On Wednesdays, We Use Pink Grapefruit Makeup Wipes

On Wednesdays, I’m typically too tired to do anything beyond taking in a little American Horror Story before falling into my bed. These Yes To Grapefruit Brightening Facial Towelettes are great for keeping on your nightstand to ensure you’ll remove all traces of makeup before turning in for the evening. Best of all? They’re a seriously thrifty $6 at 3floz.com. And you can opt for auto replenishment, so you don’t have to become a towelette hoarder, like moi

Are you a towelette gal or a full-frontal face wash person?
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Fictionary: Guerrilla Porefare

=&0=& is a column showcasing beauty-related words that don’t exist, but should.

Let’s discuss pores and their vile, vulgar innards with which we cannot wait to dispense, am I right? I mean, a gal will do anything to be able to launch guerrilla porefare on her face when it’s just been too long since she’s had a thorough facial.

Remember in Orange Is The New Black (I know, I’m so July 2013 even referencing it) when Red says that magical chicken came to her in a dream and she wants some freshly killed, not-processed chicken Kiev (this Russian feels her–my grandmother’s recipe hilariously hails from a Playboy issue and she cooks it every year for my birthday), and promises a box of Bioré strips to anyone who can bag the bird? THAT COMMITMENT TO BLACKHEAD REMOVAL IS REAL AND DEEP, dolls. To that end, I’d like to share my own pore de-clogging miracle workers.

orlane set

Orlane Absolute Skin Recovery Mask ($90 at Beauty.com)
My new Fashion Week staple, this ten-minute mask is my savior. If I wake up looking like Courtney Love on a bender (it happens more often than I care to admit during the lack of zzzs most of us get during F dubs), I just apply a thick layer, leave it on for ten minutes and then rinse it off before applying makeup. My gal M-L even recommends rocking it underneath makeup for extra radiance. 

Origins Clear Improvement Active Charcoal Mask ($24 at Sephora.com)
I’ve used this mask FOREVER and for good reason. Did you know that charcoal is so good at absorbing toxins that it’s even administered internally in emergency rooms to patients who have ingested poisonous substances? Also, a quick application pre-shower means you’ll emerge clean and with cleaner pores. 

Clarisonic Deep Pore Detoxifying Solution Collection ($170 at Sephora.com)
This brush head is a game changer. For me, the sensitive one didn’t have that get-all-up-in-my-pores blasting capabilities I need when my sebum is at defcon 1 levels of bad, if you’re picking up what I’m putting down. Using it once a week on my cheeks (my most acne-prone area) has helped with the cystic acne that tends to establish residency there. Be mindful that it may not be fore you if you have very sensitive skin, but if you don’t, GET this new Mia set. 

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Glossy, Shiny, Shimmery and Sparkly

By Julia Casella

As I typed the title to this post I couldn’t help but think of the Seven Dwarfs and how much more fabulous the tale would have been if they were named Glossy, Shinny, Shimmery and Sparkly.  Then again, beauty already causes enough problems in that story so it’s probably better that they had names like Dopey and Sneezy.
The point is, all those sound really nice together but I urge you to choose wisely when adopting them into your beauty routine. Being glossy is different from being shiny and being shimmery is different from being sparkly. You want to be glossy and shimmery but not shiny (unless we are talking about your hair) or sparkly (unless we are talking about your teeth).  Basically, you want to be radiant in all the best ways possible. Here’s how:


MAKE just came out with some incredible products to make your skin super glossy.  The first is a glossing powder that can be worn directly over skin or as a setting powder for your makeup. The Custom Finish Effects Matte/Dew is great because it has dual textures: one mattifies ( because you don’t want your whole face to be glossy) and the other adds a nice soft pop of color to apples of you check or cheekbones. Then they have the ultimate glossy godsend: Face Gloss. This colorless gloss provides a sexy sheen look and can be used anywhere on the body.

Then of course, there is lip gloss. Tubes, wands, pots, vintage looking mental tins, they come in so many different forms and flavors but the key is finding one that isn’t too sticky yet has staying power. You don’t want to feel like you have maple syrup stuck on your lips but you also don’t want to reapply every two seconds. 

The Physicians Formula pH powered lip gloss lasts all day but better yet, it reacts to light and your natural pH level, transforming into a personalized hue.  The new shade, Natural, is perfect if you want an effortlessly chic nude lip.


The key to shiny hair is moisture. Masks and heat-activated products can help tremendously. And as a finishing product, my favorite light serum is the SHU UEMURA Essence Absolue Nourishing Protective Oil.  


I’ve mentioned this Kate Somerville ‘Body Glow’ Sunscreen before and I absolutely adore it. Everyone should be using this lotion because it is definitely one of those instant gratification products. It makes your skin look bronzy—but it isn’t tinted so the effect comes solely from its shimmer properties. It also has caffeine so you look firmer and it smells good while protecting you from those bad UV rays.


Brush your teeth and use white strips.  The Crest 3D Advanced Vivid white strips give you results in just a few days and stop you from late night snacking.  And when it comes to toothpaste, no tube is more effective and beautifully packaged than this one from Marvis.

What’s your glossy, shiny, shimmery and sparkly strategy?

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VIDEO: June Beauty Product Favorites

june favorites This is my DEFINITIVE list of things I’m loving for June. Check out the video and list below for where to buy each item. =&0=& ($11)=&1=& ($34)=&2=& ($14)=&3=& ($86)=&4=& ($36)=&5=& ($30) 
What are your June favorites? Tell me all about ‘em below.

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Eff Off, AARP. Slash Pass The Avon.

This post is sponsored by Avon, but all opinons are my own. 

Yesterday was not the best. Some of its gems include: 

I was at an event yesterday thrown by my friend Yuli (whose wedding I’m attending in Greece next week–YAY for that) and was talking about the festivities when her business partner came over and started asking me all about my impending nuptials… because somehow he’d misheard that we were talking about YULI’S wedding. Whom he works with every day. Did I mention that my birthday is next week? I’m not discussing how old I’ll be. I’m having a panic attack about it that’s closer to the Rain Man-not-getting-home-in-time-for-Wapner end of the scale than the WASPY Lucille Bluth method of dealing with it by numbing herself with several dirty martinis. More on that later. 

I attended an event at the Kensie showroom (divine reasonably priced jewelry, BTW) and decided to talk to the Taro reader there for kicks who told me that not one but TWO of the cards indicated my pessimistic attitude toward dating. 

After two events and a Flywheel class during which my hair tie broke and I had to MacGuyver it on my hair to hold any of it away from my face while in position 1, I came home gasping for air in the humid 90-degree heat and felt the need for a people cleanse. I got my mail… and in my inbox is an APPLICATION FOR AN AARP SUBSCRIPTION. And I was like, you know what? That’s it. I’m 32. Fuming, I sent @AARP a caustic tweet and they apologized. 

It’s a full day later but I cannot stop slathering on Avon’s Youth Restoring trio, which includes a night cream, day cream and anti-wrinkle eye roller. Obviously. As if I could. Ever. In a world where we live as people. I’ve been rocking it for the past week (although once-hourly applications between last night and tonight have made my skin’s texture look positively Abigail Breslin-esque.) The two creams boast elegant textures (the day cream is formulated with SPF so you’ll stave off AARP for years and years to come) and sink in immediately. The products are infused with Amethyst Mineral Complex to impart a younger and healthier look by fading the appearance of fine lines. I love that it doesn’t freak out my sensitive skin but does yeoman’s hydration duty. 

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Skinterrogation: Dr. Neal Schultz On Glycolic Acid

The Skinterrogation column features Q&A seshes with dermatologists, aestheticians and other major movers and shakers in the skin care industry. 

Dr. Neal Schultz is one of the nicest derms in the business and I can also credit him with helping me get my skin look the best it has in YEARS. The secret? Glycolic acid and lots of it, a shocking diagnosis for this Retin-A loving reviewer. Here, I caught up with the glycolic guru about the benefits of exfoliation, whether you can combine glycolic acid with Retin-A and how to apply glycolic acid. 

How can we get the best exfoliation? 
To get the very best results from your chemical exfoliant, you want to use the optimal strength of the product. The optimal strength for you is the highest strength your skin will tolerate without irritation or inflammation. And you can achieve that optimal strength not by using the highest strength exfoliant right away, but instead by starting with a low strength and gradually increasing it. That’s because your skin usually acclimates to the slight potential irritancy of chemical exfoliants over time. So, by starting at a low strength that won’t irritate your skin and then by increasing the strength slowly, you can induce tolerance in your skin and achieve optimal exfoliation. To accomplish this you must use a chemical exfoliant that is available in a variety of strengths. That’s one of the reasons I love glycolic, the gold standard of chemical exfoliants. Glycolics are available for at home use in strengths varying from one to 20%. 

Can you combine glycolic acid and Retin-A? 

Retin-A is not compatible with some other exfoliants because of the brittle nature of Retin-A, meaning that it’s so easily broken or inactivated by other chemicals, especially acids.

Glycolic acid is sufficiently powerful to inactivate Retin-A if applied at the same time, regardless of which is applied first. You’ll get the benefit of the glycolic, which isn’t compromised by the brittle Retin-A, but most probably the Retin-A will be inactivated. Fortunately that does no harm to your skin; it simply cancels out the benefit of the Retin-A.

But you can use both Retin-A and glycolic acid in the same skincare regimen as long as they are applied hours apart from each other, such as Retin-A in the morning and glycolic at bedtime. That allows Retin-A to work without interference. And yes, I said Retin-A in the morning…. The increased sun sensitivity from Retin-A is cumulative and occurs after many days of use and doesn’t depend on what time of the day you use it. So as always, sunscreen is a must.

How should we apply glycolic acid? 
As with any active ingredient, to get its full benefit you must prep by cleansing the skin. Your cleanser and toner will synergize to remove excess oils, dirt, debris and loose dead cells. And after finishing wiping with your toner, give it half a minute to completely evaporate, or take a soft cotton ball and gently remove any excess. You’re now ready to apply your glycolic!  If you’re using a glycolic serum or gel, apply just a few drops with your finger to each side of your face and spread them all over, avoiding the eye area. If using glycolic pads, gently wipe your entire face, always avoiding the eye area. If you have a glycolic cream, put a pea sized amount in your palm and with a finger from your other hand dab tiny bits all over your face, again avoiding your eye area and then spread it around. I recommend using glycolic at bedtime. It should be the first product applied after you cleanse and tone. With one exception: if you’re using a blemish spot treatment and a glycolic in a cream vehicle, apply the spot treatment first. 

Thanks, Dr. Schultz! Don’t forget to check out his BeautyRX Skincare line here, chock full of glycolic acid infused items. My favorite? The Gentle Exfoliating Eye Therapy Cream, with, you guessed it, a mild dose of glycolic acid. 

What’s your exfoliation method of choice? 

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Fictionary: Stresstival

Fictionary is a column showcasing beauty-related words that don’t exist, but should.

Different water can mean the difference between phenomenal hair and Vegas hair. It can also be the final nail in the coffin when it comes to my skin, causing a travel-related blemish. I’ve fine-tuned my travel skin care routine to a science so as to minimize the possibility of flare-ups, opting for a makeup-free flight at all times, and even a little Retin-A so I can exfoliate while I escalate to 40,000 feet. But even that can only do so much. Because travel + different water + packing + squeezing in as much work as I can before leaving = a Stresstival

My new ammunition against it? Kiehl’s Skin Rescuer, a daily hydrator designed to fight the signs of stress. It treats, calms and hydrates with chamomile extract, glycerin and shea butter, so it doesn’t skimp on moisture. It limits the release of stress signals to the skin with  rosa gallica extract, and protects the skin barrier from future reactions, thanks to mannose, squaline and a blend of ceramides. The result? Smooth, soft skin–and it’s not just me, beauty friends. 100% of the participants in Kiehl’s clinical trial showed skin improvement. 

Look, be a damsel in distress anxiously awaiting “Backdraft”‘s Brian
McCaffrey in all other aspects of life if you must, but save your own damn skin with Kiehl’s. 

Kiehl’s Skin Rescuer retails for $40 at kiehl’s.com. Do you experience travel-related skin issues? 

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