All Posts By Jessica Toscano

The Best Skincare Routine for Colder Weather


The winter solstice marks one of the happiest times of year for most: cookie making, decorating, and the togetherness of friends and family. For others, it’s around this time that skin becomes cracked, flaky, and irritated. Between frigid outdoor air and dry indoor heat, our skin constantly struggles to maintain moisture. Oils, creams, and serums make hydration possible, but not all formulas pair well with every skin type, and there’s a method to applying those that do relieve the harsh effects of winter. This year, let us guide you through the climate change to radiant skin following these product recommendations and moisturizing tricks.


Swap Cleansers
If you begin your mornings with cleanser, opt for a formula that’s creamy. Unlike most foaming cleansers that are light and best for the summer, creamy cleansers include ingredients that deeply moisturize without the use of heavy butters. The Shiseido Benefiance Extra Creamy Cleansing Foam contains bio-hyaluronic acid, a moisture surge component that gently removes impurities and plumps skin. Despite its rich texture, it still foams to pair well with your Clarisonic or other face cleansing aid.

Moisturize with SPF
If your skincare routine consists solely of moisturizer, switch to an ultra-hydrating lotion with SPF. Although it may not feel like it, the sun can still damage your skin during the winter months, so you want to use products that offer broad-spectrum protection. We like MDSolarSciences Daily Anti-Aging Moisturizer with SPF 30. Its lightweight, non-comedogenic formula offers all-day hydration without leaving you feeling greasy, ideal for those with acne-prone skin. The ingredient niacinamide promotes an even skin tone, while a combination of antioxidants vitamin C, grape, rosemary, green tea extracts, and rose hips minimize fines lines and wrinkles and protects against free-radical damage.

Exchange Petroleum for Oil
For those of you who love to use Vaseline and other petroleum-based products throughout the day in the winter, you may want to rethink your choices. Ingredients like mineral oil, petrolatum, and paraffin clog pores, which may cause skin to flare up. Instead, stick to lip balms and moisturizers that nourish and hydrate skin with essential oils like sunflower seed and hemp seed oils. We like the Burt’s Bees Ultra Conditioning Lip Balm with Kokum Butter and the Hempz Triple Moisture Herbal Body Crème.

Exfoliate Chemically
Exfoliating is crucial, especially during winter months when your skin may appear dull and flaky. During this time, it’s best to avoid mechanical exfoliants that often include grains of sugar, walnut shells, or coffee that could cause microscopic tears and further irritate skin. Instead, opt for milder chemical exfoliants that use small percentages of alpha-hydroxy and beta-hydroxy acids to gently remove dead cells. For best results, use chemical exfoliants consistently. Two to three times a week, use the European Wax Center Reveal Me Face Exfoliating Gel and Reveal Me Exfoliating Body Gel, both formulated with skin-loving ingredients to achieve velvet smooth results.

Nourish in the Tub
Hot baths and showers may keep you warm throughout cold climate, but they also contribute to skin that’s dry and itchy. Stick to water that’s lukewarm and a soap bar or wash with a nourishing formula. We like the Indigo Wild Zum Bar in “Tea Tree-Citrus.” A combination of tea tree, eucalyptus, and sweet orange deter blemishes and hydrate skin.

Cream-up After You Shower
After your bath or shower, it’s vital to pat yourself dry and follow with a rich moisturizer like the Ahava Dermud Nourishing Body Cream while your pores are still opened. The powerful ingredient Dead Sea mud quickly heals and vanishes all signs of irritation, leaving skin feeling as silky as the cream itself.

Hydrate Before Bed
If your daily moisturizer isn’t enough, try a nourishing facemask like the Montagne Jeunesse Creamy Coconut Masque once or twice a week before bedtime. Shea butter makes this formula ideal for dry-to-normal skin types.

Read more Beauty articles at

The Best Skincare Routine for Colder Weather: Featured photo courtesy of Frank Body

Add Some Glitz and Glam to Your Hairstyle This NYE


The glitz and glam of the New Year can inspire extravagance like you’ve never imagined for yourself. From sequined shoes to glitter-coated faces, many of us like to transform into sparkle queens to embrace one of the brightest times of the year. But for those of you like myself who crave only a subtle glam, add these hair products and accessories to your collection for just the right amount of holiday shimmer.


A Tinge or More of Glitter
Nothing describes the New Year much like glitter. Lightly spritz some IGK Preparty Hair Strobing Glitter Spray over existing highlights to add a slight sheen or spray heavily onto hair for a more dramatic shine. This vegan, color-safe, cruelty-free, and gluten-free hair treat is enriched with coconut oil to keep strands nourished. It even offers sun protection! Don’t be afraid to go glitter crazy; this spray is formulated without parabens, sulfates, and phthalates, and is free of mineral oil and petroleum.

Shine Like No Other
Whether under the sun or club lights, you’ll be sure to shine with Hair Flairs Pro Hair Tinsel. With 22 hues to choose from, coordinating with your OOTD is made simple. The Hair Flairs website even includes a DIY video, so you can quickly apply your piece on-the-go.

Add an Accent
Craving a fun, simple way to spice up your braids? All you need are the MiraCles Studio Beaded Hair Rings. This handmade goodie can be purchased in Silver, Dark Silver, Gold, or Antique Brass, and can be ordered in increments of five, depending on how many are needed to complete your style. Just lightly squeeze rings into place for a quick hair transformation that will surely leave you dazzling.

Hair Bejeweled
Take your sparkle to the next level with Luminence Crystal Tresses. These decadent hair strands are made with genuine Swarovski Crystals, available in six jewel-inspired colors: Ruby, Sapphire, Diamond, Pink Ice, Tanzanite, and Peridot. Crystals are placed along an invisible strand, masked by hair, to intensify shine. Ditch the mirror; two tiny magnets hold the piece in place for easy application and removal.

If the Tiara Fits…
If you’ve ever wanted to look like a warrior princess, now is the time with the Icing Marble Effect Silver Chain Headband. Place in your hair like you would a simple headband, and enjoy the added marble stones and chains that delicately fall over your forehead. This elaborate piece will add just enough sparkle to deem you ready for the New Year.

Read more Beauty articles at

NYE Hair Glitz and Glam: Featured photo courtesy of Getty Images

How to Rock the Duo-Toned Lip Trend


From burnt reds and burgundies, to browns and purples, to peaches and nudes, the fall 2017 runways featured lips that were bold and lips that were bare. But why just stick to one? Go bold, go nude, go both this fall with duo-toned lips.

Day to Night Lipstick Duo, $5.00,

Go Drastic
This dual-ended lipstick includes a deep shade on one end (perfect for a night out) and a more muted hue on the other (more suited for daytime). Its formula includes shea and vitamins A, C, and E to hydrate lips while also providing a velvet, satin finish. You can also pair both shades for an edgy, fall contrast that’ll make both your top and bottom lips stand out.

How to get the look:
1. Apply the darker “night” shade on your top lip.
2. Apply the lighter “day” shade to your bottom lip.
3. For a high-shine finish, top lips with a clear gloss such as the Sephora Collection Ultra Shine Lip Gel in “Totally Lucid.”

NYX Professional Makeup Ombre Lip Duo, $16.00,

Go Ombré
This lip duo offers two coordinating shades to create the perfect ombré look. Each lip duo features a darker-colored, fine-tipped liner to outline and shade, and a lighter-hued satin, matte lipstick to fill in.

How to get the look:
1. Use the fine-tipped liner to outline lips.
2. Continue to use the liner to lightly shade inner corners of lips.
3. Fill in bare areas with the matte lipstick.
4. With a finger or lip brush, gently blend where colors meet.
5. For a glitzy finish, coat lips with a glitter gloss like the Urban Decay Cosmetics Vice Special Effects Long-Lasting Water-Resistant Lip Topcoat in “White Lie.”

Go Duo, Do It Solo
Products that offer 2-in-1 can be both time- and space-savers, but they may not provide the color combinations you desire. Instead, recreate one of these two looks using individual liners and lipsticks.

Color combos to try:
1. Burnt reds and nudes
2. Burgundies and browns
3. Purples and peaches

Read more Beauty articles at

How to Rock the Duo-Toned Lip Trend: Featured photo courtesy of Imaxtree

Pumpkin Spice Your Cosmetics


If you had to make a choice between your pumpkin spice latte or your cosmetics, which would you choose? We couldn’t pick just one, either. Get ready to spice up everything in your beauty bag this season with pumpkin-colored lipstick and even pumpkin-scented hand soap. Trust us: these six treats are as sweet as your PSL.


Jeffree Star Cosmetics Velour Lip Scrub in Pumpkin Spice Latte, $12,
Before you apply lipstick, sugarcoat your lips—literally—with this pumpkin spice latte sugar-based lip scrub. Scoop a dime-sized amount onto your fingertip, and in circular motions, slough off dead skin. But before you do, make sure to give this vegan goodie a taste. Its edible formula will make you literally lick your lips.  

NYX Extra Creamy Round Lipstick, $3.99,
Think pumpkin pie; not the flavor or scent, but the color. Swipe on this warm, peach nude with a velvet sheen that pairs well with all skin tones.

Peter Thomas Roth Pumpkin Enzyme Mask Enzymatic Dermal Resurfacer, $58,
Ditch fine lines, wrinkles, and blotchiness, and welcome skin that’s soft and glowing. Let the power of pumpkin enzyme in this triple-action chemical exfoliating mask transform your dry, aged skin into even-toned radiance in as little as three minutes.

Too Cool For School Pumpkin 24K Gold Sheet Mask, $8,
Soak in pumpkin fruit extract and 24K gold with this eco-friendly bio-cellulose sheet mask for a complexion that glows. This 30-minute intensive treatment relieves dullness, dryness, and rough texture without the use of parabens, sulfates, and phthalates.

Bath & Body Works Marshmallow Pumpkin Latte Hand Soap, $5,
Enjoy the scent of your PSL more often with this pumpkin, toasted marshmallow, and praline-scented hand soap. Luxurious pumpkin butter nourishes and conditions skin for soft, smooth hands.

O.P.I. Nail Lacquer in Freedom of Peach, $5.47,
Orange and cream? No! Pumpkin and cream. Coat your nails with this creamy peach lacquer to satisfy your seasonal craving.

Read more Beauty posts at

Pumpkin Spice Your Cosmetics: Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock

5 Reasons to Add Charcoal to Your Beauty Routine


We constantly search for an all-in-one miracle product that shrinks pores, reduces acne, and makes us look younger. Instead, we often empty our wallets for a plethora of products that promise us these benefits but don’t deliver. But what if I told you that with as little as $3, you could purchase one product that addresses these skincare needs and more? Dr. Margarita Lolis, M.D., a board-certified cosmetic, medical dermatologist, and a fellowship-trained Mohs surgeon, has five reasons why you should add charcoal to your beauty routine.


  1. Shrink Your Pores

Sweat can trap dirt and bacteria into your pores, which causes them to expand and appear larger. Use activated charcoal to remove impurities and minimize pores. “The key here is you want to allow enough time for the charcoal to do its thing,” said Dr. Lolis. This can be done effectively with a charcoal face mask. Try the Origins Clear Improvement Active Charcoal Mask to Clear Pores. Don’t scrub, and be sure to rinse with lukewarm water,” she said.

  1. Reduce Oily Skin

Activated charcoal contains properties that absorb excess oil. You can use it daily to mattify oily skin or use it moderately to balance oil production for dry to normal skin types. “People with normal to dry skin should use charcoal once or twice a week to avoid drying out your skin,” said Dr. Lolis. “People with oily skin can use a combination of an activated charcoal soap daily, then a mask twice per week.” Try the Yes to Tomatoes Activated Charcoal Bar Soap for a gentle, daily cleanse.

For those who can’t afford laser or light therapy, or simply want an at-home solution for acne, charcoal will help fade scars over time.

  1. Exfoliate

Remove dead surface cells and lift deep impurities with an activated charcoal face cleanser like the Shamanuti Activated Charcoal Cleanser to reveal a smooth, more youthful appearance. “You get the deep clean, plus the surface clean,” said Dr. Lolis. “If you’re not the type to get professional facials twice monthly, a face cleansing regimen with activated charcoal is a great at-home option to achieve that deeper clean.”

  1. Calm Breakouts and Lighten Acne Scarring

Anti-inflammatory properties found in activated charcoal soothe acne-prone skin and prevent the likelihood of future flare-ups. When used consistently, it lightens acne scarring by gently lifting layers of darkened, dead skin. “For those who can’t afford laser or light therapy, or simply want an at-home solution for acne, charcoal will help fade scars over time,” said Dr. Lolis. “The key is to stick with it.”

  1. Improve Signs of Aging

Whenever you are exfoliating the skin and accomplishing a deeper clean, wrinkles decrease and a supple skin rejuvenation occurs,” said Dr. Lolis. Improve skin’s texture with an activated charcoal face mask. Since skin tends to lose moisture as you age, avoid dry patches during application. “Aging skin tends to be dryer, so it’s important to use charcoal on the oilier areas of our skin, as opposed to everywhere,” she said.

Read more Beauty posts at

5 Reasons to Add Charcoal to Your Beauty Routine: Featured image courtesy of Mint Skin/Facebook

9 Products to Combat a Stressful Semester


Once the semester begins, you may notice a shift in your schedule. Hanging out with friends, polishing your nails, or even eating and sleeping may not be able to compete with work. While work should take priority, so should your health. Whether it’s once a day, once a week, or once a month, schedule time to take care of your body and mentally unwind. Trust us; your brain, hair, nails, and skin will thank you. Rejuvenate and re-energize with one or all of these nine treats designed to make you look and feel your best.

  1. Whether you’re breaking out from stress or stressed from breaking out, minimize outbreaks with the Body Shop Tea Tree Face Mask. A combination of tea tree, lemon tea tree, and tamanu oils keep oily skin at bay, while lingering menthol keeps skin feeling calm and refreshed.

  1. Need a change of scenery? Sink into purple euphoria with the Lush Fresh Handmade Cosmetics Bath Bomb in “Blackberry.” Infused with bergamot and frankincense oils, this refreshing blend will awaken your mind and relax your body.

  1. Replace semester blues with calming nail lacquer “Check Out the Old Geysirs” from the fall/winter 2017 O.P.I. Iceland Collection.

  1. Uplift your senses while you work with the eucalyptus and spearmint scented Bath & Body Works Aromatherapy Stress Relief Candle.

  1. Say goodbye to bags, and hello to glam with Miss Spa Glitter Gel Eye Mask. Chill in the fridge to reduce puffiness, or heat in warm water to relieve tension.

  1. Soothe sore muscles with a home massage made simple using the Lush Fresh Homemade Cosmetics Massage Bar in “Wiccy Magic Muscles.” Run this bar over areas of discomfort to melt peppermint, cinnamon, jojoba, and coconut oils, and cocoa and shea butters into skin for ultimate muscle relief.

  1. Don’t let worry damage your hair; revive and protect with the Unite 7SECONDS Masque. Once a week, use this intense moisture treatment to restore elasticity and nourish locks for healthy, silky strands.  

8./9. Relieve aching muscles and improve skin’s texture and tone with the Natural Dead Sea Body Mud & Natural Bath Salt Duo. Heat body mud before application for best results. Follow with a warm water Dead Sea salt soak.

Read more Beauty posts at
9 Products to Combat a Stressful Semester: Featured image courtesy of Getty Images

5 Ultra-light Face Masks You Have to Try


Increasing time spent outdoors helps you achieve the bronzed glow you’ve yearned for all winter. However, the excessive sun exposure can leave skin looking and feeling dehydrated, irritated, and aged. Reverse signs of sun damage with these five ultra-light, replenishing face masks.


  1. Intense Hydration, $14.19,

This intense hydration mask provides all the moisture your skin needs after a day under the sun without the use of heavy, pore-clogging ingredients. The secret? Burt’s Bees uses botanical clary sage to regulate the skin’s natural oil production, which makes this mask ideal for all skin types. Use this twice a week in combination with your skincare routine, or in place of your anti-aging serum; its natural ingredients reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

Must-Have Waterproof Makeup Trends


Scorching-hot days by the pool might tempt you to skip your typical makeup routine and go bare—and there’s nothing wrong with that. But for those of you who would like to go glam, say no more. There’s no need to skimp on cosmetics throughout warm weather. Rock one or rock all of this summer’s runway makeup trends with these pool-friendly purchases that will stay put long after you sweat or swim.

Color Pop
The 2017 spring/summer collections of Christian Siriano, Cividini, and Versus Versace included models with eye-catching lids. From aqua blues, to deep greens, and even bright oranges and yellows, these colorful shadows represent the best of what summer offers. Whether you stick to matte or go metallic, all you need is one swipe across your lid to perfect this runway trend. To recreate the look, use Tarte Limited-Edition Clay Pot Waterproof Shadow Liner that doubles as an eyeshadow and budge-proof gel liner.

©Acne Studios/Facebook

Get Glitzy
The 2017 spring/summer fashion shows of Maison Margiela, Giamba, and Fendi illuminated runways with impeccable shine from the models’ eyes, lips, and cheeks. Get your summer glow on with Eyeko Me and My Shadow Waterproof Shadow Liner, a waterproof 7-in-1 primer, base, eye shadow, eye liner, highlighter, and built-in blending and liner brush for skin radiance unlike any other. For sheen lips, wear alone one of the twelve shades Vice Special Effects Long-Lasting Water-Resistant Lip Topcoat offers, or layer it over a long-lasting lippie like Kat Von D’s Everlasting Liquid Lipstick.

©Atelier Versace/Getty

Bold Lips
Catwalks of the 2017 spring/summer collections from DKNY, Olivier Theyskens, and Acne Studios demonstrate the power that dark, bold lips hold this summer season. From 1990s dark and gothic burgundies to bright and classic reds to muted and dusky greys and purples, this look can be achieved pool-side with the help of Kat Von D’s Everlasting Liquid Lipstick. Allow 20 seconds drying time and reapplication won’t cross your mind before or after hitting the water. But don’t let its matte finish fool you; its vegan formula includes a combination of Vitamin E and sunflower seeds to keep lips hydrated throughout the day.

Complete the Look
Complete your summer runway look with a volumizing and lengthening waterproof mascara, such as the L’Oréal Butterfly Intenza Waterproof Mascara in “Blackest Black.” Your eyelashes will surely be unrecognizable after two coats with this miracle brush.

Read more Beauty posts at

Must-Have Waterproof Makeup Trends: Featured image courtesy of  ©Versus Versace/Facebook

Why Your Hair Products Should Include SPF


You’ve probably heard about the damage the sun can cause to your skin, but you’ve probably never considered the damage it could do to your hair—and it doesn’t stop there. In addition to harmful UV rays, salt water and chlorine contribute to the many reasons why hair might look faded or feel dry and brittle in the summertime. Not to worry: Like makeup, hair care products now provide UV protection so that locks maintain hydration and vibrancy throughout the season. Don’t dive in the pool, jump into the ocean, or even leave the house without first coating your strands with one of these SPF-infused hair products!

Protect your hair color and mane with the Paul Mitchell Color Care Color Protect Locking Spray. This lightweight mist adds impeccable shine while offering UVA/UVB protection. A mixture of moisturizing jojoba and rosemary leaf extracts hydrate and condition, making this a perfect fit for those of you prone to pesky flyaways.

Ditch the frizz with TIGI Bed Head Beach Bound Protection Spray for Colour Hair.  A combination of sunflower seed oil, grapefruit extract, and UV protectant nourish strands and prevent color-treated hair from fading. Heat and humidity resistant, this spray is perfect for outdoor adventures.

Since we love two-in-one products, the Clarins Sunscreen Care Oil Spray Broad Spectrum SPF 30 is a must-have hair and skin protectant dry oil. This non-greasy, sweat- and water-resistant formula shields against sun, salt water, and chlorine damage with gold cob, sycamore, and aloe extracts. Use this spray on your skin to promote an evened tan for those of you who seek a little color, or try it in your hair to rehydrate with organic nyamplung oil. This product is dermatology-tested and free of parabens, sulfates, and phthalates.

Read more Beauty articles on

Why Your Hair Products Should Include SPF: Photo courtesy of

5 Acne Solutions to Treat Sensitive Skin


If your acne-prone skin is anything like mine—sensitive—then a variety of over-the-counter treatments (or even prescriptions) can be way too harsh. Dermatologists have recommended face washes, creams, and gels, and I’ve tried them all. But each one led to irritation, and nothing is appealing about skin that’s dry, itchy, and inflamed.

It’s common for solutions to warn against the dangers of sun exposure, further subjecting already-sensitive skin to sunburn and flakiness. Sure, lotions can be used to rehydrate, and foundations and concealers can mask redness and blemishes, but a combination of these products often only lead to more breakouts.

Tired of my skin being anything but flawless after using a plethora of products, I took it upon myself to do a little experimentation of my own. Over the past few years, I came across treatments that not only rapidly reduce and diminish imperfections, but also a few that conceal and eliminate altogether.

Ladies, it’s time you treat your sensitive, acne-prone skin right with these five must-haves.

 1. Murad Rapid Relief Acne Spot Treatment, $22,
In June, Murad launched its Rapid Relief Acne Spot Treatment that uses maximum strength salicylic acid to reduce blemish size in as little as four hours. Thyme and pine extracts maintain skin’s natural balance, and horse chestnut and oat extracts reduce redness while soothing skin. Just dab a little of this clear, fast-acting gel on problem areas and say goodbye to breakouts and irritation.

Flaunt Your SPF with These Beauty Products


What’s better than flawless skin? Healthy flawless skin. Companies now formulate an array of skin care products with SPF so you can protect and beautify your skin in one step. From moisturizers to foundations and bronzers to highlighters, SPF reapplication is as easy as touching up your makeup. For maximum sun protection, a beautiful complexion, and endless mess-free applications, swap your favorites for these skin-loving goodies we absolutely adore!



New to Doucce is its SPF 22 Mineral Foundation with a lightweight formula and matte finish that makes it ideal to wear in hot or humid weather. Its inclusion of vitamin E and absence of parabens and gluten landed it at the top of our SPF-infused list of products. Available in seven shades, this buildable foundation promises light-to-medium coverage and SPF 22 protection with one long-lasting application. For those of you who seek additional coverage, a built-in matching concealer is located in the cap. This 2-in-1 sun protection foundation can be purchased for $38.00 on