We SAID: Stripdown

Staff Writer

Any good esthetician will tell you that the key basics to good skin lie in three steps: Cleanse, exfoliate, and moisturize. How you get there is as individual as age, skin type, climate, time of year, and a host of other variables that for most of us… means lots and lots and LOTS of trial and error. This is especially true for exfoliation. stripdown

Those who are still big fans of physical exfoliation may find some satisfaction with Skin Authority Bamboo Ginseng Scrub. The brand quickly found a cozy spot in the heart of skin care professionals because of its no-nonsense approach to skin care. Simple packaging and clear ingredients shy away outrageous claims and focus instead on the hole grail goal of any given consumer: results. Loofah and Oats help slough away those dreaded dead skin cells and pave the way for feel good ingredients like ginseng, bamboo and chamomile. Directions specify using all over the body, but we couldn’t find any indication that it couldn’t be used on the face so… happy scrubbing!

Exfoliating pads are the new norm, but there’s nothing quite like Neogen Bio-Peel Gauze Peeling Wine. The double sided pads are soaked with a combination of grapes, berries and two types of acid that promise to renew your face with a single swipe. Recommended use is several times a week, but we found it gentle enough for nearly nightly use. Neogen is the one of the latest companies to join the influx of K-Beauty in the united states. Cosmetics behemoth Sephora has already picked up selected items from the brand, and there have already been public calls to expand the product range.

One of the most unusual exfoliation experiences comes courtesy of Koh Gen Doh, which blended caffeine, rosemary, sage and Japan Hot Spring Water to create the Soft Gommage Spa Gel. Applied to dry skin, this gel beads into rubbery particles and claims to do away with dead skin cells, stimulate circulation and encourage cell renewal.

Our top picks aside, there’s no shortage of products that promise to shed the outermost layer of dead skin cells and reveal fresh new skin. Experts agree that no matter which formulation you choose, the best approach is to start slow and upgrade the strength of exfoliation as you build tolerance.


We SAID: Anatomy of a Peel

Staff Writer

Beauty for SS/16 is more about the natural skin shining through than coverage with makeup or light reflecting pigments and creams. That means a flawless finish has to begin with skin care that sets the perfect canvas for the ultimate SS/16 Beauty expression. If you’re ready to go beyond the daily ritual of cleansing, exfoliating and moisturizing, it may be time to dive deeper with a peel.

Chemical peels are a great way to ‘refresh’ your appearance by breaking the proteins on the skin’s surface to accelerate the revelation of fresh skin underneath. Done safely (read; by a professional), peels can do away with acne, blemishes, scarring, fine lines and wrinkles and even out overall skin tone. The kind of peel you choose depends entirely on your skin’s needs, potential for side effects (scarring or hyper-pigmentation), and commitment to the recovery process.

Glycolic Acid: Essentially low-to-medium risk; a light glycolic peel can refresh the skin without any actual ‘peeling’ action. The percentage of your peel (average %15-%30) should be determined based on expected results and recovery care and time. Although there are a wide range of glycolic peels available on the internet, many of them are not PH balanced and can end up doing more harm than good, even if left on the skin for a few minutes and neutralized immediately after. Consult a professional and do a patch test first.

TCA: Higher risk peel that uses Trichloroacetic Acid to encourage actual ‘peeling’ of the surface skin. TCA peels are applied in ‘layers’, so the more it’s layered onto your skin, the stronger the peel becomes. A cautious professional will used a self-neutralizing formula; once the peel is done working the surface of the skin becomes tight, breaks, and begins to peel away to reveal fresh skin underneath. During this process it is imperative that you do not agitate the skin in any way with excessive heat, steam, or exfoliation. Failure to do so can result in deep scarring, cystic acne and even contact dermatitis.

Fraxel: Instead of chemical topicals, Fraxel uses a laser treatment to delve works below the skin’s surface to stimulates your skin’s natural collagen. It is absolutely safe to say that Fraxel is not for everyone, particularly those predisposed to keloids or hyper pigmentation. There is also a chance for blistering and burns and infection. But patients who’ve undergone the treatment (and been diligent during recovery) absolutely swear by its results.

No matter what peel you decide, after care is extremely important and sunscreen is non-negotiable.


We SAID: SS/16 Skin

Staff Writer

With fingers crossed and bated breath, we await new ‘fresh’ ideas on Summer skin that translate from runway to reality, and do not involve the (hopefully) dated contour. Fresh picks are already in the pipe from some of biggest brands in makeup; The Makeup Show LA wrapped its 10th year with attractive offerings from the likes of NARS and Make Up For Ever… that might just do away with the contoured cake face.

Many brands are already looking forward to Summer with glowing offerings. Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics laid out the new Metallics, with the dark bronze color Artifact clocking in as the most wearable. At the show, Beautylish highlighted Professional Makeup Artist liquidlagunaNatasha Denona, who is known for her glowing products. Of note are the All Over Glow powders, which give a nearly skin like finish to a wide range of skin tones. The result is more subtle than full-on shimmer, and the finely milled formula makes it easy to apply with brush or fingers.

The biggest prize may come from NARS, who released a liquid version of the bestselling Laguna Bronzer. The fluid shimmer is opaque enough to be worn as a sheer to medium coverage foundation, or can be buffed out for the most subtle glow. Layered under foundation, it gives skin just the right glowing boost. Worn alone, it can be tempered with a loose or pressed powder. Even less than flawless skin will benefit; the formula helps blur imperfections and makes your skin look like your skin on a sun-kissed beauty steroid.

She SAID: Spring Skin

Shahada Karim

Bobbi Brown recently, beautifully, hopefully described the coming trend for Spring makeup and skin care and finishing. She believes that the heavy contoured looks best displayed on social media will soon give way to softer and more realistic finishes. Gone will be the harsh contour and highlight, replaced instead with luminous soft skin with flushed colors in hushed tones.

Those natural looks were gorgeously on display in 2016 Spring Collections, from Rodarte to Alexander McQueen. Instead of sharp line and bold colors, there were soft washes of pastel on flawless skin, topped with natural brows and softly colored lips.

The easiest way to take these looks from runway to reality is with a realistic looking spring skin 4tinted moisturizer, soft blush colors and lip stains that leave more flush than flash.

NARS timed the release of their new Matte Skin Tint perfectly to coincide with the new runway looks. More sheer pigment than foundation, the formula instantly mattes out skin with little to no coverage. If your skin is less than perfect, you may need some help with a concealer or color corrector to really make the most of the finish.

Ardere Cosmetics will soon launch a line of concealers and color correctors that just might do the trick. Due to hit online and in store in March, the highly pigmented formula works spring skin 5to conceal dark circles and hyper-pigmentation, while reflecting light in the most natural way possible.

One of the coolest ways to get that springtime flush of color comes from the Queen of Cool herself, Gwen Stefani. The singer and fashion designer teamed up with Urban Decay to release collection of eyeshadows, blushes and lipsticks. The most versatile piece in the collection is the blush palette, which is packed with six spring skin 3blushes that can be used alone or mixed for a bespoke result. The highly pigmented formulas worked when lightly patted (not swirled) on. Several sheer layers on cheeks and even eyes can give the face an overall flush that reads like your skin, on its best day.

Etude House Sweet Cherry Tint is the perfect way to top off the entire look, with a combination of moisture and a gentle flush of color.


We SAID: True Grit

Staff Writer
We’re all about going the organic/natural route. But it seems like everyone else is these days too, and you know what that means: prepare to pony up your first born for the mrbeanprivilege. The more popular a trend or beauty item, the more money said thing is guaranteed to cost you. Way of the world right? Maybe not.
A small enthusiastic group from Melbourne Australia is bucking the trend with their company Mr Bean. It’s a collection of simple, coffee-based body scrubs (with organic roots) for about the price of two premium cups of joe.
The blends combine ground coffee, cold-pressed coconut oil, sugars, salts, cacao and vitamin E. Despite their abrasive nature, the folks at Mr. Bean say the scrubs are gentle enough to use on even the most sensitive skin. Among the claims: the caffeine from the coffee will help stimulate blood flow and fight cell fat. And Sea salt will absorb toxins, and help clean the skin.
After about a week of use, here’s what we know for sure: We’re not any skinnier (maybe our fat cells are a bit more stubborn than everyone else’s), but our skin is definitely smoother. So kudos for a relatively inexpensive coffee scrub, that smells good and gets the job done.

She SAID: Autumn Prep

Terri Kennerson

We’re more than a month away from the official start of Autumn, but it’s never to early to hit the ‘reset’ button on too much unfiltered sun, surf, and quintessential summer stuff. Frolicking in UVA/UVB rays have long since passed the point of ignorance; we know far too much about the short and long term effects (although millions of Americans still risk exposure by simply driving in their cars) of sun damage to be so careless. But let’s be honest, some of us still do it, even when we don’t mean to.


Just because the next season is rolling through, doesn’t mean we shelve the sunscreen. If  summertoautumn1you’ve been diligent enough to wear it every day, and reapply as necessary, then you’re already ahead of the game. And if you’re intelligently blocking both UVA and UVB rays effectively, even better. The sun keeps shining all year round, even if we can’t see it. Cloud cover doesn’t mean better skin protection, so keep a bottle handy and reapply early and often.


Skin Care shifts are as individual as they come, but it’s a fair bet to say you’re going to need to adjust your skin care needs as the season changes. summertoautumn2This goes for both face and body care. Humidity levels typically drop, prompting a boost in moisturizing needs for all skin types. Even oily types have to think about more moisture, to keep skin from overproducing sebum to try and protect itself. When searching for new skin care, think ‘subtle’ rather than drastic. Massive changes in ingredients, moisture levels or formulations might cause your skin to react negatively.


Protect, protect, protect! Jump-start your seasonal hair care routine with somsummertoautumn3ething indulgent like a hot oil or deep conditioning treatment. Hair tends to take a beating over the summer (carefree styles tend to leave hair exposed to harsh environmental conditions), so a little TLC goes a long way to get tresses ready for the cooler months. On average, all hair types tend to be drier and grow slower in Autumn and Winter. Now is a good time to start thinking of richer formulations for shampoos and conditioners, and maybe invest in a really good deep and leave-in conditioner. Whether you go natural or chemical with formulations, tried and tested ingredients like Honey (hydrating), Avocado (protecting), and Olive Oil (moisturizing) are staples to look for in both.