Thursday, January 31, 2013

Milestone Stunners: Celebs Turning 40 in 2013

Portia de Rossi: January 31

Happy birthday to Portia de Rossi. The former "Ally McBeal" star, author of "Unbearable Lightness: A Story of Loss and Gain" and wife of Ellen DeGeneres reaches a milestone today as she turns 40.

Not only does she deserve props for her age-defying beauty, but we'd also like to recognize her fierce philanthropic efforts. She supports several children's charities, including Locks of Love, which provides wigs to needy youngsters who have lost their hair due to alopecia or other medical conditions, and The Art of Elysium, a group of actors, artists and musicians who volunteer their time and talent to terminally ill kids.

She's also an animal lover who dedicated herself to a vegan diet in 2008. As a result, she supports Alley Cat Allies, an organization established to protect and improve the lives of felines, and The Gentle Barn, which helps heal and nurture special-needs and at-risk children through its animal program.

As we celebrate de Rossi's milestone birthday, let's take a look at other celebrities turning 40 this year. We've also compiled several products designed to help your complexion look firm, fab and flawless as your skin matures.

Here's to aging gracefully!

Tori Spelling: May 16

Photo by Bob Bekian
Heidi Klum: June 1

Kate Beckinsale: July 26

Photo by Rachel Sklar
Kristen Wiig: August 22

Photo by Jeff Balke
Rose McGowan: September 5

Photo © Glenn Francis,
Tyra Banks: December 4

SHINE: 100% Pure Organic Argan Oil. BEAUTY: Argan oil deeply moisturizes the face, eye area, décolleté and hands to repair and replenish the skin. BEACON: Vegan, and gluten and cruelty free. Contains no detergents, synthetic chemicals, or artificial fragrances and colors.

SHINE: CellCeuticals PhotoDefense Daily Skin Protector SPF 55+. BEAUTY: Photoplex technology provides protection against sun exposure, while pear fruit, green tea leaf and pumpkin fruit extracts strengthen skin's natural defenses. BEACON: No animal testing and vegan. Free of artificial fragrances, PABA and parabens.

SHINE: Clarisonic ARIA Sonic Skin Cleansing System. BEAUTY: The system utilizes sonic micro message action to facilitate gentle exfoliation for softer and smoother skin, while the Refreshing Gel Cleanser promotes cellular turnover with willow bark, kiwi fruit and green tea leaf extracts. BEACON: The cleanser contains no parabens.

SHINE: Kate Somerville Serum Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 50+. BEAUTY: Protect against damaging UVA and UVB rays, and prevent sunburn and premature aging with titanium dioxide, aloe vera leaf juice and vitamin E. BEACON: No animal testing. Free of oils, parabens and alcohol.

SHINE: Murad Age Reform Perfecting Day Cream Broad Spectrum SPF 30 | PA+++. BEAUTY: Lemon peel and pomegranate extracts, hyaluronic acid, lecithin and vitamin E restore youthful skin. BEACON: No animal testing.

SHINE: Nature Pure Labs Lift Perfection SPF 20. BEAUTY: Counter signs of aging and protect against environmental damage with titanium dioxide, green tea extract, peptides and hyaluronic acid. BEACON: No animal testing. Contains no parabens, or artificial colors and fragrances. 

SHINE: Naturopathica Cassis Ultra Replenishing Cream. BEAUTY: Shea butter, vitamin E, orange peel and black currant seed oils, and hyaluronic acid promote restoration and radiance. BEACON: Contains no sulfate detergents, PEGs, DEA, TEA, parabens, glycols and urea. Supports American Botanical Council and The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics

SHINE: Nude Skincare ProGenius Treatment Oil. BEAUTY: Achieve luminosity and long-lasting skin cell nourishment with omega 3, 6, 7 and 9, and sweet almond and macadamia nut oils. BEACON: Vegan and no animal testing.

 SHINE: Transderma A by ProBios Labs Vitamin A Serum. BEAUTY: Olive fruit oil, and vitamins A and E absorb deeply to regenerate and renew skin. BEACON: No animal testing. Free of preservatives, fragrances, oil and alcohol. 

SHINE: Ren Clean Skincare Anti-Ageing Eye Cream. BEAUTY: Reduce the appearance of wrinkles, crow's feet and expression lines with shea butter, lingonberry seed oil, peptides and vitamin E. BEACON: Vegan and no animal testing. Free of synthetic fragrances and colors, petrochemicals, sulfates and parabens. 

SHINE: Somme Institute Serum. BEAUTY: Peptides, vitamins C and E, and orange and lime fruit extracts boost collagen and strengthen skin's elasticity. BEACON: No animal testing. Free of parabens.

Monday, January 28, 2013

7 Sizzling Hair Trends at the 2013 SAG Awards

And "the Actor" goes to... the best dressed red carpet arrivals at the Screen Actors Guild Awards. They never fail to disappoint with their gorgeous gowns, jaw-dropping jewels and stunning stilettos.

Let's not forget about the lovely locks that complete these luscious looks. Several chic styles stood out by showcasing classic comebacks, crazy cool colors, cascading curls and cutting-edge crops.

We're crushing on seven sizzling hair trends from the SAG Awards. Plus, we present the latest products that will help you make a style statement with your strands. Be prepared to go from flat to flattering in a flash with the following shampoos, conditioners, finishing sprays, tools, mousses, masques and accessories.


Jennifer Lawrence

Jessica Chastain

Naomi Watts


Tina Fey


Nicole Kidman


Anne Hathaway


Claire Danes


Amber Riley


Lea Michele

SHINE: Affinage Indigo Power Fast Dry Finishing Spray. BEAUTY: Provide full hold and control without weighing hair down. BEACON: Supports The Alternative Hair Charitable Foundation.

SHINE: Belson Products Gold 'N Hot 1" Titanium Spring Curling Iron. BEAUTY: Titanium technology helps prevent split ends and reduce frizz to provide smooth, sleek curls. BEACON: The parent company, Helen of Troy, supports the American Cancer Society and Big Brothers Big Sisters.

SHINE: Belson Products Gold 'N Hot 1" Professional Titanium Straightening Iron. BEAUTY: Suit your styling needs with floating titanium plates that glide through hair, and eliminate cool and hot spots. BEACON: The parent company, Helen of Troy, also supports Susan G. Komen for the Cure and the Special Olympics.

SHINE: Brazilian Supplements Bio Supplements Mocha Cappuccino Shampoo and Conditioner. BEAUTY: Heal and hydrate dry, damaged and chemically treated hair with vitamin E, and cocoa and coffee extracts. BEACONCruelty free and no animal testing.

SHINE: Garnier Fructis Style XXLBody Thickening Mousse (Ultra Strong). BEAUTY: Cotton flower, and green tea leaf and lemon extracts promote body for long-lasting volume and hold. BEACON: Partners with TerraCycle to design its packaging from post-consumer materials.

SHINE: güd from Burt's Bees Pearanormal Activity Natural Nourishing Shampoo and Softening Conditioner. BEAUTY: Moisturize and mend your mane with the scent of pear and açaí berry, hibiscus sabdariffa flower and peppermint leaf extract. BEACONNo animal testing and supports and Habitat for Humanity. Also contains no sulfates, parabens, phthalates or petrochemicals.

SHINE: ASP Kitoko Active PH Re-Balancer. BEAUTY: As a leave-in formulation, green tea leaf and date fruit extracts, shea butter, and vitamins A and E help to restore the hair's natural acidity and reduce porosity after chemical treatments. BEACON: Contains no waxes, mineral oils, parabens or sulfates. 

SHINE: Number 4 Hair Mighty Hair Spray. BEAUTY: Achieve style, body and hold with a humidity-resistant formula that includes sunflower seed oil and green tea leaf extract. BEACON: Vegan and no animal testing. Free of sulfates, gluten and parabens.

SHINE: Naturopathica Black Spruce Shampoo and Horsetail Hair Conditioner. BEAUTY: The shampoo utilizes sweet almond protein, olive leaf extract and black spruce essential oil, while the conditioner features olive and horsetail leaf extracts to lock in luster. BEACON: ECOCERT certified. Contains no sulfate detergents, PEGs, DEA, TEA, parabens, glycols and urea. Supports American Botanical Council and The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics.

SHINE: Peter Lamas Bamboo Nectar Shine Enhancing Shampoo and Conditioner. BEAUTY: Rejuvenate, repair and promote radiant hair with bamboo silica, vitamin B5 and palm fruit extracts. BEACONVegan and no animal testing. Contains no petrochemicals, parabens or sulfates. 

SHINE: Pureology Precious Oil Softening Hair Masque (for Brittle, Dull and Color-Treated Hair). BEAUTY: Sunflower seed and coconut oils soften and strengthen strands to stimulate shine. BEACONNo animal testing, vegan and free of sulfates. Supports Global Green USA.

SHINE: scünci Styleable 16" Faux Hair Ponytail (Dark Brunette). BEAUTY: This ponytail wrap can be straightened or curled to add instant length and style. BEACON: The parent company, Conair, supports American Red Cross, The Breast Cancer Research Foundation and St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Hot Nail Art: Morning Coffee Manis

Java, cup of joe, morning mud, jitter juice... No matter what you call it, coffee serves as the go-to beverage of choice for those looking for a fresh roasted flavor fix each morning. 

Americans drink about 400 million cups of coffee on a daily basis, according to some estimates. Not only does the aroma perk up your senses, but its tasty goodness also warms your body and soul. Many describe the flavor as chocolatey and nutty with hints of citrus and caramel. 

Coffee seems to taste better this time of the year--especially on a cold winter morning. I've been snowed in twice since I arrived in Lake Arrowhead, Calif., on Christmas Eve. My hot steaming cup of java juice became my BFF as I watched the frozen flakes fall. 

The last snow storm inspired me to create several Morning Coffee Manis using Zoya Nail Polish. They're bright and lively just like their namesake, and require no caffeine. 

So rise and shine. You'll be brewing up beautiful nail art for your tips in about as long as it takes to prepare your coffeemaker for the first cup of the day. Enjoy!


Photo by Nevit Dilmen 

Nail art by Natalie J. Wilson
SHINE: Zoya Nail Polish Helen (latte) and Christinna (foam milk heart). BEAUTY: Apply a base coat and two layers of Helen. Next, paint a heart with Christinna on one accent nail. Finish with a top coat. BEACON: Vegan and no animal testing. Contains no toluene, camphor, formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin or dibutyl phthalate.


SHINE: Zoya Nail Polish Gretchen (coffee and condensed milk poured over ice), Angelina (coffee) and Minka (condensed milk). BEAUTY: Apply a base coat and two layers of Minka. Then paint two coats of Angelina over two-thirds of each nail. Complete the mani with two layers of Gretchen over each tip and a top coat. BEACON: Vegan and no animal testing. Contains no toluene, camphor, formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin or dibutyl phthalate.


Photo by Lotus Head from Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa

SHINE: Zoya Nail Polish Ginessa (foam), Raven (coffee) and Richelle (cinnamon). BEAUTY: Start with a base coat and two layers of Raven. Next, place large dots of Ginessa with the tip of the nail brush. Just before it dries, run a toothpick through the lacquer to add texture. Finish with tiny dots of Richelle and a top coat. BEACON: Vegan and no animal testing. Contains no toluene, camphor, formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin or dibutyl phthalate.


SHINE: Zoya Nail Polish Raven (espresso) and Austine (foam). BEAUTY: Apply a base coat and two layers of Raven. Then paint two coats of Austine over each tip. Complete the look with a top coat. BEACON: Vegan and no animal testing. Contains no toluene, camphor, formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin or dibutyl phthalate.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Nutty Goodness: Nourishing Almond, Macadamia & Kukui Nut Oils for Dry Winter Skin

Happy new year! We had a couple of close calls, but thank goodness 2013 arrived safe and sound. Luckily, Mayan enthusiasts were wrong about the end of the world, and we somehow managed to avoid falling off the fiscal cliff.   

I'm still recovering from holiday celebrations. I happily indulged in way too many guilty pleasures, which curiously involved lots of nutty goodies--pecan pie, dark chocolate covered cashews and chocolate chip walnut cookies. They were all homemade using no gluten or dairy products, since I have special dietary needs.

Much to my delight, I received several packages of mixed nuts from family and friends as gifts. Almonds, pecans, pistachios, walnuts, macadamias and hazelnuts not only make ideal snacks, but they also pair well with veggies, breakfast cereals and desserts. High in protein, unsaturated fats and vitamins, they're known to help reduce cholesterol--as long as they're eaten in moderation, and not coated in sugar or salt.

The beauty industry embraces the healing properties of nuts too. In fact, many skincare manufacturers utilize the oils in their formulations to nourish the needs of damaged or dehydrated skin--which comes in handy during the dry winter months. Check out the most popular: 

Almond: Linoleic acid repairs the skin, while high oleic oil balances loss and absorption of moisture. 

Macadamia: Palmitoleic acid, and omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids combat dryness and free radical cell damage. Plus, the oil helps regenerate mature skin, and heal scars, stretch marks and sunburns. 

Kukui nut (aka candleberry, aleurites moluccana and candlenut): High in essential fatty acids, the oil has been used by Hawaiians for thousands of years to protect skin from salt water, and harsh sun and wind. Also known to benefit dry and sensitive skin, and psoriasis and eczema.

Take a look at the latest topical treasures utilizing nut oils. Your dry winter skin will thank you. Note: For those who suffer from nut sensitivities, please consult your allergist before using any of these products.  

SHINE: Basq Resilient Body Toning & Hydrating Oil (Stretch Mark Prevention). BEAUTY: Tone and tighten loose skin due to pregnancy or weight loss with hazelnut, sunflower seed, sesame seed and sweet almond oils. BEACON: No animal testing. Free of parabens and phthalates.

SHINE: CellCeuticals Extreme Defense Anti-Cell Damage Skin Treatment. BEAUTY: Sweet almond and avocado oils, vitamin E and aloe vera leaf juice help hydrate and heal the skin. BEACON: No animal testing and vegan. Contains no artificial colorants or fragrances, sodium lauryl sulfate, phthalates or parabens.

SHINE: Dermalogica Precleanse. BEAUTY: Remove excess sebum oil, sunscreen, waterproof makeup and environmental pollutants with apricot kernel and rice bran oils, vitamin E and kukui nut oil. BEACON: Free of artificial fragrances and colorants. Championed joinFITE (Financial Independence Through Entrepreneurship).

SHINE: Ioma Cocoon Voluptuous Body Cream. BEAUTY: Sweet almond and sunflower seed oils, shea butter and vitamin E help restore moisture and stimulate cell renewal. BEACON: Contains no fragrances, silicones or parabens.

SHINE: LATHER Sweet Almond Exfoliating Creme and Sweet Almond Face Moisturizer. BEAUTY: Soften dry or mature skin and gently slough dead surface cells with sweet almond oil and vitamin E. BEACON: No animal testing. Also free of parabens. 

SHINE: LCN SPA Almond Foot Lotion. BEAUTY: Green tea and aloe vera extracts, and sweet almond oil boost the suppleness of your feet and legs. BEACON: Free of parabens.

SHINE: Malie Organics Mango Nectar Body Wash and Mango Nectar Body Cream. BEAUTY: Enhance your bathing experience and refresh your skin with mango Hawaiian hydrosol, aloe vera leaf juice, and kukui nut and jojoba seed oils. BEACON: No animal testing and vegan. Contains no petroleum, sulfates or parabens.

SHINE: Nature Pure Labs Tangerine Creamy Sugar Scrub with Hippophae. BEAUTY: Macadamia nut, rose, orange blossom and ylang ylang oils revitalize your skin and soul. BEACON: No animal testing. Free of parabens, and artificial colorants and fragrances. 

SHINE: Neal's Yard Remedies Almond Oil. BEAUTYFormulated to soften and soothe all skin types, including babies, children and those with sensitivity issues, with 100% almond oil. Blend with other essential oils to create a luxurious massage lotion. BEACON: No animal testing. Contains no parabens, synthetic fragrances or colorants, silicones or mineral oils. Supports Friends of the Earth and Women’s Environmental Network.

SHINE: Sumbody Hand It Over Hand Cream. BEAUTY: Coconut, sweet almond, avocado and grape seed oils, and shea butter and soy milk restore moisture loss to the hands. BEACON: Free of parabens, animal oils, sodium lauryl/laureth sulfates, artificial preservatives and synthetic chemicals. 
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