um, obviously. Anyone who reads my blog knows I’ve been using this celebrity secret weapon for the past couple years. Now is the time to stock up!
Sisley-Paris Botanical D-Tox ($240): I know it’s a hefty price tag but beauty addicts swear by this detoxifying serum. Supposedly women have seen a total turnaround in terms of visible pores, lines and frequency of breakouts. It’s supposedly safe for sensitive skin so I’m going to give it a try.
Sulwhasoo Overnight Vitalizing Mask ($50): I’m a whore for overnight masks as it is since skin repairs itself at night and is most conducive to products. I’ve been using this mask for three weeks now and I’m in love with the results. I seem to wake up to brighter more hydrated skin. Bonus: It absorbs right away so you don’t have to worry about getting it all over your pillow.
Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Complex ($46 – $120): I’ve been using this elixir of essential oils and distilled botanicals as a serum under my Sulwhasoo mask. It smells lovely and seems to be calming and hydrating. For those of you with oily skin, you could wear this alone at night to get the full benefits.
Giorgio Armani Rouge d’Armani Sheer ($34): This is the queen of all lip sheers. Forget all you’ve known before of tinted lip balms and sheer lipsticks — this ultra-hydrating confection takes the cake. Not only does it drop the perfect amount of color, it locks in the color and hydrating for several hours. Winner.
So, as you can imagine I personally do not have the willpower to go to Neiman Marcus in person, even though their stunning San Francisco location is only 30 minutes away and their well-appointed facial room beckons to me. I will be a good girl (relatively) and do my shopping online.
The Neiman Marcus Beauty Event lasts until March 2nd, so whether you decide to do your shopping in-person or online, just remember to binge responsibly and even Sisley-Paris skincare isn’t worth spending the electricity bill money. (On the other hand, your skin will look amazing in candlelight…)
Posted by janna Tags Armani Cosmetics, Cle de Peau, Georgio Armani, GwP, Kiehl's, Neiman Marcus, Sisley-Paris, Sulwhasoo
I know, I know… I promised that I wouldn’t become a dreaded mommy blogger now that I have a baby. BUT… It’s my duty to share with you my latest skincare love affairs. And, if said beauty product of my affection just so happens to be effective on both my bitchy sensitive skin and my 7-week-old baby, you should probably take note.
I’m not sure why it took me so long to try Egyptian Magic. I know I’ve read over the years that celebrities like Kate Hudson, Brooke Shields, Rachel Zoe, and Nicole Richie swear by the stuff for its “healing powers” for dry skin. I’m pretty sure Sephora used to carry it as well. What got me to finally take the leap was a trip to Costco. Yeah, that’s right Costco. You would be shocked at the treasures you would find in their beauty aisles.
So I went ahead and bought the set, which includes the 4 oz. and 2 oz. jars. I went home and did a little research and found that not only is Egyptian Magic touted as a “miracle balm” for dry, sensitive skin, but it can also be used as a baby cream and diaper cream. The all-natural balm is made with only six ingredients — Honey, Beeswax, Olive Oil, Royal Jelly, Bee Pollen and Bee Propolis. No additives, preservatives, fragrances, chemicals or parabens. I use it every night as a sleeping moisture mask and I slather it on Baby Stella’s little body and her face after baths. (She loves a good massage just like her mommy) Not only has her dry skin gone away but her (gasp!) hormonal breakouts disappeared after a couple uses of the Egyptian Magic.
According to their website, the balm can also be used as an eye gel, a hair masque, burn and wound relief, and a shaving balm. I personally think it’s a bit pricey to use as a hair masque, but I can get why it would be good for the tresses. Unfortunately it does have one of those thick creamy consistencies that can be really addictive. It takes every bit of restraint for me to not stick my whole hand in the jar and scoop out enough to hydrate the neighborhood. Of course if I have a moment of weakness I can always steal Baby Stella’s jar… JOKES!
P.S. Do not buy Egyptian Magic on Amazon, Ebay or in China Town! There are tons of counterfeits out there. You can buy it direct from them here.
Come on, how great does Baby Stella’s skin look???
Posted by janna Tags Dry Skin, Egyptian Magic, Sensitive Skin, skincare
The Only Thing to Stop Me From Eating Too Much Pumpkin Pie: Naturopathica Pumpkin Purifying Enzyme Peel
Happy Thanksgiving, lovelies! Listen, we all know Thanksgiving is a time for thanks and family, but let’s be honest — it’s also about the feast! If you’re anything like me, you’re a whore for desserts so you carefully ration your turkey and stuffing intake to ensure you save room for pumpkin pie. My problem — I end up eating more than the standard portion. There, I said it. I have a pie problem, especially where pumpkin is concerned.
So in order to minimize my caloric intake, I try and satiate my pumpkin pie craving while gently exfoliating and decongesting my skin with Naturopathica Pumpkin Purifying Enzyme Peel. I cleanse my skin before I shower and then apply the enzyme peel mask and leave it on in the shower. The steam from the shower helps activate the enzymes. This exfoliating mask is gentle yet effective — I was even able to use it during my pregnancy.
PUMPKIN: This is an exfoliation accelerator, a powerful antioxidant, and a mild retinoic acid substitute.
PUMPKIN ENZYMES: These help break down dead skin cells for a soft, smooth finish.
CINNAMON BARK, OREGANO & ROSEMARY EXTRACT:A potent trio of antiseptic herbs.
So hopefully by using this mask I will resist my powerful urges to shovel pumpkin pie in my face. Now if only Naturopathica made an apple pie-scented mask…
Have a wonderful holiday!Posted by janna Tags Exfoliant, Exfoliating, Naturopathica, skincare
For those of you who’ve read Beauty Binge from the beginning you know I worship at the house of First Aid Beauty. I find that it’s one of the only skincare brands that acts as a Valium to my overly sensitive drama queen skin. Um, thank GOD for their Ultra Repair Cream during my pregnancy. At first I was hesitant to waste that fluffy hydrating goodness on my body… But, when my belly and legs got attacked by a bad case of the pregnancy itchies, I found the Ultra Repair was the only cream that managed to calm my skin and prevent me from lighting it on fire. I was also worried I wouldn’t be able to keep up any kind of anti-aging regimen while I was pregnant but after doing some research I found the Dual Repair line was safe for mommys-to-be. So I use the Dual Repair Power Serum every day before my moisturizer. Everyone wins.
Okay, enough about me…
Let’s talk about how you can win some products! First Aid Beauty is giving away over $600 worth of products in their “Fab to the Rescue Sweeps”. Here are the prizes:
- 1 Grand Prize: $300 prize pack including Ultra Repair Cream, Oatmeal Mask, Facial Radiance Polish, Dual Repair Eye Cream, and more!
- 2 Runners Up: $150 prize pack including various First Aid Beauty Products
To enter, either click the photo above or follow this link: http://on.fb.me/1aliIqe
Good luck my lovelies!
Posted by janna Tags First Aid Beauty, Giveaway, Sensitive Skin, skincare