Holiday Gift Guide: Our Personal Favorite Beauty Products

Airdate: 12/5/12

This type of show only comes around once a year: Tune in for the Paula's Choice Research Team's favorite beauty products! Find out which of the thousands of products we review on Beautypedia make our personal BEST list.

Bryan Barron: Hello everyone. Thanks for joining us this evening. It is December 4th. I stalled on that date even though it's my sister's birthday today.
Desiree Stordahl: Oh, happy birthday sister!
Bryan Barron: Yay! I have a sister that is 11 months younger than me, so for three weeks each year we are the same age and I do not let her forget it.
Desiree Stordahl: Wow, you're mom was busy.
Bryan Barron: It was a matter of lightning striking twice, yes.
00:00:30 So, tonight we are doing Be Beautifully Informed with the Paula's Choice Research Team. My name is Bryan Barron. I'm your host for this evening. On the line with Desiree Stordahl, our co-host and producer. Hello Desiree.
Desiree Stordahl: Hello, hello.
Bryan Barron: So, tonight's topic, and we also have our customer service superstar, Facebook moderator, poster, all around great guy Nathan Rivas on the line. Hi Nathan.
Nathan Rivas: How are you doing? That's a great intro. Thank you.
Bryan Barron: You're welcome.
00:01:05 Yeah, Nathan is a jack of all trades around here. And if you are at all familiar with the Paula's Choice Facebook page you have chatted with him if you've ever posted anything. He pretty much is the main guy for that. Tonight is all about, we're calling it Holiday Gift Guide, but it's really – I mean, these are all great items. It's a product bonanza show. Not only are going to be hearing about personal favorite products from Desiree, from Nathan, from myself, but also Desiree has polled the office staff her and heard from several Paula's Choice employees about the products that they really love.
00:01:43 These are products that we use. These are products we rely on. And these are products that would absolutely make great gifts. We're going to talk skincare, hair care, makeup, and we're even going to throw in some fragrance recommendations for you. So, get your pen and paper ready. Or, if you have a question for us, if you're listening on your computer, give us a call at 347-426-3783.
00:02:07 And you can also go to the Paula's Choice Facebook page and post your questions there. Okay, a couple things. Actually, Desiree, we have a couple of big announcements.
Desiree Stordahl: We have some really big announcements.
Bryan Barron: So, the first one, well, we'll start with the really exciting one first is that our new website is now live.,, are all under one roof. You can access any of those sites by going to their former addresses.
00:02:37 will take you to everything. We are incredibly proud of this site. We definitely recognize that it does have some glitches and hiccups. It's a new site. It's technology. As hard and as long as we've all worked on this, and we have just an incredible IT team that headed up all of this change, but we encourage you to come to the site, to check it out, to leave your feedback.
00:03:06 No matter where you are on the site on the right hand side you'll see a big feedback button. You can click on that and you can tell us what you think. Don't try to spare our feelings. We want to hear everything – the good, the bad, and the ugly. We are listening to the feedback. We're making changes based on your feedback every day, so please come see us at and tell us what you think of the new site.
00:03:28 Just as a preface, the Beautypedia "What's New" section is not as good as it was on the old site. We know. We knew going live that wasn't quite where we wanted it to be and we are working on making it just as good as it was, if not better. You'll be able to see the dates when products are added, I promise. So, you can leave that comment off; we already know. The other big news is that this is our second to last new BlogTalkRadio show.
00:04:00 After some serious thought, after looking at a bunch of different factors, the team and Paula decided that we needed to wind down the radio show. Never say never. We might be back. But for the foreseeable future going into 2013 the show that we are doing on December 18, so two weeks from tonight, is going to be our last new show.
00:04:25 We've done over, I think Desiree, I think it's about 160 shows.
Desiree Stordahl: Yeah. Somewhere right around there.
Bryan Barron: Since we started that.
Desiree Stordahl: The thing is we love this show. And we love getting to interact with you guys, but there are some new and exciting ways that we're going to be able to do that through some different avenues in the upcoming future. So, we're really just trying to focus our efforts and put work into new product development and Beautypedia. Like we said, making that even better, and better, and better.
00:04:58 And just really still giving you guys lots of outlets to reach out to us. So, our Facebook page is a really good place to do that. Our Twitter page. Our customer service team is hands down the best customer service. We hear that on a daily basis from people. And Paula personally goes down and trains them and talks with them about products. You know, just constantly giving them updated information. And they're really smart people to begin with. So, they're a great team that you can reach out to via live chat, email, or through 1-800 number.
00:05:29 So, we're not leaving you guys in the dark. You will still have avenues to reach out to us.
Bryan Barron: Oh, absolutely. And also we have quite a few of our past shows are now available, well actually they have been available as transcripts. And not to mention that all of our past shows are archived, correct Desiree? All of them?
Desiree Stordahl: Correct. Yes, on, iTunes, and also offers all the archived shows. And you'll still be able to listen to those even after we end the show on December 18. Those archived shows will remain.
Bryan Barron: Yes.
00:06:04 They're not going anywhere. And I know that there are some things that we've talked about that I've forgotten. And we work on this stuff all the time. So, definitely visit that. From the new website at you'd go to the Community tab off the main menu. Then there's a drop down there that says Paula's Radio Show. So, that's where you would go to find transcripts.
00:06:27 That's where you would go to listen to archives of the past shows. And we also have a new section in Community called News & Commentary. And this is pretty cool. I've been wanting to do something like this for awhile, as have other members of the team. This is where we put some of our more fun, more topical kind of "of the moment" pieces. It's kind of the substitute for the blog that we used to have in one way or another. But you'll find some fun pieces in News & Commentary, as well as some more controversial stuff.
00:07:01 One of the most recent additions was the truth about using Retinol with AHA, BHA, and Vitamin C. Yeah, Nathan's like, oh my god. Did you want to say something about that, Nathan?
Nathan Rivas: Oh, no. I'm really happy that we have that piece there because one or two people occasionally asked about that topic. And when I say one or two I'm of course joking; that was actually a constant question that we had both on Facebook as well as in email.
00:07:33 And there's kind of a lot of skincare myths out there, as everyone knows. But that one was particularly annoying to me. So, I'm glad we were able to address that.
Bryan Barron: Yeah. Nathan worked on that piece and did a great job. There's a bunch of great stuff in News & Commentary. Secrets to looking great in photos and videos. The diet and skin connection. How to fade dark spots and get your glow back. Some of our beauty polls that we've done on Facebook.
00:08:00 So, check it out. Okay, without further adieu, let's go ahead and just jump right into products. For those of you listening and you're worried about how you're going to write all these products down, how you're going to remember them all, check our transcript. You can also go back and listen to the rebroadcast of the show. Or we can see about putting this list up on Facebook, too. But we're going to have Nathan start things out with some of his favorite products that he would love to get as gifts, and we hope that you would love giving them to your friends and family, too.
00:08:33 Nathan, take it away.
Nathan Rivas: Okay. So, the first one I had to address as far as my favorites, of course, BHA9. I'm sure everyone's heard about that product. But since that product has come out it really made an incredible difference in my skin just in terms of using it as a spot treatment. And I have oily, kind of oily, breakout-prone, or had oily breakout-prone skin. And I'm also a big fan of kind of mixing products together to get this tailored fit.
00:09:04 So, I actually started using that, the BHA9, one pump of that and then one pump of our Skin Perfecting 8% AHA gel. And I use that all over every night. And it's just an amazing treatment. Now, given, that's not exactly how we recommend that product to be used. It's definitely outside of our recommendations on Paula's Choice here. And as far as using it, definitely it is primarily a spot treatment, but I like to go against the grain there.
00:09:33 And using those two products together has made an incredible change in terms of not only discolorations but also just kind of overall texture of skin. And I think I definitely have tougher skin than most, but that's certainly a great product if you ever have any sun damage or anything of that sort. Absolutely consider mixing or paring BHA9 with your AHA or BHA. So, absolutely that's one of my favorites.
00:09:59 The second I would say is the Clarisonic Classic in graphite gray, the only men's version I guess that there is.
Bryan Barron: Which is exactly the same as the "women's" version, right?
Nathan Rivas: Exactly. I mean, it's the BB cream of Clarisonic. It doesn't make a difference; they're all the same. But the Clarisonic, it is absolutely a beauty splurge. No question about that. There's really no difference in using that and even just using a soft washcloth.
00:10:30 But I don't really like doing laundry. So, the Clarisonic, it's a great substitute. And absolutely it has made a difference in terms of – actually surprisingly so – of using, before I shave, because I use it morning and night time. And before I shave in the morning it actually is a great pre-treatment I guess you would say. It really helps in terms of getting that closer shave. And I don't get any irritation from it. Granted, again, I do have oily, kind of breakout-prone skin.
00:11:00 So, if you have very dry or very sensitive skin that perhaps might not be a good choice for you. But, I love it. And speaking of shaving, the next one was a big surprise to me in terms of using it this way, but our All Over Hair and Body Shampoo, when we kind of improved the formula a few months back, one of the staffers here had suggested using that as a shaving gel. And I had never thought about that because I used to use our conditioner actually as a shaving gel.
00:11:29 And I just thought that using the All Over Hair and Body would just leave me, just my face pretty irritated and red. But, actually the All Over Hair and Body Shampoo has been the shaving gel that has left me with really the closest shave I think I've ever had, you know, with absolutely no irritation or redness or anything like that. And, Bryan, did you try this?
Bryan Barron: I did. I did. And I absolutely got a super close shave. It was almost too close, so I went back to my regular shaving product, but it's absolutely worth trying, especially –
00:12:10 You know, Nathan, do you shave in the shower?
Nathan Rivas: I do. I shave in the shower. I don't use a mirror or anything. I just depend on fortune to get me through.
Bryan Barron: Yeah, I don't. I just have never been able to do that as well as I can when I'm standing at my sink. And so maybe that's why is I just had a harder time using it at the sink as opposed to in the shower. But for men who shave in the shower, or women who shave their legs in the shower and maybe find that using a conditioner gives them a bit of an issue with the razor, try this as a shaving gel on your legs.
00:12:45 Call us. We'll send you samples. What's next, Nathan?
Nathan Rivas: Absolutely. Just one thing I wanted to mention, that that is a good alternative to a lot of the men's products on the market that kind of advertise as being like a 3-in-1 product. And they usually just have the most horrible fragrances to them. So, this is just kind of a nice substitute for that. And speaking of fragrances, the next two I have are actually my favorites.
00:13:10 One is Hermes Orange Verte. And the other is by Lush actually. It's their Lush Dirty Body Spray. And both of those, I like woodsy kind of citrusy scents and both of those definitely fit the bill for that. The Orange Verte I think is much more subtle. They both kind of go on with a bit of a punch, but they dry down and they're almost kind of imperceptible. So, it's not like anyone's going to smell you coming in before you actually walk in the room.
00:13:37 But they're both really excellent scents for – I think that really most men would really like that as long as they, again, they kind of like that woodsy fragrance. And they both are my favorites. I've never really found another fragrance that I've liked as much as both of those. Yes, the Lush Dirty Body Spray does come in a really kind of annoying spray bottle packaging, but don't let that dissuade you.
00:14:02 It's actually a really good, really good fragrance for men.
Desiree Stordahl: I'm taking notes for my husband's Christmas presents!
Nathan Rivas: Exactly. Exactly. It's a good product and I actually think I'll just keep the Lush love going. The next two products I have, you know, I'm not crazy about Lush's really body care products, but I was really surprised when I tried their hair care, their hair styling products. One is the Lush Dirty Hair Cream. And the other is the Big Tease Hair Gel. And I just have a, you know, how I work my hair, it's really just kind of parted off to one side, but it does have a lot of cowlicks in it, so it tends to go a little nuts whenever I try to do that.
00:14:40 So, I end up using a really strong firm-hold gel which just makes it really crunchy and all these other problems. Well, these two products, I actually just mix them together. It's kind of a one-to-one, and it's really kind of a perfect combination. They're great by themselves, but mixing them together is a really good firm hold without being really sticky or really crunchy. It's easy to just put a part in my hair and not have to really worry about it from that point on. And surprisingly actually for Lush products they really don't have much of a fragrance.
00:15:10 They both kind of have a slightly woodsy scent that goes away relatively quickly. So, that's something I would absolutely recommend considering. And next is the Trader Joe's Coconut Body Butter. And, yes, I like our body butter. I've got to say that, I really do. But I have really very, very dry hands, especially in the winter time.
00:15:33 They just get really dry and painful and it just wasn't enough for those times, our body butter. And this is a great find. It's like five bucks for this big tub of it and it's really just coconut oil, shea, and some other really basic emollients. But it's so rich that, I mean, it's perfect if you have really dry hands. But, because it is primarily all coconuts, it smells like it. It smells like a coconut bomb went off whenever you open it up.
00:16:00 So, as long as that's not a problem for you, it's absolutely something to consider and you really can't beat the price, especially for such a big container of that at Trader Joe's. And my last two, my last two products are actually the Earth Sourced Cleanser and Toner. And as far as ease of use, I think these are really two kind of perfect, really simple products I think that work for almost anyone except I guess if you had really super dry skin these two wouldn't work out for you.
00:16:31 But the Earth Sourced Cleanser, it's just a nice kind of foamy gel that's mild. And the toner is also exceptionally mild I think. I like to refer to both of these as like our Hydra Light grown up, all grown up products, because they do bear a lot of similarities to the Hydra Light collection, only they have kind of a much more loaded series of antioxidants and other sorts of things. So, the Earth Sourced Toner is great to use post-shave. It has a lot of chamomile, a lot of hyaluronic acid, a lot of other anti-irritants and nice things which just feels so nice after a shave.
00:17:07 And it's a good thing to kind of counter off any redness or anything, anything of that sort. And that's all I got.
Desiree Stordahl: That's a pretty good list.
Bryan Barron: Thank you. Thank you, Nathan.
Nathan Rivas: Oh, yeah, sure. Absolutely. Holy beauty products!
Bryan Barron: I know, holy beauty products, Batman. All right, Desiree – Nathan, if you want to hang out, that's totally fine with us, but if you have other stuff to get done tonight feel free. We're going to move on to the rest of the lists and then take some calls.
Nathan Rivas: Okay. Actually I think I'm going to go ahead and hop onto our Facebook page and see what the fans are saying on there.
00:17:41 So have a good night.
Desiree Stordahl: Thanks Nathan.
Bryan Barron: Thanks Nathan.
Desiree Stordahl: Okay. So, we have so many products to get through. I have a ton of favorites of my own. And like Bryan mentioned earlier, I polled the staffers in the office and it's interesting how many duplicates came up. So, I'll be telling you guys about those in just a second.
00:18:01 On my list of personal favorites, I'm going to start out with the Beauty Blender Sponge. I have talked about this on the radio show before. I love it. It's hands down my favorite blending tool. I like to use it slightly damp to soften my foundation and it curves to the contours of my face like no other. I also use it to apply cream blush when I wear cream blush. I've looked for less expensive alternatives in the store because the, which is where you can get this sponge, it's a little bit on the pricier side.
00:18:35 And to be honest I haven't found a good less expensive alternative that was as soft and worked as nicely as the Beauty Blender. So, if anybody knows of one, post it to our Facebook page. I would love to find out what that is. But going on to the next product on my list, we have Revlon's Photo Ready Bronzer. And I like this because it has four shades of bronzer within one compact.
00:19:00 And you pretty much end up swirling them together, but you can customize the level of bronze you want if you dip your brush into the different divided segments. And I think it's just a really nice, soft, matte finish. Unlike a lot of bronzers that are out there it doesn't have that glittery, shimmery, shiny effect that's going to make you look oily if you already have oily skin. So, just a nice all around product. Next on the list is L'Oreal's Colour Caresse Lipstick. I am in love with this lipstick.
00:19:30 It's got beautiful shades, a super smooth finish with shine. It's so easy to put on; I don't even need a mirror. It's that kind of lipstick and it's just a low commitment lipstick for women who get a little bit freaked out by the dark matte type of shades. This is a really great product, inexpensive; I would put it up against many department store lipsticks that I've tried. Keeping on with the lip role, we have Paula's Choice brand new Perfect Shine Hydrating Lip Gloss.
00:20:03 And this is soft launched on our website right now, so you can go on there and find it. I am loving this lip gloss. It's tough to find a lip gloss that's fragrance-free, that doesn't have a sticky finish. That has enough color to do the job but isn't like so opaque that you're going overboard. And this lip gloss just nails it. It's not too glossy. It's just the right amount. It's moisturizing but lightweight. And it's souped up antioxidants as an added bonus.
00:20:34 Because as you know here at Paula's Choice we never like to make a one-note product. We always want to be making sure it does double duty for you. My personal favorite shade is the rose blush shade. It's a universally flattering berry rose hue. This is one I'm going to give to my mom, to my sisters, to my girlfriends. There are plenty of other beautiful shades out there, but I am really, really, really loving that one.
Bryan Barron: That's a pretty one.
Desiree Stordahl: It's gorgeous. It's so gorgeous.
Bryan Barron: And real quick for those of you who have been Paula's Choice customers for quite some time, and you remember when we had our Soft Shine Moisturizing lip gloss several years ago, this Perfect Shine Hydrating lip gloss is lighter, it's silkier. It's just more of a modern gloss all around. So, if you've been waiting for Paula's Choice to do another lip gloss, we have it here.
00:21:24 It's available now. And it's really cool. If it does well for us we'll be expanding the color palette.
Desiree Stordahl: Awesome. Okay, so next up on my list is Ardell Accent Lashes. These are the lash strips that you see in the store that look short, not as in the length of the lash but the, well, how long they would go along your lash line. They're about probably for the outer third corner of your eye. And the reason I like these over most other fake eyelashes is actually they look more natural. Just doing the outer corner kind of gives your eye that nice really sexy swoop up.
00:22:01 But it doesn't look over done. I like to use these for special occasions glamour, so for instance we have our Paula's Choice holiday party this weekend; I may be sporting a pair there. But they're just fabulous lashes.
Bryan Barron: I'm going to check.
Desiree Stordahl: Yeah, you check. And they're inexpensive. They're like, you know, three or four bucks from the drugstore, so you can't beat that. Next on my list is Paula's Choice Best Face Forward Foundation. And I love our foundation.
00:22:30 It's got sun protection. It has just enough coverage to hide my flaws but it doesn't feel heavy. And it's got a nice oil absorbing matte finish that isn't drying. I hate it when foundations are so matte that they suck the life out of your face and they make every little fine line show up. And this isn't going to do that. It's just a really beautiful foundation for those of us with oily skin or normal combination skin even. And, oh, and the shades have actually been recently updated and perfected, so that's another little improvement that we've got going on here at Paula's Choice.
00:23:04 Next is Urban Decay's Naked 2 Eye Palette. And this is a bit of a beauty splurge, it's on the pricier end, but this palette is full of beautiful neutral eye shadows. These can take you from day to night. They've got black, brown, cream colors, all the beautiful colors that you would want for just that flattering eye look. And any eye color, any skin tone is going to pull these off.
00:23:30 I happen to love it. And I know their original Naked Palette a lot of people love as well. Physician's Formula came out with a similar product, and it's actually done quite nicely. The only thing I like better about the Naked 2 is that they offer a couple of matte shades in there, where as the Physician's Formula version is all shimmer shades. So, that's the one little downfall. But, otherwise, you'll definitely save a lot going the Physician's Formula route.
00:24:00 Another beauty product, so much beauty but it's fragrance, is my favorite perfume Happy by Clinique. And I like this because it's just a soft scent. It's not the kind that's overwhelming. It doesn't have like that rosy or gingery or cinnamony smell to it.
Bryan Barron: No. You know, I worked for Clinique when Happy launched. And I used to have to walk around the department store and go to like the women's department, go to petites , and women's shoes, and ask in my little Clinique coat and ask women if they'd like to try Clinique Happy.
00:24:35 I'm sure there was some little scripted line that was cutesy that we were supposed to say, too. And I knew – first of all, I'd go home smelling of it from head to toe every night because I was spraying it all day. But I knew it was going to be a hit. Because women would put it on and they would smile. And they couldn't stop smelling it.
Desiree Stordahl: It's just awesome. I just love it. I feel like it's one of those perfumes that most people can pull off.
00:25:02 I have a lot more products on my list but we're running short on time, so I'm going to cut down to one of my last favorites and that is the Paula's Choice Lip and Body Treatment Balm. I have a hard time keeping this product in my purse because my husband is always stealing it out of there. We both love it. I love it for the thick texture. It leaves my lips super moisturized, super smooth. I use it at nighttime. I use it on my cuticles. I actually also use it on my wild brow hairs to tame them.
00:25:32 If I have fly-aways going on during the day of my regular head of hair I'll put it on those to smooth them down. It's a great all over multi-purpose product. I love it. Anybody who's ever used it pretty much is instantly hooked.
Bryan Barron: Yeah, I love it.
Desiree Stordahl: It's a good one.
Bryan Barron: Desiree, I see a question that I wanted to take, and it's one I can answer fairly fast.
00:26:02 You can get ready to go over some of the staff picks. Take a breather for sec.
Desiree Stordahl: Sure, which question do you want to take?
Bryan Barron: Alicia in Illinois.
Desiree Stordahl: Okay, let's go to Alicia. Hi Alicia, what's your question?
Bryan Barron: Which one did you unmute? There's two Alicias from Illinois.
Desiree Stordahl: Which one do you want to take? The wedding question.
Bryan Barron: The scientific name for silicone in hair care products.
Desiree Stordahl: Yeah, that's the one I unmuted. Hi Alicia, are you there?
Usma: Hi, this is Usma.
Desiree Stordahl: Oh, okay. Our screener got your name wrong. That's okay. Go ahead with your question.
Usma: My question is I started to use conditioner. I don't use shampoos and I use natural conditioners. So, there are a lot of natural conditioners, but when I want to look for the mousses or gels, and I look at the ingredients, I don't know what the silicone is called. What is the silicone?
00:27:05 Because the botanical conditioner does not work with the silicone. So, what is the scientific name of the silicone?
Bryan Barron: Okay. There are several. But the ones that show up in hair care products the most often would be cyclopentasiloxane. As a general, so you don't have to worry about seriously writing down these 11 syllable ingredients, anything that's a siloxane, that ends in siloxane is a silicone. And anything, well, I shouldn't say, not –
00:27:39 Most ingredients that end in "cone" are also silicone. So, an example would be dimethicone or phenyl trimethicone. So, but by far dimethicone, cyclopentasiloxane, and phenyl trimethicone are the three that are used in hair care products fairly often.
Usma: I have a request. When Paula reviews new products is it possible that you can put the pictures, too, so when I like a review a good to drugstore I have to look for it. So, if I have a picture of the new review and I like it, then I don't have to look so –
00:28:23 Whenever there's a new review, so you should put the pictures, too.
Bryan Barron: That is a feature that we are considering. It's a fairly routine request. One of the drawbacks to it is that it can be a bit tricky because companies can and do update their packaging. And so there would be a bit of a tradeoff in that we would have to make sure that the image was the most current. And there's going to be some lag because with over 300 brands reviewed on Beautypedia and the staffing we have here, unfortunately we can't get to everything that needs updating as fast as we'd like.
00:29:04 So, that's a minor concern though. I do think that that is a feature that you'll see in the future. I'd like to see it happen. And with our new website and the capabilities we have, I know we've already started looking into some programs that would allow us to upload images like that. And hopefully have them be the most current images so that when you're in the store you know exactly what to look for.
Usma: Okay. Thank you very much.
Bryan Barron: Thanks for calling. Let's send her our All Over Hair and Body Shampoo, Desiree. Just so she can try that. You know, we got her name wrong.
Desiree Stordahl: Usma I think is her name.
Bryan Barron: Usma, Usma, I'm so sorry. We will send you our All Over Hair and Body Shampoo. This does not have silicone in it so you don't have to worry about that with the botanicals.
00:29:47 But if you're not into using it as a shampoo, as Nathan mentioned you can use it as a shave gel. You can also use it as a body wash. So, Desiree, let's get back to our holiday gift guide to those products that our Paula's Choice office desk said you have to mention this one.
Desiree Stordahl: Yes. Okay. So, first up we have some picks from Heather. And Heather writes Beautypedia reviews. She also has a background in makeup artistry so she is a good person to take advice from. And the first one on her list is OPI for Sephora Nail Polish Stickers. And she said these are a fast and easy mess-free way to do a quick manicure without the mess. And if your nails are short you'll have enough to do stickers for your toes, too.
00:30:28 And I've tried the Sally Hansen Salon Effects stickers. And I think those also work quite well and lasted surprisingly long. Normally a manicure that I do myself at home lasts maybe two days tops. I'm just that hard on my nails. And with the stickers they were able to last even longer than that. So, not a bad product to try. Also on her list is our new Resist Instant Smoothing Anti-Aging Foundation. She loves this for the smooth blending and the medium coverage.
00:30:58 And she also mentioned how her boyfriend commented on how smooth her skin looked when she was wearing it. And I've noticed how beautiful her skin has been looking as of late when I realized she switched over to that. And it's looking really, really nice. Next up on our list is Elizabeth. And she's part of our Paula's Choice Research Team. And she is a self-admitted beauty junkie. And her number one product is the Urban Decay Naked Skin Foundation. And this came up several times when I was polling our staffers.
00:31:29 Elizabeth loves it for the lightweight foundation feel. She says it has just the right amount of coverage for every day wear. I know it got a great rating on
Bryan Barron: It did, yeah.
Desiree Stordahl: So, it's a good foundation to check out from Urban Decay. A little bit pricey, but you know, foundation is one of those areas where if you find one you love it's worth the splurge. Also on her lists is Tarte's Amazonian Clay 12-hour Blush. And she particularly likes it in the shade Exposed.
00:31:57 She said it's highly recommended if you're looking for a soft, natural hue. And I have also used this blush and happen to love it. I can't remember my favorite shade, but it's kind of a coraly, peach shade. And they do go on really nicely and just give you that soft natural look.
Bryan Barron: Yeah. That's a great powder blush. And Tarte you can find at Sephora.
Desiree Stordahl: Yes. Then we have some picks from Tatiana. She is our office Brazilian beauty.
00:32:28 And her picks for soft – she loves Nicki Minaj lipstick that's from M.A.C. and it's a super vibrant pink color. And I've seen her wear it and it actually does look really cute. It's so bright that I didn't think I was going to like it on her, but when she put it on it's a really, really cute color. Kind of a fun pep-you-up type of look. She also loves the Paula's Choice Resist Pure Radiance Skin Brightening Treatment. She uses it to make her skin glow, add that instant hint of radiance, and to prevent future dark spots.
00:33:03 And last but not least she uses the Skin Recovery Hydrating Treatment Ask as a decadent treat once a week to keep her skin soft and hydrating.
Bryan Barron: That is a really good product to use, especially during the winter months if you live in a climate that gets very cold and dry. I'm talking to the people of Colorado.
00:33:29 But we recommend this as a moisturizing mask that you apply after cleansing and leave on for ten minutes and then you can rinse. But during the dry cold winter months, leave it on all night. It's perfectly fine to keep on your face. Slather that stuff on. It is amazing. It just has this plumping effect on skin that is – you'll see it the next morning. It's just really cool.
Desiree Stordahl: And masks are kind of one of those fun presents to get or give, so this would make a nice holiday gift or stocking stuffer for someone you love.
Bryan Barron: Yeah, if you're doing a spa at home gift basket for someone on your list. Throw in a mask.
Desiree Stordahl: Perfect.
Bryan Barron: I guarantee you this mask will be much better for their skin than any mask you could buy at a spa itself, because almost without exception those spa products are loaded with fragrance.
00:34:19 And, yes, the spa experience, aroma is a big part of that, but get that sensory experience from a nice scented candle which you can also throw into that spa gift basket.
Desiree Stordahl: And this mask would be for dry skin. We also have our Skin Balancing Mask which would work well for oily skin.
Bryan Barron: New and improved!
Desiree Stordahl: New and improved, yes. Next up we have Mercedes. She's our newest Paula's Choice Research Team member. And she wanted to recommend the M.A.C. fluid line eye liner. And this also got multiple picks from our staffers. And her particular notes I thought were interesting and made a lot of sense. She said, "There are a lot of brands out there with similar products, so this isn't necessarily unique, it's just something that I know that works really well for me.
00:35:04 I'm the world's biggest klutz when it comes to applying eye makeup. And this is surprisingly easy. It's a gel-based liner in a pot. Yes, a brush is needed. And it glides on smoothly for several hours of wear. You can go as dramatic or low-key as you want without the drag of tinsel liners." And I happen to know several other people who use this in our office and, yes, it goes on smooth and nice and looks great on them.
00:35:30 And then last but not least we have picks from Mary. She's part of our product development team and she is also a makeup artist.
Bryan Barron: And Mary's makeup always looks impeccable. I must say.
Desiree Stordahl: Oh, it's so good. She's gorgeous to begin with, but yes, she does a great job on her makeup. Her first product is NYX's eyebrow shaper pencil. It's a wax-based pencil. And it's really nice for making brows appear groomed, but you really don't have to do much. It goes on clear, so it's not like you're adding color or having to really shape them.
00:36:06 You just kind of apply over them and it holds everything into place. And this is also one of my personal favorites. It's a dupe for Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Fix. And it's half the cost. And literally the products are identical. I reviewed them both personally and there's no difference between the two, the size, everything. They look almost identical.
Bryan Barron: And honestly they're probably made by the same company, but I didn't say that.
Desiree Stordahl: So, you'll save a lot of money going the NYX route. NYX comes out with a lot of great products as well.
00:36:39 And then last but not least she recommends the OPI Bond Collection Nail Polish in the Living Daylights. And it's a chunky glitter and she says you overlay it on a dark polish during the holidays for a very fun, festive look. She's gotten tons of compliments on it already. So, there are the beauty products from our staffers. Now, Bryan, we haven't gotten to yours yet.
00:37:02 Let's hear some of yours.
Bryan Barron: I'm going to run down this pretty quickly. These are some of my favorites and some of them might be available from the brands as gift sets, especially places like Sephora, but the hair care that I turn to the most, it's a mix of Aveda and Bumble and Bumble. And then the Free & Clear Styling and Finishing Hairspray, some of you might be thinking, Free & Clear, what the heck is that?
00:37:32 It's sold online, it's sold at They are essentially a very small fragrance-free line. Their hairspray is unique in the fact that it is the only fragrance-free hairspray I've ever been able to find that gives that nice finished hold that you can still brush through and it doesn't flake or make the hair feel like it's super dehydrated. I only use a little bit, and I don't use it all the time, but when the occasion strikes and I need hairspray, Free & Clear Styling and Finishing Hairspray for Sensitive Scalp is great.
00:38:03 I hate using fragranced hairsprays because it always gets right on my scalp. I do, however, love the Aveda Volumizing Tonic. I have a love/hate relationship with this product because it does contain fragrance that I know isn't great for my scalp, but at the same time it's one of the best products I've ever found to blow dry my hair. I have normal to fine hair. I need to blow it dry or my cowlicks will take over and it's just not pretty.
00:38:27 So, I rely on the Aveda Volumizing Tonic to help keep things, give me some body, some lift without heaviness. And then I like to finish with Bumble and Bumble, either their Sumo Wax, which is the one in the red pot, or they have a new product out that my salon just started carrying called Semi Sumo. And that has less hold but more shine than Sumo Wax. And I like them both. I tried the Semi Sumo. I think that they're both worth checking out. With the Semi Sumo you really need to be careful with how much you use.
00:39:00 A little goes a long way. That's true for Sumo Wax, too, but you can be a bit more generous with that and it's not going to lead to a greasy mess. Okay, for skincare, of course a lot of it is going to be Paula's Choice, but I have a few products from other brands there as well. In terms of Paula's Choice, these are the products that I have been using for years, or at the very least since they came out. These are the products that I would travel with. Here we go.
00:39:26 The Moisture Boost One Step Face Cleanser. Silky. Doesn't leave my face feeling dry or tight. It's for normal to dry skin. I have normal to oily skin though, and I love it. The Resist Advanced Replenishing Toner. That's one of my desert island products. I love it when I need just a light hydration. Instead of a moisturizer I use it without fail after shaving my face. Super soothing. The Resist Daily Smoothing Treatment is a 5% Alpha Hydroxy Acid exfoliant that also has a little but, about 0.5% of salicylic acid in the formula.
00:40:00 So, you're getting the benefits of AHA and BHA in one product, but it's mostly AHA. If you have breakouts, one of our BHA exfoliants would be the better choice for regular use. And on that note, I love our Clear Anti-Redness Exfoliating Solution Regular Strength. This is our Clear Toner exfoliant. I say toner because it has a toner-like consistency. It has the 2% salicylic acid. Does not leave any trace of a residue. It literally is light as water.
00:40:30 And I alternate that with the Daily Smoothing Treatment at night, or sometimes I'll apply that Clear product in the morning after the Resist Toner. I also love the Earth Sourced Antioxidant Enriched Natural Moisturizer. It's perfect for the colder drier months. Drier in terms of the humidity. We still get a heck of a lot of rain here in the Seattle area; we're never really all that dry during the winter. Also from the Resist line, the Super Antioxidant Concentrate. Wonderful, wonderful product. I've been using this in all its various formulations over the years.
00:41:05 I think the latest one is one of the best. I even use it on areas where I've cut myself when I want the skin to heal faster and not leave as much of a scar. Just put a little dab on there and bandage it up and you're good to go. I love, love, love, love, love our Weightless Body Treatment with 2% BHA. That's in our Resist line. I get the keratosis pilaris, those red chicken skin-like bumps on my upper arms. I also get it on my thighs.
00:41:33 And when I use this product every day or every other day after I shower, they go away and they stay away. And I love that. Kind of a tricky product to give as a gift because you're essentially saying, "Hey, I noticed you've got this problem with your skin. Here, this helps."
Desiree Stordahl: But they'll appreciate it once those bumps go away.
Bryan Barron: They will! I mean, honestly, some of the reviews and the calls we've gotten from women who've tried this, and for our Clear products, too, they're life changers. If you have struggled with breakouts or these red bumps on your arms and legs and nothing you've tried worked.
00:42:07 Or your dermatologist just said, "Well, you just have to live with it. There's nothing you can do." Try this product. You have nothing to lose because Paula's Choice has 100% money back guarantee. Before I start sounding too much like an infomercial. I know, call now! Let's move on. But honestly, if you see one of your friends or relatives and they're struggling with that, maybe in a very discreet way take them aside and say, "Hey, I heard about this product from Paula's Choice and from what they tell me you've got to give it a try."
00:42:37 They'll love you for it. It will be the gift that keeps on giving. Okay, for my sunscreen, we have yet to come up with one at Paula's Choice that I am thrilled with. I think that the new one we have coming up for Resist Oily Skin is going to be just what the doctor ordered. But until then I have been relying on SkinCeuticals Physical Fusion UV Defense, SPF 50.
00:43:00 It's fragrance-free, yay. Lightweight, yay. Doesn't make me look greasy. Love that. it works if you apply makeup over it. That's another plus. It is only the mineral sunscreen, so it's great for sensitive skin. It's great for Rosacea. You can put it around your eyes and it doesn't sting. It's just really, really easy to work with and it has a slight tint, so you don't get that white cast which a lot of the mineral sunscreens can leave, especially when they contain enough mineral sunscreens to get to that SPF 50.
00:43:33 I also like Dr. Denese's SPF 30 Defense Day Cream which is around $30. The SkinCeuticals is $32. The Denese product is thicker but sets to a nice kind of powdery finish. And it has sort of a pore-filling effect as well. Speaking of that, Miracle Skin Transformer with SPF 20. That's another cool product. Apparently they reformulated it and added more zinc oxide. We've been waiting for our local Sephora to get the reformulations and testers of them.
00:44:02 Haven't seen them yet. I check every time I'm in there and I haven't seen it. So, if you have tried the new and improved version of Miracle Skin Transformer and want to comment on it on our Facebook page, feel free to do so. Okay, one more skin care. This is from Olay. Total Effects Advanced Anti-Aging Body Lotion. It's $8.99 great price. Really nice formula for normal to slightly dry skin. It's got a lot of niacinamide.
00:44:33 I love the fact that it's in a pump so I can really quickly use it after I shower. And it doesn't make my skin feel slick or greasy. If you have dry skin, dry, itchy, uncomfortable skin in the winter this would not be the best moisturizer for you to choose. It's not that emollient. But you can find others that we recommend for that issue on Beautypedia. Quick rundown of some makeup. Paula's Choice Healthy Finish Pressed Powder SPF 15. $14.95. Wonderful alone.
00:45:03 Great over foundation. Great over a sunscreen that you like but otherwise might make your skin look a little bit too shiny. Dust a little bit of this on. You'll get that natural matte look and some additional sun protection. For a powder foundation, Laura Mercier's Foundation Powder. It's pricy. It's $40. Yikes, that's a lot for a compact powder foundation. But if you're looking to splurge on yourself this time of year, give a nice complexion-enhancing gift to somebody else, it's worth a look.
00:45:34 And the compact is very sleek. Revlon Age Defying DNA Advantage Concealer. Around ten bucks. Great, great liquid concealer. Not too slippery but it doesn't leave you looking dry and cracked, if that makes sense. M.A.C. Bronzing Powder in Matte Bronze. I pretty much use that year-round. It's about $24, but honestly I can make one of those stretch out for well over a year unless I drop it.
00:46:02 And I like the M.A.C., M.A.C. has a tapered face brush Number 138. That's a pricier brush. It's around $52. But if you take good care of it it will last forever. Most of M.A.C.'s brushes are very well made. This one happens to have natural animal hair. It's not one of their synthetic brushes, but they offer those, too, if you don't want to use an animal hair brush. Speaking of synthetic hair, the Paula's Choice Concealer Brush for $12.95 is a steal. I have talked to other makeup artists and some beauty bloggers who have tried this brush and said that it is far and away their favorite brush for applying concealer. It works with liquid concealer, cream concealer.
00:46:41 It works to blend concealer under the eye if you're having an issue with concealer slipping into lines under your eye. After you dab it on with your finger or a sponge, go over it with this brush and then lightly dust on powder. You'll be good to go. I also like the Paula's Choice Retractable Powder Brush. Perfect for traveling.
00:47:00 Ladies, you can stick it in, you can pre-load it with your powder and then put the cap back on the brush. Stick it in your purse or your evening bag so you don't have to take a long brush and powder and you're good to go for a touch up. Easy peasy. Last I have some favorite fragrances. These are scents that I've worn for quite some time. Not only do I love them but I often will get compliments from strangers and friends whenever I have it on.
00:47:29 Hermes Terre, I may be pronouncing that wrong. That one is around $77. It's available at Sephora and Nordstrom. Dior's Fahrenheit, which is around $41. I've been using that one off and on since high school, so it's kind of an old favorite of mine. Gucci by Gucci Pour Homme. The original new Gucci scent that was advertised with actor James Franco. They have a sport version as well that's nice. The Gucci one I mentioned a moment ago is $50. It's available at Sephora and several other retailers.
00:48:07 But, classy, classy casual-to-dressy scents that I think a lot of guys would love. And more important, the women who are buying for the men, you're going to love the way your guys smells.
Desiree Stordahl: Amen. Well, I think we've loaded people with so many products. They definitely should not have a lack of holiday gift guide beauty products to go by.
Bryan Barron: Are your heads spinning?
Desiree Stordahl: Their heads must be spinning.
00:48:32 And like we said, this will be transcribed. Usually it takes about a week to get the show up onto our website, but we will have that information there and possibly on Facebook for you guys as well. So, we have time to go to a caller. Let's go to Alicia, the other Alicia in Illinois. Hi, Alicia, are you there?
Alicia: Hi, yes. Thanks for taking my call.
Desiree Stordahl: Yeah. What's your question?
Alicia: Well, I'm getting married at the end of this month on the top of Mammoth Mountain in California. And I am going to have a professional do my hair and makeup.
00:49:10 And I was wondering about ways of strategizing with the professional about skincare products to use. I've been using Paula's Choice products for over a decade. And if I show up with my Resist Line and your Radiance Skin Brightening Treatment, is that going to be cool? And then the other related question is I usually am neurotic about my sunscreen but forgot it on a hiking trip and have a tan line on one arm. Of course, I have a sleeveless dress.
00:49:41 And was wondering if I could ask what can I have the makeup stylist do to disguise this tan line on my arm?
Desiree Stordahl: Okay. Can I address your first question? I would say that when you go to your professional, absolutely do not switch up your skincare, especially right before your wedding. That's the last thing you want to do.
00:50:05 You don't want to experiment with a new product a few days or even a few weeks before your event. So, stick with your skincare and they will be fine with that. They shouldn't have a problem with it. And actually a lot of makeup artists know about us and love us because they also know that fragrance is bad for your skin and just happen to know that we have great products. So, do not be afraid of that at all. Go for that. Go with your products.
00:50:29 Don't do like a facial or dermatological treatment shortly before the event, because again, you don't know if those sorts of things can go haywire. And you just really don't want to leave that for the last minute to end up with some weird rash or massive redness. And then also a good tip is to do a run through with your makeup artist and your hair person if you can before your event, because you really want to make sure that they are doing your makeup the way you want to, not turning you into really smoky eyes if that's not what you're going for.
Bryan Barron: And take a picture.
Desiree Stordahl: Take a picture. Exactly.
Bryan Barron: With your makeup on so you see how it photographs.
Alicia: Okay.
Desiree Stordahl: And don't go for something that you're not comfortable with.
00:51:14 You know, makeup artists, they're professionals and it's something that you're not comfortable with they can work with you to find a way that it looks and feels like you, but just amplified, a little bit more beautiful version of yourself. So, I would say above all just like don't leave anything like that for the last minute. Really go to them beforehand and practice that out.
00:51:38 And then as far as your tan line question, you know, they may be able to address that with a bronzer. When is your wedding?
Alicia: It's on December 27. And I've been using all these exfoliants and BHA products and it's like 90% better, but it's still slight noticeable.
Bryan Barron: Oh, a little bit of body makeup, yeah.
Desiree Stordahl: Yeah.
00:52:02 By then it will have faded a little bit more and more. And use some body makeup. You could even experiment with a spray tan, but you would want to do that like now to see how it turns out on your skin. Because on some people, on your friend it could look like a beautiful bronze color and on you it could turn out orange and it's the same exact spray tan. Just different people's bodies react with the active ingredient differently. Bryan, any other suggestions among those?
Bryan Barron: I think you hit it on the head, Desiree, or on the wedding dress as it were.
Desiree Stordahl: We actually should send Alicia also our BHA9 because this is a product I would tell brides to not go without.
00:52:44 If you have a blemish that crops up, pretty much any sort of stubborn imperfection that you have going on our BHA9 can help treat and, I mean, I hate to say it but sometimes monster zits happen the day before your wedding. And this is the type of product that you could put it on and overnight it's going to be almost away, almost all gone.
00:53:06 So, we'll send you one of our BHA9s. And then, let's see, how about our Luscious Lip Duo. That's a lip scrub and lip balm so that way you just have perfect kissable lips for your wedding day.
Bryan Barron: Oh, let's send her some of that, Desiree, and let's add the nail and cuticle pen, too.
Desiree Stordahl: Oh, yeah, that's a good one.
Bryan Barron: Have you tried that yet, Alicia?
Alicia: No, I haven't. I obviously will though.
Bryan Barron: Yeah, I sent one to my mom awhile back. And she said, "Well how am I going to remember to use this?" And I said mom, here's what you do.
00:53:40 You put it in the coffee table drawer in the TV room and when you're sitting there watching your shows or you're watching the news you pull it out, and you brush it on, and massage it in. You've got half an hour to an hour there to sit down and relax. Now's the time to do it. And then when you're done it will be ready to go.
Alicia: Well that all sounds fantastic. I really appreciate it.
Desiree Stordahl: All right.
00:54:02 Thank you. And congrats and good luck on your big day.
Alicia: Thank you.
Desiree Stordahl: Okay, so Bryan we have time for just one more question and it's a Facebook question coming from Annette. And she wants to know how to treat those under the skin acne blemishes that never come to a head. How is the best way to treat them? How do you get rid of them fast? And which are the best products to use for this type of condition?
Bryan Barron: I call those grounders.
00:54:30 I used to get them a lot more than I do, in fact, I can't remember the last time I had one, knock on wood. But, man, I know what that's like. And I used to just, whenever I would feel one of those forming and you always can feel it, it's almost like getting a cold sore where you feel it before you see it. I would treat that area with 5% benzoyl peroxide. We have such a product. Clinique has their Acne Solutions Emergency Gel Lotion I believe that we recommend. There's others you can check out on Beautypedia.
00:55:03 But you basically just pile that stuff on, especially at night, and then you take a Band-Aid, or a similar type of adhesive and put it right over the spot. This not only ensures that the benzoyl peroxide isn't going to go anywhere. It stays exactly where you need it. But I'm convinced there's something about covering that spot that keeps it from getting super big and painful.
00:55:28 Whenever I've done that in the past and given that advice to other people I've found, and what I've heard, is that the blemish isn't nearly as bad. The soreness goes away. Now, if you wanted to do a double whammy you could treat it with the Resist BHA9. And get in touch with our Customer Service team or mention on the Facebook page. You can ask Nathan. Say, "Hey Nathan, send me a deluxe sample of the BHA9." That will be our little thank you for this question since we don't have you live on the air. And you can try that.
00:56:01 Just put a couple drops right on the blemish. Follow with the benzoyl peroxide product if you have one handy. And then do the bandage cover thing and see if that helps. If it's persistent, if you have a lot of these and they're never coming to a head but they're just going on under the skin, there could be some hormonal – well, there's always a hormonal element in play with acne, but there could be something else going on that needs a doctor's attention, at least for an exam. So, a dermatologist can see you in person, feel the bumps, ask you some specific questions about your lifestyle, about the products you use, about any prescription medications you're taking.
00:56:39 And for the really painful ones they can inject them with cortisone and that will take down the swelling and the information within a day or two. But, it's a treatment. It's not a full proof solution. It's not going to keep them from coming back. So, if my skincare tips don't help – I hope they do – but if they don't I really think you need to see a dermatologist and get some further recommendations from a medical professional.
00:57:05 These blemishes can be tough to deal with.
Desiree Stordahl: And, you know, we don't have enough time to take any more questions tonight, but on our website under our Expert Advice tab we have so many great articles that go into specific skin needs, whether you have rosacea, or psoriasis, or you're pregnant and you want to know what skincare products you can use.
00:57:29 We have stuff for eczema, combination skin. You name it, we've got articles on our website and product recommendations for you. So, check that tab out and leave us some feedback. We'd love to know how you're using it, how you like it. And I think we have to wrap up now. It's been an awesome show.
Bryan Barron: Yeah. I'm exhausted.
Desiree Stordahl: I'm exhausted, too.
Bryan Barron: It's like, wow, I think I'm going to have to check the transcript of this show. And Desiree, what are we doing for our swan song show on the 18th. Not next Tuesday but the week after.
Desiree Stordahl: We are going to be talking about skincare and makeup to look for in 2013.
00:58:15 So, we're going to talk about new product launches. We're going to get some insight from cosmetic chemists about new exciting technologies to get excited about. This is going to be a really good show to tune into to see what's coming up in the near future!
Bryan Barron: Cool. Well, that's the show we're going to leave you with on the 18th. So, we hope that you will tune in. We will post about the show on Facebook as usual.
00:59:42 We will do our best to take as many questions as we can. Desiree mentioned talking about upcoming trends. That shouldn't take too long. We'll do our best to be brief about that but still keep you informed and we'll get to those questions.
Desiree Stordahl: Absolutely.
Bryan Barron: Anything else to add, Desiree?
Desiree Stordahl: I don't think so. I just want to tell everybody have a good night and we'll see you in a couple Tuesdays from now.
Bryan Barron: Awesome. Good night everyone. Thank you so much for listening. Have a pleasant evening.
Desiree Stordahl: Good night.
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