Wednesday, January 22, 2014

National Polka Dot Day Nail Art: 3 Spotted Manis Serve Up Little Spheres of Style for Your Digits

If you're seeing spots today, don't try to adjust your vision. It's National Polka Dot Day!

These stylish little spheres can't help but make you smile. Maybe it's because there's nothing stuffy or formal about them. Instead, polka dots promote a playful repetitive pattern of spots that can appear on anything from attire, such as blouses, dresses, socks and nylons, to serving ware sets, wallpaper and furniture.

For beautynistas, spots and polish go together as well as itsy bitsy teenie weenie bikinis and yellow polka dots. They not only perk up your digits with a pop of color, but they also lift your spirits. So, in honor of National Polka Dot Day, we've created three spotted nail art manis. They're bright, bold and beautiful--just like you! 

Use a professional nail dotter, the tip of your polish brush or a rounded toothpick to create your polka dots. Plus, don't forget to apply base and top coats to these manis. You'll be a diva dotter in no time.

SHINE: Dazzle Dry Tranquil Gray (medium gray), Smitten (light beige), Midnight Express (black) and Cotton Candy (neon pink). BEAUTY: Apply two coats of gray lacquer to your index, ring and pinky tips. Paint another two layers of beige on your thumb and pink on your middle finger. On your ring finger tip, layer beige lacquer over two-thirds of the nail. Then draw pink dots and a black stripe to complete the look. Do the same on your pinky finger, but use a black backdrop with beige dots and a pink stripe. 

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

SHINE: Color Club Where's the Soiree (black), Poetic Hues (cream), Feelin' Groovy (neon green) and Peace Out Purple (radiant orchid). BEAUTY: Apply two coats of black polish to each nail. On your ring finger tip, paint a confetti of contrasting colors--green, purple and cream--in a tight polka dot pattern. 

BEACON: Free of toluene, dibutyl phthalate and formaldehyde. Vegan and no animal testing.

SHINE: Dazzle Dry Smitten (light beige), Midnight Express (black), Cotton Candy (neon pink) and Watermelon Slice (bright dark pink). BEAUTY: Apply two coats of beige lacquer to each tip. Layer another two coats of neon pink polish over half of your nail from top to bottom. Then paint three black dots along the inside edge of the neon pink polish and four bright dark pink dots along the other side to create an interlocking effect.    

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

Photo by Alex Proimos

Monday, January 20, 2014

Award Season Hair Trends: 5 A-Lister Looks for Your Locks from the Golden Globe & SAG Awards

Photo courtesy Peter Dutton

Lights, glam cam, action! All eyes were on the recent Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild Awards to see how Hollywood stars play dress-up on the red carpet.

A-listers took award season fashion to the next level with super chic style. Who can forget couture classics such as the red cape Ralph Lauren gown of Lupita Nyong'o, the black lace/sheer-effect Armani PrivĂ© dress of Cate Blanchett and the purple sequined Dior strapless number of Jennifer Lawrence? Per-fec-tion! 

To-die-for tresses from Sandra Bullock, Amy Adams and Sofia Vergara also stole the show. In fact, five hair trends caught our eye--pretty pixies and ponytails appeared undone and fun, beautiful buns screamed sleek rather than geek, and cascading curls and retro faux bobs gave a nod to an earlier era in Hollywood. They turned heads almost as much as the jaw-dropping jewels and glittery gowns. 

Tell us which ones you vote for as so hot or so not. Plus, to help you achieve your own award-winning looks, check out the latest shampoos, conditioners, tools, treatments, serums and mousses.

You'll be picture perfect in no time. Smile!


Sandra Bullock

Amy Poehler


Emma Watson

Margot Robbie

Zooey Deschanel

Sandra Bullock


Amy Adams

Taylor Swift

Cate Blanchett


Sofia Vergara

Olivia Wilde


Lupita Nyong'o

Jennifer Lawrence

SHINEAlterna Bamboo Volume Uplifting Root Blast and Boho Waves Tousled Texture Mist. BEAUTY: The root lifter boosts fullness with bamboo extract and fennel seed extract, while the mist releases your natural body and waves with aloe vera leaf extract and pineapple enzymes. BEACON: Free of parabens, gluten, phthalates and synthetic color. Supports WaterAid and the National Kidney Foundation

SHINE: Beauty Without Cruelty Premium Aromatherapy Leave-In Conditioner. BEAUTY: Minimize split ends and frizzies, and maximize sheen and body with aloe vera gel, and sunflower seed and jojoba oils. BEACON: Vegan and no animal testing. Free of parabens, SLS/SLES and synthetic fragrances.

SHINE: Belson Products Gold 'N Hot 1" Professional Ceramic Crimping Iron. BEAUTY: Create less frizz and static with ceramic crimping plates, which helps produce more silky strands. BEACONThe parent company, Helen of Troy, supports the American Cancer SocietyBig Brothers Big SistersCookies for Kids’ Cancer and Special Olympics.

SHINE: Blowpro Textstyle Dry Texture Spray. BEAUTY: Liven up limp locks with brushable texture and volume without leaving a greasy residue. BEACON: Free of sulfates, parabens, ethanol alcohol and sodium chloride.

SHINE: Hamadi Organics Shea Hair Cream. BEAUTY: Shea butter, rice protein and lemon oil strengthen your strands to calm frizzies, and enhance natural curls and waves. BEACONEcocert certified and no animal testing. Biodegradable, and contains no fragrances or colorants.

SHINE: Maijan Moroccan Argan Oil Leave-In Hair Serum. BEAUTY: Hydrate and heal your hair to create shine and softness with grapeseed extract, and argan, rosewood and ylang ylang oils. BEACON: No animal testing. Free of parabens, sulfates and alcohol. 

SHINE: Pravana Nevo Intense Therapy Leave-In Treatment. BEAUTY: Jojoba seed, sunflower and rosemary leaf extracts smooth your strands without weighing them down. BEACON: No animal testing and vegan. Free of sulfates, parabens, sodium chloride, phthalates, gluten, propylene glycol, cocamide DEA and cocamide MEA.

SHINE: Pureology Colour Fanatic. BEAUTY: Protect color-treated hair from fading, and step up moisture and silkiness with coconut oil, sunflower and fennel seed extracts, and olive fruit oil. BEACON: No animal testing and vegan. Free of sulfates. Supports Global Green USA.

SHINE: Scunci Styleable Faux Hair Ponytail (16-inch wrap) and Curly Faux Hair Ponytail (20-inch clip-on). BEAUTY: Go glam or girly with these hair extensions for a stylish silhouette. BEACON: The parent company, Conair, supports the American Red Cross, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and American Ballet Theatre.

SHINE: TouchBack Clear Shampoo and Conditioner. BEAUTY: Protect color-treated and natural strands from ultraviolet damage, oxidation and fading with lemon peel and green tea leaf extracts. BEACON: Vegan and no animal testing. Free of ammonia, peroxide and sulfates. Supports the National Breast Cancer Coalition.

SHINE: Unilever TRESemmĂ© 24 Hour Body Foaming Mousse and Platinum Strength Heat Protect Spray. BEAUTY: The mousse optimizes body and bounce, while the spray protects your hair from breakage, frizzies and dryness. BEACON: The Unilever Foundation supports Oxfam, Population Services International, Save the Children, UNICEF and the World Food Programme

SHINE: Veria Innerdosha Big Ambition Shampoo, Tame the Tangles Leave-In Detangler and Live Fully Conditioner. BEAUTY: Purify, plump and protect your strands with aloe vera leaf juice, jojoba seed oil and green tea leaf extract. BEACON: Vegan and cruelty free. Contains no parabens, phthalates, synthetic fragrances, sulfates, artificial colors or GMOs.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

New Year, New You: Get the Radiant Skin Look of Birthday Gal Kate Middleton

Photo by Pat Pilon

Light the royal birthday candles! The Duchess of Cambridge, wife of Prince William, turns 32 today. 

This British beautynista, formerly known as Kate Middleton, usually gets a lot of attention for her luscious long locks. And, rightfully so. Her smoothed out brunette strands glisten with peek-a-boo honey highlights and cascade softly below her shoulders into loose, luxurious curls. 

When people talk about her sense of style, they usually refer to her effortless look. She often recycles outfits and shoes while fulfilling her royal duties, wears a minimal amount of makeup and stretches out visits to her hair stylist--allowing a few gray roots to occasionally grow out. 

Kate Middleton leaves the hospital with Prince William following the birth of their son Prince George.

Following the birth of her son Prince George last summer, her complexion began making headlines. Call it the new mom glow, but her skin seemingly appears more radiant as she settles into married life. Her face and smile shine as bright as a diamond studded tiara as she beams with pride while holding her new bundle of joy.

Now that a new year has arrived, you may be thinking more about your health and appearance. Maybe you want to eat better, start an exercise routine, try a new hairstyle or brighten your complexion. To get a fresh-faced, flawless look like the Duchess of Cambridge, we've assembled the latest cleansing creams and tools, masks, peels, serums and SPFs. They're designed to balance your skin tone, keep you blemish-free and give you the dewy skin you desire without looking like an oil slick.

Happy birthday Duchess Kate! And, for the rest of us, here's to a new year and new you.

SHINE: Avalon Organics Lavender Luminosity Exfoliating Enzyme Scrub. BEAUTY: Smooth and soften your complexion by gently removing dull, flakey skin with finely ground walnut shells, aloe vera leaf juice and coconut oil. BEACON: NSF/ANSI 305 Standard certified. Contains no synthetic fragrances, artificial colors, formaldehyde donors, phthalates, parabens, petrolatum, mineral oil, propylene glycol or sulfates.

SHINE: Beauty Without Cruelty Purifying Clay Mask. BEAUTY: Witch
hazel extract, jojoba oil, and chamomile and lavender extracts renew lackluster skin and deeply cleanse clogged pores. BEACON: Vegan and no animal testing. Free of parabens, SLS/SLES and synthetic fragrances. 

SHINE: CellCeuticals PhotoDefense Color Radiance SPF 55+ (Medium). BEAUTY: Achieve an even toned complexion and protect your skin against harmful ultraviolet rays with oxybenzone, green tea leaf extract, hyaluronic acid, pear fruit extract and peptides. BEACON: No animal testing and vegan. Free of artificial colorants and fragrances, sodium lauryl sulfate, phthalates and parabens.

SHINE: Conair True Glow Sonic Skincare Solution Cleansing Brush. BEAUTY: Gently cleanse and clear clogged pores using three speeds at 300 oscillations per second with a timer that tells you when to move to another area of your face every 10 seconds. BEACON: Supports American Red Cross, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, American Ballet Theatre and National Dance Institute. 

SHINE: ilike Sour Cherry Gel Mask. BEAUTY: Sour cherry and blackthorn berry extracts boost circulation to revitalize your complexion, while salicylic acid exfoliates dead skin cells. BEACON: Vegan, and no animal testing. Free of parabens and artificial colorants. 

SHINE: MyBody BRIGHTAMIN-C Vitamin C Age Repair Serum. BEAUTY: Maximize hydration, natural brilliance and collagen production with vitamin C, hyaluronic acid and bearberry leaf extract. BEACON: Free of gluten, parabens, phthalates, sulfates and dyes. 

SHINE: MyChelle Dermaceuticals Creamy Pumpkin Cleanser and Tropical Skin Smoother. BEAUTY: The cleanser purifies your skin with pumpkin extract, and clove and cinnamon leaf oils, while the smoother helps dull skin renew itself with bamboo stem powder and lactic acid. BEACON: Cruelty free. Contains no gluten, parabens, phthalates, ureas, petroleum-based chemicals or artificial colorants. Utilizes 100% post-consumer paper in its packaging.

SHINESanitas Skincare Glycolic Citrus Cleanser. BEAUTY: Glycolic acid, algae extract and citrus oil stimulate cell growth, and help remove excess dirt, oil and impurities. BEACON: Contains no parabens or preservatives. Sanitas supports the Cinderella Foundation

SHINEVie Collection Night Peel Progressive Resurfacing Cream. BEAUTY:  Brighten and tighten your skin, as glycolic acid, algae extract and vitamin E offer progressive and controlled exfoliation during the night to remove dead skin cells, and diminish signs of fine lines and wrinkles in the morning. BEACON: No animal testing.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

National Bubble Bath Day: Come In from the Cold & Treat Yourself to a Warm, Soothing Soak

Happy new year! If you didn't enjoy enough bubbles during your New Year's Eve celebration, you get a another chance today. National Bubble Bath Day has arrived! 

Life offers us lots of choices. So, when it comes to personal preferences such as a cup of coffee or tea, still or sparkling water, cats or dogs, or a Mac or a PC, we need to choose wisely. The same goes for bathing methods. Most people develop a fierce loyalty to a bath or a shower--rarely both. 

Photo by Joanna Poe

Baths and showers provide their own unique benefits. However, baths offer something that showers can't. They allow us the opportunity to schedule quality time for ourselves. At the end of a long, hectic day, you can fill up the tub with warm water, light some candles and incense, read a book and relax your tired body. Plus, a bath helps take weight off of your feet, joints and muscles, which ultimately serves as a revitalizing way to relieve minor aches and pains.

With frigid temperatures gripping most of the country, the time has arrived to embrace National Bubble Bath Day. So start running the warm water and check out the following bodycare products. They're designed to soothe and soften your skin, as well as stimulate your senses.

We're stoked for a soak. How about you? Bubbles optional!

SHINE: Avalon Organics Bath & Shower Gel (Lemon). BEAUTY: Replenish your skin and uplift your spirits with aloe vera leaf juice, lemon peel extract, and lime, orange and grapefruit oils. BEACON: No animal testing and vegan. Free of parabens, synthetic colors or fragrances, phthalates or sulfates.

 SHINE: Jason Nourishing Cocoa Butter Moisturizing Creme. BEAUTY: Sunflower seed oil, cocoa seed butter and vitamin E help relieve dry, damaged skin apres soak. BEACON: No animal testing and vegan.

SHINE: MyBody Probiotic Bath + Shower Gel (Energizing Bergamot Lime) and Probiotic Body Lotion (Energizing Bergamot Lime). BEAUTY: Purify, protect and stimulate your skin's natural repair process with probiotic derived bioactives, and vitamins A and E. BEACON: No animal testing. Free of gluten, parabens, phthalates, sulfates and dyes.

SHINE: Phytomer Oligomer Well-Being Remineralizing Relaxing Bath. BEAUTY: Freeze-dried seawater and a green tea/jasmine scent help recharge your skin and your soul. BEACON: No animal testing.

SHINE: Skin Authority Well-Being Bath & Shower Retreat. BEAUTY: Turn your bathing experience into an aromatherapeutic adventure with lemon, lime, peppermint and pine oils. BEACONNo animal testing. Free of parabens, dyes and added fragrances. Supports Look Good...Feel Better.
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