For as long as I have been using foundation, I have been strictly part of the fingers-as-brushes club. I had a brief affair with the beautyblender – who didn’t? – before returning to my set of ten God-given applicators. It was never for any reason other than the fact that every foundation brush I tried left my makeup streaky, uneven and looking like it had been applied by a toddler with good intentions. And yet I was compelled to purchase this foundation brush when I heard Kathleen Lights raving about it in a video.
As you will have gleaned from the title of this post, BOY am I glad I did! This foundation brush is incredible. Game-changing. I will sing its praises to any unsuspecting soul who complements my makeup from here on out. It applies my BB cream so, so smoothly and evenly and easily. I doubt the heart shape has anything to do with this but I’m not willing to take that chance and try another. Besides, it’s darling. It’s also limited edition, it looks like they come out with one each year, so you can bet I’ll be scooping up a backup (or two).
When it comes to skincare products, I prefer to buy over DIY 99% of the time. But there are two exceptions that are so easy to make and call for ingredients that are almost always on hand. Try whipping up these two beauty recipes to get warmed up for all the cooking that will be happening this time next week.
A skin-smoothing, cellulite-reducing, anti-inflammatory coffee body scrub is a must this time of year. All you do is mix coffee grounds with sugar or sea salt and enough olive or sweet almond oil to hold it together. I prefer the finer grain of sugar in a scrub but to each her own. Olive oil has anti-aging antioxidants and super hydrating squalene while sweet almond oil has vitamins E and A which offer protective, moisture-retaining abilities. You can’t go wrong.
Lip scrub is one product I’ve always preferred to make so I can get the consistency just right. Most call for coconut oil which gives me a horrid rash unless it’s in an itty bitty quantity. I like equal parts brown sugar, white sugar and honey mixed with a little olive oil. It’s super effective and not too messy. I store it in an old lip balm tub and add a pinch of cinnamon when I want a little plumping.
I first read about infrared saunas years ago in an article about Shape House in LA. I knew I had to try it so I waited patiently until it opened in NYC and booked my first session on the Upper East Side.
I went in knowing only what was on the Shape House website. In the dead of winter, laying in a heated bed and doing nothing for 55 minutes was appealing enough. I was hooked after one session. After my third, I became a member so I could go once a month.
The entire experience is extremely relaxing. Upon arrival, I change into the provided cotton clothes and am led to my curtained-off station. The attendant helps me climb into the sleeping bag-like infrared blanket on what looks like a massage bed, gives me alkaline water, headphones and a remote so I can watch a show. Afterward, I’m helped out of the blanket and led to another room for tea, orange slices and more alkaline water. I’m drenched in sweat and my skin glows.
The difference between a regular sauna and an infrared sauna is that an infrared sauna uses light rays to heat your skin while a regular sauna heats the air. Infrared saunas penetrate the skin deeper and heat at a lower temperature so the body can tolerate it for longer.
Infrared saunas offer a host of beauty-boosting benefits. Aside from a glowing complexion, they’ve been found to boost collagen production. This study even showed benefits on skin texture and wrinkles.
Additionally, it burns calories by heating up your core temperature which increases the heart rate, helps you relax by balancing cortisol levels, and relieves muscle aches by decreasing lactic acid buildup.
The feeling that I’ve had an entire body facial isn’t the only factor that keeps me coming back – it’s also the hour reprieve from the stressful, dirty, freezing city. So worth it.