Sweet Relief: Burt’s Bees Lip Butter

Is there anything lovelier than discovering a top notch new lip product? One that soothes and moisturizes without causing pesky little breakouts? One that can be applied before bed and prevent dry lips all night long?

That’s exactly what I’ve found in Burt’s Bees Lavender & Honey Lip Butter. I’ve long considered Burt’s Bees the gold standard in lip care, and I usually have at least one tube of the classic balm on me at all times. This new lip butter is wonderfully moisturizing without the minty sting of the balm, which I can be irritating to sensitive skin. The butter is silky smooth and lightweight. It comes in an easy-open tin (seriously – I know how hard to open the old tins could be!) and I love the mild lavender scent – aromatherapy for the win!

Burt’s Bees Lip Butter comes in two other varieties: Rosemary & Lemon (which my sister is obsessed with) and Orange Blossom & Pistachio. And at less than $5 each, you might as well try more than one. I picked mine up at Ulta, but you can can also buy them online here.

Holiday Pretty

Happy Holidays! How quickly the year has flown by! Tomorrow is Christmas Day, and before we know it we’ll be ringing in the New Year with midnight kisses and champagne. We’ll have lots of reasons to celebrate — and get dolled up — over the next seven days. After all, as one of my closest, chicest friends likes to say, the best part of the holidays is having an excuse to wear a dress and high heels!

I don’t know about you, but I’m hoping my stocking is stuffed with tinted lip balms (you can’t go wrong with Burt’s Bees), cool nail polishes (anything in the gray family will do) and designer fragrances (I’m looking at you, Dior Addict). But regardless of what I get tomorrow morning, tonight I’ll be turning to some classics to get me looking lovely and feeling festive while I kick off the holiday at not one, but two Christmas Eve parties! I still haven’t made a wardrobe decision; I could keep it cozy in jeans, boots, and a cranberry colored sweater, or perhaps I’ll throw on my new black wrap dress and perfect red scarf for a slightly more glamorous look. Either way, I know I’ll be sporting the following fun holiday makeup looks:

1. Glittery Gold Manicure: I believe that, for the most part, a girl shouldn’t wear glittery nail polish if she’s old enough to legally buy booze. Not only does glitter tend to read really, really young, it can often come across as ditzy, which is never a look that I’m going for.

This Nailtini polish can be layered for a very pretty, sparkly holiday manicure.

This Nailtini polish can be layered for a very pretty, sparkly holiday manicure.

However, we are currently enjoying a season that almost mandates a certain amount of glitter in daily life. I’ll be taking advantage of this with a pretty, glittery gold manicure. I prefer polishes that have smaller pieces of glitter that, when layered, almost look like solid pigment rather than little chunks of confetti suspended in topcoat. I’ll be rockin’ this Nailtini polish. Essie also makes some decent glittery polishes, in both gold and silver. Go forth and sparkle, my friends!

2. Red Lips: I don’t care how you do it. Gloss, balm, lipstick, liner, whatever your preferred method of lip color application, nothing is more timeless, glamorous and holiday-appropriate than a red lip. Being a definite gloss girl, I’ll be sporting my new favorite, this thick Bare Minerals gloss that smells like holiday spices and turns my mouth the most flattering shade of red. The color is a little darker in person than it looks in the photo (please excuse the obnoxious kissy-face) and it really takes any look up a notch, adding a kiss of ladylike sophistication.

This Bare Minerals gloss is a little darker in person and smells like holiday spices - the perfect holiday gloss!

This Bare Minerals gloss is a little darker in person and smells like holiday spices – the perfect holiday gloss!

3. Liquid Liner: I generally wear a little eyeliner during the day. A quick swipe of pencil along my upper lashes and I’m good to go. When I’m dressing up, on the other hand, I want to give my eyes a little more oomph, and nothing does that better than a sleek swoop of liquid liner, which makes a statement that is both sexy and classy, all while making your eyes pop. This year I’ve fallen for a new favorite: Eyeko Skinny Liquid Eyeliner in purple. The liner itself is unbelievably easy to apply; like my former favorite liquid liners, it comes in a pen-tip style applicator, rather than the skinny brush that I don’t think I will ever master. The color comes out smoothly and evenly, and dries quickly without smudging. I’ve always been a fan of purple eye pencils, and this purple liquid version is just too good not to use. I’ll be sporting a slight cat-eye tonight.

So, will you be rocking any of these looks tonight? What’s your go-to holiday makeup look? Let me know in the comments below.

Have a beautiful Christmas!

Summer Loves

Summer is officially upon us, and with the gorgeous weather comes oily skin, frizzy hair, and often a less than fresh feeling. Happily, I’ve found a few wonder-products that help beat the heat and keep me feeling fresh and clean. Here, my top summer beauty picks:

Burt’s Bees Facial Cleansing Towelettes – These 99.1% natural pre-moistened towelettes slick away oil, smudged makeup, and everyday grime without leaving skin feeling too dry or too greasy. They have a pleasant and super-refreshing scent, and can be used all over the body for a quick all-over cleanse. I use them at night when I’m feeling too lazy to properly wash my face, and during the day when I’m feeling particularly icky.

Make Up For Ever HD High Definition Powder – This translucent finishing powder is AMAZING. A light dusting keeps skin matte for several hours, and somehow manages to hide imperfections and perfect skin tone without any tint. I purchased the mini-size at Sephora.com to give it a try, and it contains plenty of product to get me through the summer. I’ll definitely be buying this one again.

Organix Renewing Moroccan Argan Oil Penetrating Oil – This little bottle of drugstore hair oil contains Moroccan argan oil – the hair oil of the moment – and is a perfect summer hair helper. It features a summery tropical scent, makes hair shiny, fights frizz and keeps grease at bay for several days. Plus, it helps condition hair. It’s an ideal product for beauties who don’t wash their hair every day.

Atelier Cologne Orange Sanguine Cologne Absolue – This is my new favorite scent. It has a long-lasting, authentic orange scent, and makes me feel happy and clean when I wear it. What’s more perfect for summer than that?

Beach Beauty

As we head into Independence Day weekend, I know many of us  are planning on hitting the beach, or lounging by the pool, or taking a dip in the lake… in other words, we all want to spend the weekend basking in the sun and playing in the surf.

I, for one, am lake-bound, off to a favorite family spot to celebrate the 4th and my brother’s birthday. And, just as I do every year, I will be toting some of my favorite beach beauty products:

1. Burt’s Bees – My favorite lip balm of all time is also my favorite beach balm, as it moisturizes dry lips better than anything else and its minty flavor helps keep me cool.

2. Sunscreen – I don’t really have a brand preference, but I use at least SPF 15 on my body and SPF 45 on my face – no need to add any unnecessary age spots or wrinkles!!

3. Lemon Lights – Summer after summer I get complimented on my amazing natural highlights. Little do those envious gals know that mother nature has a little help highlighting my hair. I swear by John Frieda Beach Blonde Lemon Lights highlighting gel.  If, like me, you combed lemon juice through your hair every summer as a kid, you will love this lemon-scented wonder. It’s the same idea as lemon juice. You apply the gel on whichever strands you hope to highlight, and then hang out and let the sun do its thing.  You end up with highlights that technically are natural, since you’re not dying them and they come from being outside, but it happens a lot faster this way – and you get a little say over where those highlights are. And even though this product is marketed towards blondes, my very brunette hair loves it!

That Really Chaps my Lips…

Here we are, mid-January, smack dab in the middle of indoor heating season and sub-zero temperatures outside. Despite gulping down as much water as I can stomach each day, and even with diligent application of lip balms and glosses, I’m being plagued by a persistent case of chapped lips. Even my trusty ol’ standby Burt’s Bees isn’t solving the problem. Here, some helpful hints on how to heal (and prevent) chapped lips.

1. Exfoliate. There are many ways to do this, and you may want to vary your technique depending on the severity of your situation. You can gently brush a dry toothbrush over your lips, or rub a dry, rough wash cloth over them to loosen dead skin and create a smoother, less irritated surface. If your mouth is really dry and burning, you can get some relief from Laura Gellar Lip Strip, a cooling sugar scrub designed especially for exfoliating dry lips. After massaging the scrub over your mouth for 30 seconds, you will enjoy a pleasant cooling sensation and a noticeable reduction in any flakes of skin that might have formed on your mouth. It is not a permanent solution, though, and you will definitely want to follow up with a balm of some sort.

2. Moisturize. Keep adding balms and glosses to your mouth to ease the dryness and help create a barrier against elements that worsen the situation. Right now I’m alternating between Burt’s Bees, an Avon lip moisturizer, and Philosophy Red Velvet Cake gloss (see page Glosses & Balms for more info). When my lips are really dry, I find that layering vaseline or a thick lip gloss on top of Burt’s Bees before bed is an extremely effective way to heal and moisturize chapped lips. After a few nights of that treatment and you should be back on track.

3. Hydrate. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, drinking plenty of hydrating fluids can help boost your health and your beauty. It helps keep your immune system up, keeps skin (and lips!) from becoming overly dry, and really adds a nice glow to your overall appearance. Keep a water bottle on your desk. And to all of those water-haters out there, do your skin a favor and try Crystal Light or some other on-the-go water flavoring trick. For about 5 calories you can turn a bottle of plain water into a delicious fruity drink. All while saving yourself the trouble of having to repair your poor chapped lips.

How to Survive Flu Season Without Looking Like a Reptile

I can safely say that it is officially cold and flu season, having spent the majority of the last week in bed with the worst cold/flu/allergy attack I can remember in recent history.

You might think that spending that much time in bed I’d be caught up on “beauty sleep” and would be positively glowing. Turns out, the only glow I’ve had is that of a fever, and I’ve been rockin’ the puffy-eyed, chapped lipped, dry skin look.

Not cute.

So, in light of my recent foolishness, here are some tips that I’ve found useful in escaping flu season without looking like a crocodile.

1. Stay hydrated. This will not only help speed along your recovery time, it will help keep you skin from becoming dry and cracked. I drank a lot of tea during my recent bout with dryness. Peppermint is my new favorite – it helps soothe a congested head!

2. Moisturize! Even if you can’t bear to drag yourself out of bed long enough to really spruce yourself up, do yourself a favor and always put on your moisturizer. My nose, cheeks and lips all became outrageously dry last week, to the point where the skin on my nose actually cracked and started bleeding. However, after just one application of Clinique’s Dramatically Different Moisture Lotion, I was healed. I’ve been using it daily ever since.

3. Hand in hand with moisturizing your face is moisturizing your lips, and for that I say Burt’s Bees! I’ve been layering on various balms and glosses, but only Burt’s Bees was able to soothe and cure my chapped lips. And it’s fortunately available just about everywhere. Drug stores, grocery stores, health food stores, you name it. Get some!

4. Buy Puffs Plus. Totally worth the extra few cents.

5. If at all possible, drag your sick, tired butt out of bed and take a shower. It’ll make you feel like a human.

Following these steps will help ensure you make it out without scales. And these suggestions are all also guy-friendly, so feel free to pass them along to your boyfriend/husband/brother/whiney sick male friend.

I’m actually feeling much better and am mostly back on track, skin-wise. Although I’m currently sporting a volcanic pimple on my cheek.

Time for Queen Helene!