Dec 29, 2009

Is Your Skin Thirsty For Moisture? Try This!

Winter weather can be harsh on your skin. The dryness of the air and harshness of the cold and wind can leave your pores wishing for moisture and comfort. If you’re like me, your skin is dry, itchy and uncomfortable to the point that if you don’t have lotion on it at all times, you’re in total discomfort.

A product that’s saved me from a tortured existence (ok I’m being dramatic) has been B5 Hydrating Gel by Skinceuticals ($65.00, Use a few drops after washing your face in the morning or in the evening but before you lather on your moisturizer. It’s full of vitamin B5 which helps plump and replenishes nutrients the skin needs to feel smooth and hydrated. It also maximizes the effects from your lotion so your skin feels soft and hydrated. The softening solution contains hyaluronic acid, the body’s natural hydrator to bind moisture to the skin and makes your skin feel moisturized no matter what the weather is like outside. Not too shabby for one little bottle to do all that!

Dec 25, 2009

Tip of the Day: Primping Problems Solved!

Happy Holidays Everyone!

There's no shortage of festive parties to attend this holiday season and getting gussied up is always half the fun. Agreed?

When else is it totally socially acceptable to be decked out in head to toe sparkles and gaudy jewelry? Ok Halloween doesn't count!

There are so many ways to look and feel special on the party circuit so don't let a few getting ready glitches take up your precious time and joyous spirit.

Here are a few tips to make life a little easier so you can enjoy your fabulousness:

Perfume Overkill?

There's nothing worse than spritzing way too much fragrance on yourself. The delightful smells of flowers, musky patchouli and vanilla become overwhelming and awful if sprayed in excess. Plus if you haven't given yourself a headache after a few minutes, I guarantee you've given someone else one. Dilute the smell by taking a warm, soapy washcloth and pressing it on your pulse points. And remember never apply any scent to your clothes, just stick to your skin.

Mound of Makeup On?

Take a spray bottle of water and lightly spritz your face. Take a makeup sponge ($1.99 for a pack at drugstores) and lightly dab off the excess powder, foundation or blush. If you don't have a spray bottle, I highly recommend Evian Mineral Water Spray ($10.00, It keeps your skin hydrated and is a miracle to use after a plane ride or being in a confined dry air space. It also helps revive your makeup during the day.

Eye Makeup Overload?

Use baby wipes and q-tips to take off some of the excess shadow. If you've applied your eyeliner with too heavy a hand, soften the look by applying eye shadow in a coordinating color over the liner (neutrals always look good too), then blend together with a cotton swab.

Greasy Hair?

There are plenty of great hair powders available on the market right now. My favorite is Hair Powder by Bumble and bumble ($19.00, It give your hair volume, touches up your root color and takes away a lot of the oiliness and slickness of unwashed strands so you can confidently let your hair down in public. A cheaper option is to dust baby powder or cornstarch on comb and brush through.

Sleepy Eyes?

Use a navy colored mascara instead of black. If you don't have blue mascara (which most of us don't), rub any mascara brush into a blue eyeshadow (cream or powder both work). A dark blue shade is flattering on most people anyway, so be sure to stock up on that. Also use blue eyeliner and apply it along the rim of your bottom lid. The color will make the whites of your eyes appear brighter and you'll look more alert. Try Sephora Cream Eyeliner Palette in Blues ($15.00, or Benefit BADgal Blue, ($19.00,

Polish Problems?

If your nail polish has turned your nails yellow apply white vinegar to the nail. If your nail polish has become dull, coat your nails with a drop of olive oil and rub into your cuticles as well.

Hopefully this prevents some unnecessary melt downs and primping anxieties and lets you get to all the merry occasions you'll be attending on time and looking like the best possible version of you!

A big thanks to Diane Irons and her fab. book The World's Best-Kept Beauty Secrets. It's my not-so secret weapon and treasure trove of beauty facts.

Dec 23, 2009

The Rolls Royce of Fragrant Candles

A yummy smelling candle can literally light up a room. It also allows fragrant smells to waft through the air and elicits memories of people's favorite moments: the smell of fresh baked cookies, laundry blowing in the wind, a warm beachy day, lavender growing wild in a field and so much more.

Trish McEvoy Candles not only create an elegant feeling and look with its stylish packaging (neatly tied with a sturdy black bow) but infuses a room with an absolutely decadent aroma. Even when the candle is unlit, the wax gives off a strong intoxicating yet delicious fragrance. The candles ($48.00, department stores) are long-lasting with their slow melting wax and create a warmth that permeates any home.

The scents available are Wild Blueberry Vanilla, Egyptian Jasmine, Wild Fig and Orange Ginger. Each add a unique aroma that brings memories of luxuriously fantastic surroundings. My favorite scent is Wild Blueberry Vanilla and I love that I feel like I'm eating a scrumptious, creamy blueberry pie hours and hours after the candle has been blown out. A certain Beauty Buff's mother is obsessed with Egyptian Jasmine and stocks up on her favorite "can't live without, life changing" candles on a regular basis.

So if you're still trying to put together a gift for the holidays, run out to the department store and grab one. The Beauty Buff KNOWS for a FACT, the recipient of this gift will be more than thrilled and possibly hooked on them for life (which could be a blessing or a curse! just kidding!)

Dec 22, 2009

Duwop Day!

If you're looking for some beachy color to lift yourself out of a pale-face inducing weather slump, check out one of my favorite bronzers by Duwop: Bronzerush. The bronzer, blush palette comes in two shades, August (a golden brown color and corresponding sheer cherry cheek gel-powder) and June ( a slightly more subtle golden tan with a poppy 'pinch your cheeks' kinda hue). The kit has a nice chunk of powder with a scoop of color for the skin. The bronzer is velvety smooth on and the gel to powder blush gives an amazing flushed glow and spreads effortlessly over the skin.

If you want to add some metallic shimmers and highlights for the cheek and eye bones try two of my favorites from this cosmetics treasure chest. Crush Molten Metallic Eyeshadow Trio in the shade 18 Carat ($24.00, Sephora) is one of my fav eyeshadow sets because of how gorgeous the shimmery, richly pigmented shades look on everyone. This Duwop sampling is not only universally flattering, it adds a depth and glamour to your makeup routines and accents perfectly dusted cheeks to give a resort in Hawaii kind of look.

The other thing I can't seem to leave the house without is Blushboosters ($22, My shade of choice is Mango (a shimmering apricot bronzing highlighter) but all the shades add an impossibly chic sophisticated glamour and give the appearance of mile high cheekbones.

I guess I'm really loving Duwop these days. Enjoy and match it with a fun wintery plum or white. By the time your done with these products you'll have forgotten it's the dead of winter and want to take a long walk on a warm beach. In fact wear white all year long with these bronze goddess, rich metallic shades and high Natalie Portman kinda cheekbones.

Dec 19, 2009

Man Maintenance: One and Done

Good news for all the guys who hate dealing with all the specialized bottles of this and that. This is the “one and done” answer you’ve been looking for.

While women tend to relish in the plethora of products available and “necessary” for the beautification process, men tend to have a proclivity for keeping things pretty simple in the grooming department.

From what I’m told, the fewer products and steps needed to walk out the door with a squeaky clean exterior the better. So for those gentlemen who feel like their bath tubs are already jam-packed with bottles of ‘poo (that’s short for shampoo for those of you who are unfortunately lingo-challenged), big toe cleaner, arm pit cleaner, belly button cleaner, nose hair cleaner and the yellow rubber duckies that keep you company during your (hopefully) daily showers, The Beauty Buff has the solution to simplify your life. And to the dudes who use shampers to clean every crevice of their being, stop, that’s kinda weird. Use this instead and stop being so lazy. You know who you are.

Badass Hair’s Ultimate Cleansing Cream ($19.00, The Beauty Mark) is a head to toe secret weapon in the fight against boy grunginess. Badass Hair (pardon my French) is the hair care line by Scott Fontana who runs Fontana Salon in Beantown, USA. The creamy formula effectively washes your manly hair, manly face and manly man-bod with its rich combination of vitamins, proteins and natural botanical extracts. The wonder-tube also reduces hair and scalp dryness and softens the skin with its emollient packed solution.

So instead of feeling claustrophobically crowded with endless bottles of ‘poo, bars of soap and facial mumbo jumbo, you and your duckies can take the traffic-jam out of your showers and enjoy a single bottle filled with cleansing possibilities.

Dec 15, 2009

Happy Holidays & Anniversary!

With the gift giving season in full swing (Happy Hanukkah!) the pressure is on to find something suitably fabulous for your loved ones. Look no further than Nars: a beauty fan favorite and staple since it launched over a decade ago.
In honor of the company’s fifteen fabulous years, the brand came out with two different anniversary inspired palettes.

The boxed goodies come complete with fan favorites for the lips, eyes and face.

The “Wild at Heart’ set has colors to emphasize a strong bold lip with colors such as Baby Doll, Red Lizard, Manhunt and Fire Down Below. The eye shadows compliment in the colors by coming in soft, shimmery neutrals and subtle lavenders such as Abyssinia, Alhambra, Ashes to Ashes and Pandora. The cheek colors are two of Nars most popular shades: the iconic Orgasm blush and creamy gold flecked, South Beach Multiple.

‘The Everlasting Love Bold Makeup Palette’ features eye shadow shades that create a deep, sultry smoky eye look, paired with nude neutral lips. The eye shadow colors feature favorites such as Edie, Underworld, Night Breed (a sparkly blackish-golden green that’s one of my favorite shadow shades) and Underworld (again but in a slightly different lighter variation of the azure blue). The cheeks are the universally flattering Orgasm Blush and the ‘just sun bathed on the beach’ glow from South Beach Multiple bronzer.

Happy Anniversary to Nars! This palette is worth every penny ($75, because the looks they create are timeless, sexy and true to Nars. Gift these and you’ll wish you had them for yourself-the true sign of an excellent gift! Enjoy and happy holidays!
I’m just loving the holiday season and all the fun gifts that go along with it!

Dec 13, 2009

15 Minutes of Fabulous Courtesy of Lipstick Queen

If you don't know about Lipstick Queen now, you will! It's one of my favorite brands and I'm kinda obsessed with the founder, Poppy King. She started the lip line right out of high school in Australia and has created some of the most exciting product campaigns and packaged pout enhancers around. She's also got a totally enviable retro/vintage look and wears candy-apple reds as naturally as you would, a swipe of chapstick.

While I could go on and on about my favorite sticks, glosses and chubby pencils (Saints and Sinners, Oxymoron and Chinatown to be exact), I'll just dwell on one for now. I am absolutely loving 15 Minutes of Fame ($16.50), the new line of one-click glosses. The name, which is just as creative and innovative as all the other lines Ms. King has developed, is a nod to the iconic expression coined by Andy Warhol in the sixties.

The packaging oozes psychedelic pop-art inspired sentiments and the fifteen shades from 1 Minute (a light pink) to 15 minutes (a deep burgundy) are bright, rich in pigment yet totally wearable.

The glosses go on soft and spread lusciously over the lips with the brush applicator. I wore it all day today and rejoiced that after eating, drinking and chatting away, the color remained bright.

My favorites are 9 and 10 Minutes. Both are rich berries but 9 Minutes has a beautiful beet red tint while 10 Minutes has a raspberry pinkie tone.

Today I wore 9 Minutes and loved how it picked up the green eyeliner I wore with it. The beet red-berry shade and emerald liner made for a fun take on a holiday-winter look. When the weather is less than desirable (an understatement) it's always a good idea, to wear brightening shades to perk up your pasty winter face and disheartened/shivering spirit!

Please note: This isn't my grumpy-pouty face. It's my 'I'm trying to be really serious and really show you this lip gloss' kind of face. Do you see the distinction?

Dec 12, 2009

At These Prices, It's A Stila!

Ok I do realize that was incredibly cheezy! A little funny? No, no just cheezy, I think. But seriously, if you were already planning on buying something from Stila or want to try the brand for the first time (you'll love it), check out these amazing online deals on gift sets. Enter Promo Code: STILAELF and receive free shipping with no minimum from now till Sunday, December, 13th. That's tomorrow!

I know there's plenty of you who love Stila and this is an opportunity to get gift sets and brand faves at amazing prices! Enjoy!

Dec 10, 2009

Drugstore Prices with Department Store Brands

I think we can all agree that one of the biggest trends we've seen this year has been the mass influx of designer discount shopping sites like Rue La La, Gilt Group, Ideeli. With most of the country being on mega budgets, they've capitalized on providing a service that makes all the products and items we desire, obtainable with the click of a button.  The thrill of drugstore prices for department store brands for my favorite cosmetics has caused a little damage to the wallet on more than one occasion.


My only gripe with these online retail havens is that if you don't act with lightening bolt speed, your coveted wish list all but vanishes beneath you. The quickness of your mouse skills and ability to make split second decisions determines everything!


I recently discovered a new online beauty boutique called that doesn't put you in a time crunch. The site features hair, makeup and skincare brands like Yves Saint Laurent, Stila, Smashbox and many more at a fraction of the retail cost. Just like all our other fav. discount stores, buys up the brands surplus inventory and passes along the savings to you.



Thanks to All About the Pretty for the heads up on this fabulous site! Check it out!

Hand Cream Hall of Fame

Swine Flu (ahem...H1N1 rather) isn’t just a threat to your health, it’s also hazardous to your hands.

With flu season officially here and especially ominous, people are taking extra precautions everywhere they go to protect themselves. For me, this means washing my hands after every encounter with a rogue door handle or suspicious public space.

Between trying to preemptively scrub away the flu with as much soap and water as I can handle AND drowning my mitts in the vats of hand sanitizer I’m constantly surrounded by, my poor hands have been suffering the ultimate seasonal setback: crippling beyond relief dryness. If your skin is anything like mine, once it senses any kind of dehydrating substance (water and sanitizers being the biggest culprits) on the skin, it screams out in discomfort. So as you can imagine, hand lotions are not only a necessity, they're a lifeline for my poor pores.

With that said, I do have a few favorites that allow me to cleanse to my liking and yet still moisturize my hands with a lasting, loving fervor.

-Neutrogena Norwegian Formula Hand Cream-Fragrance Free ($4.29, drugstores)

One dime size drop of this potent hand cream/miracle tube and your skin will feel rejuvenated again but in no way greasy. I not only swear by this product, I pray for the day when I'll be able to order tub size version of it. I'll then get four or five at a time, at least.

-Yu-Be Moisturizing Skin Cream ($15.00,

This glycerin-based salve is the number one selling medicated, vitamin-enriched skin cream in Japan. The Camphor scent fades after a few minutes only to reveal smooth, warm and healthy skin. It's so effective that it's even used by Japanese mountain climbers on their expeditions to the top of Mt. Everest.

-Clarins Hand & Nail Treatment Cream ($30.00, Sephora)

This luxurious lather softens dry hands and cuticles and preserves their youthful appearance. Devotees rave about how infrequently you need to reapply this solution (even after washing your hands) and how non-greasy it feels on. Bonus: the pricey tube now has a travel-size counterpart that's a third of the cost.

L'annine Hand and Body Cream ($16,

This European brand boasts rich oils in Avocado, Jasmine and Mango (my favorite) scents along with glycerin to emulsify the skin. The yummy fragrances are long lasting and only add to the appeal of this incredibly lush skin softener.

Candlenut Hand and Body Balm ($25.00,

There isn't one product in this line that doesn't smell heavenly (and that's an understatement). The balm contains candlenut oil, which not only smells like a tropical breeze but is revered in Indonesia for it's "supremely moisturizing properties and velvety touch". The natural cream is paraben-free and a great organic alternative.

Scoop up one of these treatments and you'll avoid the feeling of dry, dehydrated skin while you attend to more pressing matters, such as avoiding The Swine Flu!

Dec 9, 2009

Tip of the Day: Soft (and Clean) As A Baby's Bottom

I recently worked on two fashion shows (the Karen Millen show at Bond and the Michael De Paulo show at The Liberty Hotel) which both had the typical fun, fabulous and decidedly hectic atmosphere backstage. While the obvious beauty products, hair tools, sprays and serums flowed aplenty, there were a few other less obvious but no less important fashion necessities on hand. While you may not associate baby wipes with some of the other glitzy accessories that makes fashion so beautiful, they’re actually one of the most important tools in the biz.

Baby wipes are one of those do-it-all items that should be a staple of every product junkie’s repertoire. They’re so great because of how inexpensive they are ($3.49 at drugstores or $2.00 for a travel kit at drugstores) and how well they cleanse your face and remove dirt, makeup and oil. We tend to spend unnecessary extra change on eye and face makeup removers, when just one wipe of these will do it all in a single swipe. The pads truly are lifesavers. There are always so many last minute changes in looks at shows and shoots. They help maximize time and effectiveness on makeup applications and removals. The baby-bottom cleaners easily take off the makeup you want to remove but don't smudge the stuff that you want to have stay put. Thank you baby geniuses for being such beauty trend spotters!

Also most wipes contain lanolin, a skin softener that’s gentle for the skin. So your skin will feel satiny and hydrated after use unlike other toners and makeup removers that dry your skin out-which is particularly perilous in the winter months.

So the next time you’re scouring the aisles of your fav. drugstore, (which is often for me, since CVS is secretly one of my favorite shopping destinations) make a beeline to the baby shelves and scoop up the ever efficient, always useful box of baby wipes. You’ll be in the company of droves of models and makeup experts alike- all in on the same big secret.

Oh yeah and don’t worry about it, they also help get rid of stains and deodorant marks. No big deal. All in a day’s work!

Thanks to D. Iron's World's Best Kept Beauty Secrets for the lanolin tidbit. Who knew!?

Dec 7, 2009

Seasonal Trends and Treats

Makeup Artist, Anthea King gives me her expert opinion on what's hot right now and what products she can't live without.

It's hard to believe it, but Winter is here. The snowy season has many things to offer (I keep telling myself). The cold weather welcomes festive changes such as the opportunity to wear boots in various styles, the infectiousness of the holiday spirit, rocking rosy flushed cheeks that make you look romantically windswept, like you've just stepped into a chalet, ready to sip on hot cocoa by the fire, being able to slip on edgy styles from dark nail polish to trendy blunt bangs, sweater dresses and eternally elegant red lipstick.

I recently caught up with New York based celebrity makeup artist (clients include Alicia Keys, Mariah Carey and Carrie Underwood) and Mark Cosmetic Expert, Anthea King, who gave me the skinny on her favorite products and trends for the season and the scoop on the starlets that are going Lady GaGa over them.

The Beauty Buff (TBB): What are your must have products right now?

Anthea King (AK):
Caudalie Beauty Elixir (a toner/serum mist of essential oils and plant ingredients, $15.00,
By Terry Lip Balm (a glossy rose-scented lip balm, $60.00, Barneys)

Leonor Greyl Magnolia Oil (a moisturizing lotion that leaves skin feeling satiny, $42.00 )

Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation (touted as the Holy Grail of foundation by countless beauty experts, $58.00, Bloomingdales)

Cover Girl Trublend Bronzer (an inexpensive mineral based powder that gives a sun kissed look, 7.29,

Shu Uemura Lash Curler (the Rolls Royce of eyelash curlers, $17.00, Sephora)
Benefit Dallas (a pressed powder that induces a rosy peachy glow, $28.00, Sephora)

Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Powder (for a matte shine free face, $34.00, Sephora)

Dior Eyeshadows (set aside some saved up change for these quality shadows, $56.00, Sephora)

Rene Furterer Karite Oil (a nutritious and intense restoration for dry hair, $36.00,

Terax Crema (a moisturizing conditioner for your locks, $22.00, Sephora)

TBB: What are the latest products you've been using and loving and what beauty trends for the Fall/Winter can we expect to see.

AK: I am into the matte lip and also lip stains that give a "bitten" look, also jewel toned eyes and lips in Bordeaux, rich aubergine for lips and deep violets and emeralds for the eyes.

TBB: What trends have you been seeing and doing on your celebrity clients

AK: Mariah Carey loves lots of lashes. I apply them individually all along the eye and add several layers of them for a very lashy look and skip the mascara. Cynthia Nixon looks great with a bright lip. I am currently skipping the gloss and using products that give a more velvety feel.

TBB: How are the latest makeup trends indicative of the latest Fall/Winter fashion?

AK: Fashion is turning back to what it was in the 90's, with the feel being more androgynous with a rock and roll edge. There's a lot of black and white and it's a lot about the cut rather than ruffles and embellishments--think Alaia, Balenciaga, Balmain, Alexander Wang, Lanvin. Clothes that look great with a pop of color on the eyes or lips. It keeps [the makeup keeps the overall look] feminine without overpowering the clothes.

TBB: What are your favorite new products you can't live without right now?

AK: I truly love Mark's lip glosses, especially the
Pro Gloss Hook Up Plumping Lip Shine. It has the most vibrant shades available and the pigments are extremely rich. The plumping shine also contains a special 3D complex which hydrates and moisturizes the lips. ($5.50, Avon) I also have a Milani Nail Polish ($4.49, drugstores) in the most shocking fluorescent pink imaginable that I wore on my toes all summer [and am loving the latest shades they have out for this season].

Laura Mercier has a lip palette with six colors in each and they are the most wearable pretty shades. ($48.00,

Also, Stila recently came out with one of their
Smudge Pots and the black one has the finest gold shimmer in it! ($20.00,

Thanks for letting us know what to put on our wish list this holiday season Anthea!

Any product in particular catch your eye? Tell us what products you're vying for this Winter and what your favorite hair and makeup trends are right now!