5 Common Reasons Your Skin is Breaking Out

SBOAlright, you’re tired of it. You are way past puberty, you wash your face regularly and you even splurged on that overly expensive miracle acne face wash! So what gives?! Unfortunately no matter how many precautions you may think you’re taking, you may still be missing some everyday habits that are causing your vicious breakouts. Here are 5 of the most common reasons you’re still breaking out:

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Steal Mila Kunis’ Braided Bun Look for Summer!

Steal Mila Kunis' Braided Bun Look for Summer!

Mila Kunis at the 2016 BILLBOARD MUSIC AWARDS (Getty Images via ABC)

It’s officially summer and if you’re anything like me you’re super excited… Until your first official summer night out when humidity, heat and sweat turn that hairstyle you spent an hour perfecting into a gross, flat or frizzy mess. It’s enough to make anyone give up on glam and settle for a plain, slicked back pony or top-knot, but the rise in temperature doesn’t mean you have to lower your style standards.

Take for example Mila Kunis’ fabulous, braided bun look created by Celebrity Stylist Renato Campora. This bun style is the perfect way keep your hair looking chic despite the heat. Lucky for us, Campora has broken down how you can recreate the look he styled for Kunis using Infusium 23 products and PRO Beauty Tools. Check out Campora’s step-by-step instructions below!

Mila Kunis at the 2016 BILLBOARD MUSIC AWARDS (Getty Images via ABC)

Mila Kunis at the 2016 BILLBOARD MUSIC AWARDS (Getty Images via ABC)

First, I washed and conditioned her hair with the Infusium 23 Repair + Renew Shampoo and Conditioner to illuminate and brighten her strands.

I wanted a lot of texture for this look so I sprayed the Infusium 23 Repair + Renew Leave-In Treatment when her hair was damp to help build texture and volume.

Next, I dried her hair with the PRO Beauty Tools 1875W Ionic AC Motor and ran my hands through her hair – no brush.

I selected random pieces and curled them with the PRO Beauty Tools 1 ¼ Curling Iron to add more volume.

It’s all about the texture today! So I sprayed the Infusium 23 Repair + Renew Leave-In Treatment again which also helped tame fly-aways and create that sleek look.

I pulled a few pieces out on side of her face to create a soft, romantic feel. The rest of the hair was pulled into a high ponytail.

Then, I braided the ponytail very loosely, wrapped it around and finished the look by pinning the braid around the ponytail.

There you have it! With the right products and tools, and these simple instructions from Campora you too can take your summer hair from bland and unmanageable to this romantic and put together braided bun!

Bright Skin (Image Credit: Flickr User Eflon)

Tips for Brighter, Clearer Skin!

Bright Skin (Image Credit: Flickr User Eflon)

Bright Skin (Image Credit: Flickr User Eflon)

Few things can ruin a day like dull, dry or broken out skin. A majority of confidence comes from having clear skin, so it’s hard to feel 100% pretty when your skin isn’t up to par. Luckily, you can have some control over your skin! Read below for ways to get your skin bright and clear and keep it that way. Continue reading

Easy Ways to Revitalize Your Hair!

SFD 105Spring is all but gone and summer is right around the corner. You’re probably hard at work on your new beach body, but your figure is not the only thing that needs some revitalizing- your hair probably needs it too! Bring on the sun with these beautiful, healthy hair tips. Continue reading

How to Pick Your Natural Blush Color

(Image Credit: lculig)

(Image Credit: lculig)

Looking effortlessly beautiful boils down to looking naturally healthy. A great way to pull off this look is with perfectly flushed cheeks. To get this appearance, we rely on blush to give us that flawless, rosy glow. But with so many colors to choose from, how do we pick the perfect shade to make us look luscious and not clownish? Let’s break down tips and tricks to figure out your perfect shade so you can look sexy and not silly.

Check yourself out after a good workout.

The best way to find out what your natural blush shade should be is to see your skin’s natural blush after a run or workout. Check out your cheeks in the mirror afterwards to see what color they pick up. If you have problems with turning into a tomato all over after a workout, this may not be the best bet, but for anyone who gets a light flush it is the perfect way to see your natural blush.

Pinch your cheeks.

A time-tested way to give yourself a natural blush, pinching your cheeks will make them react to show off what your natural flushed tone is. You don’t have to pinch hard; just a little along the apples of your cheeks will show what color your natural blush is. This is also an easy way to give color to your cheeks if you have no blush in sight.

Visit a makeup counter.

The makeup artists at the counter of your favorite store are trained to tell you the perfect tone for any type of makeup you are searching for. You can trust their judgment; they have hours of training and often times are certified makeup artists. You may also find the perfect new blush for you with their help.

Buy a blush palette.

For some of us, the only way to do things is through trial and error. If you have to see it to believe it, invest in a blush palette to see many shades of blush on your face. This can help you not only find the best natural blush but allow you to create many different looks.

Find a master makeup artist.

If you’re feeling flustered and can’t seem to hit the right shade, try finding a makeup artist who mixes their own products. Many lines of makeup, such as Motives, allow makeup artists to create custom blended products, making sure the shade is just right for you!

Finding the right blush doesn’t have to be such a struggle! With these tips and tricks, you can pick your natural blush color make sure to get the right flush for your face without too much hassle and time.


Originally posted on December 2, 2014.

Save Face: Learn When to Toss Your Makeup

(Image Credit: Luca Fabbian)

(Image Credit: Luca Fabbian)

I love trying out new makeup. I can sometimes have three mascaras and ten lipsticks circulating at the same time. There’s no doubt that this makes for a more fun time getting ready, but it can also result in a product I’ve used only once or twice sitting around for a few years because I think that maybe I’ll really need that blue eyeshadow for a future occasion, or even just because I feel like I’m being wasteful if I get rid of it. If you’re anything like me in this regard, you probably have unnecessary clutter around your vanity, but even worse? You’re likely to have expired makeup lying around.

Didn’t know cosmetics have expiration dates? Many people don’t, but unfortunately it’s the truth. If you look on the bottom of a product, often times there will be an indication of how long it is okay to use. For example, you might see “2Y,” meaning two years, or “6M,” indicating that you need to toss it after six months. If your cosmetics don’t have clear expiration dates on them, check out this list as a general guideline to when you need to say goodbye to your beauty products.

Mascara: I’ve always heard that mascara should be used no more than about three months. You don’t want to mess with bacteria that might find its way in, and it tends to get dried out and clumpy after that point, anyway.

Lipstick and lip gloss: From a quick glance at my most-used lip products, the general suggestion seems to be to toss after one year.

Foundation and concealer: These are typically fine to use for a year, but sometimes the advised expiration date is after only six months.

Eyeshadow: Mine range from one to two years, which is pretty painful since I’ll never make it through an entire eyeshadow palette in that time.

Face powders: Like eyeshadows, the rule of thumb is one to two years. This means setting powder, blush, bronzer, and the like all need to be used up in 24 months.

Liners and pommades: Six months to a year is the time frame you should stick to. Not only are they also more prone to bacteria since they are used around the eyes, but they are some of the quickest to dry out and stop working properly.

I know it hurts to throw away that beautiful, ridiculously overpriced Chanel foundation, but expired products just don’t work like they should—I can’t be the only one who’s shaken up a separated foundation in hopes of giving it new life. On a more positive note, this gives you every reason to make a Sephora trip without an ounce of guilt! It’s time to toss that forgotten makeup pile and get shopping.

5 Ways to Instantly ‘Fake’ Whiter Teeth

(Image Credit: Kegfire)

(Image Credit: Kegfire)

We’ve all been there—getting all dolled up and feeling really good about ourselves until we flash one last smile in the mirror… not the pearly whites we were expecting to see.  Then our minds go into snowball thinking.  “Too much coffee; never bought those white stripes; did I brush after all that red wine?”  Surely if we had a brighter smile we’d feel totally confident, but how can we erase those stains fast, like, right this second?  We can’t BUT we can ‘fake’ it ‘till we make it.

Here are 5 easy ways to instantly fake a whiter smile:


Quick brush with a BLUE toothpaste

Remember the color wheel in art class?  Blue sits directly across from yellow/orange – so the two cancel each other out.  Using a fast whitening blue toothpaste will cancel out a layer of color making your teeth look whiter in just one use.  I like Luster NOW! Instant Whitening Toothpaste.


Dress in darker colors

Creating a stronger contrast between your outfit and your smile can instantly make your teeth appear brighter.  Wearing something in the white family can make your teeth look dull or yellowed.  Opt for darker colors- navy, black, etc.  The large contrast in color will make your teeth (and eyes!) look brighter.


Bronzer is a girl’s best friend

Ever notice that when you have a fresh tan your teeth look super white?  Again, it’s all about contrasting colors.  If you’re feeling a little pale, give a light sweep of bronzer to the areas where the sun would touch you first (top of forehead, cheek bones, nose, and chin) for a natural sun-kissed glow.


Hues of Blue

The next two tips are for the lips.  Applying the right lip color is key since it will directly contrast your teeth (if done properly).  Find shades of pink or red or berry that best work with your skin tone and then make sure they have blue undertones.  This also means looking for ‘cool’ tones.   There are two types of undertones in cosmetics: warm or cool.   Warm tones are your yellows and oranges.  Cool tones are your blues.   Finding blue tones means spotting the colors that seem cool, without the presence of any orange or yellow.  MAC’s Ruby Woo has been a cult favorite for years.


Finishing Gloss

Finish off your total look with a blue lip gloss.  Yup, I said BLUE lip gloss.  Don’t worry; you won’t walk around looking like you just devoured a blue raspberry slushie.  Blue glosses are tinted blue but appear clear when applied.  This finishing touch will totally make your smile appear whiter.   Creator of IT Cosmetic, Jamie Kern Lima, created this blue lip gloss because she was a News Anchor and knew how important a white smile was for the TV business (and knew the secrets to getting one!).   If you’re looking for the appearance of fuller lips AND a whiter smile, try DuWop Blue Venom Lip Gloss.


With these 5 easy tips, bring the confidence back to your smile—it is your best accessory 😉

5 Easy Tips for a Natural Makeup Look

(Image Credit: Denis Komarov)

(Image Credit: Denis Komarov)

The ‘au natural’ look has been and will always be a classic look in the world of beauty.  To me, there’s nothing better than letting your own beautiful features stand out. We are currently deep into a time of some really cool, edgy makeup trends, which are awesome, but not every occasion calls for a dramatic winged eyeliner, contour, and eyebrows on fleek. Instead, here are some tips to achieve that “I woke up like this” look for the more dressed down occasions. (If you already wake up looking like this, major kudos girl, but for the rest of us, take notes.)

Start with a Light Base

Going au natural does not involve using ‘full coverage’ anything. Instead you’ll want to use a light to medium coverage (preferably powder) foundation to gently sweep across your face. A tinted moisturizer, CC or BB cream is perfect too. With a light base, we are aiming to cover any imperfections, redness, and color correct without layering it on. Freckles and beauty marks should still be seen! Test the color on your wrist—that skin is the most similar to your face so you’ll get the closet color match for a natural base.

Born-With Brows

Many of us have suffered from having OPB at some point of our lives. That’s “Over-Plucked Brows.”  They never grow back the same and definitely leave patches that we must fill in, right?  Going au natural means none of that airbrushed, perfectly even brow game we’ve been playing.  Use a brow powder and brush or a brow gel (one with added fibers is even better) to lightly brush through your natural brow shape.  Always use a shade lighter than your brows. Brush brows upward and secure in place with clear mascara. The messy look is super cute and remember, they’re sisters—not twins!


Keep the colors simple and light on your lids – as close to your natural skin color as possible, with no sparkles or shimmer. Go a little lighter on the inner lid and then a couple shades darker in your crease. Blend!

Simple Liner

Use a shade of brown eyeliner (black if you have black hair) and brush it gently along the lash line. You will barely see it, but this will fill in your lashes and add a subtle finish to the eye. A thick line will not do and be sure to keep the bottom lash line clear!


Use a lash curler and a lighter shade of mascara (black if you have black hair).  Apply one coat on the top and one on the bottom. We’re not going for dramatic lashes here.  We’re not going for dramatic anything, really, just beautiful, natural you. This will give a little fullness to your lashes and extend them without being too much.

Sweep of Color

Gently brush a baby pink blush or a light matte bronzer on the apples of your cheeks. This works to bring out a little color in your face that looks like a natural glow.

Pouty Lips

Find a tinted gloss or tinted balm in a shade similar to but just a touch darker or pinker than your own lips. Along with the simplicity of makeup, this will make your lips appear pouty and luscious.

All of these techniques call for gentle and subtle touches.  Remember, you are just highlighting the natural beauty you were born with.  Stick to neutral shades and matte finishes.  You will be surprised at how quickly you can achieve this look that this might turn into your new go-to makeup routine.   Good luck, beauties!

How to Combat Dry, Dull Winter Skin

(Image Credit: Triocean)

(Image Credit: Triocean)

With winter upon us, it’s only natural to start feeling those winter blues—and boy are we feeling it.  From the shorter hours of daylight to the dropping temperatures, it’s easy to fall into a slump.  The worst part – our body starts to look as dull as we feel. I’m talking about the dreaded WINTER SKIN.  You know, the dry, flaky, sometimes bumpy skin we desperately try to bring the life back into with endless amounts lotions and creams.  We all hate it but it can’t be avoided, right?  Wrong!  I’m sharing some simple beauty tips to bring the glow back into your skin and to warm up your look this holiday season.

The main reason for “winter skin” is the lack of sun, lack of moisture in the air, and cold, dry temperatures.  Here’s a few ways we can reverse the effects:


Don’t take HOT showers

I know the feeling—you just wake up and it’s so cold getting out of bed.  You step into an even colder bathroom.  You hop into the shower and now you’re freezing!  A super hot shower will certainly warm you right up.  DON’T DO IT!  Hotter temperatures on dry skin will only dry out your skin even more!  I’m talking dry to the point of flakiness!  Save your skin and stick with a warm shower.


Scrub Scrub Scrub

While you’re in that warm shower, make sure you exfoliate!  Exfoliating helps remove dead, dry skin and regenerate new skin cells.  Use a sugar scrub to buff away dull skin.  Salt scrubs tend to be a little rougher and can dry out your skin.  Try to stick to a sugar based scrub.  There are homemade remedies you can make, or I like Fresh Brown Sugar Body Polish, available at Nordstrom.



This is the most important and probably the most obvious.  Winter skin is mainly caused by lack of moisture, so we need to put that moisture back.  Find the right moisturizers that cater to what you want to target.  Whether you have itchiness, redness, dry and flaky skin, or combination skin, read the labels to see what ingredients work best for you.  I’ve even had great success with organic coconut oil.  It absorbs quickly and doesn’t leave you feeling greasy.  This is a step you’ll have to do at least once a day – on your WHOLE BODY.  After your shower is the best time.  I use Aveeno Active Naturals Daily Moisturizer, available at your local drug store.

As for your face, depending on your skin type, find a product that works best for what you need.  I like anything that contains hyaluronic acid.  Hyaluronic acid holds A THOUSAND TIMES its weight in water—which means it will really lock in the moisture.  I like Eco Beauty’s Good Day Moisturizer.  Don’t forget a good nighttime moisturizer too!  I use Eco Beauty’s Good Night Moisturizer, both available at LAFreshgroup.com/eco-beauty


Add moisture to your air

Get a small humidifier for your living space.  Even if it’s just in your bedroom, this will help add moisture to the air, thus your body will see the effects of it. You can find all sizes available on Amazon.

Now that your skin is feeling pretty normal again, here are some tips to bring the glow back during the dark days of winter:



Brighten up the base

Use a foundation or CC Cream that has some sort of light shimmer or glow to it.  I use IT Cosmetics CC+ Illumination.  Not only does it correct color, it adds a soft glow without being sparkly.  It brings this refreshing warmth out from in your face—people will stop you and tell you you’re glowing and demand to know why.  New job? Proposal? Nope—just a beauty secret!


Highlight your face

Brush a highlighter on the points of your face where natural light hits – your cheekbones, nose, and forehead – and a dab above your top lip and along your chin.  This will add the effect of soft light radiating along your face, creating the look of a sun-kissed glow.  I use Too-Faced Candlelight Glow Duo Highlighting Powder.


Pop of color

Whether it be with a soft blush or a bold lip, winter is great for lush pinks, dark reds, and bold berry tones.  Have fun and brighten up your skin with a pop of color.


Feeling pale?

I personally embrace my skin color change from bronze to porcelain when the seasons change.  It’s fun to rock a new look.  But if you are feeling like you need a touch of color, don’t head to the tanning beds.  Try a sunless tanning lotion that is safer and easy to do right at home.   I like St. Tropez Self Bronzing Mouse for a tan that lasts about a week or St. Tropez One Night Only Instant Glow Body Lotion for those special occasions you need quick results.   I have had the most success with St. Tropez.  No streaking and no terrible odor.  It’s quick and easy to use, but as always, follow the instructions thoroughly.


With these beauty tips, winter skin CAN be beat.  Our winter blues will turn into warm winter hues and we can glow right into spring.

The 5 Best Products for Shaping Your Eyebrows

(Image Credit: Miya227)

(Image Credit: Miya227)

2015 has been the year of the eyebrows. Everyone seems to have suddenly remembered what great things eyebrows can do for your face! A strong brow really does frame the face — anyone who’s seen edited photos of celebrities without eyebrows would agree — and can seriously change your look for the better. Check out these products to see which options might be right for you!


Hourglass Arch Brow Sculpting Pencil

A brow pencil is the most obvious choice. There are lots of different shades to choose from, they’re easy to control, and they can look as natural or artificial as you want. This pencil by Hourglass is one of my favorites because of its shape; since it’s already on an angle, you don’t have to put too much effort into creating hair-like strokes.


Benefit Gimme Brow

This kind of product is perfect for someone who wants to achieve a quick, natural look. Gimme Brow is a tinted gel with fibers that volumize the brows. Comb through brow hairs, focusing on areas that need a bit more filling in. You’ll get added volume without looking like you’ve spent the last hour painting product on your face.


Anastasia Dipbrow Pomade

If your goal is to have a flawlessly executed brow, look no further than this brow pomade. You’ll need to pair it with an angled brow brush, and make sure you go easy on the product application! With a light hand, fill in spaces with tiny brush strokes to mimic hairs. Once you’re done, comb through with a spoolie to spread the product evenly. This will last you through a day at the office or an intense cardio session at the gym.


Sigma Brow Powder

This product is also a great one if you’re going for a more subtle look. Like the brow pomade, you’ll need an angled brush to pick up the product and mimic brow hairs with small strokes. However, this option isn’t as “permanent” and is a bit easier to control and fix up if you make a mistake. Plus, each duo comes with one light and one dark shade, so you can focus them in different areas depending on how intense you want your look to be.


NXY Control Freak Eyebrow Gel

If you want to set your look in place, or if you just want to keep your natural brow hairs from moving around too much, using a clear brow gel is the way to go. It will keep everything in place without the appearance of adding on any more product, and this one won’t leave you with a shiny coating.


Be sure to let us know if you try any of these out, and comment below with other brow products you’ve been loving!

GIVEAWAY: ‘The Remedy’ Don’t Lose Yourself Prize Pack!

GIVEAWAY: 'The Remedy' Don't Lose Yourself  Prize Pack!Suzanne Young’s latest novel, The Remedy, is a gripping story set in a future that is hyper-aware of mental health. A whole profession has been built around grief management, and individuals called “closers” are hired by grieving families to impersonate their deceased loved ones to help them achieve closure. Quinlan McKee began working as a closer at the age of seven, and ten years later, she’s one of the best. However, she’s beginning to confuse her own past with those of the people she’s been hired to portray. Continue reading

Five Ways To Fight Puffy Eyes

(Image Credit: Tinx)

(Image Credit: Tinx)

There are many reasons why people’s eyes get puffy. A lack of sleep, excessive crying or even allergies can be to blame. For me, it is most often attributed to binge watching Netflix and crying when I get too invested in a plot line. No one wants to deal with the incessant questions by well-meaning onlookers when it comes to going out in public. Next time you find yourself feeling poofy, check out these home remedies. Continue reading

Quirky Item of the Week: Del Sol Color Changing Nail Polish

(Image Credit: Del Sol)

(Image Credit: Del Sol)

I wouldn’t consider myself a girly-girl. I don’t know how to style my hair, I very rarely wear make-up and my inner fashionista is probably a 12-year-old boy. But regardless of my sometimes questionable outfits, there is one girly-girl perk I can’t get enough of, and that’s nail polish. Continue reading

Which Type of Mascara Brush is Right for You?

(Image Credit: Igor Mojzes)

(Image Credit: Igor Mojzes)

Mascara has come a long way in the last 10 years. One brush used to do it all, but now you will find a plethora of brush options when you walk down the makeup aisle. But what do they all do? How can you find the right brush to do the job? We’ve broken down the top mascara looks and found mascara perfect for each particular look. Continue reading