So many friends have been asking me about contouring makeup lately. I think all the hype, the intimidating “before” and “after” photos (like these) and the deluge of contouring kits (my favorite one here) have made this age-old makeup technique illusive and intimidating.
Have we not been sucking in our cheeks forever to apply blush and bronzer?
Put simply, contouring is about light and dark: light pushes features forward, darkness sets them back. I think everyone can benefit from a little flattering light on the face, even if you don’t want to delve into the darkness.
This beautiful highlighting pen from Tom Ford is perfect for dotting the inside corners of eyes, cupids bow of the lip and lightly patting on apples of cheeks, tops of cheekbones and sides of eyes. It’s such an easy way to achieve that subtle, ever-so-pretty glow.
That’s my littlest one safely soaking in the sun. I just love that picture. She’s not even two there but doesn’t she have the calm of an 80 year-old on that raft? She kills me.
I take sun protection very seriously in my house. Both my girls know the routine: sunscreen stick on face, “sun lotion” all over body, SPF shirts and hats. Non-negotiable. Like me, my daughters are very fair and burn in a matter of minutes.
I know how confusing the safety of sunscreen can be these days. The difference between what is organic, green and non-toxic can make your head spin. That’s why I’m thrilled to introduce new BeautyMama contributor, Melissa Schweiger Kleinman. I met Melissa after I fell in love with her book, Belli Beautiful: The Essential Guide to the Safest Health and Beauty Products for Pregnancy, Mom and Baby. Melissa’s beauty expertise runs deep—she has written about beauty for national magazines and websites, including Marie Claire, Shape and Women’s Wear Daily to name a few, and was the beauty editor for Sephora.
I love Melissa because she names names—I just buy whatever she says. Her book is like an index of the best and safest makeup and skincare, head to toe. So much easier than shopping and searching the EWG!
So without further ado, here is Melissa’s golden sunscreen advice:
On the heels of a new report from the CDC that melanoma rates have tripled in the past three decades, sun protection has never been more important. I’ve been religious about using SPF 30 for over a decade now. But it was more for vanity back then than anything else. I realized my skin just looked better without all those brown spots. Plus my skin is on the paler side, so I always had to burn before I tanned, with the actual bronze lasting a matter of days before it peeled off.
My daily SPF in my late 20s and early 30s was a chemical sunblock. It wasn’t until I got pregnant that I rethought which type of sunblock to use—mineral or chemical. Titanium dioxide and zinc oxide are considered mineral or physical sunblocks. They basically act as a mirror and reflect the UV rays away from your skin. The skin does not absorb these types of sunblocks, as they just sit on the skin’s surface. Chemical sunblocks work by converting the UV light into safe red light, but they do get absorbed into the skin. The benefit of chemical sunscreen is that it cosmetically looks better, leaving no telltale white finish on the skin.
While there is no scientific data showing chemical sunscreens to pose any real danger to our health, I still opt to use mostly physical blocks. My skin is very sensitive and since chemical sunscreens do get absorbed, they can cause allergic reactions in the skin. In the end, you need to choose a formulation you can feel good about applying every day with no issue. As Dr. Darrell Rigel, one of the dermatologists I work with at Schweiger Dermatology Group, says: “The best sunscreen for you is the one you’re going to use.”
Here, my picks for the best performing and best feeling SPFs:
Melissa’s Sun-Safe Tips
• Seek shade whenever possible. Find playgrounds that have shade tents for the kids.
• Wear hats! I love this chlorine-resistant bucket hat from Coolibar.
• Invest in some chic UPF clothing. I would buy the whole collection from Mott50 if I could. I especially love their lightweight cardigans.
• If you’re applying a spray SPF, make sure to apply two coats. You never know how much is ending up in the air and not on your skin.
• Make slathering on the SPF a non-negotiable for your kids. It should be as automatic as brushing their teeth in the morning.
• If you let your kids apply their own SPF (highly recommend the stick kind), they’ll actually look forward to doing it.
Melissa Schweiger Kleinman is the director of content and communications at Schweiger Dermatology Group and the author of Belli Beautiful: The Essential Guide to the Safest Health and Beauty Products for Pregnancy, Mom and Baby.
Now that it’s warm out and I’m baring some skin in tank tops and summer dresses, I’ve been reacquainted with one of my biggest insecurities: the backs of my arms. The skin is red and slightly bumpy. Keratosis Pilaris. Dermatologists have consistently told me there’s nothing to be done about it. I use some Amlactin and exfoliate daily, but the doctors have been proven right. It’s benign, but it’s kind of an eyesore.
For special occasions, I have buffed Bare Mineral powder foundation onto the backs of my arms, but it’s a little messy and not practical. To be honest, I haven’t looked that hard for a more suitable solution. I just live with it. It is what it is. It’s genetic (thanks, Mom!) and I seem to have reached an age and a stage where my confidences are stable and my insecurities have taken a back seat. They really don’t drive the car anymore.
That said, I found this wonderful Face and Body Liquid Makeup by Makeup Forever at Sephora the other day when I ran in for a refill of my Benefit Gimme Brow. It’s a 90% water based gel that’s super thin and wearable. It’s blendable, buildable and easy to apply. I love that’s it’s waterproof—a nice touch for the summer. The finish is matte yet slightly dewy. Very natural looking. My husband was amazed when I showed him one arm with and one arm without, while fanning dramatic Price is Right showcase arms.
If you’d like some minor correcting on your arms or legs—or just want an even tone on your décolletage—but don’t need the heft of a product like Cover Fx or Dermablend, I think you’d really like this foundation.
I usually get the most compliments on my hair when it’s dirty. In fact, it’s not uncommon for me to get a bunch of nice comments on my (secretly greasy) ‘do on a five-day old blowout. (Or maybe more. Who’s counting.)
I’m not alone. Often when I compliment my friends’ hair (or strangers) they’ll exclaim, “Ugh, It’s so dirty.” (We all really need to learn to just smile and say “thank you,” btw.)
Why is dirty hair so awesome? Because it has TEXTURE. Texture from oil and sweat, wind and rain, hats and pillows. Grubby little fingers. I don’t know about you, but five days into a blowout, my hair has usually been through a war.
This Instant Texture Spray from Living Proof spares you the battle. I’m talking about Day One Texture, which is basically the unicorn of hair.
I’ve been using it on a fresh blowout. I like to spray it on my hands and twist sections of my hair. Don’t be worried if it feels a tad stiff—just work it in. A lot of people love using it on damp hair, too. It’s formulated to work either way—and it lasts 48 hours.
As usual, Living Proof has invented mind boggling hair technology here—in the form of a patented volumizing molecule and magnetic texturizer, people. And, as always, the product is free of parabens, sulfates and phthalates.
Rejoice! You no longer need a combination of crunchy salt sprays, creams and pomades to achieve a tousled look. Just this, blissfully safe and easy to use mist.
I don’t know why, but sometimes it requires Herculean effort for me to complete the simplest of tasks.
It might take me 3 weeks to mail a letter. Even if I have stamps.
Sometimes days and days go by before I’ll pick up the dry cleaning. Even if I pass by twice a day.
All my good photos are in my phone, begging to be printed.
And yet—I can be highly productive and efficient. For example, by 7:45 a.m., I am out the door with my two girls; each has been fed, vitamins administered, lunch and snacks packed. I’m even wearing lip gloss. Also, we never run out of milk or coffee or diapers. In fact, I spend a fair amount of time running around trying to get the details of life done as seamlessly as possible.
No wonder I have dry feet. Really dry feet.
And as you probably know, dry feet don’t improve on their own. They require intervention: Buy foot cream. Apply daily. It’s not like it’s complicated.
And yet. I have had said dry feet for a really long time now. Because you can’t put lotion on your feet in the daytime. That’s a non-starter, right? So it must become a bedtime ritual. And at the moment, my bedtime ritual involves scrolling through Instagram then playing Ruzzle on my iPhone. Obviously, I can’t do either with greasy hands.
And then (cue violins) I saw THIS brilliant product in the drugstore:
Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Heel Repair is a neat stick that contains pure Cocoa Butter, vitamin E, Shea butter and peppermint oil. It smells divine and it WORKS.
If I could, I would swathe myself in lanky layers of gold jewelry, jingling with every move. Alas, I have a toddler who pulls, chews and/or steals anything I wear so these tats are the perfect antidote to my thwarted, bohemian-jeweled rhapsody.
Snag them at Lulu DK.