Tag Archives Amanda Curran

The Best Self-Tanners

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Jergans Natural GlowWhat is the first thing that comes to mind when you think of summer? Probably the beach (hopefully somewhere tropic, with palm trees, crystal-clear water, and fruity cocktails with little umbrellas), and what does one do at the beach? Tan. Although we all want to be bronzed goddesses, we know that overexposure to the sun’s harsh UV rays can cause more damage than beauty. Fret not, though, my fellow tan junkies, for there is a solution: self-tanners. Before you worry about orange fake ‘n bake and stubborn streaks, check out the best self-tanners that will make you think twice about skipping the sunscreen for the sake of a sizzling tan.
If you’re new to this self-tanning trend, you might want to start off slow and steady with Jergens’ Natural Glow Daily Moisturizer. This mild moisturizer gives you a subtle glow that develops over time, gradually adjusting a perfect tan to your skin without a discolored, patchy mess. This product’s varying formulas give you options that include firming, hydrating, and revitalizing benefits, all while providing a perfect dose of sun-kissed radiance.
St TropezSt. Tropez have staked their claim on the self-tanning market and may have struck gold with their Self-Tan Bronzing Mousse. This luxe mousse has a light, airy texture that blends into skin with minimal effort and gives the ultimate golden tan. The streak-free formula sets into skin in just 60 seconds, making the application process quick and easy. After four (or more) hours, rinse the product off to reveal a dazzling glow that will last up to two weeks and fade naturally, just like a real tan.
For the daring few who desire a rich, deep tan, Vita Liberata’s Dark Tan Lotion will quench your skin’s thirst—literally. This tanning lotion comes in a decadently hydrating formula that nourishes skin while infusing it with silky, dense pigment. Using cutting-edge technology, this product guarantees 2 to 3 weeks of color that mimics the reddish-bronze hue of a natural tan without the baking heat.

– by Amanda Curran

Melt-Proof Must-Haves

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Smashbox Camera ReadyWe have been waiting all year for brilliant sunshine and enviable tan lines, but with summer comes heat—and a lot of it. The rising temperature is a welcome warmth when you’re lounging poolside or lapping through the ocean, but when you’re standing on line at Starbucks during your lunch break in the middle of July and can almost feel your makeup dripping from your face, the sticky heat is not welcome. Luckily for you, before the escalating weather can ruin your makeup, we’ve compiled a list of melt-proof must-haves to get you through the summer in style! 
When it’s 90 degrees and the sun is shining a little too bright, you don’t want to clog your pores with a mask of foundation. Instead, opt for something lighter, like the Smashbox Camera Ready CC Cream. This all-star product packs a powerful punch as it protects your skin from the sun with SPF 30. It also primes your skin and smooths over large pores and uneven texture while hydrating and color correcting (hence why it’s called CC cream) any dark spots or post-acne marks. Because the cream is so lightweight, it will feel less like makeup and more like skin, all while still offering sheer to medium flawless coverage.
s1473743-main-LheroLooking like a raccoon will never be trendy, which is why we suggest investing in a good waterproof eyeliner that won’t bleed halfway through the day and give you runny, inky circles around your eyes. The Sephora Collection Contour Eye Pencil offers 12 hours of wear that will not budge or smudge, even while you’re sweating it out in the summer heat. These pencils come in an array of colors with dense pigmentation that will allow you to play up your eyes without having to worry about the mess later.
Benefit Stay FlawlessThe key to keeping makeup on your face is primer, and a good one at that. Benefit Cosmetics has struck gold with their Stay Flawless 15 Hour Primer. Unlike most primers that come in a tube or a jar, this fool-proof formula comes in a stick that can be applied directly to the face and worked into the skin with your fingers. A couple of swipes of this primer will protect the natural oils of your skin (and sweat) from breaking down your makeup, giving you flawless skin for up to 15 fabulous hours.
What goes good with a tan? A healthy flush. Josie Maran’s Coconut Water Cheek Gelees are cream/gel hybrid blushes that give your sun-kissed face a natural pinch of color. Made of coconut water and infused with argan oil, these blushes are applied like a gel and dry like a stain, infusing rich pigment and hydration into the skin to give a long-lasting flush that won’t disappear under the summer sun.

– by Amanda Curran

DIY Blackhead Remedy Mask

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Blackheads are the Worst, with a capital W. The occasional breakout and “bad skin day” are frustrating obstacles but otherwise manageable. Blackheads, however, are a breed of dilemma that usually calls for the drastic measure of plaster-like strips that rip the junk out of your pores in a satisfyingly barbaric kind of way. The problem with this common remedy is that it can damage the sensitive skin around your nose, and it doesn’t close up your pores (the initial problem), either. Fret not, my fellow victims of pesky blackheads, for we have a solution for you! When life gives you lemons (and baking soda), mix ‘em together and get rid of those blackheads once and for all.

For this DIY blackhead remedy mask you’ll need two ingredients: lemon juice and baking soda. That’s it. Using 1 teaspoon of lemon juice with 2 tablespoons of baking soda, mix the two together until you have a paste-like concoction. If the mixture is too thick, add another teaspoon of lemon juice, and if it’s too thin, add another tablespoon of baking soda. Apply the mixture on clean skin, working it into problem areas, and leave the mask on for 5 to 15 minutes. Once you rinse the mask off with warm water, you should notice a brighter, fresher glow to your skin, as well as less noticeable blackheads. The baking soda will exfoliate and cleanse the skin, and the citric acid in the lemon juice will brighten the skin as well as aid in clearing up breakouts and extracting impurities for the skin. By using this mask on a weekly basis, the size of your pores will shrink, the luminosity in your skin will increase, and you’ll have kissed those blackheads goodbye for Good, with a capital G!

– by Amanda Curran

DIY Blackhead Remedy Mask photo courtesy of Elke Vogelsang

Floral Fragrances

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The gradual flush of blossoming flower buds and blissful sunshine calls for the scent of spring to linger in the air—and in our perfume! Winter wrapped us up in warm amber and spicy bergamot, but with a new season comes new, fresher notes that smell just as sweet in bouquets as they do in our floral fragrances.s1029941-main-Lhero

Marc Jacobs hit the nail on the head when they released their signature sunny fragrance, Daisy. Gardenia, vanilla, and a touch of musk linger throughout the essence of this lighthearted, breezy perfume. Daisy evokes a feeling of breathing in the fresh, spring air and 10830spinning through a field of bright, white daisies. It’s the perfect fragrance to ring in the new season.

Bodycology has made a science out of perfecting a three-step system that will envelope you in a whirlwind of sweet floral bliss with their Floral Rush fragrance. With top notes of crush greens, sweet lemon, and peony petals and mid-notes of wild rose, gardenia, and jasmine, the fresh botanical blend radiates the warmth and simplicity of spring. The combination of their fresh Foaming Body Wash, lush Moisturizing Body Cream with Rich Butter Complex, and airy Fragrance Mist makes for an exuberant aromatic experience.s1580448-main-Lhero

Roses De Chloé is a delicate fragrance from the ever-classic Chloé that gives you the sweet scent that lingers from an arrangement of roses without the hassle of tangled thorns and fallen petals. The notes of freshly cut roses, rose essence, and magnolia accord mingle to create a soft, luminous sensation that offers a graceful take on the signature rose scent.

pBBW1-15992272enh-z8Bath & Body Works has perfected the blend of crisp warmth in their Japanese Cherry Blossom fragrance mist. The combination of Asian pear, Japanese cherry blossom, and vanilla rice swirl together in a cozy medium that makes this scent the ideal fragrance for the transition period between seasons. This fragrant mist can be layered with their matching body wash and body lotion to amp up the intensity of the intoxicating fragrance.s1480243-main-Lhero

Balenciaga has taken the same passion they have for the runway and infused that liveliness in their Florabotanica fragrance. This exciting, daring fragrance combines carnation, Turkish rose essence, white amber, and vetiver roots to create a flirty scent that is dangerously beautiful. Furthermore, the packaging of this enticing perfume reflects the trendy, unique nature of Balenciaga.

– by Amanda Curran

Photo’s courtesy of Sephora, Bath & Body Works, Bodycology, and C. ha 

All-Natural Makeup

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It’s common knowledge that makeup isn’t the best remedy for the wellbeing of your skin. Makeup riddled with synthetic fragrances, added oils, and harsh pigments can lead to clogged pores, oily T-zones, and unwanted breakouts. But before you toss the contents of your makeup bag into the trash bin, we’ve compiled a list of all-natural makeup brands that value the quality of your skin as well as the quality of your makeup!3611643502_fdff58b854_o

Josie Maran Cosmetics takes au naturale to a whole new level where the protection and nourishment of your skin comes first. The star ingredient in most Josie Maran products is Argan oil, an oil extracted from the seed that grows on an Argan tree in Morocco, which provides vitamin E and essential fatty acids that help make skin smooth and supple. All Josie Maran products are entirely all-natural, eco-friendly, and ensured to improve the quality of your skin.65975-R250RGSKMediumBeige-0

BareMinerals wins the prize for reigning natural beauty. This brand produces high-quality pure mineral makeup that adds luminosity and warmth to your skin while still allowing it to breathe beneath its smooth, lightweight makeup. BareMinerals takes all expectations for mineral makeup and turns them on their heads because their silky loose foundations and pigmented powder blushes will leave your skin refreshed, hydrated, and looking better than ever.07322

If you’re searching for makeup a little closer to home (say, the drugstore around the corner, maybe?), Physicians Formula has got you covered. This glamorous brand provides products that are both trendy and healthy for even the most sensitive of skin. Its eco-friendly formulas bring out the even glow within your skin and turn wearing makeup into a benefactor for your skin’s radiance. Physicians Formula have a wide array of products that will not only boost the beauty of your skin, but also look appealing in your makeup bag, as the cute, innovative packaging for these products is to die for!

– by Amanda Curran

Photos courtesy of rymantolentino, felsull, Physician’s Formula, and Bare Escentuals

Pastel Nail Polishes

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With spring knocking at your door and the sun melting away the bitter chill, it’s time to swap out fingers dipped in black cherry reds and deep currant hues for shades that will reflect the golden sunshine right in the palm of your hand. Pastel nail polishes are a timeless spring trend—fashion’s way of welcoming the new season in soft tones that mimic the blossoming weather—but the following polishes offer a fun twist on tradition and ensure your manicure will pack a pastel punch!SHCN1498_SGRSHM_01SGRPLM_0

Sally Hansen has their fingers on the pulse of the nail polish industry and is constantly reinventing the standard manicure. Their recent collection of Sugar Shimmer nail polishes offers decadent shades of polish swirling with flecks of shimmer that envelope nails in a 3D sand-like texture. The Sugar Plum shade is a candyfloss pink that attracts attention like budding cherry blossoms, and the surprising sugary texture adds an unexpected element of whimsy to the pretty pink.

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Ciate’s Dolls House Collection plays on the soft shades that walked the runway this spring fashion season. These polishes feature cool-toned colors inspired by those in a child’s dollhouse and apply across the nail in one dreamy sweep that sets to a powdery, matte finish. Worn alone, these polishes will add a soft hint of color that will accompany any fashion trend this season, but for an extra dose of color, try wearing two or more shades on different fingers to play around with the complimentary colors.lilacism

Although grainy textures and clean mattes reflect the playful nature of spring, Essie’s Lilacism offers a more traditional option for a more polished look. This lavender shade is cool enough to compliment all skin shades, from undertones of yellow and pink and red (oh my!), and adds a

touch of classic grace suitable for everyone. The silky polish dries to a lux cream finish that can be sealed with a glossy topcoat, such as Seche Vite’s Dry Fast Top Coat, a fast-drying finishing polish that will extend the life and shine of your manicure!

– by Amanda Curran

Photo’s courtesy of Sephora, Sally Hansen, Essie, Sally Beauty, and janavrints

Colorful Spring Eyeliners

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Tossing the contents of your junk drawer, donating the dress in the back of your wardrobe that hasn’t been worn since the day you bought it two years ago, moving around furniture until everything looks shiny and new – it’s the time of year to turn the phrase “out with the old, in with the new” into your mantra, but who said spring cleaning has to stop at tidying your closet? With these colorful spring eyeliners, you’ll be able to revamp your look to better welcome the change in season!s1393685-main-Lhero

Urban Decay has crafted eyeliners pulled straight from a rainbow with their 24/7 Glide-On Eyeliner. All it takes is one smooth swipe of Woodstock to get a rich boost of color that will weather a full twenty-four hours of wear without smudging or running. This shimmery electric pink will add a fun punch of color that mimics lush, blossoming flowers.s1579382-main-Lhero

Want to cool down? Try Stila’s Mint Green Smudge Stick Waterproof Eyeliner. The creamy formula glides on like a dream and offers the option to smudge before it locks down so that blazing sunshine and hours of wear stand no match for this liner’s lasting power. This shade acts as a fun eye brightener with a minty twist.

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Everyone loves a good scandal, and Rimmel is no exception. The Rimmel Scandaleyes Waterproof Kohl Kajal in Turquoise is the secret to eyes that smolder. This dazzling shade is as captivating as the clear, blue skies of spring. The soft kohl formula gives this pencil versatility, leaving you with the option to add a simple pop of color to a neutral look or change the game with a vibrantly smudged out look that screams Scandaleyes!

– by Amanda Curran

Photo’s courtesy of Sephora, Kmart, and Rimmel.

Affordable Makeup Brushes With Professional Precision

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“An artist is only as good as his tools,” said someone, somewhere, but sometimes those tools cost a pretty penny that can’t be expended by every self-proclaimed cosmetic connoisseur. It’s easy to get lost amidst the sea of synthetic hairs and shiny packaging, and Cliché here to squash the misconception that spending a fortune on makeup brushes guarantees flawless quality. There are a variety of brushes on the market, but you don’t have to break the bank in order to achieve flawless application!1253-ecotls-le-fresh-and-flawless-open_1

EcoTools is an eco-friendly brand that is just as passionate about the quality of their tools as they are about protecting the environment. Sold in several drugstores, EcoTools produces a wide range of makeup brushes made with soft, airy bristles and recycled bamboo handles. Their tools are sold separately, or packaged in convenient sets based on purpose-specific needs, catering to every kind of application necessity under the technicolor cosmetic sun.

Real Techniques is a line designed by YouTube beauty guru duo Samantha and Nic Chapman (known as ‘pixiwoo’ on YouTube). The brushes are created with precise, synthetic bristles that offer a clean, effortless application; there are several kits in the Real Techniques line, making it possible to build up a full collection of brushes without burning a hole in your wallet. The success2229995 of these brushes is global, reaching from their native origin in the United Kingdom across the pond to United States cosmetic retailer Ulta, as well as appearing online through various vendors. Because this range of tools was created and tested by professional makeup artists, they are on par with elite brand name brushes without the grimacing price.84022_900px_100011

Eyes Lips Face (E.L.F.) have set the bar for excellence in affordable makeup brushes with professional precision! Known for their outstandingly affordable cosmetics, E.L.F. have stepped up their game with their studio line of makeup tools. The 25-piece range encompasses a variety of brushes that fit every small niche in the world of cosmetics. From defining crease brushes to lush blush brushes, the possibilities are endless with E.L.F.’s studio line that gives expensive, professional grade brushes a run for their money – literally!

– by Amanda Curran

Photo’s courtesy of Jnoemi, EcoTools, Ulta, and Eyes Lips Face

TONI&GUY Hair Meet Wardrobe Glamour Collection

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Awards season has left us all lusting after shimmering floor length dresses and silky, windswept hair styled to precise perfection. Although we don’t have access to the superb stylists of the red carpet to play dress up with every morning, TONI&GUY has released a collection of styling products that can give your hair Hollywood glamour without all of the high maintenance fuss.1677-434445-TG_P_GL_FHH_300x300_00

The TONI&GUY Hair Meet Wardrobe Glamour Collection is a set of two styling products that will change the texture and hold of your style while giving you an elegant edge. The Firm Hold Hairspray is a light mist that offers a firm hold to even the most intricate of hair styles. It offers anti-static and anti-humidity protection to shield hair from any weather-thrown curveballs. Use a few spritzes for subtle definition on a messier style, or apply a more gratuitous amount for a heavier hold; no matter how little or much you use of this product, the Firm Hold Hairspray will envelope your hair in its grip and ensure the lasting power of your style from sunrise to sunset.1677-434068-TG_P_GL_VPW_300x300_00

The Volume Plumping Whip is a creamy styling whip that amps up the volume and texture of dull, flat hair. Work a small dollop of the whip through damp hair and style with heat or diffusion to envelope hair in full body hold that is remnant of runway-worthy style. This lightweight whip builds density and texture without weighing hair down, giving hair a lush, radiant finish that even red carpet stylist’s would envy.

– by Amanda Curran

Photo’s courtesy of Renee Bertrand and TONI&GUY Hair Meet Wardrobe.

The Power of Vitamin C

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With the sun peeking through flurries of snow and stormy, gray skies, it’s likely that your skin is suffering from the dull bite of the cold. Lack of sunshine and Vitamin D means drab, lackluster skin, but you don’t have to succumb to winter blues if you have the power of Vitamin C! Vitamin C is proven to help reduce signs of aging and boost skin’s radiance, thus giving you a healthy, natural glow that will shine throughout even the coldest of winter storms.avalongel

Avalon Organics’ Refreshing Cleansing Gel is a gentle gel cleanser that uses Vitamin C to rid the surface of your skin from its dry, dull texture to reveal cleaner and brighter skin. This cleanser can be used twice a day, but is best used in the morning before you apply your makeup so that you can start the day refreshed and recharged.

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Our skin undergoes the most repair overnight when our bodies are at rest and regenerating, which makes the Korres Wild Rose + Vitamin C Advanced Brightening Sleeping Facial the perfect treatment to pamper dreary skin. This sleeping facial is applied in place of a night cream, allowing the rich, luxurious texture to hydrate the skin, as well as penetrating deep within to reveal a luminous, supple complexion the following morning!

olehenriksenSerums are concentrated treatments that sink into our skin and treat targeted or problematic areas. The Ole Henriksen Truth Serum is a lightweight Vitamin C serum that brightens, lightens, and tightens the skin. The serum helps to boost the production of collagen in the skin and fade any dark spots or discoloration that tarnishes the skin’s surface. It can be applied in the morning and the evening, twice a day, and should be followed with a moisturizer to lock in all of the serum’s benefits.tarte

If you’re suffering from dark circles and puffy eyes, the Tarte Maracuja C-brighter Eye Treatment is here to save the day! This ultra-hydrating eye treatment smooths the area underneath your eyes, banishing any blue tints and unwanted puffiness while making eyes appear brighter and more awake even if you did skip the beauty rest in favor of catching up with your favorite TV show on Netflix (don’t worry, it’s our little secret).

– by Amanda Curran

Photo’s courtesy of sologenesis, Ole Henriksen, Korres, Avalon Organics, and Tarte Cosmetics.

Cupid’s Kiss: Lipstick Guide for Valentine’s Day

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Red roses, luxe chocolates, candlelit dinners, and conversation hearts: all of these sweet surprises fall second best to the perfect Valentine’s Day kiss—and I don’t mean the Hershey’s kind! From sizzling red to candied pink, using these lipsticks are sure to amp up your Valentine’s Day bite and prepare you to boldly take on the holiday, one heart at a time!

6.icon_1Hourglass Cosmetics has perfected the art of the no muss, no fuss foolproof red lip. Their Opaque Rouge Liquid Lipstick in the color “Icon” is a classic red that suits every skin tone—yes, every skin tone. The unique formula smooths on the lips as a liquid and dries to a long-lasting matte finish. The coolest part? It looks different on everyone. On deeper tones, the red appears like a dark velvet, and on lighter tones, the red pops, so either way, you are sure to steal the spotlight.M0N904

Another holy grail red comes from MAC in the form of “Ruby Woo.” This punchy red lipstick applies opaque with one swipe, and can make even the sweetest of angels look like a Valentine’s Day vixen! Don’t worry about the matte formula drying out your lips—MAC’s lipsticks are formulated with a creamy, hydrating texture that is sure to last all throughout your enchanting evening.fuchsia-flash_pack-shot

If you’re not sold on the red lip craze, then try your hand at a vibrant pink. Maybelline’s Color Sensational Vivids lipstick in the color “Fuschia Flash” is a bright, sparkling pink that is a fun alternative to the iconic red. The Color Sensational Vivids are a line of lipsticks with mesmerizing colors and fantastic pigmentation, and “Fuschia Flash” is no exception.1291

The bold lip isn’t for everyone, but your lips can be just as enticing with NYX’s Soft Matte Lip Cream in “Istanbul.” This deliciously smooth formula glides on lips like a dream, giving you a soft, muted pink lip that compliments every look, from dark and sultry to demure and radiant. Bonus perk: the lip cream smells like vanilla cake, adding an extra ounce of sweetness to your darling pout.300

Wet ‘n Wild has concocted a lipstick that looks like gumdrops and cotton candy perfection in its “Think Pink” MegaLast Lip Color. For the all-star bargain, this sugary lipstick packs quite the punch, enveloping you in a super pigmented candy floss formula that withstands the test of time. Pro Tip: after applying the lipstick from the tube, blend it in with your finger to soften the color and help it adhere to your lips for a longer lasting wear!

– by Amanda Curran

Photo’s courtesy of ajatierra, Hourglass Cosmetics, MAC Cosmetics, Maybelline, NYX Cosmetics, and Wet ‘n Wild.

Hairmergency? Coconut Oil To The Rescue!

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With the chilly winds blowing your hair about and sucking the moisture from your tangly tresses, it’s likely that you’re experiencing the dull, lifelessness that comes with winter-damaged hair. Instead of packing on the heavy hair masks laden with harmful silicones and overly fragranced fillers, try opting for a more natural option: coconut oil.

You can find coconut oil at your local health food store in the same aisle as Olive oil and other various cooking oils. Coconut oil is stored as a solid sold in a jar, but when heated up, the product melts down to an oil and can then be applied to the hair as a treatment. Coconut oil is an effective hair treatment because it intensely hydrates hair, boosts shine and overall radiance, strengthens even the most damaged and broken hair, and also helps to nourish the scalp and stimulate hair that will grow faster, stronger, and healthier.

To use coconut oil as a hair treatment, first measure 3 to 4 tablespoons of the solid oil into a microwave safe bowl or cup (for thicker hair, use 1 or 2 more tablespoons, and for thinner hair, use 1 less). Microwave the oil for 1 minute, or until the oil melts down completely to a liquid. On dry, untangled hair, apply the oil starting at the ends and working your way to your scalp. Don’t worry about the oil making your scalp greasy, because the beneficial properties of the oil make it safe for even the most sensitive of scalps! Once you have evenly coated your hair in oil, wrap it in either a shower cap or an old t-shirt to secure the hair in place and allow the oil to penetrate the hair cuticle. Leave the hair wrapped for 4 hours or more (use it as an overnight treatment, if you wish!), then rinse it out with warm water, following with your choice of shampoo and conditioner. Once your hair is dry, you should notice the boost in shine and texture. Using this treatment once a week, or every other week, will improve the strength, shine, and growth of your hair, and your hair will no longer be suffering from the drab, winter blues!

– by Amanda Curran

Photo courtesy of Chiot’s Run