May 2015 archive

Generation Beauty by Ipsy: LA 2015

The crowd waiting to get in to Generation Beauty

The crowd waiting to get in to Generation Beauty

Over the weekend, I had to get out of the house. And I mean, get. out. of. here. So I went to Los Angeles for Generation Beauty by Ipsy. I’ve never been to LA, a.k.a. Kardashian Kountry, and I’ve never been to Generation Beauty, one of the biggest beauty expos around.

My ticket to makeup madness

My ticket to makeup madness

To my great relief, Los Angeles looks just like it does on E! and in People. And Generation Beauty was a beauty lover’s dream, with giveaways galore and two awesome goody bags. See below for the highlights of my Day 1 haul.

Also happening at #GenBeauty? The chance to meet top beauty vloggers, and pick their brains for advice about making it big as a vlogger. Michelle Phan, the popular vlogger who dreamed up Generation Beauty, also addressed the crowd and took questions. Kat Von D was there, too.

I didn’t get to do as much meeting-and-greeting as I wanted to, because I was too busy checking out all the brands: bareMinerals, Sephora, St. Tropez, Too Faced, Tarte, and Smashbox, to name a few. Here’s a selfie I took at the Jouer booth:

#jouergirl @jouercosmetics #genbeauty @ipsy

A photo posted by Charlotte LoBuono (@clobuono) on

And here’s a peek into my Day 2 goody bag:

Have you ever been to Generation Beauty by Ipsy or BeautyCon? If so, I’d love to know what you think!

p.s. Generation Beauty is coming to New York City for the first time in October!



Product Review: St. Tropez Gradual Tan Plus Anti-Ageing Multi-Action Face


I saw St. Tropez Gradual Tan Plus Anti Ageing Multi-Action facial self tanner when I was on the beauty tour, and we stopped at Sephora, I’m always looking for self tanners that don’t turn me the weird yellow-y orange little kids paint the sun, and since this one claims to have anti-aging benefits, I bought it.

I was so surprised by how much I loved this stuff! The lotion went on smoothly and evenly, and had a pleasant enough, “non-self tanner” smell. I used it once a day, and over the course of several days, my skin took on a warm, “just back from vacation” glow. It did not streak or turn my face Oompah-Lompah orange.

I should not have been too shocked, though, because most beauty editors think St. Tropez makes the best self tanners out there. As a matter of fact. St. Tropez Gradual Tan Plus Anti-Ageing Multi-Action Face won a 2014 Allure Best of Beauty Award. Type “self tanner” into the search box, and you get this product review.

I will definitely buy this again, and continue to use it through the summer. Have you had any luck using self tanners? Have you tried St. Tropez products? I want to try their new in-shower self tanner, which Allure featured on its Daily Beauty Reporter blog.

p.s. I came across a tube of St. Tropez One Night Only Instant Glow Body Lotion that I got in a goody bag. I’ll try it and do a post.

Summer 2015: Coral and Teal Makeup


I hope everyone had a great Memorial Day Weekend! It was beautiful here in New Jersey. Now that summer is unofficially here, I wanted to share one of my favorite warm weather makeup combinations, teal eyeliner and a coral lip. Its a color combo you really can’t get away with any other time of year. The good news is that some of it is mass market and the Tarte Amazonian Clay eye shadow palette is on sale!

The palette, Golden Days & Sultry Nights, is marked down 33 percent on The eye shadow duo is Maybelline Eye Studio Color Pearls Marbleized Eye Shadow in Teal Takeover. The cream shadows are Maybelline Eye Studio Color Tattoo 24-Hour Cream Gel Shadow in Bad to the Bronze and Tenacious Teal.

The eye pencil is L’Oreal Paris Infallible Silkissime Eyeliner in True Teal.

The lipsticks are Inglot Lipstick in 102 and Youngblood Mineral Cosmetics Lipstick in Tangelo. I got the Inglot on the beauty tour I took earlier this month and the Youngblood in a Makeup Show NYC blogger goody bag last year.

And the lip crayon is Clinique Chubby Stick Intense Moisturizing Lip Color Balm in Heftiest Hibiscus. If you’re looking for a mass market option, try Revlon ColorBurst Matte Balm in Audacious or Mischievous.

I think these pair well with a soft coral flush on the cheek, don’t you? Maybe Wander Beauty On-the- Glow in Coral Rose?

Product Review: Peter Coppola Legacy


My poor dried out, fried hair! Not only is it color treated, but the products I’ve been using have turned it to straw. I needed to change up my hair game this summer. So when the nice folks at Peter Coppola Beauty offered to send me samples from their new Legacy line of consumer products, I jumped at the chance.* Its the first time Peter Coppola has come out with a consumer line. The company’s products were previously sold only in salons and to hair professionals.

“We create simple, safe, and versatile products to help stylists create the looks and shapes their clients want,” Steven Lightfoot, artistic director for Peter Coppola Beauty, told me in an email. He went on to say this segues nicely into the consumer market. Stylists have had such great retail success with Peter Coppola products, it was only natural to offer it to the consumer!

I tried the Infusion Anti-Frizz Cream and the Total Repair Sulfate-Free Shampoo and Total Repair Conditioner. I also used the Just Blow blow dry spray, which BTW, smells delicious! These products did what they said they would do. My hair was smoother, shinier, and softer than before. And the anti-frizz cream kept the natural wave in my fine hair under control, even during a bout of 90 percent-plus humidity here in New Jersey.

I occasionally like to rock my natural waves, though. If you do, too, this particular shampoo and conditioner may not be for you. However, the line offers other options, including a Color Control Shampoo and Conditioner. I want to try the Blondest Color Command Shampoo and Conditioner with Azulene.

All the Peter Coppola Beauty products are safe for color-treated hair. Lightfoot told me the shampoos and conditioners are sulfate-, paraben-, and sodium chloride-free. And they are totally fine to use even if you haven’t had a keratin treatment made by Peter Coppola or another company.

Peter Coppola’s new line is available at Ulta and on the Peter Coppola web site.

Have you tried Peter Coppola before? The brand has apparently been in salons for quite a while.

* Products were sent to me for review, but opinions are my own.

Thank you #petercoppola! Can't wait to try these! #haircare #fabulousforeverblog #legacykeratinconcept

A photo posted by Charlotte LoBuono (@clobuono) on

Product Review: Wander Beauty On-the-Glow Blush and Highlighter Duo


When I read in WWD model Lindsay Ellingson and her business partner Divya Gugnani were launching Wander Beauty, a makeup line inspired by Ellingson’s travels, I had to try it. Who better to bring you a makeup line than a Victoria’s Secret Angel?

Currently, the brand is focused on its On-the-Glow Blush and Highlighter Duo, which has a cream blush on one side and a highlighter on the other. It comes in two colors: soft pink/nude glow and coral rose/nude glow. And the duo contains antioxidants and vitamins A, C, and E, so its good for your skin, too.

But in September, Wander Beauty will launch a four-piece capsule collection that WWD describes as “city inspired.” Cities, and millions of busy women, seem an appropriate inspiration for a line meant for, as Gugnani put it, “the DIY’er.”

Said Ellingson, “[Wander Beauty] is for the woman in a cab doing her makeup. You carry around your makeup because you’re constantly going to meetings and doing touch-ups.”

Ellingson generously took the time to answer a few questions for me over email. She didn’t give too much away, but she didn’t hold back either.

What gave you the idea to start Wander Beauty?

I developed this passion for beauty over the past ten years as I traveled the world and worked with the most talented artists. After walking in hundreds of fashion and couture shows, I absorbed a lot of information about makeup application and little tricks that work for everyone. I had so much fun testing and trying everything, I earned the nickname “walking Sephora.”

I eventually started doing my friends’ makeup for dates and my own for red carpet events, which started to gain the attention of the press. It wasn’t until I met my co-founder, Divya Gugnani, at a salon opening that the idea was sparked. She’s a Harvard Business School grad and has experience with start-up companies.

We hit it off right away and ended up meeting the next day at her apartment. We sat on her couch, formed what is now Wander Beauty, and got to work! It’s been quite a journey, and I’m so thrilled about our launch product, the On-the-Glow Blush and Illuminator. It’s the ultimate multi-tasker with at least ten ways to wear it, and will give any woman that “just back from vacation” glow!

What are some of your favorite beauty tips you’ve picked up from your travels and the makeup artists you’ve worked with?

I love that French women are so effortless. They wear red lipstick almost as an accessory and keep everything else really simple and chic. Another great beauty tip: it’s so important to start with a good base. Exfoliating regularly and massaging your face with your favorite moisturizer is a great way to do that. One of my favorite beauty tricks right now, which you can do with our On-the-Glow Blush and Illuminator, is to use a nude tone highlighter on your lips before you apply lipstick, it blurs the lines of your lips and makes them appear fuller! I’ll be demonstrating it in a Wander Beauty makeup tutorial!

What city provided the inspiration for your upcoming capsule collection in September?

I’m going to keep that a surprise! I can tell you that we have much more innovation coming: products that will streamline your beauty routine and flatter every skin tone. I’m very excited to share it with you!

How do you see the brand growing?

I believe we will continue to gain a loyal following. Wander Beauty is for the modern woman who wants to feel gorgeous on-the-go. We put so much time and effort into creating products that are luxurious multi-taskers, free of harmful ingredients, and for women of all ethnicities! We are constantly brainstorming new ways to break the beauty mold and “wow” our customers!

I got the coral rose/nude glow duo.* I’m obsessed! I use Nude Glow to sculpt my cheekbones, and set it with the Physician’s Formula bronzer with argan oil. And the coral blush is just soft enough to wake up my skin. I can’t wait for the new collection this fall!

You can buy Wander Beauty at QVC.

Do you have any time saving makeup hacks or multi-tasking products you swear by? Let me know in the comments!

*Product was sent to me for review, but opinions are my own.

Testing and loving the #ontheglow blush from @wander_beauty and @lindsellingson! Review to come on #fabulousforeverblog

A photo posted by Charlotte LoBuono (@clobuono) on

The Makeup Show NYC Beauty Tour

With James at the beauty tour after party.

With James at the beauty tour after party.

Two weeks ago, I got to do the coolest thing: I took a “beauty tour” of New York City with James Vincent, director of education and artist relations for The Makeup Show.* To celebrate the 10th anniversary of The Makeup Show, James led myself and a group of makeup artists on a tour of his favorite places to buy makeup in New York City. James is a ton of fun, and probably knows more about NYC then Woody Allen and Rudy Giuliani combined.

Our first stop was Matesse NYC on 9th Avenue, between 18th and 19th Streets. Matesse was launched by the founder of Ricky’s NYC, a beauty junkie staple here in NYC.


Matesse sells many prestige hair care brands such as Pureology and Alterna. The store also carries makeup and nail polish. While there, I noticed Alterna makes a blonde-brightening shampoo. Hmmm… Further investigation and a product review are necessary.

Our next stop was Inglot Cosmetics in Chelsea Market. This bright loft space has a very sleek, modern feel. Inglot is a Polish brand I’d heard of before, but never tried. They did the makeup for a lot of Broadway shoes, including Mamma Mia!

I bought two lipsticks at Inglot. So far, I’ve worn one of them, a soft coral perfect for summer. One of my pet peeves is when your lipstick dries out your lips, and actually makes them look worse than before you applied it. This color, 102, didn’t make my lips looked cracked and flaky, and had pretty impressive staying power. I liked the color payoff, too. It wasn’t too bright, but just subtle enough.

Baked by Melissa kept the party going at Inglot with yummy cupcakes.

Cupcakes by Baked by Melissa

Cupcakes by Baked by Melissa

From Chelsea Market, we moved on to Sephora in the Meatpacking District. James told us this particular Sephora is located across the street from the building that was used as the exterior of Samantha’s apartment on Sex and the City.

Unfortunately, I ran into a bit of trouble at Sephora. I bought Bumble and Bumble Surf Spray, St Tropez Anti-Aging Self Tanner, and Alterna Caviar CC Cream, which I’ve been dying to try forever. Oops.

Then we boarded a bus, and on the way to Obsessive-Compulsive Cosmetics on Ludlow Street, James pointed out his favorite haunts on the Lower East Side and around the East Village. I love the exposed brick in the OCC store. It gives the place a hip, downtown vibe.

#liptar heaven at @occmakeup! #10yearsofTMS @jvincentmakeup @themakeupshow

A photo posted by Charlotte LoBuono (@clobuono) on

Obsessive-Compulsive’s Lip Tars have a cult following. And the brand is known for being 100 percent vegan and cruelty free. Everyone got a nail polish to take home. I picked a peachy pink called Grandma.

@occmakeup #naillacquer in Grandma. So pretty! #10yearsofTMS @jvincentmakeup @themakeupshow

A photo posted by Charlotte LoBuono (@clobuono) on

Now it was time for the grand finale. We went to Makeup Forever on 12th Street and got to meet the brand’s founder, Dany Sanz. What got my attention here were the gorgeous makeup brushes. The picture below does them an injustice. The fibers are really soft to pick up and evenly distribute product, and the wooden handles are so sturdy, they feel almost hand carved. If you are in the market for makeup brushes, don’t miss these!

Makeup brushes at Makeup Forever

Makeup brushes at Makeup Forever

The evening ended too soon with an after party and snacks. Although this year marked the first time the tour was offered, it sold out very quickly. People actually stayed in town after The Makeup Show was over or came from out of the country for the event. James was talking about having it again next year. I’ll be first in line!

Where do you usually shop for makeup? And if you’ve tried any of the products I’ve mentioned here, let me know your thoughts in the comments. Reviews of Alterna, Bumble and Bumble, and the St. Tropez self tanner to come!

* I paid to go on the tour.

Product Review: Paula’s Choice Resist Anti-Aging


I have mentioned my love of Paula’s Choice Resist Anti-Aging Body Double on here and on BeautyNews NYC. My shoulders and decolletage look <ahem!> much younger than they are <cough!>, and my skin feels silky smooth. So I couldn’t wait to try Paula’s Choice Resist Anti-Aging products for the face.

I picked the Resist Essential Kit for dry/very dry skin and the Power Couple.* My skin is not particularly dry, and I don’t struggle with (frequent) breakouts either, thank God, but these seemed to be the best fit for my skin. I was very pleased with the kit, which comprised four products, a cleanser, an exfoliator with 5 percent alpha-hydroxy acid (AHA), a day moisturizer with SPF 25, and a night moisturizer called Barrier Repair Moisturizer with retinol. I also love the Power Duo, the same exfoliator with AHA that came in the kit, and the C15 Super Booster vitamin C serum.

Testing @PaulasChoice #ResistSimpleKit and #PowerCouple #skincare #fabulousforeverblog

A photo posted by Charlotte LoBuono (@clobuono) on

I used the cleanser and the Power Duo in the morning, followed by the moisturizer with SPF. In the evening before bed, I used the cleanser and the moisturizer with retinol. I love the way my skin looks! The kit and Power Duo are reasonably priced by the way.

A few words to the wise. Do not combine vitamin C and retinol. You should also avoid combining AHA and retinol. You should use them at different times of the day, according to

Anything acidic, such as AHA (glycolic acid) and vitamin C (L-ascorbic acid) will interfere with the conversion of retinol to its active form within the skin. So use AHA and vitamin C during the day and retinol-containing products at night. Here’s more from FutureDerm about combining retinoids and acidic products.

And always use sunscreen during the day. But you don’t need me to tell you that!

My only gripe? Maybe I’m just too blonde, but getting the products out of the pump was a pain. I had to unscrew the cap with the pump from the bottle! However, the Essential Kit and the Power Duo get a big thumbs up, and I would definitely buy them again.

Have you tried Paula’s Choice products? Are you familiar with Paula Begoun and her books and products?

* I purchased the Resist Essential Kit and received the Power Couple for review. Opinions are my own.

Product Reviews: Olay, Prescriptives, PriyanaMD, and La Prairie


I recently came across this article about the effects of pollution on your skin. It made me stop and think. I live near New York City, and your skin can really take a beating, with exposure to taxi and bus exhaust, among other things. It’s not just UV rays that age your skin before it’s time. A lot of pollutants in the atmosphere can age it, too.

“The topic of pollution, and its effect not just on skin health, but on overall health, is becoming a trending concern as more people travel and live in cities,” Dr. Daniel Stengl, director of innovation for La Prairie, told me in an email. He went on to say your skin’s primary function is to serve as a protective barrier between you and, well, everything else. “As your skin’s barrier becomes compromised, visible signs may include redness, flakes, and dryness,” said Stengl. How unattractive.

Pollutants release free radicals into the environment. If the skin becomes overloaded with free radicals, the result is the degradation of collagen along with a decrease in cell function and health that leads to visible signs of aging, Stengl said. The breakdown of the skin’s structural elements can show up on your face as wrinkles, fine lines, and rough, dry patches. Yuck.

Skin care companies are jumping on the bandwagon to market products designed to protect your skin from the effects of free radicals. I thought I’d try some of them and see if they really work.*

Olay Total Effects 7-in-1 Anti-Aging Moisturizer Olay released three new Total Effects moisturizers back in January. One is fragrance free, one is fragrance free and has an SPF, and one has a (pretty) fragrance. Procter and Gamble, makers of Olay, said these new formulations have 40 percent more vitamins than previous Olay products, including the antioxidant vitamin E. They also have the highest level of niacinamide (vitamin B3) in an Olay product. I tried the one with SPF 15. It felt nice, if a little chalky, on my skin. It smelled a bit like sunscreen, but that makes sense, because it contains sunscreen. You can buy Olay products at CVS.

Prescriptives Super Line Preventor I remember going to the Prescriptives makeup counter in Macy’s as a kid. I used to wear Prescriptives Calyx perfume. The brand wont online only in 2011, but its Super Line Preventor is turning 30 this year. It contains antioxidants to help boost collagen production, the company said. It also said Super Line Preventor should increase skin’s moisture level by 71 percent and turn up its radiance by 35 percent. This product felt nourishing and soothing on my skin, especially after a day in the Florida sun. And I thought my skin looked brighter and smoother. It would be great to have a Super Line Preventor with an SPF. Super Line Preventor is available at

PriyanaMD C + DNA Repair This new daily moisturizer from PriyanaMD contains antioxidants to fight free radicals, hyaluronic acid to help skin retain moisture, and evodia and vitamin B5 to reduce inflammation or redness. I loved this stuff, which I used twice daily, along with the HylaSilk serum and VersaLift eye cream. It did not leave my skin feeling greasy, and my makeup went on smoothly. And my skin looked amazing. PriyanaMD Damage Control C + DNA is available at

La Prairie Cellular Swiss Ice Crystal Collection This collection is one of La Prairie’s newer lines, and its chock-full of exotic ingredients. The Cellular Swiss Ice Crystal Complex combines purple saxifrage, Soldanella alpina extract, and Swiss snow algae to protect skin against oxidative stress, fight free radicals, and protect mitochondrial DNA, Stengl said. I tried the emulsion, eye cream, and dry oil, and they were beautiful. They smelled like baby care products, and I felt they really improved the appearance of my skin. La Prairie products are available at

So what do you think? Do you do anything extra to protect your skin from pollutants other than the sun?

*Products were sent to me for review, but opinions are my own.

The Makeup Show 2015 Blogger Preview

Makeup maestro James Vincent at the 2015 Blogger Preview

Makeup maestro James Vincent at the 2015 Blogger Preview

Yesterday was one of my favorite days of the year: the annual Makeup Show NYC Blogger Preview! For a beauty blogger, its like Christmas, only better. James Vincent, director of artistry and education for The Makeup Show, tells the bloggers what’s planned for the two-day event, and then takes us through our goody bag. There’s always lots of great stuff. See my Instagram below for the highlights of this year’s gifts.

I’ll definitely be posting reviews as I try everything! I am especially looking forward to the Smashbox L.A. Lights Lip and Cheek Color in Beverly Hills Blush, the Vincent Longo eye shadow in Noccia and lip crayon in Cinabra, and the Kat Von D Shade and Light Eye Contour Palette, which has an eye shadow brush and case to go with it. And yes, a NARS Dual Intensity Blush in Frenzy, two lip colors from NYX Cosmetics, a bronzer from Stila, and a vegan lip gloss from Armour Beauty are in there, too.

For the unfamiliar, The Makeup Show is a trade show for makeup artists. It started 10 years ago in New York City, and has now expanded to Dallas, Chicago, Orlando, and L.A. And James, a makeup artist who has worked with musicians such as Florence Welch, is hilarious! Here is an old blog I did about his experience designing the makeup look for Abbey Dawn, a clothing line from Canadian singer Avril Lavigne.

I’ve never tried anything from Stila, NYX, or Kat Von D. Have you? What did you think? Let me know in the comments!