I was asking around at the studio I am working at this week if anyone knew what BB creams were. I was surprised to find that very few women in my industry know about them. I thought if that’s the case, this is an opportunity to share a little-known product that is perfect for busy girls on lazy summer days (or for lazy girls on buzzy summer days, as the case may be).
As the urban legend has it, Beauty Balms or Blemish Balms were developed by dermatologists in Germany for their patients to use after treatments to lightly mask imperfections while delivering benefits to help with recovery. They were then popularized when a Korean actress raved about how BB cream was the secret to her flawless skin and the rest is history—at least in Asian countries!
Stateside, these hardworking skin perfectors are still a little under the radar. These creams are different from a tinted moisturizer in that they tend to have high SPF as well as a variety of additional skin care ingredients; from Vitamin C (to brighten), hyaluronic acid (to hydrate), vitamin E (to protect) or even caffeine (to soothe). Kind of like the multi-tasking Little Black Dress of makeup. What's great about them, is that in one product you get high SPF, a light coverage which minimizes flaws, and a variety of skin care benefits (depending on the particular product). BB creams are the perfect summer skin compliment and multitasking product.
The first thing you need to know before you buy one is there are quite a few on the market with a range of coverage, colors, and benefits. So first figure out what you need from the product (like coverage, moisturization, anti-aging, or blemish control). Then you'll have a better idea of which one is right for you.
Here are three of my favorites:
What I love about this one:
DR. BRANDT Flexitone BB Cream
What I love about this one:
Garnier Skin Renew Miracle Skin Perfector BB Cream
What I love about this one:
So if you're feeling a little lazy this summer and want a multitasking product that makes you look better, during and after application, wander over to your local Sephora or even Target and give these little hardworking multitasking products a chance. You'll be glad you did.
Last week I talked briefly about men's grooming—a subject that is near and dear to my heart. As a follow-up to my Father's Day grooming-product recommendations, I'd like to go over some tips to keep you or the men in your life looking their best year-round.
Most men consider shaving their form of skin care, but they tend to ignore the parts of their faces that don't grow hair. A few words about that: Men tend to have thicker, more oily skin than women (thanks to larger, more numerous sebaceous glands than women). They also tend to get more blocked pores and blackheads, especially around the nose. I recommend a scrub at least once a week, concentrated in areas where they don't shave, such as the nose and forehead. (It's best to keep the product in the shower, so it's easy to remember to use it.)
The first and most important step is to prepare the beard and skin. One of the best ways to do this is to use a preshave oil. What a preshave oil does is form a protective barrier to improve the way a razor glides over the skin. It will also soften the beard and make it easier (and thus, less irritating) to shave. This is extra important for guys with sensitive skin.
Shaving works best in the shower when the skin is wet. A shaving cream applied with a shaving brush creates a rich, thick lather which helps to lift the beard away from the skin. It also provides moisture for a smooth, comfortable shave.
A sharp razor is of utmost importance. I have been recommending the Gillette Fusion ProGlide razor. It has thinner, finer blades which cut close, comfortably. I also like that the handle is reusable—just the blade gets replaced. When shaving keep the blade clean, and rinse often. Apply gentle pressure, and shave in the direction that the beard grows.
Apply a moisturizer after shaving to soothe the skin. Choose one according to the right skin type. Avoid aftershave, which typically contains alcohol and irritates skin, but also causes ingrown hairs.
A couple of other tips: I always carry an alum pen in my kit. It's a natural mineral that stops the bleeding from a shaving nick and is far more attractive than toilet paper.
Finally, every man needs a great pair of tweezers. The Cro-Magnon look has long been out of style, and with a good pair of Tweezerman tweezers, your man will look evolved.
I travel for work—sometimes a couple times a month. While I am away, my husband becomes a single parent, something I consider to be a superhero. He takes care of our daughter, works a full-time job, keeps our house spotless, takes care of our dog, and still asks me what I want for dinner when I get home. He holds down the fort.
With Father's Day just around the corner, I have been trying to find the perfect present to say thank you. I haven't quite decided on one, but I thought I'd share some past gifts that have been a hit, and some ideas for this year. I hope it inspires you to find the perfect gift to honor the fathers in your life.
Shaving: something most men do almost everyday. What if you could make it one of the best parts of their day?
The Art of Shaving
Their philosophy includes four simple, but equally important, steps:
1. Prepare (pre-shave oil to protect skin and soften the beard)—My husband swears by this product.
2. Lather (shaving cream applied with a shaving brush)
3. Shave (sharp razor)
4. Moisturize (to soothe the skin)
The Mall of America store has a friendly, knowledgeable staff, including barbers that will give dad a great shave and "how-to" instructions for home. The product kits are based on skin type, and formulated with aromatherapy benefits. The results? A smooth, comfortable shave and a great-smelling dad.
Kiehl's has a men's travel kit with a sampling of products including their Ultimate Brushless Shave Cream. This shave cream has been a favorite at my house since the first time my husband and I visited the original Kiehl's store in the East Village of New York City 18 years ago. I still carry it in my kit for grooming jobs and male models love and appreciate it. This is a nice introduction to Kiehl's and especially appropriate for a dad that travels.
I recently wandered into MartinPatrick3 where I rediscovered one of the best-smelling lines I have ever inhaled, called Aesop. They have a lovely array of unisex products. The Moroccan neroli shaving serum is particularly intoxicating, as is the vetiver-scented deodorant (It reminds me of my grandfather.) This line has something for dad that you can use, too.
Additionally, they also carry Malin+Goetz, which is another wonderful line based on the idea of simple multitasking items that work especially well on sensitive skin. I love the Vitamin E shaving cream and the mojito lip balm. The store also has one of the best selection of men's accessories in the cities.
Other ideas I have been considering:
Happy Father's Day!
Outdoor events seem to multiply in June. Weddings, graduation parties, cocktail parties on the deck, and dining al fresco. It seems since we spend a great deal of the winter inside, once the warm days and balmy nights arrive we create things to do outside!
Truth be told, I will brave any element, rain ("It's only spitting"), wind ("It makes my hair look fuller"), mosquitos ("They are only around for a little while at dusk") to enjoy entertaining outdoors. And nature, once it awakes from its cold weather slumber, does not disappoint with its glorious backdrops, especially here in Minneapolis, making the outdoors the perfect stage for any special event.
So with all these events to attend, how do you keep your cool without having a makeup meltdown?
First, prepare. Start with clean skin that has been exfoliated (I can't tell you how addicted I am to my Clarisonic). Exfoliation is key! If nothing else, wash your face and use a wet, but wrung out, washcloth to gently exfoliate your skin. Use a small, gentle, circular motion going upward and outward on the entire face and neck area. This not only removes makeup residue and dead skin, but it actually signals the skin to produce new cells which gives the skin a fresh, bright, glowing look.
Less is more. This is my mantra—keep repeating it. Opt for a tinted moisturizer or a BB cream (a Beauty Balm makeup with skin-care benefits) instead of a foundation. Unless your having one of those I-need-all-the-coverage-I-can-get weeks.
Try one of my favorites:
Giorgio Armani Face Fabric Foundation SPF 12
This tinted moisturizer (top right) has something called 3D Micro-fil technology, which enhances the natural glow of the skin. It gives you a 12 SPF, and I love that it doesn't settle into fine lines or wrinkles. It gives you a sheer flawless, more matte finish. Apply lightly; layer as needed for more coverage. It can be used in combination with concealer.
Smashbox Camera Ready BB Cream, SPF 35
This product will even out skin tone, without looking heavy, and minimizes shine. Plus, it gives you SPF 35 coverage. BB creams improves skin moisture, and this one has has anti-aging peptides for a decrease in fine lines over time. It's versatile—it can also be used under foundation as a primer/SPF or in combination with a concealer.
Benefit Benetint Cheek and Lip Stain
This is a long-time favorite because it's oil free (meaning, long lasting), won't melt in the heat, and it has a natural-looking finish. It was originally formulated for exotic dancers, so
you know it has to last. Plus you can also use it to stain your lips. Tip: Apply after foundation and blend quickly; layer for more intensity.
MAC Paint Pots
They go on creamy for easy blending and dry to a truly creaseless (no retouching needed), long-wearing finish. Try Reubenesque, a golden peach, for day and Constructivist, a neutral shimmering brown, for evening. Apply from lash line to just past the crease. Blend well.
Clarins Double Fix Mascara
This product can be used as a primer before mascara, after mascara application to seal and waterproof your favorite formula, and even to groom unruly brows. Apply under and/or over mascara for long-lasting, waterproof wear.
NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil
These chubby pencils deliver beautiful, highly pigmented colors and wear wonderfully while leaving your lips feeling comfortable. For day try Dolce Vita, and for evening my personal favorite—Dragon Girl. Outline the lips first, then fill in.
So go ahead and RSVP to all those outdoor events; this kit will make sure you’re camera-ready all day or night.
Have a question just ask me.....