beauty coach

Beauty Coach: Play Hair Salon on Wii

October 14, 2010 at 12:45 pm , by

The last time I played hair salon, I gave my Barbie a tragic bob. In retrospect, my technique was doomed from the start. Just picture it: an impatient seven-year-old yanking Barbie’s hair back with a rubber band and using safety scissors to slice through her ponytail. Needless to say, Ken soon lost interest in Barbie and so did my aspirations for professional hair styling.

When I heard about Redken‘s Busy Scissors, $20, a new hairstyling game for Nintendo Wii and DS, I got to wondering whether things would have ended differently with Barbie if I had practiced some basic styling skills first. This box art alone makes me want to give her some blunt bangs.

In the game, you shampoo, cut, color, perm and style the heads of a demanding Hollywood clientele to advance your career. It sounds a both fun and exhausting, right?

Now I’m dying to pull a Quantum Leap. You know, I’ll play the game for a couple of few days and get my confidence back up. Then I’ll get my hands on a Barbie and nice sharp scissors and finally give her a trim that she deserves. I just have a feeling Ken would appreciate it this time around.

Beauty Coach: Save Money and Get a Free Lipstick

September 9, 2010 at 12:35 pm , by


Like most people, I’m feeling extremely cautious about shopping these days. Actually, cheap is probably a better word. I’m basically avoiding stores entirely and trying to get creative with the contents of my closet.  (Hey, I may be purchasing a home in the next month!) I’m so determined that even a 20 percent off coupon isn’t enough to lure me into the stores.

Yet, when I heard that Talbots is doing exactly that, plus giving away an exclusive lipstick from Three Custom Color Specialists, I felt a little less frugal. After all, I really love this indie beauty brand. Their formulas are amazing and if your favorite makeup shade is ever discontinued or you want to a lip gloss to match your iPod, Three Custom can whip it up for you. (They also have awesome cream blushes. Our associate beauty editor Mandy Hendrix got me hooked on the Rebecca’s Favorite Blush shade.) The gift-with-purchase lipstick at Talbots is a flattering, ladylike shade of red, aptly named Charmed. It’s so charming that I kinda, sorta have to have it.

My shopping resistance already weakened, I figured I’d better ask my favorite style gurus, our very own LHJ fashion editors Sue and Gab, whether Talbots was worth a trip and possibly a calculated splurge. To quote Sue, “Um…yes! We love Talbots.” (For more elaboration on the subject, check out this chic dress from our September issue and Sue’s recent review). Sue also suggested a few items to update my fall wardrobe: a leopard pencil skirt, a leather handbag or a pair of lace-up booties. Hmmm, so that’s a discount, a fabulous free lipstick and personal shopping advice…now I’m finally sold.

So tell me, what will it take to get you shopping this fall?

Beauty Coach: Padma Lakshmi’s Recipe for Pretty Summer Skin

July 8, 2010 at 12:29 pm , by

Padma FinalJust like any good cook, new mom and Top Chef host Padma Lakshmi has a few secret recipes up her sleeve, including ones for keeping her skin gorgeous. Lucky for us, she’s willing to share! Here are some of her favorite summer tricks.

Sweeten your skin routine: Got breakouts? Try this deep-cleansing facial once a week. You probably have the key ingredient in your pantry.

Step 1. Dissolve a few drops of pure tea treel oil into a bowl of hot water and use this to steam your face.

Step 2. Pat skin dry and spread pure honey all over your face, avoiding the eye area. Tap your fingers on your face for five minutes. The gooey honey will act like a vacuum to pull impurities from your pores.

Moisturize in the shower: “My new find this summer is Dial NutriSkin Body Wash. The grape seed oil and lemongrass is a great antioxidant combo.”

Get a glow: “I like to use powder bronzer on my eyelids, above my cheekbones, and on my shoulders and collarbone for a healthy look.” (Check out more ways to fake a sun-kissed tan here.)

Don’t worry: “Dedicate your life to what truly makes you happy. Happiness makes a woman beautiful.”

So what’s your favorite summer beauty recipe or best advice to be happy?

Beauty Coach: Keep Your Cool

May 27, 2010 at 11:55 am , by

I usually love being a beauty guinea pig—except when it’s time to test out the new antiperspirants and deodorants. It’s nerve-wracking to leave the house not knowing whether you’re going to end up with sweaty pit stains or stinky BO. Luckily, you don’t need to go through the same trial-and-error because I’ve put together a list of my favorite formulas, just in time for summer!

Need extra TLC? If you have sensitive underarm skin, avoid sprays and gels which can be  irritating.  Dove Ultimate Beauty Care Light Radiance passes my ultimate test because it doesn’t irritate freshly shaved skin and doesn’t leave marks on your clothes.

Are you a multi-tasker? Secret Smooth Effects AP/deodorant keeps you fresh and dry, and softens underarm hair so you can skip a shave or two without noticing stubble.

Do you sweat like a Super Soaker? Use an industrial strength antiperspirant that contains  higher levels of aluminum salts than the usual fare. I like BAN Clinical Roll-on or Certain Dry Anti-Perspirant Solid.

degreeAre you anti antiperspirant? If you’re concerned about blocking your pores, skip traditional AP’s and stick to a deodorant. Just remember, it will protect you from odor, not from sweat. I love the honeysuckle and tea tree oil scent in Degree Women Natureffects Deodorant Solid. Lavanila Healthy Deodorant in Pure Vanilla also has a natural, clean scent.

Want to try something like Botox? Did you know you can get Botox injections to prevent heavy sweating? It’s effective but expensive, so for an over-the-counter option try DERMAdoctor Med e Tate towelettes. Our assistant beauty editor Mandy loves this formula for high-sweat occasions like summer weddings, however she warns that you need to top it with deodorant because it only fights sweat and not odor.

Want more hot-weather beauty tricks and product picks? Check out our June story on the best ways to get your skin ready for summer.

Beauty Coach: Summer Skin Check

May 6, 2010 at 3:16 pm , by

m_100982147Every year, I attend dozens of summer skin care events to learn the latest research and sun protection news. La Roche-Posay’s SOS Save Our Skin event this week was particularly eye-opening…and hands on as they had dermatologists available for skin checks. The topic: skin cancer awareness. As the panel of dermatologists ran through the scary stats–did you know that one in five of Americans will get skin cancer?–it became crystal clear that we (myself included!) need to pay way more attention to our skin. I thought I was doing a pretty good job because I wear sunscreen every day and try to avoid the sun, yet my last skin check was over two years ago.

The good news is that 99 percent of skin cancer patients survive with early detection. So get that skin cancer screening you’ve been putting off. And check out to learn more facts, post your own skin story and find free screenings in your area.

Keep an eye out for LHJ’s upcoming three-part series on “Say No to Skin Cancer”. It starts in the June issue with a dermatologist-approved detection guide. Part two in July looks at why some of us are addicted to tanning—and how to stop. And part three in August demonstrates how to check out your own skin to help stop cancer before it starts—including a video of our LHJ health director’s own recent skin check!

Beauty Coach: Best Mascaras for Lashes

April 8, 2010 at 8:13 pm , by

There are lots of nifty tricks to amplify your lashline. You can glue on a few individuals, apply a full strip of falsies or head to the salon for a set of extensions. You can even grow longer, darker lashes with a prescription. Me, I’m sticking with the simple stuff — eye lash curler and mascara. Actually, make that mascaras. Two mascaras and I’m all set in the lash department. I’ve probably tried a hundred different mascaras and find that the best fall into one of the following two categories:

Favorite Jeans Mascara: If you’ve already found your perfect go-to formula for natural, pretty definition, kudos to you! I bet it took some trial and error to find your perfect fit. If you’re still on the hunt: I love Shu Umeura’s Mascara Basic. It’s super light and never clumpy. You can layer on 10 coats and it won’t look heavy or goopy. It’s also soft on the lashes and doesn’t leave them dry and brittle. Cover Girl Lash Blast Length is another top choice.

Cioccolata Calda Mascara: I don’t know if you’ve tried a really dramatic, extra-fringe-fattening mascara yet, but they’re quite incredible. (Just like your first Italian cioccolata. You think you’re ordering regular old hot chocolate, but then you get this cup of incredibly decadent, almost dark chocolate pudding. Divine!) This amazing version of a classic is definitely not for every day, but it’s fabulous when you want over-the-top lashes. My favs in this category are YSL Faux Cil Noir Radical, Lancome Hyponse Drama and Maybelline Great Lash BIG. Take your time when applying and use a lash comb because these guys do tend to clump if you’re not careful.

What’s your favorite mascara?

Beauty Coach: How to Wear Blue Eye Shadow

March 18, 2010 at 1:24 pm , by

“Can I really wear blue eye shadow?” When LHJ’s very own oh-so-stylish fashion editor Sue asked me this question yesterday, my first reaction was, Yippee! and Hooray! I love talking about our gorgeous spring runaway trend story with makeup pro Mathew Nigara. My second reaction was to invite Sue to the beauty closet to prove that yes, she absolutely can wear blue. Here’s how it went down:


Before: Sue without eye makeup


Step 1: Prep with a neutral base

The first trick to wearing colorful eyeshadow: Prep your lids! I applied a little eye primer and then blended a tan eye shadow over Sue’s lids as a base color. Read more