Love the Sun, But Love SPF More

I can get pretty preachy when I’m passionate about something. Like how Boston Terriers are the cutest breed of dog and how The Bachelorette is quality television, for example. The importance of wearing SPF is also something I step on my proverbial pulpit for. It’s the single most important step in preventing skin cancer, and if that doesn’t quite resonate, hello, the anti-aging benefits should!

Here’s our picks for the best sunscreens of summer, and beyond.  Remember, SPF is a year-round necessity!

Best in Multitasking. Kate Somerville SPF 55 Serum Sunscreen. We trust our faces with Kate completely, and SPF is no exception. We especially love that this antioxidant-rich sunscreen doubles as a serum, eliminating an extra step in our morning routine. $45 for 2oz.

Best in Natural. Josie Maran Protect Daily Sun Protection Argan Oil Infused SPF 40+. Sometimes natural sunscreens can be tough to blend, but not this one. This is infused with Argan Oil, and works to repair skin and improve skin tone. I love the mild, lightweight formula. I find it’s a great base for makeup in the summer, too! $32 for 2 oz.

Best in Texture. SkinCeuticals Physical Fusion UV Defense SPF 50. Absolutely weightless, this is a powerhouse at fighting off the sun’s harmful rays. It contains only physical blockers, as well as a plankton extract (called artemia salina) to increase the skin’s ability to defend against UV and heat stress. As an added bonus, it comes in a universal tint that makes makeup-free days a reality. $30 for 1.7 oz.

Best in Powder. Jane Iredale Powder-Me SPF™ Dry Sunscreen – SPF 30. Ancient clay rich in minerals is at play in this product, and this might be my favorite for the purse. It starts working upon application, and layers well over moisturizer and other products. The tanned version is great for giving arms and legs some sculpt, and the translucent seamlessly disappears while protecting. The only downside? It’s kinda pricey. $44, Jane Iredale

Best in Lips. Bobbi Brown Treatment Lip Shine SPF 15. This formula covers off on the SPF, and is the perfect summery lip. Bright colors in a sheer, juicy formula that’s packed with cocoa and shea butters and jojoba, apricot kernel and avocado oils. It really is a treatment for your lips! $23,

Best in Budget. Aveeno Smart Essentials Daily Nourishing Moisturizer SPF 30. Aveeno does sun protection very well, and I really appreciate how they included SPF 30 in the Smart Essentials day moisturizer. Another multitasker! The star ingredient is southernwood extract, an antioxidant that helps soothe stressed skin. $15 for 2.5 oz. Ulta

Best in Ingredients. PCA Skin Perfecting Protection SPF 30. There are so many rock star ingredients in here, it’s mind-blowing. Caffeine, Silybin (a.k.a. milk thistle), bearberry, licorice root extract, lactic acid, kojic acid, among others, work to reduce skin discoloration and prevent future hyperpigmentation. Sun spots, you’ve been warned. I use this mainly on my arms, chest and neck but it is also good for the face. $24 for 1.7 oz.

What are your SPF must-haves? Share with us, and tell us why!


Support the Cause: Beauty and Breast Cancer Awareness

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and many companies show their support by donating proceeds from special edition “pink” products towards breast cancer research. Even though October is almost over, there’s still time for some pink power. Here’s a few of our favorite “pink” beauty buys for 2010.

Stila released a special palette in their travel series, Empowered in Pink. It is available at Ulta this October. For $10, you get a convertible color and four eyeshadows.

Continue reading Support the Cause: Beauty and Breast Cancer Awareness

Jane Iredale Chocoholicks Lip Glosses


How cute is this Jane Iredale Chocoholicks Lip Glosses set? I give Jane Iredale an A+ for presentation and cleverness with this one. The idea is great and for the most part, it is carried out pretty well.

In the box you get 4 chocolate themed lip glosses in Strawberry Cream (sheer pink), Truffle (sheer chocolate brown), Caramel (sheer bronze) and Chocolate Orange (sheer copper) complete with little paper wrappers. When you open each one up, it is like biting into a chocolate truffle… they smell that good.

Then there is the color of glosses, love them all! They would work well on any one, there is just enough pigment to be noticeable. I’ve been wearing them without anything on underneath and I get that “your lip color but better” look that I love so much, only with a little shine and sparkle added in for good measure.

I do have a bit of a problem with these lip glosses though, the texture is a little on the thick, sticky side. Usually I like my lip glosses to be a little thinner than this. These also seems to have a very slight graininess to them that reminds me of Ole Henriksen’s Exfoliating Lip Balm. I’m a forgiving person though… I can live with the texture,  all in the name of chocolate. 😉

Easy On The Eyes

Jane Iredale's PureLash Mascara This summer I spent several weekends in the Poconos enduring itchy, watery eyes and countless sneezes. I switched from my usual mascara to Jane Iredale’s PureLash Mascara in Agate Brown. I found that it was the perfect fix for my sensitive eyes. PureLash is very gentle, has no scent and is non-irritating. It wore pretty well throughout the day, never needing to be reapplied. Like the website promises, it didn’t flake or smear and held up during my worst sneezing fits. In addition, I found that it was very easy to remove, unlike other waterproof mascaras. PureLash’s formula is very glossy and quite lengthening as well. This is a must have for a natural lashes look that you can count on.

Love Gloss

There are numerous types of lip glosses out on the market. For the most part, I have been loyal to MAC. But lo and behold, Jane Iredale PureGloss for Lips might make me a convert. Jane Irredale is known for their mineral based line of makeup. I am a huge fan of mineral based foundations, so was very excited to use this product.

Jane Iredale PureGloss First off, this gloss comes in the cutest and easiest to apply tube. My favorite part is the great applicator that it comes with. It is a sponge tipped one that makes the gloss glide on perfectly and evenly. The gloss goes on creamy and does not feel sticky or tacky when worn. It has nice staying power as well, lasting a good couple of hours, even through a meal. PureGloss also has a slight tingly minty flavor that is not over powering and annoying like some of the mint flavored glosses tend to be.

The color I used was Cotton Candy, which, by just looking at the tube doesn’t appear so great, but when applied is a beautiful color. It is a soft coral/pink color with a hint of shimmer that makes the lips look shiny and full. All in all, this is a great new addition to my ever growing lipgloss collection.

Pure Pressed Minerals

I’ve been using mineral makeup for almost the last two years and one of my biggest frustrations with it has been the mess it makes and how inconvenient it is to take with me in my purse or while traveling. The powder usually goes all over and by the time I arrive at my destination I am dipping my brush into much more than the recommended amount for application.

janeiredale_purepressedminerals.jpg Enter Jane Iredale’s PurePressed Pressed Minerals SPF 18. This product is awesome! It is a concealer, foundation, powder and sunscreen all in one! I like that it provides great coverage, has a wide range of colors, and is a snap to apply. I love that I can travel with this base – no more messy powder all over my makeup bag or hotel vanity. Plus it’s so natural – no oil, talc, FD&C dyes or parabens. So far the only drawbacks I can see are that it isn’t the simplest to get in my area (only sold at select high end salons, doctors offices and boutiques) – but you can buy it online – and it’s a bit pricey at $48 compared to my old mineral makeup that sells for $35. However – for the convenience and quality it’s worth it!