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The best beauty products from around the globe

Tag Archives : skin care

Facial Cleansers, Creams & Masks

By now, you’ve probably put away your Havianas and Mara Hoffman two pieces…but has your summer season purge reached your shower yet? Here are some non-soapy facial cleansers you should swap in for those sudsy, foaming cleansers that got you through summer.

Squeaky Clean

Great for glass, fatal for face. We’re taught that getting our skin “too clean”, thus stripping away the natural oils, is a skincare no-no, and will lead to all sorts of unwelcome results: wrinkles, pimples, redness, etc. Not that that ever stopped me. For some deep-seated psychological reason with which a shrink would probably have a field day, I’ve never felt my cleansing was complete until my skin literally squeaked.

Summer Steam Calls For Extreme Measures

In the steamy days of summer I felt completely justified; the mixture of sweat and city grime seemed to call for extreme measures. But even in winter I’d wash like the dickens, and then slather on about 3 layers of serums/creams/oils/lotions/essences to re-dew my dermis.

Now, perhaps it is the sickeningly swift approach of a certain benchmark birthday, but of late, I have been more receptive to creamier cleansers. While these more nourishing formulas don’t give my skin the squeak, they still leave it deeply cleansed and comfortable.

The Cleansers: There’s One For Everyone!

Morihata Binchotan Charcoal Facial Cleansing Mask. Whether I leave it on for 30 seconds or three minutes, I get complimented on my skin every time I use this 3-in-1 makeup remover/cleanser/mask. Binchotan charcoal is blended into every drop of this rich mask to revitalize and tone your complexion. Charcoal’s natural detoxifying powers draw out impurities from pores which prevents future breakouts and absorbs excess oil. This product is a great choice for anyone who’s really fretting over foregoing the foam, as it cleanses skin so deeply you can see the difference.

This cleanser looks like latex paint when you first pump it out of the bottle, and it is slick and silky to the touch. Just a little bit creates a thick mask, but unlike other dark detoxifying masks, it doesn’t dry up and harden, so it never leaves skin with that tight, parched feeling. When used as a cleanser, it just slides on and off with water. I massage it in for about 20 seconds and then let it wash off in the shower. Unlike so many soapy/foaming cleansers, this one is truly safe for eyes – zero irritation or stinging, even when massaged in to remove mascara! It’s a “clean” cleanser, too: no parabens, alcohol, oil, fragrance or synthetic dyes.

Heaven Skincare New Edition Cleansing Cream. I was (pleasantly) shocked at how well just a little dab of this featherlight cream completely and thoroughly cleaned my entire face and eyes. It also happens to be the first bee venom cleanser in the world, which gives it anti-aging properties. It is the ultimate strong yet gentle cleanser. All Heaven Skincare products are made with the highest quality natural and organic ingredients, so the anti-aging effects are achieved without nasty and/or harsh chemicals.

May Lindstrom The Honey Mud. This silken, pudding-like cleanser/mask detoxifies, soothes and conditions skin. It gently frees skin of the day’s pollutants, infusing it with active enzymes and nourishment while restoring optimal hydration. It not only looks like a delicious dessert, it smells divine as well. That is thanks to its long list of organic ingredients: Raw honey is a naturally antibacterial humectant that promotes healing, Halloysite Clay deeply yet gently purifies and detoxifies and Colloidal Silver is naturally antibacterial, antifungal and antibiotic. Leave it on for a minute or two and rinse off.

Cosmetics 27 Cleanser 27 by M.E. SkinLab (Found in the new SOS 27 Kit). A cleanser rundown wouldn’t be complete without mentioning this parisian exfoliating & moisturizing cleansing balm from Cosmetics 27, now available in the SOS 27 Kit! This cleansing balm and makeup remover nourishes and hydrates while refining skin’s texture. It gently purifies even the most sensitive and/or dry as well as mature skin, without dehydrating it, restoring lost radiance and elasticity. Just message into wet or dry skin. All Cosmetics 27 products are made with 100% natural ingredients and are paraben free.

Emma Hardie Moringa Cleansing Balm. Who’s the richest of them all? This jar par excellance. Emma Hardie is another natural, organic line from the United Kingdom. This cleansing balm is Emma’s superstar product, having won about a dozen beauty awards since its launch. This balanced daily cleanser thoroughly cleanses deep in the pores, moisturises and calms the skin. It thoroughly removes all traces of face and eye makeup, and is so pure it doubles as a soothing and hydrating mask (just leave it on for ten minutes).

This is one of the best smelling products I have ever used, and it is completely devoid of any “fragrance”. The amazing scent comes from a long list of natural botanical ingredients (which also make it so beneficial for skin):

  • Grape Seed Oil and Sweet Almond Oil rich in essential fatty acids help to plump and soften
  • Moringa Seed extract, Wild Sea Fennel and Vitamin E balance, purify and help to minimize the appearance of open pores
  • Essential oils of Orange, Neroli and Mandarin rejuvenate and revitalize the skin and calm the senses
  • Jasmine and Rose help to recondition dull, dehydrated and/or mature skin

The cleanser is a semi-solid, but quickly emulsifies into a luxurious liquid once you begin to massage it into damp skin. It feels and smells so good I think I go into a bit of a trance every time I use it…just standing in front of my bathroom mirror at the end of a long day zoning out. For an extra added refresher, store in the refrigerator. It turns it into a solid and is cool and soothing to the touch.

Say “No” to Soapy Cleansers

Are you ready to say “no” to soapy cleansers? Have you already sworn them off? Leave us a comment and let us know!

By: Claire McCormack, Twitter & Instagram: @clairemcmack

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End of Summer Beauty Overhaul

By the end of summer, your skin may be tanned, but the rest of you could probably use a total beauty overhaul. Now that the kids are back in school, you may just have enough time to yourself for a spa day…the next best thing to a beach day. Don’t know where to start? We’ve got some suggestions (of course).

Hair and Scalp Care

During summer, we all want to suck the marrow out of the sunlight hours. Kids’ bedtime might have become a bit lax in favor of franks and fireworks. If you’ve been sleeping less and not eating as healthfully as you usually do, your hair and scalp may pay the price. If sunburned skin isn’t the only thing you’re shedding, you may want to plan a visit to Philip Kingsley’s NYC Clinic. Whether you need a deep moisturizing treatment or a complete hair and scalp overhaul, book an appointment with Elizabeth and team to get your scalp and strands back in shape.

Also, pick up an Elasticizer and Scalp Toner. Used 1-2 times per week, this award-winning hair and scalp mask is akin to an at-home hair moisturizing treatment. Explore Kingsley’s other award winning hair care products.

Facials & Skin Care

If you have let your skin care routine slide over the summer, now is the perfect time to repent for your summer skin sins. Make an appointment at Yasmine Djerradine Institut de Beauté on the Upper East Side ASAP. If you live anywhere in the Tri-state area, it is absolutely worth the trip. If you can’t get in to see Yasmine, we recommend Lily or Karen. A remodeling facial or power peel are the perfect treatments to restore your complexion and slough off the layers of skin that have had their share of elemental damage from a summer outdoors. Also, recommit to a regular routine of cleansingmoisturizing and applying an undereye cream and/or serum morning and night. It’s never too late to turn back the hands of time.

Brows And ‘Stache

While you are at Yasmine Djerradine Spa, make sure to maximize your time by minimizing your facial hair. Your eyebrows really do frame your face; well-shaped brows allow you to wear minimal makeup to provide an overall polished look. We mustache you a question: Are you worried waxing your lip will strip the elasticity from the skin around it? Don’t worry, it won’t! Sorry to break the news, but you are not fooling anyone by dying your mustache blond. The hair is still there and visible…it’s just blonde,

Makeup Lesson

Once a year, it’s worth it to have your makeup done professionally. Even if you have your routine down pat, you can learn a new trick or two that can kick your look up a notch! For those of us in the Tri-state area who can’t get to LA or Scottsdale to see M.B. York, stop in to see Karou at Salon Ishi. She will not only do a flawless application for you, but also show you how to create the look yourself and make a list of exactly what she used so that you can recreate the look at home.

Nail Care

There is only one place in NYC that Travel Beauty entrusts with our fingers and *especially* our toes: Celina Nails. Located on the Upper West Side, this mani mecca is the cure for the common pedicure. Celina’s team of Eastern European pedi professionals painstakingly care for your feet with surgical precision. A few flicks of their files and these ladies could turn Frodo into foot fetishist fodder. (By the way, if your soles really do look straight out of the Shire after a summer in the sand, you can request the private room on the second floor.)

Visit our RGB Cosmetics collection of non-toxic nail polishes to see the colors that we are loving now, and scrub your soles yourself at home with Yu-Be Foaming Skin Polish.

Don’t Let Go of Your Summer Glow

Prolong your sun-kissed look with a sunless tanning session at Euphoria Spa in Tribeca. Consistently awarded in Allure’s Best of Beauty, the tans here are always impeccably done. In a few minutes flat you’ll have a natural bronzy glow that we promise will have you add an extra sway to your step. Can’t get to the spa? Try our self-tanning products.

“Bach” To School

We know back to school time isn’t all makeup and manicures. Stress is inevitable in September. The multiple runs to Staples alone are enough to make anyone consider homeschooling! When it all seems too much, be sure to have some Bach’s Rescue Remedy on hand…and/or in purse! Just a few sprays will help you stay cool calm and collected, no matter how many backpacks your daughter says she hates until she deems one “tolerable”. There is also a kids’ formula to help quell kids’ first day jitters.

By: Claire McCormack, Twitter & Instagram: @clairemcmack

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GG Candles Chakra Energy Candles

Perhaps you’ve noticed…we now live in the world of candles with triple digit price tags. While these designer candles look and smell great, it seems slightly insane to take a flame to such a costly item. I was therefore elated when, a few years ago, my dear friend Isabel introduced me to GGCandles. Not only do these candles smell fantastic and last for months, but they also serve a higher purpose. Best of all, they do so for a fraction of the cost of those fancier candles. I spoke with Gilah Guroivtsch, creator of GGCandles, about her creative process and how to pick the perfect candle for you.

TB: You’re not only a skilled esthetician, but also a talented candlemaker. How did your skin care practice inspire you to create candles?

GG: I have been a practicing esthetician for almost two decades. I’m known for my signature facials that I created years ago that incorporate my healing arts into each treatment. All my treatments have always been customized for each individual – for the needs of the skin at that moment. As a single mother of two young girls, at times I found it very difficult to provide for them. This lead me to think out of the box with my business. One day I was in a treatment, and as always, burning a random candle. I was staring at the candlelight and thought, what if I made my own candles? I could start an all natural environmentally friendly line.

Chakra Energy Candles

I remember thinking how great it would be to create a chakra energy candle to support the individual energies of each client I was treating. After many sleepless nights and MANY pounds of soy wax, my candles began to come to life. After 4 years of non-stop work, I have created a collection of healing candles that include The Seven Chakras Series as well as a general line of seasonal and holiday candles. I began to use the candles while working on clients and it did not take long before my clients took a liking to them and started asking how they could buy them.

TB: How do you create the “recipes” for your healing formulas?

GG: My passion is in the healing candles. After many years of studying the seven chakra energies, it was very important to get the right fragrances to support the different energy points. Aromatherapy is a form of alternative medicine that uses plant materials and aromatic plant oils, including essential oils and other aromatic compounds, for the purpose of altering one’s mood, cognitive, psychological and/or physical wellbeing. We have a multitude of senses. The five traditionally recognized are sight, hearing, taste, touch and smell. Smell, the olfaction, is the only sense that goes straight to the brain. That’s why, in the most simplest way of explaining the aromatherapy, it has such an instant effect. A well-chosen energy candle can make a huge difference in how my clients are feeling during a treatment – or anywhere else for that matter. The chakra energies are referred to by name, color or number. GGCandles are all clearly labeled for each one.

TB: When choosing a candle, should people be guided by what they think they need or by what scent they are drawn to? For instance, I love the Abundance candle. Is this because I am searching for abundance in life?

GG: Everyday I am asked how to pick the right candle, or asked to pick the one I think is right for a client. I think that usually you are attracted to some fragrances more than others, and that is usually the chakra energy point where you need support. They are all designed for you to easily understand and learn about the chakras. You might not be in the mood for an ancient patchouli, but if your first chakra is in need of support, you might automatically be attracted to it. The Second Chakra Abundance Candle is one of the most popular as we all need support in our creative, emotional fulfillment, riches and balance departments. This support might make a big difference in all these different aspects. When you believe, it all happens. I always recommend choosing the candle that most appeals to you, whatever the name, color or fragrance. Once you learn more about the different energies and healing fragrances, you will know which one is for you.

TB: Any new candles you’re excited about and/or working on?

GG: As the light is shared, I’m inspired to create new candles. I’m happy to say that cold winter months are known to be the high season for candle burning. I am working on a new candle called Selfie that will be out for Valentines Day 2015. It is a candle meant to boost self-esteem and self-love that we so often seem to loose. The fragrances are going to support the different energy points to lift and bring you up.

After many years of hard work, today GGCandles are sold around the world. GGCandles are all natural soy, phthalate free and fragrance oil infused with essential oils. All our candles are white (no dyes), have a cotton wick and are hand poured to assure the highest quality.

To order these fabulous candles for yourself, visit Gilah’s website.

By: Claire McCormack, Twitter & Instagram: @clairemcmack

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The Perfect Luxury Beauty Gift For Mother’s Day

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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Brenda Christian Interview Pt. 1: The Universal Brow Definer

Always worth a revisit: Our exclusive interview with female entrepreneur and brow guru, Brenda Christian – founder of Brenda Christian Cosmetics. Her revolutionary Universal Brow Definer is an all-time best seller – and for good reason! It perfectly enhances any and all brow shades from blonde to black. Read about how she created this dream product.

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Interview with Brenda Christian

President and CEO, Brenda Christian Cosmetics, Inc.

Brenda Christian founded her eponymous cosmetics line in 1982 to offer women unparalleled solutions to their skin care and makeup needs. The company develops products based upon voids in the cosmetics industry that Christian identifies through client interactions.

We talked to this inspiring female entrepreneur about her journey, creating her own line of products and much more!

What inspired you to develop your cosmetic products?

B.C.: Though my business is now 32 years old, it seems like yesterday that I made the decision to become a professional makeup artist. I was young and energetic, and within a few months was booked solid, traveling and doing fashion show work. Still, my greatest love was teaching a woman, one on one, how to apply her makeup…everything from how to hold a makeup brush correctly to selecting shades she could wear to achieve her best look. When I began developing products, I did so out of necessity.

Regarding my brow products, that is quite a story!

Early on I became the go-to person for brow shaping in Houston. I adored working with my clients, but felt weak in adding to eyebrows to fill voids, or even more terrifying, creating an eyebrow where absolutely no hair existed. I could not find a product that worked well, and felt insecure about my work.

About that time, I enrolled in a three day course for experienced makeup artists offered by Maurice Stein, a well-known Hollywood makeup artist. The first day of the course, he tested each student. After the practical testing, Maurice pulled me away from the rest of the class and asked me why I was working in Houston and not California! I explained that my goal was not to become a television and cinema makeup artist, but to develop products formulated to work in extreme climatic conditions, like the heat and humidity of Houston. I told him I was working on a product to create eyebrows on women that had none.

For three days, Maurice worked with me, teaching me separately from the rest of the class, how to create beautiful eyebrows on women that had none. At the end of the class, Maurice asked me if I would show the products that I had been working on to Harry Blake, Director of Makeup for NBC Studios. I was happy to do so! Both men were excited about the potential of the new wax I had developed and encouraged me to share the products with them upon completion. Today, I am honored that Maurice sells my eyebrow products in his Cinema Secrets store in California, and I have always been grateful for his artistic training.

Your Universal Brow Definer is legendary. How is one brow pencil shade really universal?

B.C.: As I worked with my clients without brow hairs – due to genetics, a bad tweezing or waxing experience, or loss of hair through aging – and as a perfectionist, I would attempt to create an eyebrow that looked just as natural as real hair. I tried working with pencils and brush-on brow products, but couldn’t accomplish a natural looking brow. I began to work with different types of materials; oils, gels, clays, pastes, etc., trying to develop a “three dimensional eyebrow”.

I worked with literally hundreds of clients trying to create an eyebrow “hair” that could not be distinguished from the adjacent actual eyebrow hairs. As I tested different materials, I noticed that one material in one color would actually change color depending upon whether my client had very dry skin or oily skin around the brows. I mention this because the wax would not change color anywhere else on the body.

Most natural blondes have finer hair and drier skin and most redheads have even drier skin. This affected the color of the Universal Brow Definer wax as I applied it to the skin. Clients with oilier skin would cause the wax to become very dark. It had very little to do with how much pressure was placed on the eyebrow. It had to do with the reaction of the formula itself, creating a specific color base on almost every eyebrow. This material was a tinted wax, and when applied on a blond, it would literally turn golden blond or ash blond to mimic the client’s actual hair color. The same color would turn a reddened tan shade when applied to a redhead, and amazingly on myself, with very deep brown hair, it would turn dark when it touched my skin. The wax was actually reacting to the pH of the skin’s surface.

This in itself was fabulous, but the strokes – whether I poured the wax into a pencil and applied it or used it with a brush – were flat, and I wanted a three dimensional appearance. In order to accomplish that, I had to thicken the wax base of the colorant (now Universal Brow Definer Pencil®) and apply it in extremely thin strokes, which meant I needed to design a special blade to provide an angled edge on the pencil. Knowing that some of the best knives came from Germany, I visited with a sharpener company and they developed a special blade to provide that very specific edge to the pencil. Next, I needed to provide the three dimensional texture that would have each stroke look like a brow hair. To do that, I needed to work with light to catch facets of the strokes. I developed a demi-matte gel which, when applied, intensified the color of the wax base of the pencil but absorbed and refracted light and simulated a circular appearance in the brow hair stroke. Because it refracted light, it also reflected the actual hair color that the client had on her head, causing the eyebrows to be truly perfected. Thus, the first eyebrow gel was born; I called it Perfect Brow®.

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