18 Best Beauty Tips, Tricks and Hacks for 2018

New year! New you! Old cliché! I actually started writing this post in 2017 and probably should have posted it 26 days ago, so you'll have to forgive me. But these tips, tricks and beauty hacks will make up for my lack of organization. These are the best of my best tips and ones I really apply in my own life. All the time. From skincare to makeup to hair care, here are the game changers. 

Skincare

Silk Pillowcases Aren’t A Luxury—They’re a Necessity

I don't care what your thread count is, cotton causes friction and absorbs moisture. Your skin and hair need all the moisture they can get. Silk pillowcases really help your skin stay soft and prevent hair breakage and frizz. You will notice the difference when you wake up in the morning.  

Remove All Of Your Makeup By Double Cleansing

Check your hopefully silk pillowcases. If they are stained, you need to wash your makeup off better. Start with an oil cleanser. It will suck all everything from your face like a vacuum. Then continue with your regular cleansing routine.

You Don’t Need Super Pricey Facewash

Don’t hate me but I obsessed over my cleanser for years and spent way too much money on it. It’s important, but not as important as you think. 

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 Wash Your Face With A Washcloth

Unless you are washing your face in the shower, don’t splash (and get water all over your bathroom). Instead, use a hot washcloth. That way your skin will be fully cleansed and it feels like mini facial. I personally use the ones from Amazon Basics. They’re soft and surprisingly high quality. 

Your Products Don’t Work Because You Need To Exfoliate

Is that new product you bought not working? That’s because you aren’t exfoliating. Do it two or three days a week.

Serums Are Life

Serums will actually change your skin. No matter what your skincare type is, you need one.

Shut Up, I don’t Care What Your Skin Type Is, You Need To Moisturize

A of people are afraid to moisturize if they have combination or oily skin, but you need to reevaluate that belief. Sometimes your skin is oily because it is trying to balance itself out. When you apply moisturizer, your skin tends to CTFD. 

Castor Oil Makes Your Lashes & Brows Bomb

Are you thinking about microblading or getting a prescription for Latisse? Try this natural alternative first. Before you go to bed, apply black castor oil (BLACK, not the regular kind) to your lash line and brows with a Q-tip.

Makeup

Light Is Life

If you can’t see your face properly, how are you supposed to apply your makeup? I have a Vanity Girl Hollywood Mirror and it’s a total game changer. There are several available in different sizes. They also have travel and tabletop mirrors in their pop-up store. If don’t believe me, ask Kim Kardashian. She has one. Also, the company’s chief boss babe, Maxine Tatlonghari was on my podcast.

Prime Prime Prime Your Face

You know those women who look perfect all of the time or at the very least still have a fresh face at 6:00pm? Don't hate them. Just use a primer. Apply after your moisturizer but before your foundation.

Prime Your Lashes

I love lash primer. It helps keep your lashes looking pretty and amps up your mascara game. It’s worth the extra 30 seconds this step adds to your routine.

Liquid Mattes Last Longer Than Most Relationships

Who has time to re-apply their lips? NOT ME. Liquid matte lipsticks tend to stay on forever. These days, I’m digging SPELA’s Spin, but they have lots of cute colors.

Set Set Set

Setting spray is just as important as primer. And it takes like 4 seconds to apply. You can even use it instead of powder.

Hair

Dry Shampoo Does Everything

Dry shampoo is like a personal assistant for your hair. It's great to apply to your roots after working out, during a hang over or if you just don’t have time for a full on wash. You can also use it to texturize your hair, cover up bad roots, or instead of hairspray.

Don’t Dry Your Hair With A Normal Towel

Don’t turban up your wet hair with the same towel you use to dry your body. Instead, use a towel designed for drying your hair specifically. The fabric is less harsh, the water will be absorbed better, leading to less drying time and less destroyed hair.

Use A Heat Protectant

Heat obviously damages your hair, but you probably aren’t going to stop using hot tools, so just protect your hair in the first place. 

Winning Winter Beauty—Bodycare Edition

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It’s the winter. Well, technically it's fall because winter officially starts on December 21st, but I feel like we are there already. Even in Los Angeles. The second the temperature drops all moisture just leaves my body and goes on vacation, so really that’s close enough. Part of the problem is that I like to take extra hot showers, which can just be murder on your skin, but let’s be honest—I probably won't stop that, so I’ve found a body care routine that restores the moisture that gets stripped away. In the past two months, I’ve mixed up my body care routine from the summer, tried some new products and stayed loyal to a few favorites. Here are my current body care essentials. While you can use these products year round (and probably should), it’s especially important to make time to take care of your entire body during the upcoming colder months. 

Tree Hut Coconut Lime Shea Sugar Scrub

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Exfoliation is life! If your skin is dry and you just keep applying body lotion, it’s not going to do its job well because you have to get rid of the dead skin cells. I like to exfoliate my body at least once or twice a week during the winter. I know some people have crazy intense body exfoliation routines and dry brush (don’t ask me what that is because I really have no idea other than the fact that such things exist), but honestly for me, using a scrub is easy, fast, inexpensive and gets the job done.

Tree Hut Coconut Lime Shea Sugar Scrub  smells like a tropical island in a jar and feels amazing on your skin. There is also a matching lotion you can use after you shower, but most of the time the oil in the product itself should be enough.

Trader Joe’s Lavender Body Scrub

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This is my to-go scrub on those days when I workout after work and shower before bed. The lavender oil in this product helps me to fall asleep. I also love this scrub because I’m always at Trader Joe’s so it’s NBD to pick up.

SkinCeuticals Body Tightening Concentrate

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SkinCeuticals is one of my favorite brands. Everything they make is good. Not kidding. The Body Tightening Concentrate isn’t for your whole body, but rather the areas you are trying to reduce or aren’t as tight as you would like them to be. While it helps you look firmer, this does not mean you can go eat a cupcake and subsequently use a ton of product, but if you are eating healthy and working out, this is a great supplement. It also feels really good and refreshing on your skin. I personally apply it to trouble spots—my abs and inner thighs. I even think a thigh gap might be in my future.

Bliss Fatgirlslim Arm Candy

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Bliss Fatgirlslim Arm Candy contains caffeine, lactic acid and moisture beads, to make your arms look sleeker and more toned. While obviously it isn’t a substitute for exercise and not eating like an animal, if you are doing those things and your arms need some extra help, Bliss is your girl!

Applying this cream is a little different than most body lotions. You use the applicator that is attached to the bottle and massage it in for 20-30 seconds. It feels really nice after a post-workout shower.

Jergens Wet Skin Moisturizer With Refreshing Coconut Oil

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If you didn’t know, your skin absorbs moisture better when wet and Jergens Wet Skin Moisturizer With Refreshing Coconut Oil is formulated for this use specially. I keep the bottle in my shower instead of the medicine cabinet. Honestly, sometimes I slack off and use it on dry skin. I just wet my hands a little first. This lotion makes my legs silky smooth and has a light scent which really mixes well with any other product or fragrance I’m using.

Kopari Coconut Sheer Oil

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I love Kopari Coconut Sheer Oil. It’s one of my favorite multitasking products because it is formulated for the hair, body and face. I use it on areas that need a little extra moisture like my hands and elbows and then I wipe the excess on the ends of my hair. If the thought of coconut oil turns you off because you also cook with it, this is product is nothing like taking out one of those giant jars. It’s caller Sheer oil for a reason. It’s also sulfate, paraben and phthalate free as well as hypoallergenic, gluten-free, cruelty-free, silicone-free, and non-GMO. So if your skin is super sensitive, dry and irritated, this might just change your life.

 

From Post-Workout Triage To Actually Making An Effort: Best of Gym Bag Beauty

Hurray for honesty. Also this cute  gym bag by Ban.do .

Hurray for honesty. Also this cute gym bag by Ban.do.

I wrote an article for A Sweat Life featuring my favorite post-gym beauty products. So, if you're stinky, sweaty and have a tendency to break out after you workout (no judgements, but obvs you want that to stop, right?), head on over to A Sweat Life.

How To Be A Blonde Bombshell & Fight Brass With Sass

Photo by Hayley Fisk. Makeup by  Kinx Active .

Photo by Hayley Fisk. Makeup by Kinx Active.

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When I was a little girl, if you asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up I would have probably said blonde. Luckily, I was able to achieve that goal by high school with a whole lot of bleach on my naturally blah brown hair. I haven’t really gone back since. (Okay, three times, but I think I’m blonde for life now.) 

But, being blonde is a commitment. It’s time consuming and expensive. In addition to not being naturally blonde, I have another huge hair problem. Left to its own devices, my hair is dry AF. It also doesn’t grow as long and gorgeous like it appears to for every other woman I know. So, my life, at least in terms of what I focus on from a vanity standpoint, has been a constant battle to achieve a presentable looking head of hair. Yes, it’s annoying, but for the first time in a long time, I think I’m having more good hair days than bad ones.

In my quest for blonde, I’ve tried EVERYTHING. If your hair is blonde, dry and annoying, you don’t have to suffer through what I did. Here are the essentials to being the best blonde you can be.

A Product Squad To Combat Brass

In college, I thought it would be fun to go strawberry blonde. It was cute, but it ruined my hair forever. Ever since, my hair wants to be red and brassy all of the time. It’s a constant battle for a brass-free head.

Beating the brass starts with purple shampoo. But be forewarned, purple shampoo is kind of a lifestyle choice. It’s powerful stuff. My shower sometimes looks like I murdered Barney the Dinosaur.  But if you’re blonde, it’s a necessity.

As you can imagine, I’ve tried ALL THE PURPLE SHAMPOOS. My personal favorite is Kevin Murphy Blonde Angel Wash. It’s doesn’t dry my hair out and the packaging prevents bathtub staining, which is a huge issue with most purple shampoos. If you need an extra purple boost, add the Blonde Angel Conditioner to your routine once a week or more.

Another option is using a toner like Dessange CC Cream. This treatment cuts brass so well, I wouldn’t trust it around a trumpet. Pro tip: actually read the directions before you use this product.

A Conditioner That Works Like A Therapist For Your Hair’s Dryness Issue

Going blonde will make anyone’s hair prone to dryness. I really like Terax Original Crema. It was all the rage in middle school, went away for a few and was recently(ish) re-launched in 2016. Crema is creamy, but doesn’t weigh my hair down. I like to leave it in for a few hours once a week for an extra moisture boost instead of using a mask.

A Special Hair Towel

Although I love my Ralph Lauren towels to dry off my body, regular towels split your ends like a bad divorce. That’s why I use the Laguna Blue towel on my hair. Made of microfiber, it’s anti-bacterial (great if you wash your hair at the gym), eco-friendly, and most importantly (let’s be honest here) it absorbs water twice as fast as a regular towel. Seriously, it’s like the diamond lane for your hair.

Oil For Your Ends At Night

I love Kopari Coconut Sheer Oil. It’s a great multitasker you can use you on your hair, body, face, etc (just don’t eat it). I put a few drops on my palms at night and apply it to my ends before I go to bed. No need to wash off.

Sun Protection

We all use sun protection for our skin (hopefully), but we rarely think of using it for our hair. Despite what you remember from using Sun-In when you were 12, sun is actually the enemy of blonde hair. It will brass it up like a bad jazz band. But you can’t just use your face sunscreen on your hair. (If you were wondering, I tried and it didn’t end well). There are two products I really like for this purpose. One is Fekkai Pre-Soleil Hair Mist. It’s very hydrating and has a UV filter.  It also smells like heaven. If my hair is extra dry or I’m planning on getting it wet, I use Nios Shield SPF 15 Leave-In Conditioner. It’s super creamy and a little work to apply, but it will immediately take away your fear of the ocean or pool destroying your locks.

A Hat (This Is Not A Fashion Tip)

Even with product, I still think the best way to protect your hair is with a hat. I like a straw fedora because they look cute with most swimwear and clothing. These hats from Forever21 and Kate Spade are all you need.

F- It Fridays (Singles Awareness Day Edition)

Dear Single People,

When I was single, I used to hate Valentine’s Day. Sure, there would be lots of chocolate around and my mom would always buy me a nice gift, but it just sucked. Until I met my husband, I never seemed to have a boyfriend on February 14th. Or worse, I’d have a breakup just a few weeks before. So, if you are totally hating couples right now, I feel ya. But remember, it’s only 24 hours and you have to be in a relationship with yourself for the rest of your life.

So, use Valentine’s Day as an excuse to treat yourself kindly. Get dinner or have a fun right with a friend at home. Go to a singles event and give away your smooches freely. Or buy yourself a cupcake, a bottle of wine and cry on your couch. I won’t judge you. Been there. Done that. Then go drunk shopping and check out my favorite Singles Awareness Day treats. Or be productive and send me an email that says how much you love this blog. Should I add comments? Would you comment if I added them? Let me know.

Lots of Hugs,

Amanda

Jolii Cosmetics Matte Lip Glosses (Not An Oxymoron, I Promise)

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Have you ever wanted to put on a lipgloss that was matte? I swear it actually exists and Jolii Cosmetics makes it. Every lipgloss comes with bonus karma points because a portion of each sale goes towards the Animal Hope and Wellness Foundation. Jolii's products are formulated with shea butter and jojoba oil, so they are incredibly moisturizing. Also impressive is the color selection, which is very fashion forward with shades of red (perfect reds!!!!!!), orange, purple and brown. It's like an Instagram selfie lover's dream worthy of 10000 likes.

Miss A Makeup Cases

Don't miss Miss A makeup cases. They're just a $1 (seriously, not kidding), but they look way more expensive. Fool everyone! 

Kopari

Kopari won’t be the love of your life, but it will be the love of your medicine cabinet or wherever you store your beauty products. It’s made with 100% organic coconut oil sourced from the Philippines. It contains no sulfates, silicones, parabens, toxins or GMO ingredients. Everything has a light, fresh, natural scent, as opposed to most coconut products, which can smell like a gas station air freshener.

I'm obsessed with the newly launched facial care line, particularly the Coconut Cleansing Oil. It gets all the makeup and dirt off your skin, leaving no oily residue. So, you don’t have to double cleanse, which we all know can be incredibly annoying.

Another must try is the  Coconut Lip Love, which willmake your lips so soft that if you go to a singles event on V-Day, everyone will want to make out with you.

I also love classic Coconut Sheer Oil because it’s a multitasker. You can use it to moisturize your hair and face. I use a little bit on my split ends before bed every night. And yes, you will want to sleep with Kopari way more than that dude who kept hitting on you at the party.

Sterling Forever Forever Blue Layered Bead Necklace

Buying yourself a fun accessory is an instant pick-me-up. Sterling Forever's Layered Blue Bead Necklace can dress up a t-shirt and color to any solid outfit. After all, it's called a statement necklace for a reason. 

Rebecca Minkoff Chain Heart Crossbody Bag

This Rebecca Minokoff Chain Heart Crossbody Bag will make you want to take a selfie followed by #adorbs. If you prefer your bag a little badass, it is also available in black.

Kate Spade Rose Charmeuse Teddy Romper

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Why wait for someone else to buy you cute lingerie? Treat yourself to this Kate Spade Charmeuse Teddy romper. Remember, you don't need another person to make you feel hot, sexy and wanted on February 14th. 

F-It Fridays: Your Weekly Dose Of Retail Therapy (Winter Beauty Edition)

Living in Los Angeles, I’m usually exempt from winter skin and hair dryness (in all fairness, my hair tends to be dry all year round). But, this year the temperature has been at an all time-low and my body has been at an all-time dry. When I moved here from New York eight years ago, cold winters were not part of the contract I signed. So, I’ve had to do a major product switch up. If the weather is having a negative affect on your hair and skin, you probably have to do the same. Here are my favorite winter dryness solutions because F-It, it’s Friday, treat yourself.

White Sands ER Fusion

White Sands ER Fusion is a game-changing product that makes hair both softer and stronger. No, it’s not another oil or conditioner, but a unique treatment that creates a micro-shield for 30 days. After washing and towel-drying your hair, you apply the product and help it penetrate using a heat cap or hairdryer for 20 minutes, then rinse it out. 20 minutes of effort for 30 days of good hair, I'll take it! 

Curel Hydratherapy Wet Skin Moisturizer

Curel Hydratherapy Wet Skin Moisturizer is magical. I was in a business meeting with Anthony Pazos (of LA Hair fame) when he accidentally touched my leg (I was wearing a short skirt) and interrupted the entire conversation to discuss how soft my skin was. True story! Remember, it’s called Wet Skin Moisturizer for a reason, so apply it immediately after showering, before toweling off. I actually keep my bottle in the shower, so I don't forget. 

Dove Deep Moisture Body Wash

Dove is my favorite bar soap, but when the temperature drops, I need some extra help, so I use Dove Deep Moisture Body Wash instead. Formulated to cleanse in the gentlest way possible, it’s been great to counterbalance the hot showers I’ve been taking to warm up. (Yeah, I know that’s bad for dry skin, but don’t judge me.) Dove’s creamy texture makes my skin feel soft and clean. It also smells super fresh.

Kopari Coconut Sheer Oil

What can’t Kopari Coconut Sheer Oil do? My favorite multi-tasker, I put it on the ends of my hair every night as well as on my lips. It also works as a gentle eye makeup remover and super duper moisturizer for extra-dry skin. Pro tip: a little goes a very long way. 

Bodyography Hydrating Mask

Adding Bodyography’s Hydrating Mask to your routine helps restore moisture to your face and treats fine lines. Gentle enough to use every day, it's formulated with anti-oxidant ingredients including watermelon, green tea, and apple fruit extract. Anyone else craving a smoothie right now? Bonus karma points come free with every purchase becuase it’s vegan, paraben and cruelty-free.