Winter Beauty Buys

Beauty Buys

When it comes to beauty products, I am a connoisseur of sorts.  I am constantly testing out new makeup, facial scrubs, nail polish hues, etc and I love dishing with my friends about the items they are currently coveting. This season I have picked up a few new products that have quickly become some of my essentials. Here are my top winter beauty buys and make sure to enter to win our Videndaessential beauty kit!

1. NARS blush in desire $30
After running out of Bobbi Brown’s pale pink blush (a longstanding favorite of mine), I decided to switch it up and try a new brand on for size. Desire has great pigmentation and adds a flawless, natural flush to my cheeks on camera.

2.Essie “Take it Outside” nail polish $8.50
This fresh taupe offers a whisper of pink and is a nice neutral for the colder months. While Essie Ballet Slippers is my natural hue go-to in the spring and summer, Take It Outside is a lovely way to mix it up.

3. Rodial Dragon’s Blood Hyaluronic Tonic Spray $42
My skin is naturally dry and the winter months accentuate it’s condition. Rodial instantly revives my skin and locks in moisture for 24 hours. The rose water not only smells lovely but it soothes my skin and leaves my complexion looking even and  hydrated. I also like to lightly spritz the tonic spray on my face in the afternoon to set my makeup.

4. Essie “Luxedo” nail polish $8.50
This polish is perfect for the winter months. The deep, rich plum, black lacquer is both feminine and sexy and pairs well with my cold weather ensembles.

5. Ibiza Hair G4 Swirled Extended Cork Round Brush (large) $38
Blow drying my hair is my least favorite beauty routine. However, this round brush has made the process exponentially more enjoyable and has cut the time it takes in half!

6. NARS duo eyeshadow in madrague $35
Eyeshadow has never been my thing. I opt for a very natural makeup application and eyeshadow always seems to make me look overdone. This duo, however, is crease resistant and blends effortlessly. I apply the lighter color over my entire lid and the darker shade to both the crease and corners of my eye. I also use the darker shade to fill in my eyebrows!

7. NARS radiant creamy concealer $29
A makeup artist recently used this concealer on me before a photo shoot and I was instantly hooked. My dry skin requires that I use hydrating makeup – especially in the winter months. The concealer instantly created a softer, smoother complexion and hid my obvious signs of fatigue. It is the perfect amount of coverage and now I rarely leave home without it.

8. Fresh black tea instant perfecting mask $88
The theme of my winter beauty routine is simple: hydration. I love Fresh products and this mask is no exception. It is cooling, refreshing and while the instructions suggestion that it be worn for 20 or so minutes, I sleep in it 1-2 nights a week. When I wake, my skin feels nourished and is soft to the touch.

9. Chanel Ecriture de Chanel Automatic liquid eyeliner in noir $35
In the summer I tend to sport soft, sexy, smudged powder eyeliner but during the winter I love to use a liquid eyeliner. Chanel is by far the most easy to use and also looks the best – especially for those nights I want to rock the cat eye.

Holiday Giveaway: A Videndaessential Beauty Kit!


Just in time for the Holiday gifting season, we will be hosting 2 giveaways over the next two weeks. Today we are excited to announce our first giveaway of a Videndaessential Beauty Kit valued at $100! This beauty kit features a selection of our must-have skincare, makeup and hair products including:

1. Nars Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Cruella
2. Bioderma Sebium H20 Makeup Remover
3. Mio Skincare Natural Dry Body Brush
4. Embryolisse Lait-Cream
5. Klorane Dry Shampoo

All you have to do for a chance to win is ENTER using the Rafflecopter link below. Follow the directions carefully to ensure your submissions are completed! In some cases, you will have to follow the link provided (facebook and instagram) to make the entires count! You are eligible for 15 (yes, we said 15!entries each, so make them count! We will announce the winner here on December 13th when the giveaway closes! Good luck everyone! Our fingers are crossed!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Note: This giveaway is open to people worldwide. Must be over 18 years old to participate.

Videndaessential: Red Lipstick

The Best Red Lipsticks

There is nothing like a red lip to transform your look and make a bold statement with minimal effort. Classic, elegant and cool, this is one fashion accessory every girl should have in their back pocket!

If you are looking to rock a red lip for the first time, or are hunting for something new, finding the right shade of red for your skin tone is always key! I recommend heading to a Sephora or a department store beauty counter and spending some time trying on different colors to find the most complementary red for you. Whether the red undertones that suit you are coral, bluish, brick, orange or cherry red, there are many beautiful shades out there to choose from!

Personally, I tend to gravitate towards reds with bluish undertones, or true, true reds! Nars Velvet Matte Lip Pencils are my personal favorite. They come in every color imaginable, they are creamy in texture and leave me with a rich, matte look all day long! To help you find the right red for YOU, here are my favorite lipsticks that I have in constant rotation (clockwise from top left):

1. Mac – Retro Matte Lipstick in Ruby Woo

2. Sephora – Cream Lip Stain in #1 Always Red

3. Make Up Forever – Rouge Artist Intense in #43 Moulin Rouge

4. Nars – Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Cruella

5. Nars – Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Mysterious Red

6. Kat Von D – Studded Kiss Lipstick in Underage Red

7. Dior – Voluptuous Care Couture Color in #743 Rouge Zinnia

8. Tom Ford – Lip Color in #28 Rouge Fatal

We would love to hear your recommendations too! If you don’t see your favorite listed, please tell us about it in the comments section below!

Our Favorite Red Lipsticks

Duo for Dewy, Soft Skin


This past weekend I hosted Jenna and Hallie at my London apartment. We spent an incredible weekend together, jam packed with birthday champagne and cake, memorable meals around town, and trips to visit iconic London sites. When we weren’t pounding the pavement, we relished our down time at home – especially the morning hours. As we got ready for the day, coffees in hand, we studied each other’s getting-ready routines and learned a few new tricks. One of the most useful for me was Jenna’s one-two punch for skincare that leaves your skin dewy and soft.

My skin is classically combo (the skin on my cheekbones and forehead is always dry, but my t-zone is oily). As we transition to cooler weather, I know I need major hydration and this duo is my solution. Do you have any skincare secrets to share?

Face oil:  Pai Rosehip Bioregenerate Oil
Crème:  Embryolisse Lait-Crème Concentré
Method:  Squeeze a pea-sized dollop of crème into your palm.  Drop 1-2 beads of the face oil on top of the crème and swirl to combine.  Massage into dry areas around the face.

Rx for different skin types…
Dry: Apply the duo morning and night after cleansing.
Combo: Apply the duo at night after cleansing. If you need a boost to the morning routine, skip the embryolisse and add 1 drop of oil to your daytime moisturizer.
Oily: Apply the duo 1-3 times per week at night after cleansing.

The combo mixed in the hand resembles a tiny fried egg! No?

The combo mixed in the hand.

I apply this duo each night.

I apply this duo each night.


Dry Skin Brushing


As I venture into my thirties, I have grown acutely aware of the importance of tending to my skin. I never fall asleep without removing my makeup, I use under eye cream religiously, and every night I apply vitamin E oil to my neck and décolletage.

But I quickly realized I wasn’t properly caring for the skin on the rest of body. Sure, I moisturized after showers and applied SPF before sitting in the sun, but I wanted to be more proactive about protecting and nurturing my body’s largest organ.

Through my yoga practice, I was introduced to the ritual of dry skin brushing. Not only was it a simple and painless addition to my daily beauty routine, but the benefits extended far beyond skin deep, offering a world of benefits to my health.

Dry skin brushing stimulates your lymphatic system, removes dead skin cells, increases circulation, reduces cellulite, aids in stress relief, and improves digestion and kidney function. Not to mention, it feels amazing and is totally invigorating! I am completely addicted to it and within a month of dry skin brushing, I noticed my skin was tighter, glowing, and as soft as a baby’s tush. Follow the directions below and thank me later.

Dry Skin Brushing 

One high-quality dry brush. Look for one with bristles made from natural materials. I use this one.

How To:
1. When brushing, always brush towards your heart. This is best for circulation and for your lymphatic system.

2. Using your brush, start at your feet and work your way up your legs, arms, chest, back and stomach moving in circular motions towards your heart.

3. Apply enough pressure for it to be firm but not painful. Be extra gentle when brushing your neck and décolletage, since the skin is thinner and more sensitive in these areas. Avoid your face altogether.

4. Brush for as long as you would like. I usually spend about five minutes to complete the process but I have friends who spend up to 20 minutes on their dry skin brushing routine each day.

5. For best results, brush once to twice daily and avoid doing your brushing too close to bedtime, as it can leave you feeling energized. I do it every afternoon after I complete my workout – just before jumping in the shower.

French Pharmacy Favorites

French Pharmacy Favorites

Whenever I travel to Paris for work, one of the things I most look forward to is perusing the shelves of French pharmacies and stocking up on my favorite beauty products. Unlike pharmacies in the US that carry almost everything under the sun, French pharmacies are tiny wonderlands specializing in not only medicine, but beauty, wellness and skincare. Can you say tres magnifique?!

Marked along the streets with glowing green neon signs, Les Pharmacies lure you in and hypnotize you with aisles and aisles of creams, serums, cleansers, cosmetics and more. Need help determining the best anti-aging treatment for your skin type? Don’t be afraid to ask! Pharmacists in Europe are extremely knowledgeable and take pride in helping customers, even with matters as simple as a blemish or remedies for sensitive, dry skin. I have discovered some of my most adored products this way, so without further ado, here are my favorite French pharmacy finds in no particular order:

1. Bioderma Sebium H20 – Ever since I discovered this product, I can’t imagine life without it. This soap-free, no-rinse facial cleanser and makeup remover makes my nighttime skincare regimen so much easier, I almost never “accidentally” fall asleep without removing my makeup anymore! For a no-rinse formula, you might think it would leave your skin feeling filmy, but it does exactly the opposite. You feel clean and fresh, and ready to apply your nighttime oils, serums and eye creams.

2. Klorane Dry Shampoo – Hands down the best dry shampoo on the market! I have tried so many dry shampoos over the years and Klorane is the only one that leaves my hair feeling clean and weightless. Since I have naturally oily hair and typically need to wash my hair everyday, I never used to believe in dry shampoo. Any product I tried made my hair feel sticky, heavy or overly powdered and white. I thought it was hopeless until I tried Klorane containing Oat Milk. First I spray it around my roots and let it sit for a few minutes, then I lightly brush through my hair to remove the powdery appearance, finally I spray in some Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray and walk out the door. It has literally changed my life…and the every-day blow out is a thing of the past!

3. Biafine – Found in French cabinets for over 25 years, this multi-purpose, non-toxic cream can be applied to burns, scrapes, scars, chapped skin and lips to minimize scarring and encourage faster healing. With an herbal base, Biafine cleans and hydrates skin tissue and creates an idea environment for healing and skin regeneration. It can even be used as a nighttime mask to keep wrinkles at bay! My favorite use for Biafine is as an after-sun cream. It soothes and moisturizes my sun-burned skin and I feel relief almost immediately!

4. La Roche-Posay Anthelios 45 Ultra-Light Facial Sunscreen – This is the lightest but most effective sunscreen I have ever found for my face. Unlike most sunscreens, it has a silky texture and gives your skin a soft, matte finish. Oil free, non-comedogenic, fragrance-free and light enough to apply under makeup, I wear this SPF all year round.

5. Caudalie Beauty Elixir –  Deemed simply “amazing” by icons like Karlie Kloss and Liv Tyler, this cult product was inspired by Queen Isabelle of Hungary’s elixir of youth and smoothes away fine lines, reduces the appearance of pores, and gives you an instant boost of freshness and radiance with every spritz. With grape-seed extracts and other essential oils, this spray can be used as a toner, a serum, makeup setter, or a mid-day mist. I carry the travel size bottle in my purse and spray it frequently throughout the day  for a clean, energizing, “just got home from the spa” feel!

6. Embryolisse Lait-Creme – A cult favorite amongst makeup artists and dermatologist recommended, Embryolisse Milk Cream is a rich hydrating formula that can be used as a daily moisturizer (for face and body), cleanser, makeup remover, or a hydrating mask. Packed with essential fatty acids and vitamins it hydrates, protects and encourages cell renewal while leaving skin plump, smooth and soft. I apply Embryolisse every night before bed and awake to hydrated, glowing skin.

7. Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse Dry Oil – I apply this fast-absorbing, multi-use, dry oil to my entire body when I get out of the shower. With precious plant oils and vitamin E, it leaves my skin hydrated, soft and glowing. Perfect for all seasons, this oil can be applied to the face in the drying winter months and I have even applied it to the ends of my hair in the summertime. Nuxe has a lovely, subtle scent and even comes in a version with a golden shimmer: perfect for complimenting a sun-kissed tan.

8. Avene Retrinal .1 Cream – This anti-aging product is clinically proven to visibly reduce the signs of aging with little to no irritation. As we all know, Retinol is a highly-effective anti-aging ingredient can sometimes irritate skin, but Avene Retrinal cream is perfectly formulated to off-set the negative effects of Retinol by combining it with soothing, moisturizing extracts and thermal spring water to prevent flaking and relieve redness. It improves signs of aging such as loss of firmness, dull skin, uneven tone and reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. As I approach my 30s, I have begun using this product religiously! 

Summer Beauty: Tools

Summer Beauty Tools-1

Happy Friday!  After a week of unseasonably rainy and cool weather here in London, I am looking forward to snuggling up with Stephen and the pups at home all weekend. We might see a movie, catch up on reading, and cook in – how about you? But first, a steamy bath to shake the chill and melt into relaxation mode. Elevate your bath or shower to a spa-like experience with these terrific tools. Clockwise from top left:

1/ Iris HANTVERK nail brush

2/ Body Brush for all-over exfoliation

3/ Dove gentle exfoliating beauty cream bar atop a natural pumice stone, the perfect soap preserver

4/ Harry’s razor is more handsome, sharp, less expensive, and unisex if you ask me


This is the third in our three-part series on summer beauty products.  If you missed the previous two in the series, please rewind and check out the posts for body and face!

Have a wonderful weekend.

Summer Beauty: Body

Summer Beauty Body-1

I have been obsessed with lotions and potions from the time I was able to groom myself.  Any close friend of mine will attest to the arsenal of beauty products that line my bathroom shelves.

I want my shower experience to be spa-like.  I want to understand the latest skincare technology.  I want to smell like Jane Birkin by the sea holding a gardenia. No? 

This <ahem> lifelong interest of mine became a problem when I moved abroad this April. When the shipping container arrived, the limit on liquids forced me to take a hard look at these products that had amassed and start editing down to a critical few.

Criteria? My morning-routine goal is to be ready in 18 minutes like Garance Dore; therefore I need less products and more top-quality multi-taskers.   On a health note, I want my products to score in the green/yellow zone (between 0-5 on a 10-point scale from low to high hazard) on the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep Guide to Cosmetics.   Below are my current summertime faves for the body, top photo from left to right:

1/ St. Tropez Everyday Gradual Tan in light/medium, imparts a believable rose gold hue

2/ Naturopathica arnica muscle gel post water-skiing, or to cure your stiff neck from sleeping in a tent under the stars

3/ Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse Or a multi-use dry oil with light-reflecting gold particles that make legs, collarbones + shoulders glow

4/ Parissa Hot Wax (trust us on this one) a hard strip-free wax that makes at-home bikini + underarm grooming possible

5/ Lavilin 72-hour aluminum-free deodorant I have tried every single natural deodorant on the market and this is the best!

6/ Mountain Ocean Skin Trip surfer-approved moisturizer that smells of coconut

7/ Burt’s Bees Coconut Foot Cream warning: super thick vaseline-like formula, so  for beach + yoga ready peds, apply at night with socks overtop

8/ Kiss My Face Suncare face factor SPF 50, or the ultra lightweight and minty-fresh sun spray lotion SPF 30 for body

This is the first in a three-part series on summer beauty products: bodyface, and tools.

Summer Beauty: Face

Summer Beauty Face-1

Pictured from left:

1/ Nivea lip balm with SPF …Jenna’s long-time favorite

2/ Bioderma Sensibio H2O Micelle Solution this PH balanced soap-free water gently cleanses face and eyes, morning and night

3/ Coola Face SPF 30, unscented matte tint mineral sunscreen is a game-changer: mattifying, weightless, slips over makeup for everyday use, and does not clog pores

4/ Aesop Purifying Facial Exfoliant Paste use once-weekly for sloughing and removing summertime SPF buildup

5/ Aesop Fabulous Face Oil dispense three drops in your palm, emulsify, then press into dry areas of face for moisture, morning and night

6/ Sudocrem because in the summertime we are at risk of sunburn, our sandals give us blisters, we get cuts and scrapes at the beach, chlorine makes our eczema flare up, or we break out from perpetual SPF reapplication… and this little miracle-in-a-bucket fixes EVERYTHING

This is the second in a three-part series on summer beauty products: bodyface, and tools.