Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Put a Ring on It: Hydrating Hand Creams for Holiday Marriage Proposal Season

The Proposal by Giacomo Mantegazza (1853-1920)

Happy Thanksgiving week! Not only do Americans spend this special holiday connecting and calorie loading with family and friends, they also have a higher likelihood of getting engaged. Chalk it up to the sugar rush of pumpkin pies or the mass consumption of alcoholic beverages, but Thanksgiving curiously marks the start of proposal season--which lasts until the end of the year.

More than one in four grooms ask for their bride's hand in marriage on Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa or New Year's Eve. In fact, the months of November and December account for more than 25% of proposals, according to some reports. This means if you see someone getting down on bended knee during the holidays, chances are he probably doesn't intend to pick up cookie crumbs off the carpet. 

In honor of marriage proposal season, we've compiled several hand creams, lotions and scrubs. They not only promote the appearance of silky smooth hands, but they also deliver the moisture needed to fend off dry skin during the winter months. We can't guarantee that you'll be hearing wedding bells in your immediate future, but you'll definitely be the belle of the holiday ball.

SHINE: Ava Anderson Hand & Body Lotion. BEAUTY: Maximize moisture with aloe vera gel, shea butter, and sweet almond, pomegranate and coconut oils. BEACON: Vegan and no animal testing. Free of gluten, nuts, parabens, PEGs, SLS, triclosan, synthetic fragrances and dyes, phthalates, formaldehyde and nitrosamine.

SHINE: Elizabeth Grant Hand & Foot Cream. BEAUTY: Aloe vera extract and vitamin E nourish chapped hands, elbows and heels. BEACONNo animal testing. Supports Mount Sinai Hospital and Sick Kids Foundation.

SHINE: Fleur's Velvet Hand Cream. BEAUTY: Soften skin and prevent dehydration with shea and cocoa butters, sweet almond oil and honey extract. BEACONNo animal testing and vegan. Free of fragrances, dyes, sulfates, petrolatum, alcohol, mineral oil and parabens.

SHINE: Lamas Beauty by Peter Lamas Spa Sensuals Hand Cream and Hand Scrub. BEAUTY: Shea butter, sweet almond oil, and green tea and aloe vera leaf extracts help remove dead skin cells and prevent moisture loss. BEACONVegan and no animal testing. Free of parabens. 

SHINE: LATHER AHA Hand Creme with Evening Primrose. BEAUTY: Smooth and soften hands with alpha hydroxy acids, evening primrose oil and lemongrass leaves. BEACONNo animal testing. Free of sulfates and parabens.

SHINE: M-61 Vitablast C Hand Cream. BEAUTY: Grape seed and avocado oils, aloe vera leaf juice and vitamin E help nourish and brighten dehydrated hands. BEACONNo animal testing. Free of sulfates, parabens, phthalates, and synthetic fragrances and dyes. Supports Action Against Hunger

SHINE: Moonessence Hand & Body Moisturizer SPF 15 (Orange Honey). BEAUTY: Soothe dry skin and help prevent sunburn with aloe vera juice, coconut oil, zinc oxide and vitamin E. BEACON: Vegan and gluten free. Supports the Carousel Fund

SHINE: Phytoceane Hydra-Conditioning Hand Cream. BEAUTY: Green micro algae, red seaweed, shea butter and sweet almond oil increase skin's softness and suppleness. BEACON: Contains no parabens.

SHINE: Priti NYC Deep For Your Hands & Feet Organic Cream. BEAUTY: Stimulate circulation and promote youthful looking skin with shea butter, and grape seed, apricot kernel and peppermint oils. BEACONNo animal testing and vegan.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Holiday Follower Giveaway: Festive Cosmetics

Huddle hug--the holiday season has arrived!

We're welcoming this magical time of the year with three prize packages valued at approximately $375. Our latest giveaway showcases makeup from Afterglow Cosmetics, La Bella Donna and Sue Devitt

The deadline to enter is Friday, December 14, 2012, at 9 p.m. (Pacific Standard Time). Good luck and happy holidays!

UPDATE: Congrats to follower msrodeobrat! She's the lucky winner of all three prize packages in our Festive Cosmetics Giveaway. 

(PRIZE #1) SHINE: Afterglow Cosmetics Vegan Kabuki Brush with Metallic Purse, Organic Infused Foundations (Camel and Bisque), Ultra Matte Eye Shadow (Bark) and Organic Infused Blushes (Tickle and Cozy). BEAUTY: Create magic underneath the mistletoe. BEACONContains no petrochemicals, parabens, or FD&C or Lake dyes. Supports Young Survival Coalition and Campaign for Safe Cosmetics. RETAIL VALUE: Approximately $175

(PRIZE #2) SHINE: La Bella Donna Creme Fresh Mineral Blush Collection (Garnet), Mineral Light Lip Colour (Pink Sand), Compressed Mineral Eye Shadow (Petal Pink) and Baci-Baci Moisturizing Lip Sheer (Prism). BEAUTY: Be the jingle belle of the ball. BEACON: No animal testing. Free of FD&C dyes, oils, talc, alcohol and fragrance. RETAIL VALUE: About $115.

(PRIZE #3) SHINE: Sue Devitt Lip Enhancing Gloss (Golden Triangle), Gel-to-Powder Blush (Marion Reef), Luxury Lash Mascara (Black Lavender) and Lip Intensifier Pencil (Kirakira). BEAUTY: You'll be dreaming of a white Christmas with a pop of color. BEACON: No animal testing. Supports Coral Reef Initiatives for the Pacific and Blue Planet NetworkRETAIL VALUE: Approximately $85.


Three Steps To Enter:
1. If you're a legal resident of the continental USA, become a follower of SHINE Beauty Beacon via Google Friend Connect (GFC).
2. In the "Post a Comment" section below, tell us your email address and which prize or prizes you're interested in winning (i.e., Prize #1; Prizes #1 and #3; or Prizes #1, #2 and #3). NOTE: You'll be disqualified if you comment more than once.
3. Finally, please let us know which social media platforms you posted this giveaway (see "Entry Key" below). 

Please provide appropriate links for verification purposes.
--One entry: Become a GFC follower of SHINE Beauty Beacon.
--Two extra entries: Post this giveaway on Facebook.
--Three extra entries: Follow SHINE Beauty Beacon on Twitter at!/shinebeautybcn and/or tweet (or retweet) a link to this giveaway.
--Four extra entries: Follow SHINE Beauty Beacon on Pinterest at and/or pin a photo from this giveaway.
--Five extra entries: Post this giveaway on your own blog (must include our URL).

This giveaway is open only to legal residents of the continental USA. Winners must be able to supply a residential address, as merchandise cannot be delivered to a P.O Box. Must be 18 years of age or older to enter. The giveaway will end on Friday, December 14, 2012, at 9 p.m. (Pacific Standard Time). Winners will be chosen by and notified via the email address provided in the "Post a Comment" section of this post. Odds of winning depend upon the number of entries received (see "The Rules" above). No cash substitutions allowed. The winner must respond within 48 hours of being notified or a new one will be selected. Void where prohibited by law. Any tax is the sole responsibility of the winner. By entering the giveaway, you release SHINE Beauty Beacon from any liability whatsoever, and waive any and all causes of action, related to any claims, costs, injuries, losses or damages of any kind arising out of or in connection with the giveaway or delivery, misdelivery or acceptance of any prize (including, without limitation, claims, costs, injuries, losses and damages related to personal injuries, death, damage to or destruction of property, rights of publicity or privacy, defamation or portrayal in a false light, whether intentional or unintentional), whether under a theory of contract, tort (including negligence), warranty or other theory. SHINE Beauty Beacon isn't affiliated with Afterglow Cosmetics, La Bella Donna or Sue Devitt, but we purchased or received complimentary samples for review purposes.  

We look forward to your participation. If you have any questions, please feel free to email us at shinebeautybeacon(at)gmail(dot)com.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Facial Toners: The Rock Stars of Skin Care

Photo by Christopher Dube

I'm a proud resident of Eagle Rock, California--a diverse northeastern neighborhood of Los Angeles. It's named after a massive boulder located on the perimeter of the community that features a naturally carved indentation that casts a bird-shaped shadow. Over the years, several notable musicians have called this area their home--Zack de la Rocha of Rage Against the Machine, Zac Baird of Korn and Scott Shriner of Weezer. 

Our newest neighbor, Nathan Williams, plays guitar and fronts for indie rock group Wavves. He recently appeared on the July/August issue of Spin magazine with his girlfriend Bethany Cosentino of Best Coast. After meeting him, it got me thinking about rave reviews, groupies... and skin care.  

Wait, what? As odd as the connection may sound, I've always considered facial toners the rock stars of skin care. They don't have the look or feel of cleansers, serums/moisturizers or sunscreens, so screaming fans often allude them. However, you'll soon become a groupie after experiencing their healing benefits. Not only do they prepare your skin for better product penetration, but the also remove oil and dirt to reduce inflammation and acne breakouts, and revitalize the surface of your face for a more luminous appearance. 

We give the following toners rave reviews. With their help, you'll be rocking radiant skin in no time.

SHINE: Abrion√© by VB Cosmetics Vanishing Point 5. BEAUTY: Beta and alpha hydroxy acids slough dead skin cells and keep the new ones hydrated. BEACON: No animal testing.

SHINE: Burt's Bees Natural Acne Solutions Clarifying Toner. BEAUTY: Penetrate pores and prevent the risk of future breakouts with salicylic acid, and witch hazel leaf and lemongrass extracts. BEACON: No animal testing. Free of sulfates, parabens, phthalates and petrochemicals. Supports Habitat for Humanity

SHINE: Elizabeth Grant The Socializer Daily Tone Gel Toner. BEAUTY: Aloe vera leaf juice and hyaluronic acid help remove subsurface dirt without over drying the skin. BEACON: No animal testing. Supports the Children's Diabetes Foundation, Hollyrod Foundation and World Wildlife Fund.

SHINE: June Jacobs Green Tea and Cucumber Toner. BEAUTY: Neutralize free radicals and soothe the skin with green tea, cucumber and goji berry extracts. BEACON: Contains no parabens, preservatives, petrochemicals, sulfates, or synthetic dyes and fragrances.

SHINEL'Occitane Immortelle Essential Water. BEAUTY: Green tea extract and vitamin E help soften and smooth skin. BEACON: Supports L'Occitane Foundation.

SHINE: Pevonia Hydrating Toner. BEAUTY: Protect and nourish skin with hyaluronic acid, vitamin E and marine algae extracts. BEACON: No animal testing. Supports Beauty Bus Foundation.

SHINE: Refineé Soothing Floral Toner. BEAUTY: Vitamins A, C and E, and pomegranate, witch hazel leaf and green tea extracts minimize irritation and dryness. BEACON: No animal testing. Free of parabens.

SHINE: SkinCeuticals Equalizing Toner. BEAUTY: Remove residue and restore the skin's protective pH mantle with glycolic acid, aloe vera gel and witch hazel extract. BEACON: Supports the Melanoma Research Alliance.

SHINE: Sumbody Facial Toner and Acne Toner. BEAUTY: The facial toner utilizes alpha lipoic acid to provide anti-bacterial benefits, while the acne toner features witch hazel and peppermint to refresh the skin. BEACON: Free of parabens, animal oils, sodium laurel/laureth sulfates and artificial preservatives. 

SHINE: Vitaphenol Anti-Aging Toiner. BEAUTY: Balance and brighten skin tone with glycolic acid, and green and white tea leaf and pomegranate extracts. BEACON: No animal testing. 
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