Beauty On A Dime

Beauty On A Dime

by Megan McIntire

Fix Your Skin Care Sins


Sin-Care’s Smoker’s Secret, Party Girl and Sugar Hit Serums

It’s day two of Cosmoprof and I’ve been roaming the floor, talking to brands to find out what’s new and hot for 2012.

Yesterday I was all about nails, but today the big news was in skin. I found tons of interesting lines, all promising to make skin look radiant, young and refreshed.

Amidst all the doctor brands and organic offerings, I found a cool indie brand from Australia that I’m in love with. It’s called Sin-Care, and it takes a very unique approach to skin care.

Instead of formulating products based on your age or your skin type, Sin-Care wants to know what your sin type is, i.e. what is your biggest beauty sin? The brand is based around lifestyle aging–the things you do to your skin that cause it to age prematurely.

Each of the nine serums addresses a specific sin: Smoking, sun damage, excess sugar, stress, lack of sleep, excessive exercise, neglect, partying and pollution. They are meant to be used before your moisturizer, and can be layered if you have more than one sin you want to treat.

I think this is an interesting approach to skin care. Most products on the market will tell you what they address (fine lines, age spots, dullness, etc.), but oftentimes most of us have multiple issues we need to fix. For instance, someone who smokes has issues with dullness, free radical damage and wrinkles causes be the repetitive motions associated with smoking. One product might not take care of all of those concerns.

So what’s your skin care sin?

Hot Beauty Trend: The Magnetic Manicure


Layla Cosmetics Metallic Nail Polish

Hello from fabulous Las Vegas! I’m here covering Cosmoprof North America, the world’s largest beauty trade show. It’s where brands go to launch their latest and greatest new products. There are literally hundreds of different booths here, with everything from new spa machines that zap cellulite, to high-tech skin care lines that utilize the hottest new ingredients.

I’ll be spending the next three days roaming the floors to bring you the news on what products are going to be hot for 2012.

Today’s spotlight brand is from an Italian company called Layla Cosmetics. They specialize in cool and innovative nail polishes. The first thing that caught my eye was their Ceramic nail polish, which boasts a super-shiny finish and you don’t have to use a base OR a top coat with it. It’s the ultimate lazy girl manicure!


The Golden Bronze shade, my favorite!

But the polish I couldn’t get over was their magnetic lacquer. It goes on like a normal nail polish, but when you pass the attached magnet over top of the wet polish, it creates a marbleized effect! The polishes each contain an iron powder in them, so when the magnet goes over them, it pushes this powder around, resulting in the blended look.

I’ve seen magnetic nail polish before, but they either didn’t work properly or were too difficult to use. What I love about this one is that the results are very noticeable and the magnet comes attached to the cap, so you don’t have to buy a separate component.

The polish comes in 12 shades (I’m dying over the golden bronze shade) and is not yet currently available in the US. The brand is still looking for a retailer to carry it, so stay tuned.

That’s all for today, but check back tomorrow to see more cool new products from Cosmoprof!

A Cool Way To Moisturize This Summer


We all have beauty sins we’re guilty of: Going to sleep with makeup on, popping pimples, tanning, over-plucking brows, etc. My biggest beauty sin is that I don’t use body lotion. I know, pretty tame comparatively right?

In the long run though, this beauty bad habit is going to cause me some serious grief; skin that’s not properly hydrated tends to look older quicker because your skin needs lots of moisture in order to keep up healthy cell function. This translates to dullness, wrinkles, flakes and an overall blah appearance.

My major issue with lotions is that not only are they one more step to add to my already extensive skin care regimen, but that they also feel greasy and slick on my skin, a problem that is exacerbated during the sweaty months of summer.

I’ve tried my share of body lotions over the years, all with different, amazing claims, so I was skeptical when Nivea’s Express Hydration Freshening Gel lotion landed on my desk. It claims to provide lightweight, cooling moisture that won’t feel oily or greasy on the skin. It has a quick-absorbing formula that’s infused with mint to instantly cool skin off.

“Yeah sure,” I thought to myself. I’ve been down this “quick-absorbing road before, and it usually leads to lotions that sit on my skin when applied, and only disappear because they instantly absorb into my clothes. But, being the intrepid beauty reporter I am, I decided to give this lotion a shot despite my skepticism.

Boy am I glad I did. The super-light formula is literally a gel consistency, and the minute I put it on my legs it disappeared, leaving behind silky, soft-to-the-touch skin. The added bonus of the mint means it feels so refreshing, especially right after a hot shower.

I’ve been using the lotion for the past few weeks and my skin not only looks and feels healthier, but I haven’t felt like I’m taking a ton of extra time to moisturize. Because I don’t have to rub it the lotion into my skin like a madwoman in order to get it to absorb, it’s literally a quick, two-minute process. Best of all, it’s only $6.99 a bottle, making it much more affordable and effective than half the unused lotions scattered all over my bathroom.

A Genius Solution For Stinky Feet


Sweating–not the most glamorous topic in the world, but a problem that affects all of us ladies in one way or another.

One of the biggest problems I have, especially come summertime, is the issue of sweaty feet. A lot of my shoes, while adorable, aren’t exactly breathable. This leads to sweating, which invariably leads to stinky feet.

While the problem of smelly feet is annoying enough as it is, what’s worse is when it causes you to ruin a pair of shoes. I’ve had plenty a pair of cute ballet flats that have had to be tossed before their time due to funky odor.

That’s why I’m loving these new shoe inserts from Chu Su New York. Called Silver Linings, they’re super-thin liners infused with silver-based technology. Silver is said to be antibacterial, so it will kill the bacteria that causes funky odors before it has the chance to invade your footwear. It comes sold in a set of three and each pair lasts for up to one month. They’re a great way to extend the life of your shoes, saving you some major $$$.

Monoi Monday: Healthy Hair Mission Accomplished


After three weeks of using the new Carol’s Daughter Monoi Repairing Collection, I’m happy to say that my hair is officially healed! Gone are the flyaways, static and dryness and instead my hair looks as sleek and smooth as Cassie‘s here.

Since I was so happy with my overall results from the line, I had to ask Carol’s Daughter founder Lisa Price more about the products and why they are so effective. Read on for my Q&A with her!

What specifically made you think of Monoi oil for the hair?
“I’ve always been in love with flowers. A while back, I read about a sacred, ancient Polynesian ritual using my most favorite flower, gardenias. The story intrigued me, and since I’ve always loved gardenia, I knew I wanted to create something with this powerful ingredient. More and more consumers have been writing to my team and me about their growing hair care needs–women with tight coils, loose waves, frizzy hair, damaged braids and locks, trouble growing hair with weaves–I’ve heard all of the cries from our fans, so I had to react.”

Can you tell us why the Monoi collection manages to work so well on all hair types?
“Monoi is a hair care system that works to repair damage caused by environmental aggressors, chemical damage and heat-styling. It doesn’t matter what type of hair you have–everyone has damaged his or her hair.”

Once someone’s hair has been repaired, should they continue using the collection on a weekly basis or can they ease up on the routine?
“You’ll want to continue using the shampoo and conditioner to maintain your hair’s strength. I recommend that once you’ve seen a difference in the state of your hair, you start doing the mask just once a week. The collection will help you prevent damage so that your hair can grow strong, giving you the freedom to style it as you please!”

What are some other suggestions for how to keep hair looking its best?
“I recommend pacing out any chemical procedures and heat-styling. Just like you would rest your body after strenuous exercise, you’ll want to do the same for your hair. When you take the time to restore moisture, repair damage and prevent future damage, you will have more resilience to style as you please.”

What are your suggestions for styling products to pair with this regimen?
“What’s great about this line is even though it harnesses the power of an oil, it moisturizes and hydrates without leaving behind any residue, which means you can have major volume and movement immediately after styling. Feel free to use whatever you typically use to style. Our Macadamia heat styling products are my favorites at helping to prevent future damage while heat-styling.”