Two words about this product: HOLY SH*T.

Last week, I went to Bergdorf Goodman for refills of my beloved Charlotte Tilbury makeup. When I saw one of my favorite makeup artists, Tommy, at the counter, I asked him for a little pick-me-up. My skin has been so dry and dull thanks to a prolonged summer cold and the necessary medication I’ve had to take to kill it. I have never really had dry skin and it’s been a doozy.

Tommy used this gel-like balm to clean and prep my skin. I was instantly soothed by its gentle floral scent. And my face felt happy—that’s the only way I can describe it.

I’ve been using this truly miracle balm for the past week as an overnight recovery mask. My dry skin is gone. GONE! No longer does my foundation dry into cracks. Dare I say my skin in dewy?

This amazing product comes in a huge, luxurious glass jar that you can dip into as a makeup remover, cleanser and balm for dry skin anywhere (think elbows and heels). I am seriously impressed and obsessed. If you love oil cleansing, you’ll love it. If you’re looking for an easy mask, this is it. And it’s still so much more.

The cream-to-oil balm is loaded with potent antioxidants, vitamins and floral extracts. Here’s the eloquent down-low from Charlotte Tilbury’s website:

• Enriched with organic Sea Buckthorn Seed Oil, a pure, natural oil that stimulates micro-circulation and enhances epidermal renewal for refreshed and smoother complexion.

• Cranberry seed oil removes the stresses of the day by intercepting and dispensing of free radicals in the skin and is high in essential fatty acids to keep skin moisturized.

• Floral accents of rose hip oil and camellia oil regenerate, restructure and hydrate the skin, delaying the signs of ageing.

• An effervescent vitamin mix: nourishing Vitamin A helps improves skin firmness and smoothness, energetic Vitamin C is able to promote collagen activity for more youthful skin and anti-oxidant Vitamin E moisturises and fights free radicals, boosting skin luminosity.

• Extracts of Frangipani, the symbol of eternity, form a soothing, purifying and hydrating comfort-blanket on the skin.

P.S. The Charlotte Tilbury makeup I bought.


My mother may or may not be prone to overreaction, but when I was 10 and in the heat of a nail-biting USTA tennis finals match, she called a time out. She thought I was overheated, on the verge of a heat stroke. My face was that red. She made me change my shirt, sit in the clubhouse and drink Gatorade. My cheeks calmed down but I lost the match.

I haven’t really played tennis since the days of my idol Tracey Austin, but I still get super flushed when I work out. I didn’t even know I needed a face spray until I found this White Tea Facial Mist. I tried just a few spritzes after a workout and, almost instantly, my face started to calm down. Within a few minutes, the redness started to dissipate, likely due to the white tea extract, soothing aloe and chammomile. The formula dries in quickly and is like a light veil on your face, soothing and hydrating. It’s not at all oily or heavy. The scent is mildly floral, but in an aromatherapy sense, not in a perfumey way—it’s divine.

Right now I’m enjoying using this as a post-workout refresher, and it’s also nice at the beach or the pool on a hot day. I think I’ll also use it during the fall and winter to rehydrate, maybe before makeup or my evening skincare.

Made by the wonderful Neals Yard Remedies, it’s organic and suitable on all skin types.


Summer calls for gentler exfoliation. I am loving these peel pads for their ease-of-use and radiant results.

A trifecta of alpha, beta and gamma hydroxy combine with antioxidants, amino acids and soothing green tea to moisturize, minimize pores, soften fine lines and even skin tone.

I’ve been using them twice a week in the evening, after cleansing with this or this.

Love, love!

I’ve been road-testing this top coat for the past few weeks and really love it. It provides incredible shine and much better durability than any other brand I’ve tried. I wouldn’t compare it’s wear to a gel manicure, exactly, though. It does chip, depending on how hard you are on your hands. That said, I baked a batch of brownies this weekend, went swimming, washed my girls’  hair multiple times and built sandcastles at the beach this weekend—in addition to my usual wear and tear—and my nails still look so shiny.

As with all of Essie’s polishes, this top coat is DBP, toluene and formaldehyde free.


P.S I’m also completely in love with Essie’s new  E-nuf is E-nuf for summer toes.

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 bookBelli 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:

For Mama

Face: MD Solar Sciences Mineral Tinted Creme SPF 30 Broad Spectrum UVA-UVB and Drunk Elephant Umbra Sheer Physical Defense.

Body: Beautycounter Protect All Over Sunscreen SPF 30 and Elta MD UV Pure Broad Spectrum SPF 47.

For Kids

 Babo Botanicals Sport Stick SPF 30 Clear Zinc Sunscreen.

Body: Honest Company Sunscreen Lotion SPF 30.

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.

06 .05 .15 Body Makeup

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.