Now that there is some—albeit incredibly vague—info on how we can reenter the world when coronavirus finally GTFO, I am feeling eager to get my skin back on track. I don’t know about you, but when I go out to dinner with my friends for the first time after being locked in my apartment for what will be at least two months, I want to glow. Luckily for me, Sephora’s annual spring sale is upon us! As always, Sephora is offering different deals and savings for each of their three member tiers. From April 17th through May 1st, Rouge members can save 20%; from April 21st through April 29th, VIB members can save 15%; and from April 23rd through April 27th, Insider members can save 10%. I am a proud Rouge member, so let’s f*cking do this.
If you’ve read any of my articles, you know that there are more skin care products in my medicine cabinet than there are food items in my pantry. I have no shame in my game. It took years of trial-and-error to discover which products are the best, so you can trust I know what I’m talking about when it comes to my recommendations.
The only YouTube channel I subscribe to is Klossy, which belongs to, you guessed it, Karlie Kloss. I don’t care who she’s married to, I love her and will continue to do so for the rest of my days. Anyway, Karlie has the best skin I’ve ever seen, so when she recommended this night serum, you better believe I went out and bought it, and I am happy to report that it works. My skin isn’t really problematic, but I want that dewy, plump look, and that’s what this serum delivers.
Like any skin care product, though, you have to use it consistently and for a while before you start to see the effects take hold. I started to notice how good my complexion looked after about three weeks. It’s incredibly moisturizing, smells delicious, and it’s the perfect consistency. What else you got, Karlie??
I buy this twice a year for one specific purpose: visiting my parents in Florida. My skin may be able to withstand the pollution and whatever the f*ck is coming out of manholes in New York, but it cannot deal with the Florida humidity. My skin gets really oily and then I start to break out, so I visit my parents pretty infrequently. The one thing that absolutely saved my skin is this specific charcoal mask. I have tried about 10 types of charcoal masks in my lifetime, and this Clinique one is that actually works.
It feels like you’re spreading a thick, goopy paste on your face, but after about 30 minutes, it dries and hardens and, something magical happens in that phase of the mask. When I rinse it off, my skin is soft and supple with zero traces of excess oil. I’m obsessed.
This product was my first foray into skin care. I bought it when I was a sophomore in college after talking to a Bloomingdale’s salesperson for way too long. As the name suggests, this is a very lightweight moisturizer that falls between a gel and a cream. Because it’s so lightweight, it’s perfect for summer. Also, all Bobbi Brown moisturizers are made with a built-in primer, so you can save a few seconds in the morning when you’re getting ready.
This toner is another Karlie recommendation for when you’re traveling, because planes really dry your skin out. Before I went on my study abroad trip, I asked my mom to get it for me and she said, and I quote, “Who do you think you are? You’re not a jet-setter!” Rude. To spite her, I bought it for myself and I have no regrets. I use it as a toner and spritz it on my face right before I put on my moisturizer.
My dermatologist suggested that I massage my moisturizer into my skin while it’s still damp from the toner because it will absorb better, which makes sense because, if you think of your skin like a sponge, it won’t absorb a thick cream when it’s bone-dry. This doesn’t really do much, but it smells amazing, isn’t that expensive, and it’s something else I have in common with Karlie Kloss.
I recently learned that vitamin C is an essential ingredient in skin products for anyone who wants nice skin. I incorporated it via an eye cream because I wanted to test it on a small area before I introduced it to my whole face. Safe to say, it works! This eye cream is really moisturizing, which is important because the skin around your eyes is much thinner than the rest of your face and is usually the first to show signs of aging. Yikes! Using a product that protects against free radicals (something vitamin C does) and moisturizes is a really good way to slow down aging around the eyes. It also smells fantastic.
Until I tried this mask, I always thought sheet masks were kind of stupid. Like, you pay all of this money for something you use once for a few minutes then throw away. Then I tried this mask and I’m questioning everything I once believed to be true! Tatcha is a brand you’ll likely find in any high-end natural beauty store, and the products are 100% worth it. This mask is made with vitamin E, fatty acids, nutrient-rich rice, ginseng (which has a calming effect), and a bunch of other sh*t that gives you an instant glow.
And for anyone who’s wondering, sheet masks are packed with nutrient-rich serums that absorb best into your skin when you’re wearing the sheet and looking like Hannibal Lecter, but the serum is still very much on your skin when you take the sheet off, so they aren’t exactly a waste.
Dior Lip Glow, $34
I am weirdly specific when it comes to a tinted lip product: it can’t be sticky, it has to be the perfect shade, and it has to last through my morning coffee. This Dior lip product is literally perfect. First of all, it’s incredibly moisturizing. Secondly, it goes on clear and within a few seconds, changes color due to a bunch of science I don’t really understand. For me, it transforms into rosy pink with a coral undertone, but for my friend, it becomes more of a purple color. I’m truly baffled by this magic, but I won’t question it.
Until recently, I was a firm believer in all cleansers being the same, so paying more than a drugstore price was unnecessary. This cleanser is the definition of a super basic (in a good way) product that does exactly what it says it’s going to do. Wet your face and massage this into your skin for a few seconds and rinse off with warm water. Boom! You’re cleansed! It leaves your face feeling soft and clean, but without stripping your skin. I’ve said this before, but if your face feels tight and dry, your cleanser is too harsh!
Double cleansing is an important part of any skin care-lover’s daily routine. The first step involves taking off your makeup and the second one is cleansing. This Clinique balm is unparalleled at removing makeup, so I highly recommend getting yourself a tub ASAP. It has the consistency of soft wax, but it works. Scoop a little out with your fingertips and move it around in your hand to break it down a little. Then, once it’s slightly softened, move it around your face and it literally melts your makeup right off. Don’t believe me? Use this then dab a clean white towel on your face and you won’t see any residual makeup!
This purchase was a catch-22 because, on the one hand, authentic tans are horrible for your skin, but on the other, my natural skin tone is concerningly white. This self-tanner is unreal and legit impossible to f*ck up. I always strayed from self-tanner because I feel like it always looks fake and streaky—especially on people’s wrists, ankles, elbows and knees. This, though, is different! You mix a few drops with your go-to lotion and then spread it all over your body and it always turns out even and natural-looking. I’ve used this on my legs many, many times and I’m always impressed with how good it looks.
Images: Mercy / Unsplash; Sephora (10)
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If there’s one thing in this world I can confidently say I’m an expert on, it’s self-tanner. In fact, I would go as far to say that I’m a pioneer of self-tanner. Back in high school, my parents wouldn’t allow me to tan. And I was the only one in my friend group who didn’t have “cool parents” who would allow me to do so. (Obviously, now I’m grateful to them—hindsight is 20-20, right?) But, that being said, my group of besties were all SO tan and I was extremely jealous. I had to find a way to keep up. I mean, bronzer can only do so much. And trust me, I caked that sh*t on, as all naive high school girls do. But, at some point, the bronzer wasn’t enough. And so, I began my journey down the aisles of drugstores, trying every and any product that promised a bronzed tan.
Since my amateur high school days, I’ve graduated from drugstore aisles to expensive sh*t at Sephora, in my never-ending pursuit of the just-got-back-from-vaca glow. So, that being said, here are the self-tanners that actually work, from least to most expensive.
1. Jergens Natural Glow Instant Sun, Sunless Tanning Mousse, $10
First, we’ll start with the drugstore option. I was actually introduced to this one by a colleague of mine a few months ago. When she came into work looking like a bronzed goddess, I had to know which high-end self-tanner from Sephora she was using. To my surprise, she informed me it was the Jergen’s mousse, and I was beyond impressed. As a self-tanner connoisseur, I had to get my hands on it. And I can attest, this stuff works. It dries almost instantly, which is a huge perk, and gives a stunning non-orange tan for a very affordable price. Although, disclaimer, it still has that dreaded self-tanner smell. You know the one.
2. Isle of Paradise Self-Tanning Mousse, $29
This self-tanner brand is newer to Sephora, and has been making waves fast. It’s streak-free, easy to apply, and gives an amazing tan at a totally reasonable price. Isle of Paradise utilizes color corrective technology that reacts with your individual skin tone. It contains hydrating ingredients that allow the tan to go on and fade seamlessly. Isle of Paradise has options for different levels of tan, utilizing different color bases to ensure a non-orange, natural-looking tan. I personally LOVE their darkest shade, which has a violet tone base that gives me a rich, deep brown tan.
3. Loving Tan Deluxe Bronzing Mousse, $40
I first discovered this self-tanner on Instagram (where all the best things in life are discovered, obviously). This tanner gives my skin a stunning bronze shade that looks super natural and rich—so much so, that people ask me whether I just got back from vacation. I mean, maybe they’re just asking passive-aggressively so that I’ll spill my self-tanning secrets, but hey, I’ll take the compliment. This one also consistently looks great on different people with different based skin tones, as I have seen first hand on several of my friends. This is the current self-tanner I’m using as I wait for Sephora to restock the Tan-Luxe mousse, and I highly recommend.
4. St. Tropez Self Tan Classic Bronzing Mousse, $42
This is a great self-tanning product for those new to self-tanning. It’s easy to apply and doesn’t go on super dark. It’s one of the innovative self-tanning products that uses a green base to create a more natural and less orange tan. It won’t look too dark, but it will still be enough to be noticeable. Of course, if you’re like me and want to be as dark as possible, you can just use a few layers of this one to deepen the tan.
5. Tan Luxe Hydra Mousse, $57
This stuff is the end-all, be-all of self-tanners. Why? Because, not only does it give a flawless shade of bronze, but it also goes on clear and thus comes off clear. It is the only self-tanner that I have ever used that doesn’t come off on my clothes or sheets. There’s nothing worse than waking up with a guy and his sheets look he just slept with an Oompa Loompa. It’s my favorite self-tanner, and constant go-to. And, even though it’s the priciest one on this list, the bottle lasts a while and it’s 100% worth it.
As you’ve probably noticed, mousse is my formula of choice. In all my experience with self-tanners, mousse is the most reliable, consistent, and easy to use. I also think that it fades the best out of all the formulas I’ve tried. We’ve all seen the girl (or been the girl) with splotchy leftover tanner, and we also all know that it’s never a good look. Apparently the newest formula on the market is self-tanner water, which is one I have yet to try. But according to the sales woman at Sephora, it’s the latest self-tanner must-have. So take that as you will.
Images: @savwalts / Unsplash; Amazon; Sephora (3); Ulta
Betches ay receive a portion of revenue if you click a link and purchase a product or service. The links are independently placed and do not influence editorial content.
August is upon us, which means we’re about to enter that traumatizing stage of summer where it’s too hot to even hit the “continue watching” button on Netflix let alone actually leave your house to go outside and live your life tan. Nope, not gonna happen. That said, I can’t let my laziness this weather deter me from looking like the bronzed goddess I was never genetically supposed to be. My only options now are self-tanner, which puts far too much pressure on me not to fuck up the process, or spray tans, aka the reason I looked like a blond Snooki at my senior year semi-formal. It’s a real Sophie’s choice. But at the end of the day using self-tanner requires the bare minimum amount of work so you know I’m out. Spray tans it is then. And nothing is worse than having to scour through Yelp to see which salon is the least hated by Internet trolls. So lucky for you I’ve braved my friend’s reviews the trolls and picked the best places in NYC to get spray tans without looking like Snooki.
1. Beach Bum Tanning
Average Price: $25
We’re into this place mostly because the price is ridiculous. Like, the last time I found any sort of service for less than $25 in New York City it looked sketchier than a Lifetime movie about online dating. So ya know, I’m glad there’s places like Beach Bum Tanning out there to restore trust issues. Plus the spray tanners at this venue mist on a hydrating toner to help prolong the life of your tan before airbrushing you. Blessings.The staff are also huge fans of contouring while they airbrush. So basically they can spray you ten pounds lighter even though you’ve spent the last 2-3 months being a hedonistic asshole. And they say money can’t buy happiness.
2. Gotham Glow
Average Price: $75
The best part about Gotham Glow is that they offer both in-studio services and also house calls. So if you’re lazy AF but, like, still want to look tan (hi) then you have the option of booking the appointment at your home and having the technician come directly to your home to spray tan you. What a world we live in. The in-studio spray tan costs around $75 while the house call service is more like $160 and up, but Gotham Glow is usually worth it. Especially because they can spray you in broader strokes, getting the job done in half the time thus letting you do other important shit with your day like Google whether Cole Sprouse is actually dating his costar on Riverdale because important.
3. Urban Tanz
Average Price: $60
Urban Tanz claims to be the “best tanning in Brooklyn” but, like, it’s Brooklyn and the average person in that area has the complexion of an extra on the set of Twilight so is that really saying much? That said, this place has hella good deals and discounts for large group packages just in case you and your friends want to GTL on a Saturday before hitting the bars. Definitely hit up Urban Tanz before any bridal/bachelorette events to ensure that no one looks like Casper in the group photo.
4. Faux Glow
Location: Midtown East
Average Price: $90
This place is a little more high-end, but if you can afford to waste your money treat yourself then Faux Glow is definitely worth it. The spray tanners are literal artists and spray you with surgical precision. They’re known for their long-lasting glow, most of which last longer than my online dating relationships (think 10 days) and the glow looks authentic AF.
5. The Spa @ Equinox
Location: Upper East Side
Average Price: $70
If you’re already a member of Equinox then congratuFUCKINGlations you get to be skinny, rich, and tan. Boo, you whore. But if you’re a peasant more like me then you’ll get some sort of sick satisfaction out of going to Equinox knowing that over your dead body would you spend $70 on a gym class but you wouldn’t hesitate to give them all your money for the perfect beach glow. Equinox is brand new to the airbrushing business and, like, they’re v eager to please. They even offer coffee and scones before the session because nothing makes me feel more comfortable shedding all my clothes in front of a stranger than carb loading right before. The session takes about 15 minutes and it’s 100 percent the best 15 minutes you’ll ever spend at the gym because instead of leaving sweaty and feeling like you want to die inside (just me?) you’ll leave looking glowy AF.
READ: 8 Tanning Myths You Should Have Stopped Believing Like, Yesterday
I’m a girl with no name if I’m not at least two shades darker than my original skin tone. Stepping off a Caribbean island is not only what I need pronto, but what I need to look like at all times. If my friends don’t greet me with, “ohmygod, you got sooo tan,” then honestly, what’s my purpose in life? Everyone knows being tan makes you an all around happier person. I’d say nicer, too, but then I’d be lying. I prefer to lay out on the beach instead of frying under cancer-causing rays in a machine that was used as a prop in a Final Destination movie. Um, yeah, no thanks. The sun works just fine.
However, laying out can be hella annoying when you want to get some color without tan lines. This isn’t Europe, there aren’t any nude beaches (not that I’d go, tbh), and I’m not about to flash the creepy guy next door. Thanks to retro bathing suit trends, I now have random geometric shapes printed all over my body and it’s not okay. Like, how awk is it if you have a D appointment and your hard-earned tan body just looks diseased?! Since we won’t boycott our fave swimsuit brands and nothing good ever comes easy, here’s how to cover up your tan lines because they are not sexy.
This is not, and I repeat, not the same as the self-tanner you probs use at home. If you ignore this or try to argue, you’ll look like an idiot so just know I’m usually always right. Using the Sephora Perfection Mist Airbrush Foundation is absolutely a lifesaver for evening out awk tan lines. For less than $30, which is saying a lot for something that saves your sex life, you’ll have to find a shade closest to your new tan skin. While holding the can a decent distance away, spray directly onto the targeted areas. With a brush, beauty blender, or even your finger IDGAF, blend the shade into your tan lines for an oil-free seamless tan.
You’ll need to get your card ready and buy a new liquid, waterproof concealer like Clinique Beyond Perfecting Super Concealer that works best based on your fresh tan shade. You didn’t really need an excuse to buy from Sephora anyway, though. This concealer keeps your look down pat for a full 24 hours and stays sweat- and humidity-proof. Fucking gamechanger, I know. By using your fingers, fill in any uneven areas and blend onto your tanned skin to make sure the stripes on your waist are long gone. Trust me, it can’t even pass as a temporary henna tat. Use your everyday foundation to blend with for a flawless finish.
Customized Matte Bronzer
I mean, since it’s already July, chances are you were going to probably buy a new bronzer based on your new glow already. For covering up missed areas, whether that be on your chest or stomach, the Stila Stay All Day Bronzer For Face and Body does wonders. The fade-proof bronzing powder should be applied on areas your strappy bathing suit kept hidden from sunlight. By using a matte instead of shimmer bronzer, you’re going for a natural, smooth look so it doesn’t look like you showered half of your body in glitter. With the appropriate brush, blend all over the area for complete coverage. If your skin tone has pink or lighter tones, be sure to sample and find the right bronzer with rose gold or pearlescent hues. Just do what Kylie did and make swatches on someone else’s arm for you.
The 2000’s were a dark time. The iPhone wasn’t around until much later in the decade. The economy collapsed. Holy shit, 9/11 happened. I almost forgot about that one. Aaliyah died. (RIP Aaliyah.) Flip flops were really popular. Things were especially bleak, however, in the beauty department. The goal in the ’00s was to make yourself look as innocent and as slutty as possible. The aesthetic was “Baby Prostitute” meets “Bratz” meets “Emma, fourth season of Degrassi wherein she contracts throat gonorrhea.”
What I’m saying is, everyone had a tough time with their overall style during this decade. Maybe we were all too busy getting used to the internet and the early stages of social media (AIM), maybe we couldn’t be bothered to do anything but memorize the lyrics to “Ignition Remix,” maybe we were spending too much time at Blockbuster. Tough to pin it down.
Anyway, here are some of the most embarrassing beauty trends that ruled the ’00s.