April 2014

Ask Melissa: Best Face Moisturizers at Every Price Point

Question:
My skin feels so dry this winter and I’m looking to find a new face moisturizer that not only works well but also feels good on my skin and absorbs easily. I’m pretty sensitive to fragrances and don’t like anything too perfumey. What products do you recommend?

Answer:
I can totally relate as I have dry skin all year round and a very sensitive nose too! I’ve road tested so many facial moisturizers, and have come up with my “best of” list at all different price points. These moisturizers are top notch plus they have great anti-aging properties:

SK-II Skin Refining Treatment, BUY NOW, $150
SK-II has a special scientifically proven moisturizing ingredient called Pitera, made of a fermented yeast that produces a unique blend of vitamins, amino acids, minerals and organic acids. This “secret key” (SK) ingredient was discovered in Japan at a sake brewery–the older people who worked there had mysteriously beautiful, age defied hands as a result of regularly immersing them in a similar fermented yeast mixture. I have been using this product for over ten years and really believe in it. The list of celebrity clients who use SK-II to keep their skin looking ageless is rather lengthy, and Cate Blanchett was a fan long before she became the brand’s ambassador.

vbeauté Buying Time Everyday Créme, BUY NOW, $135
Vbeauté is one of the best new skincare lines that was recently launched by Vogue It girl, stylish socialite and mom, Julie Macklowe. Teaming up with the top molecular biologists, Julie developed special formulas that include rare botanicals and focus heavily on preventing the onslaught of aging. The Everyday Créme is light but moisturizes intensely and can be used for day or night. The fragrance-free formula feels great on the face and is perfect for anyone who has sensitive skin looking to try a new “tried and true” anti-aging product.

Shiseido Bio-Performance Super Restoring Cream, BUY NOW, $98
A list of the best face creams wouldn’t be complete without Shiseido’s Bio-Performance. This pink hued formula in a tub boasts a patent-pending blend of ingredients which boosts skin elasticity and promotes moisture retention. It feels super luxurious on the skin and yet has impeccable firming capabilities all at the same time. I use it nightly and also before I do any outdoor activities like skiing or running- it’s great for preventing wind burn. This cream is like nothing I’ve ever used or felt before–it has a very special texture that is super nourishing on the skin!

DIY: Oscar-Worthy Top Knots

 Jennifer Lopez looked radiant at the Oscars donning one of the most highly sought after styles, the top knot. Utterly timeless and beyond chic, the style is great for special occasions and every day wear. Joshua Gambrell, stylist at Lotus Salon of Eufora International shared with us some of his insider tips on how to get the look without ever having to leave home.

A top knot should look effortless so make sure your hair is long enough to pull into a ponytail at your crown. Use a brush to pull hair into the ponytail for a smooth look. Secure the ponytail with a small clear plastic band. For a smooth top knot, wrap the hair around the band and secure with hair pins (not bobby pins). Complete the look with a finishing spray and a shine enhancer to add some glam to the look, I love Eufora’s Illuminate Shine Mist.

For an effortless, more messy top knot, use your hands and fingers as hair is pulled back into a ponytail at the crown.  Secure the ponytail with a small clear plastic band, but for this softer look, don’t pull the hair all the way through the band. The hair that has been pulled through, pin loosely with hair pins. Complete the look with a flexible finishing spray to avoid a crunchy feeling and hold the messy look, such as Eufora’s Elevate Finishing Spray.

 

Joshua Gambrell grew up with a talent for drawing and painting, but he was never really sure how he could transform his passion into a viable career. When a close friend suggested a career in hairdressing he knew there was nothing else he wanted to do. Now, nearly a decade later, Joshua is a respected stylist at the prominent Lotus Salon in New York City, the flagship salon for Eufora International. After receiving what he describes as “hardcore, old-school training” at cosmetology school, he became an assistant at one of the top salons in Lexington, Kentucky, upon graduation. Here he was trained in every aspect of hairdressing through the world renowned educators who often visited the salon.After leaving Lexington, Joshua started a new management position at another salon where his responsibilities as the educational and creative director included educating clients about various products and sculpting techniques. From there, he started working on runway shows during fashion week for designers such as Jillian Lewis, Nary Manivong, Lindsey Jones (Outlaws of the Border), Kati Stern (Venexiana), Adetacher, Caroline Siekaly, and, most recently, NAHM (Ally Hilfiger and Nary Manivong). He cemented the move to New York City when he began working for a salon developing an instructional program teaching haircutting to hairdressers from all over the country.

Joshua thinks the best reward from hairdressing is changing the way people see themselves. “As a hairdresser, you have the power to influence someone’s image. In the future, near or far, I always see myself making someone, somewhere feel beautiful,” he says.

9 Cool Beauty Looks from Fashion Week

As much as we love checking out all of the new collections designers roll out, when you have backstage access it’s all about the beauty! The world’s best hair stylists and sought after make-up artists create the fabulous looks we see on the runway that set the trends for real life. Here are our picks of the coolest hair and make-up looks during New York Fashion Week.

2012 Oscar Hair Predictions From The Pros

Hollywood’s “Night of Nights” is right around the corner, and while we don’t know who will take home the oh-so-coveted Oscar Awards, we do know that all you beauty junkies out there will be mentally casting your vote for Oscar superlatives – who has the best dress, the best accessories and of course… who has the best hair?

We spoke with the pros at Wella Professionals, the hair brand who has a very impressive roster of red carpet hair under their belt already from this season, including Madonna, Michelle Williams, Claire Danes, Emma Stone, Zoe Saldana, Emily Blunt and Shailene Woodley, to get the inside scoop on what hair looks will heat up the red carpet this Sunday.

Graceful Sheen
“We will see a peak in fluid textures and warm tones that suggest effortless elegance and healthy, shiny hair that shows a lot of movement and bounce,” states Wella Professionals Color Ambassador Aura Friedman. “Expensive and Luxurious are words you could use to explain this look – maximize this effect by asking your colorist to use Wella Professionals Haircolor to give you a soft shade with warm undertones that will best complement your skin tone.”

Aura recommends her A-list clientele use Wella Professionals Brilliance Shampoo and Conditioner, which is designed to seal in color while leaving locks irresistibly smooth to the touch.

“Wella Professionals Velvet Amplifier is a red-carpet favorite,” adds Celebrity Stylist Andy LeCompte, “that smoothes the hair surface so it can better prepare the hair for styling.” Andy also uses Wella Professionals Shimmer Delight Shine Spray on his clientele to create the most sheen and expensive looking finish to any end look.

Angelic Side-Chignons
LeCompte predicts that celebs will lean toward classic styles with a play on texture and symmetry. “There will be a lot of deep side parts and loose ponys, bobs and chignons tied to the side.” This style can be customized to accentuate any gown, face shape or hair accessory. “It also lessens the stuffiness of that prom feeling and adds a more up-to-date, laissez-faire feeling.

The options here are endless, but no matter the look, you can use Wella Professionals products to perfect the end look. Apply 3-5 pumps of Wella Professionals Velvet Amplifier hair primer to create an even surface on each and every hair follicle before drying the hair, creating a foundation for the most luxurious looking end-look. To keep a style looking fresh yet modernly undone, use a light-hold hairspray such as Wella Professionals Stay Essential Finishing Spray to hold the hair while keeping an overall sense of liquid movement.

The red carpet arrivals of the 84th Annual Academy Awards®, will be airing February 26th on NBC. Be sure to join Wella Professionals on Twitter and Facebook LIVE during the red carpet arrivals (between 4pm and 7pm EST), along with their special guest panel of hair pros Aura Friedman, Rick Wellman and Mark Garrison to get tips, tricks and commentary on the hair looks of the evening.

Can’t wait till then? Visit the red carpet tab on Wella’s Facebook page for tips and leave questions for their experts to answer.

 

DailyMakeover.com from Makeover Solutions, Inc., is the web’s leading beauty information site, providing virtual makeover technology and content for women to create personalized makeovers. DailyMakeover.com’s virtual Makeover Studio enables users to see themselves wearing numerous hairstyles, makeup shades and fashion accessories to create their best makeovers, which can be saved, printed, or emailed. DailyMakeover.com is headquartered in New York City.

Top 14 Romantic Hairstyles

Valentine’s Day is upon us next week, and a romantic date night hairstyle is a must. Opt for sultry curls like Katherine McPhee, or another of these glamorous styles. He’ll definitely be sweet on you.

 Photo: Jason Merritt/Getty Images
Miley Cyrus
Miley Cyrus’ glossy locks and side part give her a red carpet look that was both ethereal and ladylike.
Photo: John Kopaloff/Getty Images

Emma Stone
Emma Stone’s updo is elegant without being severe. Some face-framing wispy pieces enhance the actress’ peaches and cream complexion.

Photo: Mark Davis/WireImage 

Brooke Anderson
Brooke Anderson shows off the latest braid trend, while still keeping her hair loose and wavy.

Interview Attire & Beauty Tips From Nicole Williams

Looking for a new job in 2012? Nicole Williams, Connection Director at LinkedIn, Author of Girl On Top, Owner of Works By Nicole Williams and regular contributor for ABC’s Primetime, Good Morning America, The Big Idea with Donny Deutsch, Fox News and CNN, shares her tips on looking the part and standing out (not just on paper).

Common Mistakes:
Some of the most common mistakes when it comes to interviewing is in the attire. “The biggest mistakes people make are skirts that are too short or tight, too much cleavage, scuffed shoes, excessive perfume, Lady Gaga makeup, or looking like you walked off the set of Working Girl circa 1985,” Williams says. “The most important thing you bring to an interview is confidence. What you wear and how you wear it helps convey that. If you aren’t comfortable in your outfit – that will come across in an interview.”

Chic Attire:
If you think interview attire needs to be frumpy, think again. “You don’t need to wear a two piece black suit for a job interview. You need to wear your “power outfit.” Have a favorite skirt that always makes you feel great when you wear it? Why not pair that with a blazer? The days of interview uniforms are over. It’s Ok to show off your personality through your clothes – as long as you aren’t wearing a lime green mini skirt. Stick to business professional looks,” Williams says.

Beauty:
When it comes to beauty- stick to what you know and what looks good. “The day of a job interview is not the time to start experimenting with smoky eye makeup. Keep it simple and understated. Make sure your nails are filed and your manicure doesn’t have any chips,” Williams says.  Try a OPI Gel Manicure; it lasts up to two weeks with no chipping, smudging or cracking. When it comes to perfume, don’t over-power. “Keep your perfume to a minimum – two spritz is all you need,” Williams says. Want to add a little extra drama to your look? Williams recommends the Shu Uemura Eyelash Curler $19, available at Nordstrom.

For hair, Williams recommends splurging. “Keep your hairstyle tasteful and polished. If you need extra confidence, why not spend $40 on a blowout? They are my guilty pleasure. People don’t necessarily notice when you are put together but they 100% notice when you aren’t,” she says. Check out Drybar (various locations) for a picture perfect blowout (in fun names like Manhattan and Straight Up) for $40, including the wash.

Fab New Online Shopping Destination: StyleUnited

I love finding the best new beauty products and chic fashion items from season to season! As Founder and Chief Creative Officer of PageDaily, wife, mother of two children (and an adorable Shih-tzu), my days are action packed from morning to night, seven days a week. I find myself more and more turning to the internet for my market research and online purchasing. The daily overload of information combined with too many choices and places to shop, and countless items to buy can be overwhelming at times. I am so excited to have found a solution and can’t wait to share my latest best-kept secret and go-to online shopping destination: StyleUnited. The new online hub is a streamlined and efficient one-stop destination for the most cutting edge beauty and fashion news. They also pick items that are specially tailored just for you!

It is so easy to shop their personalized head to toe recommendations by taking the Style 360 quiz. All you have to do is answer a few fun questions about the looks you like, pattern combinations you prefer, create your own outfit out of styles provided and in a matter of seconds you have your very own customized picks! The Style quiz is highly adept and super smart at selecting the best skincare, haircare, cosmetics and fashion for you. I love how user friendly it is–in fact, my Style quiz continues to be spot on in the “looks I’d love!”

StyleUnited also features exclusive articles, slideshows, blog posts and helpful how-to videos from the industry’s leading experts. Want to create loose sexy waves and top hair styles to do with a curling iron? Check. Want to learn how to do a colorful smokey eye or waterproof your look? Check. Log on and score some of the best beauty and fashion information from influential stylists, top bloggers and online editors. Providing insider tricks, tips and product picks is my motto and I think StyleUnited is an amazing resource.

StyleUnited’s one-on-one live webcam consultations with professional beauty experts give you a department store shopping experience without ever having to leave your own home (which saves you time)! I enjoy chatting with the live consultants because they give you real time recommendations and advice. This is perfect for preemptive shopping or any last minute help you need before heading out the door.

StyleUnited gives you direct access to purchase your recommended beauty and fashion finds with the click of a button. I can shop my picks straight from their site and don’t have to spend hours, or even minutes searching for things. Some of their retailers include CVS, Amazon.com, Walgreens, Target, Soap.com, Walmart, Drugstore.com, Ulta and P&G’s own eStore.

StyleUnited helped me to select the stylish items and products that I truly need and love…I’m addicted! And, with a limited amount of free time each day, it’s not always easy to make the best shopping decisions. Be sure to check out this fabulous new site and take your very own Style 360 quiz–it’s fun and you will be impressed by the results.

This post is sponsored by P&G Beauty. The information included is the honest opinion of our editor.

Fashion Week and the Kohl’s Rock & Republic Fashion Show are Almost Here!

I am so busy running around the city and getting ready for fashion week. I can’t believe it’s almost here! I’m already planning my outfits, organizing my crazy show schedule and trying to fit in some time for parties and socializing! I enjoy the frenzied fun so much and would not have it any other way. I’m particularly looking forward to attending the Kohl’s Rock & Republic Fashion show.  Did you know Rock & Republic is launching a line for Kohl’s this spring? I can’t wait to check out the chic styles and report back to you!  Plus, I am sure there will be some great celeb sightings too–you know how much I Iove to share all of their best fashion, beauty tips, and tricks with you.

Stay tuned! xx Melissa

Update! Kohl’s Rock & Republic Fashion Line is officially available to purchase !

 

 

 

“Kohl’s provided compensation to me as an incentive to blog about the Rock & Republic launch event. The opinions expressed herein are those of this author, and they have not been reviewed or approved by Kohl’s in advance.”

Real Housewife Kyle Richards: Lifestyle Secrets and Tips from Her New Book!

Reality TV personality Kyle Richards of the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills is a mother of four, wife, actor, philanthropist and now author! How does she do it all? I personally caught up with Kyle to find out some of her best-kept lifestyle secrets, tips on how to look camera-ready and her favorite things. As you may know from watching the show, Kyle always has a point of view and loves to share it. She is one of my favorite Housewives!

MM: What inspired you to write Life Is Not a Reality Show: Keeping It Real with the Housewife Who Does It All?
KR: I grew up in house of all women–my mom, grandmother and three sisters (I actually slept with my mom until I was 15 years old). I was always known as the dating guru–giving my friends and family tips on dating like how to get a guy to call you back. My real inspiration for writing the book is that I want to help women have the best marriage and relationships while looking and feeling their best. If I wanted to write a how-to manual to give to my daughters on having successful relationships, this would be it.

MM: What are three tips or take-aways from the book?
KR:
1. Beauty: I am a girls’ girl and love make-up. If I weren’t doing what I do now, I would be a make- up artist (I always like to do my own make-up). Using individual false lashes takes your make-up to a whole other level. In the book, I share my technique of how to put them on. My favorite brand for lashes is DuraLash.

2. Fashion: Mix and match your fashion with clothing at all price points. I think women should shop smart–if you buy the basics in solids from inexpensive stores, no one will know whether you are wearing Dolce & Gabbana or Zara. Stay away from prints in the less expensive stores. I recently wore leather leggings from H & M for $35.95 on the Wendy Williams show and received lots of compliments on them.

3. Relationships: I have a great marriage but it’s not by accident. It’s a big job and worth it to put in the effort. I enjoy giving people the tools on how to have a great relationship. For example, Mauricio and I have a designated date night. We also like to stay home more nights than out if possible. My daughters certainly have big shoes to fill.

MM: What advice can you give women who are trying to juggle a career and family?
KR: Make things in your life as convenient as possible. One of the things that is helpful for me is having my dog groomer come to my home which cuts down on time spent running around doing errands. I don’t have a chef, nanny or driver so I need to simplify my life and stay organized.

MM: You have the most gorgeous silky hair. What are some of your favorite hair products?
KR: For shampoo and conditioner I like Pantene, and for styling I use Moroccan hair oil to keep fly-aways in place.

MM: How would you describe your overall style?
KR: Relaxed glamour.

MM: Who are some of your favorite designers?
KR: For clothing: Haute Hippie, Parker and Chanel. For shoes: Fendi and YSL. Handbags: I am obsessed with them (and love to collect them). Favorite: Chanel.

MM: What is your “never leave home without” accessory?
KR: Lip Gloss.

MM: You always wear great jewelry. Who are some of your favorite jewelry designers?
KR: Jennifer Miller for costume jewelry. And Nicky Hilton too–I know she is my niece but she really has great things. Jacob & Co. and Loree Rodkin for fine jewelry.

MM: What’s in your make-up bag?
KR: L’Oreal Voluminous Mascara, eye brow gel (any brand), Bare Escentuals lip gloss, Dermablend cover-up, The Balm Blush in Hot Mama and black Urban Decay eyeliner.

MM: How you do to stay in shape?  Favorite workout?
KR: It’s very hard for me to workout with my schedule. When I have time, I like to go on a hike in the canyons of Beverly Hills or Bel Air after school drop off.

MM: What are your favorite restaurants or nightlife hot spots?
KR: Of course Lisa Vanderpump’s restaurants SUR and Villa Blanca. Mr. Chow, La Scala, Il Pastaio, Shu in Bel Air for sushi. I like Frida in Beverly Hills for Mexican.

MM: Where do you and Mauricio like to go on vacation and where do you stay?
KR: I like to rent a house in Lake Tahoe with family and friends and get away from it all. Picnics on the boat, barbecuing, just hanging out with my family.

MM: What is your biggest guilty pleasure?
KR: Hand bags. I am having a hand bag shopping hangover this month. I hope Mauricio doesn’t read this!

For more insider tips from Kyle, order Life Is Not a Reality Show: Keeping It Real with the Housewife Who Does It All.

This sassy California native was born in Hollywood, California into an acting family. She landed her first role at age four in Disney’s “Escape to Witch Mountain,” where she played the younger version of her sister, child actress and fellow Housewife Kim Richards. Her other sister is Kathy Hilton, mother to Nicky and Paris Hilton. Kyle’s TV credits include “Little House on The Prairie,” “Carter Country,” “Down To Earth,” and “E.R.” Film credits include “Halloween,” and “The Watcher in the Woods.” Kyle is an avid advocate for the fight against cancer, even completing a 68-mile bike marathon last year to raise money to help fight the disease. Kyle is married to the love of her life Mauricio Umansky, one of the nation’s top realtors. Up next, Kyle is starring in the Lifetime original movie, “Deadly Sibling Rivalry,” and is also developing her own handbag line, working on her new lifestyle book, and creating her own skin care line with famed Beverly Hills spa Vera Bella. Her greatest passion, however, is being a mother to her four daughters: Farrah (22), Alexia (15), Sophia (11) and Portia (3). Kyle believes “If you obey all the rules, you’ll miss all the fun.”


Winter-Proof Your Skin with Tips from a Celeb Esthetician

Christine Chin, Owner of Christine Chin Spa in New York City, who’s star studded list of clients include Penelope Cruz, Kate Moss, Hilary Swank, Rachel Weisz and Kimora Lee Simmons, shares her tips for keeping that summer glow all year-long.

PD: What are some of the biggest issues you see with skin in the winter?
CC: Dry rough rkin, rash and irritation, Rosacea, and wind burn or sun burn.

PD: What is the best thing someone can do during the winter to keep their skin hydrated?
CC:

  • Clean, Exfoliate, Tone, Moisturize, and SPF.
  • Invest in a humidifier
  • Try a Mask
  • Drink plenty of water

PD: It’s winter-time, so I don’t have to worry about wearing SPF, correct?
CC: Most people have the misconception that if the sun is not out, they don’t need to apply SPF. The main purpose of a sunscreen is UV protection and whether the sun is out or not, UV rays still exist.

PD: Can you recommend a facial or peel that would be beneficial to get in the winter?
CC: The best facial to get during the winter is one that hydrates and cleans your pores. For the peel, I would recommend something gentle and not too harsh, for example the Cell Gold Gommage Peeling.

PD: What are some of your favorite skin care products?
CC: Of course my own line. Other than my own line, I also love La Prairie and Sisley. For a drugstore brand, I usually recommend Aveeno or Neutrogena.

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