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Yes-to-Carrots.jpg
What do you get when you blend dead sea minerals with organic fruits and vegetables (like carrots) and leave out the parabens? Well, shampoo and conditioner, of course. Per usual, we were first drawn to this duo for its fresh orange color (and label.) Reading a book by its cover? You betcha. When we untwisted the top of Yes To Carrots Shampoo and Conditioner, we were pleasantly surprised by the fruity scent (it’s carrot shampoo after all). Though the ingredient list reads more like the recipe for a fall harvest soup than haircare - organic carrots, sweet potato, pumpkin - we gave it a try.  

The directions mention to leave the shampoo on for two minutes (which was a little odd, but we followed instructions) before rinsing, and the same for the conditioner. We squeezed the traditional amount of product into our hands before lathering up, and found we needed some more shampoo to get a rich froth. The conditioner was ultra thick and rich, but appeared to absorb into our hair pretty quickly. Assuming it was a result of the unconventional formula, we left the shower with squeaky clean strands that smelled marvelous. Though our hair was soft when dried, it didn’t feel quite as hydrated or glossy as we are used to. 

Overall, we were pleased with the smell, lack of harmful chemicals and the presence of natural ingredients, but we felt this duo was a little drying for our normal/dry hair, and might be a better match for oily tresses. 

$8.99 each, Ulta.com
rouge-artist-491.jpgThe latest in lips from Make Up For Ever, Rouge Artist Intense, is a show stopping new lipstick collection with high pigmentation for dramatic, long-lasting color in just one stroke. The formula contains 50% more pigment than traditional lipstick formulas and is available in 3 different finishes for varying intensity: matte, pearly, and satin.

The line boasts an impressive 50 shades in an assortment of reds, nudes, and pinks [click for color chart] to help every woman find a shade that suits them. Because this can be overwhelming, Make Up For Ever has also developed a special shade selection tool that narrows down hues by both hair color and skin tone, assuring the most flattering shade recommendations. The tool will be available both in-store and online at Sephora.

We used the tool to select two hues based on hair and skin, and were more than pleased with the choices. The selector is pretty much spot-on; both shades selected looked gorgeous on!


$19, Sephora.



Tarte Lip Stains.jpg
We’ve been a fan of Tarte Cosmetics for a few years now, especially their coveted cheek stains. Which is reason enough to have been excited to hear that this natural makeup company recently released their Lipsurgence Natural Lip Stain

It’s no secret that lip stains tend to be a bit drying. You put them on, and they instantly parch your lips, making a moisturizing lip balm an essential partner product. Tarte’s Lipsurgence stains claim to increase your lip’s moisture level by 6,000 percent in 28 days, and though there really is no way we could have quantified those numbers ourselves, we no doubt appreciated the soft, moisturizing effect achieved by this product. 

We loved how the stain just glided right on in sheer layers, which could be built upon depending on how deep we wanted the color (we found the perfect shade by applying two layers, and blotting). The infused peppermint oil was a pleasant surprise, and had a great cooling effect. We tested Joy (peach), Lust (red), and Enchanted (rosey pink). Enchanted worked best with our tan skin tone for every day use, though we could definitely see ourselves playing up the Lust for a saucy night out. 

Though we’ve used lip stains that have lasted longer, the most impressive part of Tarte’s Lipsurgence Natural Lip Stain is the “natural” part. It’s formulated without parabens, mineral oil, sodium laurel sulfate, glutens, talc, dyes, synthetic fragrances or phthalates. The price tag may be a bit steep compared to drugstore varieties, but a little goes very far, making the MSRP more than worth it in the long run. 




Paulas-Choice-SPF_thumbnails.jpgSummer may be quickly winding down, but that doesn’t mean you need to put away your sunscreen along with your bikinis and flip flops. Relatively new to the beauty scene, the Ultra-light Weightless Finish SPF 30 Sunscreen Spray by Paula’s Choice is definitely a must-have product to keep in the front row of your beauty drawer year-round. Just as the name suggests, it’s super light, and not the least bit heavy. We loved how easy the clear liquid spritzed on, though we did have to rub it in a little to evenly distribute the sunscreen. Though it left our hands a little greasy from the application initially, it was absorbed almost instantaneously, and didn’t leave behind any residue, film, oil, or any other sign that makes most of us dread our daily SPF application. 

The product details mention it’s suitable for face and body, though we only tried it on our limbs, chest and neck. However, with how quickly the spray is absorbed, and the lack of any greasy residue on our arms, we could see it working for the face. It’s 100% fragrance-free and has no dyes or colorings, so it’s perfect for the most sensitive of skin types (like ours.) The SPF 30 is dermatologist recommended for daily use, and should be applied every few hours (especially after excessive perspiration) for optimum protection. Thankfully, the bottle is slim and can be easily carried around in your daily satchel or tote for multiple applications. If you are anything like us, Paula’s Choice Weightless spray will immediately become your go-to, can’t-live-without sunscreen, so stock up!


$15.95, Paulaschoice.com

h.wood.beauty

Groupbalm.jpgH.Wood, the massive Hollywood club that’s been a home away from home for the Hills girls, has now forayed into… beauty?

h.wood.beauty is a holistic tea-inspired line of cosmetics. Like the aromatic teas brewed from nature’s finest organic tea leaves, h.wood.beauty uses only the purest of ingredients combined with healing essential oils.

h.wood.beauty spins off its tea room namesake in that good-for-you-tea ingredients such as White Tea and Green Tea are fused together to bring beauty from the inside out. Because the best beauty trends start with word of mouth, h.wood.beauty is launching their line with a collection of lip products called h.wood.lips.

The collection includes:

Lip Tea- similar to beeswax or chap sticks, lip balm in twist up stick form. Coconut-Chai, Gingergrass, Green Apple, Peppermint Anise, Pom Rose, and Vanilla Caramel.
Lip Tea Scrubs- loose grain, tea-infused scrub in pot form for lips. Comes in the same flavors as lip tea.
Lip Shine Tubes - sheer washes of color in bullet form. Comes in Plum, Ruby, Poppy, Rose, and Clear.
Lip Shine Pot- same as the tubes, but in pot form.

We were able to try the Shine Tubes in Ruby and Plum, Lip Tea in Coconut Chai, and the Shine Pot in Clear.

The Clear Shine Pot gave a nice, gloss finish, but wasn’t any different than a lot of gloss pots. It was light, a bit waxy, and had a faint citrus flavor.

The Lip Tea in Coconut Chai was a nice balm stick, similar to Burt’s Bees. It’s emollient and moisturzing enough, didn’t feel sticky or waxy, but our favorite part was the flavor. YUM. We’d try the others for the flavor payoff alone.

The biggest surprise was the Lip Shine Tubes. The Shines looked kind of basic and unassuming in the tube, but the color payoff was amazing. The Plum gave a sheer yet rich plummy brown-red shade, similar to Clinique’s famous Black Honey, and the Ruby, which looked frightening in the tube, was way less bright of a red than it appeared, giving a nice, cherry popsicle sheen.

We’d love to get our hands on the Lip Scrub, which intrigued us the most! Can’t wait to try it.

$10-24, hwoodbeauty.com 

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