Thursday, December 29, 2011

New Year's Eve Sparkle Manis

Ten, nine, eight, seven, six ... The countdown soon begins to 2012. 

New Year's Eve brings out the best in all of us. We look forward to the possibility of having new prospects, people and places in our lives. The celebration also allows us to shimmer in our finest sequined, beaded or metallic cocktail dresses.

Your tips should sparkle too. So when the clock strikes midnight, be prepared to reflect, renew and radiate with the following manis (apply a base coat, two layers of color and finish with a top coat). 

Here's hoping for a healthy and happy 2012!

SHINE: Sapphire and Tanzanite (pinky finger). BEAUTY: Precious jewels for your tips.

BEACON: Vegan, and contains no formaldehyde, toluene, dibutyl phthalate, camphor or nitrocellulose. 

Mani model: Natalie J. Wilson

SHINE: Disco Lights and Red Sparkle (ring finger). BEAUTY: Pretty in pink with a pop of red.

BEACON: Free of dibutyl phthalate, toluene and formaldehyde.

Mani model: Natalie J. Wilson

SHINE: Divine Shine. BEAUTY: Strike a pose in purple.

BEACON: Contains no formaldehyde, dibutyl phthalate or toluene. Also supports Leukemia Research Foundation through the Schaeffer Family Foundation.

SHINE: Luna and Richelle (index and ring fingers). BEAUTY: Turn your tips into timeless treasures with gold and silver. 

BEACON: Free of toluene, camphor, formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin and dibutyl phthalate.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Hot Holiday Updos

We're down for updos this holiday season. Here's why: Whether you have short or long locks, a simple sweep here and a tuck there instantly transforms an everyday look into a sleek party silhouette. 

You can also match your mood to a variety of updo styles:

Flirty French twist--Roll and fold a ponytail upward until it turns in on itself, but allow a few loose strands to caress your face.

Bold bouffant--Tease your hair to add height and drama.

Sophisticated chignon--Tightly pull the hair back to create a classic bun.

Check out the latest red-carpet updos. 

Julianne Hough

Jennifer Hudson

Emmy Rossum

Mandy Moore

Zoe Saldana 

To help you achieve these looks, we've assembled several must-have shampoos, conditioners, tools, masks and hairsprays. Enjoy your holiday hair no matter which style you choose.

 SHINE: Alba Botanica Replenishing Conditioner. BEAUTY: Aloe vera, green tea extracts and cupuacu seed butter renew luster and shine by moisturizing dry hair. BEACON: Vegan and no animal testing. Also free of sulfates, parabens, phthalates, artificial colors and silicones.

 SHINE: Amika Obliphica Oil Treatment. BEAUTY: Contains sea buckthorn berry and argan oil to nourish and strengthen hair while also eliminating frizz. BEACONNo animal testing. Also free of animal-derived ingredients, parabens, sulfates and artificial colors.

SHINE: Burt's Bees Avocado Butter Pre-Shampoo Hair Treatment. BEAUTY: Avocado, sweet almond and olive oils help restore body and shine. BEACON: No animal testing. Also free of parabens, sulfates, phthalates and petrochemicals.

SHINE: Healthy Sexy Hair Soy Touchable Weightless Hairspray. BEAUTY: Soy proteins and cocoa extract help build shine and a stronger hold without added weight. BEACON: Supports Look Good…Feel Better.

SHINEInfiniti By Conair You Wave. BEAUTY: Three-barrel ceramic styler creates natural waves, reduces frizz and eliminates static with no damaging hot spots. BEACON: Supports The Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

SHINE: Kinky-Curly Gloss Pomade. BEAUTY: Avocado, pomegranate and black currant oils provide an ideal finishing product for flyaway edges. BEACON: Cruelty free, and contains no petroleum, mineral oil, alcohol, silicone, acrylics or parabens. Also supports charity:water

SHINE: N.4 Reconstructing Masque. BEAUTY: Soy proteins and vitamin B5 help repair and restore luster. BEACON: Vegan and no animal testing. Also free of sulfates, gluten, sodium chloride and parabens.

 SHINEOrganix Fortifying Lavender Soymilk Shampoo and Conditioner. BEAUTY: Nourishes and strengthens hair with lavender and marigold oils, soymilk proteins and vitamin E. BEACON: No animal testing. Also free of sulfates or parabens.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Merry Peppermint Mani

It's all about the holidays right now, which means lots of family, fun and food. I recently spent the day with my niece, Natalie J. Wilson. Her giving spirit (she volunteers her time with at-risk youth) and natural beauty (big smile and sparkling eyes) make me a proud auntie.

The two of us share a mutual love of lacquers and the holidays. So in the spirit of the season, we used a big bag of Starlight Mint candies as the inspiration for a Merry Peppermint Mani.

Peppermint awakens the senses. In fact, the aroma of this popular herb has been found to enhance memory. We hope these festive tips will help make your holidays unforgettable. 

Let the merriment and manis begin! 

Mani model and nail artist: Natalie J. Wilson

SHINE: Apply a base coat and two layers of Essie Marshmallow (cloudy sheer white). Mimic the rays of a sunburst with Lollipop (candy cane red). Use the tip of the brush to draw colorful quarter moons around the edges of each nail. Finish with a top coat. 
BEAUTY: Eye candy for your tips. 

BEACON: Essie lacquers contain no dibutyl phthalate, toluene or formaldehyde.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Festive Face, Body & Hair Product Gift Sets

'Tis the season to be jolly. If you haven't had a fa-la-la-la-la moment yet, time's running out. You've only got 10 days left until Christmas arrives. 

Shopping for beauty products always lifts our spirits. Face, body and hair gift sets are not only fun to give but even better to receive. The buyer usually gets a can't-pass-it-up deal when several products are packaged together, while loved ones, friends or colleagues enjoy sampling several items at once. Plus, the products often come in a special box or zippered pouch that can be reused over and over again. 

So... ready, gift set, go. Enjoy the following face, body and hair collections from leading beauty manufacturers. And have yourself a Merry Little Christmas!

 SHINE: B. Kamins, Chemist Dry to Normal Skin Starter Kit (Vegetable Cleanser, Bio Maple Eye Cream, Day Cream SPF 15 and Night Cream). BEAUTY: Nourishes skin with antioxidants, vitamins and essential nutrients to help diminish the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. BEACON: No animal testing. Also supports PJs For the Cure.

 SHINE: Dermalogica Clean Start Get Glowing Mini Skin Care Kit (Ready, Set, Scrub!, Brighten Up SPF 15 and Smart Mouth Lip Shine). BEAUTY: Polishes and brightens your skin to reveal its natural radiance. BEACON: No animal testing. Also free of artificial fragrances, dyes and mineral oils.

SHINE: Elemis Tranquil Touch Exotic Stars Kit (Creamy Body Wash, Indulgent Bath Elixir, Body Cream and Candle). BEAUTY: Calm your mind and soothe your soul during your next bathing ritual. BEACON: No animal testing. Free of animal-derived collagen, synthetic fragrances and coloring, mineral oil, alcohol and silicones.

SHINE: Éminence Organic Skin Care Very Berry Gift Collection (Blueberry Soy Exfoliating Cleanser, Soy Blueberry Body Wash, Blueberry Shimmer Body Lotion and Loofah Sponge). BEAUTY: Refreshes dull skin with nourishing antioxidants and vitamins to help protect against free radicals. BEACON: The company's ingredient farm in Hungary is powered by solar and wind energy. 

SHINE: Joico K-Pak Color Therapy (Color Therapy Shampoo, Color Therapy Conditioner and Revitaluxe: Bio-Advanced Restorative Treatment). BEAUTY: Strengthens damaged hair with a blend of peptides, arginine, dual-polymers and African Manketti Oil. BEACON: No animal testing. Also supports City of Hope, Beauty For a Cure and Reality Cares.

SHINE: Liz Earle Superskin Christmas Collection (Moisturizer, Concentrate, Eye & Lip Treatment and Body Cream). BEAUTY: Designed to smooth and plump more mature or dry skin. BEACON: No animal testing. Free of mineral oil, paraffin wax, petrolatum, and any fractions of crude oil or primary petrochemicals.

SHINE: Neal's Yard Remedies Frankincense Face & Body Care Collection (Frankincense & Mandarin Body Lotion, Frankincense Hydrating Cream and Frankincense & Mandarin Shower Cream). BEAUTY: Antioxidants and herbal extracts replenish and rejuvenate skin. BEACON: No animal testing. Free of synthetic fragrances, silicones, phthalates, mineral oils, petrochemicals, GMO ingredients, propylene glycol, EDTA and SLS. Also supports Friends of the Earth, Samaritans and Traid.

SHINE: Ren Clean Skincare Shower Trio Gift Set (Moroccan Rose Otto Body Wash, Neroli and Grapefruit Body Wash, and Seaweed and Sage Body Wash) packaged in a box inspired by Asian hand-painted wallpaper designs. BEAUTY: Harmonizing properties in these three body washes help make the bathing experience a transformative one. BEACON: No animal testing. Also free of synthetic colors and fragrances, petrochemicals, sulfates, animal ingredients and parabens.

SHINE: Sanitas Skincare Mask Sampler (Cranberry Enzyme, Vita-Rich, Re-Vita-Lize Anti-Aging, Tea Tree, Pumpkin Enzyme and Papaya Pineapple). BEAUTY: This six-piece set is designed to deliver healing and acne prevention skincare benefits. BEACON: Supports the Cinderella Foundation

SHINE: SpaRitual Three-Piece Natural Soy Massage Candles. BEAUTY: Hand-poured into recycled glass cylinders, each candle utilizes soy, coconut and apricot waxes infused with essential oils to provide fragrant illumination or a luxurious massage. BEACON: Vegan, and contains no synthetic dyes, dibutyl phthalate, toluene or formaldehyde.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Technicolor Makeup Trends

Special shout-out to Nicki Minaj. She lights 29 candles today. 

It's anyone's guess what the Trinidadian-born recording artist will wear for her birthday celebration. She's known for her platinum wigs, but there's nothing vanilla about her style sense. Her Crayola crazed neon outfits, shoes and accessories never fail to dazzle and delight.

Hot hues have happily gone Hollywood. Pop superstars, such as Lady Gaga, Rihanna and Katy Perry, embrace vibrant pinks, oranges, purples and greens. It's music to our ears and, most of all, our eyes. 

We're seeing the same kaleidoscope of colors in cosmetics. Take a look at the latest wild, whimsical and wonderful trends in Technicolor makeup.



Nicki Minaj

BEAUTY: Essence Lipsticks (Coralize Me! and Like A Lady). BEACON: No animal testing.

BEAUTY: Milani Lipsticks (Mandarina and Rose Hip). BEACON: Cruelty free.

 BEAUTY: Smashbox Eyeshadow (Torch). BEACON: Recyclable packaging made with Sustainable Forestry Initiative Certified paper and soy ink.

BEAUTY: Sormé Treatment Cosmetics Lipstick (Confection) and Lip Thick Super Plumping Gloss (Empress). BEACON: No animal testing.

Lady Gaga

 BEAUTY: Jordana Bright Eyes Retractable Eyeliner (Green) and Color Effects Eyeshadow Powder (Double Effect). BEACON: Cruelty free.

 BEAUTY: Palladio Beauty Group Baked Eyeshadow Trio (Pop Idol). BEACON: No animal testing.

BEAUTY: Milani Infinite Liquid Eyeliner (Eternal) and Crystal Eyez Sparkling Eyeshadow (Gorgeous & Glowing). BEACON: Cruelty free.

Katy Perry

BEAUTY: Essence Eyeshadows (Disco Diva and Ultra Violet) and XXXL Shine Lipgloss (Rock On). BEACON: No animal testing.

 BEAUTY: Jordana Color Effects Eyeshadow Powder (Twofold) and Bright Eyes Retractable Eye Liner (Purple). BEACON: Cruelty free.

BEAUTY: Milani 3D Glitzy Glamour Gloss (Fashion Diva), Runway Eyes Fashion Shadows (Haute Couture) and Lip Flash Full Coverage Shimmer Gloss Pencil (In A Flash). BEACON: Cruelty free.

BEAUTY: Sormé Treatment Cosmetics Bio Natural Eyeshadow (Amethyst). BEACON: No animal testing.
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