mdc ♥s: beauty refresher

January 20th, 2014 |Posted by Janelle

ajak

The 2014 look is elegant, simple and completely fresh – much like Ajak Deng in this great shot by Lachlan Bailey (New York: Management + Artists, Paris: Management + Artists)

2014 began with a bang, but there is still plenty of time to get started on those resolutions. Refresh your lineup with our choices, filled with updated beauty picks and inspiring reads designed to impact you mind, body & soul.

REVIVE YOUR SKIN

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Can’t get to the spa? Bring the treatments home with you and refresh yourself the way the stars do. Los Angeles staple, Kinara Spa is already a favorite of models, actresses and industry professionals and with their Red Carpet Facial kit, a bit of the beauty magic is readily available for everyone. Designed to rejuvenate and exfoliate tired skin, the kit is perfect for detoxing after the holidays and starting the year’s skin routine on the right foot.

Who better to look to for men’s grooming than the man himself, Tom Ford presents a fresh take on skincare just for men with his line of face washes, moisturizers and concealers just for the boys. Our personal favorite in the Tom Ford for Men Skincare lineup – the Revitalizing Concentrate, a fresh way of adding moisture via a multi-function oil that  restores dry skin to its best condition, while providing a barrier against pollution and toxins.

UPDATE YOUR BEAUTY

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The beginning of the year is a great time to switch up the beauty routine and who better to look to than Kevyn Aucoin beauty. The late make up legend’s line has been given an elegant update with an array of chic new & reformulated products. The Expert Lip Color offers a range of creamy, richly colored shades that have instant impact, all of which are infused with mango butter for added moisturization. The Precision Liquid Liner offers the best inky black liner with a rubberized grip designed to make even the most intricate cat eye easy as pie. Add on a touch of the Loose Shimmer Shadow for a hint of color and you’re all set.

INSPIRE YOURSELF 

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Get inspired by the stories of fashion legends of days past. Waris Dirie’s Desert Flower chronicles her journey from childhood in Somalia, to acclaimed model and U.N. ambassador. Lori Goldstein’s elegant tome, Style Is Instinct chronicles an impressive career in larger than life images by Meisel, Weber and Testino. Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin’s oeuvre is explored in chic style with Pretty Much Everything a trip through their impressive work created in collaboration with M/M Paris. Looking for the ultimate in inspiration – take a look at Diana Vreeland’s Memos, for a glimpse into the influential and irreverent mind of one of fashion’s greatest heroes.

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mdc ♥s: the new classics

November 4th, 2013 |Posted by Janelle

dreeeeeee

Dree Hemingway clutches an oversized bottle of another of our favorites Love, Chloe in Paola Kudacki‘s gorgeous shot for Vogue Paris

There are millions of scents to choose from every year, but here are a few guaranteed crowd pleasers that merge traditional appeal with innovative formulations for a truly modern mix.

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BALENCIAGA L’EAU ROSE – No matter the season Balenciaga remains essential and the line’s signature fragrances are a testament to that fact. The rose tinged L’Eau offers an alluring twist on the classic Balenciaga scent, adding an array of traditionally masculine elements like black pepper, cedarwood, patchouli, vetiver into the mix while still remaining feminine & seductive. Crafted by perfumers Olivier Polge and Domitille Bertier, L”Eau Rose offers a spirited and crowd pleasing take on a favorite floral.

 TOM FORD PLUM JAPONAIS – You can never go wrong with a touch of Tom Ford and the designer’s latest offering is a very adult take on sweetness. Plum Japonais’ inspiration is the ume plum, an ingredient with a powerful scent and unique acidic properties. The scent itself continues Ford’s exploration of luxury with a heady mix of saffron, cinnamon bark and plum – an intense combination not for the faint of heart, but completely in line with Ford’s daring and sensual aesthetic. As with all the designer’s exclusive Private Blend creations, Plum Japonais is an enticing take on decadence.

BYREDO 1996 – A fragrance whose inception dates back to a classic Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin photo (Kristen 1996)  – it doesn’t get more fashion insider-y than that, but the scent is irresistible even without the chic reference points. Byredo Creative Director merges juniper berries, black pepper, violet, amber and leather into an elegant blend that is every bit as timeless as an Inez & Vinoodh portrait.

ATELIER COLOGNE ROSE ANONYME – One of the most exciting things about rose is the different ways in which it can be interpreted. Atelier delivers a spicy and dark take on the signature flower (in contrast to Balenciaga’s sparkling variety) that is enrapturing and slightly dangerous. Ginger, oud, incense and benzoin combine with Turkish Rose essence for a daring fragrance.

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DRIES VAN NOTEN PAR FREDERIC MALLE – When one of the world’s most respected designers collaborates with a premier fragrance house, the end result is always intriguing. Dries van Noten and Frederic Malle pair up for a tour de force fragrance that captures the essence of van Noten’s aesthetic via  sultry combination of sandalwood, vanilla, patchouli, saffron and jasmine absolute. The inspiring collaboration is set to be the first of many – Malle intends to create even more scent collabos with fascinating individuals so keep your eyes peeled for the next one.

BOTTEGA VENETA EAU LEGERE – Though it is the lighter, airier counterpart to the label’s eponymous scent, Eau Legere more than stands on its own. Taking traditionally sumptuous materials like musk and oak and tempering them with pink pepper and jasmine makes for an appealingly delicate fragrance with a touch of sophistication. Added bonus – though the scent falls under the women’s category, the crisp mixture’s allure isn’t lost on men.

DIPTYQUE PHILOSYKOS - The fig based classic has been appearing on dressers for years and never seems to go out of style. Adored by men and women alike, Philosykos is designed the capture the essence of a perfect Greek summer, without the need for a ticket to Athens. The combo of fig and white cedar is

NEST WHITE SANDALWOOD – When candle experts NEST stepped into the fragrance game it was cause for excitement and with White Sandalwood they’ve created a warm, enveloping and complex blend of sandalwood, mimosa, acacia blossom and almond that is beautiful from first spray through the drydown.

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mdc ♥s: crème de la crème

June 24th, 2013 |Posted by Janelle

longlivelera

The lovely Lera Sheremeta slathers herself in creamy goodness – edible and inedible in this shot by Thomas Lagrange (Paris: Management + Artists, New York: Management + Artists)

Given the amounts of skin you’re sure to be revealing this summer it makes sense to moisturize each and every inch. Take a look at our picks for the best and most decadent creams, oils and lotions for face and body.

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LULAH BODY LOTIONS & HAND CREAM – Luxury doesn’t have to come a high cost, so our first selections are not only moisturizing they’re wallet friendly. The latest from body care legend’s Thymes, the Lulah line focuses on fresh scents that enveloping and creamy formulas that hydrate. Our personal favorite – the vitamin E and shea butter packed hand creams.

CLINIQUE DRAMATICALLY DIFFERENT MOISTURIZER PLUS – For over 40 years Clinique’s Dramatically Different Moisturizing lotion has been a favorite of makeup artists and beauty aficionados, but the revamped DDML+ puts a new spin on the original. Loaded with modern ingredients like hyaluronic acid and glycerin, this 2.0 version brings the classic into the future. / Available in August 

SUNDAY RILEY JUNO BODY – The cult facial oil from Sunday Riley is already a favorite of everyone from Diane Kendal to Blake Lively, so it comes as no surprise that the body version is every bit as good. Composed from a variety of natural oils (watermelon seed, Camilla seed, pomegranate oil,  grape seed oil and more) Juno helps to firm skin and protect against the environmental toxins that contribute to aging.

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KIEHL’S CREME DE CORPS BODY BUTTER – Rich, thick, whipped and decadent as they come, Kiehl’s soy and honey variant of their popular Creme de Corps line is the gold standard of body butters.

AESOP PETITGRAIN HYDRATING GEL – Whether your shave has cut a little too close, or you’ve been out baking in the sun, Aesop’s refreshing gel is good for what ails you. The versatile formula takes the edge off a wide variety of skin issues, while feeling cool and lightweight.

TATA HARPER REVITALIZING BODY OIL – Here’s to truth in advertising, Tata Harper’s aromatic body elixir does exactly what it says on the bottle, it revitalizes tired and dull skin, making it look lush and supple without leaving behind a greasy residue.

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mdc ♥s: Summer Staples

June 11th, 2013 |Posted by Janelle

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Daria Werbowy is bronzed and beautiful in this vintage Vogue shot. Photo by Steven Meisel, Makeup by Pat McGrath.

The weather is heating up and it is time to take out some of our favorite summer beauty treats. From old standbys that never fail to work, to brand new limited editions that impress.

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For those moments when you’re diving off your yacht and into the Aegean Sea, or just attempting to avoid a mascara meltdown, ESTEE LAUDER‘s failsafe Sumptuous Extreme Waterproof Mascara will survive just about anything life can throw at you. With the summer weather oscillating between pouring rain and scorching heat, this is one mascara you want with you at all times.

TOM FORD has never shied away from glamour, whether it is on the runway, or in the collections for his eponymous beauty line. His latest take on sexy involves bronzed cheeks and a subtle glow, two things that fit perfectly with the season’s beauty vibe. The brand new Illuminating Cheek Colors offer a radiant hint of color that makes the wearer look polished and put together, as opposed to the glittery shimmer present in so many other products.

Refreshing and deep-cleaning AESOP‘s Bitter Orange Astringent Toner is perfect for the warmest days of the year. Cleaning away the excesses of sweat and dirt without stripping the skin is wonderful in and of itself, but Aesop’s citrusy scent and invigorating feel make it special.

CLARINS‘ fabled Double Serum has been a year round essential since its launch, but the dual action formula is great for tackling seasonal specific issues like enlarged pores and worsened hyper-pigmentation caused by sun exposure. Though the Double Wear line has been around for decades, the revamped serum has been reformulated for 2013 and is now better than ever.

Speaking of which, there is literally no better time to introduce sunscreen into your routine. In a perfect world we would all be using SPF daily, but it’s far too easy to forget that fact. MD SOLAR SCIENCES‘s excellent Daily Anti-Aging Moisturizer offers a combination of UVA and UVB protection and anti-aging benefits designed to leave skin looking supple and nourished while providing necessary protection.

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mdc ♥s : fragrant fantasies

November 20th, 2012 |Posted by Janelle

Kati Nescher is one of our favorite dark beauties –  Photography by Camilla Akrans (Paris: Management + Artists, New York: Management + Artists) for Vogue Germany | See the entire story in the database.

The holidays are right around the corner and soon it will be time to treat everyone you know to something special. In the meantime though, why not treat yourself to one of the season’s sexy, mysterious and downright dangerous fragrances. What better way to spice up the cold weather and add a little glamour to the equation. Take a look at our favorites, from the coy coquettishness of By Kilian to the overwhelmingly intense decadence of Serge Lutens.

BY KILIAN BAMBOO HARMONY – We’re used to Kilian Hennessy treating us to bombastic, larger than life fragrances befitting heroines of classic literature, screen sirens and divas alike, so we were surprised to find his latest is a subtly sexy blend of mimosa, bergamot and neroli combined with oakmoss. The scent is meant to convey the experience of a sip of white tea and as such it is calming, delicate and peaceful. The darkness emerges after the dry down, when the spices, fig and Maté Essence emerge and take things one step further – after all, it wouldn’t be a Kilian scent without a little drama.

CHANEL COCO NOIR – How do you re-imagine a classic? The original Coco is the fragrant equivalent of a Little Black Dress, elegant, timeless and universally appealing, so much so that at first it was hard to imagine anything could compete with that legacy. Rather than attempting a Coco 2.0, Chanel’s in-house perfumer Jacques Polge, provides us with a whole new journey; skillfully merging rose, jasmine, patchouli and sandalwood into a scent that is seductive and modern.

SERGE LUTENS SARRASINS – Serge Lutens is master of the idiosyncratic fragrance and with Sarrasins he creates a lush vision of jasmine that is intoxicating. Lutens’ ultra-chic cloche scents were previously only available at the line’s boutique in Les Salons du Palais Royale, but they’ve crossed the pond and are now available stateside at Barney’s Madison Avenue location. Take our word for it, they are well worth either trip – but if you can’t make the voyage give them a call at 212-833-2425.

TOM FORD NOIR – Gentlemen, start your engines. Tom Ford delivers another surefire hit via his latest scent Noir, a suitably sophisticated take on men’s fragrance with unexpected notes. Bulgarian rose, violets and nutmeg make for a sweeter, more sensuous blend, one that is sure to be appreciated across gender boundaries.

MARC JACOBS DAISY INTENSE – Just in case you’re not quite ready to give up on the light, airy florals that signify Spring – Marc Jacobs has got you covered. The deeper, darker version of his perennial favorite, Daisy is a girly treat packed with strawberries and gardenias but the added musk, vanilla and woods make things far more inline with the season at hand.

BYREDO APOCALYPTIC - With a name like Apocalyptic Byredo’s candle is setting the bar pretty high, but fear not Ben Gorham and co. manage to live up to that fateful moniker. This is the end of the world as imagined by the ultimate optimist – black raspberry, fire iron (they even got the metallic tinge just right) and birch wood. You’ll have to smell it for yourself to get the full experience, but try it on say December 21st.

JO MALONE DARK AMBER & GINGER LILY – Wearable incense coupled with amber and ginger – one of our all time favorites. Maybe it is a little early to start throwing around the words ‘modern classic’ but this is certainly a great touch of darkness for fall. Plus, since it is a Jo Malone, it can be layered over other perfumes to create something wholly original – we like it with the icy White Jasmine and Mint.

DIPTYQUE VOLUTES – Iris, tobacco, honey and myrrh – it is hard to think of notes that are headier, or more appealing than that. Volutes is all about the fantastical, fragrant journeys that perfume can take us on. Even the copy, with its appealing descriptions of “enigmatic elegant women leaning on the rail on top deck, indulging in the pleasure of Khedive cigarettes” is wonderfully transportive. The fragrance is top notch in true Diptyque fashion. Put down the candles and give this a sniff next time you pop into the store.

CREED LOVE IN BLACK – Inspired by Jackie O and filled with flowers that only bloom at night – does it get more elegant than that?

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mdc ♥ : the fashion month survival kit!

October 10th, 2012 |Posted by Janelle

Fashion month is a rush; running back and forth to shows, traveling to new places, not getting any sleep whatsoever. How do you stay looking calm and chic when every force in the universe is sapping your energy?! Thankfully there are a few goodies – beauty and otherwise, that can help you feel your best even when you’re in a stressful situation. Here are the extras that helped us make it through NYFW and PFW,

PHOTOGRAPHERALEX COVO | MODEL – NATALIYA PIRO (Ford Women)

CLARINS BEAUTY FLASH BALM – In order to understand why Beauty Flash Balm is an crucial part of any beauty kit you have to experience it for yourself. Try it on the day you’re skin is looking its dullest, drab is and driest and be amazed by the changes you’ll see.

ROYAL APOTHIC HAND CREME – It is easy to forget about taking care of your hands when you’re on the go, but Royal Apothic’s elegant creme makes things a little easier. All you need to do is apply once and you’re blessed with soft, silky hands for hours – a necessity when you’re spending the day shaking hands and swapping business cards.


SKULLCANDY AVIATOR HEADPHONES - Music soothes the savage beast and it makes the disgruntled editor slightly less ornery. Skullcandy’s trendy Aviator style headphones are a gorgeous mix of style and substance – no wonder then that models like Kate Upton, Jessica Stam and Chanel Iman count them as their favorites.


ILLESTEVA SUNGLASSES – Sunglasses are a beauty product – ok not technically, but they do hide a multitude of sins and a beautifully crafted pair like Illesteva’s are a conversation starter. If you were out partying late at Le Bain and simply do not have the time to do an eye mask, put on a pair of Illestevas and you’ll look like a movie star instantly.


TOM FORD BRONZING POWDER – The oversized compact looks chic (Tom Ford’s packaging never fails to impress) and the product itself is just plain good. Our personal favorite shade, Terra has the perfect consistency and provides a touch of subtle bronze to enliven the features and fake a ‘just spent a weekend in St. Tropez‘ glow.


LORAC PRO SHADOW PALETTE – Packing light is key and Lorac’s full set of shadows gives you absolutely everything you need for any look imaginable. A shimmering neutral for day – check, smoky silver for evening – you betcha.


TATCHA FACIAL MIST – Moisturizing hydration in a convenient spray to take with you wherever you go. Perfect for a midday refresher – especially when you need to look your best ASAP.


SKYN ICELAND HYDRA COOL FIRMING EYE GELS – From puffy to perfect in ten minutes, Skyn’s gel patches rejuvenate tired and dried out eyes with a blend of Ginkgo Biloba and Coenzyme Q10. We admit to using these on flights when the recycled air is driving our sensitive eyes crazy.

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mdc ♥s: beach ready beauty

July 27th, 2012 |Posted by Janelle


Isabeli Fontana is the ultimate summer beauty in this shot by Mikael Jansson – view the full series in the database.

Summer heat will not get us down! Even with the temperatures hitting astronomical heights we still want to look fresh. Before you leave town on your glam summer break take a glimpse at our selection of heatproof & beach-ready beauty goodies that will have you looking and feeling like a supermodel.

ESTEE LAUDER SUMPTUOUS TWO TONE MASCARA - If its good enough for Tom Pecheux it is good enough for us! We were front and center when the man himself previewed Estee’s latest mascara backstage at Derek Lam and now the impressive dual color formula is available everywhere. Black mascara on the top lashes and then a subtle hint of color on lower lashes to make eyes pop.

LA ROCHE POSAY ANTHELIOS  – Heavy duty protection with a gentle side – French brand La Roche Posay has got the market cornered on sun protection and their Anthelios line is a perennial favorite. We’ve mentioned Anthelios in this column before and we’re mentioning it again because quite frankly, it just works – absolute must have for the season.

BY KILIAN SOLID FRAGRANCE – Who wants to be digging around in their beach bag for a perfume or lugging around a heavy bottle? By Kilian gives you the sleekest, chicest little solid that is perfect for reapplying just a touch of fragrance. Besides, there is something decadent about wearing one of those heady Kilian scents in the middle of a heatwave – trust us on that.

SACHAJUAN OCEAN MIST – One spritz and you’ve got the kind of wavy, undone beach hair that would make Gisele jealous. Ok, maybe not jealous…but there is a reason this bright blue wonder is constantly sold out !

COR SILVER SOAP – A true beauty multi-tasker, COR’s Silver soap offers the benefits of a sunscreen, a pore minimizer, acne treatment and a makeup remover all in one. When you’re en route to your summer destination -jet-setter that you are – you want a product that does it all. COR boasts a slew of active ingredients like silver, sericin, collagen and chitosan and (perhaps more importantly) a relaxing scent and luxurious lather.

SISLEY HYDRATING LONG LASTING LIPSTICK - What to do when temperatures are climbing past 100 and you’ve got to look nice for an evening out? Swipe on a glam bright shade from Sisley and you’re good to go!

AESOP SAGE & ZINC FACIAL HYDRATING CREAM - A natural take on sun protection Aesop that is perfect for girls (and guys) on the go – slather it on before your morning commute for UV protection.

NEST FRAGRANCES MOSS & MINT SHOWER GEL – Our fave niche candle line branches out with a line of sweetly scented shower gels – all of which are wonderful, but Moss & Mint holds a special place in our hearts this summer. The bracing blend of mint, apple blossom and oakmoss provides the perfect R&R for the overheated, parched and just plain burned out.

MAKEUP FOREVER AQUA SHADOW - We are strong advocates of makeup pencils – they’re versatile, easy to use and make life simpler. Makeup Forever’s waterproof shadows make getting ready a breeze and they last through heat, cold and the occasional tearjerker movie. The metallic shades are guaranteed to grab your attention, but don’t ignore the bold mattes!

REVLON JUST BITTEN LIP STAINS - perfect for the no makeup look and guaranteed to withstand eating, drinking & hours of relaxing on the beach.

GUERLAIN TERRACOTTA SUN IN THE CITY POWDER – A luminous alternative to the traditional bronzer and the perfect way to highlight sunkissed skin. Guerlain is the final word when it comes to bronzer and the latest addition to their collection is every bit as impressive as one would imagine – added bonus the shimmering gold works with every skintone.

CLARINS EYE QUARTET MINERAL EYESHADOWS – The final bit of polish, a quad capable of creating a multitude of looks. The Clarins shadows are highly underrated and the selection of nudes is creamy and gorgeous.

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mdc ♥s : 2011 Best of Beauty

January 3rd, 2012 |Posted by Janelle


In one of the year’s most memorable beauty images Frida Gustavsson gets her lips painted gold | shot by Patrick Demarchelier for W Magazine

We primped and polished are way through dozens of products in 2011, but these were the ones we went back and reached for again and again – the absolute BEST Beauty Products we tried all year. Find out why we loved them and start 2012 off right by telling us what you loved.

REVLON COLOR BURST LIP BUTTERS
Why it made our list – With a creamy lip balm texture and 20 electric colors, the Lip Butters are an affordable luxury – as good as any high end product we tested. We would reach for any lipbalm that contained mango, shea and coconut butters, so it is wonderful to find those moisturizing ingredients in something with color payoff. Bright shades like Lollipop and Raspberry Pie are our personal favorites, but every shade is a winner and at eight bucks a pop you won’t break the bank trying them.

CHANEL VITALUMIERE AQUA
Why it made our list – Foundation for foundation-phobes. We admit to being inconsolable when Chanel discontinued our previous holy grail Teint Innocence, but this more than makes up for it. The lighter than air texture and sheer quality of this foundation make it look like your skin but better, it is pretty safe to say that Peter Philips is on a roll.

GUERLAIN TERRACOTTA FOUR SEASONS
Why it made our list – Guerlain’s bronzers have always been popular, but the four seasons is the MVP of their lineup. There wasn’t a backstage during Paris Fashion Week where we didn’t spot this popular matte bronzer in the kits of our favorite makeup artists. A must have for sculpting cheekbones, adding a touch of face brightening color and of course providing that enviable “natural” glow we saw on so many of the S/S catwalks.

BURBERRY FRESH GLOW
Why it made our list – Everyone is searching for a product that creates the lit from within look and Burberry’s unique highlighter delivers. Developed by Christopher Bailey with Wendy Rowe serving as Artistic Consultant for the line, Fresh Glow works for all skintones. Whether you mix it with your foundation or use it on its own, it gives you that gorgeous shine that seems completely natural.

KOH GEN DO CLEANSING SPA WATER
Why it made our list – We’ve raved about it before, but this Japanese line is quickly becoming one of our favorites – one swipe of this refreshing makeup remover and every speck of powder, mascara, lipstick, etc. is gone. Simply the best.

SKYN ICELAND ANGELICA LINE SMOOTHER
Why it made our list - Crows feet, laugh lines, those distressing little signs of age all smoothed out and hidden without having to deal with the sting of a doctor’s needle or any invasive treatments. For all those times you want to look your absolute best the Angelica line smoother instantly enhances the skin and fills in any little nagging imperfections.

CLARINS FACE TREATMENT OILS
Why it made our list – It just plain works. Apply in the evening before bed and wake up to refreshed, hydrated skin that looks smoother, clearer and infinitely less stressed than it did the night before: added bonus the calming aromatherapy scent.

NUDE ADVANCED CELLULAR RENEWAL MOISTURIZER
Why it made our list – If you couldn’t tell from some our previous recommendations, our skin was stressed this year and NUDE’s cellular renewal regimen was one of the things that helped to calm it down. Soothing white jasmine, shea and a whole host of nourishing goodies to keep things hydrated and looking good.

CHANTECAILLE POUDRE PERLE 
Why it made our list – This ultra portable, refillable wonder has made our beauty routines easier – especially on the go. Ever have five minutes to get yourself ready on a moving train filled with commuters? This will do the trick. Part highlighting powder, part blush this guarantees you’ll look fresh as a daisy.

MAKEUP FOREVER HD POWDER
Why it made our list – Accept no substitutes. When the camera reveals each and every pore (not to mention every single flaw imaginable), this is what beauty experts dust on to conceal those tell tale pores and hide shine. We’ve spotted this on shoots, backstage during NYFW and even in the makeup trailer on the set of a movie – even if you aren’t gearing up to be in onscreen this is a must have.

MORROCCANOIL RESTORATIVE HAIR MASK
Why it made our list – Saving our dry, distressed and mistreated hair one strand at a time with gentle TLC that conditions and comforts.

ESTEE LAUDER SUMPTUOUS EXTREME MASCARA
Why it made our list – Instant badaboom lashes that don’t leave us looking like a raccoon two hours later. One of the many Estee goodies we’ve spotted Tom Pecheux using backstage and absolutely had to try out for ourselves.

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