Positively Beautiful by Carmindy

This New Mascara is Mind-Blowing

mega-effects-avonIt’s not very often that a product comes along and totally blows my mind, but Avon’s new Mega Effects Mascara ($10, avon.com) is just about the most innovative thing I’ve seen in a while. The delivery system on this mascara is amazing. It acts like a paint brush for the lashes, not like a traditional tube-and-wand system. It adds up to 40% more mascara to the lashes than regular mascara.

Admittedly, I was a bit nervous to sweep on this mascara, but the flexible handle, lash-hugging bristles and deep intense color made the payoff totally worthwhile. It’s a bit strange at first to use the Wonderbrush wand, but it is so comfortable, you can’t imagine why nobody ever designed one like it before. The only issue I found with Mega Effects is the brush is a bit cumbersome for use on the bottom lash line, but honestly your top lashes wind up looking so voluminous and lush, you can actually skip the bottoms completely and not have a care. The best way to apply this mascara is to line up the wand with the base of your lash line, where it fits naturally, and begin to slightly wiggle it and sweep from the roots up to the tips. The results are epic!

The Best Anti-Aging Serums for Every Skin Concern

SkinMedica-TNS-Recovery-Complex-FaceAs we get older, our basic skin care routine might need an extra boost to stop the clock and keep our skin looking fresh and radiant. Even if you switch to age-fighting cleansers, toners and richer moisturizers, adding a serum step can really give your skin a rejuvenating boost.

An anti-aging serum should always be applied after your toner and before your moisturizer and sunscreen, so it can sink into clean skin. Choosing a serum can be tricky, as there are so many on the market and all have different ingredients for different skin needs.

For Sun-Damaged Skin
If your skin has become blotchy and sun damaged with age, you can lighten and brighten it with fading or lightening serums. Look for ones that contain hydroquinone or hexapeptide-2, which will aid in the fading of sun spots, melasma and age spots. Just make sure when using this type of serum that you are diligent with your high SPF as the spots can return if you don’t stay protected. I’ve found that Murad Rapid Age Spot and Pigment Lightening Serum ($60, sephora.com) works wonders, and I saw a big difference in the melasma on my jawline in about two weeks.

For Rough Texture
If aging skin texture is your big concern, you may want to put a retinol or glycolic acid in the mix. Skinceuticals Tri-Retinol Complex ($55, skinceuticals.com) or Olay Regenerist Night Resurfacing Elixir ($25, 99, olay.com) will slowly and safely exfoliate dead skin layers on the surface, leaving behind a much smoother and softer texture. Understand you may get a bit flaky for the first few days because it’s working to shed that skin, so you may need to up your moisturizer a bit.

For Overall Aging
For overall aging skin, finding a skin elixir filled with major antioxidants and growth factors is definitely the way to go. My top pick for serums is the SkinMedica TNS Recovery Complex ($165, skinmedica.com). My derm Dr. Rosemarie Ingleton got me hooked on this product. It contains the highest level of growth factors, enhancing the skin’s texture, tone, and firmness, improving fine lines and wrinkles and minimizing age spots. It’s the perfect anti-aging skin cocktail.

Soothe Your Skin With These Kitchen Staples

oatmealIt’s scorching hot out there, and no matter how diligent you are with your sunscreen and skin care, your complexion might suffer a few summer snafus. You won’t need an appointment with a dermo or expensive products to ease the blazing hot issues. All you need is a trip to your kitchen to get the job done.

Problem: You fell asleep at the beach and woke up with a nasty sunburn.
Solution: Good old-fashioned oatmeal or baking soda will be your best friend. Run a cool bath and add a few heaping tablespoons of baking soda or a cup of oatmeal and soak in it for about 20 minutes. When you emerge, you will feel so much better. Just remember to let yourself air dry, because drying off with a towel might irritate the sensitive skin.

Problem: You’ve been boating on the open seas and the wind has your face, body and lips feeling a bit chapped and dry.
Solution: Grab a cup of sugar and head to the shower. Lather up your face and body with a cleanser, then use the sugar to scrub and exfoliate the skin in circular motions. This will get rid of the dry dead skin, stimulate blood flow and leave you feeling polished to perfection. On the lips, you can take a wet Q-tip and dip it into the sugar then buff them smooth. Remember to moisturize your face and body and apply lip balm afterward to rehydrate.

Problem: Your skin is oily from the heat and humidity.
Solution: Mix up a paste of cornstarch and water, then apply it to any greasy areas on the face. It will soak the oil right up. If you have a bit more time, try this oil-controlling facial: Mix ½ a cup of mashed apples, ½ a cup of cooked oatmeal, 2 egg whites and 1 tablespoon of lemon juice into a paste, apply it to the skin for 15 minutes and then wash off with cool water.

For all around overheated summer skin, create an anti-oxidant cucumber face-freshening tonic. Get a little plastic spray bottle and fill it with distilled water, juice of a cucumber and a little cold green tea. Stick it in the refrigerator to keep the concoction cool, then spritz the cold mist onto the face whenever you need a little skin pick-me-up.

This Organic Line Is A Savior For Dry Skin

absolutionIt’s rare that I get so excited by an entire brand, but when I started using the Absolution skin care line from France, I was completely hooked. This eco-conscious all-organic line feeds the skin and nourishes it for a smooth and healthy complexion. The packaging alone is beyond chic. Each product features a different black and white graphic, so it feels like a little gift.

The Addiction L’Huile Visage Face Oil ($80, dermstore.com), which contains a blend of 27 natural oils and plant extracts, is my new nightly ritual. I warm up three drops of this oil in the palms of my hands and then smooth it over my face and neck, inhaling deeply as the scent is calming and beautiful. The Le Baume ($20, dermstore.com) is an all-over balm filled with calendula extract and perilla and marula oils that repairs dry skin on lips, backs of feet, hands or anywhere you tend to be seriously dry. The La Crème Du Jour ($80, beautyhabit.com) and the La Crème Du Soir ($72, dermstore.com) are the perfect day and night creams to richly hydrate the skin, using blends of organic and natural extracts and oils like neroli, sesame, cucumber, argan and marshmallow. The Le Soin Regard ($43, dermstore.com) is an organic anti-aging eye booster that uses natural caffeine, blue lotus stem cells and tourmaline to tighten, whiten and brighten the eyes. It also contains Chlorella Vulgaris, a river microalgae that acts on collagen, restructuring and redensifying the connective tissue. Exactly the kind of good-for-you ingredients we want around our eyes.

What brand excites you?

Read more: How To Control Oily Skin This Summer

Multitasking Makeup That Does Double Duty

s1405158-main-LheroWe all live such crazy busy lives, and most of us seem to be looking for shortcuts in every department. That is precisely why you need to cut out the extra products and tools in your beauty arsenal to make life faster and easier. There are many miraculous two-in-one products on the market today, and those are the ones to grab to keep things quick and simple when getting ready.

When it comes to your skin, getting a gorgeous, protected complexion in a rush can be tricky, so grab a CC cream to get the most efficient flawless face fast. It Cosmetics Anti-Aging Full Coverage CC Cream ($34.68, qvc.com) is my go-to product for protection against the harsh sun, and it also offers the nicest coverage without much blending. With an SPF of 50 and natural-looking, seamless coverage, it’s the perfect multi-tasker in the morning.

Get a glow with the LORAC Tantalizer Highlighter And Matte Bronzer Duo ($32, sephora.com). Sweep the highlighter on the tops of your cheekbones and then apply the bronzer on your temples, along the sides of the face and under your cheeks for a beachy vibe. Tag team your cheeks and lips with Revlon Baby Stick ($9, revlon.com) in Tahitian, Pink Passion or Sunset, which are the perfect brights for summer to flush your cheeks and give a pop to your lips. After applying your CC cream, just dab the stick onto cheeks for a healthy sheer flush and then swipe across lips for a natural hint of sheer juicy goodness.

If you’re a lip chick and need a bigger boost, try Josie Maran’s Argan Slimline Lipstick Plus Gloss ($25, sephora.com) in Pink Peony, a double ended lip duo that has your lip color on one end and your gloss topper on the other. This is a great day-to-night product as you can gloss by day and double up with the lipstick by night. If you are feeling super jazzy, then try the Sephora Collection Glitter Eyeliner And Mascara combo ($13, sephora.com) in Bewitched Black. This dual applicator brush allows you to bedazzle lashes with a hint of black glitter and the fine tip allows you to draw the glittery greatness along the upper lash line too.

Read more: Be A Better Packer: These Multitasking Products Save Room In Your Suitcase