Benefit Cosmetics is Now Beautifying Boston

Posted: May 28th, 2013, by The Beauty Bug

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As The Beauty Bug sat at the fresh, new, gleaming Benefit Brow Bar getting her brows shaped and waxed, She counted the number of people who came in wanting to have their brows groomed (waxed or threaded) at their new boutique on Newbury St. And counted. And counted. And just kept counting. There was barely a break in the brow traffic.

And, for good reason. With over 800 Brow Bars in 25 countries, and 1200 brow experts strong (yes, they are licensed  aestheticians), Benefit holds the Guinness World Record for the most brows waxed. They’ve shaped over 2 million brows and counting.

Each Benefit Brow Beauty uses the same mapping technique. They start by measuring from the dimple of the nostril up towards the brow. This is where the brow should start to balance the eyes and create a sliming effect on the nose.

Step two: perfecting the arch. They measure upwards at an angle from the outside of the nostril through the center of the pupil. This determines the high-point that creates maximum eye lift.

Lastly, they measure upwards at a deeper  angle from the outside  of the nostril toward the outer corner of the eye.

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Hopelessly devoted to brows now and forever, The Benefit Brow Bar and The Beauty Bug became fast friends.  The Beauty Bug, who previously thought that you could only achieve a perfect arch through threading, was proved wrong.

Stop in to the Newbury street boutique, or any boutique in the northeast for a brow shaping or one their many other services including airbrush tanning, brow and last tinting, body waxing, lashes and makeup lessons and applications.

Broad Spectrum Beauties: A Sunscreen Round-Up

Posted: May 26th, 2013, by The Beauty Bug

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Learn before you burn. Your sunscreen must meet the following criteria:

  • Must be broad-spectrum. There are 2 types of UV light that are dangerous – UVA and UVB. A broad-spectrum or full-spectrum sunscreen protects you from both.
  • Must be water resistant if you’re heading to the beach or exercising.
  • Must be at least SPF 30. SPF (Sun Protection Factor) measures the length of time a sunscreen will protect your skin from reddening / burning from UVB rays, compared to how long your skin would take to redden/ burn without sunscreen protection. SPF 15 means that 1 out of 15 (93%) UVB rays reach your skin. SPF 30 means that 1 out of 30 (97%) UVB rays reach your skin.
  • Must be re-applied every 60-80 minutes.
  • SPF aside, the protection factor also depends on the amount of applied and the frequency of re-application, the activities in which the wearer engages, and the amount of sunscreen the skin has absorbed.

Here are some of The Beauty Bug’s favorites:

L’Oréal Paris Sublime Sun Sheer Protect Sunscreen Oil SPF 50+, $10.99 - There are so many reasons to love this product; let The Beauty Bug count the ways. First, the roster of ingredients: argan oil, shea oil, grapeseed oil, Vitamin E and sunflower oil. Second, the light beach-inspired scent. You know just the one The Beauty Bug means. Even on this dreary Memorial Day Weekend/supposed start to summer, it’s providing some tropical inspiration. Third, it’s the highest oil SPF protection available on the market.  And finally, L’Oreal is giving back.  This year, they have partnered with the Melanoma Research Alliance (MRA) on a three year research grant and will also be donating $1 for every SPF product sold to the MRA throughout the summer.

SkinCeuticals Sport UV Defense SPF 50, $40 - Beach volleyball, anyone? The Beauty Bug prefers outdoor Zumba on the Boston Common or biking along the scenic path along Falmouth Harbor on Cape Cod. But, whatever your outdoor workout of choice is, SkinCeuticals Sport UV Defense SPF is your ultimate sun protector. Formulated for extreme sports and conditions, the sunscreen provides broad spectrum UVA and UVB protection during high-energy activities. It’s lightweight, water-resistant and resists wear from water, wiping and rubbing. And, get this. It was torture tested in actual extreme sport conditions. Another benefit? In honor of Skin Cancer Awareness Month, SkinCeuticals will be sponsoring free, full-body skin-cancer checks at select dermatologist offices around the country. More info can be found here.

Sun Bum SPF 70 Continuous Spray Sunscreen, $15.99 - Three words - TRUST THE BUM (which also happens to be their URL). These quick-dry water resistant sprays are the quintessential sunscreen. They smell like the tropics and make you want to order that second (and third) round of piña coladas. Founded in Cocoa Beach, the collection was created by tried-and-true sun bums to protect their own family, friends, and community from the intense and harmful rays of the Florida sun. Every formula delivers the broad-spectrum UVA/UVB protection you need without the junk you don’t (parabens, PABA, etc.).The Sun Bum sprays are perfect for those that may find the conventional lotion sunscreens a bit greasy. The line also includes moisturizing lotions and lip balms. 

Yes to Cucumbers Natural Sunscreen SPF 30, $11.99 – Bad pun alert: this sunscreen will keep you cool as a cucumber. Seriously. Formulated with all natural soothers like cucumber extract, aloe and green tea extract to cool and reduce inflammation, the sunscreen also includes Vitamin E to prevent wrinkles. A bit thick in consistency, the sunscreen melts into skin and provides 40 minutes of water resistance. Recommended as an effective broad spectrum sunscreen by the Skin Care Foundation, the line also includes a natural sunscreen stick, another sunscreen especially formulated for your little water baby, and an after-sun serum with shimmer. Buy the 3-piece bundle here. Slather while sipping a cucumber gimlet.

Aveeno Protect + Hydrate Lotion Sunscreen SPF 50, $9.99 - The Beauty Bug has already sung the praises of this product once before. It was the most-used product during Her recent trip to St Maarten. She used it both on Her face and Her body. The key ingredient is the nourishing colloidal oatmeal. It’s not greasy or heavy and it provides 24-hour skin hydration against chlorine, salt water and sweat. And in case you missed the best part about this sunscreen the first time around, it bears repeating. It doesn’t smell like sunscreen.

Supergoop SPF 50 Antioxidant-Infused Sunscreen Day Cream, $37 - As soon as The Beauty Bug read this: “The best choice for sensitive, fair, and light skin and will leave a soft, white, protective cast”, She knew it was a match made in sunscreen heaven. The cream is comforting and nourishing, and has a creamy texture.  Those with any sort of redness or Rosacea, ditch your significant others because this cream will be your other half this summer! The slight white cast helps to neutralize. It’s not greasy, it prevents shine, and protects against UVA, UVB and IRA rays. It wears well under makeup, applies very smoothly and has quickly earned a spot in Her makeup bag for everyday wear. Pale ladies, rejoice; this is our best defense yet.

The Best of #ManiMonday

Posted: May 20th, 2013, by The Beauty Bug

Scroll through to see the best of #ManiMonday!

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Budget Beauty Buys Under $10

Posted: May 19th, 2013, by The Beauty Bug

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If you’re ever looking for The Beauty Bug, chances are you’ll find Her at the nearest CVS, Walgreens or Wholefoods combing the beauty and skincare aisles for the latest and greatest. They don’t call Her the queen bee of the ExtraBucks for nothing. Here are Her latest favorite finds:

Pacifica Color Quench Lip Tint – $6.99: One swipe of this tint, and you’ll catch yourself  repeatedly puckering your lips (like, all day) just to get another whiff. It smells that good. The Beauty Bug’s favorite, hands down, is guava berry. Other flavors include Blood Orange, Coconut Nectar, Sugared Fig and Vanilla Hibiscus. The sticks glaze and moisturize lips with just a peek of color. They contain Vitamin E, cocoa butter, coconut oil and avocado.

JĀSÖN® C-Effects Pure Natural Super-C Cleanser - $8.89: This JĀSÖN® C-Effects cleanser is a fooler. It has the look, feel AND ingredients (unique anti-aging ingredients) often found in high-priced products, but it’s only about $9. The formula is powered by a multi-antioxidant complex of Ester-C®, Vitamin C and Vitamin E that fights free radical damage that contributes to fine lines, wrinkles and uneven skin tone.  JĀSÖN actually means ‘healer’ in Greek. It’s gentle, refreshing, easily removes makeup and dirt and smells like you’re schmearing a juicy orange creamsicle float all over your face. The line is available at natural food stores and Whole Foods markets, and Mr. Jason, if you’re reading this – add a mask to your line!

Maybelline Dream Sun Bronzer – $8.99: There’s nothing better than bronzer and contouring done right! The best thing about these beauties  - all the choices. There’s the Four Seasons Powder, a subtly gradated compact, the Bronzing Powder Matte,  an aptly named matte powder, and the Bronzing Powder Glow, The Beauty Bug’s favorite which offers a soft touch of shimmer ideal for cheekbones and brow bones. All are available in light and medium.  Those with a heavy hand need not apply.

L’Oreal Miss Pixie Colour Riche Nail Polish – $6.49:  Those two dreaded words – limited edition. If you’re still at your computer and haven’t abruptly left to buy one of these babies – what is wrong with you? From the Miss Candy Gellie Collection, the shades are shiny and slick, with a slight see-through quality to then – just like hard candy.  Different from regular polishes, the coverage is buildable an some may opt for 3 coats. The Beauty Bug wants candy!

Flower Lip Butter in Sheer Snapdragon – $6.98:  When the Flower line was first launched, The Beauty Bug was trolling all local Walmarts waiting for the displays to pop-up. This Sheer Snapdragon Lip butter is near perfect. The pinky-nude color is flattering on any skin-tone and perks up every  complexion. The non-tacky formula has a buttery-soft texture that glides on easily, and the color-payoff is solid. One word to the wise – save the peel-off label with the barcode on it – it’s the only place where the name of the Lip Butter is printed! You’ll need the name if you want to re-purchase the color.

Aveeno Protect + Hydrate Sunscreen Collection – $9.99:  Two words – game changer. Why, you ask? Because this is a sunscreen that doesn’t smell like a sunscreen. The new Aveeno line a new helps to reverse skin dehydration caused by sun, chlorine, sweat and salt water. The Beauty Bug recently vacationed in St. Maarten and brought both the SPF 50 and the SPF 70 with Her (for those that don’t know – you can just call The Beauty Bug Casper). She bathed in them everyday, never felt greasy or oily, and came home totally burn-free and safe. A must-have for your beach bag.

It’s a Bug’s Life

Posted: May 1st, 2013, by The Beauty Bug

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In the past month, The Beauty Bug has traveled to Florida, St. Maarten and San Francisco. Here are some snapshots from Her travels.

1. Aloha Beach Bar, Orient Beach, St Maarten

2. The view from our balcony at sunset.

3. 3 little dogs, Calmos Cafe, Grand Case, St. Maarten

4. The Beauty Bug (sans makeup!?) and Her Husband

5. Lizard on Dawn Beach, St Maarten

6. A masseuses’ sign (boasting that she graduated from a famous school), Orient Beach, St. Maarten 

7. A Caribbean lobster

8. Matching thongs, Orient Beach, St. Maarten

Vacation Nails: Black and Silver Half-Moon Manicure

Posted: April 13th, 2013, by The Beauty Bug

It’s hard to write a post about a manicure or nail polish when you’re in St. Maarten,  distracted by the fresh island air and crashing waves. The Beauty Bug has tried about 3-4 times, but keeps drifting off in an island daze. That’s what vacations are for, yes?

In preparation for Her vacation, The Beauty Bug opted for a half-moon manicure – something to show off Her tips while toasting mud slide after mud slide. See the series of photos below to see the step-by-step process of Her half-moon manicure.

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Purity of Elements (POE) Daily Purifying Polish

Posted: April 2nd, 2013, by The Beauty Bug

50307Most mothers and daughters bond over  shopping trips, long weekends away or movies. But not Sheri Poe and her daughter Danielle Birritella. They bonded over beauty and together, they created a skincare line. Pretty much blows every other bonding activity out of the water, yes?

Overwhelmed by the vast array of skincare offerings and of-the-moment ingredients, they embarked on a mission to simplify skincare. And so, POE (Purity of Elements) was born.

The paraben-free line is packed with pure minerals, antioxidants, botanicals and other super-charged ingredients including copper, zinc, algae, avocado, pomegranate, ginger root, pumpkin, ginko biloba and a special tea and berry blend. POE reflects its founders’ holistic approach to beauty and is rooted in the philosophy that balanced skin is a reflection of a balanced life.

The Beauty Bug has long written about Her love of washing Her face; coming home and washing away all the stresses of the day. Instant satisfaction via a face wash or cleanser. Yes, that’s a lot of pressure to put on one product – to wash away the angst of any given day – but, POE’s Daily Purifying Polish kills it. One whiff, and it will make sense. You’ll want to schmear it all over your face too (it smells like a creamsicle). The cleanser is packed with antioxidant tea and a blend of berries, making almost good enough to eat but even more delicious to smell. The exfoliating micro-beads help to gently sweep away dead surface skin cells, leaving skin soft, smooth and healthy. Key ingredients include Jojoba Oil (restores skins natural lipid barrier), Mandarin Orange Peel extract (anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and anti-bacterial), Soybean Germ extract, and Vitamin E. It’s mild, yet effective, and calms and clarifies. The polish feels great on skin and can be used everyday. Call on the power of the micro-beads to combat flakiness, exfoliate and freshen skin, or just when you need that clean fresh-feeling fix, as The Beauty Bug often does.

POE Daily Purifying Polish is available at purityofelements.com for $32.

MAC Spring 2013 Collections

Posted: March 30th, 2013, by The Beauty Bug

Spring, you’re the best. You bring us splendid beauty powders that are always too pretty to use and bite-sized pops of color to lift our spirits and make us forget about winter. MAC’s Spring Collections will turn heads, and turn-over makeup bags. Here’s a breakdown of what’s to come from the brand this month.

BAKING BEAUTIES - available April 18th

Cupcakes, macarons and icing, oh my! This delicious pastel collection is sure to satisfy any sweet tooth with it’s cupcake patterned face powders, lustre drops and the aptly named lipsticks – devil’s food cake and raspberry swirl.

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FASHION SETS - available April 4th

The bold and the beautiful, and no, The Beauty Bug isn’t referring to the soap opera.  Fashion Sets features four distinct color families/sets all containing bright shades that pop with a vivid edge. Very, pop-art of MAC, yes?

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IN EXTRA DIMENSION  - available April 4th

Seeing double never looked so good – these creamy, silky shadows, blushes and face powders are mega. They sculpt, highlight and define. The collection is one The Beauty Bug’s favorite. The formulas are flawless – creamy and near-fluid  - and they leave a smooth, second-skin finish. Perfection.

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A Masked Moment: OSEA’s Black Algae Mask

Posted: March 29th, 2013, by The Beauty Bug

lap_4399_6428Because the weekends are for relaxing and recharging, The Beauty Bug will review a mask every Friday. Sit back, relax, put your feet up, run a bath, light the candle and slather away!

In anticipation of Her upcoming travels to Florida and St. Maarten, The Beauty Bug is dreaming of beaches, palm trees, tropical fruity drinks and …algae. Yes, algae. If you want to get technical, algae is a large group of simple nonflowering plants containing chlorophyll but lacking true stems, roots, leaves, and vascular tissue.  But to The Beauty Bug, the certified organic seaweed that She’s schmearing all over Her face is a dream exfoliant and brightener. She’s had algae on the mind after using OSEA (Ocean Sun Earth Atmosphere) Skincare’s Black Algae Mask 2 times over the past 2 weeks. The potent exfoliating treatment clarified Her skin and eliminated dead surface skin cells in a matter of minutes, certainly living up to its promise.

Ingredients include pure fig extract (extract eliminate surface dead skin cells and stimulate circulation), black marine silt, malic acid (targets wrinkles, fine lines and a dull complexion) and micro black jojoba spheres. The fun begins after about 10 minutes, when the mask dries and is ready to be washed off. The Beauty Bug wet Her fingers and gently massaged the mask off Her face, revealing a baby pink glow from stimulated circulation. Skin was soft and fresh. After Her first application, the glow as more pronounced as compared to Her second, but skin was equally smooth and bright!

The OSEA Black Algea Mask is available at OseaMalibu.com for $48. 

MAC Mineralize Moisturize SPF15 Foundation

Posted: March 26th, 2013, by The Beauty Bug

MineralizeMoistureSPF15Foundation-MineralizeMoistureSPF15Foundation-NC15-72Had you asked The Beauty Bug last week what She had thought about mineral makeup, She would have advised that you spend your money on a new lipgloss instead –  or this this By Terry  Hyaluronic Sheer Rouge Hydra Balm Lipstick. It’s life-changing. But Mineral makeup, for The Beauty Bug, had always been synonymous with poor coverage  - especially when it came to foundation. Something that people who only shop at Whole Foods buy. You know, wannabe makeup. Just not up to par.

Then, The Beauty Bug tried MAC’s new Mineralize Moisture SPF15 Foundation. And She knows what you’re thinking, but, no, She didn’t take back everything that She’s ever said about mineral makeup. No way. But, She can confidently says that this product is the exception to the rule. One word really describes it well – lush. Unlike other mineral products, it’s lightweight yet uniquely creamy and that’s what drew The Beauty Bug to the product. It’s a fooler. And because it’s stacked with minerals, that means it feeds skin all day with nourishing hydration with its Shea Butter, emollients and conditioning extracts.

Best suited for dry skin, Mineralize’s coverage is beautifully buildable. The Beauty Bug prefers medium coverage so She uses Her MAC 130 Short Duo Fibre brush and blends until Her heart’s content and Her skin’s tone is even. And not to threaten David Copperfield, but its combination of powders create an optical blurring effect that virtually diminish imperfections.

Of course The Beauty Bug and Her palest of pale complexions uses NC15, but the shades range from the aforementioned Casper the friendly Beauty Bug shade all the way up to NW50.

The MAC Mineralize Moisture SPF Foundation is available on maccosmetics.com and at MAC counters for $33.