Category Archives: Beauty

This $8 Mascara Makes Everyone Think I Have Lash Extensions

Whenever I see someone with super long, thick, dark eyelashes, I assume that they have lash extensions. Though extensions are a foolproof way to get the lashes of your dreams without growth serums or falsies, they’re not exactly low maintenance.

Eliminating oil-based makeup removers, not rubbing your eyes, and not getting the lashes too wet or hot are just a few of the limitations that come with extensions. And that’s why I’ve settled on enhancing my lashes the old-school way: with mascara.

It turns out that the best lengthening mascara, one that rivals any set of extensions, is only $8 at your favorite drugstore. NYX’s Worth the Hype Mascara ($8; adds length and volume that’s equivalent to the results you’d get from the extensions. The formula is buildable, so you can customize how dramatic of a finish you get depending on how many coats you swipe on. Its fluffy brush has a tapered tip that makes it easier to reach every single lash—including those hard-to-reach small hairs at the inner corners of your eyes.

Before I tried NYX, my favorite mascara was $30. I was doubtful that any other tube would live up to my go-to formula, but I also like saving money. I gave NYX’s mascara a shot because of its under-$10 price tag.

I applied two coats to my upper lashes and was surprised at how defined, full, and (most importantly) long they looked. On the day I wore this mascara, New York was a rainy, slushy, wind tunnel. I looked in my bathroom mirror after commuting home and saw that my mascara wasn’t clumpy or smudgy. And the formula isn’t even waterproof.

Yeah, I’d say that NYX’s mascara is worth the hype.

Drew Barrymore Just Shared Her Biggest Skincare Problem–and What She Does to Fix It

She says she hates looking like a “ghoul.” 

Drew Barrymore is known for her beauty expertise, but now, she’s sharing what helps her feel her best. The actress and owner of Flower Beauty posted a mirror selfie on Instagram to talk about one insecurity in particular.

“I have really dark circles,” she wrote. “That’s my problem. I don’t have lines as much as I look [like] the crypt keeper. I love laugh lines. Can’t wait for more. But dark circles are a problem, because it looks like instead of being impossibly happy throughout my life, I look more like a ghoul who came from the graveyard!”

Lucky for her (and us), Barrymore has found the solution to her under-eye dilemma.

“The key is to find a more pigmented eye cream,” she said. “Rarely, but certainly some times, clear has worked. But I often find white tinted and ones with a light pearl or pinky tone. I have a few faves I will share, but wanted to show a regular morning.”

The ‘gram is part of Barrymore’s “#beautyjunkieweek,” where she discusses her beauty routine, skincare information, and of course, the products that work best for her. We’re still waiting for Barrymore to unveil exactly what’s in her cosmetic bag for conquering dark circles, but she has shared a few of her go-tos already. Over the weekend, she promoted Juara’s Radiance Enzyme Scrub ($38;–and mentioned their eye cream.

“Obsessed with this brand and they sent me a sample of this scrub when [I] asked for their insanely effective tea eye cream for dark circles,” she said. “To my surprise, my pores shrank to zip. Zero. Tight.”

Barrymore says she is not paid or encouraged to post about any particular product during #beautyjunkieweek; rather, she just wants her followers to know how they can take care of their skin.

Dermaplaning Is the Secret to Brighter, Smoother Skin

Even though I’m a huge proponent for everyone wearing as much makeup as they want to, I’m personally of the skin-first philosophy: That is, I prefer to painstakingly fret over my face, lathering all kinds of creams and serums in a quest for what I suppose to be the non-existent “flawless complexion,” so I don’t need to wear so much makeup.

Lately, I’d noticed my skin, now at the ripe age of 32-years-old, didn’t have that same Noxzema-girl luster as it did just a few years ago in my 20s. (Aging is a real thing, you guys.) And while I’ve enlisted a variety of anti-aging creams approved by top derms and experts alike, I wanted to find a way to get fresh-faced quickly. So when the aesthetician who turned me onto the skin-wonder phenomenon of microneedling let me know of her latest innovation, I had to learn more—and try the at-home treatment for myself. (FYI, here’s Everything You Need to Know About Microneedling.)

No pain. No pain. Beauty shouldn’t be painful. #realwomenradiantskin #Dermaflash

A post shared by DERMAFLASH (@dermaflash) on Aug 18, 2016 at 11:16am PDT

Dermaplaning, according to Kerry Benjamin, the founder of Stacked Skincare in Santa Monica, California, “gently removes dead skin cell build-up and fine facial hair for a brighter and smoother complexion, while also allowing products to fully soak into the skin, boosting the efficacy of the serums and creams.” In medical spas and aesthetic offices, the procedure can cost anywhere from $75 to $200 depending on where you live, but her at-home tool is literally a fraction of the cost, packaged with a trio of replacement blades, too.

Although the treatment has gotten a lot of buzz recently, it isn’t entirely groundbreaking. “Beauty bloggers have talked about at-home dermaplaning over the years, but they’ve used a cheap plastic tool intended to touch up your eyebrows.” Definitely do not try that at home, FYI.

“I also think a lot of women are getting over the stigma of ‘shaving their face‘ and realizing that dermaplaning is one of the best treatments to exfoliate the dead skin, and also remove peach fuzz, leaving your skin instantly glowing and dewy,” Benjamin said, to which I can’t disagree. I mean, at 32, I want skin as smooth as a baby’s butt. And no, I’m not at all ashamed to admit that I’ll try almost anything (at least once) to get the job done.

Plus, it works on all complexions (unlike laser hair removal, which is best for an extremely specific skin tone and hair type) and takes only five to ten minutes—perfect for those who want smoother, brighter skin but are also too busy (or lazy!) to devote tons of time to beauty treatments. In addition to the Stacked Skincare tool, I also stumbled on one of Sephora’s top-selling skin-care tools, the DermaFlash. Similar to the manual dermaplane, this electronically powered model is a souped-up version of the Stacked Skincare tool, except it comes with a set of six blades (you should use about one per week) in addition to an oil-removing cleanser to use beforehand, and a soothing, hydrating cream to apply after completing the at-home treatment. Great for all skin tones, notes Benjamin, the whole thing can be done in about 5 to 10 minutes, once a week.

All you do is pull skin taut with one hand, and using the other, make sweeping strokes from the hairline in towards the nose, being extra careful to not nick or cut yourself. (Just another reason to change the blade after every use. You need a fresh one every time for the safest, most hygienic experience.) You’ll want to avoid sensitive spots, like near your eyes or lips. (Or, you can just watch these videos from Stacked Skincare and DermaFlash, which feature the respective founders giving you the exact step-by-step how-to.)

An important note: If you’ve got bad acne, skip dermaplaning, as you won’t want to spread the bacteria across your face and possibly create more zits, says Benjamin. (Same goes for microneedling—skip if you have acne.) And if you suffer from a skin condition like eczema, psoriasis, or rosacea, make sure to see a professional first.

Although I had to wait an extra week to dermaplane thanks to a lovely hormonal zit smack-dab-in-the-center of my cheek, the results were incredible. Yes, I did nick myself once or twice on the bonier parts of my face, like my jawline, but everything else was smooth sailing, literally. (But I am feeling hard for men who cut themselves shaving, TBH.) All the peach fuzz that’s been around for 32 years? Gone. And all the dead skin cells that have built up from a winter’s worth of NYC weather, environmental stressors, and life stress? Also gone.

The best part, though, was that my husband, who notices nothing—like a haircut, let’s say—commented that my face looked “radiant.” And while I would never use another person as the barometer of my own beauty, it did reinforce my belief that dermaplaning is the secret to bright, smooth skin you never knew about. Until now, that is.

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I Tried Meghan Markle’s Facial Massage and My Face Will Never Be the Same Again

The buccal massage sounds weird and invasive, but after getting one all I could think was, Where has this facial treatment been all my life?!

Getting ready for the royal wedding is no easy feat. There’s a lot of training to be done—in terms of etiquette and fitness—so a day of pampering was much needed. Since my Real Simple colleague and Road to the Royal Wedding costar, Liz Steelman, and I are committed to going to Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding (somehow) and doing all the official preparations we keep reading about, we decided to look into royal-approved beauty treatments. It’s a tough task, but hey, somebody’s got to do it!

Liz got the $1,500 haircut that Kate Middleton is a fan of, so I decided to look into Meghan Markle’s favorite beauty routines. I was expecting to find the usual treatments, like a Swedish massage or a spa pedicure, but I should have known that a royal-to-be doesn’t book the same mundane treatments that regular people do. From my official research, I discovered that Meghan is a fan of something called a buccal massage (also called a buccal facial). The treatment involves a deep massage of your face—in fact, the esthetician will even massage the inside of your mouth (umm, that part made me think of scary visits to the dentist!).

While Meghan goes to London-based facialist Nichola Joss for her treatments, I went to Danna Omari, the founder of Noy Skincare in New York City, for my pampering session. “The buccal facial is a deep tissue massage where we lift and sculpt the face and improve its posture,” Omari told me. “It’s fitness for the facial muscles, which are very hard to train in any other way. ‪We are restoring the clear edges of the face as well as diminishing pouches under the eyes and sagging skin. We are essentially causing a micro trauma to the skin by the repetition of the movements, enhancing the blood flow to the surface of the skin, and nourishing the cells in order to jumpstart the production of collagen and elastin.” Sort of like a facelift without the plastic surgery—just an esthetician’s very strong hands. Granted, her mention of “micro trauma” was slightly alarming, but I thought, if Meghan does it, so shall I. For the sake of journalism.

Before my facial, I confessed two things to Omari: one, that I had never gotten a facial before; and two, I was terrified of her putting her hands inside my mouth. Omari was so kind and patient, and reassured me that it wouldn’t be as weird as I thought. “Not only will you look great, but clients feel great as well,” she told me. “It is a big stress reliever. We hold a lot of tension in our jaw. The buccal portion is so unique because we are able to access the inner muscles of the mouth, stretching, massaging, relaxing, and therefore strengthening the muscles.”

Before my facial, Omari thoroughly cleaned and exfoliated my face. My appearance was probably akin to what a snake looks like when it sheds its skin, but boy did I feel relaxed already. Then she started “cupping” my face, which involves a suction device that gently pulls your skin to “facilitate lymphatic drainage.” It sounds uncomfortable, but it was actually pretty soothing and my face felt warm (in a good way), which Omari attributed to improved circulation. Next, she massaged my face all over, which is a bit like getting a deep tissue massage on your back—there was a lot of pressure, but I didn’t feel too much pain. At this point I was so relaxed, I wanted to sleep forever. Finally, it was time for the big event: the buccal massage. Omari gently put her fingers inside my mouth and massaged my cheeks, lips, and jawline. To my surprise, it wasn’t as scary or uncomfortable as going to the dentist. In fact, if a dentist appointment was like this, I would go more than twice a year. To finish, she put a soothing oatmeal mask all over my face and wrapped it in gauze. I looked like a mummy, but a completely relaxed and blissed-out mummy.

RELATED: How to Recreate Meghan Markle’s Messy Bun

Afterwards, it did feel like the muscles on my face had been through a workout. They weren’t exactly sore, but I was more aware that they existed. When I (reluctantly) returned to the office, my coworkers said my skin was glowing and my cheeks looked lifted. I kept touching my face (with the back of my hand, don’t worry, Danna!) because it felt so smooth and soft.

I can see why Meghan’s a fan—the buccal massage is a natural way to lift and sculpt your face, plus it’s a totally relaxing and luxurious experience. Of course, just like working out, you have to keep at it to see big changes. “Results are cumulative so it’s important to continue regular weekly sessions until you achieve your desired goal and than continue with maintenance treatments,” Omari says. I would definitely do it again, but at $250 a treatment, I don’t quite have the royal budget to book a facial on the regular.

Why Meghan Markle’s Wedding Makeup Will Showcase Her Natural Freckles

The beauty countdown to Meghan Markle‘s wedding is on! But what will Meghan choose for her wedding day makeup?

“I think Meghan will go with a classic, timeless look similar to what we have seen her wear lately,” her former makeup artist Lydia Sellers tells PEOPLE, adding: “Natural, dewy-looking skin, with her freckles peeking through, a sheer pink lip and a daytime smoky eye with beautiful volume in her lashes.”

Working with Meghan as her personal hair and makeup artist for two years, starting in 2015, Sellers says the most important factor for Meghan will be that looks like herself. “That was really important to Meghan — to always feel and look authentic and natural.”

Not only does Meghan favor a simple look, she likes to use non-toxic, eco-friendly products whenever possible. “She loves RMS, an all-natural brand that does great eyeliners and creamy blushers that can also be used on the lip,” recalls Sellers, who is now based on the West Coast.

“She also loves Tatcha—they have a great, dewy skin mist that you spray on after makeup application to give a really unique, fresh glow.” The former Suits star has also raved about the Japanese skincare’s Classic Rice Enzyme Powder, which exfoliates and cleanses to provide the perfect makeup-ready canvas. “Natural products are staples in my kit because of their simplicity and authenticity — I know Meghan valued those qualities as well.”

Working collaboratively, whether on editorial campaigns or promotional events for Suits, Sellers says the royal fiancée was a dream client in more ways than one: “She was so fun to work with because she was so in-the-know when it came to new products and brands – at times she would even teach me things!”

Parting ways last year as Meghan spent more time traveling (likely to London to see her then-secret royal boyfriend, Prince Harry), Sellers says she has wonderful memories of her time working with Meghan. “One time we were in Boston on a boat, it was spring, it was still very cold and she was in summer clothing. She laughed the entire day, she was so positive and we all forgot about the cold. I’m so happy for her!”

Is This the Best Anti-Aging Product? 110,000 People on Sephora Think So

This product may help turn back the clock.

Sunday Riley’s lactic acid treatment has racked up some serious anti-aging love.

Each day brings with it another aging concern. Am I forgetful because I’m older, or have I always been this way? I can’t remember; ah, it must be old age!

Perhaps more frequently on our (forgetful) minds than internal aging worries are the marks of time we see when we look in the mirror–the spots and lines that keep us on the hunt for the best anti-aging products.

Were these eye creases always there, or was squinting at my iPhone screen today the straw that broke the young skin’s back? The root of the fine lines and fresh wrinkles doesn’t really matter, though. You just want to know if there’s anything you can do to turn back the clock with things like proper skincare and anti-aging products.

RELATED: How to Get Noticeable Anti-Aging Results, According to Dermatologists

As someone who reads about beauty products and skincare routines day in and day out, a product with 110,000 customers devoted enough to share their passion on the internet can still catch my eye. Sunday Riley’s Good Genes All-In-One Lactic Acid Treatment is an eye-catching product for exactly that reason: 110,000 Sephora customers have given the product a “love,” and 84 percent of the 2,000-plus reviews are four and five stars.

Lactic Acid is a popular alpha hydroxy acid–like glycolic acid–in skincare products that exfoliates dead skin cells, smoothing fine lines and fading dark spots over time, while making it easier for moisture to penetrate your skin and further plump fine lines and improve skin texture.

If you’re interested in trying Sunday Riley’s anti-aging Good Genes ($105-158; Sephora), make sure you’re protecting your skin adequately from the sun with broad spectrum sunscreen of at least SPF 30 because AHAs and other common anti-aging ingredients, like retinol, can make your skin more prone to sunburns.

This Woman Showed How Lighting Can Completely Change the Look of Your Cellulite

Why you shouldn’t let social media mess with your self-esteem.

Social media is filled with carefully curated selfies that use just the right angle and lighting to hide so-called body flaws. That’s why we love this Instagram from body-positive influencer Tesia Kline, who shared side-by-side photos of her legs—one under lights that hid the cellulite on her thighs, and one in light that highlighted every thigh dimple.

RELATED: Why This Body-Positive Blogger Wants You to Stop Untagging Your Most Unflattering Social Media Photos 

“Sometimes your ‘body goals’ may not always be what they appear to be (especially on IG),” the 27-year-old from Mobile, Alabama, captioned her post. “Thank you, angles and lighting for helping me see that I’m still fcking FLAWESOME from every point of view!! And so are YOU.”

Kline tells Health that she posted the side-by-side images to make a point about the sneaky way social media photos can make the exact same body part look totally different, and she hoped to reach women like herself who have struggled with feeling good about their appearance.

“There was a time when I was obsessed with trying to get rid of my so-called ‘flaws,’” she says. “Cellulite, stretch marks, belly rolls, loose skin (from weight loss). I have used tons of creams and gels to get rid of those things. They never worked.”

RELATED: 4 Times Instagram Stars Proved Cellulite Is Totally Normal

Kline attributes some of her body image issues to the prep work she had to do for body-building competitions, which included “endless amounts of cardio” and a restrictive diet. But even after working out like crazy in the gym and tracking her eating habits carefully, her insecurities didn’t go away.

“I realized that even at my absolute leanest, I still had those ‘flaws,’” she says. “So practicing self-love and a [having] a positive body image really helped me overcome my insecurities and gave me all the confidence I could ever dream of! Now I just focus on being strong and healthy. No more strict diets or harsh workout routines. Just me, my body, and my mental health.”

Self-love and focusing on being strong and healthy—what’s more flawesome than that?

Meghan Markle Loves This Lipstick (and It’s Inspired by a Possible Royal Wedding Guest)

From her soft, undone waves to her natural makeup, Meghan Markle’s beauty routine appears to be effortless. The soon-to-be royal, who is set to marry Prince Harry on May 19th, has caught the attention of not just royal fanatics, but beauty lovers everywhere. And now, you can get a little closer to recreating her signature looks and skincare regimen, thanks to some insight from industry insiders on the star’s must-have products.

RELATED PHOTOS: Now You Can Shop Meghan Markle’s Favorite Beauty Products

According to a source, there’s a rumor circling around the beauty world that the 36-year-old former Suits actress has a favorite lipstick shade from the pro’s eponymous cosmetics line. It’s the Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution lipstick in Very Victoria, a taupe-y nude shade that’s of course created in honor of — and named after — Victoria Beckham. Tilbury recently created a shade inspired by Markle’s soon-to-be sister-in-law as well, called “The Duchess”.

The insider says she’s also a fan of Japanese skincare brand Tatcha’s Rice Enzyme Powder, which is a powder formula that mixes with water to gently exfoliate the skin.

Markle has also shared her lip balm of choice, the Fresh Sugar lip balm in Candy. “I have searched high and low and tried every kind of lip balm but this is the very best. Soft, kissable, buttery lips. I swear by it,” she once told Beauty Banter.

And when it comes to her perfect hair, she swears by every wave aficionado’s go-to spray. Markle told Birchbox, “There is nothing like a hair flip! When my hair is feeling a little weighted, Suanne, my hair artist on set, has me bend forward and she sprays a little Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray or nothing at all, and then has me ‘flip back hard’ to give my hair a little extra bounce.”

So if it’s her skin or lipstick shade you’re after, these products are worth a try.

This Woman’s Review of an Eyeliner That Lasted Through a Car Crash is Going Viral—Oh, and She’s Fine!

Never has there been a clearer example of makeup doing its job.

Beauty enthusiasts have long touted the staying power of cult fave Kat Von D Beauty Tattoo Liner, but a recent viral tweet of a Sephora review has solidified this liner in the hallowed halls of beauty legend. All of Kat Von D’s products are beyond fantastic — who else would think to collaborate with a rock star like Billie Joe on a new Kat Von D eyeliner? But this story about the Tattoo Liner is beyond confirmation that Kat makes a standout product.

It all started with @guadalahari’s tweet about her search for a new eyeliner. She stumbled upon a hilarious Sephora review of KVDB’s Tattoo Liner written by a woman who had survived a car accident with her eyeliner intact. The addition of a neck brace photo pushed it over the edge, and now it’s gone viral. The photo shows that the woman cried off all her other eye makeup post-accident yet her liner remained in perfect winged position. What a time to be alive!

Never has there been a clearer example of makeup doing its job than in this moment. If an eyeliner can survive a post-car accident sobfest, then it’s officially a must-have.

If you were on the fence about Kat Von D Beauty’s Tattoo Liner before, you won’t be now.

We can’t think of a better advertisement for this eyeliner than this one, TBH.

This is not the first time a Sephora review has made the news. Remember the Fenty Beauty foundation review that went viral? These have become a veritable art form.

The shock is real.

Look at that eyeliner! This is the kind of thing you really have to see to believe. This poor woman.

The car accident victim and fierce liner-wearer eventually identified herself on Twitter, making us truly grateful for police photos.

Shelby, neck brace or no, you are working that liner lewk.

In a surprising turn of events, journalist Madeleine Dunne posted her own photo to reveal that she too had survived her own car accident with her KVD eyeliner intact.

If you’re not flocking to Sephora to buy this liner for yourself, what are you even doing?



We can now confidently say this liner is worth every penny.

Khloé Kardashian Spills on the Beauty Products She Actually Uses

You know the drill—when a Kardashian gives a beauty product recommendation, it usually sells out soon after, so get ready to add these to your cart.

Although Khloé Kardashian is best known for her denim line, Good American, while sisters Kim and Kylie are at the helm of their beauty empires, the girl still knows a thing or two about glam. The new mom took to her app this week to share a few of the go-to products she uses on her famous face.

“I’ve shown you guys my insanely organized lipstick drawer before, and now I’m revealing my entire makeup collection—foundations, blushes, highlighters and even my brushes,” she wrote.

Accompanying a (very satisfying) photo of her makeup drawer is an arrow pointing to her Kylie Cosmetics blush and highlighter. “When I like a  product, I get it in every shade, LOL,” she says. “As you can see, I have every Kylie Cosmetics blush and Kylighter!”


She shows older sister Kim some love, too, “Kim’s contour and highlight kits and Ultralight Beams are everything. Hrush [one of the sisters’ frequently used makeup artists] uses them for almost all of my glam.”

Though the Revenge Body star loves to support her sisters’ cosmetic companies (or should we say kompanies?), she also uses a few non-Kardashian brands. Among the products she recommends are Benefit Cosmetics Dandelion Box O’ Powder Blush ($29;, a pale pink powder that leaves a radiant finish on cheekbones, and Benefit Cosmetics Hello Flawless Powder Foundation ($34;, a sheer coverage foundation that comes in nine shades.

She also calls out three Giorgio Armani products: Giorgio Armani Beauty Luminous Silk Foundation ($64;,  a medium-coverage foundation that comes in 24 shades; the more lightweight Giorgio Armani Beauty Face Fabric Foundation ($49;; and Giorgio Armani Beauty Fluid Master Primer ($58; to help smooth and mattify skin before anything else is added on top.

And although Koko is obsessed with both sisters’ highlighters, there’s still room in her heart (and her makeup drawer) for Urban Decay Naked Illuminated Shimmering Powder ($32;, a finely milled powder for face and body that imparts a microfine shimmer.

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