We were first introduced to Cocoa Brown when we tried their Tough Stuff Body Scrub. If you like your scrubs strong, we’re pretty sure you’d love it as much as we did (and the light Tahitian Gardenia scent didn’t hurt either). Founder Marissa Carter knows her tans so well, even the Kardashians’ makeup artist picked up tips on 3D tanning from her. So, we were excited to check out their Golden Goddess dry oil (a favorite of Khloe Kardashian), which looks like gold sand in a bottle of oil. Here’s what we thought:
What it is: A dry body oil with gold flecks, especially good to highlight a tan.
What it does: Gives you a golden sheen, while the coconut oil helps hydrate skin. It also gives a very subtle hint of color.
(Above: After applying oil on the left)
What we liked: We love the instant golden bronze (read: not orange) shimmer this gave to our shoulder, décolletage, and legs (we’ve already worn it to the beach and for nights out). It’s a dry oil, so it won’t leave you feeling greasy after rubbing it in thoroughly. Make sure you shake the bottle thoroughly before applying as the oil and gold separate when sitting unused. The healthy looking-tint and subtle shimmer has made it a must whenever we have exposed legs. Plus, the oil has a tropical floral and coconut scent that we’re not mad at.
What we didn’t like: Prepare to have glowing palms immediately after applying (and not in a good way). Don’t be surprised to find traces of golden specks left behind even after washing your hands thoroughly with soap and water. It wont stain too much after setting but expect a good amount of rogue gold particles left behind.
A makeup technique (rooted in a trend that took off in 2015 spurred by models like Kendall Jenner and Gigi Hadid) which uses minimal shadows normally used to contour the face, and instead relies on minimal makeup and light strobing and highlighting on key points of the face. The effect is a more fresh, baby-face, or a natural finish.
Ex: “I decided to non-tour today for a more natural look.”
A non-tour tutorial:
We’re all busy people, aren’t we? Naturally, we take the final step in our makeup routine very seriously, especially when we’re counting on it lasting all day. Urban Decay’s All Nighter has been a cult favorite to set makeup, but is it worth the hype?
What it is: A makeup setting spray.
What it does: This setting spray is said to actually lower the temperature of your makeup to keep your makeup looking smooth in humid or cold conditions without settling in lines or caking for at 16 hours.
What we liked: It’s not really a spray as much as it is an even mist. Your skin with be lightly dewy as it sets and then it gives a nice, even sheen to your makeup. And our makeup actually does last a lot longer when we use this. Also one of our favorites to use after a good baking session.
What we didn’t like: Aside from some occasional oil slick on our forehead and T-zone area, not much. The price tag is a little steep but considering it’s also around how much full size makeup setting sprays run, it’s worth the investment. Our advice: go light and let it dry first before layering too much, or you might risk running your makeup. Best for dry to combination skin types.
We don’t get enough beach time in our lives. This oil has a gorgeous scent that makes us feel like we do. Just a few drops gives skin this alluring sheen we can’t get enough of. It doubles as a light moisturizer, and gives us summer glow we crave for a night out. We especially love the glow it gives our décolletage, shoulders, and legs.
What it is: A lightweight, gardenia-scented body oil.
What it does: Hydrates skin with a light, natural fragrance and gives it a glow. Also helps to prevent peeling.
What we liked: The light fragrance of the Tahitian gardenia indigenous to French Polynesia makes this oil smell like someone bottled up a tropical vacation. The oil is light with a luxurious feel, and our skin practically drinks up the coconut oil. Unlike the original Body Glow I from Nars, this won’t give a skin a little extra bronze shimmer, but it will give a smoothe, silky look and feel to skin where applied. Plus the little tiare flower in each bottle is a nice touch.
What we didn’t like: The price tag. We’d bathe in this every day if we could, but for now, we’re rationing every last drop.
We love Bobbi Brown’s range of wearable shades and high quality products, and her Long-Wear Brow Gels are no exception. But where does it stand in the spectrum of eyebrow needs? Here’s what we thought:
What it is: A waxy, tinted brow gel housed in a sleek mini, black compact.
What it does: With the help of a brow brush, waxy pigmented gel can easily help fill in sparse areas of the brows.
What we loved: True to the Bobbi Brown spirit, this is best for a more natural approach to brows. The combo of pigment and beeswax helps achieve a natural, fuller look. It feels a bit like pomade for brows. We found it’s best for filling in sparse areas of the brows without looking like overkill. The color range (17 total) are also very close to natural hair colors (we love Saddle for brunettes) and shades for highlights to give hair the look of texture.
What we didn’t like: While great for filling in brows, because of its waxy nature, it’s not the best for buildable, detailed work (such as defined strokes mimicking the look of natural hairs). A good pick if you’re looking for a little more volume with a more natural approach to brows. Also note, while it is water-, sweat-, and humidity- resistant, it can still rub off by mistake.
When it comes to highlighters, BECCA, maker of the famous Champagne Pop, has a full range to make sure your glow game is on point. But perusing them along the shelves at Sephora can be confusing if you’re a highlighter newbie. For starters, they come in three different consistencies: a liquid, pressed powder, and poured crème which have subtle but specific differences. Luckily, BECCA Style Director, Kerry Cole, was on call to answer all our highlighter q’s. Read on to get her tips on how to choose the best one for you!
Can you tell us the difference between the three BECCA highlighters, and the kind of finish you can get with each?
“The liquid is a sheer, lightweight cream that has light-reflecting pearls that gives you a subtle glow. It’s great to mix with your foundation from a lit-from-within look. The pressed powder is a creamy powder for a high-shine finish. Finally, the poured crème gives you a mattified luminosity – a more sophisticated shimmer.”
Which highlighter would you recommend for different skin types?
“I find the liquid or poured crème formulas work best for dry or more mature skin since they add a little hydration to skin. Combination skin types can really wear any consistency, but I’d recommend oily skin types to stick to a powder or crème formula.
The shades are so pretty – what are your recommendations for the different skin tones?
“For light skin, I love soft, pale tones with golden highlights, like Moonstone or Pearl. For medium skin tones, opal, golden, or soft pink are so beautiful like Opal or the Rose Gold shades. For dark skin tones, anything with golden, bronze, or coppery highlights are perfect, like Topaz.”
So to recap:
Kerry Cole’s highlighter shade recommendations for:
Which highlighter would you pick? Leave your thoughts in the comments!
A more punctuated use of the word “yes,” commonly used to express heightened excitement of a situation.
Note: Particularly useful after matching your right eyeliner to your left, upon finding a extra bling-ey cheekbone highlighter, or general admiration of a friend’s #OOTD. Often followed by “queen” or “girl” as user gets increasingly comfortable.
ex. “That liner is on point though, Yaaas girl!”
Our office has no shortage of Lush fans, so there wasn’t much convincing that needed to be done when they put together perhaps one of the best-smelling parties we’ve ever had in the office. What we realized is pretty much every one of your favorite beauty treatments – from toners to toothpaste – can be found as a solid. Here are some of our faves:
1) Damaged Hot Oil Treatment
Ever tried hot chocolate on a stick? You know, where you melt the chocolate by stirring it in a cup of hot milk? This inspired the cutest hot oil hair treatment from Lush. Their vegan Damaged treatment is a solid block of nourishing virgin olive oil, almond oil, and avocado oil (all superstars for shiny, strong hair) on a stick that you melt by stirring in a cup of hot water. After it cools, apply and leave on dry hair for 20 minutes then shampoo out (might take more than one go to get all the oil out). The result is hydrated locks with a beautiful vanilla scent we can’t get enough of. Tip we learned: If you find you don’t need the whole mixture for one use, cover it and keep it in the fridge until you’re ready to melt it down again for another use.
We get it if a solid shampoo seems scary…it’s unchartered territory for most. But trust us, this is not to be underestimated. The self-preserving bar packs a punch of at least 80 washes which is the equivalent of three bottles of shampoo – all in a tiny little bar. Just wet the bar and rub between hands to lather, and add to damp hair. It will sud up beautifully and clean your hair thoroughly. The honey will leave hair ridiculously soft. Extra points for easing your travel woes. No more throwing out oversized bottles of liquid at security.
For a legit blackhead buster, try one of these toner tabs. Just drop it in bowl of hot water like an alka seltzer and it will fizz up, dissipating in the steam. Hang over it with a towel over your head for a skin clearing (thank you, tea tree oil) and calming (lavender) blend of toning goodness. It’s like bringing the spa home. A cool tip we learned: put the water in a plastic spray bottle after use to store in the fridge for up to two days. You can use it to spritz on your face for a little pick-me-up.
A power moisturizer full of vitamins and skin calming chamomile blue oil and calamine powder, this little bar (that can be easily mistaken for soap) is actually a serum that feels like butter on the skin. Gently glide it over your face for a soft layer of serum that you can massage into skin. With ingredients like almond oil, murumuru and cupuaco butter, it’s amazing for dry skin, especially during the colder months.
Yup, even your toothpaste can come in a tablet. A cool, different take on cleaning your teeth, just bite into one of these to crumble them in your mouth (don’t eat it!) and promptly start brushing the mix of baking soda and mint oils to freshen breath and clean your pearly whites so they stay that way. You’ll be amazed at how much it foams up with just a little water! Fair warning, this doesn’t taste amazing, unless you’re into that baking soda taste. But we did find it does a heavy duty job on cleaning teeth. Plus, it’s always nice to definitively see when you’re down to your last tablet, rather than squeezing a toothpaste tube for dear life and hoping for one more drop.
What are some of your favorite Lush products?
The Lancôme Juicy Shakers are the cutest mini cocktail shakers you’ll ever see – only it’s a mix of oil and pigments for your lips and won’t get you tipsy (double win!). With a blend of apricot, almond, and peach, it really is a cocktail of essential oils, and as close to natural and light as you get for a lip tint.
What it is: A tinted lip oil in a bottle shaped like a mini cocktail shaker that gives you just a shot of color (sorry, we couldn’t help the pun).
What it does: A mix of color and oil (a “bi-phase oil”) that you shake like a little cocktail (naturally) before unscrewing the cap to use the cushioney brush to apply.
What we liked: Besides the fact that it’s the most fun we have putting on a lip product, the applicator is as soft as a baby chick. The oils give a slightly moisturizing shine that dissipates eventually, leaving a light, natural looking tint behind. The color is light but buildable, and we loved that it’s a non-goopy gloss (say that three times fast). Plus the flavors! Each of the 18 shade has its own unique cocktail-inspired taste. Mojitos anyone?
What we didn’t like: While moisturizing, it’s only lightly so, so no heavy duty hydration here. You’ll have to reapply if you want to keep the shine going, but the applicator feels so good on your lips, you might not even mind.