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Best Bet Body SPFs for Summer

I love my SunShield SPF 30 for the face - it's chemical-free, anti-aging goodness - but because of those anti-agers it's a little pricey for body SPF for you and the kids.  Steer clear of sprays (they're the worst) and stick to mineral sunscreens - Zinc and/or Titanium Dioxide ONLY- which, coincidentally, are also "Reef-Safe SPFs" meaning you won't be messing up the ocean's ecological systems - isn't that so much nicer?  Click HERE for a list of SPF ingredients to to avoid.  Here are some of my faves that have Broad Spectrum UVA/UVB protection and are water resistant (you'll notice stuff for kids makes the list a lot - they're great for any age!):

Yes to Cucumbers Natural Sunscreen Kids SPF 40 ($13.99 for 3 oz) uses Zinc and Titanium Dioxide as its sunscreen and is petrochemical, paraben and sodium lauryl sulfate free.  The only drawback is there is added fragrance.  Key ingredients are Aloe Vera, Vitamin E, Organic Cucumber Seed Extract and Green Tea Leaf Extract.  

Badger's Unscented Sunscreen SPF 30 ($15 for 2.9 oz) is great for babies specifically to me because the only sunscreen is Zinc so this one is kind of thick and white - babies don't care about that, people over seven years old do.  The ingredient list itself is SHORT - Sunflower Oil, Beeswax, Vitamin E and Seabuckhorn - and that's it - no fragrance - so, again, good for bambinos.

If you're stuck at a water park or a place that doesn't have a lot of natural brands Banana Boat's Natural Reflect Kid's (or Baby - they make both) Sunscreen Lotion SPF 50+ ($10.99 for 4 oz) may be on the shelf and it's pretty decent.  It uses Zinc and is paraben and fragrance free - my major drawback is that it has three petrochemicals but in a pinch this one a much better pick than your regular Banana Boat options.

Blue Lizard utilizes Micronized Zinc, otherwise known as Z Cote.  Two of their formulas only use mineral sunscreens - what we want - and three of them use Z Cote along with chemical sunscreens.  The ones to look for are Blue Lizard Sensitive ($14.79 for 5 oz) or Blue Lizard Baby ($19.99 for 8.75 oz).  Those two are not marketed as being water resistant but if you reapply often you should be okay - that's my opinion, not the company's, just to be clear.  Both are SPF 30 and are fragrance and paraben free.  

One more good one, as long as you stay away from the spray version, is Honest Company's Sunscreen SPF 30 ($13.95 for 3 oz).  This one has amazing ingredients - Sunflower, Olive and Jojoba Oils, Shea Butter as well as Calendula - and utilizes Non-Nano Zinc Oxide.  

So get outside and have fun at the beach!


Current Obsession - Bayberry Soap

This is totally seasonally inappropriate but I am OBSESSED with this Bayberry Soap I just got while in Colonial Williamsburg this past weekend.  

They offer four varieties - Lavender, Lemon and Castille - but the Bayberry was by far my favorite.  The piney, woody, spicy with a kick of sweet fragrance was so yummy - I kept taking it out of my bag during the day to catch a whiff!  AND it's $2.50 so you can't really beat it.

They offer it in a soap and even candles so you can experience 18th century life without ever leaving your home!


DIY Skincare/Body/Haircare Home Remedies

I remember being in some modeling class in 6th grade where our teacher gave us all facials - Ofie Herrera, the prettiest of us all, got to use one from a tube but my "skintype" called for an egg.  Literally.  A raw egg brushed over my skin.  I may have felt thoroughly grossed out at the time but in retrospect our teacher was helping to pave a course of me putting all kinds of foods on my face and in my hair to treat them for pennies on the dollar.  Here are some of my faves that work that involve two ingredients or less:

Olive Oil will get anything off - I find it's easiest to put a little on a cotton pad to get all of your shadow/mascara off.  This is a GREAT tip if you're out of town at a wedding, wearing waterproof mascara and don't have any waterproof remover on hand.  Just ask room service to send a little cup of olive oil up and tip well!

You've heard of putting used tea bags on your eyes to relieve tired eyes and cold spoons to take down puffy eyes but I'm a fan of making a pot of tea - green, black, white, whatever you like - and pouring it into an ice tray and taking one out in the morning to rub under your eyes if you're feeling tired and puffy.  You can do it straight if you're hardcore or you can wrap it in a papertowel or pop it in a Ziploc bag.

Ms. Modeling Teacher was right - an egg white mask is kind of awesome for oily girls.  You just separate the yolk out and apply the egg white to clean, dry skin.  Allow it to sit for 15 minutes or so, rinse and your skin will feel clarified and tightened.  Some people follow with the yolk but I'm too lazy to do that.  If putting raw eggs on your face grosses you out my 12 year old counterpart totally understands.

This one can have lots of additions (cucumber, oatmeal, aloe vera) but if you just roll with yogurt and honey you are money.  Even just yogurt in a pinch (I'm a fan of unflavored Greek yogurt).  Yogurt has lactic acid which is a super gentle alpha hydroxy acid which lightly exfoliates skin but hydrates at the same time.  Add some honey (3 parts yogurt to 1 part honey) which hydrates and also acts as an anti-irritant and anti-microbial goody.

I'm a fan of throwing an avocado in the Magic Bullet for this one and adding a little honey.  You'll need a half of an avocado for one person so this one is fun to do with a friend :).  I like to just add enough honey to make it easy to blend in the food processor.  It's best if you do this after a scrub to get the most benefit out of the mask.  Apply to clean, dry skin and rinse after 15 minutes.

I am not a huge toner girl but if you soak milk in cotton balls and apply to the face it's a great gentle exfoliator due to the lactic acid milk contains (like the yogurt!).  It's soothing, calming and lifts away dead skin in the least irritating way possible.  It's great for girls with rosacea.

Pineapple is loaded with antioxidants and I have a girlfriend who swears by slicing off a piece of pineapple every morning and rubbing it all over her face for a couple of minutes.  She's in her 60's and says it has helped to brighten her fair skin that has a bit of sun damage.  Rinse after using and apply your serum/moisturizer.

This is easy - grab your cleanser and some white sugar (white is more gentle than brown).  Squirt 2-4 pumps of your cleanser into your hand, add enough sugar to make a paste and use it as a scrub.  It's that easy!

This guy leaves you super hydrated and exfoliated - just mix sugar - white or brown - in a plastic bowl (glass bowls freak me out in the bathtub) and throw in some honey til you have a texture you like.  It is sticky but you'll be in the shower so it's fine.  The honey leaves behind crazy hydration while the sugar buffs off all those "I've been walking around in NYC in flipflops and my feet are black" ickies.

Again, super easy - grab some Organic Coconut Oil at the grocery store.  I like to keep it in the fridge if your kitchen gets warm in the summer as coconut oil liquifies at 75 degrees and it's easier for me to pull through my hair if it's a little solid.  Grab a spoon, get however much you want and work it through your ends.  If your hair is dry throughout then run it from root to end.  You can also throw the leftover oil on your elbows, knees and heels - it's a fantastic humectant for any part of your body.

So get into your kitchen and start cooking!  Figuratively speaking of course :)!


Mamma Mia! in Las Vegas Opening Night Goodies

My amazingly talented friend, Kimbre Lancaster, is playing one of the leads, Sophie (the daughter), in the new production of Mamma Mia! at The Tropicana in Las Vegas (yay!) and asked me to put together gift sets from Erin's Faces for the 45 members of her cast - so fun!

Kimbre posing as Sophie and working her magic onstage

We wanted to do something beachy that would work for guys and girls so every person got an Organic Monoi Tiari Scrub and a Shea Butter Body Balm.  We chose a light blue bag, since that's the color of Mamma Mia!, and I printed up cutie gift tags with the show's logo.

If you've got an event - weddings, showers, birthday parties or Broadway openings :) - we'll work with your budget to get you a gift that's handmade and healthy for your peeps!

To see fun opening night gifts for Broadway's "Big Fish" click HERE.


Girl Crush - Tony Awards 2014 Beauty

Hugh Jackman wasn't the only pretty thing onstage last night at the Tony Awards - I'm breaking it down by lip shade this year so hum your favorite show tune and check out these ladies who are turning it out 8 shows a week - 

Neutral Lips:

Maggie Gyllenhaal looked positively luminous

Kelli O'Hara looked stunning in her blush gown, flawless skin and full lash

Annika Noni Rose with a soft smoky lid and beautiful nude lip - I also LOVE her hair

Idina Menzel sporting her fabulous cheekbones and natural lipshade

Anika Larsen with liner all around the eye and a soft hit of blush

Mare Winningham, whose skin looks like peaches and cream

Flawless skin on Ms. Sarah Greene with makeup done by my pal Dean Fournier!

Tony Winner Sophie Okonedo with a perfect brow and cheek highlight

Medium Lips (also the girls who wore bright colored dresses - interesting!):

Kudos to Sutton Foster who performed from "Violet" with a bare face but rocked it on the red carpet with a peachy lip and lashes

LOVED Lauren Worsham with her tomato red dress and sheered out matching lip

Yes to this strong brow on Celia Keenan Bolger - she is ladylike perfection

Bold Lip:

Tony Winner Lena Hall all dolled up with wispy lashes and a fire engine lip

Patti LaBelle giving you full face

The Queen of the Night, Tony Winner Audra McDonald, with the trifecta - strong brows, lashes and lip

Courtney Reed's flawless skin with the perfect highlights - cheeks, nose, chin, forehead

Don't you love Linda Emond's dress?!  I thought she looked beautiful pairing an understated eye with a scarlet mouth

Tony Award winner, Jessie Mueller, giving you liquid liner and a red raspberry lip

And one of my favorite pictures of her from the night :)


The Lash Loft - Amazing Lashes!

With and without lash extensions
I got to visit The Lash Loft a couple of weeks ago to get some lash extensions and you guys - it was awesome!  My lash technician was Krystal Michel who is the Lead Lash & Brow Tech at The Lash Loft.  She is AMAZING!  Krystal trained in Singapore to learn how to do lash extensions and eyebrow shaping (she's also a permanent makeup queen!).  She asked me what type of lashes I wanted, walked me through the difference between the two types of Silk Lashes - Naturals and Glamours.  Naturals look like your lashes but longer and Glamours look thicker and darker as well as longer.  I voted for Glamour :).  Krystal asked me how long I wanted them to be and I told her to do whatever she wanted so she used four different lengths to create what you see below.

Before and After - you can see that wearing makeup is pointless as it all gets rubbed off but who cares - your lashes look amazing!

They use little silicone pads to tape down your lower lashes (the tape is not on your lashes!) to make it easier for them on multiple levels.  It takes about 1.5-2 hours for them to apply them and on paper they last 3-6 weeks.  My experience is that after 2-3 you'll need a "refill".  The Glamour lashes are also heavier so they need refills more quickly than the Naturals.  The Lash Loft uses Silk or Mink lashes.

The beds you lay on during the service.
Here are some common eyelash extension questions:

*How does it work?
They paint each lash with black glue and attach a "false" lash - single hair - on top and gauge the length depending on what's most flattering for you.
*Will it damage my lashes?
I feel like in the wrong hands there is potential for damage.  If you don't live in NYC and can't go to The Lash Loft then check reviews on Yelp or get a rec from a friend who has awesome lash extensions.  
*Will I need mascara and/or eyeliner?  
With Naturals (I've had them before) I did use mascara, with Glamours you don't need mascara at all.  I did wear eyeliner with Naturals but didn't with Glamours - it's not as necessary and it's harder to remove because they're thicker.  
*Can they look natural on blondes?
Yes, especially if you do Naturals.  The Glamours just look more dramatic but if you look at the picture below - no one can see where they stop and start so in that regard they do look natural.

Not the best quality pic, but you can see that they really do look natural on me even though they're Glamours.
*If you get sweaty working out or walking around in the summer will the slide off?
My experience is no, this will not affect how well they stay as long as if you need to wipe your eyes you don't touch your lashes.
*How does water affect them - swimming/showers/crying?
This is where they get tricky - you can't have running water on them (it obviously happens in the shower but you do your best to avoid it).  If you're wearing goggles to swim laps you'd be fine but if you're going to swim and get your head wet it's not awesome for them.  Crying doesn't seem to affect them if you, again, pat and don't wipe.  
*How do you keep them in place?
They do move, especially after you sleep, and an empty mascara wand if perfect for straightening them up.  The Lash Loft sends you home with one :).  
*Will they get crumpled/bent?
I'm sure that they technically could but you'd have to be a creative sleeper.  If you sleep on your stomach this could happen more easily I would assume.  Otherwise, not really.
*Are they good for honeymoons/vacations/camping trips?
They're awesome for them!  Your lashes look great with zero effort.
*Is it better than mascara and a curler?
If your lashes are crazy long and thick then no.  Otherwise, yes.  It takes 20 seconds to get them in place and they look amazing and they're yours.  I got asked all the time what mascara I was wearing (none!) and if I used a lash enhancing serum.  

I also did a brow shaping and dye job which was great to cover the little white hairs that are creeping into my brows - you can see them in the top pic on the brow on the right and they're gone in the bottom pic!  The excess dye on my skin came off when I got home and washed my face.

So if you're thinking about doing lash extensions feel totally safe doing it at The Lash Loft - every woman that walked out of their doors looked phenomenal - perfect lashes on each one!

The Lash Loft is located at 34 East 20th Street.  212.353.2517
Lash Extensions run $150-200.  Brow Shaping and Tinting is $45.