Hydrating DIY Coconut Oil Foot Scrub

Feet are always in need of some restoration and hydration no matter the season. Whether you’ve had a long day at the office, you’re suffering from dry flip-flop feet, or you’re trying to break in a new pair of heels, there is nothing a DIY at-home foot scrub can’t Read more

GR8SKN Acne Spot Treatment

Teen skin issues are in full force in my house. Thankfully my sons have taken an interest in caring for their skin and always come to me with questions about how to clear up blemishes, moisturize and cleanse their skin, and for my oldest, asked my husband to show Read more

Lemon Ginger Lavender Spa Elixir

With the change of season it takes an extra dose of effort (and nutrients) to ward off dreaded colds. The Umstead Hotel and Spa (Cary, N.C.) is treating spa guests to a soothing seasonal Lemon Ginger Lavender Elixir that will be more pleasant on the palate than cough syrup! Chef Greg Gettles shares his recipe for a refreshing, Read more

NEOVA Copper Moisture Mask

Copper has many skin care benefits including the promotion of collagen and elastin production, as well as acting as an antioxidant. Copper peptides help to firm, smooth and soften skin, and it's said that copper can accomplish it in half the time compared to most other anti-aging skin care Read more

Cate McNabb Cruelty Free Red Lipstick

Ever since I decided to make the leap into wearing red lipstick, I've become obsessed. While I know that self-confidence comes from within, the perfect red lipstick can get you there a little quicker. Cruelty free cosmetics brand, Cate McNabb, has some incredibly hydrating lipsticks and Be Mine basically begged Read more

acne

Miracle Clay Review

I’ve long been a fan of clay masks. Having combination skin, it typically is one of the best ways to absorb the excess oil and balances my skin back out. A newer beauty company, Miracle Clay, recently contacted me about a few products from their line based on clay (obviously.) I tried out their Ancient Clay Soap (for body), Magnetic Clay Mask (a facial cleanser mask) and Healing Clay (for blemishes.)   Read more

Posted on by Shannon Smyth in acne, bath and body, beauty, men's skin care, skin care Leave a comment

Overnight Lip Treatments For Softer, Fuller Lips While You Sleep

Unless you’re a stickler for protecting your pucker during these hot summer months (good for you!), chances are, your lips aren’t having as much fun as you are while you mingle at friends’ pool parties and bask the day away at the beach. Plus, if you have that dreadful bad habit of constantly chewing on dry lips like I do, and just can’t help making things even worse, your smoocher probably hates you right now. But don’t fret – even if you forget that ever-so-important SPF lip balm before leaving the house, hope is not lost – you can still soothe sun-abused, wind-ravaged lips while you sleep. Seriously!  Read more

Posted on by Shannon Smyth in beauty, lip gloss, skin care Leave a comment

Review: Soap & Glory Bath and Body Products

Soap & Glory’s iconic retro images and whimsical product titles have captured the hearts of beauty lovers across the globe. Though the funky packaging has caught my eye quite a few times while browsing my local Sephora, I hadn’t had a chance to actually try the products until now.

I was very pleased with the products, and I loved how seamlessly they worked together:

1. Exfoliate. First, I sloughed off any dead or flaky skin with Flake Away. As a woman with chronically dry skin, I’m a big critic of  exfoliators. This particular scrub ranks among my top 5 all-time favorites, with only Sabon’s exfoliator ahead of it.  Read more

Posted on by Amanda Huggins in bath and body, skin care Leave a comment

What’s in My Summer Makeup Bag? e.l.f. Lotion Wipes and Clinique Chubby Stick

Summer Makeup Bag: Clinique Chubby Stick and e.l.f. Lotion Wipes
As much as I enjoy playing with makeup, one of the reasons I adore summer so much is because I don’t need to wear as much product as I do during the colder months.  Thanks to a (very gentle) kiss from the sun, my skin is clearer, allowing me to nix foundation, concealer, and bronzer.

On days when I dare to go especially bare, I pack only the essentials in my beach bag.  Aside from a standard SPF 45 and a sun hat (must haves!), there are two secret weapons I’ve yet to leave home without this summer.

The first: tinted lip balm. After floating from brand to brand, I’ve fallen head over heels in love with Clinique’s Chubby Stick. The tried-and-true classic packs a triple punch with a kiss of color, SPF 15, and serious moisturizing properties.  I’m a personal fan of the “Chunky Cherry” shade, but the color is so subtle that almost any shade will do the trick.  Read more

Posted on by Amanda Huggins in beauty, lip gloss, Makeup, skin care, Summer Beauty, Travel Beauty Leave a comment

Laura Mercier Almond Coconut Milk Scrub

Summer is the time when I increase my exfoliation a bit (no one wants to see flaky pegs) and long for tropical or beach fragrances. Thanks to the folks at Laura Mercier, I get to experience both with her Almond Coconut Milk Scrub.

What I love about this creamy scrub is that it is a mixture of both sugar and beads (which are safest for exfoliation), olive oil, grape seed oil, coconut oil and sweet almond oil.  It comes in a hefty 12 ounce glass jar, which I thankfully have not broken yet.  I found this scrub to be gentle enough for everyday use, and it left a delicious scent behind on the skin (which makes me want to buy the Almond Coconut Milk Souffle Body Creme.) Not to mention that my bathroom smells heavenly during my shower and the scent lingers in the air for hours. Mmm. Seriously, I can’t begin to describe to you how yummy this scent is. You’ll just have to try it for yourself. Especially if you like Pina Coladas and getting caught in the rain.   Read more

Posted on by Shannon Smyth in bath and body, beauty, skin care 1 Comment

Dr. Jart’s Water Fuse Beauty Balm Gets Put to the Test

While I’m still pondering whether my full year subscription to Birchbox was a wise purchase or a poorly-targeted impulse buy, after two months I can say that it has given me the chance to test out a few products I’ve been on the fence about. Take BB creams for example – since they’ve really started skyrocketing in popularity stateside, I’ve been on the prowl for the perfect one, and Birchbox let me give Dr. Jart’s Water Fuse Beauty Balm a test-drive.   Read more

Posted on by Shannon Smyth in beauty, Makeup, skin care Leave a comment

Fade Scars and Dark Spots with InviCible Scars

Fade Scars and Dark SpotsWith reports of skin cancer, breast cancer, c-sections and cosmetic surgery – all on the rise – so too is the incidence of scarring. Not surprisingly, once the healing process sets in – both physical and psychological – the first thing people with fresh scars want to do is fade them. I know that when I had my gall bladder out, it left behind a large scar that I quickly wanted to hide. From working with the team behind InviCible Scars there are something things I’ve learned when it comes to fading scars (and dark spots) — there is more to it than just applying a cream.

Ironically, people’s first inclination in response to a new scar is to sit in the sun to help even out the color and texture. I know that with previous scars, this is exactly what I thought I should do. While sun exposure is essential for vitamin D absorption, it’s perhaps the worst possible thing a person can do for a scar. UV exposure not only darkens a scar’s appearance (sometimes even permanently), especially among more olive-toned complexions, but it can also impact texture, causing the scar to thicken. For those who can’t avoid the sun entirely this summer, Dr. Chrysopoulo (the plastic surgeon behind InviCible) recommends using a topical scar cream, like InviCible, and ALWAYS covering the area with a broad spectrum sunscreen with a minimum of SPF 30.  Read more

Posted on by Shannon Smyth in acne, beauty, skin care 1 Comment

Westlake Dermatology and Cosmetic Surgery

westlake-logoWestlake Dermatology & Cosmetic Surgery is a leading provider of skin care with 5 locations in Austin and Central Texas, specializing in all treatments related to skin care and body contouring such as a full range of medical treatments, plastic surgery, lasers, and injectables, as well as allergy and immunology treatments. (They have a 6th location opening at the Four Seasons Residences Tower in Austin this July.)

Westlake Dermatology & Cosmetic Surgery is the team behind the popular beauty store, iderma.com where you can shop for brand name skin care, hair care and makeup products from companies like HydroPeptide (who I’ve reviewed before), Jan Marini, Obagi and more.   Read more

Posted on by Shannon Smyth in anti-aging, beauty, skin care Leave a comment

Acne Treatment Review: Rx for Brown Skin Hydrating Acne Lotion and Acne Spot Treatment

My skin, for the most part, is pretty problem free but every once in a while…or more like once every month without fail…I tend to develop a serious case of acne that always seems to appear right before a big event or a photoshoot.  As soon as I notice that tiny red bump or feel that all too familiar tender spot on my skin, I start to attack it with lotions and potions intended to treat and prevent those bumps from transforming into pimples.  This plan of attack has resulted in one of two scenarios thus far; either it does not work and I just deal with a ginormous pimple for a few days…or a full week, or it works but also turns my skin into a dry flaky mess.

During this month’s battle of the breakouts, I used Rx For Brown Skins’ Clear Luminosity Acne Lotion and Precise Clarity Acne Spot Treatment as my weapons of choice and am ecstatic to say that I emerged victorious from this battle…finally.  The Clear Luminosity Acne Lotion did not leave my skin feeling dry and flaky like every other acne treatment lotion I’ve used in the past.  It was actually very hydrating and left my skin feeling softer and smoother, it also seemed to soothe my skin instead of irritating it.  The Precise Clarity Acne Spot Treatment helped to clear up my pimples, and while it was noticeably more drying than the lotion it still did not leave my skin a flaky, irritated mess.  With both of these products, the suggested application frequency is one to three times daily but I only needed to use it once a day and I generally used it at night, which worked out really well for me.   Read more

Posted on by Gail Lewis in acne, beauty, skin care Leave a comment

Anti-aging Review: Continuous Results by Elayda

I recently had the opportunity to try Continuous Results by Elayda, which is a Retinol-based anti-aging 3 step system. While I only reviewed Level 1, this is a “step up” type of system, where you would move to the next level of the program that delivers more ingredients as time goes on.  I used the Gentle Hydrating Cleanser, Transforming Complex (used at night) and the Nourishing Hydrator with SPF for daytime (mine said SPF15, but on the website it says SPF29.) I definitely saw results in the time that I used it; I also saw some acne emerge in my chin area (which is now going away). However, I’m told that this goes away as you step up to the next level. Check out my video and let me know if you’ve used it!  Read more

Posted on by Shannon Smyth in anti-aging, beauty, skin care Leave a comment