Friday, December 20, 2013

Holiday Hairstyles: 5 Celebrity-Inspired Pixie Cuts that Create Dramatic Short & Sassy Looks

Jennifer Lawrence: The long and...

For Jennifer Lawrence, 2013 will always be known as the year that began with a thud and ended with a big bang. Remember what happened when she ascended the staircase to accept her Academy Award for Best Actress in Silver Linings Playbook last February? The superstar stumbled and tumbled as she tripped on her floor-length Dior gown.  

Lawrence now makes headlines for another reason. Her portrayal as Katniss Everdeen in Hunger Games: Catching Fire helped the movie shatter all box office records. Plus, she's receiving critical acclaim this month for her performance as the reckless wife of a con artist in the '70s disco era crime drama American Hustle--opening in wide release today. 

...the short of it.

Then, in the middle of the back-to-back flick frenzy, Lawrence made a bold beautynista move. She chopped off her long locks to sport a playful pixie cut. The crop top trend, which has been embraced by several celebs, allows you to create versatile day and evening looks without a lot of muss and fuss. Your hair also dries faster, and you end up using less amounts of styling products--so they last longer. 

Ready to take your strands from flowing to fierce this holiday season? Check out the latest short and sassy styles from Miley Cyrus, Beyoncé, Jennifer Hudson and Pamela Anderson. We've also included must-have hair tools, accessories, styling products, and shampoos and conditioners to help make the transition easier. 

Happy hair holidays!


Photo by Nat Ch Villa
Before: Curls just wanna have fun.

After: You go, girl!


Photo by Adam Bielawski
Before: Fashionista.

After: Beautynista.


Photo by Angela George
Before: Hannah Montana locks.

After: Miley Cyrus rocks.


Photo courtesy PETA
Before: Beachy.

After: Bitchin'.

SHINE: 100% Pure Volumizing Shampoo (Kelp & Mint). BEAUTY: Purify and protect your hair, while also adding luster to your locks, with aloe vera leaf juice, peppermint and kelp extracts, virgin coconut oil and vitamin E. BEACON: Vegan, and gluten and cruelty free. Also contains no detergents, synthetic chemicals, or artificial fragrances or colors.

SHINE: Affinage Sham Rock Styling Hairpaste. BEAUTY: Apply to dry or damp hair to create hold and high shine during holiday party season. BEACON: Supports The Alternative Hair Charitable Foundation.

SHINE: Alba Botanica Leave-In Conditioning Mist (Drink It Up Coconut Milk) and Anti-Frizz Serum (So Smooth Gardenia). BEAUTY: The mist smoothes unruly curls and brings locks back to life, while the serum tames flyaways for a more polished look. BEACON: No animal testing and vegan. Free of sodium lauryl sulfate, parabens, phthalates, artificial colors and silicones. Supports Furry Friends Rescue, Farm Sanctuary and Kitten Rescue.

SHINEBeauty Without Cruelty Aromatherapy Hair Care Shampoo and Conditioner (Rosemary, Mint, Tea Tree). BEAUTY: Step up shine, smoothness and scent with rosemary, sweet orange, peppermint and tea tree oils. BEACONVegan and no animal testing. Free of parabens, SLS/SLES and synthetic fragrances.

SHINE: Belson Products Gold 'N Hot Professional 1875 Watt Ionic Ultra-Lightweight Dryer with Tourmaline. BEAUTY: The tourmaline-infused outlet grille emits negative ion heat to minimize frizz and maximize shine. BEACONThe parent company, Helen of Troy, supports the American Cancer Society.

SHINE: Davines Oi Absolute Beautifying Shampoo, Oi All In One Milk and Oi Absolute Beautifying Conditioner. BEAUTY: The shampoo and conditioner help boost body and brilliance, while the milk facilitates blow drying and fights frizz. BEACON: Free of parabens and sulphates. No animal testing.

SHINE: Jane Carter Solution Hair Nourishing Serum. BEAUTY: Strengthen your strands and prevent the possibility of breakage with essential oils of lemon, grapefruit and ylang ylang, and vitamins A, D and E. BEACON: Supports Women For Women.

SHINE: Maijan Argan Oil Shimmer Shine Spray. BEAUTY: Argan, rosewood and ylang ylang flower oils, along with grapeseed extract, help boost the shimmer power of your strands without leaving any residue. BEACON: Vegan and no animal testing. Contains no alcohol, parabens or sulfates. 

SHINEScunci headbands. BEAUTY: Meet your main squeeze under the mistletoe with these on-trend metallic hair accessories, which can be found at mass market retailers. BEACON: The parent company, Conair, supports the American Red Cross and National Dance Institute.

SHINE: Sonoma Soap Company Daily Shampoo and Daily Conditioner (Citrus Medley). BEAUTY: Enhance moisturization and silkiness with tangerine, grapefruit and orange oils, and aloe vera leaf juice. BEACONNo animal testing and vegan. Free of parabens, gluten and artificial colors. Supports Clean the World.

SHINE: Unilever TRESemmé Fresh Start Dry Shampoo (Color Care) and 24 Hour Body Non-Aerosol Hair Spray. BEAUTY: The shampoo helps you refresh the look and feel of your hair between washes without leaving any visible residue, while the hair spray fights frizz and maximizes manageability and volume. BEACON: The Unilever Foundation supports Oxfam, Save the Children, UNICEF and the World Food Programme

Monday, December 16, 2013

Merry Macaron Manis: Start Your Own Nail Art Trend this Holiday Season with Pretty Pastry Party Polishes

Photo by Nurit Gazit

Move aside cupcakes, there's a new sheriff in town. Macaron mania has swept the country--and just in time for the holidays. Call it confection heaven!

Think of these pretty pastries as a somersault for your senses. A generous amount of ganache, buttercream or jam layered between two meringue-based almond biscuits sends your taste buds into a tizzy. Even better, these decadent dessert sandwiches come in several colorful creations--mint, pistachio, coffee, lemon, raspberry, coconut and chocolate.

The festive flavors inspired us to present playful party polishes for one-of-a-kind Merry Macaron Manis. Winter whites, noteworthy neons, mighty mochas and pretty pastels come together to make bold style statements. Alternate the shades on each digit, create a polka dot accent nail, or paint eye-popping half moons or French tips. 

This is the best time of the year to be a beautynista. So have yourself a holly, jolly mani season!

Photo by Louise Docker

SHINE: Color Club Professional Nail Lacquer. BEAUTY: Twiggie (retro green), Warhol (neon pink) and Almost Famous (bright yellow). BEACON: Free of toluene, dibutyl phthalate and formaldehyde. Vegan and no animal testing.

Photo by Louise Docker

SHINE: Dazzle Dry Nail Lacquer. BEAUTYCotton Candy (bright pink cream), Broadway Beige (medium tone taupe cream) and Pea Pod (light yellowish green semi sheer shimmer). BEACON: Vegan, and contains no formaldehyde, toluene, dibutyl phthalate, camphor or nitrocellulose. 

Photo by Keven Law

SHINE: Color Club Professional Nail Lacquer. BEAUTY: Age of Aquarius (turquoise), Blushing Rose (pink), Almost Famous (bright yellow) and Killer Curves (daring brown). BEACON: Free of toluene, dibutyl phthalate and formaldehyde. Vegan and no animal testing.

Photo by Nurit Gazit

SHINEDazzle Dry Nail LacquerBEAUTY: Strawberry Macaron (light pink cream), White Lightning (white cream) and Sahara (bright yellow cream). BEACON: Vegan, and contains no formaldehyde, toluene, dibutyl phthalate, camphor or nitrocellulose. 

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

2013 Glow Gift Guide: Festive Skin, Hair, Cosmetics & Nail Products for the Beautynistas in Your Life

Photo courtesy Nandaro

Sleigh bells start ringing early in my household. Each year, my family begins craving classic confections during the holidays--brownies, brittle, cakes, candies and cookies. We call it, "The Santa Sugar Rush."

Another rush takes place at about the same time for all of us--shopping for the ideal gift. If you can't decide between electronics, jewelry or clothing, consider a sweet treat for the face and body, such as cosmetics, nail, hair and skin gift sets and kits. These beauty products appeal to a variety of ages and lifestyles. They can also be purchased online, so you don't need to trudge through the snow or combat crowds at the mall.

Take a look-see at our favorite beauty brands in our bi-annual Glow Gift Guide (the next one appears during Mother's Day month). These festive sets and kits are designed to brighten the holidays for you and your loved ones--and release the inner beautynista in all of us.

Have a safe and sweet celebration this season.


SHINE: BareMinerals from Nordstrom Beauty Show Me the Shimmer Set. BEAUTY: Six spellbinding sparklers for your smoochers--Crowd Pleaser, Superstar, Icon, Scene Stealer, Head Turner and Femme Fatale--give you a glamorous glow. BEACON: No animal testing. The parent company, Bare Escentuals, supports BE Cares, Lupus Foundation of America, National Rosacea Society and The Skin Cancer Foundation.

SHINE: Youngblood Mineral Cosmetics Holiday 2013 All About Eyes. BEAUTY: Glam your gaze with Outrageous Lashes Mineral Lengthening Mascara (Blackout), Extreme Pigment Eye Liner Pencil (Blackest Black) and Eye Impact Quick Recovery Eye Cream (sample size). BEACON: No animal testing. Free of parabens, petroleum, mineral oil, talc, alcohol, or artificial fragrances and colorants.


SHINE: Neuma The Gift of Moisture Kit. BEAUTY: Create standout, stylish strands with neuMoisture Shampoo, neuMoisture Condition, neuStyling Smoothing Creme and neuRepair Argan Oil. BEACON: Contains no synthetic fragrance, phthalates, neurotoxins, sulfates, aluminum or ammonia compounds, parabens, laureths, glycols, benzyl alcohol, SLS, petrochemicals or synthetic coloring agents.

SHINE: Number 4 Hair Care Knot-ty or Nice Holiday Collection (Mighty Hair Spray, Fluoro5 Elixer Restore & Repair Oil and Maddyloo Hair Band Set). BEAUTY: Add texture, shine and style to polished or messy updos and ponytails, or soft flowing waves. BEACON: Vegan and no animal testing. Free of sulfates, gluten and parabens.


SHINE: Dazzle Dry Mini Kit with 4 Xtreme Glitters. BEAUTY: Have yourself a merry metallic mani with these four festive lacquers--Caught Red Handed, Cold As Ice, Gold Digger and Pixie Green with Envy. BEACON: Vegan, and contains no formaldehyde, toluene, dibutyl phthalate, camphor or nitrocellulose. 

SHINE: Deborah Lippmann from Nordstrom Beauty Holiday Color Duet--Fast Girls and Addicted to Speed. BEAUTY: Dazzle your digits with lively lacquers, and base and top coats that come with a glamorous glittery carrying case. BEACON: No animal testing. Also contains no toluene, formaldehyde and dibutyl phthalate.


SHINE: Fleur's Moisturizing Duo Gift Set Scrub & Cream Duo (Golden Peel and Intense Moisturizing Cream). BEAUTY: The peel gently exfoliates and restores radiance to your skin with papaya enzymes, while the rose oil enriched cream helps create a dewy complexion. BEACON: No animal testing and vegan. Free of fragrances, dyes, sulfates, petrolatum, alcohol, mineral oil and parabens.

SHINE: From the Lab AM/PM Cleanser No. 586. BEAUTY: Minimize signs of premature aging, as this oil-free facial cleanser utilizes willow bark extract, lactic acid and winged kelp extract to tighten your pores, purify your skin and stimulate collagen production. BEACON: No animal testing. Free of parabens.

SHINE: Jack Black Lip Balm Balm Squad. BEAUTY: For the men in your life, four flavors of Intense Therapy Lip Balms SPF 25--Natural Mint & Shea Butter, Grapefruit & Ginger, Black Cherry & Pomegranate and Asian Pear & White Tea--keep his lips softened and shielded from the sun all year long. BEACON: No animal testing. Free of synthetic fragrances, parabens, sulfates and colorants.

SHINE: MyChelle Dermaceuticals Hello Beautiful Collection (Age Defense). BEAUTY: Take a stand against signs of premature aging with this six-step regimen--Creamy Pumpkin Cleanser, Fruit Fiesta Peel, G2 Instant Firming Serum, Fruit Enzyme Mist, Revitalizing Night Cream and Sun Shield SPF 28 Unscented. BEACON: Cruelty free. Contains no gluten.

SHINE: Pacifica Natural Body Butter Trio. BEAUTY: Protect and pamper your skin with these must-have moisturizers--Tuscan Blood Orange, Indian Coconut Butter and Hawaiian Ruby Guava. BEACON: Vegan and cruelty free. Contains no mineral oil, sulfates, parabens, gluten, petroleum or FD&C colors.

SHINE: PevoniaPro Celebrate Radiance Micro-Retinol Repair Gift Set. BEAUTY: Get a deep skin, gotta-have-it glow with Spa Clinica Micro-Retinol Essential Moisturizer, Spa Clinica Micro-Retinol Essential Cleanser and Spa Clinica Micro-Retinol Essential Serum, as well as a white quilted cosmetics bag and gift box. BEACON: No animal testing. Free of parabens, alcohol, lanolin, mineral oil, PABA, urea, formaldehyde, artificial colors and sulfates. Supports the Beauty Bus Foundation.

SHINE: Phytocéane Holiday Body Beauty Gift Set. BEAUTY: Enjoy silky, smooth and scented skin with Toning Shower Gel and Rich Smooth Body Cream. BEACON: No animal testing. Treats wastewater from the production site using an eco-friendly process called Filtration Gardens.

SHINE: PrecisionMD Vivatia Advanced Skincare System Level 1. BEAUTY: This Gentle Cream Cleanser, Active Repair Complex, Brightening Complex and Restoring Moisturizer have been designed with a proprietary foam delivery system that helps minimize the appearance of fine lines, and maximize tone and texture. BEACON: No animal testing. Free of parabens.

SHINE: Refineé Purifying Travel Kit (Exfoliating Fruit Cleanser, Soothing Floral Toner, Citrus C Purifying Mask and Line Stop Wrinkle Inhibitor). BEAUTY: Mend and moisturize your skin to maintain a youthful appearance with this restorative four-piece collection. BEACON: No animal testing.

SHINE: Sanítas Skincare Holiday Nourishing Body Duo (Nourishing Body Balm and Nourishing Hand Cream). BEAUTY: Soothe, smooth and soften hands, elbows, feet, cuticles and knees with this set by utilizing sunflower oil, vitamins A, C and E, and lemon essential oils. BEACON: Free of paraben and preservatives. Supports the Cinderella Foundation

Photo by Mike Pennington

Monday, December 2, 2013

Cyber Monday Celebration: Holiday Cheer Skin Gear Giveaway

Saving money makes everyone smile. So, if you didn't get your fill of Black Friday bargains, Cyber Monday has arrived to rock your world with even more steals and deals. 

The Monday after Thanksgiving event began during the holiday season of 2005. Originally created by marketing pros to promote more traffic to online shopping destinations, it has now become one of the highest spending days of the year. 

In honor of Cyber Monday, we have put together a special Holiday Cheer Skin Gear Giveaway which doesn't cost you anything to enter. Valued at $900, it gives you the opportunity to win products from top skincare manufacturers--Prana SpaCeuticals, ProBios Laboratories and Skin Authority. These serums, lip treatments, cleansers, body oils, moisturizers and SPFs not only renew and revitalize your skin, but they also make you look and feel fabulous. 

The deadline to enter is Friday, December 20, 2013, at 9 p.m. (Pacific Standard Time). Good luck!


(PRIZE #1) SHINE: Prana SpaCeuticals Reflect SPF 45, Revitalize Lips SPF 18 and Reishi Mushroom Serum. BEAUTY: Pamper, protect and plump your skin to prevent damage from pollutants and early signs of premature aging. BEACON: No animal testing. Contains no parabens or SLS. RETAIL VALUE: Approximately $150.

BONUS: Prana SpaCeuticals ReVital Eyes. RETAIL VALUE: $52.

(PRIZE #2) SHINE: ProBios Laboratories Transderma R Serum, Transderma C Serum and Transderma M Serum. BEAUTY: Repair and refresh your skin with these luxurious serums to promote illumination, moisturization and rejuvenation. BEACON: No animal testing. Free of preservatives, fragrances, oil and alcohol. RETAIL VALUE: About $525.

(PRIZE #3) SHINE: Skin Authority Daily Cleanser, Night Revitalizer and Warming Glow Body Oil. BEAUTY: This transformational trio removes dirt and debris from your face, softens and brightens your complexion, and revitalizes dull looking skin. BEACON: No animal testing. Free of parabens, dyes and added fragrances. Supports Look Good...Feel BetterRETAIL VALUE: Approximately $125.

BONUS: Skin Authority Calming Mask. RETAIL VALUE: $52.


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). 

Entry Key
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 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 20, 2013, at 9 p.m. (Pacific Standard Time). More than 15 entries must be received by this date in order for a winner to be selected. A winner will then 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 liability, and waive any and all causes of action, related to claims, costs, injuries, losses or damages 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 Prana SpaCeuticals, ProBios Laboratories or Skin Authority, 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.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Golden Girl Taylor Swift: The Secret Behind Her Creamy Complexion at the American Music Awards

Taylor Swift proved once again that she's the golden goddess of the music industry. Dressed in a stunning shimmery gold outfit, she scored four top honors at the fan-voted American Music Awards last Sunday--including Artist of the Year for the third time.

Swift also wowed on the red carpet. The leggy songstress wore an itsy-bitsy strapless metallic minidress by Julien Macdonald, flowing long locks parted in the middle with lots of texture and full fringe from her eyelash-length bangs. She ditched her usual bright red lips and heavily lined peeps for a more sophisticated smoky eye/nude pout look.

What put her sexy silhouette over the top? Her silky skin! In addition to showing lots of leg and bare shoulders, her complexion appeared flawless. No doubt her makeup artist possesses an assortment of pressed and loose powder, and liquid foundations in her bag of tricks. Each has the ability to balance blotchy skin discolorations and hyperpigmentation, and conceal any signs of pore congestion or creasing caused by laughing or frowning. 

You don't need to be Hollywood's latest golden girl to create a creamy, clear complexion. We've compiled some of the best foundations on the market. They not only extend the wearability of makeup, but they also make your skin glow like a superstar. 

You'll be as good as gold for the holidays!

Photo by Eva Rinaldi

SHINE: 100% Pure Healthy Flawless Skin Foundation Powder with SPF 20 (Toffee). BEAUTY: Enjoy a poreless complexion appearance with titanium dioxide, zinc oxide, vitamins C and E, and pigmented extracts of fruit, such as peach, apricot, papaya and pomegranate. BEACON: Vegan, and gluten and cruelty free. Also contains no detergents, synthetic chemicals, or artificial fragrances or colors.

SHINE: Honeybee Gardens Pressed Mineral Powder (Geisha). BEAUTY: Titanium dioxide, iron oxide, mica and cucumber fruit extract help create clean, creaseless coverage. BEACON: No animal testing and vegan. Contains no parabens, talc, oil or fragrance.

SHINE: Julie Hewett Ora Mineral Mix Loose Foundations (Intensity 3 Dark and Intensity 1 Light). BEAUTY: Shield ultraviolet rays and add a matte finish to your face without clogging your pores by utilizing mica, titanium dioxide, green tea extract and zinc oxide. BEACON: No animal testing.

SHINE: Mineral Fusion Pressed Powder Foundation (Cool 1) and Sheer Tint Foundation (Warm). BEAUTY: Pomegranate seed and white tea leaf extracts, along with mica, titanium dioxide and zinc oxide, help you even skin tone and smooth the appearance of fine lines. BEACON: No animal testing. Free of gluten, parabens, SLS, phthalates, artificial colors and synthetic fragrances. Supports the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence.

SHINE: Sormé Treatment Cosmetics Believable Finish Wet/Dry Powder Foundation (Pure Beige). BEAUTY: Reinvent your visage with a radiant silky skin look by utilizing titanium dioxide, iron oxide, vitamins C and E, and avocado oil. BEACON: No animal testing. Supports Look Good...Feel Better. 
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