While there will be plenty of shadow palettes, preboxed lotion sets, and everything in between available to give this holiday season, why not personalize some (if not all) of your presents this year? Monogrammed gifts are always a best bet, and your recipient will feel all warm and cozy inside, knowing that you took a little extra time to make him or her feel loved. So let's kick things off with personalized beauty gifts. If it can be stamped, embossed, or stitched, you'll find it here.
The holiday season is rife with glitter nail polish of all sorts, from flakies to hexagon shapes to everything in between. And while this variety of lacquer is festive and fun, the removal process isn't always quite as joyous. To remove glitter nail polish, you don't have to use mountains of cotton pads and gallons of polish remover. Just follow these simple tips below to make it easy on yourself.
- Step 1: Completely saturate a cotton ball with acetone nail polish remover. Next, set the soaked cotton ball on your pinky nail and wrap it completely in aluminum foil.
- Step 2: Repeat the process on each of your fingers and thumb, pressing down on the foils while the remover works its magic.
- Step 3: Let sit for about five minutes and then slide the foils off to reveal glitter-free nails.
- Step 4: Repeat steps one through three on the opposite hand.
Alternative: In lieu of foil and cotton balls, use white felt with acetone nail polish remover to get the glitter off. What are your tips for wiping away glitter lacquer? Share them with us in the comments now.
We've all been under the influence — under the influence of a stinky fragrance, that is. Perhaps you've been spritzed at the perfume counter by an overly eager salesperson and now you're just as eager to eliminate the offending scent before a headache ensues. Or maybe you had one spray too many of your signature scent. Whatever the case, get a few tips on de-aromatizing yourself when you read more.
Are you familiar with the "white elephant" gift exchange? It's a veritable tchotchke swap. The premise is that you show up with one totally useless wacky gift, draw numbers to see who goes first, and then let the opening begin. As subsequent participants unwrap their gifts, they can steal away the other's newly acquired goods. (I once obtained one of those sad-looking Charlie Brown Christmas trees this way. Score.) Do you have a white elephant party coming up, or perhaps you merely have friends with goofy senses of humor? Then let the gag gifting begin.
If you haven't tried beauty oils yet, then get thee to the nearest cosmetics aisle. The benefits of oils are endless. Not only do they hydrate and add sheen to skin and hair, but they also create a natural protecting barrier. And now is the perfect time to start experimenting with oils, as your skin gets seriously parched come Winter. From your scalp to your heels, see the many reasons why you'll love beauty oils.
There's no denying that matte nail polish is the It finish right now, but while matte has a very fashion-forward appearance, the problem is that it just doesn't wear as long as regular polish. While chips can sometimes lend to the cool factor, they're typically unwanted. To find out some of our tips for getting the most out of your matte finish, read more.
Finding your signature scent is one thing, but deciding your wedding-day perfume can be a little daunting. Renee Bukowski, senior product development manager of Tru Fragrance, gave us her insight to choosing, wearing, and even gifting fragrance for a wedding. So whether you're the bride, bridesmaid, or guest, we have tips to help you decode wedding-day perfume.
POPSUGAR: What are your tips to help brides choose a wedding-day perfume?
Renee Bukowski: Scent is very powerful, as it often acts as an emotional trigger for special moments and memories. When choosing a wedding-day scent, brides should pick something special that has a shared significance with her partner — a scent that her partner will recognize her by. I recommend brides reference flowers they have chosen for their bridal bouquet, as these usually are flowers they like, and they're usually in bloom that season.
PS: What are some classic fragrances or notes you would recommend for a bride on her wedding day?
RB: Floral fragrances work well for a bride on her big day, as they suit the femininity of the dress and the occasion. There are a lot of modern roses and classic floral notes, such as white floral, which have been modernized for today, and fragrance houses often combine them with fruity notes. Fragrances featuring the beautiful notes of modern rose include Chloé Eau de Parfum ($115), Chanel Chance ($105), or Dior J'Adore ($90). If it is outdoors, I'd recommend a light scent opposed to an evening wedding or black-tie wedding, where I'd suggest a slightly stronger scent.
PS: What steps can a bride take to ensure her fragrance stays on from ceremony to reception?
RB: Wedding days are usually long affairs, so I suggest brides keep a purse-size bottle or rollerball of their fragrance with them, allowing them to discreetly apply it throughout the day. I also recommend applying the scent to the neck and pulse points to ensure the fragrance is long-lasting.
For tips on how to give fragrance as a gift, just keep reading.
If you've ever sizzled your strands with a flat iron, then you know not just how awful it smells, but also how incredibly damaging it is to your hair. With the Ferrum Professional Styler by Ladies & Gents ($180), however, hair is protected thanks to an ingenious, nonheated fabric padding affixed to one of the plates. (Editor's note: the Ferrum was sent to us by the brand for review.) That means hair is cushioned gently as it's passed over, allowing your strands to breathe. Less heat and less tugging means less damage. It's really a win-win, if you ask us. A tourmaline-coated plate on the other side helps to further enhance shine and lock in moisture. In combination, you'll get more volume than you would with an ordinary flat iron — almost as if you had blown it dry instead.
To use, apply a heat-protectant first, and be sure your hair is completely dry. Set the dial to your desired temperature (140 to 450 degrees), and flat-iron away. If there were such a thing as hair insurance, then Ferrum would be it.
For some reason a fear of red lipstick still plagues many women out there. We've heard all the excuses: "I'm too pale. It makes me look like a clown. It's just so messy." Well it all starts with picking the right shade. Master three ways for making the bold, classic pigment work for you this coming season — whatever your comfort level — when you read more.
I recently ran 13.1 miles in the Nike Women's Marathon, and this perfect little lip balm — Neutrogena's Revitalizing Lip Balm ($9) — was stashed in my prerace goody bag. Nobody really wants to look too done up when exercising, but this sheer, tinted balm gives you the tiniest boost of color without looking unnatural. SPF 20 shields delicate skin, while a collagen-stimulating complex plumps and moisturizes. The Healthy Blush shade (pictured above) is a personal favorite for a rosy flush, but this balm's also available in five other shades, ranging from toasty caramel to a pretty plum. When a lip balm can make it through miles upon miles of the hills and fog of San Francisco, you know it's a very good thing.
After a few weeks of warm temperatures, there's no denying it officially feels like Autumn. It's the season for pumpkin patches, long-sleeved turtlenecks, and Brach's Harvest Mix. And now that the crisp weather has arrived, we've got pumpkin on the brain. High in zinc and vitamins A and C, this gourd-like squash helps heal and protect the skin from free radicals, all while gently dissolving dead skin cells. The addition of egg helps bind this face mask together, while also nourishing and lifting the skin. To get the recipe for this homemade pumpkin face mask, read more.
According to the Epsom Salt Council (yes, it exists!), there are many beauty benefits to Epsom salts, aka magnesium sulfate, as it's known in the world of science. So before you dismiss that unassuming milk-carton-like box at the drugstore, here are five reasons you might want to give these soothing salts a whirl.
- As a hair volumizer: Much like sea salt sprays give hair body, Epsom salts help boost texture, too. Who knew?
- As a stress reducer: These salts aid in replenishing magnesium in the body, which can make energy levels increase. Which, in turn, can make you look better. A lift in magnesium also relieves stress, increasing serotonin levels and lowering blood pressure. It's a win all around.
- As a rejuvenating body scrub: Not only do the salts deep clean, but massaging handfuls of the crystals on premoistened skin can result in an exfoliating experience.
- As an mini facial experience: To help dry out oily skin and invigorate all other skin types, mix 1/2 teaspoon of Epsom salts with your face cleanser, and then massage for a mini facial.
- As a skin-softening mask: For normal to dry skin, whip up a three-ingredient facial mask: blend 1/4 cup grated carrot, 1/2 teaspoon Epsom salts, and 1 1/2 teaspoons mayonnaise. Spread over predampened skin, wait 10 minutes, and remove.
Dolce & Gabbana's Perfect Matte Concealer ($40) might just be the last concealer you ever buy (excluding future repeat purchases, of course). Its creamy texture ensures easy application, but once it sets, there's no slipping and sliding. The key is how this cover-up transforms into a matte, almost powderlike finish. Spots, blemishes, and uneven tones are subtly diffused, sans the caked-on look. Because of the way it melts flawlessly into the skin, in addition to the fact that it can be used as a lipstick and eye shadow base, this one's a keeper. So sorry, other concealers.
Jennifer Hudson is a new member of the short-hair club! At the BET Black Girls Rock! show this weekend, the actress and singer debuted a chic pixie. While Jennifer has experimented with her hair length and fringe style over the years, this closely cropped coif is a noticeable departure from her signature look. Will Jennifer pull a Beyoncé and go longer right away? We'll have to wait and see. But in the meantime, vote now to tell us what you think of Jennifer's new 'do.
Shower gels and foaming face cleansers often come in liquid or creamy form, but there's something special about finding a bar soap you just absolutely love. But like all good things, you eventually reach the end, but you can learn some tricks to actually make your bar last longer.
- High and dry: Keep soap out of water, away from the direct shower stream to avoid "melting." Soap-saving products come in all shapes and sizes to drain water out and keep your bar soap protected. Try a Wooden Slatted Soap Dish ($4) or a Suction Soap Dish ($8) that you can hang in your shower.
- The harder the better: We mean soap, people. Look for the French milled or triple milled variety, which is made at high pressure, resulting in a harder, dense soap that has less air and lasts much longer.
- Use a washcloth: Limit the amount of soap usage by busting out a washcloth, instead of just using your hands. A shower sponge or mesh sponge will also do the trick.
- Nothing but net: The Container Store's Netted Soap Saver ($2) allows you to drop small scraps of soap into the netted pouch for an exfoliating effect. Just make sure to hang it in your shower where the water won't hit.
- DIY: Unwrap new soaps and place them in a drawer or between layers of linens. This helps "cure" the soap (dry it out), making for a harder, longer-lasting bar.
- It's a sunshine day: The best kind of lighting mimics sunlight since it's the purest light. It's also the most unforgiving — perfect for makeup application so that you don't miss a thing. For the easiest way to get this crisp, bright effect, purchase a natural light makeup mirror, like Conair's 7x Magnified Lighted Makeup Mirror ($60), which can be adjusted with a dimmer.
Other things to consider:
- The source: Overhead lighting, or lighting from behind, will likely cast unwanted shadows on the face. When applying makeup, the light source should be straight in front of you so that it illuminates the front and sides of the face without any glare. Almost all makeup mirrors (including vanity mirrors) are designed to eliminate this problem.
- If you're buying bulbs: Look for ones labeled "daylight spectrum" or "natural light." And if you really want to get into lighting a room correctly for applying makeup (wattage types, shielded fixtures, and all), talk to a lighting expert.
- Think about where you're going: Office lighting is different than, say, candlelight dinner lighting. More tips on how to apply makeup for these different circumstances to come. But remember: natural light is the go-to for the purest results.
Now that you've officially swapped out your Summer dresses for Fall sweaters, it's time to get your makeup up to date, too. We're taking a look back at all the hair and makeup looks from New York Fashion Week's Fall 2013 shows. Skilled makeup artists and hairstylists created influential looks that are often just as important as the clothing coming down the runways, and they're definitely worth a second look. From twisted ponytails to metallic eyes, get inspired by Fall's most memorable beauty moments.
A widow's peak is a dominantly inherited V shape that dips down along the hairline. Female celebrities Marilyn Monroe, Alyson Hannigan, Fran Drescher, and Kourtney Kardashian all have widow's peaks, along with Keanu Reeves, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Colin Farrell on the men's front. Perhaps you have this genetic trait, too. If so, uncover some tips and techniques for making it work when you keep reading.
Neutrogena's Transparent Facial Bar ($3) has been the brand's star item since the bar launched back in the 1950s. After many years of its absence from my shower caddy, I recently decided to give the old classic another whirl. I was not disappointed.
With its distinctive amber color and clean scent, you'll likely get a sensory memory explosion of sorts (hello, junior high!). What makes the old-school bar so great is that it leaves behind no residue or tightness. If you have flaky or parched skin, however, this soap might not be the right match due to the high-cleanse formulation. And unlike many creamy cleansers, this solid gel-like bar really does rinse away very easily. Considering the price, results, scent, and the fact that glowy-skinned Jennifer Aniston counts it as one of her favorites, I'll be reserving a spot for this one in my shower once again.
It can happen to even the most skilled at-home colorist: you use a box color to dye your hair, and the hue comes out much darker than you'd hoped. But believe it or not, you don't have to suffer with a hue that's not for you. Keep reading for our tips on how to lighten a botched dye job.
- Try a clarifying shampoo: These types of cleansers are full of color-stripping surfactants (the stuff that makes your shampoo and soaps lather). The faster you can get to your freshly dyed hair, the better; just make sure you deep condition afterwards.
- Call the hotline: If you experience unwanted results from an at-home hair color, immediately call the hotline number on the side or back of the box. The company representative can offer you professional advice on what to do next.
- Face the facts: The only true way to lighten color is to remove it. But once that unwanted color has been removed from your hair, sometimes toners have to be added to color-correct. Sure, there are color-removing products like L'Oreal ColorZap ($12) readily available at the nearest beauty supply store, but if your too-dark color is still not looking right, heading to a professional is probably the best option.
How to prevent it in the first place: Since semipermanent or demipermanent colors typically fade a lot faster than permanent colors, they are often more gentle for the home colorist. And when coloring your hair at home, go only one to two levels lighter or darker than your natural hair color to avoid "oh no" moments. While most box color includes a description of what the shade will be (such as medium-light brown), keep in mind that level one equals black and level 10 is light blond.