Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Summer Vacay Tip Trends: Sun, Sand & Surf Nail Art Manis

Photo by Shabnam Mogharabi
The coast of Nice, France.

Why do most summer vacations involve a big, beautiful body of water? Lakes, oceans and rivers bring out the best in us. Just the mere sight and sound of colorful calm seas, waves crashing against a shoreline or waterfalls soothe the soul. Plus, when we splash or swim around in them, our bodies feel refreshed and revitalized.

My friend Shabnam recently returned from a family vacation in Europe. She and her siblings visited Greece, France, Spain and Ireland. The trip has now become known as "Four Sisters Tour Four Countries in Two Weeks." 

Photo by Shabnam Mogharabi
Mykonos, Greece

The photos from the beaches of Mykonos, Greece and Nice, France took my breath away. The hues of the waters look better than any Instagram color effect. In fact, they inspired me to create quick and easy Sun, Sand & Surf Nail Art Manis in honor of summer vacay season. The shades represent each element of the beach--yellow (sun), blue (surf) and toast/light brown (sand). 

For the first mani, apply two coats of blue polish to your thumb, and index, middle and pinky fingers. Next, brush on two layers of yellow lacquer over the ring finger. Then apply two coats of blue polish over two-thirds of the nail. Complete the mani by using the tip of the brush to paint large beach ball-like polka dots of sand. 

For the next mani, apply two coats of blue polish to each tip. Next, brush on two layers of sand lacquer over half of the ring finger nail. Complete the look by using the tip of the brush to place a large, solar-powered yellow dot on top of the design. As always, don't forget to use base and top coats to prolong the longevity of the lacquers for each mani. 

If you have more time, feel free to apply the ring finger nail art to each tip. You could also play around with the colors of the backgrounds and dots. The options seem endless--just like summer under the best possible circumstances.  

SHINE: Butter London Cheeky Chops (sun), Yummy Mummy (sand) and Slapper (surf). BEAUTY: These pretty polishes have "beauty and the beach" written all over them. BEACON: Formulated without formaldehyde, toluene, dibutyl phthalate and parabens.

SHINE: Dazzle Dry Nail Lacquer Sahara (sun), Sentimental (sand) and Forget Me Not (blue). BEAUTY: It's smooth sailing with these sizzling shades. BEACON: Vegan, and contains no formaldehyde, toluene, dibutyl phthalate, camphor or nitrocellulose.

SHINE: Milani Nail Lacquer Yellow Whiz (sun), Teddy Brown (sand) and Dude Blue Neon (surf). BEAUTY: Make a splash with these lively lacquers. BEACON: Free of dibutyl phthalate, toluene and formaldehyde.

SHINE: Zoya Nail Polish Darcy (sun), Shay (sand) and Rocky (surf). BEAUTY: Take the plunge into beachy chic. BEACON: No animal testing. Contains no toluene, camphor, formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin or dibutyl phthalate.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Beautiful Bronzers: How to Get a Golden Glow Like Selena Gomez & Young Hollywood

Photo ©Glenn Francis,

Photo by Mikey Hennessy

This week marked two major milestones in the personal and professional life of Selena Gomez. Not only did she turn 21 last Monday, the same day the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge welcomed the arrival of their son Prince George, she released her debut solo album "Stars Dance." Both events signify that the former Disney darling has come into her own as an artist and as a woman.

Gomez also recently parted ways for good with her longtime on-again, off-again beau Justin Bieber. However, it appears transition suits her well. The suddenly single songstress still maintains a fresh golden glow that complements her trademark ruby red lips and long brunette hair.

What's behind her radiant look? In addition to great genes and a seemingly healthy lifestyle, it might be attributed to a facial bronzer. This type of makeup covers blemishes, and adds color to your skin to highlight your forehead, cheeks, nose and chin. Women tend to use bronzers more during this time of the year to accentuate summer skin tones.

Whether it's a tint, bronzer or tanning cream, celebrities increasingly turn to these beauty aids to enhance their highly photographed complexions. We've compiled the latest looks from young Hollywood, and the gels, creams, and loose and pressed powders that can help you achieve the same glamorous glow.  

Malin Ackerman

Photo courtesy The Heart Truth
Jamie Chung

Marisa Miller

Photo by Eva Rinaldi
Miranda Kerr

SHINE: INIKA Mineral Bronzer (Sunloving, for medium to dark complexions, and Sunseeker, for tanned skin and women of color). BEAUTY: Create an sun-kissed look which can be used over your foundation or moisturizer, or on its own. BEACON: Cruelty free and vegan. Contains no petrochemicals, talc, artificial colors or fragrances, parabens, DEA or sulphates.

SHINE: IT Cosmetics Vitality Glow Anti-Aging Matte Bronzer. BEAUTY: Vitamins A, C and E, peptides, green tea leaf extract and aloe vera leaf juice promote warmth and radiance to provide an airbrush effect. BEACON: No animal testing.

SHINE: La Bella Donna Linea Minerale Compact Colour Bronze (Vision of Mineral Lights). BEAUTY: Four compressed mineral bronzing colors for the face utilize the skin’s naturally occurring tanning undertones of gold and red to help you get your glow on. BEACON: No animal testing. Contains no FD&C dyes, oils, talc, alcohol or fragrance. 

SHINE: Milani Cosmetics Baked Bronzer (Glow and Soleil) and TANtastic Face & Body Baked Bronzer (Fantastic in Gold). BEAUTY: Smooth sun splotches to create a dewy, dramatic look with sunflower seed oil, vitamin E, and aloe vera leaf and ginseng root extracts. BEACON: Cruelty free.

SHINE: Mineral Fusion Bronzer (Sparkle). BEAUTY: Mica, aloe vera, red tea and white tea leaf extracts, and pomegranate extract add warmth and a golden color to your complexion while also improving your overall skin health. BEACON: No animal testing. 

SHINE: Murad Absolute Bronzing Boost SPF 15 | PA++. BEAUTY: Sunscreen, jojoba and sweet almond oils, and pomegranate seed extracts help maximize sun safety, diminish fine lines and lock in luminosity. BEACON: No animal testing. 

SHINE: Phytomer Sun Radiance Self-Tanning Cream. BEAUTY: Create a silky spa skin appearance and achieve a fuller tan without leaving an oily residue with vitamin E, citric acid and hibiscus flower extract. BEACON: No animal testing.

SHINE: Purely Pro Cosmetics Mineral Pressed Bronzer (Laguna). BEAUTY: Get a mineral makeup glow with this bronze hue in a pocket/purse-friendly compact that contains a mirror and brush compartment. BEACON: No animal testing. Supports Dress for Success.

SHINE: Sormé Treatment Cosmetics Baked Bronzer Wet/Dry (Warmth Bronzer and True Bronzer) and Shimmer Glow (Bronzed). BEAUTY: Restore radiance and step up your sparkle quotient with these bedazzling bronzers. BEACON: No animal testing. Supports Look Good...Feel Better.

SHINE: Suki Skincare Color Tinted Active Moisturizer (Natural). BEAUTY: Soothe skin and create a flawless finish with sunflower oil, grape and jojoba seed oils, and shea seed butter. BEACON: Cruelty free.

SHINE: Youngblood Mineral Cosmetics Mineral Radiance (Sunshine). BEAUTY: Mica, honeysuckle flower extract and jojoba seed oil help create a highlighter and a blush in one compact. BEACON: No animal testing.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Summer Sun Safety: 12 Ways to Protect Your Skin During A Heat Wave

Photos by Rhonda J. Wilson

I admit it. I'm a former floppy beach hat snob. Thooose types of accessories only serve to remedy a bad hair situation while possibly creating a new one, I thought. Plus, floppy hats look much better on celebrities trying to avoid the paparazzi. 

Before I left for my annual summer vacay in Lake Arrowhead, Calif., I spotted a hot pink hat on sale for under $10. For some reason, it called out my name in a major way. So I tried it on, and the rest is herstory

This hat has consumed my life. I wear it everywhere--sunbathing on the lake, buying groceries, hiking along the trails and watching the sunset from my deck. Not only does it look super chic, but it also helps shield my face from the harsh rays of the sun. 

Now that a heat wave has gripped the country, skin sun safety takes top priority. A floppy hat can provide protection during the peak summer months, but we still need to apply SPF to prevent dermal damage and premature aging.

Check out the latest sun shield superstars. They may not cool you off during a heat wave, but they'll help you look cooler for years to come by minimizing skin damage--and fine lines and wrinkles. Floppy beach hat optional!

SHINE: CellCeuticals PhotoDefense Color Radiance SPF 55+ (Tan). BEAUTY: Green tea leaf extract, peptides, hyaluronic acid and titanium dioxide balance your skin tone and protect against excessive sun exposure. BEACON: No animal testing and vegan. Contains no artificial colorants or fragrances, sodium lauryl sulfate, phthalates or parabens.

SHINE: Dermalogica Solar Defense Booster SPF 50. BEAUTY: Prevent sun and free-radical damage with green tea leaf, lemon peel and grape seed extracts, and lavender oil. BEACON: Contains no artificial fragrances or colors. Championed joinFITE (Financial Independence Through Entrepreneurship). The Dermalogica Foundation also supports Everychild FoundationChildren’s Skin Disease Foundation and Our House.

SHINE: Éminence Organic Skin Care Bright Skin Moisturizer Broad Spectrum SPF 30 Sunscreen. BEAUTY: Stone crop, lactic acid, and vitamins A, C and E  calm irritated skin and safeguard yourself against excessive sun exposure. BEACON: No animal testing. The company plants one tree for each product sold through its Forests For the Future program.

SHINE: Garnier BB Cream Skin Renew Miracle Skin Perfector SPF 15 (Light/Medium). BEAUTY: Even skin tone, provide UVA/UVB protection and brighten your complexion with titanium dioxide, tinted mineral pigments, vitamin C and hyaluronic acid. BEACON: Parent company L’Oréal partners with UNESCO to support For Women In Science.

SHINE: Kate Somerville Serum Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 50. BEAUTY: Oxybenzone, titanium dioxide, aloe vera leaf juice, and vitamins A, C and E help prevent sunburn and support overall skin health. BEACON: No animal testing. Free of synthetic oil, parabens and alcohol.

SHINE: Mineral Fusion Brush On Sun Defense SPF 30 and Facial Moisturizer SPF 40. BEAUTY: These mineral formulas--silky powder and cream lotion--provide sun and antioxidant protection with titanium dioxide, zinc oxide, sea kelp and vitamin E. BEACON: No animal testing. Free of gluten, parabens, SLS, phthalates, artificial colors and synthetic fragrances. Supports the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence.

SHINE: Nature Pure Labs Lift Perfection SPF 20. BEAUTY: Octinoxate, oxybenzone, peptides and pomegranate extract help counter aging and environmental damage. BEACON: No animal testing. Contains no parabens, artificial colors or fragrances. 

SHINE: Organoderm by Dr. Domanskis Day Cream SPF 30+. BEAUTY: Protect and nourish your skin with avobenzone, sunflower seed oil and vitamin E. BEACON: USDA organic certified. Vegan and cruelty free.

SHINE: Sanítas Skincare Solar Block. BEAUTY: Zinc oxide, plankton extract, vitamins C and E, and hyaluronic acid help safeguard your skin against ultraviolet rays. BEACON: Contains no parabens or preservatives. Supports the Cinderella Foundation

SHINE: SkinCeuticals Sheer Physical UV Defense SPF 50. BEAUTY: Prevent overexposure to the sun with zinc oxide, titanium dioxide and vitamin E. BEACON: Free of parabens. Supports the Melanoma Research Alliance.

SHINE: Somme Institute Double Defense. BEAUTY: Vitamin E, SPF 30 and aloe vera extract shield your skin from the harmful effects of the sun. BEACON: No animal testing. 

SHINE: Susan Posnick Brush On Block SPF 30. BEAUTY: This mineral powder sunscreen stops sunburn with titanium dioxide, zinc oxide, and chamomile flower and green tea extracts. BEACON: Supports Linking the World

Roxy the Rescue Dog cools off by playing fetch 
along the shoreline.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Royal Baby Countdown: Fireworks on Both Sides of the Pond

The Duchess of Cambridge: Great expectations.

Summer begins with a big bang this year. In addition to America celebrating its 237th anniversary year of independence over the long Fourth of July holiday weekend, we will soon see fireworks on the other side of the pond with the birth of the royal baby of Prince William and Princess Kate in a few days. 

Photo by Michael Lane

The due date for the British bundle of joy had previously been set for mid-July. However, many royal bump watchers speculate the baby may make a surprise appearance and arrive even sooner--perhaps as early as this weekend. 

The gender of the third in line to the throne remains a mystery. But for those who follow astrology, an early July birth means he or she will be born under the water sign of cancer and in the year of the snake. The personality traits for this astrological alignment include sensitivity, gentleness, compassion and understanding, which will likely come in handy for the future monarch.

In the meantime, the Duchess of Cambridge needs a lot of care and pampering during this stage of her pregnancy--as well as any other woman in her second or third trimester. Therefore, we've assembled several stretch mark creams and body butters that provide soothing and softening benefits for the skin. We've punctuated these products with some goodies for newborns, as well.

Let the fireworks begin. Have a fun Fourth of July!


SHINEApothederm Stretch Mark Cream. BEAUTY: Nourish and firm the skin, and fade the appearance of red and silver stretch marks with cocoa seed and shea butters, hyaluronic acid, peptides and olive fruit oil. BEACON: No animal testing. Contains no parabens, phthalates or fragrances.

SHINE: Basq Advanced Stretch Mark Butter Intensive Treatment. BEAUTY: Shea butter, and jojoba and grape seed oils maximize healing and hydration, and minimize scar formation--especially during the second and third trimester. BEACON: No animal testing. Contains no parabens or phthalates.

SHINE: Caldrea Coconut Fig Leaf Body Creme. BEAUTY: Enjoy a spa day at home as you moisturize and mend your body with rice bran oil, shea butter, and therapeutic aromas of coconut and fig. BEACON: Free of parabens and phthalates. 

SHINE: L'Occitane Jasmin & Bergamote Lait Parfume Body Milk. BEAUTY: Shea butter, grape and sunflower seed oils, and jasmine and bergamot oils leave skin softened and scented. BEACONThe L’Occitane Foundation supports women’s entrepreneurship and visual impairment fields of action.

SHINE: Mama Mio Pregnancy Essentials Kit (Boob Tube, Tummy Rub and Lucky Legs). BEAUTY: This travel-size trio helps build your skin’s strength, circulation and elasticity to prevent stretch marks and sagging. BEACON: Contains no parabens, petroleum, phthalates, sodium laureth and sodium lauryl sulphates, colorants, synthetic fragrances or xenoestrogens. Supports Look Good...Feel Better.

SHINE: MoonEssence Body Butter (Bergamot & Grapefruit). BEAUTY: Green tea extract, shea and mango butters, and jojoba oil pamper and perk up dry skin. BEACON: Vegan and gluten free. Supports the Carousel Fund.

SHINE: Pevonia Botanica Ligne Tropicale De-Aging Body Balm (Papaya-Pineapple). BEAUTY: Repair and replenish your body with sunflower seed oil, shea butter, and papaya, pineapple and pomegranate fruit extracts. BEACON: No animal testing. Free of parabens, alcohol, lanolin, mineral oil, PABA, urea, formaldehyde, artificial colors and sulfates. Supports the Beauty Bus Foundation.

SHINE: Prana SpaCeuticals Nourishing Milky Cleanser and Attar Firming Body Milk. BEAUTY: Aloe juice, glaucine, and almond and sunflower seed oils help clean, comfort, and keep fat cells and cellulite at bay. BEACON: No animal testing. Free of parabens and SLS.

SHINE: SkinnySkinny Lavender Organic Body Butter. BEAUTY: Nourish your body with cocoa and shea butters, and hemp and sesame seed oils in a rich and revitalizing formula. BEACON: Vegan and cruelty-free. Contains no sulfates or artificial preservatives.


SHINEDionis Goat Milk Skincare Guess How Much I Love You Ever So Gentle Shampoo & Body Wash, Diaper Cream and Lotion. BEAUTY: This trio for tender skin ensures that your baby's body stays soft and supple with aloe vera leaf extract, avocado oil, castor seed oil and vitamin E. BEACON: No animal testing. Free of parabens.
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