Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Leap Year Day Beauty: Amethyst Shadows & Liners

Photo by Rob Lavinsky

Happy February 29--or, as it's more commonly known, Leap Year Day! 

Every four years, we enjoy an extra day in February. It serves as a corrective measure, since the earth doesn't orbit around the sun in precisely 365 days.  

For us, Leap Year Day means Leap Year Day of Beauty. We get an extra 24 hours to marvel over new makeup products. The birthstone of February is amethyst, so we're celebrating this special day with the latest pretty-in-purple eye shadows and liners. 

SHINE: essence Smokey Eyes Set (Purple Maniac). BEAUTY: Use the customized brush to highlight your eyes with the liner and the sponge to apply the powder shadow. BEACON: No animal testing.

SHINE: GloMinerals GloEye Shadow (Lilac). BEAUTY: Contour any eye shape with crease-free coverage. BEACON: Contains no talc, perfumes, chemical dyes, parabens or gluten.

SHINE: Milani Infinite Liquid Eye Liner (Endless). BEAUTY: Intense purple color lasts up to 24 hours with waterproof and smear-proof benefits. BEACONCruelty free.

SHINE: Sormé Treatment Cosmetics Bio Natural Eye Shadow (Amethyst). BEAUTY: Pomegranate and green tea extracts help provide a long-lasting, rich purple color. BEACON: No animal testing, and talc and paraben free. Also supports Look Good...Feel Better. 

SHINE: Sue Devitt Electric Sheen Eye Shadow (Hopetown). BEAUTY: Creates a gem-like amethyst shimmer color. BEACON: No animal testing. Paraben free. 

SHINE: Youngblood Mineral Cosmetics Pressed Mineral Eyeshadow Quad (Purple Majesty). BEAUTY: Contains four eye-popping shades, including Moonstone, Lilac Bouquet, Wild Orchid and Heather Smoke. BEACON: No animal testing and cruelty free. Also free of alcohol, artificial fragrances and dyes. 

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Radiant Skin Superstars of the Academy Awards

Meryl Streep broke her losing streak at the Academy Awards by winning her third Best Actress Oscar. Although she's been nominated more than a dozen times, she hasn't brought home a golden statue since her last Best Actress nod for Sophie's Choice in 1983. However, her critically acclaimed portrayal of Margaret Thatcher in The Iron Lady ultimately upset the heavily favored performance of Viola Davis in The Help

The 62-year-old actress also broke taboos about growing older in Hollywood. Streep looked stellar in a liquid gold Lanvin gown with a plunging neckline--albeit no wardrobe malfunctions. Made from Eco Certified Fabric, her full-length threads participated in the evening's Green Carpet Challenge. 

Streep struck more gold with her glowing complexion. It's not known how she or the other nominees nourish their luminous faces, but the following products help revitalize aging, sun-damaged or dull skin. Most of all, they give you the ability to look like a superstar at any age.  

SHINE: Best Actress winner Meryl Streep (The Iron Lady) looks 42 rather than 62.

BEAUTY: June Jacobs Age Defying Copper Complex contains extracts from green and white tea leaf, and pomegranate, grape seed and goji berry fruits to tone and tighten skin. BEACON: Contains no parabens, preservatives, petrochemicals, synthetic dyes or fragrance, or sulfates.

SHINE: Although Best Actress nominee Voila Davis (The Help) didn't prevail with an Oscar, she still possesses an award-winning smile that accentuates her inner and outer beauty. 

BEAUTY: Babor Derma Cellular Anti-Wrinkle Booster For Lips contains hyaluronic acid to create a visibly smoothing effect. BEACON: Free of parabens, mineral oil, fragrance and artificial colorants.

SHINE: Best Actress nominee Michelle Williams (My Week with Marilyn) strutted her Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend sparkle on the red carpet.

BEAUTY: SkinCeuticals B5 Hydrating Masque helps restore skin's natural moisture balance with hyaluronic acid and vitamin B5. BEACON: Paraben free.

SHINE: The white Givenchy gown of Best Actress nominee Rooney Mara (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) matched her cream-colored skin. 

BEAUTY: Formulated for dry/irritable faces, Skyn Iceland Pure Cloud Cleanser utilizes jojoba oil, aloe leaf juice and shea butter to provide intense hydration, while also dissolving dirt and softening the skin. BEACON: Cruelty free and vegan.

SHINE: Best Supporting Actress winner Octavia Spencer (The Help) maintains a youthful appearance with her dewy complexion. 

BEAUTY: Kate Somerville Quench Oil Free Hydrating Face Serum contains plumeria flower extract to help maximize hydration, and peptides and hyaluronic acid to minimize expression lines. BEACON: No animal testing.

SHINE: Best Supporting Actress nominee Janet McTeer (Albert Nobbs) looks fabulous at 50.

BEAUTY: Naturopathica Sweet Cherry Brightening Enzyme Peel exfoliates sun-damaged or mature skin with sweet cherry seed oil and pomegranate extract to restore vitality. BEACON: Paraben free. Also supports The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics and the Green Spa Network.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Mardi Gras Manis

Let the fun and frivolity begin. Today's Fat Tuesday, which means it's all about the Big Easy, Bourbon Street, beads--and maybe a few brews.

Fat Tuesday, also known as Mardi Gras, falls on the day before Ash Wednesday on the Catholic calendar. In the 12 days leading up to it, dozens of celebrations take place in the French Quarter of New Orleans with parades of fancy floats, and face-painted revelers wearing elaborate masks, wild costumes and tons of colorful beads. Call it Halloween on steroids with lots of sparkle. 

In honor of Fat Tuesday, we've created four shimmering Mardi Gras Manis. The traditional colors of the festivities--gold, purple and green--serve as the inspiration. 

SHINE: Dazzle Dry Grape Lollipop (purple), Sahara (yellow) and Emerald (green jewel effect). BEAUTY: Parade around in a purple mani featuring two accent nails of yellow (ring finger) and green (pinky).

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

Mani model/nail artist: Natalie J. Wilson

SHINE: Milani Nail Lacquer High Speed Fast Dry Yellow Whiz (warm canary cream) and Milani Nail Art Purple Outline (purple glitter). BEAUTY: Unmask the glory of yellow digits with shimmery purple tips.

BEACON: Free of dibutyl phthalate, toluene and formaldehyde.

SHINE: SpaRitual Disco Inferno Shimmer (iridescent purple), Enlightened Soul Creme (bright yellow) and Earth Matters (green glitter). BEAUTY: The party never ends with this color block mani. Begin with a top coat and then paint each nail with two coats of yellow. Next, apply two layers of green to the top two-thirds of each digit. Finish with two coats of a wide purple bar down the center of the yellow block and a top coat. 

BEACON: Vegan, and contains no synthetic dyes, dibutyl phthalate, toluene or formaldehyde.

Mani model/nail artist: Natalie J. Wilson

SHINE: Zoya Nail Polish Holly (gem-toned, metallic green), Charisma (neon magenta/purple cream) and Creamy (bright yet soft banana peel shade of yellow). BEAUTY: Enhance the fun and festivities of Fat Tuesday--or any other day of the week--with a sparkling green mani accented by a purple/magenta ring finger nail with a yellow tip.

BEACON: No animal testing. Also contains no toluene, camphor, formaldehyde or dibutyl phthalate.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Grammy Hair Look: Adele's Honey Blonde Long Bob

Adele emerged as the belle of the ball at the Grammy Awards last Sunday. The 23-year-old British soul singer went six-for-six in a clean sweep, including trophy take-homes in the top three categories: Album, Record and Song of the Year.

The cockney crooner looked stunning in a black Alexander McQueen long-sleeved gown. Her hair also hit a high note. She traded in her usual '60s backcombed bouffant for a bouncy, lighter-than-usual honey blonde long bob. The look worked well with her flawless complexion, and pinup-inspired red lips and extra long lashes.

It's easy to rock the same hot hair look. You just need the right products for color-treated locks, and tools that create fullness and volume. Check out the following fab finds. 

SHINE: Bio Supplements Mocha Cappuccino Shampoo and Conditioner (For Dry, Chemically-Treated Hair). BEAUTY: Cocoa and coffee extracts help hydrate and provide anti-fade protection. BEACON: No animal testing. 

 SHINE: Infiniti PRO by Conair Volume Boost Hair Dryer. BEAUTY: 1875-watt AC motor, volume-boost styling tool attachment, ionic ceramic technology and three heat/two speed switches for temperature and air-flow control promote fullness and minimize frizz. BEACON: Supports The Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

SHINE: Jason Color Protect Henna Pure Natural Shampoo and Conditioner. BEAUTY: Henna extract fights fading, while wheat protein maximizes luster. BEACON: No animal testing. Also free of petrolatum, parabens, SLS and phthalates.

SHINEJohn Frieda JFC 10 Volume Curls 1.5-Inch Barrel. BEAUTY: Ceramic titanium coated barrel, advanced ionic conditioning, 30-second instant heat and LCD temperature control enhance manageability, definition and curl. BEACONKao Brands, the parent company, supports United Way and Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières.

SHINE: Nature Pure Labs Rejuvahair Volumizing VitaBotanical Shampoo and Rejuvahair Hippophae Restoring Hair Conditioner. BEAUTY: Formulated with jojoba seed oil and vitamins A and E to enhance softness and fullness. BEACON: No animal testing. Contains no parabens.  

 SHINE: Pureology Serious Colour Care Hydrate Shampoo and Hydrate Condition. BEAUTY: The shampoo features wheat, soy and oat proteins, and sunflower seed oil and aloe vera leaf extract, while the conditioner utilizes jojoba and shea butters, and peppermint, sage and rosemary leaf extracts, to aid in moisture and color retention. BEACON: Vegan, and free of sulfates and salt. Also supports Global Green USA.

SHINE: TouchBack Plus Instant Color Renewal Leave-In Conditioner (Ash Blonde, Light Brown and Dark Auburn). BEAUTY: Wheat protein, wild rose extract and lemon peel oil promote shine, fade protection and manageability. BEACON: Vegan and no animal testing. Free of ammonia, peroxide and sulfates.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Sexy Lip Gloss Shades For Valentine's Day

Photo by Shazeen Samad

Looking for the perfect pout on Valentine's Day? Well, pucker up!

Lip gloss adds shine, sparkle and style to any smile. Even better, many manufacturers now offer formulas containing unique blends of botanicals, peptides and antioxidants to not only plump your pout but protect it against environmental irritants. Ultimately, your lips appear more voluptuous for an alluring look.

Have a happy Valentine's Day--and get kissable close with the following sexy shades.

SHINE: Babor Cosmetics Ultra Shine Lip Gloss ("Crystal Pink," a sparkling sheer hot pink). BEAUTY: Sea fennel, lupine oil and vitamin E protect the lips from loss of moisture. BEACON: No animal testing. Supports Dolphin Aid.

SHINE: Elf Studio Minty Lip Gloss ("New York City," a reddish-pink shade with silver shimmer). BEAUTY: Peppermint and spearmint oils condition lips and freshen breath. BEACON: Cruelty free.

SHINE: Essence Stay With Me Longstanding Lipgloss ("Berry Me!," a raspberry/magenta hue). BEAUTY: Creamy yet durable texture leaves no sticky feeling. BEACON: No animal testing.

SHINE: Milani Haute Flash Full Coverage Shimmer Lipgloss ("In A Flash," a violet shade with purple and blush shimmer). BEAUTY: A flexible soft sponge tip provides easy application of this non-tacky, anti-feathering formula. BEACON: Cruelty free.

SHINE: Smashbox Limitless Long Wear Lip Gloss SPF 15 ("Forever," a barely there pink hue). BEAUTY: Vitamins A, C and E, and sea kale revitalize and nourish lips with a silky texture. BEACON: Cruelty free.

SHINE: Sormé Treatment Cosmetics Lip Thick Super Plumping Lip Gloss ("Empress," a mandarin orange sorbet shade). BEAUTY: Aloe vera prevents cracking, while peptides stimulate natural collagen to increase fullness. BEACON: No animal testing. Supports Look Good...Feel Better.

SHINE: Sue Devitt Lip Enhancing Gloss ("Costa Del Sol," a rich mocha hue). BEAUTY: Hyaluronic filling spheres smooth fine lines and wrinkles. BEACON: No animal testing. Paraben free.

SHINE: Vapour Organic Beauty Elixir Plumping Lip Gloss ("Vivid," a sheer fuchsia shade with a silver accent). BEAUTY: Jojoba seed oil, and acai and goji fruit extracts help hydrate for fuller lips. BEACON: Supports the Cleveland Clinic Lerner Research Institute.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Read in the Bathtub Day: Nourishing Body Care

If you haven't played hooky from work or school yet this year, today might be the time to do it. It's National Read in the Bathtub Day.

R&R stands for read and relax--with no guilt attached. So feel free to act like you don't have a care in the world as you curl up with a good book and soak in the tub with no time restrictions.

In your pursuit of peacefulness, consider the following bath and body products--and enjoy your home spa day.  

 SHINE: Babor Vitamin A-C-E Body Cream (Body Line Thermal). BEAUTY: Sweet almond oil and vitamins A, C and E protect against environmental stress and strengthen skin's elasticity. BEACON: Supports Dolphin Aid.

SHINE: Burt's Bees Naturally Nourishing Milk & Shea Butter Body Wash. BEAUTY: Replenishes moisture with non-fat dry milk and shea butter. BEACON: No animal testing. Free of sulfates, parabens, phthalates and petrochemicals.

SHINE: Elemis Tranquil Touch Creamy Body Wash and Quiet Mind Relaxing Bath Elixir. BEAUTY: The body wash utilizes sweet almond, cedarwood and patchouli oils, while the bath elixir uses eucalyptus leaf, lemon peel and patchouli oils to promote tranquility and skin conditioning. BEACON: No animal testing. Free of animal-derived collagen, synthetic perfumes and coloring, mineral oil, alcohol and silicones.

SHINE: Lather Yuzu Bergamot Body Wash and Manuka Body Butter with Grapefruit & Juniper. BEAUTY: The body wash features yuzu peel and bergamot fruit oils, as well as cucumber, green tea and rosemary extracts, while the body butter utilizes grapefruit peel and juniper berry fruit oils to cleanse and moisturize the skin, and uplift the senses. BEACON: Contains no sulfates or parabens.

SHINE: Malie Organics Body Cream. BEAUTY: Hydrates and soothes the skin with coconut, kukui and macadamia nut oils, and aloe vera leaf juice. BEACON: No animal testing. Free of parabens, sulfates and petroleum.

SHINE: Shea Terra Organics Ultimate Moisturizing Body Creme (Rubi Rose Hips). BEAUTY: Softens skin and reduces scaling with rose hips seed oil and shea butter. BEACON: No animal testing.

SHINE: Weleda Pomegranate Regenerating Body Oil and Pomegranate Creamy Body Wash. BEAUTY: The body oil utilizes pomegranate and jojoba seed oils, while the body wash features pomegranate, sesame and macadamia nut seed oils to promote skin renewal. BEACON: Free of synthetic fragrances, colorants, preservatives and raw materials derived from mineral oils. 

SHINE: Whish Body Wash and Body Butter. BEAUTY: The body wash uses aloe vera leaf juice, pomegranate oil and cucumber fruit extract, while the body butter features shea butter, raspberry juice and lavender oil to purify, firm and moisturize. BEACONFree of parabens, sulfates and petrochemicals.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Get Madonna's Age-Defying Super Bowl Look

Did you catch Madge Madness at Sunday's Super Bowl? Madonna brought down the house during her comeback halftime show by performing classic hits, such as "Vogue" and "Like A Prayer," alongside her new release "Give Me All Your Luvin'." 

Fans say the 53-year-old pop icon looks better in 2012 than she did in 1982. She's fit, fabulous and, most of all, firm. No wrinkle would dare strike a pose on that face.

Madonna denies plastic surgery rumors. Instead, she credits her youthful radiance to anti-aging creams and a macrobiotic diet. This old school Material Girl appears to keep things fresh with the three Rs of skin care--repair, restore and renew. 

You can get the same look with the following serums, moisturizers and cleansers for the face, neck and bust. They're super smoothing and softening.

SHINE: VB Cosmetics Abrioné Face Lifting Serum. BEAUTY: Reduces puffiness, inflammation, sagging and wrinkles with Tibetan goji berry extracts and orange oil. BEACON: No animal testing. 

SHINE: Dermelect Self-Esteem Neck Firming Lift. BEAUTY: Avocado oil, green tea extract and shea butter hydrate, firm and tighten sensitive areas of the neck and jawline. BEACON: No animal testing.

SHINE: Elemis Pro-Collagen Lifting Treatment Neck and Bust. BEAUTY: Utilizes shea butter, and sunflower and macadamia nut seed oils to reduce skin crepiness by up to 33%, according to manufacturer. BEACON: No animal testing. Contains no synthetic perfumes or coloring, mineral oil, alcohol, silicones or genetically modified crops.

SHINE: Fleur's Intensive Wrinkle Firming Serum and First Wrinkle Cream. BEAUTY: Shea butter and linseed extract help preserve skin's youthfulness by smoothing expression lines. BEACON: No animal testing.  

SHINE: Kate Somerville Deep Tissue Repair. BEAUTY: Designed to reduce depth, density and volume of wrinkles with macadamia nut seed oil, peptides and grapefruit peel oil. BEACON: No animal testing. 

SHINE: Refineé Age Recovery Cream and Line Stop. BEAUTY: Utilizes peptides, green tea leaf extract and aloe vera to relax and diminish the look of expression lines, crows feet, furrows and folds. BEACON: No animal testing.

SHINE: Sanítas PeptiDerm Moisturizing Cream. BEAUTY: Peptides, hyaluronic acid, vitamin C and shea butter help restore skin’s natural elasticity. BEACON: Supports the Cinderella Foundation.  

SHINE: Stages of Beauty Harmony Daily Cleanser and Exfoliating Scrub. BEAUTY: Designed to combat free radical damage and encourage a balanced and glowing complexion with sugar cane extract, and orange and lemon fruit extracts. BEACON: No animal testing. Also free of sulfates, parabens, petrochemicals, GMOs, phthalates, fragrance and synthetic dyes.
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