Beauty Unbiased: May 2012

My Top Five Moments from The Makeup Show NYC

The Makeup Show in NYC may have been a few weeks ago, but there a few moments that my guest photographer (and sister!) captured so beautifully, I had to share my Top Five favorite moments of The Makeup Show with everyone.

Shopping insanity! Thousands of people competing over the same makeup brush! (Okay the lines weren't really bad at all)

So many lipstick colors, such little time!

Got the chance to meet one of my favorite beauty bloggers! Felicia Walker Benson of This That Beauty on the Beauty & The Blog panel.

One of dozens of makeup demonstrations. I always learn such great makeup tips from these things! Plus the model had lavender hair, which added a little something.

Body Art by Make Up For Ever. Looking at this confuses me and blows my mind at the same time. 

Want to see more from my time at The Makeup Show? Click to view the whole slideshow.

How I Survived Googa Mooga Without a Sunburn or Nervous Breakdown

Pre-festival skincare prep- All with SPF  
Giveaway Alert! Want to win Eucerin Daily Protection body lotion SPF 15 and Eucerin Daily Protection face lotion SPF 30? Check out my tips to survive a day in the sun and tell me your best tricks to stay safe and sane at summer festivals in the comments for a chance to win.

This weekend kicked off the first of many outdoor festivals for me here in New York City. If you've never been to New York in the summertime, despite the occasional 100 degree day, sometimes unbearable humidity, and old buildings that don't have central air conditioning, it really can an amazing time to be in the City. There's a food festival, music festival, beer festival, wine festival, pickle festival (I could go on) nearly every weekend. With outdoor festivals comes the inevitable challenge of protecting your skin from excessive sun exposure, as well as practicing your anxiety and anger management skills while navigating large, obnoxious crowds of people.

At the inaugural Googa Mooga festival this weekend, there were droves of people, long lines, amazing food, free concerts and... of course tons of sun and barely any shady areas. As a seasoned outdoor festival go-er, I've learned a few tricks to maximize my 'stuck outside all day' experience and I have some new favorite products to keep me safe in the sun that I put to the ultimate test at Googa Mooga.
My face being protected from the sun is always priority #1. I started the day with SPF in my Fresh Soy moisturizer as well as in my Too Faced Beauty Balm to ensure extra protection for my face. Layering sunscreen does not increase the SPF number (SPF 15 and SPF 30 do not mean you have SPF 45 protection) but I've found that wearing makeup with SPF provides extra barriers of protection for my face.

Another must for me this summer is body lotion with SPF before I head out the door. Lubriderm and Eucerin both have new formulas of lotion with SPF 15 that feel like you're just putting on your regular lotion. The lotion is lightweight and surprisingly non-greasy. Yes, you will smell a little like sunscreen, but hey it's okay, you're going to be outside all day and will beg that the people you are squashed in a crowd with while waiting in line for a port-a-potty will be smelling half as good as you. After applying the lotion with SPF in the morning and reapplying sunscreen during the day, I was noticeably less affected by the sun than my friends who only applied sunscreen when they got the festival. Remember the apply sunscreen thirty minutes before sun exposure rule? Yeah, that's not just a myth. "Why are you still so pale?" being the exact reaction from a friend at the end of a long day in the sun. Paleness retained, courtesy of Eucerin with SPF.

Also, bring lip balm with SPF and extra sunscreen to reapply. I brought my Fresh lip treatment in both Coral, which is highly pigmented on me, and Rose which is more subtle. Personally, I prefer the subtle look for a hot day mainly because lip color smudging and straying on my face in the heat is not a good look. Oh, and I totally forgot my extra sunscreen, but thankfully my friends are more responsible than me.

As for anxiety and anger management: In cases where you have no phone service like this weekend, I like to eavesdrop on the conversations around me, people really say some entertaining stuff. If the conversations aren't interesting enough then I will read a poorly written but highly entertaining book that I've downloaded on my phone. When it gets really stressful, my go to is deep breathing: breath out for longer than you breath in to calm your nervous system.

Tell me your best tricks to stay safe and sane at summer festivals in the comments for a chance to win Eucerin Daily Protection body and face lotion. Winner must be in the US and will be randomly selected on May 25th at 12pm EST.

How to use your May Birchbox like a true Gossip Girl

With the Gossip Girl season five finale tonight at 8pm, I figured what better way to share the beauty goodies I got in my May Gossip Girl themed Birchbox than to share which characters I think would use each product along with my product reviews.

Color Club nail polish in Disco Nap: The thick, metallic gold color immediately makes me think of Blair Waldorf. Rich in color, just one shade was enough for my nails. But like Blair and the constant chaos that is her love life, my nails are never content with just one option. Add on an extra layer for a dense gold color or even use the color just at your tips with another color on the bottom layer for a Gilded Age French manicure.  

Algenist Complete Renewal Eye Balm: Definitely pairing this item with Lily van der Wudsen. If you've ever been on the rocks in a relationship and a former love (who you thought was dead) reappears- yeah, you'd need some serious eye cream for all the sleepless nights and freaking out you were doing! And this stuff does the trick. Despite its thick texture, the eye balm does not leave a greasy residue, instead melting into the skin, leaving a moisturized under eye area.

Dr. Jart's Water Fuse BB Cream: I'm pretty convinced that Nate Archibald and Chuck Bass secretly use Dr. Jart's Beauty Balm to keep their faces flawless. Or something like the light weight formula that provides sheer coverage while also moisturizing the skin. The sample in the Birchbox was difficult to get out of the packaging so I don't feel I was able to really experiment with the product, but I've read fabulous reviews of Dr. Jart's BB cream from beauty bloggers whose opinion I trust.

Ojon Volume Advance Shampoo: When I think of hair, I imagine the long, flowing locks on Serena-and become incredibly envious, though I know I've warned about that before. As you know if you've read any post I've done on hair, my fine, flat hair could always use a little boost. I am incredibly picky when it comes to voluminizing shampoo because my hair can also be on the dry side from coloring it. Many shampoos that build volume tend to leave my hair dry and even knotty when wet. (That last part of the sentence came out weird, didn't it- my book club is reading 50 Shades of Grey so please excuse me.) I may not have achieved Serena's hair exactly, but the Ojon shampoo added a kick to my fine hair while still leaving it moisturized and smooth.  

Just Throw It In the Bag: Fresh Sugar Coral Tinted Lip Treatment

Fresh Cosmetics may be more well known for their skin care line (if you haven't tried their Soy Face Cleanser, put it on your beauty wish list) than their makeup products, but Fresh's lip treatment line also has quite a cult following. Not to mention awards from Redbook, CEW, and Real Beauty. I love that they call it a lip treatment instead of a lip balm or lip tint. Of course my lips need treatment. No, they deserve proper treatment! The best treatment out there! Your lips do too, of course.

The newest lip treatment on the Fresh block has SPF, a smooth application, and leaves a vibrant stain of color, just in time and perfectly tinted for summer days that bleed into summer nights. The Sugar Coral lip treatment doesn't actually taste or smell much like sunscreen, my biggest gripe with products that contain SPF. Throw this one into the bottom of your purse or beach bag this summer. Available at Sephora for $22.50.

A sample of the product was provided for consideration and it was so good I had to share my thoughts with you all.

Hair Envy

A cautionary tale from mistakes made in the pursuit of beauty.   

If envy is widely accepted as a universal ‘evil’, why does it seem to come so naturally? A common beauty mistake we’ve all made is focusing our time, energy and money on improving our flaws rather than embracing our natural assets. As someone ‘blessed’ with fine, pin-straight hair, my envy granted me a special place in the hall of fame of bad hair decisions. Hi, my name is Heather, and I was a perm-a-holic.

My multiple attempts to have voluminous, bouncy waves ended in a style that came frighteningly close to matching Ms. Frizzle, the teacher from the Magic School Bus cartoon. If I’d focused on what was right about my hair rather than everything I hated about it, I would have saved a lot of money and inhaled a lot less chemicals. Thanks to a few special hairstylists, my hair-esteem has since been boosted by gaining knowledge of how to work with my fine hair.

Let’s face it; we were all born with flaws. We can in effect draw attention to our flaws by focusing too much on changing them. Instead of letting the envy of what you don’t have cloud your judgment, embrace and celebrate your unique features that may even be inducing the envy of others. The grass may sometimes be greener on the other side, but who is noticing the grass when my hair looks this good? 

Caudalie Vinosource- Another reason to love grapes

Grapes have always been one of my favorite fruits. Not only are they crisp and refreshing, you even have the option to go sweet with a red grape or slightly sour with the green depending on your mood. Taste aside, they also have exceptional health value and the skin is packed with antioxidants- a fact that Caudalie founder Mathilde Thomas has built a skincare empire around. Caudalie's newest line Vinosource is available for purchase starting today at Their key ingredient- grape water. Specially harvested for the rich antioxidants featured in grapes, all Vinosource products are ultra-hydrating while offering unique benefits to various skin types.

Dry, dehydrated skin: The Vinosource SOS Thirst Quenching Serum ($48) provides deep hydration to the layers underneath the skin, while the Moisturizing Sorbet ($38) provides soothing relief and a lightweight but rich moisture to dry skin. I've been sampling the serum, and with the light fragrance and quick absorption it's been my new favorite way to start my daytime skincare routine.

Oily, combination skin: The Vinosource Moisturizing Matifying Fluid ($38) reduces excess sebum and restores skin's water balance. I generally go for products that deeply moisturizing, but in the warmer months I often have oily skin. I haven't had much of an opportunity to try the mattifying fluid out on warm days thanks to the weatherman (or whoever is responsible for this brisk spring we're having here in NYC) but I've found the mattifying fluid is moisturizing while creating a great base for me to apply makeup.

As an extra treat, will be giving out their adorable complimentary gift bags with purchase, pictured below.