A byproduct of my Scandivian heritage? Very light colored eyebrows and eyelashes, the latter of which I’ve been darkening with
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A byproduct of my Scandivian heritage? Very light colored eyebrows and eyelashes, the latter of which I’ve been darkening with
I’ve always had a bit of what we’ll call “commitment issues” with my beauty products. In this career, I try so many products and consume so much information about products that it makes it feel hard to really stick with anything; even if something really wows me, it’s easy to convince myself that something else will be better and keep looking for it even if it doesn’t really exist.All of that counts for everything except for one, single product; one that has made a visible change so much that I’ve shelled out the cash to purchase it four times (four!) and have gotten just about every woman in my life to buy: Grande Cosmetic’s GrandeLASH Lash Enhancing Serum.
About My Lashes
My eyelashes have always been somewhere around exactly average. I never had a huge problem with them—they’ve always been semi-long but pretty sparse—but they were mediocre enough to the point that when I saw the lash serum on a one-day deal back a few months ago, I decided to give it a shot.
About the Serum
With 2.6K reviews and 4.5 stars on Sephora, this serum has a bit of a cult following. It uses vitamins, antioxidants, and amino acids to help your lashes appear thicker and longer over time. It’s good for damaged or thinning lashes, but also for anyone who just wants to enhance the appearance of their lashes. It also is ophthalmologist-tested and approved and cruelty-free.
I’m all about the instant gratification of a product, and this doesn’t even begin show results for 4-6 weeks, and you don’t get the full results until after three months. Knowing I’d need to apply it every night for weeks before I noticed a difference made me think it was going to probably be more effort than it was worth for me.
I applied it every night at the end of my skincare routine. To use it, you apply the serum just above your lash line—much like you would a liquid eyeliner. As far as product usage goes, this one is about as quick and easy to maintain as possible. I kept it in the section of my medicine cabinet that my nighttime skincare lives, and it made it easy to use consistently. I also make sure all of my eye makeup is completely off before I apply it, and that my lashes are dry as well.
I’m honestly unsure of if people generally use this on their bottom lash line too, but I stuck exclusively to the top. I consider myself to have pretty sensitive eyes, and I’ve never noticed any issues at all with irritation.
When I used up my first tube, I was curious to see how long my lashes would maintain their newfound beauty. I took a break from it, and after maybe about a month, noticed that they were looking ever so slightly more sparse. I ordered another tube and used it consistently every night until I was out of it; but now, I keep one more for maintenance than anything else. I use it about every other night just to keep them looking great, not to try to get them to grow longer. Eyelashes obviously fall out and grow like our hair on our heads do, so the results of this aren’t going to make your lashes look amazing for the rest of your life; but with the right use, you can keep them looking at their prime without using the serum every single night.
Luckily, this was last March, at the beginning of quarantine, a time I had nothing to do but apply a serum to my lash line every night and hope for the best. I was consistent with it, and after about eight weeks, I suddenly noticed a difference I can’t even put into words. My lashes not only probably doubled in length, but were suddenly thicker, curlier, and darker.
I felt, frankly, like a new woman. In my no-makeup mess of a work-from-home situation, I couldn’t believe the difference my new lashes made me feel: more awake and somehow put-together without makeup every day. At this point in time, my boyfriend said, “Can you please stop using that lash serum? Your eyelashes look like spider legs, and it’s freaking me out,” and if that isn’t a testament to it, I don’t know what is. (Just this weekend, my mom also told me “I look creepy” because my eyelashes are so long, which was another lovely piece of evidence that this stuff really works).
I love how they look on their own, but obviously, the results are really amplified with mascara. I love to use a volumizing mascara since, to be honest, if I use a lengthening one, they actually probably look a little too long. It takes no effort to make them look great—usually I just use one coat of mascara now, and sometimes even forego curling them.
The big caveat of this product to me is the price. For a completely unnecessary step it’s obviously expensive, at $65 for their regular-sized, 12-week supply. It definitely is what held me up from purchasing it sooner, despite all the hype I saw it consistently getting.
If you want to try it out without fully committing, they also have a six-week supply for $34, which allows you enough time to start seeing results and decide if you want to continue. Or if you’re addicted to it like me, they just released a jumbo size, which is a 24-week supply for a whopping $120 (which to be fair, will last six months). There are definitely more expensive lash serums on the market, but this one is not cheap by any means.
Since then, I’ve repurchased it every time I ran out so I can use it consistently, and it’s kept my lashes in tip-top shape. I recently got a pack of both the serum and their lash conditioner, and while I didn’t notice a difference from the conditioner, consistent use of the serum has made my lashes stay long and full. I hesitated to buy this product for so long for fear of shelling out a decent amount of cash on something that wasn’t going to work, but I now can’t imagine a time I won’t use this stuff. It’s an automatic repurchase in my book, which is something I can’t really say about any other product. Trust me: you won’t be disappointed by this. More
Founder of the eponymous skincare brand, Tata Harper is a champion of natural, green beauty.
She takes us through her day and tells us what she gets to from AM to PM.
5am: I like to wake up early and get a headstart on the day. It sounds cliche, but living on the farm and hearing the roosters crowing in the morning really makes the wake up so much easier and feels much more natural. I used to have the habit of checking my email first thing in the morning, but now I am making an effort to meditate for about 15 minutes before I fully plug-in. I’ve found that practising breathing exercises has really helped me feel more centred and focused throughout the day. After that, I quickly scan through my emails and respond to anything that is super urgent.
5:30am: While the kids are still sleeping, I always try to get outside and walk the dogs. It’s so peaceful on the farm in the morning and it’s before everyone arrives so it’s the only time where it’s truly quiet. I’ll say hi to the animals and sometimes pick fresh fruits and veggies from the garden. It’s a nice way to get my body moving in the morning before I head to the gym. Right now I see a personal trainer virtually and focus on core strengthening exercises. Working out in the morning has tons of health benefits like lowering blood pressure and helping you to feel balanced and level headed. I don’t exercise to be fit, but to feel both mentally and physically strong. For me, it’s really the most effective stress reducer.
6:30am: I will hop in the shower right after my workout to refresh my skin and body before I do my skincare routine. I believe that more is more when it comes to my skincare and I use a multitude of our products every day, twice a day. I always start by exfoliating with Regenerating Cleanser – exfoliating daily really lets my skin breath and glow since it gets rid of any build-up that accumulates overnight, it also helps products absorb better. I follow with Hydrating Floral Essence to help prep my skin for treatment and help my serums penetrate deeper. Then it’s all about layering — I use Elixir Vitae on my whole face, next I’ll use Elixir Vitae Eye Serum, and then Repairative Moisturizer.
7:30am: By the time I wake up the kids, I’m dressed and ready to go for the day. I make them breakfast, organize their activities, and spend some time with them outside. In the summer months, we love to walk down to the berry bushes and pick fresh fruit off the trees for their oats or yoghurt.
8:30am: My meetings typically start at 8:30am and I am in them back-to-back most of the day. I’ve been living on the farm this summer and I’ve loved being able to work outside on my porch to get fresh air throughout the day. The porch wraps around the house and overlooks the fields with the cows and gardens. When I have breaks in between calls, I love to check in on what’s cooking in our batch room or I’ll try some of the new products our chemists are formulating in the lab.
10:30am: I do intermittent fasting until around 10:30 when I will have a celery juice. I find that it really helps with digestion and is best on an empty stomach. It is packed with vitamins and minerals and is filled with phytonutrients that have anti-inflammatory properties. Celery juice is certainly not enough to hold me over until lunch, so I’ll wash and cut up some of my favourite raw fruits and veggies. I love mangoes, blackberries, peaches, and whatever else is in season. I’ll typically have a tulsi tea with ginger along with my fruit – it’s a lot of liquids, but hydration is so important for your body and skin!
1pm: By 1pm, I am always starving for lunch! I try to have lunch with my kids whenever they aren’t in school, doing their activities, or in camp. My typical lunch is a bed of greens with a piece of fish or plant-based protein. I like to fill my salad with veggies and seeds for the extra vitamins and nutrients because they keep me full for longer.
Also read: The luxe skincare brand that was championing natural beauty before anyone else
1:30pm: After lunch, it’s back to meetings for the rest of the day. My calls typically wrap up at around 6pm and I’ll help the kids with their homework before we sit down for dinner. They have been loving this healthy pasta recipe made with chickpea pasta and loaded with veggies from our garden. I sneak in spinach and kale that wilts down and they don’t even know they are getting all those extra greens! We almost always have Colombian chocolate for dessert – I bring some back every time we visit – it’s such a special treat and it reminds me of home.
3pm: In the afternoons, I spend an hour or so with our photographer shooting on the farm. I am a creative person, so I find this time to be super calming in between meetings and calls. We try to source a lot of our props on the farm and we use our natural backdrop for the photos – it’s authentic and organic and embodies our brand ethos.
8:30pm: I get the kids ready for bed and then draw myself a bath to wind down. I love to use a body scrub in the bath and I’ll read – I am loving Becoming Supernatural by Joe Dispenza. It’s all about how the mind-body connection can transform and change your life.
9:30pm: I’ll get in bed at around 9:30 and end the day with some meditation. I find that visual meditation helps with sleep, especially if after looking at a screen all day. I always keep my phone across the room at night to help with this – I try my best to disconnect and relax my mind… before I wake up and do it all over again in the morning!
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Feature image Instagram @Tataharper More
When I first got into beauty, I spent hours at my pink Dell Desktop computer researching beauty dupes. I got into beauty YouTube when all anyone talked about were MAC collections, Urban Decay Primer Potion (a product I still swear by to this day), and St. Ives Apricot Scrub (you know, before the industry blacklisted it entirely). But I was a mere youngling; there was no way I was getting my hands on all of these astronomically-priced products! So, I scoured the internet for similar products and shades to get me by, but in the process, I fell in love with finding dupes, saving money, and testing new things. And it turns out, I loved it so much that I am still doing it 15 years later! So, whenever I find an expensive product I love, I research and test products at a lower price point to see if it would be a dupe. All of that trialing brought me to accumulate quite the list of similar products to some of the most popular high-end skincare products on the market. Whether you’re saving yourself a little cash (all those Bachelor Monday wine nights get expensive!) or just love to test new things, we’ve curated 11 different dupes you should try next.
Vitamin C is often in a liquid, serum consistency that you apply during the day, but if you want a rich, brightening mask that combines the impact of vitamin C with hydrating ingredients for nighttime, look no further than this mask from Soap & Glory. Similar to Youth to the People’s Superberry Hydrate and Glow Dream Mask, this overnight mask has a thick consistency that goes on like a heavy moisturizer but leaves your skin looking glowy as ever the next day.
Finding a thick, intense balm you can use on your elbows, chapped skin, dry lips, eczema patches and more can be a struggle, especially if you’re thinking for an ultra-clean option filled with plant-based ingredients. This one from Alicia Keys’s brand new line at Ulta, Keys Soulcare, fits the bill, containing a rich blend of oils that’s hydrating and luxurious, just like Ren’s Evercalm Overnight Recovery Balm. Use this anywhere you have a dry patch, and it’ll disappear within days.
Retinol is historically-known as a drying ingredient that can cause peeling and other irritating side effects. But there’s a new retinol in town, and it’s contained in an oil, making it gentle, effective, and moisturizing. Who thought you’d get those three words in a retinol product? Sunday Riley’s Luna Sleeping Night Oil has been a best-seller for years, and Pixi’s inexpensive option has all the makings of a dupe: similar packaging, same quality, and serious results.
Shiseido’s Benefiance Wrinkle-Smoothing Eye Cream has been a favorite of our editors and readers for a while, but if you’re not quite ready to splurge on an eye cream (there are much more fun skincare products out there!), this one from Roc has amazing reviews; contains retinol; and targets puffiness, dark circles, and wrinkles, making it quite the eye cream trifecta. It’s moisturizing and depuffing at first use, but the effects of the retinol over time stack up to those of the Shiseido.
Blue tansy is a newer skincare ingredient on the scene, so finding this inexpensive dupe for one of Herbivore’s most popular facial oils was basically my bliss. This oil is perfect for anyone with oily or acne-prone skin who is afraid of a heavy oil breaking them out or causing them to produce even more oil.
If you’d like to try a nightly exfoliating product but want something dry-skin-friendly, a nighttime glycolic acid cream is a great addition to your routine. It’ll slough off dead skin, brighten, and clear skin without the severe drying or tingling effects of a typical AHA serum or toner. SkinCeuticals is known for these dermatologist-grade products, like their Glycolic 10 Renew Overnight Cream, but this K-Beauty option from Soko Glam does the job at a fraction of the price.
On the other hand, if you want a daily resurfacing toner, like Glossier’s famed Solution, this PHA toner from The Inkey List has a very similar ingredient profile, similar texture, and impressive reviews. PHA is a much gentler option for exfoliation than an AHA like glycolic or lactic acid, but it still provides those same results, especially over time. After using this toner nightly, reviewers say their skin looks brighter, clearer, and smoother.
Everyone needs a classic detoxifying mask in their skincare routine, and as much as we love the Origins Clear Improvement Charcoal Mask, you also don’t need to spend a lot to get a similar result. This mask from L’Oreal offers the same experience, texture (the classic dry-down clay mask we all love), and results. When I use this, my skin looks so much more even tone, and I notice fewer breakouts.
Peptides are a great ingredient to add to a moisturizer because they support the health of your skin barrier, which is essential for glowy, bright skin. But you don’t have to pay Tata Harper prices to get the same results (as much as we love it!). This one from The Inkey List is the ideal packaging for a moisturizer: no squeezy tube, no jar to dip into, and no annoying spatulas. Instead, you simply push down on the top, and it comes right out. This keeps the ingredients stable and safe, making the product last much longer than a pot moisturizer might. This daily moisturizer can be used in the morning for a lightweight feel, but it’s hydrating enough to use at night too.
Dr. Dennis Gross’s Universal Daily Peel pads are a cult-favorite in the skincare world. Makeup artists swear by them to use in the morning before serums and moisturizer to slough off dead skin and leave your face radiant and exfoliated before applying makeup. But when you’re using them daily, they can definitely get pretty pricey, so reaching for these ones from Neogen is a great option. Just like the Dr. Dennis Gross pads, these have multiple AHAs to really exfoliate your skin, but they’re still gentle enough for daily use. Plus, the Neogen pads have a little bit of a texture, so they offer physical and chemical exfoliation, which is perfect for just before makeup. I don’t use these every single day, but they’re ideal for days I want to look my best.
Everyone needs a really good cleansing oil in their routine, and you don’t have to splurge on the Biossance cleansing oil to get something high-quality that’s filled with clean ingredients. I’ve only recently started trying products from Cocokind, but their products blow me away when you look at the price, the ingredients, and how they stack up with other brands. This cleansing oil would work well for seriously anyone regardless of skin type, and it’s so good, they even recommend it as a morning cleanser to start the day with hydrated, soft skin.
When I was in college, I interned at a super cool digital beauty publication. After a myriad of internships that involved packing boxes for eight hours a day (yes really, just the boxes all day) and putting years of old newspapers in date order (yes really, again), you can imagine how thrilled I was when on my first day, I was given luxury beauty products and told to try them and write about them. That internship not only gave me some of my first good bylines, but it ignited a passion for writing about beauty products. Seven years later (here’s a fun TBT for you!), I still love writing about all things beauty, and as a result, I’ve tried a lot of products. I’m talking about hundreds of serums, lipsticks, and face masks. You name it, I’ve tried it. One thing people are always surprised to hear is that even though a lot of the products I try are from really nice brands and can be pretty pricey, very few stand out amongst the crowd. Most face washes do the trick, and most mascaras get the job done. That’s why when a product does stand out, it has to really work (no beauty writer worth their salt is swayed by marketing gimmicks!). So, I’m sharing the products I keep going back for after all these years. Without further ado, here are my tried and true favorite beauty products.
Hollywood Flawless Filter Foundation
This product came into my life by accident, and I could not be happier about that. I asked a sales associate at Sephora for any Charlotte Tilbury foundation they had in my shade because I wanted to try the brand. She sent me home with what I thought was foundation, but I realized pretty quickly that I did not have a new bottle of foundation on my hands. Really, it’s more like a giant bottle of skin-colored highlighter. I was nervous that the shine factor would be a bit much, but I get so many compliments on my skin when I wear this product. It’s like a cross between a lightweight foundation and a highlighter, and it gives solid coverage while letting your real skin shine through. It looks amazing in person, but is also a lifesaver for early morning Zoom calls when you need to look a bit brighter on camera. TBH, I’ll probably be switching all of my cosmetics over to Charlotte Tilbury eventually. Every single product I’ve tried brings a major glow factor!
Organic Facial Oil
The face oil that started it all. I can literally remember the moment I read about this face oil in Lucky magazine (I just majorly aged myself, but whatever!) while babysitting in college. This was the first face oil I ever tried, and despite trying countless others, I always go back for it. Great price, clean ingredients, and I haven’t had problems with oily skin since I started using it. Game changer.
Match Stix Matte Skinstick
One of the best concealers I’ve ever tried goes hand in hand with my favorite face oil. While this concealer provides smooth and non-cakey coverage every day, on days when I don’t want to wear foundation, I apply some face oil and then add a little of this concealer. The oil makes it spread beautifully, almost like an extremely lightweight foundation. The stick format is also super convenient to throw in your purse.
Acne Spot Dots
I waited way too long to try acne patches, and all I can say is run, don’t walk to grab this pack. Not only do the patches stop you from picking at your skin (ideal for work-from-home days!), but they really do help speed up the acne healing process in the least damaging way possible. I will never reach for a spot treatment over these bad boys ever again.
Infinite Shine Gel Lacquer
The color is key here! I’ve always loved OPI nail polishes, but Barefoot in Barcelona is hands down the easiest color to work with that I’ve ever used. This color never streaks, has great shine, and is a pretty neutral shade. I get constant compliments on it and frequently get asked if I got a manicure when I use this color (spoiler alert: I never get manicures).
Speaking of my lack of interest in the nail salon, at-home manicures are so much more doable with this handy product. All you had to do is apply this cuticle remover (don’t worry, no cuticle cutting goes on here!), and after a minute you can gently slough the extra skin off with a cuticle pusher. You don’t fully eliminate your cuticles—which is a good thing—but they’re minimized enough to make your manicure really sleek and salon-worthy. Not to mention, it’s an extremely cathartic process after a long day.
GinZing Brightening Serum
I’ve tried a lot of serums and have always enjoyed the extra dose of moisture they give to my skincare routine, but I had never felt the need to rebuy one until this brightening serum came into my life. The formula is super gentle (unlike some vitamin C serums, which can burn), smells good (unlike most vitamin C serums), and after just a few weeks of use, my skin was noticeably brighter and smoother.
Untangled Leave In Conditioner
For most of my adult life, I never had to worry about tangled hair, like ever. That is until COVID-19 hit and left me a year overdue on a haircut. It turns out, when my hair gets super long, it tangles. When I started finding chunks of hair in the shower after trying to comb through my hair, I reached for this leave-in conditioner, and it sent my tangles packing. As an added bonus, my hair is super soft and smells really good after combing this through my wet hair.
Leonor Greyl PARIS
Huile de Leonor Greyl Hair Treatment
Since my hair needed a little extra TLC this year, I reached for the big guns. This luxurious pre-shampoo treatment not only helped keep my hair feeling healthier, but provided much-needed protection during styling. Right now, I use this product when my hair needs a little extra TLC, but I’ll also be reaching for it before important events in the future because the shine factor after using it is unreal.
Argan Enlightenment Illuminizer
When highlighters first hit the market, pearlescent shades were all the rage, and I wanted in. Well, my olive skin tone had something to say about that. As pretty as those shades are, they just don’t work for me. But you can bet this golden-hued illuminizer does. You need just a dab for the ultimate glow, and it blends in super easily. I’ve always loved Josie Maran’s products, but this illuminizer is one product that will never leave my makeup bag.
Coco Mademoiselle Eau De Parfum
Nowadays, it can feel like a status symbol to have the latest perfume from the hippest brand. I love perfume, and I know how easy it is to get tempted by new scents. But after years of ending up with perfumes I liked but didn’t love, I’ve decided to stay committed to the scent I’ve been wearing since high school. Does that make me cool? Probably not. But perfume is so personal, and this perfume makes me feel like me when I wear it. I suspect I’ll be a fan for life!
Essential Lip Enhancer Shine Balm
I love a good lip color, but not one that is more fuss than it’s worth. This tinted balm is beyond perfect. It’s moisturizing and totally gets the job done when you need a lip balm, but it also gives a gorgeous wash of color without feeling overdone. Rose is my favorite shade, but I am tempted to collect them all. It’s the perfect lip color to keep in your bag or to throw on before a video meeting. More
I’m looking forward to a lot in 2021. A new president (hallelujah!), being able to safely see family and friends again, more shows I’ll engulf in a single day like “Bridgerton,” new music (I’m holding out for more quarantine albums, ahem Mr. Harry E. Styles), lots of time at home with my candles and good books, and maybe even a night out on the town or two if I’m super lucky. But I also look at January as a clean slate for my beauty routine. There’s so much time to experiment with new products, techniques, styles, and more. This year, I’m looking to these 11 beauty trends to get me out of bed and excited to start yet another day in what feels like our 27,000th day of March. I can’t deny that I’m overjoyed at the number of eye makeup trends we’re seeing pop up this year, but we’re also leaning into minimalist, at-home beauty too. If you’re excited to up your beauty game this year, here’s what to look out for:
If you’re on Tik Tok, you’ve seen a little bit of this trend. We’re seeing tons of variations of this trend, from fluffy curls (think your mom’s hair in the ‘80s) to voluminous, natural texture, and even ‘90s-inspired big waves (all those hot roller tutorials might have you convinced!). No matter your hair type (textured, coily, wavy, straight), there’s a variation of this trend that’ll suit you.
We experienced about a decade of heavy, matte makeup, but we’ve also gone from lightly radiant to full-on wet dolphin skin in a matter of a few years. So, where do we go next? In 2021, expect natural skin to take over. Not overly dewy, but not matte either, this trend is basically adapting to your natural skin’s texture and keeping it the way it is. Foundations, concealers, and powders that look just like your natural skin are popping up everywhere, and we’re pretty excited. It’s what our skin has been waiting for. Plus, this trend really embraces your natural skin, including any blemishes or texture on the skin. It’s not about looking flawless; it’s about showing off your real skin.
After a year of trying dozens of new skincare products, I’m excited to welcome this trend with open arms. Instead of shelves upon shelves of products, we’re seeing a shift to shorter routines filled with products that pack a punch. Instead of five serums every night, opt for one product that does it all. This trend is really saying, “less is more.” Along with your skincare routine, this trend goes perfectly with quarantine. If wearing makeup isn’t your cup of tea, no worries. This trend welcomes the barest-of-bones when it comes to your makeup routine too.
The “fox eye”–popularized by Bella Hadid, Kendall Jenner, and more–is here to stay, but we’re putting an even larger focus on winged liner as a whole. Instead of thick, long wings, 2021 will be full of casual, breezy thin lines that just slightly wing out at the ends. It’s perfect for Zoom meetings to make you look awake and alive without spending forever trying to perfect it just right.
Bangs, shags, layers, and more are popular words coming out of the mouths of hairstylists around the globe. Not ready to go full-force into a curtain bang or shaggy cut? Ask your stylist for long, face-framing layers (this often gets confused with curtain bangs; a curtain bang is a bang, meaning shorter than your eyeballs, while face-framing layers are typically chin-length or a little shorter). You can easily style these in a swoopy way to mimic bangs without having to deal with the short cut (perfect for people who dislike hair in their face, or work out or sweat a lot).
In 2021, the eyes have it! Because we’re likely wearing much less on the lips this year (except for maybe balm or a light gloss), makeup artists are going all out with color, texture, and blend this year. My favorite take on a bright eye look is a bright wash of color across the lids. The trick to this look is always using a primer so the shadow sticks and making sure to blend just above your crease (much above your crease if you have hooded eyes or monolids). All you have to wonder is which shade you’ll try next!
This has been trending the last few years, but with the resurgence of eye makeup, especially lashes and liner, of this year, we’re about to see it basically everywhere. This is a simple, easy way to look fresh and put-together without a crazy bright eye. It’s perfect for Zoom, giving off the slightest bit of color without looking too bright or unprofessional. If you’re scared, opt for trying the mascara just on the lower lashes for a little punch of color without being too bold.
Another Zoom-inspired trend, hair accessories are here to stay, and we’re not objecting. There’s no better way to hide that you haven’t washed your hair in seven full days than a strategically-placed headband, bandana, or barette. Plus, it looks put-together with the most minimal effort. Accessories to look out for: bandanas, bright-colored scrunchies, pearls, vintage-inspired pieces, and claw clips.
Thanks to Ariana Grande’s “Positions” music video and the entire promo of the album, mod-inspired makeup (especially eyes) is at the forefront of our minds. We’d already seen mod hair all 2020 with flipped-out ends and voluminous updos, but it’s made its way to makeup this time around. This look is super easy with light brown eyeshadows and liners, but you can also go a little more intense with thin black liner in the crease and Twiggy bottom lashes (see more below!). Bonus: we’re seeing this trend on the nails too with daisy patterns!
When the time comes that we can finally head outside of our homes (hopefully by the end of 2021!), we’ll be excited to finally dress up for events again and maybe even go out on the town. With all that experience you put in getting better at eye makeup while wearing a mask, it’ll be the perfect time to try out a deep, classic smokey eye. And if you can’t go out, well, we’re not against dressing up for a dinner at home, complete with the staple date-night eye.
Like we said, the eyes are the key to all things 2021 beauty, and the easiest way to achieve that look is with a hefty coat (or six) of mascara. Big, bold lashes (whether with mascara or false lashes) are a simple way to make a major impact with your beauty routine. The trick, if you’re only using mascara, is to do multiple thin coats, waiting until the preceding one dries. (Also, a proper mascara that builds well is important too–the Gucci mascara was truly made for gigantic, spidery lashes like this!)
Gym Acne: 1. Me: 0. Well, at least for a while. This past summer, I developed a daily habit of working out an hour or more a day. My newfound workout routine not only came with a renewed sense of energy after months of staying inside, but also with a battle with body acne that populated on my back, shoulders, and chest. I started using a body wash formulated with the acne-fighting hero ingredient, salicylic acid—though it didn’t deliver the results I wanted. In mid-July, Versed’s launch of the Back-Up Plan Acne-Control Body Mist immediately caught my eye. Since the first week of August, I have been using this mist daily after I shower, and it has delivered promising results: all the body acne that has developed around my chest and shoulders is gone, and only a few troublesome pimples on my back still remain.
With a few sprays on the body and a wait time of 30 seconds for it to dry, it’s a fast, convenient treatment to target that troubling acne at any time. As it says on the bottle, you can use the mist 2-3 times a day, which for me is usually in the morning, before a workout, and after a shower. If you’re worried about the mist clinging to your shirt, though, not to worry! I use it all the time before getting dressed in the morning and it never clings to my clothes. Thanks to Versed’s body mist, I guess you could say that my gym acne and I are neck-in-neck in this battle at the moment.
As a self-proclaimed Gen Z “skin enthusiast” who is always learning about skincare ingredients and their benefits, I decided to also consult experts on the mist’s three hero ingredients—salicylic acid, witch hazel, and tea tree oil—to understand why this mist has the incredible ability of clearing away body acne.
Salicylic Acid, Witch Hazel, and Tea Tree Oil: An Acne-Fighting Trio
One of the hero ingredients of this acne-fighting body mist is the one and only salicylic acid. According to board-certified dermatologist, Dr. Lisa Chipps of Moy, Fincher, Chipps Facial Plastics & Dermatology in Beverly Hills, salicylic acid has numerous benefits when it comes to clearing away acne. “Salicylic acid has long been a staple ingredient in acne treatment regimens,” Dr. Chipps said. “Salicylic acid is an oil-soluble beta-hydroxy acid (BHA) that penetrates into the pores and helps to break down excess keratin. It gently exfoliates the skin, and it has some antimicrobial effects to kill acne-causing bacteria. It can also be anti-inflammatory.”
While salicylic acid has the ability to mitigate acne, board-certified dermatologist and founder of Fifth Avenue Aesthetics, Dr. Marie Hayag, advised those with sensitive and dry skin to tread lightly when using a product with salicylic acid. “[It] is suitable for various skin types, but it can be drying. Those with very dry skin should make sure to stay moisturized throughout the day. People with oily, acne-prone skin would be the most compatible with salicylic acid as a treatment,” she said.
Contrary to what its name suggests, there is nothing spooky about witch hazel. In fact, it’s known to eliminate the skin of its impurities and for its calming abilities. “Witch hazel is a mild astringent, so it can be used to remove excess keratin and bacteria from the skin. It has been suggested to have anti-inflammatory properties that can calm redness and inflammation associated with acne,” Dr. Chipps said.
Like salicylic acid, it can also trigger a reaction in sensitive skin types, which means sensitive skin types need to beware before diving right in with witch hazel (so maybe it is actually a little spooky). “People with acne blemishes and oily skin can use witch hazel. Because the tannins in it can be sensitizing, people with very sensitive, irritated skin should be cautious and do a patch test before using witch hazel. Additionally, witch hazel can be drying, so make sure to moisturize well when using it,” Dr. Hayag said.
Tea Tree Oil
The oil that is derived from tea tree leaves is another acne-fighting ingredient that can alleviate irritated skin and fight off germs that cause acne. “Tea tree oil’s benefits come from its antibiotic and anti-inflammatory properties,” said Dr. Hayag. “It contains numerous compounds that kill certain types of viruses, bacteria, and fungi. Most importantly, it’s been shown to be effective in killing P.acnes, the bacteria that causes acne.” She said that tea tree oil can help many acne-sufferers, but it may cause an adverse reaction with sensitive skin types because it has notes of fragrance.
The Bottom Line
I honestly would never trade this body mist for anything when it comes to treating my body acne. It’s lightweight, affordable (at a price of $15), and packed with acne-fighting ingredients that are designed to calm the skin and eliminate the bacteria that cause acne. Paying attention to skincare product ingredients and their functions make all the difference when searching for that perfect product that can tend to your skin concerns. If I kept trying products that appeared to be “good” and failed to read their ingredient lists, then perhaps I still would be on the gym acne struggle bus. Thanks to Versed’s body mist and its powerhouse ingredients, I never have to go to battle with gym acne ever again. More
If you thought you were coming to read an article in which I wax poetic about the benefits of drinking water, changing your pillowcase, and cleaning your makeup brushes, think again. If you’re reading this, I have too much admiration for you to say the same things we’ve all heard a million times. You’re a beauty lover, and taking care of your skin is likely something you already do on a regular basis. The last thing you want to read is the same old, amateur lines about spreading bacteria all over your face and yada yada. But that doesn’t mean you’re doing everything right, and there might be a few habits you’ve come way too accustomed to that are actually hurting your skin and sabotaging your ability to achieve the glistening, clear, and bright skin of your dreams.
1. Using the same hand towel you use all day to dry your face at night
Thanks to COVID, you’re likely washing your hands more than ever before, meaning the hand towel hanging up in your bathroom gets used a lot. Just because you’re wiping your clean hands on it all day doesn’t mean that’s the only way you’re using it, and who’s to say it hasn’t picked up something gross along the way (it is sitting in the bathroom after all). Instead, opt for a microfiber or muslin cloth towel that you used specifically for your face. I also swear by keeping a few reusable cotton pads laying around because I can use those to lightly dry my face as well.
However, don’t underestimate the power of applying the rest of your skincare routine to damp skin. Many products, especially hyaluronic acid, cling to water and are significantly more effective when applied to damp skin.
2. Using a loofah
After a long discussion with our team and a few friends recently, many of us are still washing our bodies with loofahs. Not to be harsh, but that’s disgusting, y’all. You don’t need to exfoliate your body every single time you shower, and if you want to exfoliate, you’re better off using a scrub because you don’t have to worry about replacing it constantly like you would an exfoliating glove or loofah. If you’re craving the exfoliation, use a washcloth that you can wash often (I always recommend white because you can bleach them!) and keep clean. But truly, your hands suffice to keep you as clean as you need to be.
3. Not making sure your ingredients work together
Researching the ingredients of the skincare products you put on your face is a lot more necessary than you think. When influencers and companies and even your friends are constantly sharing the products they swear by, it’s easy to think, “Wow, I will just buy it all, and then I’ll have amazing skin!” But that’s not necessarily the case. For one, having a stockpile of 1 million products in your arsenal can make it extremely different to develop a solid routine, but it also means you have to apply them in a specific order. Certain acids and skincare ingredients play really well together (for example, vitamin C and ferulic acid or vitamin C and sunscreen), but others you should avoid because they can either decrease the efficacy of a product or cause major irritation (like retinol and AHAs).
4. Exfoliating too much
Retinol, AHA, BHA, bakuchiol–the skincare industry has inundated us with options to exfoliate dead skin cells and reveal brighter, healthier skin. But skincare enthusiasts want to try it all, which can often lead to exfoliating the skin, leaving it dehydrated and irritated. Our faces don’t need exfoliated that much–1-2 times a week should be plenty enough. Smaller percentages that are meant for daily use are OK, but any product that has “exfoliator,” “peel,” or “resurfacing” shouldn’t be used any more than that 1-2 times a week mark. Make sure you spread the days out too–I recently adopted the model of “Self-Care Sunday” and “Wine Wednesday” thanks to a skincare consultation, and I always know those are the nights I use peels and heavy acids.
You should also keep this in mind if you use a retinol or tretinoin product. You should never use retinol the same night as a peel or another acid, and if you notice dryness, you should skip one night between each. Retinol is one of the most exfoliating, retexturizing products on the market, meaning it’s pretty easy to over-exfoliate with it.
5. Not washing your duvet or comforter enough
Look, I know I said I wouldn’t tell you about your pillowcase, but this is truly one that everyone needs a reminder about. Many of us sleep with our comforter pulled up close to our faces and that can easily get as gross as your pillowcase. Again, I love white (even more than just for the aesthetic) because it’s easy to bleach and clean.
6. Putting heavy coverage all over your entire face instead of just where you need it
Your makeup application could have a major impact on the clarity of your skin. Now, don’t get me wrong, a full-coverage look is going to happen sometimes; that’s just the life of a makeup lover. But on a normal day-to-day basis, you can focus on covering the areas you’d like with that heavy coverage, and either thinning it out (mix it with a moisturizer or apply it lightly with a sponge) or skipping it at all in the areas that don’t need it. No one’s skin is entirely covered in spots or imperfections; there’s no reason your entire face needs to be constantly covered by thick coverage.
7. Using a drying concealer to cover acne
What looks better to you: a really dry, crusty zit you can see a mile away because the concealer on top is so thick it’s the size of a second pimple, or a lighter coverage that hydrates the skin without maybe covering every single speck of the zit? I’m always choosing the latter, and your skin likes it too. As the mid-2000s mom classically said, “We have to dry the pimples out!” is simply not true. Yes, it helps the pimple reduce in size and disappear, but that isn’t the same when it comes to makeup. Keeping that skin hydrated might help your acne heal faster and can reduce the scarring that might occur. Plus, it simply looks so much better. Letting your real texture–acne and all–show versus covering your face in massive amounts of foundation is a major 2021 vibe.
8. Not washing your tanning mitt
If you self-tan, you need to wash your tanning mitt. Just like the whole monologue about using a loofah or the same washcloth all day long, your tanning mitt can easily get gunked up with dead skin, leftover tanner, and so much more gross stuff. I swear by using an old black sock to self-tan over a mitt because, yet again, it’s so easy to clean, but if you love a mitt, hand wash it with warm water and a little bit of gentle soap.
9. Popping pimples with your fingers
I’m not a preacher, so I won’t sit here and act like I never pop pimples. Heck, I’m Dr. Pimple Popper’s biggest fan. But there are some dos and don’ts to effectively popping a zit, and my #1 tip is to never use your fingers, especially your fingernails. The countless times I’ve made cuts from my fingernails or spread bacteria and made the spot even angrier and redder than before made me finally stop and switch to only popping zits with a tool or the gentlest trick: using two cotton swabs.
Also, don’t absolutely murder the zit. If a little comes out but not everything (what a lovely image I’ve put into all of our heads!), apply a drying lotion and move on until it’s ready again. You’ll minimize scarring, irritation, and overall stress levels. More