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Breast Cancer Awareness Month is here!

Can you believe it’s already October? You know what that means… Get ready to see pink ribbons everywhere. This is a cause that’s super-important to me, so I’ll be sharing lots of products that help YOU further the research that will hopefully eradicate breast cancer in our lifetimes, simply by shopping. And this first BCA month post features a few do-gooder goodies that you’ll want to get your mitts on.

Smashbox BCA Be Legendary Lip Gloss: Committed to breast cancer awareness, Smashbox serves up a limited-edition shade year after year, and the brand has outdone itself for 2014. Inspired by the BCA ribbon, “Promise” is the perfect slightly sparkly pink that looks great alone or layered over lipstick for a bit of extra shine. ($5 from each purchase is donated to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.)

Laqa & Co. Lil Lip Duo: Don’t you hate it when you’re on the go and you realize you left your lippie at home? That’s why I keep some sort of lip color in each of my bags, even when they’re stowed away in my closet. These adorable sets feature not one, but two miniature chubby lip pencils—and you can choose subtle or bold shades. The stay-put color lasts well beyond lunch, and hydrates your lips at the same time. (20% of all proceeds go to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.)

Wink Eyelash and Eyebrow Enhancer: Offering a natural alternative to synthetic lash/brow growth serums, Wink is taking a different approach to BCA month. For every tube sold this month, one tube will be donated to a breast cancer survivor, as this serum is gentle enough to help chemotherapy patients regrow their lashes and brows.

So tell us… Are you going to shop for the cause? If so, what’s on your wish list?

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Hands down, the best exfoliator ever

The beauty world is rather small, and we all pick up each other’s tips, scoops and breaking news. But as with all journalism, there’s always the desire to be on the forefront (i.e. the first to report something). While magazine editors get information way in advance so their articles coincide with product introductions months later, most bloggers get their info pretty much as it happens, and it often pops up online that very same day. (This is why I get somewhat of a thrill when I post about something, only to see it covered by a “major” outlet a few days later.) But with so many products launching at any given point in time, it’s impossible to know it all, which is why we all depend on each other. Case in point: An incredibly positive post about the Baiden Mitten on Refinery 29. This review was so compelling that I ordered one immediately, despite the $50 price tag. (For a shower mitt, really???)

As soon as I placed the order, I started receiving emails about how to use it. In a nutshell, these emails gave specific instructions, and told me not to be alarmed if my skin looked like I got a sunburn after using it. This made me a little nervous. These emails also showed pictures of rolls of dead skin coming off, which definitely quelled the fear factor.

Then I tried it. Yes, my skin got pink immediately. And my skin is not sensitive AT ALL. The mitt had a few rolls of greyish dead skin, but not nearly as many as I expected—maybe because I’m pretty diligent about exfoliating in the first place. But I will say that my skin was beyond smooth upon stepping out of the shower. And I think this might just be the key to preventing ingrowns on the backs of my thighs.

TWO WEEKS LATER
I’ve been staring at this mitt for two weeks, but haven’t used it again because I ultimately read the directions. You’re only supposed to use it once a week—without any means of exfoliation in between. Tonight, I finally caved and followed “the rules,” soaking in a tub for 15 minutes (OK, 12 because it’s THAT hard for me to sit still for that long). Then I started scrubbing, and OMG it really was like getting a scrub down at Juvenex, one of my favorite spas in New York City. I had rolls of grey, dead disgusting skin all over me—so much that I had to take a shower after my bath. (You’re not supposed to rinse the mitt while your scrubbing, because apparently that gross dead skin helps pick up more gross dead skin.) And once again, my skin was majorly pink.

Then, since I was in so deep, I decided to actually apply body oil while my skin was still damp. (I’m really, really bad at following this basic beauty editor commandment.) Of course I reached for Mio’s The Activist Firming Active Body Oil because I know for a fact this product is the ultimate when it comes to skin hydration and nourishment.

Thirty minutes later, I hardly recognize my skin. It’s glowy, juicy, and frankly, more alive than it’s been in years. I thought 30 minutes was too much of an investment, but after seeing the returns, it was a small price to pay.

So at this point, I would say that $50 for this skin-invigorating exfoliation mitt was definitely worth it, especially since it’s meant to last for 2 years. Frankly, thanks to the Baiden Mitt, this was a very productive Saturday night. And those glowing review you’re reading are definitely true.

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The finishing touch your makeup needs

Believe it or not, I arrived late to the translucent powder party. Maybe I just wasn’t paying attention, but I never felt the need since my makeup leans toward the low-maintenence side of the spectrum. But when I was in London a few months ago, I noticed my bestie giving herself a light dusting under the eyes and around the T-zone. Then, when I was Tilbury-ed, a bit of powder was an essential step in the process. Upon arrival back at home, I pulled a few from my personal beauty closet and things have never been the same. Now, my makeup stays put better, and my skin is shine-free for hours and hours.

The one challenge has been portability. I’m not one to carry around loads of products and brushes. Then, as luck would have it, Pixi by Petra’s Quick Fix Powder magically appeared in my mailbox. (OK, not magically.) This adorable little jar comes complete with a puff attached, making it perfect for touch-ups on the go. The colorless powder is so finely milled that it’s completely weightless, and I love the airbrushed look it leaves without making my makeup look cakey. The added aloe and cucumber (for soothing purposes) but extra antioxidants don’t hurt either.

So there you have it… And now you have no excuse for looking like a hot mess when you’re running around all day (or night).

Not only does it keep your T-zone shine free for hours, it 

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ALMOST too pretty to open. Fact of the day: The nose behind @juliettehasagun is the grandson of Nina Ricci and the creator Of the #fragrance classic, L’Air du Temps. @perfume #mynewfave @artofperfume

ALMOST too pretty to open. Fact of the day: The nose behind @juliettehasagun is the grandson of Nina Ricci and the creator Of the #fragrance classic, L’Air du Temps. @perfume #mynewfave @artofperfume

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When was the last time you replaced your toothbrush?

OK, I don’t cover oral hygiene that often, but I’m a true believer that a healthy, beautiful smile can be your best accessory (especially on days when your hair or complexion isn’t cooperating). I’m blessed to have bright, white teeth that are pretty much in alignment (the result of 10 months of braces over 20 years ago could use a bit of an Invisalign touch-up), and I can proudly say I’ve only had one cavity. While genes certainly play a role, taking care of your smile goes a long way, which is why I’m so into Goodmouth.

Step one for a healthy smile is a good, CLEAN toothbrush. (I’ll admit that remembering to replace it every 3 months can be a challenge.) But with Goodmouth, you can have new toothbrushes delivered for the whole family at the right time so you never have to worry about it again!

First you take a short quiz that determines the best brush for you, because odds are you’re using one that’s the wrong size, too hard or too soft. (They also offer replacement heads for electric toothbrushes if that’s how you roll.) Then you select how often you want them delivered. From there, carry on per usual, and take comfort in the fact that your oral health is covered.

How great is that?

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A high-tech hair texturizer

The demise of sleek, pin-straight hair has been one of the best things to happen to me in quite some time. Sure, one of the reasons I cut my hair short was to minimize the work involved, and I’ve totally embraced the messy, just rolled out of bed look (probably because I don’t really do much to my hair after I roll out of bed). Dry shampoos and texture sprays are a mainstay for giving my hair a modicum of style, and the latest one I’m super-excited about is Living Proof’s Instant Texture Mist.

Unlike other sprays that give day-1 hair that day-2 look, this weightless mist delivers tousled texture without the dry, stiff feel or dull look. You can use it on wet or dry hair pre- or post-styling, and the results stick around for up to 48 hours—which is great for me because I rarely wash my hair more often than that (and often wait longer).

As for the scientific stuff, it hardly coats your strands with powder or starch. It’s formulated with magnetic texturizers and Living Proof’s patented Volumizing Molecule for 3D results that won’t fall flat.

I haven’t had a chance to pick this up just yet, but have any of you tried it?

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Looks about right for 2 nights. There’s no such thing as #overpacking when you drive. #sawyersbirthdayblowout #spongebobherewecome #beauty #skincare #productjunkie

Looks about right for 2 nights. There’s no such thing as #overpacking when you drive. #sawyersbirthdayblowout #spongebobherewecome #beauty #skincare #productjunkie

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It’s not hump day, it’s PLUMP day (as in the youthful skin and smooth soft soles I’m about to have)! @lippetaylor #isclinical #amope #skincare #antiaging #prettyfeet #beauty

It’s not hump day, it’s PLUMP day (as in the youthful skin and smooth soft soles I’m about to have)! @lippetaylor #isclinical #amope #skincare #antiaging #prettyfeet #beauty

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Smell like summer no matter the season

Seasonal depression kicked in for a lot of people this week, as we officially bid adieu to summer. Personally, I associate warm weather with smells more than sandals, and thanks to Yes to Coconuts, you can enjoy a one-way ticket to the tropics whenever your heart (or nose) desires.

I know I’m not alone in my love for a good coconut-scented product, and this line serves up options that keep both skin and hair happy and hydrated. For face, you’ll love the refreshing Cleansing Wipes, which remove every last trace of makeup while leaving skin smooth and supple. You can also use them from head to toe for a quick pick-me-up after your workout (to hold you over until you make it into a shower, at least). And don’t overlook the Cooling Lip Oil. While I don’t exactly get the cooling part, I’m obsessed with the high-shine and mega-dose of moisture I get from one swipe of this stuff. Consider this a lip treatment that doubles as gloss.

 But in my opinion, the real star of this range is the Head to Toe Restoring Balm. Overflowing with must-have moisture thanks to a blend of coconut oil, shea butter and avocado oil, this antioxidant-rich balm smooths the driest of skin AND even mends split ends. It comes with a little foam applicator, but I just dig in with my fingers, slather it on everywhere from dry heels to rough elbows, and literally soak up the delicious scent.

Rounding out the head-to-toe coconut experience is the Polishing Body Scrub (which fortunately is gentle enough to use on sensitive chest skin and post-shaving), the easy to apply Ultra Light Spray Body Lotion (when the Restoring Balm is just too much) and Protecting Hand and Cuticle Cream, which has become a staple in my pre-bedtime ritual.

Seriously, this line has delayed my need for a real tropical vacation, and it has also managed to stave off the end-of-summer blues! When you try it, you’ll see what I’m talking about!

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This MAJOR mascara doesn’t break the bank

Don’t get me wrong, I love a luxurious mascara, and I have tubes of Tom Ford and Diorshow tucked away in my makeup drawer for those occasions when I actually apply a full face of makeup. But I spend most days chained to my desk at home wearing BB cream and little else, so I can’t justify wasting these pricy products. I always have a drugstore mascara on hand as well, and for the past year or so I’ve been loyal to CoverGirl Lash Blast. (I’m such a fan that I’ve recommended it countless times.) But when I started seeing ads and mentions of L’Oreal Paris’ new Voluminous Miss Manga Mascara, it immediately went on my shopping list. After striking out at my supermarket and Target, I finally found it at Walgreens, and boy, was it worth the wait.

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If you’re wondering what “Manga” is, it refers to Japanese comic books that have a distinct, caricature-like style complete with exaggerated facial features. Designed to deliver doll-like lashes (similar to Yves Saint Laurent’s Mascara Volume Effet Faux Cils Babydoll) at first I was taken aback by the super-bendy wand. But after just one light swipe of the plush blush on the top and bottom, I have long, separated spindly lashes that definitely lend a wide-eyed appearance. I haven’t had any issues with flaking or smudging with the regular formula (a waterproof version is also part of the lineup).

Just in time for fall, this wallet-friendly (read: $7.99) is perfect for giving your fall makeup look a fresh, mod Twiggy-esque spin. I’m loving it!