Beauty: Micellar Water, The Simple Secret to Fresh-Faced French Complexions...

It's pretty clear from experiences traveling and reading the never ending gamut of articles touting the "secrets" to French beauty that the French approach to beauty is not similar to our personal "war" on beauty. Our Parisian counterparts appear to keep stress low and beauty routines simple (the polar opposite of the 12, or perhaps 15, step Korean beauty rituals). This is not to say that they don't put in effort, but they are not running to the dermatologist's office for this exotic treatment or that new injection. Yet French women possess enviable skin that exudes youth, health and radiance. How, pray tell, do they do it? 

Some attribute this to a key component we've been missing from our skin care process. Micellar water. Everyone from Vogue to Huffington Post has written about this liquid Holy Grail. A simple liquid that removed makeup, clears away impurities and deposits nutrients on the skin while toning? It sounds absolutely dreamy. So why aren't we using it?  Perhaps we are non-believers in its powers. Perhaps our "work harder" mentality prevents us from a more gentle, mineral-rich approach to skin care. But perhaps... just perhaps, we're doing it all wrong and our scarf-wearing, ballet-flat bearing sisters have a secret we need to be exploring.

Used à la parisienne, micellar water REPLACES the use of any tap water. The thinking behind this approach is that water from the faucet is harsh and taxes skin with buildup and additives that advance the aging process. Rather than scrub-a-dub-dub twice daily over your basin, what about a softer, gentler approach? What if you swabbed a cotton pad loaded with this simple (and largely inexpensive) liquid and washed away the cares of the day while balancing, toning and nourishing skin? What if? 

According to a Vogue article:

“It’s the modern soap,” explains New York City facialist (and Paris export) Isabelle Bellis, who regularly uses it in her bespoke treatments. Acting like a multitasking solution, most formulas don’t require additional rinsing with water, which can further strip sensitive skin in the colder months. Bellis, however, uses it almost like a toner, swiping a soaked cotton ball over the skin after cleansing, then following it with a gentle mist of thermal water, which contains more nourishing minerals and fewer chemicals than what comes from the tap.

The beloved product, which has become increasingly available stateside in recent years, has been spotted in the kits of backstage makeup artists and the bathrooms of models worldwide, with Bioderma’s Sensibio H20 and Orlane’s brightening, antioxidant-rich formula topping the must-have list. But micellar water’s magic properties don’t stop there. Paris-based makeup artist Violette also relies on it to master a sleek cat-eye. “To perfect the line, I use it on a Q-tip and clean up the edges,” she says. “No need to rinse—it’s superfast and efficient.” Enough said. Here are the nine formulas worth considering for your own medicine cabinet.

Am I ready to give it a go? Yes. yes, I am. By and large the brand mentioned most by beauty editors (especially those in Europe) is Embryolisse, boasting a loving and gentle product line to boot. I'm reading reviews on it as well as the others listed here below. I'm loving the idea of a nutrient-dense fluid to smooth over skin that can somehow, someway serve as a cleanser. Is it possible? Parisians (and skin pros) confirm it is. And I can't wait to add this luxurious, less aggressive step to my daily beauty ritual. 

How about you? Are you already hip to this marvelous method? I'd love to hear from you! 

MIRACULOUS MICELLAR WATER


Beauty: The Quest for that Brit Glow...

{image via  BravoTV  //  here }

{image via BravoTV // here}

There's certainly something to be said about those London ladies. While many American women (or at least some of us) seem obsessed with punishing our skin into submission (guilty), our female counterparts across the pond seem perpetually blessed with hydration and that enviable dewy glow. Notoriously overcast skies and persistent atmospheric humidity help keep their skin youthful, but it's difficult not to notice their preference for more natural ingredients and more loving skin care treatments. It is also noteworthy that many of our favorite beauty icons (Kate Moss, Elle MacPhereson, Charlotte Tilbury and others) hail from the UK.

So... just what are they using? Some of my favorite Instagram accounts are those of celebs who are more than happy to share their beauty essentials. Noteworthy is the emphasis on health and wellness (I'm looking at you, Super Elixir products!) and rose-infused beauty goods. Hydration is clearly a specific goal and by the looks of it these wonder products work wonders. 

I've rounded up a few of my favorites from around the web. But I'd love to encourage you to consider being kinder to yourself and your skin. Try nourishing yourself from the inside out with nutrient dense foods, a sense of wellbeing and carving out time for movement and fitness. Find activities you truly enjoy and do them as often as possible. That inner glow comes from - you guessed it - inside. Your very being is lit from within when you tap into your source of joy and happiness. 

As for your skin? Summer took its toll, didn't it? Consider fall a moment to rekindle your love affair with your skin. Seek out products like these with natural humectants, organic ingredients and nurturing properties. Develop a nightly skin care ritual that makes you feel beautiful. Enjoy the moments you carve out to care for your face and body. 

Self love, perhaps, is the greatest beauty secret of all. 

FOR THE LOVE OF GLOWING SKIN



Beauty: The Secret Behind that Fabulous Sophia Loren Smile...

You know many things about Sophia Loren. Her captivating eyes, her voluptuous bod, her undeniably Italian va-va-voom. But she is also widely known for that magnetic smile. The team at Dolce&Gabbana formulated a lipstick shade specifically in the beauty's honor. Sophia Loren No 1 is not your typical red, it is a berry stained shade that might entice all of us to give saturated lips a try this fall. 

I had the opportunity to ask D&G makeup artist Christian McCulloch his thoughts on the bombshell in an interview. I think you'll love his answers and insights. After the interview, stick around to read how you can get a booking in his chair and let the beauty guru give you personal tips and tricks to reveal your own inner icon. 

Here's what I learned about inner beauty, skilled makeup application and what he's drinking under that Starbucks lid:

Sophia Loren: Italian bombshell and beauty icon for legions of women for decades. She embodies all we love about feminine beauty! packing the power of her sexy confidence into a single lipstick color and gleaming gold tube could not have been a simple task. I would love to hear your thoughts on what makes Sophia Loren No 1 so powerful and why this might be the shade that makes us all dare to bare a red lip. 
Sophia Loren is that classic Italian beauty whose look and style resonates with women and men alike. Sophisticated, sexy, daring, feminine and bold all at once; she exudes confidence and timeless style. Sophia is living proof that women's beauty and grace is achievable at all ages and through the decades. 

This shade is a go-to winner for women of all skin tones. 

Let’s talk fall makeup! The Dolce&Gabbana introductions for #dglovesfall exude feminine romance. Antique rose, mauve, and a some unexpected shades like Tahitian Grey & Jaipur Blue - give us plenty to work with to achieve a wide range of looks What type of street style vibe are you hoping these pretty products inspire? What is your personal favorite “daily” makeup look heading into the cooler months? 
I often love a strong and sexy smoky eye with a pale neutral, soft lip color. Never fails! The eyeshadow shades in the Fall collection are the most incredible hues for big bold sexy eyes with added dimension. I love to play with the color and get it to be bold enough without overdoing it. A statement, but a sophisticated one. That look can be amped up by adding a winged liner. 

Deep bold glossy lips are making a come back. Experiment with red and deep violet / purple tones for this bold, glamorous look. Creamy matte velvet skin, defined brows, two-tone dimensional eyeshadow and a glowing cheek is my hallmark look for the new fall makeup.

In your work with models, celebs and beauty enthusiasts alike, what is a subtle trend you hear them all asking for? Is there a specific feature they are hoping to play up? Are there any emerging trends you’re noticing?
The flushed cheek with a pop of blush, combined with a strong contour and dimension has been on top of everyone’s request list.  The “sculpted” face!  Brows have also been a priority; everyone wants those thick, defined and natural strong brow. This is achievable with the Dolce&Gabbana Shaping Eyebrow Pencil

Since our last interview I’ve become far more familiar with the Dolce & Gabbana skin care line. Great skin is what it’s all about right now. I’m hooked on a few goodies like the Essential Toner and the Aurealux Serum. Hello, healthy skin! Could you offer any pro tips for keeping skin hydrated and radiant as cold weather settles in?
I love removing makeup and impurities with the Dolce&Gabbana Essential Cleansing Oil as it is both comforting and soothing to the skin.  To deliver extra radiant hydration; use the Dolce&Gabbana Aurealux Mask followed by the Dolce&Gabbana Aurealux Serum – velvety skin will be revealed.

Back to the subject of Sophia Loren and her inimitable beauty: What expert beauty tips could you offer us for channeling our own inner bombshell and embracing La Dolce Vita a la the Italian bombshell?
I think that brow shaping and defining is key for Italian bombshell Sophia-ness! Have them shaped gently by someone you trust! Extra lashes and liner on the outer corners to deliver that feline flick, that meets the brow is also key. Then shadow on the lid can be on the paler side for day and amped up heavier for night, I like to use a cream shadow like the Dolce&Gabbana Perfect Mono.Finish the look with luscious lips and contoured cheekbones – that’s how you find your inner Sophia.

And a few fun rapid-fire “get to know you” questions: 

Favorite summer escape? 
If I’m staying relatively local, I love heading to East Hampton, NY for the tranquil setting and boating. I usually spend Labor Day Weekend in Cape Cod; so gorgeous there. If I'm going offshore- Tulum, Mexico is a magical spot I keep returning to for the healthy lifestyle, food, yoga, massage, meditation, etc. 

Your typical Starbucks order?
My Starbucks order is pretty classic:  Grande Cappuccino! A Venti if it's a tough morning! 

Must-have items in your carry-on?
In my carry on:  Aside from my makeup brushes, I love to have a good book or great magazine article to get into. The New Yorker, New York magazine and Time always have something intelligent and current to absorb in my down time. I love learning more about the upcoming presidential race. Also the Beauty & Fashion mags keep me on my toes and inspired to do more great work. Then it's really the basics: iPad, toiletries, (Dolce&Gabbana Skin of course!) a Rose Water Mist and cashmere cardigan helps! 

Last thing you downloaded?
Latest download is the new Lana del Rey album. Always love anything new from Beyoncé - my girl from Houston! Also love that Diplo and Justin Bieber song!

Well don't you love him just a little more now? I do! (If you missed my earlier interview with him, check it out here.) For an up close and personal experience with the brand, Christian himself and that iconic lip color, here's the skinny on his upcoming Houston appearance at Saks Galleria:

What:
Dolce&Gabbana National Make Up Artist, Christian McCulloch Private Consultations

When:
Saturday, September 26th 11AM – 7PM

Where:
Saks Fifth Avenue at The Galleria
5115 Westheimer Rd
Houston TX

Call to make your appointment: (713) 627 – 0500 EXT. 5102

SHOP HER D&G LOOK




For you video lovers (raising hand high!), here's a fun backstage glimpse of Sophia introducing her signature lipstick shade:

Beauty: Weekly Love List...

{Photos in this post via yours truly, Franki Durbin}

{Photos in this post via yours truly, Franki Durbin}

If you follow me on Instagram you've no doubt already seen me gushing about my current beauty faves. My love of Charlotte Tilbury isn't new, but after much trial & error (yes, error) I've settled upon my winners from her line. First, the real winner is the Light Wonder. I actually look better each day after I remove my makeup thanks to that hylauronic acid and a botanical alternative to retinol. Stuff is amazing and trumps all my other foundations. Next up, her concealer is more opaque than my longtime fave from YSL. I love it in shade 2 which matches my skin and covers up discolored areas and any under eye circles. Love your lips? You will REALLY love them after using her Lip Cheat pencil in Pillow Talk. Perfect for over-lining your pucker & giving your pout a but more plump without fillers. 

The surprise hit (which I mentioned a week ago) is the Multi-Miracle Glow. I cannot believe how useful it is. In two short weeks I've used it in the following ways:

  • to remove stubborn eye makeup
  • as overnight plumping mask (I misted with rose water after applying) 
  • to treat my daughter's eczema (totally hooked after seeing how her skin healed)
  • on chapped lips (more of that to come as fall kicks in)
  • as an eye moisturizer treatment 

The massive jar is $60 which is a wonderful value for the myriad uses this lovely pink gel offers. I highly recommend you swing by a Tilbury counter & ask for a little sample. Try it for yourself & see what you think. That's all for now. happy Thursday, all! 

TILBURY GOODIES I RESTOCKED ON THIS WEEK

Beauty: The Very Necessary End of Summer Skin Reboot...

I've sunblocked. I've worn hats. I've stayed in the shade when I could. And yet, I have an unwanted tan on my face. When I tell you my lovely visage is thirsty I truly mean it. And as I look at my vanity counter I realize I'm slowly but surely adding a cool stash of a singular brand to my tried and true winning product arsenal. Chanel (I'm surprised to say) has been earning its way into my very competitive skin care collection. Competition is stiff, as I'll quickly ditch what doesn't work effectively. So seeing more of those double C's in my mirrored tray tells me those babes in lab coats at Chanel beauty HQ know how to deliver maximum results. 

What heroes can I share with you? Mostly they fall within two groups: the Hydra Beauty and Resynchronizing Skincare. These two sub-collections within the esteemed Chanel skincare line will remedy all of your late summer complexion woes. Personally it's dry, parched skin in need of rehydration. But thanks to the unwanted sun exposure I'm all about gentle exfoliation by way of the right mix of acids. Think: a glowing renewed Gigi Hadid type glow and you've got the picture. 

I've found my favorites amongst these lines and am eager to share. You should know my preferences to decide if this might work for you. I like gentle yet effective exfoliation via glycolic & salicylic acid serums. I adore products with hyaluronic acid, as the plumped look is oh, so fabulous on everyone. I prefer light cream formulas that deliver ongoing hydration and lend skin that coveted bounce and a hint of dewiness without irritation. And don't forget the lips: a good balm works wonders. Also: I like a comprehensive yet simple program to follow. I like knowing I'm getting antioxidants, a peptides, retinol and everything else I need to round out my skincare "diet" if you will. 

MY CURRENT SKIN REBOOT ROUTINE

This huge jar ($60) is a miracle worker. I am probably more surprised than you, but this beautiful pink gel inside is somehow the perfect 3-in-1 product to not only removes makeup, but also acts as a mask and an overnight hydrating treatment. I've tried Multi-Miracle Glow and am a convert. And did I mention the amount given is huge? This rose-gold lidded jar has proudly earned a spot on my counter. 


The heavy hitters, though, come from Chanel. The "holy trinity" at work here can be found in the Resynchronizing collection. Three bold black & white bottles possess everything you need to revitalize your skin and undo a little damage. An effective yet gentle glycolic peel called Le Weekend is the star of the show here, but no star works alone. Paired with Le Jour (a delightful salicylic acid rich serum for morning) and La Nuit (a hylauronic packed hydrating product for night) reveals brighter, clearer, smoother and more plumped skin without much thought or participation on your part. A handy travel sized version of the trio is available for those of you on-the-go (or on the fence). 

And during your waking (and makeup wearing hours) I love pampering the skin with either the Chanel Hydra collection or Dr. Dennis Gross's Hylauronic Moisture Cushion gel cream. The Hydra collection is idea for combo skin. If you are truly on the dry side, you should choose the cream version of the moisturizer versus the gel cream. And Dr. Dennis Gross is a very eddective brand oyu should quickly familiarize yourself with. You'll see more of these all-stars here as I share more of my current faves. When I'm feeling really special (read: tired & desperate) I'll whip out some eye patches to rejuvenate the eye area. 

If you were only going to invest in three of these, this would be my essential mix:

THE ESSENTIAL THREE

So what about you? How's your skin faring now that it's August and the season of the sun is winding down? Are you in need of some facial R&R? Did you stay loyal to your sunscreen or are your proudly wearing your sunny glow? 

Beauty: Fresh Faced & Fabulous With Summer Favorites...

{Photos in this post all via yours truly, Franki Durbin}

{Photos in this post all via yours truly, Franki Durbin}

Look back through old posts & you'll see I have a long terms love affair with one specific product: Laura Mercier's Tinted Moisturizer. When I want to look fresh and fabulous, this hydrating product works wonders on my face. Winter may call for a different color, but come summer it's all about her "Nude" version which is my skin only better. It leaves me dewy and even-toned without masking my skin. 

{Photos via yours truly, Franki Durbin}

Recently I discovered a few new items to add to my "forever favorites" category. What are they? A blush the shade of joy (seriously, it might even beat out my NARS), the perfect nude lip liner (and nude lipstick to match) and... wait for it... a liquid bronzer good for adding that sun-kissed sheen anywhere on the body.  

So... let's talk about the basics. This tinted moisturizer. I've used it for about 7+ years now (not kidding) and feel it more than earns all those beauty awards. It delivers enough pigment to blur imperfections and enough hydration to keep your skin from feeling parched. I personally use it over my own moisturizer and my favorite primer, but it's a fantastic product. Consider this the Swiss Army knife of cosmetics as it has SPF 20, it hydrates and plumps with a healthy serving of hyaluronic acid and it makes you look all J. Lo glowy. 

LAY DOWN THE BASE

Now the fun part... color! I love, love, love applying makeup but I am big on achieving a clean look in the end. No bizarre experimentation here, it's all about ending up with fresh appearance and a healthy glow. With that, let me introduce you to the newest blush in my arsenal... Heather Pink. If you follow the post-show break downs of what your favorite celebs wore to this event or that and what makeup they rocked, this blush is one that has been seen on the red carpet a LOT this year. I now understand why. It's pretty, perky and just the right shade of pink and not a hint of "glitter" in the mix. It's Audrey Hepburn perfect. 

GET CHEEKY

Now for the finishing touches. I've trimmed my eye routine down for summer. I'm loving a wash of neutral over the entire eye, a glaze of shimmery bronze-beige shadow on the lids themselves, my "must-have" waterproof black liner and volumizing mascara. For summer, it's perfect. For lips I'm really loving dusty pink nudes. Here's what's presently in the mix: Natural Lips is the name of the liner. It's ideal for achieving the Kylie lips your crave. I don't normally do liner, but this year I'm obsessed giving my pucker a bit more pout. For color, try Spiced Rose, it's that nude-ish/rosy-pink you want but never quite seem to find.

LINE & SHINE

Now for the surprising little tube that took me a while to appreciate. It's a bronzing product in gel form. For some reason I can't work this one into my facial routine, BUT... I've discovered it is amazing for collarbones, shoulders, legs and other areas of the body you want to give a sun kissed look to without, you know, actually going in the sun.

Try it and see if you have the same success. It is not sticky at all, it absorbs into the skin and leaves behind a very believable warmth. And I have yet to see it "rub off" on things the way some of my other bronzing products do. However, when it's time to shower off, it vanishes like a thief in the night. This is a genuinely great product in a smart format. Get your glow on here

Yes, I know, it's intended for your lovely face, but there's no shame in using a great product in a different way if it makes your legs & décolletage look fabulous, right? Beauty hacks are awesome. 

So that's a little look at my current summer beauty routine. For a look back other beauty & skin care (a personal obsession) posts, explore a few more of my beauty-centric posts: 

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Beauty: The Life-Changing Mineral Sunscreens You've Been Seeking...

You situation may be different, but there's just not a chance I'll be able to completely dodge getting sun this summer. It's Texas. It's sunny. It's hot. And try as we might to do most of our outdoor activities in the shade or early mornings/late afternoons, it is inevitable that Mr. Sun will find a way to shine his light my way. And that's a good thing, since catching those rays buoys your mood and boosts your health. But there is a dark side to too much sun exposure: premature aging and the very real risk of skin cancer. 

Truth is, sunscreen is needed year-round no matter where you live. Even car and office windows can't keep you shielded from the harmful effects of those strong UVA/UVB rays. And please don't tell me I need sun to produce vitamin D. I assure you, I'm getting plenty through my exposed lower body. But can you blame a girl for wanting to keep her face, décolletage and arms free from speckles, spots and damage? My doctor (this gorgeous one) would agree, prevention is the best cure and no on is immune to potential damage.

But what if the sunscreen itself is more harmful than the dreaded ailments you're trying to prevent? Ahhhh. Therein lies the problem. Chemical sunscreens are loaded with questionable substances. Look for a lengthy list of complex names typically ending in -one, -ate or -ene. Oxybenzone is an endocrine disruptor and octinoxate (aka octyl methoxycinnamate) has periodically been labeled a cancer causing ingredient. Retinyl palmitate - another common ingredient "may increase photocarcinogenicity, the rate of developing cancerous lesions or tumors from sun exposure, according to a 2009 study (1)" , You might have never given this a second thought before, but spraying or rubbing this into your skin gives these active ingredients the opportunity to get into your system and cause a range of problems. 

Why are chemical sunscreens more popular? It's simple: they are invisible, readily available and never leave that ghastly white cast on skin.

What exactly is a mineral sunscreen and what's the difference? I can't wait to share...

The all-star ingredients here are Titanium dioxide (TiO2) and Zinc oxide (ZnO). Whereas chemical sunscreens work by absorbing the suns rays or scattering them, they take 20 minutes to begin performing. So no spraying it on and jumping in the pool feeling protected. 

Mineral sunscreens, by contrast, are a physical barrier that sits on top of the skin and prevent the rays from actually penetrating the skin. They begin working immediately upon application. Good news - the best of the bunch are also loaded with antioxidants which have been proven to work synergistically to protect your from damage caused by exposure to the sun. 

I have done exhaustive research and come up with my top recommended high spf (30+ sunscreen fluids & creams for face & body. Used properly, none of these will leave you with a kabuki-faced appearance (although you may have to work them into the skin a bit) and all are paraben free. I'll be frank - this is a SHORT list because I've eliminated even some old favorites once I dug into the ingredients list. Let's go: 

MY FAVORITE MINERAL FACIAL SUNSCREENS 

For my face & upper body I need a water-light formulas with SPF 45+ that melts into the skin. These top my list with Josie Maran & Omorovicza being tied in first place for being by far the most natural and skin nourishing of those I discovered. 

Omorovicza UV Shield // Josie Maran Argan Oil SPF // Colorscience Powder Sunscreen

FAVORITE MINERAL SUNSCREENS FOR THE BODY

For body, this Avene lotion is my personal choice but the three creams listed below are hydrating, top quality and terrific performers. They just require a bit more rubbing in, being thicker formulas than the thinner facial liquids. For kids, Hampton Sun is the way to go. No doubt. Yes, they are pricey - but nothing is as sacred as your health and avoiding expensive treatments or reparative efforts later on. 

Avene SPF 50 Mist // Omorovicza UV Shield // Supergoop SPF 40

THE BEST MINERAL SUNSCREEN POWDERS FOR THE FACE

One other secret weapon for saving your gorgeous face? SPF powder for reapplying during the day. Remember, they recommend we reapply sunscreen every two hours for effectiveness and I'm not about to put a fluid on top of my makeup once I'm ready for the day. Hence the need for powders. Yes. It works and is largely free from unnecessary ingredients. I LOVE the Chantecaille, but it is almost always sold out. So I've added two other winners I love. Note: these are NOT grainy formulas. These are finely milled and can be dusted on like an invisible veil. No - you will not have powdery face, but you might just avoid some major sun damage by tossing one in your tote. Pro tip: purchase the Chantecaille Refill while you wait for your handy brush/dispenser combo to arrive. 

Chantecaille Protection Naturelle SPF Powder // Colorscience "Sunforgettable" SPF Powder // PTR Instant Sunshield Powder

I'll be candid here: my dad is a skin cancer survivor. My maternal grandfather regularly has to go and have melanomas removed. Having grown up in the Carolinas I can tell you I wasn't so sun safe. To say that prevention of future damage is a priority for me is an understatement. Couple that with my love of exercising outdoors and generally having fun and you get a girl who is obsessed with finding fantastic products. 

So if I seem passionate about the topic of "safe sun" and a bit obsessed with maintaining my youthful glow, I'll agree with you. I am. Better late than never, right? I'm not advocating hiding indoors - I'm encouraging to find high quality products that allow you to live your dreams in the safest and healthiest way possible. 

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Beauty: Secrets to an All-Over Sublime & Safe Summer Glow...

Growing up in the Carolinas, "safe sun" meant slathering on Hawaiian Tropic SPF 4 body oil as we baked on the beach or the patio. If I could go back in time to my younger self it would be all chatter about "sunscreen, sunscreen, sunscreen" (none of which teenaged me would understand).

Fast forward to today and I am as sun-savvy as it gets. Thankfully we are blessed with a BOUNTY of luxurious beauty products on the market that pamper the body, support healthy skin and deliver the most dreamy St. Tropez worthy glow a girl could ever dream of having. Bye-bye harmful rays, we're hitting our beauty drawer for everything we need to achieve that sexy & sublime summer color - absent of any UVA/UVB rays. 

What am I loving? The newest brand on my radar is Vita Liberata. Touted as "the best—and longest lasting—self tanner in the world" this remarkable collection of bottles & potions deliver streak-free, odorless, deeply hydrating color via a mix of organic botanicals and a unique Moisture Lock™ system that actually draws water to the skin’s surface - giving your skin that coveted glow typically reserved for magazine spreads. Whether you want a subtle and gradual tan or want a deeply bronzed look by nightfall, Vita Liberata has you covered. 

But I do have a few there tricks up my sleeve for smooth skin and a cabana-ready body. Here we go: 

FIRST: SMOOTH IT OUT

Don't expect to tan and go. The secret to silky skin and buttery smooth legs is dry brushing, exfoliating and prepping with a lotion loaded with lactic acid & humectants to facilitate cell turnover and leave skin ready for your tanning products. I will tell you that I have looked F-O-R-E-V-E-R for a body brush and finally found "the one" at Net-a-Porter. Read any supermodel or fitness interview and they all tell you they dry brush regularly. Not only does it get your lymphatic system moving, it eliminates puffiness in the limbs. I highly recommend you give this a try. Did I mention it's only $24? Enough said. 

SECOND: GET YOUR GLOW ON

A day or so after your full body prep, I like to apply a sunless tanner mousse. Using a good mitt you an ensure a streak free application without risking the dreaded "tan hands" situation. A more gradual approach would be to use a self-tanning lotion that slowly develops color over a few days. My preference? I'm loving the Vita Liberata pHenomenal 2-3 week tan. It's a mousse, and when applied with the mitt it's pretty much goof proof. LOVE IT. 

THIRD: HYDRATE & PROTECT

I love a good moisturizing routine. Matte skin isn't chic, so keep yours dewy and hydrated with daily moisturizers. Don't forget to spray on the SPF regularly every day. Those dashes to the car count as exposure, so don't kid yourself into thinking you are indoors all day. A little oil on the legs, a little bronzer on your collarbones and shoulders plus an emollient sunscreen mist will do the trick. I'm loving this Neroli & Argan Milk SPF 50 fine mist. Protection perfected. 

Now you, my darling, are a bronzed goddess who is actually babying her skin and treating her body to a spa treatment all while looking darn good doing so. Looking for that sun-kissed appearance for your face? Don't miss this post where I share my secrets to achieving a radiant glow on your fabulous visage. Happy (sun-free) tanning! 

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