Laura's Top Beauty Faves

By Laura K. Jackson

My Top Beauty Products

If beauty truly is “in the eye of the beholder”, then it only makes sense that each woman has her own make-up and beauty routine. If you’re like many women, then you’ve probably tried a half million products -- some worked, some didn’t. The process can be frustrating, and that’s where I step in. I’m going to break down my top beauty products and why I give them the proverbial thumbs up.

1) Skin - Lancome’s High Resolution Refill-3X
This moisturizer not only protects your skin from the sun’s harmful rays with SPF 15, but it also helps “boost” your skin with “natural fillers”--collagen, hyaluronic acid and elastin (hence the “3X” in the name). I discovered this product with a trial size and fell in love. You only need to use a little bit and it’ll go a long way. Within days you’ll see pleasing visible results!

2) Foundation - Urban Decay’s Surreal Skin Mineral Powder
I swear by this stuff every single day. It evens out skin tone, offers minimum to maximum coverage (you decide), and it even acts as a bronzer. An Urban Decay rep at Sephora told me that going with a one shade darker than you naturally would use helps give skin that sun-kissed it’s like a 2-for-1 deal! Oh, and it also works great all year!

3) Eyes - Urban Decay’s Eyeshadow Primer
I’m sure many of you are familiar with this product, but I simply must rave about it. Prior to my discovery of the product, I could not wear eye shadow to save my life. I loved the stuff, but I constantly had eye shadow creases and some flaking. Not pretty! I’m not sure how I stumbled upon it (perhaps reading about it in a magazine?), but I tried it and voilà! I was a fan! Eye shadow stays in place beautifully even after a night out with friends and (accidentally) sleeping in my makeup (a major no-no).

4) Hair - Agadir Argan Oil
Argan oil is one of the hottest topics now in beauty, and there’s plenty of reasons why. It’s the one product every person must own, if you had to own only one (or ten). That said, Agadir’s website claims that the oil “hydrates, conditions, smooths and shines” hair also while cutting drying time in half and protecting hair from heat damage. I can surely attest that this product does all of the above.

5) Brows - Benefit’s Brow Zings
I don’t know any woman that has naturally perfect looking brows as soon as she steps out of the shower, unless she’s a goddess or something. Most of us mere mortals need a little help in the brow department, whether it be sparse or unruly hairs. Cosmetic giant Benefit has created the ultimate brow solution -- the Brow Zings kit. The product not only comes in three shades, but it comes packed with two travel brushes, a wax to keep hairs in place, and a powder to fill in tiny gaps. The wax and powder both stay in place beautifully and make your brows look natural and gorgeous.


My Top Fave Beauty Products

Colorful Obsession

By Leslie Chatman
Ever walk into the nail salon for a mani/pedi and find yourself completely overwhelmed with color choices? Do you select one color for both your nails and your toes or do you opt for an old stand-by, the French manicure?
Gone are the days of matchy-matchy nail polish. Yet selecting the perfect colors can be a true task. If you haven’t noticed, nail polish tends to keep inline with trends in fashion. And just like clothing, polish shades can be mixed and matched to create stunning color combinations.
Most nail salons carry Essie, O.P.I. or both. These are amazing brands that offer an array of shades to choose from. Each are well known for their very creative shade names and lasting high color pay off. 
Try these Essie color combinations to add a pop to your next mani/pedi.
For toes try Carpi: a rich fire orange
For nails try Tart Deco: a pale coral
For toes try Aruba Blue: deep frosty sapphire
For nails try Loophole: bold chrome
For toes try Mamba: café au lait shade
For nails try Van d’Go: pale peach
For toes try Trophy Wife: deep pearly teal
For nails try Mint Candy Apple: matte pale green







Images courtsey of

Forty-something and Still Foxy

by Adrian Kendrick
Am I the only one noticing older women outdoing some of these young ladies in Hollywood? Halle Berry (44-years old) is just as flawless as when she first begun in the industry. Sandra Bullock (46-years-old) becomes more stunning by the minute. Jennifer Aniston's (42-years-old) body is in awe gawking shape and Queen Latifah's (41-years-old) skin looks better than the average 20-year-olds. 
What are these ladies doing to remain fierce? I collected some cool tidbits that gives us the inside scoop to their beauty regimens.
To get Halle Berry’s flawless skin her makeup expert, Tyrone Traylor, recommends using a ‘spotlight’ technique when applying foundation. Meaning use one shade lighter than your regular color and dot the makeup down the middle of your face (from just above the brows to just below the lips). Next apply a sheer coat of the same color to your eyelids and under-eye area. If needed, lightly apply your regular color to the rest of the face.
You won’t look like Berry, but you’ll still be beautifully you.






In a SELF magazine exclusive, Jennifer Aniston’s yoga teacher, Mandy Ingber, shares the moves to Aniston’s workout routine. Ingber leads America’s sweetheart through a range of poses including the butterfly pose, crescent pose and pelvic tilt. She suggests you do this routine three times a week, holding each pose for 30 to 60 seconds (about five to 10 breaths). Then follow each move immediately with two sets of eight to 10 reps of the paired calisthenics.
Get your calendar out and schedule a time to yoga instructor pronto. Or just stick to the Yotube videos at home. Not into yoga? Start some type of exercise routine if you want your body to be a lean and sexy machine once you tread upon those older years.

Sandra told Britain’s InStyle magazine her beauty regimes only take eight minutes. That’s all! She says, “I use a face cloth and Artistry cream for my daily beauty regime. I put mascara on today because I wanted to make a bit of an effort. My entire routine takes eight minutes since I have this mop on my head I need to wrangle. I wash, condition, put product in if it’s a little haywire. I like it when it’s messy-in-your-face bedhead. It looks like it just happened.”



How long does your routine take? Hey, as long as you look fabulous afterwards there isn’t a problem. However, using your time wisely is always smart. Take this as inspiration that it can be done.


Queen Latifah, the face of Cover Girl, told PEOPLE magazine health is a continued priority. “To me, age is really how you feel on the inside. I kind of keep everything in moderation, exercise and eat right," she said.
You heard it from the Queen herself. As always you can’t go wrong with the combination of exercise and proper dieting.

Now that you know some essentials these beauties apply to their routine. Develop your own techniques that best suit you. Remember everyone is different. Listed below are a variety of products sure to boost your numbers on the fierce scale.
The Brazillian Peel ($78) is safe to use at home and instantly firms, noticeably smoothes and brightens skin in one use. Say bye-bye to fine lines and wrinkles as they are visibly reduced after four weekly applications. Stay tune for a radiant, youthful complexion if used weekly.
Algenist Concentrated Reconstructing Serum ($95) includes the exclusive anti-aging ingredient alguronic acid. Skin will look replenished within weeks.
Taking your makeup off is just as important as putting it on. Wipe your face clean with Korres Milk Protein Cleansing & Makeup Removing Wipes ($12). The milk proteins, rich in essential amino acids, nourish and moisturize the skin, while aloe soothes the skin from redness and irritations.
Lancome Activate Youthful Radiance GENIFIQUE Regimen Set ($119) will have your skin looking as if it’s lit from within in just seven days.

Follow these tips to grow gracefully and beautifully into your 40s and beyond.

Sassy Summer Hairstyles

by Adrian Kendrick
Tired of dealing with rebellious bed hair?
Fret no more!
Get up and go this summer without having to hassle with your hair all morning. Summer is about letting loose and having fun—your tresses should be no different. Lessen your time in front of the mirror by styling smarter, not harder. Apply these sassy summer styles with ease this summer.
Twisted braid
I’m not just talking about braiding the locks down the middle. Think outside the norm by getting creative and styling a sweet-side braid.
Start by spritzing your dry hair with Ouidad Styling Mist Setting and Holding Spray ($15). It's sure to hold your upcoming do. Side-part your hair and section off a portion of it in front. French braid it across your head adding more hair to each section as you go. Secure the braid with a hair tie, then gather the remaining hair into a side ponytail behind the ear. Finish it up by wrapping the hair in the base of the ponytail and forming a twisted bun. I recommend using these cute leopard print Electric Safari Hair Pins ( above; $8) to hold bun into place.
Ditch the flat hair and go for quirky, loose curls. Tease the fellas with this flirty, easy going hairstyle. It is sure to add oomph to your everyday look.
Begin prepping your tresses with Phyto Phytolaque Hair Spray (above/left; $18). This promises to leave your hair shiny without weighing down the style. It also locks out humidity and tames the frizz. Next begin to curl sections of your hair with Amika Triple Barrel Pro-Curler Set (above/right; $175). This set is overkill as it includes a heat-resistant glove and three, clip-free interchangeable tourmaline barrels that easily create curls of any size and shape. Ruffle your fingers through the hair to provide that classy, yet messy look.
Who said headbands are not happening? Jazz up any outfit with the classic head gear. Don’t go overboard and know that some headbands can say, “You’re trying too hard.” Also avoid the childish headbands if you are a bit on the older side (I’m just saying). The dynamic Metallic Headbands (above; $15 each) may tickle your fancy. I think these are age appropriate for the older crowd as well. They are a statement in themselves, so don’t press the limit with a retched outfit.
After creating desired style, I recommend the classic ponytail, place the head gear about three inches behind the ear any further and it may fall off. Yes, it’s that simple just place and go.
I hope you find my quick and easy suggestions helpful. You can always glam it up by adding your own signature to your look; adding a bump there or a bow here. Let go this summer by letting your tresses do what they are meant to do—make you shine. Remember to style smarter, not harder. 
Happy styling!

Skin Care 101

By Erin Berry


Let's face it, when you wear fashionable clothes, you want your skin to look smooth and supple. After all, those stylish duds tend to expose your skin in more ways than one.

Taking care of your skin does not have to be expensive or time consuming. The bottom line is to find what works for you and to keep using it. Skin care is like exercise: if you want results, you must stay with the regiment. The most common complaints with skin are pimples, dryness with flakiness and oily skin.

For pimples: Exfoliate, exfoliate, exfoliate. I have found exfoliation products and scrubs that contain 2% salicylic acid ― which helps fight acne and dry skin ― work the best. An inexpensive exfoliation product is Bioré Pore Unclogging Facial Scrub ($7.99 ). When you need an extra deep clean, rub your face with this and then let it sit on your skin for 2-3 minutes for a mask effect.

To treat the unexpected breakout, use Acne Spot Treatment by Clean and Clear Advantage. It works wonders for spot treatment, and it goes on clear so you can apply it anytime, anywhere. It, too, has 2% salicylic acid.  Are you seeing a pattern here?

For dry, flaky skin, exfoliate 2-3 times a week with a scrub that contains 2% salicylic acid. It penetrates the skin to get rid of those dry, flaky patches. Again, I recommend Bioré Pore Unclogging Facial Scrub. And don't be afraid to use this all over your body. Remember to scrub your neck and back of hands, as these parts shows signs of aging faster than the face. Moisturize with an SPF daily. Dry skin does not build up enough of its own natural oils; therefore, it can cause fine lines and wrinkles sooner than oily skin. An excellent sunscreen is Blue Lizard, priced from $12-$27 at At night, use a moisturizer cream if you are especially dry. My recent favorite is Olay Regenerist Night Recovery Cream ($20, any drugstore). When I wake up in the morning my skin is soft, smooth and there are no signs of redness.

Finally, for oily skin, exfoliating is a must. In the daytime, use Clinique City Block Sheer Oil-Free Daily Face Protector SPF 25, which helps to absorb excess oil ($18, Sephora). If your skin tends to get oily during the day, Clean and Clear Oil Absorbing Sheets take away the shininess ($5.99, At night, Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel retains your skin’s moisture balance ($24.50, Sephora).



Remember to keep up with whatever you find works best for you.

A Sunny Proposition

By Devon Scott

A healthy, bronze glow (like the one Leighton Meester is working on here) is often a desired goal of any sunbathing beauty. A splotchy, red, peeling sunburn is definitely not!

Dermatologists have long lauded the facts: too much sun exposure can lead to sun poisoning, heat stroke, severe dehydration, early skin aging, and skin cancer (melanoma).

A few simple products and tricks will keep you protected, while still achieving the aforementioned sun-kissed skin.

1.  As the song says, use sunscreen!  No matter the skin type, sunscreen is an essential for any outdoor outing in the sun. Even if it's cloudy, sunscreen is still recommended. 

-If you're going to go skating on the boardwalk, take a stroll along the Thames, or getting into a beach volleyball tournament in Malibu, try Jack Black Performance Remedy Oil Free Sun Guard SPF 45 ($20 - Sephora). User reviews describe the product as not greasy, while providing protection even in sweat and water. This sunscreen also is vegan and organic-certified.

-For those who don't want the greasy feeling some sunblocks provide, try Murad oil-free sunblock SPF 30 ($31 - Ulta). Skin can go from moisture rich to flaky and dry in the right conditions (bright sun, humidity, sea water, and hot temperatures all are factors). This product boasts a mixture of antioxidants and moisture-enhancing chemicals, including Panthenol (same chemical used in Pantene hair care products to maintain moisture).


-While we can't stop from aging, we can slow down the process. Clarins UV Day Screen High Protection SPF 40 ($42 - Sephora) offers protection from both UVB and UVA rays, which can cause irrepairable damage to our faces. Clarins also protects against some harmful agents we don't always think of: free radicals, urban pollution, and electromagnetic waves. 

2. Cover up!  Sure, every beach bunny wants to show off the fabulous body made out of months at the gym during the winter. But, if you're not coated down in sunblock (including your nose bridge, your hands, feet, and the tops of your ears), you can still look chic.

-A wide-brimmed hat provides protection for your face and eyes. Rag&Bone gives their take on the wide-brimmed straw hat ($150 - Saks). The brim is slightly smaller than much of the standard sun-protection fair (4 inches), but offers plenty of shade.



-Sunglasses.  Most come with a label baring the words, "UVA/UVB protection."  Both can cause your eyes to weaken in strength.

-When lounging on a towel and reading something sensuous, try a cover-up. Top Shop USA taps into the ever-popular boho movement with this black tie-dyed cover up ($56).  Made of lightweight material, this will keep your body protected.

-Lip Balm. Basic? Yes. Lips get dryer even faster than the skin, it often seems. Lip Balm of varying brands will also list its SPF level. A little dab on the lips will keep yours healthy and moisturized.

3. Hydration is crucial.  Drink plenty of water. 

4.  Use common sense!  If you think you missed a spot with your sunblock, put more on. Every mother has said to their daughter at least once, "an ounce of protection goes a long way." Skin cancer can be deadly and no bronze glow is worth that risk.

Let's hit the beach!

What's Hot In the Wedding Hairstyle World?

Your wedding is the most important day. From your dress to your makeup, everything has to be perfect and your hair is no different. Everyone is always looking for the popular or trendy hairstyle of the season so here's what's hot with wedding hairstyles.

The Updo

A tried and true wedding hairstyle that is still very popular and always will be, the updo is where the bride’s hair is pinned up away from her face. This can be from a simple bun to an intricate French braid looped around. The updo is such a staple because it allows for the bride’s face to be enhanced and become the main focal point. 



A trendy twist on the updo is the half updo, this is where half of the hair is fastened away from the face and the other half is allowed to fall on the shoulders.  This is a great option for those brides that want to have some of their hair down but still experience the updo feeling.  

 The Down Do

Wearing your hair down can be a brilliant change for your wedding day.  If people are used to seeing you always wear your hair up in a bun or ponytail, this can be a great alternative. It is also becoming very trendy because this is something that brides can do on their own. You get the haircut or hairstyle at a salon, but there is no need for a stylist to actually do your hair on your wedding day. 


Hair Extensions

It used to be that the length of your hair determined the style for your wedding day, but long gone are those days.  Hair extensions have come to the rescue. More and more brides are turning to this option to have longer and fuller hairstyles on their big day.  Hair extensions can make your updo look fuller as well as giving your down do greater length and volume. 

Hair Accessories

These are the best accents to any bride’s wonderful day because you can go as ornate and jeweled as you feel comfortable.  They can go with updo’s or down do’s and short or long hair also. You can be dripping in jewels with a tiara or you can go with a simple flower or feather clip. These are great pieces that allow you to make a personal statement about yourself.  


Hairstyles have changed from the simple updo, to hair extensions for long luscious locks, to blinged out tiaras and feather hair clips. No matter what the trend is, one thing remains true: It is your big day and you deserve to look amazing.

All inspiration boards were done at Style Me Pretty's Style Circle


Happy Planning,

 post signature 

Shafonne Myers is a certified wedding and event planner and owns Making Your Event Special, a wedding and event planning firm in Carmel, Indiana.  She also has just launched Pretty Pear Bride, a website for Plus Size Brides, the only one in the country. 



Watering It Down

By Devon Scott

Winter can often lead your skin to a spring of dry patches and red spots. The harsh weather, coupled with blaring sunlight can leave you to wonder, "What happened to my glowing skin?"

It's time to break out the moisturizers and get your skin ready for the warmer months!

There are literally hundreds of different options on the market these days. Moisturizers can address blotchiness, slow down the unpopular aging process, or act as an extra layer of protection against the sun.

Admittedly, it can be overwhelming standing in Sephora or Macy's trying to decide which one might work best for you.

A few recommendations:

-H20+ Face Oasis Hydrating Treatment ($34):  The jar alone gives a sense of cooling and cleansing.  The moisturizer is light and acts fast to plump up dry skin and attacks those pesky fine lines.








-Olay Regenerist UV Defense Regenerating Lotion SPF 50 ($20):  This cream got a high rating on  Users say they like this moisturizer because it provides broad sun protection and is filled with natural skin-defending anti-oxidants.


-Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel ($24.50):  While it doesn't have SPF protection, the product addresses oily skin types.  Women who have used this product say it doesn't clog pores.





-MAC Complete Comfort Creme ($32):  Two words: immediate relief.  For the gal on the go who just discovered a red spot, MAC Cosmetics also offers up SPF-infused foundations that hydrate the skin as well as providing a layer of protection.



-Urban Decay Dew Me Moisturizing Make-Up Setting Spray ($29) - This is my personal favorite.  It's a simple concept - once you have your glamour on for the night, spray a few times on the face.  Not only does it hydrate dry skin, it keeps make-up in place for up to 16 hours.  I use this product a few times a week and I've noticed the difference in the dryer parts of my face (around my nose and my forehead).

Of course, don't forget the simplest way to quench your skin and body is by drinking plenty of water!


Spring Beauty

By Claire Lukaszewski

It’s that time of year again -- spring break! Time to relax on the beach, enjoy some warm weather, and maybe have a few wild nights out. Whether you are spending your spring break getting some much needed R & R or letting loose on the town, don’t forget these essential beauty products when packing your bag.

For your face:

Especially when on the beach all day, your skin needs some serious care. These facial products will help keep your skin looking fresh and vibrant.


Clinique's Moisture Surge Extended Thirst Relief will keep your skin hydrated even during long days in the sun. It’s important to make sure your skin stays moisturized because the sun can dry it out. This moisturizer plumps skin with hydration for a full 24 hours. It is also very light weight and tint free.


A foundation with SPF in it is great to have when spending time in a warm climate where you will be outside a lot. Natural Finish Long Lasting Foundation from Bobbi Brown has an SPF rating of 15. It provides that little bit of protection from the sun that you need. It offers invisible, weightless coverage and will keep your skin tone even and flawless. It is offered in 17 different shades so you can find the one that fits your skin.


Don’t let the spring break relaxed mode keep you from making sure to clean your face every night. Fresh Soy Face Cleanser is a great product and easy to use for a quick face wash before bed. It is cleanser that will take off makeup as well as purify your face of everyday impurities. It is safe to use around the eyes and soap free to avoid left behind residue.


For night time:

Going out at night you want a little extra something to make your face pop. Here are some great extra products to add to your makeup bag for some extra drama to your nighttime look.

Illamasqua's Intense Lipgloss definitely lives up to its name. It is color-rich and will make your lips look full and glossy for a night out. It comes in a wide range of outrageous and fun colors including Fierce Bright Grape and Fume Dark Rose.






Eye liner is a must for a dramatic look on a night out. MAC offers some great options including Superslick Liquid Eye Liner which comes in an array of colors. Adding a little more eye liner or a different shade of eye liner to your look on spring break can put a little more fun in your night out. After all it is spring break, try something a little crazy!





For your nails:

Think bright! Be bold! Your nails are one of your best accessories, so if you want to make a statement make sure they are painted accordingly.

If you are extra daring try these wild colors by OPI. The orange is In My Back Pocket and, as you can see, is super bright and fun. The lime green is Gargantuan Green Grape and has an electric feel to it.


For the more traditional, you can do a bright pink, blue, or even a purple shade. This pink shade from Essie and is Secret Story. Even though it is more of a traditional color the fuchsia is still bright and bold enough to hit the trend. The blue polish, also from Essie, is Mesmerized and is a little more daring and bold.


My Favorite Beauty Products

Leading ladies in the fashion and beauty industry share their favorite beauty products with Fashion Wrap Up readers!  

Kelly Karrmann -Co-Founder of Pretty Indy

Kelly is loving- PRO Radiant FX Face Illuminator

“This stuff is so amazing - especially for the winter months when you're feeling pale and washed out. It instantly gives your face a nice, healthy glow for day or night. It's quick, easy and the best part it's only $14.00 from Victoria's Secret. Just a little goes a long way, too!”



Tiffany Schutt - Co-Founder of Pretty Indy

Tiffany’s favorite product of the moment is- Lovely Glow Moisturizer


Its $62.50, which is fairly reasonable for a good moisturizer - and at 2oz., it really lasts a long time.  This is my perfect winter moisturizer - my skin LOVES it!  It's packed with anti-aging, skin-loving nutrients and oils - and really does give your skin a "lovely glow."   I just order mine online ( and they have lots of 20% off sales.  I'm basically obsessed with this whole line - it has helped my skin a ton!”




Megan Averbuch- Fashion Stylist/Founder of Belles and Rebelles

Megan’s favorite beauty product is- Half-Baked Bronzer


Megan says she rarely wears make-up but the one product she cannot live without is the Half-Baked Bronzer by

Urban Decay. “You can get it at Sephora stores or online at and it costs 24$! It gives you that little glow to brighten up your face and your day!”


Arlinda Norris-Head Fashion Designer RLynda

Arlinda loves - Bobbi Brown Cosmetics


Not just one favorite but the entire product line! Arlinda says “I believe that your face is your soul so I splurge on Bobbi Brown cosmetics! First, I apply Intensive Skin Supplement Serum (instant facelift) then Hydrating Face Cream next and for the eyes Hydrating Eye Cream every day, night and day does wonders!”  Shop Sephora; $46-$65


Marissa Hopson- Model/Pantene’s First Reality Hair Star

Marissa has two products she loves from- H2O Plus and Pantene


Two great products from two great companies! Marissa says “I love the H20 Plus Face Oasis Hydrating Treatment.” Shop; $34.

“I also love Pantene Smooth & Straighten Crème it’s affordable and keeps your hair frizz free!” Shop any drugstore.




Amy Beers- Model/Host of Nightlights TV

Amy‘s favorite beauty product is - Glitter Eyeliner from the Sephora Collection


Amy says “I’m a glitter junkie.  I love it because it adds the perfect touch of sparkle to your eyes and is available in lots of fun colors which I love to mix and match!  Another reason to love the product is that it’s versatile you can use it as eyeliner or for an all-over shadow.  Shop Sephora;  $12.


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