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Recently in Cosmetics: Face Category

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I recently realized I had a sensitivity to SLS (Sodium Lauryl Sulfate) and have since been going through all the items in my beauty regimen to eliminate this pesky ingredient — you’d be surprised what you find it in. My favorite daily face scrub had SLS in it, so it had to go. This is why I tried Alba Botanica’s Hawaiian Facial Scrub. Their packaging clearly states: “100% Vegetarian. No: Animal Testing, Artificial Colors, Parabens, Phthalates, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate or Sodium Methyl Sulfate,” so I figured I was in good hands. Even though I tried it because it didn’t have that pesky SLS, I adored it for other reasons. It left my skin absolutely fresh and glowing, it wasn’t harsh and didn’t dry it out, and it smelled divine (probably due to the pineapple and papaya enzymes). Needless to say I have a keeper on my hands.

You can buy Alba Botanica Hawaiian Facial Scrub for $14 at ulta.com.
Best-Primers-Image.jpgA necessity in our makeup routine? Primer. Whether for eyes or face, it’s not a step we skip in the morning. Over the years, we’ve tried a lot of primers, but these five are our absolute favorites. We’re betting they’ll be yours, too.

Laura Mercier Foundation Primer - Radiance
Wait a minute. Primer that both makes skin soft and perfect for applying makeup, but makes it glow, therefore rendering serum and moisturizer almost useless? This one does the trick.
$30 at sephora.com

Korres Face Primer
We’re fans of every product in the Korres line. This primer is no different, thanks to the silicone-free formula and conditioning Vitamin E.
$28 at sephora.com

Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion
The absolute best eyeshadow primer ever! We’re incredibly happy that Urban Decay finally took it out of the weird tube that made you lose half the formula—because with just a dab on each eye, your shadow will stay put ALL. DAY. LONG.
$20 at ulta.com

Fresh Rose FreshFace Primer
What a sweetly scented primer this one is. It seriously smells so good, we find ourselves wanting to apply it multiple times a day just so we can smell it again and again!
$36 at beauty.com

Yves Saint Laurent Top Secrets Pore Refining Skincare Brush
Not only does this primer mattify the skin, it makes pores appear smaller and eliminates dead skin cells with salicylic acid. Plus, you apply it with an undeniably chic brush. What could be better?
$55 yslbeautyus.com


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Over the years, I’ve tried many cosmetic lines, but the one that I inevitably come back to is Laura Mercier. In particular, Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer and Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage concealer, by far two of the best products available for natural flawless-looking skin. According to Laura Mercier, the key to making your skin look perfect is to enhance your natural beauty. Here are her 4 simple steps to the flawless face:

Step 1: Prime the Skin

Laura Mercier’s Foundation Primer creates the perfect canvas for makeup application, ensuring freshness and long-lasting color. There are 5 formulas to choose from based on your skin’s needs (I have dry skin, so my favorite is the Hydrating formula). Laura’s tip: place your primer in the refrigerator before use to help refresh skin and reduce puffiness.

Step 2: Apply Foundation

There are several types of foundation available, but the key to looking as natural as possible is to use only where needed or in layers to provide buildable coverage. My favorite is the Tinted Moisturizer SPF 20 which provides sheer, natural-looking coverage — just enough to eliminate redness while letting my natural skin show through. Plus, it keeps my dry skin looking soft and dewy.

Step 3: Conceal

Laura Mercier’s famed Secret Camouflage and Secret Concealer are loved by almost every makeup artist I’ve ever met — and with good reason! When applied with a concealer brush, undereye circles and skin imperfections vanish.Laura’s tip: Apply concealer in the best available natural daylight.

Step 4: Set with Powder

Translucent Loose Setting Powder has no color so it won’t distort the color of your makeup. A light dusting helps set your makeup for a longer lasting finish. (Note: since my skin tends to be really dry and flakey, I typically skip this step in the fall and winter.)

After happily rediscovering these tried and true favorites, they’ve earned a permanent spot in my daily makeup routine!


Laura believes there are four steps to create a flawless face—primer, foundation, concealer, and setting powder. Each product has been specifically developed to allow every woman to achieve an incredibly even, smooth, yet natural-looking complexion.

For more information on Laura’s flawless philosophy and tips on how to use each product within each step is located here.

Find your perfect products to create your ultimate flawless face using our flawless face finder.

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Laura-Mercier-Foundation-Primer-Hydrating.jpgWhile we sometimes eschew a face primer because we’re busy, in a hurry, in a rush, et cetera … once in awhile, we decide it’s important to take the time to treat our skin right. And when those days come along, we reach for Laura Mercier Foundation Primer Hydrating.

This primer not only makes our makeup look flawless, it makes our skin look flawless, too. This light, creamy gel acts as an invisible barrier between skin and makeup and is perfect to apply before moisturizer or foundation. The moisture-rich vitamin formula is created specifically for dehydrated skin, which—with the crazy-hot temperatures outside and the crazy-cool air conditioned temperatures inside—is happening to more and more of us this summer!

And we have a bit of a confession to make. Sometimes, we actually skip moisturizer when we use this primer! It’s THAT hydrating!

Laura Mercier Foundation Primer Hydrating retails for $30 at spacenk.com.
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There are some brands, like Mario Badescu, that seem to make products we instantly love. Their Facial Spray with Aloe, Herbs and Rosewater is one of those never-fail-us products that we can’t imagine starting the day without. 

The MB description mentions it can be used for just about anything:

“Simply formulated with fragrant Herbal Extracts and Rosewater for a pleasant, pick me up for dehydrated, tight and uncomfortable skin. Spray your day and night creams for a boost of hydration or use it to set make-up or spray on dry hair throughout the day. Safe for all skin types. Gentle, non-irritating.”

We’ve always turned to rosewater-infused products for a soothing effect on our skin. They’re perfect for dry situations (especially when traveling on a plane, or in the colder months). But our absolute favorite use for this Facial Spray is as a finishing touch over a freshly made-up face. Thanks to that specific tip from a professional makeup artist, we never walk out of the house without it! 

It sets your makeup perfectly, helping it look fresh, non-powdery and youthfully dewy. It smells faintly of roses, which is nice, and the cool mist in the morning is a nice little pick-me-up! For just $7, it’s absolutely a must-have in your beauty product collection. $7, mariobadescu.com

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