beauty blog

Pre-Shampoo Hair Treatments, Get On Board

pre-shampoo-hair-treatmentsHave you ever thought about nourishing your your hair before you shampoo?  Yes, it sounds nuts, since you're just going to wash it out, but pre-shampoo hair treatments are popping up everywhere and the benefits are worth the extra effort.  Incorporate them into your beauty routine once a week or as needed and trust me, you'll love the results.  Here are three pre-shampoo treatments on my radar.

Philip Kingsley Elasticizer, $49 at

This pre-shampoo treatment helps to increase elasticity, bounce and shine in your hair.  When your hair's wet, it stretches.  Leave this light-weight cream on your strands for 10-20 minutes before shampooing to ensure your hair's moisturized and won't break when combing it out after washing.

Hair Essentials Nourishing Hair Oil, $29.99 at

This hair oil is made with a combination of oils like coconut, rosemary, lavender, cedar wood to help moisturize and nourish your scalp and hair.  Apply a small dollop on dry hair and massage it into your scalp and take it all the way down to your ends.  Leave it on for an hour before shampooing.

Kerastase Metamorph'oil, $44 at

A combination of six different oils, oriander, coco, rice bran, argan, cranberry and rosemary, this pre-shampoo treatment acts like a purifier for your hair.  Think cleanse.  It helps to remove dirt, oil and product build up before you shampoo.  Apply a quarter size amount to dry hair and massage it into your hair shaft. Leave in for 2-3 minutes before rinsing and shampooing.

Hot Ingredient for Sensitive Skin: Goat Milk

kate-somerville-goat-milkHave sensitive skin?  Or maybe your skin's been acting up?  Last week while in LA, I visited the Kate Somerville Clinic for a facial and fell in love with goat milk.  Found in many soaps and moisturizers, the ingredient is great for soothing and calming your skin.  Here's the scoop.

"Goat milk treats redness and inflammation and mildly exfoliates with Lactic Acid. I suffered from Eczema as a child and my parents would add goats milk to the bath to calm my skin," commented Kate Somerville.

It's so gentle that anyone can use it, but people with dry or sensitive skin will reap the most benefits.  Kate Somerville makes Goat Milk Cream that saved my skin and with the harsh winter weather, may just be what you've been looking for, too.

5 Celebrity Epic Beauty Fails


New Years is a time for a fresh start, a clean slate, a time for “out with the old and in with the new”, a time to say New Year new… you get the point. Though January is a great time to renew your look, maybe even give yourself a little makeover, make sure you think before you do anything too drastic.  Yea, we know hair grows back, but sometimes being spontaneous isn’t all the rage.  Need proof?  Allow us to remind you of these celebrity beauty mishaps.

Renee's Plastic Surgery


The before and after of Renee Zellweger's plastic surgery is truly shocking - a real celebrity beauty fail. Renee seems nearly unrecognizable after her plastic surgery. We say forget the scalpel; natural is in.

Miley's Missing Brows


This year, Miley Cyrus bleached her eyebrows and though this was quite daring, it's another decision that requires lots of thought before commitment. Dark, thick eyebrows are the way to go.

Angelina's Powder Overdose


We're a huge fans of powder, but Angelina Jolie might have gone a little overboard. If you're going to use a powder, make sure it's light-weight and invisible.

Kim K. Gets Crispy


We can't say how important it is to take care of your skin and use proper sunscreen. Kim Kardashian clearly forgot this important message when she fell asleep in the sun for too long. Can you say ouch?

Britney's Buzz


Britney Spears probably didn't think too much before making this bold decision. Make sure, before shaving your head, that you can really rock it. I recommend a bold lipstick with this look to make it work best.

Behind the Look: Jenny Cho

jenny-choWelcome to “Behind the Look” – a new feature that showcases the talent behind the looks we love – the real celebrities in my eyes.  

Stylist Jenny Cho works regularly with leading ladies including Jennifer Lawrence, Amanda Seyfried and Jennifer Garner.  Not only should you read this interview to get to know her, but also because her best piece of advice is to, "Keep it dirty."  My kind of girl!  Enjoy!

Describe the most exciting project you’ve worked on lately.

It seems like every project is as exciting as the last one so it's hard for me pick just one!

What’s your beauty philosophy?

Be your own kind of beautiful.

What are the top five must-haves in your kit and why? 

jenny-choSuave Professionals Touchable Finish Lightweight Hold Hairspray – I love this hairspray because it locks in style without leaving hair stiff or crunchy.

Suave Professionals Natural Infusion All Day Body Leave -In Foam with Seaweed – Effortless waves is one of my favorite styles and this leave-in foam helps you get it. I’ll usually apply this foam to towel-dried hair before blowing it dry for added volume and movement.

harry-josh-flat-ironHarry Josh Pro Tools Flat Iron – It’s important to invest in a good hair dryer and straightener, and Harry Josh makes excellent ones.

Hot Tools 2-inch Curling Iron – I can do almost anything with this iron, whether it’s beachy or wavy hair, adding body, or giving a slight bend.

Ibiza CX1 Brush – I'm really loving this brush right now. It's amazing for detailing hair.

Have you discovered any new products lately that you find impressive? I'm seriously so impressed and in love with the new Suave Professionals products for 2015, but you’ll have to wait till January! Lots of exciting innovations to come!

Spill your best beauty advice. Keep it dirty. Don't wash your hair every day; second-day hair is always better for styling. Second-day hair doesn’t have to mean greasy though!

What’s the one tip or trick that you think all women should know?

One tip that every woman should know is having gorgeous hair is healthy hair. Keep your hair in good condition by using weekly deep conditioning treatments and follow up with regular trims. It doesn't have to be every 6-8 weeks, but you can tell when your hair doesn't behave and move the right way. That's when you know you need to put a little life back into that hair of yours, and get to the salon!

You can follow Jenny Cho on Instagram and Twitter to see all of her work.

Charcoal: Hot Ingredient for 2015

The latest ingredient causing a buzz in the beauty industry is charcoal.  Why?  Because it helps to absorb impurities in your skin (think toxins and gunk, ew).  Interested?  Of course you are!  Here are some ways to start using it right away.  Say good-bye to your black heads!


Biore just released a whole collection with the hot ingredient.  Because of the added ingredient, even their famous pore strips are more effective.  Try using the Deep Pore Charcoal Cleanser or the Pore Penetrating Charcoal Bar (yes, a black soap bar) to help draw out the gunk in your pores.


To take things a step further use Origins Clear Improvement, an active charcoal mask, once to twice a week to really rid toxins in your skin.

Get the Look: Kate Hudson's Waves

Kate Hudson looked stunning at the People magazine awards with her signature beach waves. Hairstylist David Babaii, created what he calls, the “classic Kate."  Want to get the look? You’re in luck, because we got the how to.

To start off, tousle your hair upside until dry to add volume. Once dry, mist a heat protectant spray evenly throughout. Then, grab a two inch section of hair and using the ghd Curve Classic Curling Iron, wind the hair around the iron while keeping the iron open. This technique creates a soft, bouncy wave. After you’ve curled your hair to that Kate Hudson effortless perfection, separate a few strands with your fingers and gently tousle your hair at the roots with your fingertips.

Stubborn flyaways ruining your look? Babaii says to use the iron to smooth at the root. Start at the root of the two inch section, run your iron through the first four inches of your hair two times. If you have thick hair, try doing smaller sections.

Coffee Scrubs, Because Cellulite

coffee-scrub Whether you're into buying or DIYing, coffee scrubs are always a good idea.  Not only do they help exfoliate dry skin, but they also temporarily minimize the appearance of cellulite. That's right, cellulite.  So if you're toughing out the cold this winter, or are heading out of town and will be putting on a bikini, you need this in your life.  Here are one of my favorite coffee scrubs (worth the money) and of course, a DIY option.

BUY: Juara Invigorating Coffee Scrub, $37

This is one of the most invigorating, delicious and pampering scrubs I've ever come across.  Made with French Roasted Indonesian Coffee, it smells like the strongest cup you've ever had and helps to smooth cellulite by stimulating circulation to the skin.

DIY: Coffee Scrub

Besides coffee, one of the key components to this scrub (or any DIY scrub) is coconut oil.  It's moisturizing properties can't be beat.  With three ingredients, this one's easy to mix up.  Just make sure you melt the coconut oil before beginning your mixture.

1/2 cup ground coffee 1/2 cup coconut palm sugar 1/4 cup coconut oil

So what's the plan?  Are you buying or DIYing?

Holiday Gifts Beauty Editors Would Die For

gift-guide-beauty-editorsWhat do you get a girl that has everything?  Well, my beauty writer friends who spilled the holiday gifts they'd be gifting this season also shared the holiday gifts they'd die for.  Without further ado, here's our wish list.  Hopefully this helps you, too!

A beauty item I'd die to receive?  A week long trip to a wellness retreat that's all about eating clean, doing yoga and meditation.  I'm dying to go! - Yours Truly

My dream gift is a four-handed massage at a fancy spa, where post-treatment champagne and truffles are the standard. The idea is so decadent, and I'm too practical to save up for it, but doesn't that sound amazing? - Annie Tomlin,

I'd die to receive the Charlotte Tilbury Uptown Girl set.  Everything you need for a chic, sultry makeup look all in a single package. It just speaks to my soul. - Amber Katz,

A spa weekend in northern California wine country. The combination of massages, spa treatments and red wine is pretty much my idea of heaven. - Jamie Stone, HonestlyJamie

All I ever want out of my beauty lifestyle quiet time to sleep, so in a perfect world my husband would magically surprise me with 6 or 8 new Hastens pillows, a cup of that herbal tea, and some serious sleep time. - Bryce Gruber, LuxurySpot

The beauty gift i'd DIE to receive is lipo (I won't even lie, it's that and always will be). – Aly Walansky, ALittleAlyTude

My husband and I are buying an apartment, and we're doing a little work to it. I'm majorly lobbying for a vanity. Nothing fancy, just a place to sit while I get ready. - Polly Blitzer, BeautyBlitz

I would love nothing more in AMERICA than to receive an all expense paid spa getaway for some serious, much needed R&R. The Canyon Ranch Lenox in The Berkshires reads like a dream come true! - Andrea Arterbery, TheArtofBerry

It's really important for your sanity to take time off from crazy schedules and exploding email inboxes, and I've been dying to try Aire Ancient Baths in TriBeCa, where you can soak in pools and steam baths until there's not a care in the world. A relaxing massage plus a few hours to zen away in the baths would be heavenly. – Courtney Dunlop,

Dry Bar Big Hair Don't Care Holiday KitI mean come on with this. It has everything I'd need to style my hair from day to day. Not only am I in desperate need for some new hair brushes, Dry Bar products are hard to come by anyway and they're amazing. The use I would get out of all of these luxurious products makes it worth the steep price point. – Emily Rekstis, BeautySweetSpot contributor

I'm OBSESSED with the Endless Silky Eye Pens from Pixi -- the gift set is only $18.  The liners go on like butter, are highly pigmented and STAY PUT. These are my favorite affordable eye pencils, and I tell everyone about them. I would never refuse a gift set of 5. – Sheyma Azam, BeautyandtheFeastBlog

Drybary Barfly Blowout membership – I am so lazy about my hair and it looks pretty much the same every day. With someone else in charge of the heat tools, I'd mix it up a little. Plus, nothing puts me in a good mood like a blowout. – Liesa Goins, freelance beauty editor

You know the “One day if I was really rich…” fantasy scenraios where you could have a personal chef or a water slide in your backyard? I’d take an on-call masseuse. The knots in my back never go away thanks to endless hours craned over my laptop, and I don’t think I’d tire of a massage every few days. – Joanna Douglas, Yahoo! Beauty

3 Ways to Protect Your Skin this Winter


Is the heat on full blast in your home yet?  No matter where you live, winter will affect your beauty regimen in many different ways and not always for the better.  Take your skin for example.  The heat dries it out and cold weather chaps it.  (#winning)  Unless you stay ahead of the game, you could be in for a brutal beauty beating.  Here are some tips to ensure your skin beats the winter beauty blues.

1. Stay hydrated.  Yes, how you treat your body has a direct correlation on how you look on the outside.  I'm not telling you to make sure you drink eight glasses of water a day, but keep up with whatever works for you water, tea, hot chocolate.  Pick your poison.

2. Moisturize as soon as you get out of the shower.  Applying moisturizer to damp skin locks it in.  I'm currently using Curel Rough Skin Rescue Smoothing Lotion.  It makes my skin feel instantly soft, and is ideal for even the driest, flaky skin (my feet are bad!).

3. Plug in a humidifier.  It'll pull more moisturizer into the air and help prevent your skin from drying out.  I sleep with one on nightly.


*This post is sponsored by Curél, but all of my thoughts and actions are true.

Behind the Look: Ammon Carver

ammon-carverWelcome to “Behind the Look” – a new feature that showcases the talent behind the looks we love – the real celebrities in my eyes.  

In his downtime, NYC hairstylist, Ammon Carver, coifs stars like Kate Beckinsale, Molly Sims, Amanda Seyfried, Kirsten Dunst and Leighton Meester, but his most recent project has taken his career to the next level.  He just opened his own salon, with a twist – it's part photography studio.  Pretty cool, huh?  And his five must haves are essential enough for us all to take note of.

Describe the most exciting project you’ve worked on lately.

Aside from opening the Ammon Carver Studio, I am currently working on a project that involves providing a day of beauty to women in shelters for abuse. We will put together a team of hairstylists and done our time to make sure these women feel their most beautiful.

What’s your beauty philosophy?

Beauty begins within…if you want to look your best, it begins with being selective about what ingredients (food, and products) that you put in and on your body

ammon-carverWhat are the top five must-haves in your kit and why? 

Mason Pearson cushion bush….gives the best polish possible.

Fine tooth tail comb….perfect for backcoming and detailing.

Working hairspray, my go-to is Keratin Healing Oil Lustrous Finishing Spray…..buildable hold without any mattifying or flaking.

Hair bungee ties….ponytail and bun perfection.

Duckbill sectioning clips….keeping my work organized is the only way to create certain hairstyles….need to be able to cleanly separate the hair without leaving marks.

Have you discovered any new products lately that you find impressive?

Lately I love the aerosol Texture Sprays…Dry Texture Spray from L'ANZA is seriously amazing because it not only gives sexy, second-day texture, but it acts like a dry shampoo as well.

 Spill your best beauty advice.

Eat well, get good exercise…you would be surprised how good fitness and nutrition can affect your overall hair/skin/nails beauty.

What’s the one tip or trick that you think all women should know?

I think all women with long hair should learn how to do at least a simple braid.  Braids are  a trend that cycles in and out more than any other.  They are a great way to secure annoying bangs, they serve perfectly for when your hair is under a hood during the winter, or when you want a fresh look at the beach…..learn how to braid your hair. You will open a ton of style options by doing so. Short haired women should learn to play with hair accessories to mix up their look.

5 Benefits of Beauty Oil

beauty-oilWe here at BeautySweetSpot cannot live without our favorite beauty oils (hello, Rodin Olio Lusso). They provide us with so many health and beauty benefits, but the best part is that just one small drop can get the job done, and the job done well.  Here are just five reasons you need to keep oil in your vanity in order to survive the dry winter months.

1. Lock in Moisture

Not only does beauty oil provide you with super soft skin, but they actually lock moisture in to provide longer all-day nourishment. You can mix it into your moisturizer or apply it as is after a warm shower and you’re skin will seriously thank you this winter.

2. Prep Your Lips

Oil is a key ingredient in a lot of DIY beauty recipes. Mix a little brown sugar in some olive oil and use it as an exfoliating lip balm. You’re lips will benefit from the exfoliating and moisturizing aspects of this recipe and it's great to do as prep before putting on your lipstick.

3. Remove Makeup

Run out of eye makeup remover?  Oil can break down your eye makeup while remaining gentle enough to keep from irritating your eyes.

4. Prevent Ingrowns

Using beauty oil before shaving preps the skin for a clean, smooth shave while moisturizing. This will leave your skin post-shave feeling sleek and refreshed.

5. Strengthen and Condition Your Hair

Beauty oils aren’t just for your skin. They can also seriously strengthen and condition your hair. Just apply a small drop to your palms and rub them through the ends of your hair. Once you apply, the hair absorbs it all in so there’s no need to continue packing it on.

Of course, we understand that you might be hesitant about applying oil directly to your face or in your hair as it sounds like it would do more damage then good. But trust us on this one, we wouldn't steer you wrong.  Check out this post for some oil suggestions.

Neon Eye Shadow: Tips from A Makeup Artist

neon-eye-shadowI'm not sure if you noticed, but neon eye shadow is having a moment.  I first noticed backstage during Spring 2014 fashion shows.  Don't shy away, because everyone can pull it off, it's all about how you wear it.  To avoid looking like a clown, I spoke with Celebrity Makeup Artist, Jamie Greenberg, to find out the do's and don'ts of wearing neon on your lids.

According to Greenberg, the most cautious way to embrace the trend is to use the neon shadows as an accent.  "Try applying them as a liner, creating a pop of color around the eye."  This is one look even I can get behind.  Of course while there are no rules, there are guidelines.  Choose your look and stick with it.  Whether it be a tight line or slightly blurred out, keep it clean.

on-eye-shadow-2When it comes to choosing a neon shadow shade that suits you, Greenberg says that neon blue is the most universally flattering.  It goes with all skin tones, hair and eye colors. My favorite is the mark Neon Gaze Eye Shadow in Neon Gaze.  I don't believe on spending a lot on trendy items, but this solo shadow is only $10.

neon-eye-shadow-3However, if you just can't wait to embrace your inner 80's self and feel bold enough to experiment with multiple shades, try Urban Decay's Electric Pressed Pigment Palette, $49 for the whole thing and embrace the intensity of the pink, orange and yellow.

Philips PureRadiance Facial Cleansing System: Video


When I first received the Philips PureRadiance Facial Cleansing System, I was curious to see what about this cleansing system was different than others I’ve tried. After putting it to the test and doing some investigation, I'm impressed!  Check out my video review on the new system and see for yourself. It's like nothing else on the market.

So like I mentioned, the Philips PureRadiance Facial Cleansing System uses Sonic Technology with Advanced Dual Motion to cleanse while wiping away dirt, makeup and oil at the same time.  The rotation of the brush cleans out your pores, while improving micro-circulation giving you radiant, glowing skin. The exfoliating benefits also allow your skincare products to better absorb and in the end, work more effectively.

The brushes are so gentle you can use them twice a day and it claims to cleanse your face 10x better than using just your hands alone.  From the demo I did in the video, I think we can all vouch for something like that.

Another feature I didn’t mention in the video is that I keep my brush in the charger it came with on my bathroom sink. The charger allows the brush to dry standing upright in between uses while charging it, so I never have to worry about it dying.

You can find it for $149 at Bed Bath & Beyond and

*This is a sponsored post by Philips, but all of my thoughts and actions are true.

Kendall Jenner: Get Her Ponytail

Kendall Jenner PonytailUnless my hair is professionally blown out, chances are that by the end of the day, it's in a ponytail.  Ladies, if you're anything like me, we need to step our pony game up.  Check out Kendall Jenner's sleek ponytail (pictured above).  She was heading to the Vogue Foundation Gala in Paris last week and made a statement with her sharp center part and the sophisticated slickness to the style.  Here are tips from her stylist, Christian Wood, (check out his Tweet) on how to rock the look – no more gym styles necessary.  It's that simple.

"As soon as I saw the dress I thought a super slick and shiny ponytail would give a tough modern edge to the gorgeous Balmain dress,"  Wood commented.  He was right.

Here are the exact steps Wood took to complete Kendall's style.  Yes, they're easy enough to do at home.  Promise.

  • When hair is damp, use a pin tail comb to part it down the center.  The end of the comb will help make sure you have a dramatic, precise part.  Then, blow dry straight.
  • Rub a small dollop of Moroccan Oil onto the top and sides of your hair and use a brush like a Mason Pearson to slick the hair into a low, tight ponytail.  Secure with a bungee elastic.
  • Wrap a small piece of hair around the elastic and secure with a pin to cover.
  • Spritz a glossing mist or shine spray on the part, almost the same way one would use makeup highlighter to really pick up the shine under lights.
  • Finish by using a straightening iron (Wood used the T3 Straightening Iron) over the ends of the pony for a poker straight glossy finish.


With a little bit of effort, a ponytail like Kendall's can look super chic.  And I told you it's really simple.  Using a flat iron at the end is surely the icing on the cake.  I'll definitely be trying it for a night out.



5 things worth checking out this week

olivia-wilde-hairOlivia Wilde is the queen of perfection, and now you can get her sleek frizz-free hair with just a trip to the drugstore! [Instyle] Beat a hot workout in style with these summer gym bag essentials [The Luxury Spot]

Avoid summer skin emergencies with these great tips guaranteed to keep you looking healthy and glowing during the hottest months of the year [Beauty High]

This bucket list is totally inspiring us to have the best summer ever, what's on yours? [Honestly Jamie]

Are you #sorrynotsorry? Then check out this awesome video created by Pantene intended to empower women in the best way possible [Total Beauty]


Meet My Wedding Day Glam Squad, It's Here

wedding-day-glam-squadIt's here!  Joe and I are getting married on Friday and running away to honeymoon in Italy – unplugged.  Well, as unplugged as possible so I'll talk to you when we return! I felt it was only right to share details on my wedding day glam squad, especially since I'm so fortunate to be able to work with the best in the industry on a daily basis so this was a huge decision.  Drumroll please...

Hair Stylist: Liam Carey of the Jeff Chastain Parlor assisted by Jan-Marie Arteca

Makeup Artist & Brow Specialist: Maribeth Madron

Dermatologist: Ilyse Lefkowicz

Spray Tan Artist: Erica at EC Beauty Studio

Lash Specialist: Tamara at Courtney Akai

Manicurist: Specialists from the Jin Soon Nail Spa

When choosing a hairstylist and makeup artist for your big day, make sure of course, that not only can they understand and can implement your vision, but also pay attention to their energy during your trials.  It was so important to me to work with positive, fun, yet chill people.  The energy in the room will set the tone for your day!

I selected each person and salon through a series of trials not just leading up to my wedding day, but through relationships I've built throughout the years, too.  Getting married? If you have any wedding day glam squad questions, please ask!  I've also been documenting my bridal beauty countdown, a beauty timeline for brides-to-be over the last year.  Hope it helps!

Of course, when we're back from our honeymoon and I get my photos, I'll share images of their work! Stay tuned and please excuse me for taking some time off to spend with my new husband!

5 things worth checking out this week

regina_georgeThis is officially the cat video to end all cat videos guaranteed to make your Friday even better [Facebook]

In celebration of Mean Girls ten year anniversary, here are the 9 lessons we've learned from Regina George [Elite Daily]

The last ten things you do before admitting that you really are a #brokecollegestudent [College Candy]

Having a bad hair day? Here are 5 tips to saving your strands (and your day!) [Bella Sugar]

Mother's Day is around the corner and here's the only gift guide you need to treat the most important woman in your life to something special [Allure]


10 Swoon Worthy Jared Leto Gifs

Let's talk about Jared Leto. #Fail.  No words!  Naturally, I planned on doing a post dedicated to his hair, but he is so much more than his mane.  Whether you're into his Jesus-like locks or not, despise his man bun or are jealous of his perfect ombre, you're still a fan. Why? Because who doesn't want a piece of the multi-talented sex symbol?  And don't forget, a rockstar.  Let's swoon, together...

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