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The best beauty products from around the globe

Monthly Archives : April 2015

Beauty and the Brush

beauty and the makeup brush

You wouldn’t use a toothbrush on your hair and you couldn’t use a hair brush to paint your home, right? But most women still don’t use the proper brush when applying their makeup.

One of the most important parts of makeup application is using the right tools…especially the right brush. The smallest difference in brush size, shape or stiffness can greatly affect how different products go on and ultimately how you look.

Size Matters

Having done makeup on thousands of women, here’s what I often see: I’ll do a woman’s eye makeup, then draw them an eye and show them exactly what brush type is needed for each step so they can recreate the look at home. But more often than not, women buy the eye shadow but not the right brush, saying they already have the right brushes at home. Then they return, frustrated, saying that when they did their makeup using my eye shadows at home with their brushes, it never looks the same as when I did it. I’ve seen similar problems with shadow liner brushes. If the brush is too fluffy it will not deliver a strong enough line of color. The same with an angle crease brush. If it’s the right size, you can easily put it on the outer third of your eye and bring it around in the perfect place. If it’s not the right size…

Blush or Powder Brush?

Brush choices, and the importance of using the right ones in makeup application, aren’t just limited to your eyes. I know from experience that most of the women I’ve worked with think that a blush brush is a powder brush. However, the bigger the brush, the sheerer the color goes on, which is why powder brushes are so big. If you use a blush brush to apply a bronzer or powder formula of any kind and put it all over your face, you’ll end up with streaks of color and a very caked-on look. The same goes for the application of blush. If your blush brush is the right size and shape, there is little room for error, but if you’re using one of those tiny brushes that are often found inside blush compacts, you’ll have a thick stripe of blush that’s either too high or low, and most likely too bright.

Now, you can avoid these common brushes with disaster with my new Weapons of Mass Seduction Brush Kit. A best seller on TV Shopping Networks, it features 6 different vegan brushes that are the perfect application tools for a variety of makeup applications. The kit also includes simple instructions on how to use each brush. These brushes work seamlessly with my product line including my Beauty Ammo and Paint by Numbers Kits, as well as yours, and the result is simply beautiful makeup application every time.

To learn more visit:

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Defeat Dry Feet for Pedicure Season

defeat dry feet for pedicure season

I don’t think I’m alone when I say that each year, without fail, spring comes as a “shock” to my body. Namely, my legs need a good shaving, my milky skin needs a good tanning and my feet – especially my heels – need a heavy-duty sloughing. Even though I partake in pedicures year round, I don’t enjoy them nearly as often in the winter as I do during open-toe shoe season, and my heels are the worse for it. Also, as I’ve gotten older (and my skin has gotten drier), I find it much harder to keep my feet soft and smooth. The dryness…the cracking…the overall unattractiveness…not a good look when its time to don sandals, slingbacks, flip flops and the like.

Four Steps to Fine Feet

Never one to blanche at a beauty obstacle, I have amassed an arsenal of foot-fixing weapons to heal my heels of unsightly dryness. These weapons range from a diamond-encrusted foot file to a camphor-enhanced skin cream. It won’t be an overnight process, but regular use of even a few of these items will guarantee you happy (looking) heels and feet.


Glytone Exfoliating Body Wash: As you can imagine, it’s important to start the pedi-curing process with clean feet. But even cleaning your feet can contribute to their softening. Glytone Body Wash is my all-time favorite shower gel. As the name implies, it contains free glycolic acid to exfoliate and retexture skin. With the very first use, you’ll see smoother, softer skin all over your body. Start with a few times a week to get your skin used to it; if you use it every day right off the bat, it can over-exfoliate, leaving skin uncomfortable, itchy and actually drier than before. Ease into it, though, and you’ll be fine. Glytone is not only wonderful for feet, knees and elbows, but also helps to banish ingrown hairs and keratosis pilaris. Because of its exfoliating abilities, nothing leaves my skin feeling cleaner and fresher. It’s a must-have in warmer, sticky months and/or for that post-workout shower.


A physical body scrub is essential to really soften the hardened skin on your feet. To begin, I’d scrub up 2-3 times a week, and at least once a week thereafter for maintenance. If you’ve never used a body scrub before, Yu-Be Foaming Skin Polish is a great choice, as it is not to “scrubby” (technical term). It is gentle enough to use on your face, and it cleanses too, so you don’t have to soap up before or after.

If you want a scrub that packs more of a punch, I cannot recommend (again and again) Juara Invigorating Body Scrub enough. This is an aromatic body scrub made with fresh Indonesian coffee beans. Used in Indonesian treatments to stimulate circulation in the skin, coffee has been clinically proven to provide powerful antioxidant and tightening benefits when applied to the skin. Also, because it contains gentle, sulfate-free cleansing agents, no other soap or shower gel is necessary. I have been using this scrub for over a decade. No matter how many others body scrubs I try (whatever the number in your head is, quadruple it), I always come back to this one.

Scrubbing on Steroids

I have 5 words for you: Diamancel Foot File For Calluses. Discovering this tool was one of the biggest rev-heel-ations of my life. It is called “Diamancel” because it is made with genuine diamond particle. We all know that a diamond’s beauty is rivaled only by its strength. The hard and strong diamond particles in this metal file make it super-effective at sloughing away unsightly dry skin and calluses. There is no pumice stone, egg or shaver that can do what this does…with minimal effort and minimal risk of injury! Sorry, those razor blade heel shavers scare the heck out of me. Diamancel makes a few different foot files, and they are not cheap. But, the most important one – the only one you really need – is the #20 for calluses. Also, before you scoff at the price, know that you will have this tool for years; I am going on 8 years with mine.

Use this unique tool on dry – not wet – skin. This seems counter-intuitive: You’d think wet, softer skin would come off more easily. But you’ll see the skin falling off your feet in a fine dust (do this over the tub or with something under your feet to catch the fallout). I do this right before I shower, then any rough edges left by the file are smoothed out.


Once your feet are clean, scrubbed and smooth, adding moisture back in – and locking it in – is crucial. Since you’ve gotten rid of the layers of dead skin, any moisturizing product will now be able to better seep into thirsty feet. Yu-Be Skin Cream is a cult-favorite that has been used in Japan for generations. It’s one of the longest and best selling skin care products in Japan today. Yu-Be is a Glycerin-based moisturizing cream enriched with Vitamin E, Vitamin B2 and Camphor (which gives it that slightly medicinal smell we love here at Travel Beauty. Yu-Be’s uniquely high Glycerin content makes it incredibly effective at hydrating, healing and soothing severely dry skin. It helps heal split or cracked skin on heels, cuticles, lips and is great for replenishing lost moisture after exposure to cold, wind, water and sun. It’s non-greasy formula absorbs quickly and locks in for hours.

If the camphor smell of Yu-Be Skin Cream isn’t for you, Alchimie Forever Dry Skin Balm is another choice. This organic skin balm has a creamier texture and a very subtle smell. It is also quite the multi-tasker: In addition to hydrating and softening even the driest skin, it also helps minimize brown spots and alleviates swelling! Slather either one of these on your feet before bed, then put on a pair of thin cotton socks. You’ll wake up with noticeably nourished, pedi-ready feet.

By: Claire McCormack, Twitter & Instagram: @clairemcmack

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The Perfect Luxury Beauty Gift For Mother’s Day

mothers day luxury beauty gifts

Is there anyone in your life more deserving of a little luxury than mom? Often, though, mom is so busy managing the family like a well-oiled machine that she has no clue what kind of luxury she wants or needs. Even if you press her for ideas, you’re given an “oh, I don’t know” and are thus left to guess for yourself what she would actually use.

A Kit Fit For Everyone

Enter our collection of luxury kits from some of the world’s best beauty brands, each filled with mini/travel versions of several different skin, hair and body care products. You can find the perfect something for even the most evasive moms out there. We’ve got a kit that’s fit for everyone.

Heaven Skincare Long Weekender Kit: For The Ageless Beauty

We’ve curated a collection of our favorite anti-aging superstars from Deborah Mitchell’s Heaven Skincare lineThe Long Weekender Kit is a comprehensive starter kit just for you. It covers all the skin care bases: there’s a cleanser, an exfoliator, a toner/serum, a daily anti-aging moisturizer and, of course, the world famous Bee Venom Mask (which is a great gift in and of itself) If mom feels she’s too busy to shop for skin care, you’ve just done all the legwork for her.

Phylia de M. Travel Trio: For The Mom Who Loves Her Mane

If hair is your mom’s mane event, we’ve got some kits she will dye for. Does mom feel age has gotten the better of her hair? You’ve got to introduce her to Phylia de M. Phylia’s multiple award winning, revolutionary products will bring the absolute best out of any hair. Organic cell and keratin renewal for thicker healthier hair. Everyone’s hair has the potential to become thicker, fuller, and more lush. By working with nature and science, as well as spirit, we can make this change possible. Phylia de M. offers you healing, confidence, and…amazing hair! And don’t forget, we have several wonderful hair and scalp type specific sets - Jet Sets and Try Me Kits – from Philip Kingsley, too!

Mio Skincare Kits: For The Mom Who’s Fabulously Fit

You can’t miss with one of our two Mio Skincare Kits: Strong Is The New Skinny (what every mom wants to hear) and Your Fit Skin For Life. These sets are packed with smaller sizes of Mio Skincare’s multiple award winning skin smoothing, firming and toning products. Many of Mio’s products were created to work harmoniously with a workout regimen. This is best in class body care any lady will absolutely LOVE.

Create Your Own Travel Kit

You can always create your very own travel kit just for mom! Just add our signature dopp kit to your cart and go shopping for mom! She’s sure to enjoy a one-of-kind kit that you created just for her!

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The Power Peel Facial

power peel facial skin care

We’ve resurfaced one of our greatest spring skin care hits just for you. Yasmine Djerradine, skin care expert extraordinaire, lets us in on the facial treatment that will leave your skin glowing. This treatment is the perfect skin prep for the “no makeup” makeup look that is of the moment as we move into spring. In fact, we’re picking up the phone right this moment to book our power peel at Yasmine Djerradine Institut de Beaute!


The Best Seasonal Skin Care Facial

As we enter the warmer spring and summer months, it is important to stop and recognize that our skin is recovering from the brutal cold and dry weather of the harsh winter we’ve just trekked through. Our skin is now in the process of acclimating itself to the warmer temperatures (finally) that accompany this time of year.

The Power Peel: Your Spring Facial Solution

The ideal skin care treatment for this time of year is a non-chemical power peel facial. I recommend undergoing this treatment twice a year. Now, as the weather gets warmer, to not only exfoliate the gift of dry, dead cells that winter so kindly bestowed upon us, but also to eradicate sebum deposits from the dermis. Ideally, you would repeat this treatment again right after the summer, in September or early October. It is the perfect way to care for skin after months of sitting in the sun or simply being outside at a time when we are exposed to sun on a regular basis. The peel will lighten dark spots or discoloring of the skin that may have occurred due to regular sun exposure. It will also help immediately clear up congestion, or clogged pores, often caused by the SPF products you applied daily.

Polishing the Skin

Keep in mind, this is a non-chemical, non-invasive procedure. Micro aluminum crystals are applied to the skin to exfoliate it. Think of it as a gentle sand paper that vanquishes dead cells, irregularities, acne scars, sebum and even fine lines. A new, radiant, fresh layer of skin is instantly revealed, with none of the downtime that comes after a harsher chemical peel.

Out With the Old, In With the New

The Power Peel device actually reveals a before and after effect. You can see, in one glass tube, the white color of the crystals that will be used on the skin, and in the other tube, the color of the dead skin cells that have been exfoliated from the face (usually a sandy skin tone). You will feel and look refreshed, like you have finally shed the heavy burden of winter and can look forward to a glowing summer.

Take-Home Facial

Can’t make it to the spa or need a quick touch up in between treatments? Try Elemis’ Tri-Enzyme Resurfacing Gel Mask. It contains retexturizing enzymes that exfoliate and smooth out the surface of the skin. You can feel it activate immediately upon application causing a tingling sensation. Juvena Pure Lifting Peeling Powder is an effective exfoliating cleanser, perfect for daily use, that will polish and refine skin texture to leave skin smooth and luminous.

Your Smart Summer Skin Care Routine

Make sure to take care of your newly polished skin over the summer by using a protective sunscreen, like Institut Esthederm Bronz Repair SPF 20 for Face and Adaptasun Sea and Tropics Body Lotion SPF 20. Always make sure to apply a serum under sunscreen applied to the face. Serums like Cosmetics 27′s Essence 27 and Juvena Specialist Skin Nova SC Serum are light, making them perfect for warmer months. On top of all the anti-aging benefits these serums have, they will also help prevent congestion, namely blackheads and sebum buildup, that can occur due to applying sun care products directly onto skin.

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Anabel Kingsley’s Tips for Shampooing & Conditioning

anabel kingsley tips for shampooing conditioning

Last week a friend phoned for advice as she changed her hair colour from light brunette to a gorgeous ‘Scandinavian blonde’. After having frantically googled tips for caring for bleached hair, she was left torn between conflicting information. ‘I’ve been told I shouldn’t wash it’ she said ‘because the natural oils will be dried out.’ It seems when someone gets a new look they’re bombarded with new advice – and more often than not that advice is full of urban myth.

Urban Shampoo Myths

Recently, we’ve seen an explosion of this surrounding the co-washing and ‘no poo’ movement. Cleansing conditioners and other similar products are popping up left right and centre, promising to keep locks healthy and shiny with no need for shampoo. While co-washing is better for your hair than no washing at all, the facts out there are misleading. Even though ‘natural’ oils do offer the hair some protection by helping to reduce friction, they do not hydrate the hair shaft; it is the water, and not the oil content of your strands that does this. This means that shampooing actually helps to restore moisture.


Although co-washing does involve wetting your hair, it’s akin to only washing your body with moisturizer, and will have similar results. Just think – there are roughly 20 thousand oil glands on the scalp (more than your underarms!), not to mention sweat glands, so bad odour will be an issue. Oils on your scalp are also the perfect breeding ground for yeasts and bacteria, so forgo shampooing for more than two days and you’re likely to end up with a case of dandruff and itching. Lack of body and volume are also something to consider, especially if you have fine hair.

But What About Cleansing Conditioners?

Simply put, these are a re-hash of ‘two-in-one’ shampoos that were invented 30 years ago; new name, same idea. The problem with these is that they are neither great at cleansing nor at conditioning. Hair itself is negatively charged, so for a shampoo to remove grime, it too needs to be negatively charged to repel dirt away; and for a conditioner to work well it must be positively charged, so it is attracted to the hair shaft. Cleansing conditioners try to take both of these benefits into account in a formulation, but it’s just not as effective. Shampooing should take roughly 60 seconds of your day, so if you put in that little extra time, you’ll get much more from your hair care routine.

Needless to say, I assured my friend to keep washing her hair as usual and got a very happy text by the end of the week. As she put it her tresses ‘had progressively improved condition with each wash’.

Tops Tips for Shampooing & Conditioning

  • Shampoo as often as you can to keep your scalp environment healthy, and your hair shiny and full of bounce.
  • If you find your hair is dry, coated or rough after shampooing, chances are you are using the wrong shampoo/conditioner. Choose a shampoo that’s geared towards your hair texture, and a conditioner that takes your hair’s general condition and length into account. For instance, if you have fine, processed hair, use a Body Building Shampoo and Moisture Balancing Conditioner. Don’t apply conditioner close to your scalp. It’s not needed here and will simply weigh your roots down. Starting at your ends, gently comb conditioner through to your mid-lengths for the best results.
  • Piling hair on top of your head when shampooing can cause tangles, breakage, and as a worst-case scenario, matting. Gently massage shampoo into your root area, and let the suds run down through the lengths of your hair.
  • If you think you’ve rinsed your shampoo enough, rinse again! Improper rinsing is a common cause of dull looking locks.
  • If your hair is dry, coloured, bleached or past shoulder length, apply a weekly pre-shampoo conditioner, such as our multi-award winning Elasticizer for an extra moisture surge. If your hair is particularly damaged, do this 2x weekly. Towel-dry by gently squeezing out excess moisture. Rough drying and ‘twisting’ will raise the hair cuticle and undo a lot of the work of a conditioner!
  • Shampoos are not a ‘do everything’ product. For extra body after shampooing, apply a volumizing spray to your roots. I love Philip Kingsley Maximizer as it’s light-weight, but offers enough hold to keep my style bouncy throughout the day.

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