‘Mad Men’ Inspired Skin Cocktails

March 26, 2012 at 12:01 pm , by

To say that we were anxiously awaiting the return of Mad Men is quite the understatement. We’re happy to have had our fix with last night’s season five premiere, and of course it’s our main topic of conversation today.

Considering the very memorable fête that the new Mrs. Draper threw for Don’s 40th birthday, nothing screams Mad Men more that a good ‘ol drink. These cocktail-inspired beauty concoctions created by Jasmina Aganovic, Founder of Stages of Beauty show us that alcohol can do a lot more than pack pounds onto your waistline. When mixed right it’s actually a beneficial ingredient in skincare recipes that can assist in the fight against fine lines and wrinkles.

Okay so you may not actually be drinking these, but you’ll thank us later!

Spring Fling Mask
Winter takes a toll on our skin so springtime is the time to do some damage control. Exfoliation, detox, and hydration are key. The ingredients in the mask below help us do just that.
·       1 egg white – These have tons of protein and lecithin which help hydrate the skin and cure it from winter’s dry skin woes. Eggs are the symbol of spring and new beginnings in many cultures.
·       1 tbsp Honey – Antibacterial and renewal properties.
·       1 tbsp Brandy – Helps slough off dead skin cells while stimulating circulation for a rosy springtime glow! Plus, the brandy helps fight fine lines and wrinkles.
·       1 tbsp green tea – Detoxifying and antioxidant

The Sidecar Mask
This recipe is based on the Sidecar cocktail (Cognac, Cointreau, lemon juice)
·       1 tbsp Cognac – Cognac is great for stress release (by drinking and applying topically!), plus it helps fight fine lines and wrinkles while healing damage to the skin (wound healing).
·       1 tbsp orange juice – Citrus enzymes for brightening effects
·       1 tbsp lemon juice – Citrus enzymes for brightening effects + antioxidant and astringent properties
·       2 tbsp ground oatmeal – Serves as a cleansing and calming ingredient (reduces redness and irritation)

The “Between the Sheets” Scrub (or Mask)
This recipe is based on the cocktail called “Between the Sheets” (brandy, light rum, triple sec, lemon juice)
·       1 tbsp brandy – Helps slough off dead skin cells while stimulating circulation for a rosy springtime glow! Plus, the brandy helps fight fine lines and wrinkles.
·       2 tbsp packed brown sugar – (this represents rum, which is derived from sugarcane). Despite the debate over the effects of sugary foods on the skin, when applied topically, sugar has some great benefits. Sugar is actually rich in alpha-hydroxy acids, which means that it helps give you glowing skin. When used as a scrub it can help slough off dead skin and stimulate circulation in the body.
·       1 tbsp orange juice – Citrus enzymes for brightening effects (this represents the triple sec)
·       1 tbsp lemon juice – Citrus enzymes for brightening effects + antioxidant and astringent properties

6 Fall Beauty Trends to Keep An Eye On

February 27, 2012 at 1:30 pm , by

We invaded New York Fashion Week and chatted with some of the top hair, makeup, and nail peeps in the biz. Although we’re all anxiously awaiting summer, we’re fast forwarding to Fall with a peek at some of the beauty trends we spied backstage. Tell us which ones you’re loving or leaving alone!

How To: Survive Fashion Week Like a Pro

February 13, 2012 at 1:58 pm , by

New York Fashion Week (aka the craziest busiest week in many makeup artists’ and hairstylists’ lives) kicked off today. Before Sonia Kashuk was Sonia Kashuk, Deborah Lippmann was Deborah Lippmann and Oribe was Oribe, they too were in the trenches of Fashion Week–look close and you may still catch them there. With all of that experience we couldn’t help but wonder if some of the products they’ve since created were inspired by the Fashion Weeks of their past–what to use to look your best in the quickest amount of time.

Oribe Dry Texturizing Purse Spray ($19.50) stretches out an old blowout by adding texture and a delish scent.

Sonia Kashuk Brightening Powder ($9.99) helps you fake a good night’s sleep by minimizing the appearance of dark circles.

Deborah Lippmann Nail Lacquer in Fashion ($16) is a unique taupe that makes chips not so noticeable.

Plastic Surgery Trends (to Avoid!)

February 6, 2012 at 12:51 pm , by


From “stem cell facelifts” to butt implants some plastic surgery procedures are too good to be true. Here’s board-certified plastic surgeon (and author of In Stitches) Dr. Anthony Youn’s take on the hottest not-so-hot trends in plastic surgery.

What IN THE WORLD is a stem cell facelift? Are they safe? 
AY:The newest craze in cosmetic surgery is stem cell therapy. Some doctors are now injecting the patient’s own stem cell growth factors into and under the facial skin–in hopes of creating a younger, healthier glow. Some cosmetic and plastic surgeons are touting stem cell treatments as cutting edge procedures that promise results far greater than anything we have ever seen in plastic surgery.  It’s true that the future of medicine and plastic surgery is stem cells.  Unfortunately, the claims of today’s marketing have pushed far ahead of the actual science supporting these cosmetic stem cell treatments. So if you are considering a stem cell cosmetic treatment, two words of advice: buyer beware.

Why have there been so many horror stories about buttock implants?

AY: There are two traditional techniques of buttock augmentation used to give women a fuller, rounder look–solid silicone implants and fat injections. The majority of women undergo the Brazilian Butt Lift, where fat is removed from one area of the body (typically the abdomen, hips, or thighs) and injected into the buttocks. Implants are less common, but the only option in women who don’t have extra pockets of fat. While buttock enhancement is growing in popularity, it doesn’t come without risks. There is no shortage of ‘plastic surgery gone bad’ stories, including the woman who died after having tire sealant and cement injected into her buttocks by a phony doctor. More and more physicians, such as Ob-Gyns, ER physicians, and even family docs are practicing outside their specialty training to perform liposuction and buttock enhancement. Without proper knowledge of anatomy and technique, these doctors can leave a trail of botched surgeries and complications.

Let’s discuss Groupon deals from plastic surgeons and other physicians…they sound sketchy. Are they? 

AY: First and foremost, budget shopping is okay for some things, but not when it comes to your health. It is simply dangerous and irresponsible to purchase a procedure from a doctor you haven’t consulted with or even met! The most important step you can take to protect yourself is education–do your homework! This is especially important when it comes to board-certification. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and make sure your surgeon is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. Most reputable, skilled plastic surgeons advertise little or not at all, relying on good word-of-mouth to power their practice. Participating in drastic discount deals smacks of desperation. Who wants a desperate surgeon to operate on them?

Beauty Confession: What Are Your Summer Beauty Pleasures?

January 30, 2012 at 5:48 pm , by

Believe it or not, we are well into summer mode. When temps are in the 30s you kind of have to be, right? This time of year we’d give anything for the blissful days of bare legs and coral lips, but there has to be some trade off to living in NYC.

Being able to toss our hair up in a top knot without having to worry about fitting a knit hat over it, or showing off a super bright toe nail shade every other day are just a few of our best summer beauty moments.

What are your favorite summer beauty moments?

Get the Look: Rooney Mara at the “Girl With the Dragon Tattoo” NY Premiere

January 17, 2012 at 4:58 pm , by

If you’ve seen the trailer for the much anticipated “Girl With the Dragon Tattoo” movie, you’re probably as shocked as us to know that the GORGEOUS woman in the above photo (Rooney Mara) is the actress who plays the movie’s rough and tough main character Lisbeth. The red carpet transformation was so drastic we had to find out how makeup artist Kate Lee did it. And as it turns out, the real magic lies in a little pink sponge called the beautyblender.

STEP 1 Use the beautyblender sponge to apply foundation. Rooney is wearing Chanel Perfection Lumiere foundation, a long lasting formula that highlights her nearly flawless complexion.

STEP 2 Then, using the round base of the sponge, add a cream blush to the apples of the cheeks to really accentuate cheekbones.

STEP 3 Swipe on a dark, matte red lipstick, and pat gently with a soft tissue.

STEP 4 Apply two-three coats of black mascara to the top outer lashes only.

Your Guide to Eco-Friendly Gift Giving This Season

December 5, 2011 at 10:05 am , by

’Tis the season for, well, tons of stuff. Department store circulars crowd our mailboxes (and coupon codes flood our e-mail), the new totally-bigger-than-last-year’s TVs jut dangerously out of car trunks, and gift closets overflow with trinkets for the people you didn’t think to buy for anyway, but “shoot!” those neighborly jerks just brought over bottle of your favorite wine.

Ugh. There has to be a way to feel at least a little better about all of this.

I’m into the “going green” lifestyle, and I like to be pretty discerning about what I put in and on my body and around my home (case in point, after moving into my first grown-up New York City apartment this week, my Seventh Generation cleaning products, Dr. Bronner’s all-in-one soap and BPA-free water bottle were among the first things I unpacked). And because I care about how I live, if I’m going to add to my loved ones ever-growing inventory of stuff yet again this December, it would be great to give gifts with at least some earth-friendly redeeming qualities.

The folks at Origins, a beauty line that promotes its natural ingredients, agree, so they teamed up with eco-tastemakers to lend some easy, green ideas we can all try this holiday season. Their first video, with best-selling novelist Emily Giffin and eco-minded event planner April Trigg, offer the coolest green gifts you can give this year, many of which are made from awesome recycled or reclaimed materials. I especially love the salvaged tin ceiling photo frames April found—they’re perfect for your shabby chic sister.

Watch the video below for the rest of her picks (and get her handy where-to-buy-it list here) and head over to with the special code GOODTOGLOW for a surprise at checkout. Want more tips on how to make your holiday a little more green? New videos will arrive each week on Origin’s Facebook page, including eco-chic holiday fashion with designer Vivienne Tam and green holiday decor with interior designer Robin Wilson.

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