How to Squash Summer Style Setbacks

All city girls grapple with the summer style setback of oppressive heat and humidity.  So today we are going to salute Katie Holmes who overcame the elements to look classically chic at her NYC premiere of The Giver (which hits theaters on Friday). 

We got the inside scoop from the savant behind the style, Sabastian Scolarici and will give you the play-by-plan to recreate the sultry summer do at-home.

INSPIRATION: According to Celebrity hairstylist, Sabastian Scolarici who created Katie’s hair from last night, “Katie’s look was a nod to old Hollywood with a modern edge. The tone for Katie’s look was set by the impeccable Zac Posen dress, with her hair perfectly complimenting the style with a simple high knot with a hint of texture.”  

On damp hair, spray a small amount of the Alterna Bamboo Style Boho Waves Tousled Texture Mist ($22) tousling hair from the ears down to the ends; drying hair smooth but still leaving some natural texture

STEP 2: Using the Alterna Haircare Bamboo Volume 2 in 1 Volumizer ($25), emulsify this styler into a paste by rubbing it quickly in between hands for a few seconds and then build up volume into the hair  

STEP 3: Next sweep hair into a high ponytail, securing it tightly with a hair tie

STEP 4: Separated hair into two sections and tease each section with a hint of Alterna Haircare Caviar Perfect Texture Finishing Spray ($28)

STEP 5: Carefully twist the two sections together, wrapping hair tightly around the base of the ponytail and securing it with hair pins

STEP 6:  Finish with the Alterna Haircare Caviar Anti-Aging Working Hairspray ($26) to set her look

*Alterna Haircare Products are available at AlternaHaircare.com, Sephora/Sephora.com, Ulta/Ulta.com and high-end boutiques and salons worldwide


How to Test-Drive New Beauty Hues (without Busting Your Budget)

If you feel like experimenting with some new make up use this summer but don't want to blow your budget then swing by your local… CVS? Yes, this progressive drugstore is brightening up its beauty aisles with Makeup Academy – a high-wattage makeup collection exclusive to their chain.  

For starters, they are introducing the products we need most including a wider range of luxurious false lashes, an array of lip pigments, and luxe brushes to facilitate flawless faces.

Make your Peepers Pop
The Makeup Academy Lash Collection offers a vast assortment of options for both false lash beginners and pros alike. The line ranges from natural-looking lash enhancement to va-va-volume-boosting glamour.  They are easy to apply, so if you are snapping up a set to test-drive for your ex-boyfriend’s wedding later that night, calm down - it’s easier to achieve an eye-popping looks.

Prettify Your Pucker
The Makeup Academy Lip Collection consists of a wide range of lip formulations, from stains and liquid lipsticks to color-infused balms and glosses, in fashion-forward colors and luxurious textures. There are so many options, that you can match your pout to even your most unique clutch or heels.  They are comfortable on the lips, often multi-tasking with hydration and high-shine.

Brush Up on Beauty
The Makeup Academy Pro Brush Collection is your one-stop-shop to creating flawless makeup looks.  The line has almost every type of brush imaginable, but BAM – it’s all conveniently packaged and wallet-friendly.  The line boasts innovative design engineering which results in exceptional quality brushes featuring a mix of natural and synthetic fibers, expertly crafted for specialized use across face, eyes and lips.

Available exclusively at CVS/pharmacy stores nationwide.
To learn more about Makeup Academy, please visit www.muapro.com


Don't Go Home with the Mariachi Band from the Subway

Spending the summer in the city forces your skin to be exposed to all types of unsavory situations. Sitting in an air-conditioned office does not exempt you from sweat, pollution, and city grime.  These irritants then get trapped in your pores causing clogged pores and skin damage. It's the cellular equivalent of being trapped in a subway car with a skivvy mariachi band – infuriating and unavoidable.

So we became obsessed with reversing  the curse of city living and repairing depleted, dull and hyperpigmented skin. The answer is Clarisonic Sonic Radiant Brightening Solution. For years we've been hearing about this powerful skin brush that transforms skin, but left to our own devices, would this beauty investment survive this Manhattannite's lazy girl regimen?

Skeptical but hopeful, I was up for the challenge.  I began my journey after returning home from the subway ride from hell - enraged by the sour serenading of a hostile Spanish guitar player. I needed to relieve my skin of the traumatic memory, so I applied a dollop of the Skin Renewing Peel Wash to my Aria Facial Sonic Cleansing Device and after splashing water on my face I began the cleansing ritual. I activated the device, rubbed the brush head around my face, then washed off the excess product.  Eager to accelerate the smoothing out my complexion, I applied the Brightening Activator Serum to my face, neck, and décolletage.  
The next morning I awoke and completed the process again – this time, using the AM Skin Illuminating Cleanser. I followed this routine for seven days, and each time I was convinced I would give up, but the subtle improvements in my skin motivated me to continue. I began to suddenly noticed a smoother texture around my t-zone, and gradually saw improved brightness of my complexion.  The biggest benefit for me was the reduction in my dark spots.  It was like I had a magic wand that allowed me to be an active participant in the improvement of my skin.

In these dog days of summer, skin takes a crazy turn - whether it's from too much sun, late night parties, or smoke exposure - don't let the quality of your skin go down without a fight.  For anyone battling hyperpigmentation, acne induced discoloration, uneven skin tone or dullness, the Clarisonic Sonic Radiant Brightening Solution should be your first line of defense to unlock your brightest complexion ever.


How to get good camp hair

Anyone that ever went to sleep away camp knows the mark of a genuinely magnificent mane: good camp hair. If your locks can withstand chlorinated pool water, extreme sun exposure and campfire smoke, then consider yourself blessed. For those of us who needed to work a little harder, get ready for a new secret weapon, the Infiniti Pro by Conair 3Q.  

Technology has underwent some serious upgrades since your camp days when you relied on a 2 in 1 brush / hairdryer combo. We were blown away by the Infinity Pro by Conair 3Q, because it harnesses advanced brushless motor technology to provide an ultra-fast airflow that reduce drying time by 70%. This means less time for your hair to be under the dryer and minimize the chances of fried ends. Less time in your at-home salon means more time to cook up a perfectly concocted summer cocktail. Plus it is insanely powerful but won’t wake up your sleeping bunkmates – er, roommates – because of a 40% less noise technology benefit.  

Going away for the weekend? Toss this lightweight tool in your bag – it’s easy to travel with. You can share it with your whole share house, and customize the heat and speed settings for each girl (plus it’s got a cold shot button for when you are sweating and need an instant blast of artificial air conditioner – eh, not the real purpose for that button, but I digress…) Need me to seal the deal? At $119, it’s less than the price of 3 blowouts at DryBar.  

Scoop up the Infiniti Pro by Conair 3Q at drugstores nationwide beginning September 2014


5 Products You Gotta Have For a Weekend Get-Away

Summer vaca means weekend jaunts to the beach, mountains or your country house (aka your parent’s home in suburbia).  Unfortunately, when you are a guest, your beauty needs are at the whim of your host, which may not always jive with your style (or worse…they might buy generic)!  So before you embark on your break, check out these 5 products to keep you looking your best without adding bulk to your bag.

When you’re a guest in someone’s home you have no idea if they’ll keep you protected – sure they’ll make sure you don’t go home with that hot bartender who dropped out of high school, but are you sure they’ll keep your skin safe from the sun?  Stock your own SPF to ward off harmful UVA/UVB rays.  We love Sun Bum SPF 70 Moisturizing Sunscreen Lotion ($16 at trustthebum.com) because it has top protection factors, while enriching skin with Vitamin E, an antioxidant that helps to neutralize free radicals.  We go as far to use it on our face and body, which allows you to consolidate your regimen into one portable bottle.

During the week you can be compulsive about your skincare routine, but during a weekend getaway you have to forget about your fixations.  Unpack your toiletry bag and instead, toss in a pack of makeup removing wipes.  We are really into Proactiv Solution Makeup Removing Cloths ($17 at DiscoverProactiv.com) because they are pre-moistened and whisk away dirt, grime, and makeup from your face. They are gentle on your skin and offer an effective way to freshen up your complexion. Added bonus: they are alcohol and fragrance free, and enriched with lavender and allantoin to soothe and condition skin after a day in the elements.

The quick fix for beach hair is pretending the look was intentional, but we all know that at the end of the night your one-time tempting tresses have turned into dread locks.  Reverse the effect by brushing through your hot mess while nourishing your hair.  We are really into Conair Infinity Pro Argan Oil Treatment Strip Finishing Brush ($13 at Conair.com).  It’s the perfect brush for to get through the tough stuff, while adding some needed extra shine.

So you forgot to trust our advice, and you ended up sunburnt.  Feel free to keep beating yourself up over it, but don’t let your stinging skin drag you down further.  Help revitalize and hydrate skin with Sun Bum's 'Cool Down' Continuous Spray Aloe Vera ($12 at Trustthebum.com).  We tested it out this weekend and loved the cooling effect, and invigorating scent.  It is enriched with soothing Aloe, Cucumber Extract and Vitamin E, which provides an intense hydration to gently restore the skin's natural moisture balance.

There’s nothing worse than being without a hair tie, so stash a few in your bag to avoid this rookie mistake.  Then you can look like a hero when your hostess asks if she can “just borrow one of yours” – even though you know she’ll never remember to give it back. We are crushing on Scunci Everyday & Active 3X Stronger Braided Hair Ties ($3.99 at Walmart.com) because we found out our fit-spiration guru, Tracy Anderson relies on them for her workouts.  They are colorful and fun and fit any mood while maintaining a tight grip on your hair without damage or snagging.

How to Beat the Unexpected Summer Heat

All of this unexpected weather makes it difficult to stay chic. It's hard to avoid overdressing for sunshine and under dressing for torrential downpours. Don’t sweat it! Check out our go to guide to protect your sunny wardrobe no matter the weather.

Start with the Skin
No matter if you're sitting out in the park or bundled under sweaters and air-conditioning conference room, make sure you are protected with a reliable deodorant. As your body adjusts to the dramatic temperature shifts, you don't want to suffered a sweaty slipup.  A glamorous go-to is Dove Advanced Care with Nutriummoisture™ Clear Tone™ Skin Renew Anti-Perspirant Deodorant.  It has a clean, fresh scent and nourishes skin – helping it recover from the irritation of regular summer shaves.

Spritz Away the Shvitz
The best way to conceal your overheated internal thermometer is with a delicate perfume.  It needs to be a gentle fragrance that won’t clue those around you that there’s a funk in the air – rather a delicate aromatic blend that delivers a sparkling, refreshing scent.  We can’t stop sniffing the latest launch Anna Sui La Nuit de Bohème.  This fragrance – hitting shelves in the fall – contains notes of sparkling citruses and thick blackberry zest, lotus and gentle, feminine petals of rose with an oriental twist to woody notes of warm and opulent oud.  

Erase the Evidence
Stepping out into the sunlight is a recipe for shine – and not the cute kind.  We recommend applying a mattifying primer before you leave for the day to prevent a makeup meltdown.  Korres Pomegranate Mattifying Primer blends to an invisible matte finish while minimizing the appearance of pores, balancing skintone and texture, and preparing skin for smooth makeup application and long-lasting wear.  The goal is to shrink pores and turn off their leakage of excess oil and dirt, for a flawless, smooth surface.

Make Sure You are Protected
Incidental sunlight can be a major cause of skin damage.  Waiting for that cab – which never seems to come – in the middle of the day, can make all the for a sunburn.  Fortify your morning beauty regimen with a face moisturizer that has a SPF factor of 20 or higher.  Check out Meaningful Beauty Antioxidant Day Crème SPF 20 Broad Spectrum help rejuvenate, firm and protect skin. Suitable for all skin types, the lightweight yet effective moisturizer is fortified with the Exclusive Microencapsulated Melon Complex and dual action Vitamin C.

How to Become a Swimsuit Savant

The #1 accessory for a bikini is self-confidence, but we had a tough winter, and if you aren’t there yet, then you aren’t alone.  If you are having trouble mustering up some courage to quit your cover-up, then follow our recommendations to enhance your self-empowerment and proudly flaunt your figure:

CLEANSE YOUR CANVAS: revitalize post-winter skin with nourishing products that hydrate and cleanse away impurities and yucky skin.  By effectively prepping your skin, you can create a healthy foundation for sun protection and fortify skin’s defenses for youthful, radiance head to toe.

H2O Plus Sea Results Anti-Aging Body Micro-Polish ($28 at h2oplus.com)
Revitalize the skin for a summer-ready body while sweeping away dull impurities. Fast-acting, this polish will immediately brighten and smooth, resulting in younger looking skin. Velvet Seaweed Extract, a natural exfoliant, gently smoothes, refines, and brightens dull skin while micro-fine Coral Powder, derived from Bora Bora white sand, sweeps away dead skin cells for complete pre-tan exfoliation.

Proactiv+ Cleansing Body Bar ($40 at Proactiv.com)
This lather-rich cleansing bar fights body acne, giving you confidence to show more skin this summer. Deep-cleansing, exfoliating, and medicated, the ergonomic bar thoroughly washes away dirt, impurities, and excess oil. Salicylic acid helps unclog and keep pores clear while exfoliating beads remove dead skin that can clog pores and fuel breakouts.

SWIMSUIT SLIMMING SECRET:  so your gym routine fell by the wayside and now your love handles are looking a little extra lumpy.  Fret not – just seek out smoothing and tightening products for a fast fix.

Caudalie Contouring Concentrate ($35 at Caudalie.com)
This plant-based elixir treats stubborn areas such as the thighs, hips, and buttocks, diminishing the appearance of cellulite and smoothing curves.  This preservative-free 100% plant-based dry body oil firms and smoothes the skin. It also gives the skin a slight sheen.

bliss fatgirlslim arm candy ($34 at Blissworld.com)
Who among us hasn’t suffered from a fear of going sleeveless?  Well, consider yourself ‘armed’ and ready with our fabulous formula: it’s the only arm-perfecting cream, complete with a massaging applicator, proven to clinically reduce redness while providing a firmer, smoother and more toned appearance. Formulated with a complex of lactic acid, caffeine, white sapphire and moisture beads, it provides optimal results and beautiful, flaunt-worthy arms.

AHAVA Firming Body Cream ($39 at AHAVAUS.com)
Firm up for the beach with AHAVA’s Firming Body Cream that combines unique plant extracts and skin-healthy Dead Sea minerals to prevent, repair and strengthen mature body skin. This silk-textured formula helps reverse the process of aging with a unique combo of active ingredients (Vitamin E, Caffeine, Peptides) and plant extracts (Palm Date, Artichoke, Green Tea Extracts) to recover firmness and improve tonicity of the skin while refreshing and nourishing.

SkinCeuticals Body Tightening Concentrate ($75 at skinceuticals.com)
Formulated for body zones including the abdomen, buttocks, thighs, knees, and upper arms, this cooling fluid re-inflates skin, resulting in a smooth, tight surface. Unlike immediate superficial tightening treatments, this product targets sagging loose skin from within for long-lasting lifting, firming and resilience.
Price: $75, Available at www.skinceuticals.com and physician offices nationwide
HAIR REMOVAL: Silky smooth legs look even sexier without razor burn and ingrown hairs.  Make sure to look razor sharp by grooming away any doubt that you look and feel your best.

Shaveworks Pearl Soufflé Shave Cream ($22 at Anthony.com)
Get the perfect bikini-ready shave with this lusciously rich shave cream. With Capislow to minimize hair growth, Phytic/Glycolic Acid to exfoliate and reduce ingrown hairs (especially in the bikini area), and Mediacalm complex for superb moisturizing and calming benefits, this shaving cream does it all.
Price: $22, Available at Sephora, Sephora.com and Anthony.com

FAUX GLOW: Need a little touch up on that 6-pack?  The body looks better with a golden glow, but since we are anti-suntanning, we have some fun sunless tanners to transform your into a bronze bombshell. 

L’Oréal Paris Sublime Bronze Tinted Self-Tanning Mousse ($11 at lorealparisusa.com)
Achieve a beautiful, believably bronze glow with the first-to-mass self-tanner in mousse form.  Sublime Bronze Tinted Self-Tanning Mousse features a prestige-inspired formula that is easy to apply, dries quickly and leaves a natural streak-free bronze tint without sticky residue. The ultra-lightweight mousse contains subtle light-reflecting pearls that give skin an instant glow, and its scent is enhanced with a light, citrus fragrance.

Urban Decay NAKED Skin Body Beauty Balm ($32 at Urbandecay.com)
Like a beauty balm for your whole bod, this luxe, moisturizing formula instantly tightens skin (yes, TIGHTENS!) and blurs flaws. The result? Smoother, firmer, more perfected skin every time you use it – with a luminous, all-over NAKED glow. Lightweight and non-greasy, this sheer, illuminating formula works on every skin tone (from pale to deep-dark), giving skin a subtle sheen with light-diffusing spheres that make you look professionally retouched.

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