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Since my sister-in-law has become pregnant, I have gained new knowledge into the dos and don’ts when you’re expecting. What you can and can’t eat, the types of products you can use, and the uncomfortableness that comes with this joyous time. So I decided to find the best beauty products that are essential for a pregnant woman. Things that will help them feel better about themselves during and after the baby is born. Although I came across a few different stretch mark creams and foot rubs, the product trio that seemed to get the most praise was the Mama Mio Pregnancy Essentials ($28). 

This skincare kit comes with three products: the Boob Tube: Bust & Neck Firmer made with CoQ10, Avocado Oil, Fenugreek, Shea Butter and Milk Thistle; Luck Legs: rapid relief for heavy legs and feet composed of Yarrow, V-tonic, Spearmint, Chamomile and Aloe Vera; and the Tummy Rub: Stretch Mark Butter with She Butter, Wheatgerm Oil, Sweet Almond Oil and Borage Oil. All three products are made to protect and energize the skin during pregnancy by treating, nourishing and soothing the skin to minimize the appearance of stretch marks and slackening skin. It will also provide comfort and relief from your tired, itchy and dry skin. 

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We are programmed to automatically think oils are bad, but what if they aren’t? When I first heard about cleansing oils I thought, “Why would I ever want to use that? It’s definitely going to make my oily skin break out.” Then I did a little research and discovered that cleansing oils are actually a good thing. Cleansing oils work by attracting the other oils already on your skin. When you rinse your face after application, all the excess is washed away. Also, unlike traditional bar soap or cleansers, neutral cleansing oils will have minimal effect on your skin’s pH levels, which means they will remove the impurities without taking away your skin’s natural moisture.

The minute I found all of this out, I went on a search for the best cleansing oil and came across Boscia Makeup-Breakup Cool Cleansing Oil ($26). The deep cleansing blend of botanical oils will not only get rid of your impurities, but it will always dissolve and break down makeup. Also, the cool scent will immediately refresh your skin.

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Once the seasons change from warm to cold, skin immediately becomes dry and flaky. A thick moisturizer will temporarily help with the top layer of your skin, but it won’t properly hydrate and repair dry skin with lasting effects. Your best bet to prevent flaky skin—especially on the area that seems to suffer the most, your legs—is to use a body lotion that utilizes gentle acids. A lotion that has an alpha-hydroxy acid will not only moisturize your skin, but will help exfoliate and counteract the rough patches. 

The Amlactin Alpha Hydroxy Therapy Moisturizing Body Lotion ($15.99) is a smooth moisturizer that you can feel working after it’s applied and doesn’t have a thick residue that some other deep moisturizing lotions have. The best part? It is available at your local drugstore and won’t cost a lot of money. 

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After I wrote about the at-home facial, I decided to take a look into other products that could help prolong my trips to the spa. I stumbled upon another mask that I have fallen in love with, the Karuna Skin Restoring Treatment Mask ($48). 

One of my biggest issues is my sensitive skin, but also the dryness I suffer from in the fall and winter months, so I was on a mission to find a restoring mask that can help refresh my skin at home. The minute I tried this one, I knew it was what my beauty routine was missing. The coconut water moisturizes and revives your skin while the sweet orange and probiotics help minimize signs of aging, and the advanced hyaluronic acid offers maximum hydration. You use the mask the same way you would use a pore cleansing strip, you simply apply the mask until it dries and lightly peel it off, leaving you with moisturized, hydrated, and radiant skin.

I have always been a little wary of getting facials because I’m afraid of what it may do to my sensitive skin, but one day I faced my fear and treated myself to a spa day and my life hasn’t been the same since. I started getting regular facials and masks to help improve my dry skin and skin tone, but then my wallet started feeling the pain and I had to cut back. Determined to find at-home remedies that would give me at least a little satisfaction, I went through countless facial scrubs, pads and creams until I finally found the perfect solution.

The Freeman Feeling Beautiful Dead Sea Minerals Facial Anti-Stress Mask first caught my eye with its bright bottle, seashell logo and the words “anti-stress.” But for $3.99, I thought there was no way it could be any good. The minute I put it on, however, I instantly felt refreshed. The cooling sensation made me feel relaxed and at ease. After I finished taking it off, my skin looked smoother and brighter. I also bought the Freeman Feeling Beautiful Cucumber Peel Off Mask to try later this week! 

If you are looking for an inexpensive mask to use in between trips to the spa, I would definitely recommend this brand, you can’t beat the results or price!

If you’re anything like me, it takes about three cups of coffee before anyone can even approach me in the morning. Despite the amount of sleep I actually get, I feel like I still look so tired when I wake up. Unfortunately, as much as I love the change of seasons and the fall breeze with the dry weather, I tend to look even more drowned out and tired during this season. Here are a few of my favorite items that help turn my look from tired to fresh each morning. 

The Face Wash

I have tried a few different products in this category and none have really been able to keep my skin clear and wake me up the way this one does. Clean and Clear Morning Burst ($6.99) has energizing beads that will instantly make you feel refreshed and awake. The facial cleanser also helps prevent shine throughout the day so if you suffer from oily skin like I do, it’s an even better choice. The wash comes in a few different colors and scents, but my favorite is the one that features lemongrass, for some reason that particular smell leaves you feeling truly fresh and relaxed. 

The Moisturizer 

Having the right lotion is an essential part of your day because this one product has the ability to give you glowing skin. My favorite daytime moisturizer is Shiseido Brightening Protective Cream ($54.50); not only does it include SPF 15, but it is formulated with vitamin C, which will help brighten skin and revitalize your face — an essential part of fall skincare.

The Eyeliner

Makeup is a necessity if you are trying to make yourself appear more refreshed, but it is even more important to make sure you are using the proper product to achieve the desired results. Using any old black eyeliner on the mornings you are looking especially tired is a risky move because it can make your eyes appear darker and more sunken in. The Almay Wake Up Eyeliner + Highlighter ($8.99) is the perfect item to achieve the look you are looking for. This dual sided pencil allows you to define your eyes while the illuminating side can help brighten your irises. On top of the shimmery color giving you a bit of refreshing, the highlighter delivers a cooling sensation during application to perk up your pupils, tricking people into thinking you got a full eight hours!

Adding these three things into your morning routine will without a doubt make you seem more refreshed and awake.

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As the weather starts to change and your skin becomes drier, it becomes more difficult to keep skin looking radiant. For most people, doing an overnight peel is a great option because you put the mask on before bed, let it work its magic overnight, and then wipe it off in the morning. However, some women (me included) have sensitive skin and these overnight procedures can cause irritation or breakouts. So I discovered my new secret weapon that I just can’t live without: the Aveeno Positively Radiant Daily Cleansing Pads ($6.49). 

These pads help improve skin tone, texture and reveal brighter more radiant skin. The dual textured pad uses foaming skin-conditioning cleansers and natural soy extracts to leave the skin soft and smooth. One side is smooth in order to lift away dirt, oils and makeup, while the other side is textured in order to gently exfoliate the skin to get rid of dead cells. These cleansing pads are gentle enough to be used on a regular daily basis and work for any skin type and sensitivity. Also, in a clinical test, 100% of women showed improved skin. An added bonus, the container is small and light enough to carry in your purse!

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Lack of sleep is something that we all experience no matter what the season, but when your sun-kissed skin starts to fade and you have a lighter complexion, under eye darkness and puffiness become more apparent, no matter how much makeup you use. Unluckily for me, I have very dark under eyes and they easily become super puffy with lack of sleep, so I went on a mission to find a solution to this problem that plagues many women. 

The First Aid Beauty Detox Eye Roller is a metal ball roller that banishes under eye darkness and puffiness while simultaneously cooling and awakening the skin to give a more refreshed look. After application, the caffeine that is infused into the formula begins to reduce the appearance of the under eye area, while the hyaluronate and advanced peptides help to restore lost volume and increase collagen production to reduce the fine lines and thinness of the area. Not only does this product work wonders but for the price of $24 you really can’t beat it!

After the harsh sun exposure and dryness from the summer heat, your skin is going to need some refreshing hydration to have an amazing glow for fall. No matter how many times a day you apply face lotion, it never seems to completely solve the problem, so I was determined to find something that would — and the Skinceuticals Retexturing Activator ($73) is the answer. This 30 ml bottle will give you the same, if not better, results of a spa treatment. The serum works deep into your skin and pores to reinforce the barrier for healthier and more radiant skin. After application, it simultaneously exfoliates the skin to get rid of any excess dead skin and hydrates to make sure that your face won’t look dried out and tired. Also, the serum will help prevent fine lines and wrinkles while leaving the surface of your skin looking smoother and softer. 

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Having the right powder and primer is one of the most essential steps in applying makeup on a daily basis. For women who wear makeup every day, you know how easily your skin becomes dry and cakey. Properly moisturizing along with priming the skin for application is the best thing you can do and on top of that, it can save you money. Makeup artist secret: we barely ever use super expensive foundation or bronzer, what we do is spend our money on is the primer, which can have the potential to turn any brand into high definition makeup. One of the newest products to hit shelves this fall is the Too Faced Primed and Poreless Pressed Powder ($30). It adjusts to any skin tone while minimizing the appearance of pores, fine lines and wrinkles. The powder is also very versatile, it can be worn alone or under and over foundation to prep skin, keep makeup in place, as well as control shine for a smooth and flawless finish.

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I have just returned from Jamaica where I spent six days in paradise doing nothing but laying by the pool and swimming with dolphins. On top of being completely relaxed by the pool, I also treated myself to an amazing massage as well as a milk bath, which at first I was not too excited about because it didn’t sound too appealing, but I was never so happy to try something new. The bath left me feeling refreshed, rejuvenated and nourished. One of the most important things after being out in the sun or anything that can be harmful to your skin is to make sure it stays moisturized and nourished. Because I felt so amazing, I was determined to do some research and find a milk bath I could use at home.

The Elemis Skin Nourishing Milk Bath ($74) provides all the necessities you get from a spa treatment without the hassle of driving there and the damage to your bank account. The balancing formula is a special milk protein base, rick in vitamins, amino acids and minerals. It also consists of natural plant collagen from Japanese camellia oil and oat extract, which will leave your skin feeling silky. This bath is great for extremely dry skin and treating skin conditions. It will leave your skin feeling nourished and satin soft!

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Mario Badescu skincare products are some of my favorites on the market. The wide variety of serums and creams helps with tired eyes, breakouts and everything in between. So I look for any excuse to splurge a little, especially on my two new obsessions: Glycolic Eye Cream and Drying Mask.

First up is the eye cream, perfect for when skin starts looking a little aged and dry. It is high in antioxidants, vitamin E, and contains a blend of nourishing oils that result in smooth younger looking skin with just a few uses — and not only in the eye area, other parts of your face will benefit from the ingredients as well.

Next is the drying mask, which honestly, I was a little skeptical about. I have oily skin and I tend to stay away from a lot of face products because they often make me more shiny. I stay away from things that promise to get rid of oil because they have a tendency to dry me out, but since I love the brand so much, I decided to give it a try. The mask miraculously reduced excess oil, but still left the right amount to keep my skin young, while simultaneously drying out pimples with a nonirritating sulfur and calamine formula. Finding a product that will help with all of the unwanted oil while not overly drying out your skin is very rare and should be taken advantage of. My favorite part about this mask is it works well on the back and chest too for anyone with acne problems.

I have never been a huge fan of facials because honestly I’ve always been afraid I’d end up looking like Samantha did in that episode of Sex and the City, but I have always been a fan of at-home masks and exfoliation. Dead skin cells can make your whole face look dull and worn out and between the summer sun and late nights, that is the last thing any woman wants. Fear no more, I have found an amazing at-home mask that will easily erase all those cells and leave your face as smooth as a baby’s. The Ren Glycol Lactic Radiance Mask features glycolic acid, lactic acid, and citrus acid and it works for all skin types. This peel mask is designed to renew skin, reduce those fine lines and wrinkles, while drastically improving your skin tone. Not to mention the firming aspect. The combination of fruit acid and papain enzyme provide a gentle but effective exfoliating peel, which leaves the skin glowing. Although the price may seem to be a little high, take my word for it you will not regret trying this mask!

Late nights are a given in any season, but during the summertime it becomes even harder to get to bed at a decent hour, even when we have to get up in the morning to go to work. But don’t you worry ladies! I have found two amazing eye creams, that may be a little pricey but are well worth every penny because they will leave you feeling wide awake, younger and refreshed while brightening up your eyes and face.

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The Corrective Treatment Eye Cream comes in a 15 mL bottle, which may not seem like a lot but all you need each morning is a dime sized drop so it should last you a little while. Not only does this cream help prevent and reverse signs of aging, but it does amazing things for fatigue. It will restructure your fine lines and wrinkles to look less intense and defined, it will decrease the puffiness from the lack of sleep, and most importantly get rid of the dreaded undereye darkness. Personally, I have extremely dark undereyes so when I don’t get enough sleep, it becomes an even bigger issue, but thankfully since starting to use this I have seen a significant reduction in the purple color under my eyes.

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The Instant Radiance Eye Cream does more than wonders for the undereye, it also works for the lid as well! Because, let’s be honest, you can get dark circles on top of your eye just as easily as under it, so having a cream that attacks both areas is ideal. The clinically proven formula can reduce dark circles by 30% within the first 15 minutes of application and if you make this part of your daily routine, can ultimately reduce them by 48%. Aside from attacking the darkness, it will also work to smooth your skin giving it a more youthful look, so this is a great cream for older women to use to fight the signs of aging. 

Two years ago, my summers changed for good after I got diagnosed with skin cancer and, honestly, I didn’t pay much attention to what my doctors told me to do, which I know was not the smartest thing. Then this year, I had another scare so I immediately decided to smarten up, because as much as I love a good tan, I love my health more. So I started doing research and found the best products that can help protect me from the most harmful UV rays, and surprisingly, not all of them come with high SPFs.

Aveeno
I have always been a fan of their products so I wasn’t surprised when I used one of their sunscreens and loved it. The Protect + Hydrate Sunscreen (SPF 30) has broad spectrum SPF and is designed to do exactly as the name entails protect you from the sun while moisturizing and hydrating your skin. The cream’s advanced formula contains nourishing active natural oats that help keep the skin looking fresh.

Hawaiian Tropic
This may be one of the most popular brands of sunscreens so it was one of the first companies I looked into, and even my doctor agreed with this choice. The Sheer Touch (SPF 50) lotion contains exotic botanicals that will soothe your skin while simultaneously protecting it. To top it off, this lotion is extremely water resistant so you won’t have to reapply as frequently. 

Shiseido
This company has come to the rescue with not only one product, but two. First up is the Ultimate Sun Protection Lotion (SPF 50+). Most of the time you need to have a sunscreen for your face and one for your body, but this lotion covers both areas. The nourishing formula with broad spectrum protection helps defend against the sun’s most harmful rays that cause sunburn, premature aging and cell damage. Also, it doesn’t leave behind a filmy residue and stays invisible on skin even after numerous applications. Secondly, is the Sun Protection Lip Treatment (SPF 36). The hydrating lip balm defends against both UVA and UVB rays while making sure your lips stay moisturized. 

To top off all of the amazing qualities about these products, the Skin Cancer Foundation has backed all of these companies for making effective UV sunscreen products.

Finally, the warm weather has arrived and everyone is ready to hit the beach with a cold drink. Whether your plan is an exotic escape or to simply lay in your backyard soaking in the sun, the summer is great, but unfortunately the heat also can bring on major problems with your makeup. The humidity alone can turn the perfectly even foundation you just applied into flakes that seem to fall off the minute you walk out of your door. Despite the fact you put on the perfect amount, the cake look that is now all over your face gives off the impression that you have no idea how to apply makeup properly. Not only is foundation a major problem, but eye makeup can be a nightmare. Wearing the wrong mascara to a friend’s pool or the beach can immediately give you raccoon eyes after emerging from a quick dip. 

Now, my motto in the summer is to always keep makeup simple, being too done up during this season just doesn’t seem practical and, honestly, it can make you seem kind of foolish. Luckily, the wonderful professionals understand this concept and have made some amazing products to help spare you from runny mascara and caked up faces.

Lips

First things first, your lips. A lot of women have a problem with dry or chapped lips, so naturally when the heat gets involved this problem can become even larger. It is important to make sure your summertime lip balm has SPF in it, this will allow your lips to stay hydrated while protecting them from the sun. The Naked Green Tea Lip Balm with 15 SPF is one of my favorites, it keeps lips smooth and tastes/smells great! 

Face

On to the face! Now the best thing to do to avoid your skin turning to cake is to use a tinted sunscreen foundation. My go-to is the Too Faced Tinted Beauty Balm SPF 20. This is the best way to avoid embarrassing makeup malfunctions while protecting your skin from sun damage and it comes in a variety of shades. 

Eyes

Next up is the eyes! Waterproof mascara is important to have not only for pool parties or for sweating on hot summer days, but for weddings, anniversaries, or any event you think you will be crying at. My favorite one is Cargo Better-Than-Waterproof Mascara. I have used it at dance recitals, on hot days and at weddings and, trust me, it does an amazing jobs at stopping the streaks!

Skin

Finally, and probably the most important to me, is oil blotters! I have a pretty oily complexion, which I’ve always heard is great because it helps prevent wrinkles and keeps your skin looking younger, but for now, it’s terrible because having a shiny look is never a desirable thing and when the heat comes rolling in it become even harder to control. Luckily for me and women who share my problem, these thin sheets usually come in a pack that can fit in your purse, and they instantly save the day when your T-zone is a little out of control. The Neutrogena Deep Clean Long Last Shine Control Blotting Sheets are my favorite and they really do seem to get all the oil from deep within your pores.

These simple things are great ways to ensure your skin and face stay healthy and refreshed all summer long.

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When I learned that the newly launched Karora Cosmetics collection with products focusing on a faux glow for your skin by way of self tanner, bronzing gel, and CC cream came from Dublin, Ireland, I was a bit surprised. While you don’t generally associate Ireland with a tan, it makes perfect sense that a country more known for drizzly nights than tropical beaches would become experts in faking a tan. Karora Cosmetics adds another dimension to their self tanning products by including botanical ingredients to help skin’s appearance even after your self tan has worn off. 

One of the highlights of their U.S. launch in my personal opinion is the full body CC Cream. Providing instant tanning results for a wide variety of shades with color correction technology, the cream dries to a matte finish which conceals uneven skin tone while adding color. Though it is labeled for “all skin tones”, it tends to work best on light to olive skin shades. The key botanical ingredients in the CC cream include green tea leaf extract, jojoba seed oil, argan oil, and acai berry, providing skin care benefits on top of an instant tan. Karora Cosmetics can currently be purchased in store at Henri Bendel and online through Organic Skincare U.S.

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I’ll confess, I’m a bit of a BB Cream addict. Take a peek in my vanity and you’ll find no less than 6 different kinds of BB Creams. Some work better than others, but they all make it into my daily skincare routine on a regular basis. The latest to hit my arsenal is the new Revlon Photoready BB Cream skin perfector with SPF 30. Like others in this product category, it’s a lightweight multi-benefit Beauty Balm that combines skincare and makeup into one step.

I’ve been using this product every day for 2 weeks and can honestly say it’s one of the best I’ve tried. The consistency isn’t too thick, which makes it perfect for summer, and it isn’t too thin either, so it provides the perfect amount of moisturizing benefits and coverage I need. The light medium tone blends perfectly with my skin, providing virtually invisible, natural coverage. And unlike many other BB Creams which offer little or no sun protection, Revlon Photoready contains SPF 30, which is essential all year round and especially during the summer months.

One of the reasons I am such a fan of BB Creams, is that they have moisturizers and primers built into the product, something that my dry skin needs desperately. In the winter, I typically apply BB Cream on top of a daily moisturizer for added hydration, but in the warmer months, I don’t need any additional products. I simply apply the cream to damp skin to lock in moisture and to assist with even distribution. I add more product to any areas that need additional coverage, so I can often skip concealer.

Along with the BB Cream, I’m also testing out the new Revlon Lash Potion mascara. The product contains a potion “with strengthening proteins that drench lashes for volume” and a triple-groove wand that prevents clumps while lengthening lashes. I’m lucky enough to have fairly long lashes, and this mascara definitely delivers when it comes to thickening and avoiding clumps.

Both of these products have found a permanent place in my makeup kit this summer.


Revlon-Logo-2.jpgRevlon believes there is more than one way for women to be seen. Revlon’s heritage as a color authority and its suite of innovative products inspires women around the world to expressthemselves through beauty each and every day.


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Truth be told, I haven’t been using foundation since I fell for BB cream. But if I hadn’t already switched from foundation, I would totally be ditching it for Almay’s Smart Shade CC Cream Complexion Corrector. Their CC cream provides light to medium coverage, a bit more than other CC creams on the market which is good news for those with uneven skin tone and light redness. Formulated to correct and even skin texture over time, Almay reports that 70% of users in a clinical trial had visible improvements in the clarity and texture in their skin after two weeks of use. A product that works even when you’re not wearing it? I’m in. 

What I like most about Almay’s latest product is the smooth and luminous finish it leaves coupled with the fact that it contains broad spectrum SPF 35, making it a perfect summer makeup base. Right now there are only three shades including Light, Light/Medium, and Medium, but the product does include technology that aids in matching the shade to your skin tone. Almay is now officially invited on all upcoming vacations.   


Found in the fruit of the marula tree in southern African and parts of West Africa, marula oil has been used for thousands of years for moisturizing, cooking, and even as a leather treatment. Often referred to as a ‘miracle oil’, this beauty elixir is packed with omega fatty acids, Vitamin E, and antioxidants. 

Pure marula oil is similar to the ever popular argan oil which in its pure oil form is an all-in-one product: body, hair, face — you name it, you got it moisturized. Marula oil has made its way into a range of beauty lines being sold in the US, including Clarins, Fiafini, African Botanics, and Marula Pure. Get in on the trend early by shopping these marula-infused beauty picks.  

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