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Filtering by Category: Beauty

7 Haircare Mistakes I Won't Make Again and Why

David Ruff

Do you ever just wish you were in a Pantene commercial? Because same. Finally, I can say that I might have come very close. No, I’m not Pantene’s latest face, however; Pantene, hit me up with a sponsorship (kidding, but not really). What I am trying to get at is I have mastered the art of haircare and hairstyling in the past couple months after years of trial and failure.

Are you making the same mistakes I once made to damage my hair? The way you wash, style, and dry your hair can dramatically alter the health and appearance of your hair. Don’t worry, I am sharing all my tips and tricks, as per usual, to help you get through the tough times of dull and unruly hair.

  1. Over Styling

    This one seems like a no-brainer, but sometimes your hair needs to breathe, literally. Over styling hair is the biggest mistake most people make. Heat styling breaks down the hydrogen bonds in your hair; concentrated heat can have long lasting damages — such as hair loss, thinning, and breakage — especially when done to wet and fragile hair consistently.

  2. Not Brushing Before Washing

    Hair is most fragile when it is wet. Brushing your hair before hopping in the shower reduces your chances of annoying tangles. If you like combing your hair in the shower, opt for applying conditioner first, then untangling the strands with your fingers before combing your hair with a wide toothed comb.

  3. Washing Daily

    Washing your hair everyday strips your hair of its natural oils that maintain its shininess and health. I workout almost daily so an alternative to this habit is washing your hair with just water or a light conditioner to prevent damaging the scalp.

  4. Washing with Shampoo and Conditioner Always

    Consistent shampooing dries out your hair and increases chances of breakage. As previously stated, I normally only condition my hair when I shower. Last year my hair was extremely damaged from consistent shampooing and over-styling; conditioning my hair every time I shower and skipping shampooing for most days of the week have revived my hair to a luscious state.

  5. Aggressive Towel Drying

    Remember that your hair is most fragile when it is wet? Aggressively towel drying your hair can damage the hair cuticle resulting in dullness, frizz, and breakage. Blotting your hair with a towel and air drying before styling and/or applying product is your best bet for preserving healthy strands of hair. Don’t avoid towel drying all together by heat-styling your hair wet because it will yield greater damage.

  6. Hairspray Before Styling

    I have made this mistake many times when upset with how my hair looks after tons of product and attempting to fix it by re-blowing my hair. This is a big no-no, especially with flat irons. If you hear a sizzling noise, chances are whatever you are doing is not healthy for your hair. The alcohols in hair spray burn on contact with heat. You can still live your best voluminous life, but AFTER you style your hair.

  7. No Protection

    At this point, I feel like a high school gym teacher teaching safe sex — just with more credentials. Protection is, in fact, important. Using heat protection products can shield your hair from the damaging aftermath caused by heat styling. I know I can’t live without my blow dryer, and I will still be able to use it years from now as hair protection is vital to prevent hair loss and damage.

Now that you know not to make the mistakes I have made countless times in the past, there is no turning back. I hope that these rules will bring you closer to Beyoncé, Pantene, Lioness level hair. Most importantly remember, the great philosopher by the name of Elle Woods once said, “The rules of haircare are simple and finite.”

I Did 20,000 Crunches In 30 Minutes And This Is What Happened...

David Ruff

I did 20,000 crunches in 30 minutes. Yup. And that sounds impossible. Because it basically is. But nearly anything is possible when you visit Jeannel Astarita of Just Ageless at 11 Howard.

Astaria is on the forefront of cutting edge beauty technology as she performs everything from laser treatments to silk peel facials to using cool-sculpting machines. 

Although, this time I didn't get my regular facial with Jeannel. I tested out the new Emsculpt machine which is placed on your stomach to reduce fat and build muscle. The machine varies in intensity as a 30 minute session can be equivalent to 20,000 crunches. 

Recently, I have been working on abdominal strength and achieving the perfect six pack. Even though I am close, I needed the extra push (because I am not ready to say goodbye to french fries). The Emsculpt machine not only eliminates your fat, but aids in strengthening your core, which will allow you to complete your abdominal workouts more efficiently and improve in new areas of fitness.

I relaxed as the machine was strategically placed on my lower stomach where I experience the most fat. The machine subtly jolts your core in intervals then goes in to resting periods. Jeannel described these contractions akin to giving birth.

The whole experience was weird - but in the best way possible. At first I had the giggles from even using this machine to begin with, but as I eased in to it, I felt less guilty for having french toast earlier, and learned how cool and innovative this technology really is.

About 2 days later is when I really noticed the change in my workouts. I was able to complete my regular abdominal routine in longer sets while being able to perform new workouts I could not complete under normal circumstances.

Jeannel suggests to get this treatment 3-4 times to see the best physical and visual results. I definitely will be coming back to Astaria's office to do 20,000 crunches - no sweat involved.


6 Ways To Keep Your Tan From Fading

David Ruff

The best sign of having a fun Summer is returning to your school or office looking sun-kissed and glowing. If we could all capture Summer in a bottle, we would, but while scientists are figuring that one out (joking), we can create a period of longevity for our tan.


Prepping your skin for a tan is essential. Using a scrub or exfoliating cleanser/body wash basically acts as a primer for tanning, as you get rid of all the dead skin cells sitting on top of your skin.

Take a cold shower

As much as I love a hot shower, beauty hurts, honey. Cold showers are more hydrating than hot showers, which strip your skin.


Drinking the proper amount of water daily, which is 8 servings of 8 ounces, is key to preserving your tan. Proper hydration extends the life of your skin cells, and subsequently delays your body's natural exfoliating process (yes, we shed like snakes). Add cocoa to your water for a boost of hydration - the perfect excuse to drink hot cocoa (or cold cocoa) in the middle of Summer.


Moisturizing should be the most important step in your skincare routine. This act will prevent your skin from peeling and aids in hydrating, as mentioned previously. Here's a pro tip: adding a few drops of tanning oil will help increase that bronzy #glow.

Wear a tan extender

There are actually products out there to help with this exact dilemma. Tan extenders help increase the time period of your tan and can actually make you look tanner than before.

Fake it 'till you make it

Slather on that bronzer or self tanner or whatever you need to do to glow, girl! Some Summers are better than others, or some people may just not tan (and only burn) *gasp*. Accentuate your tan or fake one until Fall.

How do you guys preserve your tan?


Interview: Madelaine Petsch On All Things Beauty and Riverdale, and Inside Bioré's Event

David Ruff

You might know Madelaine Petsch as the vindictive Cheryl Blossom on CW's Riverdale, but I can honestly tell you that Petsch has nothing in common with her character besides their hair color and love for the country side. 

I met Madelaine a few days before her Bioré event at the Jonathan Simkhai fashion show, so I was shocked when Madelaine greeted me with a hug as I waltzed over to her. Madelaine is arguably the nicest celebrity I ever met.

As we got to talk about her first ever Fashion Week, Petsch confessed that she likes New York and it's buzz, but would never live here because she is a suburban girl at heart. Right after the event, Madelaine was scheduled to hop on a plane to get right back to filming her hit teen drama show, so it is only fitting that she is Bioré's new brand ambassador; a skincare brand that promotes efficiency and the elimination of acne - very relevant to her demographic, and frankly her schedule (or anybody who has quite the busy schedule).

After our photo op, which included a messy face wash battle, I sat down with Madelaine to get the full scope on her own skincare routine and Cheryl Blossom's beauty secrets.


DAVID: "What is one beauty product you can't live without on set?"

MADELAINE: "The Bioré pore strips... I am addicted to them!"

DAVID: "Describe what your skin was like in high school."

MADELAINE: "It was fine in high school, after I graduated high school I had cystic acne for like two years and it was awful. Then, it cleared up again. But it was all stress related, like its all from stress."

DAVID: "What is your beauty secret for great skin?"

MADELAINE: "After I've been on set all day and I've got a bunch of makeup on, I will actually triple wash my face with the Bioré Baking Soda Acne Cleansing Foam just to get all of it out, because one wash and even two washes I think isn't enough to get all of that makeup out of your pores."

DAVID: "What do you think Cheryl's beauty routine would look like?"

MADELAINE: "I mean I do it every morning in the makeup trailer, and it is long. And I feel like between me and you, and the rest of the people who read your blog, I really feel like Cheryl would have a professional makeup artist come to the house every day, don't you think?"

DAVID: "She would!"

MADELAINE: "She honestly would."

DAVID: "What brand of red lipstick does Cheryl always wear?"

MADELAINE: "It's a secret!"




Shop Madelaine's Favorites

Click on the selected product to shop!

Let me know what you guys think in the comment section down below! Any feedback, suggestions, tips, and more. Hope you enjoyed this post. Stay Ruff!


New YouTube Video: The Best Face-Masks To Do With Your BFF

David Ruff

I collaborated with my fellow blogger bestie, Katie Sands, also known as ‘Honestly Kate’, to show you guys the best masks to do with your BFF from Dr. Brandt, whether it be at a sleepover or getting ready for a night out on the town.


Let me know what you guys think in the comment section down below! Any feedback, suggestions, tips, and more. Hope you enjoyed this post. Stay Ruff!


#IWokeUpLikeThis Status: How To Save Your Skin Over-Night

David Ruff

We all have those days, and sometimes those days turn into weeks, and unfortunately even months. If you still don't know what I am hinting at - it is skin concerns; whether it be acne, dullness, dryness, oiliness, redness, irritation, or whatever your issue may be... this mask is here to save your skin (and you), overnight. 

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Recently, stress from finals sent my skin into a frenzy, so naturally, I am in full-on recovery mode. It is important not to over or under exfoliate, and many don't realize as you strip away the surface layer of your skin, you need to equally hydrate. Hydration is the ultimate form of recovery for your skin. Diet, stress, antibiotic intake, and even harsh beauty products, are all factors that disrupt your skin's normal equilibrium, and in-turn, you can say goodbye to your once perfect complexion.

Now, the question is: how can one save such a disaster? And even further, achieve Beyoncé's "#IWokeUpLikeThis" status.


Dr. Brandt® Skincare's Hydro Biotic Recovery Sleeping Mask is the answer to all your prayers, leaving your skin effortlessly glowing. 

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The way this mask works is that you apply it before you sleep, and leave it on throughout the night. You don't even need to wash it off the next morning! The mask targets your skin's barrier by repairing the damaged cells, giving off a healthy natural glow. 

As stated by Miami-based Dermatologist and Dr. Brandt Skin
Advisory Board member Dr. Shasa Hu, "Recovery and repair is
just as important for our skin as it is for our muscles. At the end of the day, our skin has been exposed to UV damage, thermal damage, environmental pollutants, and physical stressors. The nourishing blend of biotics and antioxidants in the Hydro Biotic Recovery Sleeping Mask offers what I call ‘Active Recovery’ for the skin, so we wake up with that morning glow." As I would like to say, no "halo" needed (Beyoncé pun).

Also, (the skincare nerd within me needs to share that) a really cool thing about the Hydro Biotic mask is that it isn't sticky like most overnight masks are. Bonus points for the amazing smell, kudos to the manuka honey and tea extracts. 

Apply this mask every night, and "sweet dreams". I do not apologize for the reoccurring Beyoncé puns.


Hydro Biotic

$52, Sephora

Let me know what you guys think in the comment section down below (and if you "woke up like 'dis")! Any feedback, suggestions, tips, and more. Hope you enjoyed this post. Stay Ruff!


Celebrity MUA, Jillian Dempsey, On How To Create The Perfect Makeup Look For All Your Holiday Parties

David Ruff

Makeup artist, Jillian Dempsey, is the woman behind the flawless made-up faces of mega stars like Jennifer Lawrence, Kristen Stewart, Kristen Dunst, Kate Winslet, and even her husband - Patrick Dempsey, to name a few. You might also recognize Dempsey's name from her eponymous beauty line of lid tints and eyeliners.

I asked Dempsey what her go-to makeup look would be for my readers's upcoming holiday parties, and how to execute such a look akin to that of Hollywood's celebrity tastemakers. Whether it be for your Christmas office gathering, or New Year's Eve at your best friend's home, the "no-makeup makeup" look is here to stay. Or as Jillian likes to call it, "the day after New Year's Eve" look. Jillian's take on holiday makeup is refreshingly different from many, as she ditches lavish greens and dark reds for a simple makeup application; leaving your skin glowing brighter than any Christmas light.


Dempsey suggests prepping your skin before makeup application, "I start with Chantecaille Gold Under Eye Pads for a boast of hydration. Then I use a small amount of Weleda Skin Food Cream as a light layer of moisturizer. I massage it into the skin, making sure to get all the dry areas.". 

Conceal + Cover

To get luminous skin spot corrects by mixing her favorite concealers. Dempsey mixes "Secret Camouflage by Laura Mercier or Chantecaille’s Camouflage pen. I either blend this in with Armani foundation brushes or a Beauty Blender. Lightly dust on a translucent loose powder like Suqqu to lock in the cover up, especially on the T-zone.".  

Contour + Blush + Highlight

A pro-tip of Dempsey's is; "if you are used to using a contour, go subtle." which is paired with her favorites, Kevyn Aucoin contour powder and a Hakuhodo fan brush. Dempsey suggests to smile and use a soft brush when applying your blush, Charlotte Tilbury powder blush is best for a natural look. "RMS Luminizer is lovely when used on the upper cheek bones - very natural and sheer." perfect for an opulent glow.


"I follow this step by spraying the face with Glossier soothing face mist to give the face a surge of moisture. I love using this product as it helps hydrate the skin and set the dewy look."


Jillian loves her lid tint in Dew, "lightly apply a thin layer on the eyelids followed by a lash curl. Troy Surratt lash curler is my go-to. Make sure to squeeze the lashes a few times," To elevate the seductive aspect of the eyes, "...add two coats of mascara to the upper and lower lashes. I highly recommend DHC Mascara as it is a great one in black.". 


Keeping the lip simple and neutral, Jillian advises to stick with a sheer nude, such as Charlotte Tilbury Nude Kate.

Shop Jillian's Product Favorites

For more of Dempsey's product selections and celebrity behind-the-scenes, follow her @jilliandempsey

Let me know what you guys think in the comment section down below! Any feedback, suggestions, tips, and more. Hope you enjoyed this post. Stay Ruff!


Buy or Bye? The Millennial Pink Beauty Products That Are Worth All The Hype

David Ruff

The holy grail of beauty products are the ones that you want on your vanity at all times - for the 'gram and for it's magical wonders it does for your skin. How does one distinguish the beauty product that does both? In the Instagram Era, you are never quite sure if the opinions on the product are authentic, especially when certain sought-after packaging traits and brand names often take the lead, instead of the consumer. After using these products for weeks, and some even a couple months, I'm dishing out which pretty products also make you look pretty. 

The Exfoliator

Totally dying over Drunk Elephant's T.L.C Sukari Baby Facial! Baby Facial has three of my essential ingredients when looking for a product that will get the job done; glycolic acid, hyaluronic acid, and salicylic acids. This product is primarily glycolic acid as it peels your skin, killing dead skin cells, leaving your skin as soft as a baby... hence the name. The salicylic acid heals acne scars and destroys any remaining pimples, while the hyaluronic acid plumps the skin, giving it it's natural dewy glow. This product is a strong one, so incorporate it in your routine slowly, and know what ingredients do and don't work for your skin type. 


The Hydrators

Saturday Skin has been the latest brand I am obsessing over. Their sheet masks revive my skin after a long monotonous week of school, lack of sleep, and myriad of pizza consumption. I just throw on a brightening mask and chill out, and when I feel the mask getting a bit dry, I drench my face in their Daily Dew Hydrating Essence Mist - which is great to carry around for hydration all day. 

The Serum


Glossier's Super Glow serum gives me life... literally. The thing about this product that I love is that it give your skin instant gratification all while training your skin long term. The vitamin C brightens while the magnesium energizes, so to translate; you will look like the epitome of a Glossier ad. When Glossier sent me this serum, I was in love, and so were all of my friends and family. They all noticed a difference in my skin, complementing me on my skin's luminosity. You put this bad boy on before your moisturizer, then all your products glide on your face as the watery texture of the glow serum absorbs into your skin.

For extra dewiness, I love this rose oil, which smells heavenly, contains SPF 15, and is 50% off.

The Device


I Jade-roll so much that I can put it on my resume. This Mount Lai rose quartz facial roller is perfect, I like to put mine in the freezer and use it over a sheet mask, and also after I pile on all of my products. For those of you who don't know the many many benefits of jade-rolling; it reduces puffiness and inflammation, improves blood circulation, minimizes the look of pores, promotes lymphatic drainage, and relives facial and jaw tension.

The Lips

Chapsticks and lip moisturizers are a necessity for the cold Winter months. These are my three favorite that I keep in my bathroom, jacket pocket, and backpack at all times. (Left to Right) Glossier Balm Dot Com, C.O. Bigelow Rose Salve, Bliss Fabulips

Shop The Post

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Let me know what you guys think in the comment section down below! Any feedback, suggestions, tips, and more. Hope you enjoyed this post. Stay Ruff!


11 Top Editors and The Products They Are Raving About This Holiday Season

David Ruff

Laura Brown: Editor-In-Chief, InStyle


Laura Brown is the cheeky Australian editor that has swept the digital world by storm with her bonafide social media accounts showing a hilarious side of the fashion and beauty industry, that frankly no one has seen before. Brown loves to gift her favorite beauty products. She told that she is obsessed with Shani Darden Retinol Reform from her facialist's skincare line (it is my mom's favorite too), iS Clinical Cleansing Complex, and Jouer Body Butter.

Follow Laura; @laurabrown99


Cat Quinn: Beauty Director, Refinery 29


Cat Quinn shared with us her favorite luxe products to gift to the beauty-obsessed family members in her life. Quinn suggests this Silk Sleep Mask, "These masks are so plush and silky-soft, and somehow miraculously don't budge the entire night without tugging at your hair. It's the closest thing to sleep that you can gift someone — which is why I'm giving them to my sisters (one who travels the world for work, one who's studying for college finals). Hurry, because they're almost all sold out.". For her boyfriend's mom, the Diptyque Bailes Candle (in addition to some face-masks), "I've never met anyone who doesn't love this rosy, black current scent that warms up the entire apartment." Lastly, Cat loves the Sisley Black Rose Infusion Cream, she even claims to have gone through three whole jars since June. Fancy creams are the perfect gift for mothers according to Quinn, "The brightening cream feels silky and luxurious (and smells like heaven) but it's a powerhouse when it comes to brightening, smoothing, and improving the texture of your skin." I don't know about you, but my shopping cart is suddenly filled. 

Follow Cat; @catquinn


Jessica Chia: Senior Beauty Editor, Allure


If there is anyone to trust with beauty recommendations, it is Jessica. Chia's skin always seems to be luminous, her hair in perfect beach waves, while swatching the latest lipsticks on the Allure Insta-story. Jessica's picks are all under $40, so you can shop all the best products for your friends and family at an awesome deal, this holiday season. For #hairgoals, opt for Jen Atkin's Ouai Ouaisted Essentials Kit, which contains a dry shampoo foam, wave spray, full size memory mist, and rose gold barrette. Chia praises this kit for it's versatility, "...if you have second day hair, you can use the travel dry shampoo. If you’re air drying your hair, mist in this wave spray to accentuate the natural bends in your hair. If you’re going to do the whole thing and put a curling wand on it, the full sized memory mist will hold that curl for hours longer than it would last otherwise. And the gold barrette that comes with it is so chic—easy to toss in and go." With supermodel hair, you need a powerful lip to complete the look. Jessica's favorite bold lip goes to YSL Tatouage Couture"Hands down my favorite lipstick launch of the year. It’s this super-thin, super-pigmented stain that gives your lips a bright wash of color—but it doesn’t make it look like you’re wearing wax on your lips. And you can personalize the case with someone’s name, a little message, a special date, it’s something that’s going to be memorable and special." And for the homebody, go for the Incausa Bath and Meditation Soap and Incense Set, as Jessica refers to it as the "total spa moment" with the heavenly scents and essential oils packed into this mini bath and body set.  

Follow Jessica; @jess_chia


Bee Shapiro: Author of Skin Deep column and book, New York Times

Interviewing the biggest celebrities and brands in the beauty industry, Bee knows a thing or two when it comes to products. Shapiro loves the RMS Luminizer Quad, "I'm a sucker for anything shimmery for the holidays (or really any time of year). The RMS Luminizer is just so easy to use and I like that this has a variety of undertones to match your outfits to." No Kira-Kira app needed. From Bee's fragrance line, eponymous to that of her daughter; Ellis, Bee is obsessed with the Ellis Brooklyn Pseudonym Terrific Scented Candle, "It makes me want to take a luxurious bath and then cozy up in cashmere." I can testify to that, as I burn my Ellis Brooklyn candle, quite obsessively. An editor favorite, the Slip Silk Pillowcase, "I was recently sent a Slip pillowcase as a gift and now I'm a total convert. My hair wakes up with a lot less frizz and I like to imagine that it's tugging less at my crow's feet. " silk pillowcases are great for your skin, and are cleaner than your average pillow case due to it's hypoallergenic properties, plus who doesn't love anything silk?

Follow Bee; @beeshapiro, @ellisbrooklyn


Faith Xue: Editorial Director, Byrdie


Faith Xue understands the concept of "Doing It For The Gram", as she advises gifting products that will be aesthetically pleasing, yet effective. Because if you didn't post your beauty product fave, do you even use it? Faith loves the Tatcha Starter Ritual Norm, "Tatcha wins for packaging all-around, I love that this skincare set comes with everything you need to start an indulgent self-care ritual." This Dear Dahlia Special Package definitely takes the cake for most aesthetically pleasing, I mean the whole exterior of the products are infamous white marble! Faith says, "I just discovered this vegan, cruelty-free and Instagrammable Korean makeup brand and can't get enough. These lipsticks were meant to be photographed and displayed on your vanity." Now that you have your skin and makeup gifts down, you can't forget about hair. Xue suggests purchasing the Dreslyn Hair Essentials Gift Set, "Dreslyn always has the most excellent beauty curation. I'd gift this gorgeous Playa haircare set to the best-tressed friend in my life." I couldn't help but notice the subtle beauty pun; take notes for your next Instagram post, just saying

Follow Faith; @faith_xue


Jessica Matlin: Beauty and Health Director, Teen Vogue, Co-host of Fat Mascara podcast 


Jessica Matlin always thinks of organizations to give back to, especially when they go hand-in-hand with beauty. I remember falling in love with her writing when she wrote about the stopping the Yulin Dog Festival in China on I found it so cool that a beauty editor can do justice with the platform she is given. Matlin picks the Disney x Kiehl's Creme de Corps Grapefruit Whipped Body Butter, the proceeds help secure 355 meals for Feeding America, a organization that works with food banks across the U.S. Plus, as Jessica said, "What better time than the holidays to treat someone to THE MOST LUXURIOUS BODY CREAM ON EARTH?". As you are getting into the Christmas spirit, Matlin isn't one to deck out her apartment, the Nest Holiday Candle is all she needs "Light the wick, and it's like you're standing in the middle of a Christmas tree farm. Pop on National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation, and we're off!" And now... bath time! Jessica loves a Christmas Lush Bath Bomb as much as the next person, "Christmas Eve Bath Bomb, which is laced with sleepy jasmine and ylang ylang. So relaxing!"  

Follow Jessica; @jessicamatlin, @fatmascara


Kathleen Hou: Beauty Director, The Cut


Kathleen loves Sisley Paris creams just as much as the rest of the world, or maybe a tad more... "I hope my mom never reads this, otherwise she'll find out I have been hiding this moisturizer from her. At one point, I had two jars of this cream in my apartment and I had all the best intentions to bring the second jar home to my mother. But before I knew it, I finished the first jar and opened the new one. It feels like a super-luxurious rich cream that just glides like silk over the skin. It's so good. It's so expensive. But my skin feels so soft and I swear, it looks more lifted, the morning after using it. I like it more than La Mer (don't tell anyone). I swear if I get a third jar, I will give it to my mom. Or at the very least, we will share it.", and honestly we can't blame her. Don't have the money to have your own private island to jet off to for Christmas, as most don't, Hou says this Coqui-Coqui candle's smell is akin to that of a beach, "All the perfumes evoke a sense of warm temperature and ocean breezes, without feeling cliche. I particularly like the Coco Coco scent, which smells a bit like fancy sunscreen without any of the waxiness.  " And now for the signature red holiday lip. Hou selects the Pat McGrath LuxeTrance lipsticks, "Give me every shade of Pat McGrath lipstick and I may never need another lipstick again. The reds are fantastic and so pigmented that they just saturate your lips with color. I love that you can apply the lipstick with just your fingertips, and instantly get a version of the lips seen at Prada from the previous four seasons." Looking like a Prada runway model on a Monday morning on the subway to work or school is the gift that keeps on giving.

 Follow Kathleen; @kathleenhou


Gwen Flamberg: Executive Beauty and Style Editor, Us Weekly, Vice President of Beauty and Style, the Style Group


Gwen is literally like my second mom, and as the old saying says, "mother always knows best", especially when it comes to beauty products galore. Although Gwen could pass as twenty-five. Every red-head needs the perfect red lip; that is Chanel Rouge Allure Velvet No2. " I’m #obsessed with the limited edition red tube (the first time this formula has ever been packaged this way!) – it’s just drop-dead chic and the matte shade kisses lips in a wash of universally flattering ruby.". To achieve a glowing ambiance, Gwen suggests Man Ray x NARS Overexposed Glow Highlighter in Double Take, "Who wouldn’t want a highlighter that not only gives skin an other-worldly glow, but has Man Ray’s surreal lips imprinted in the powder? So fabulous!" Fabulous, indeed. And lastly, Flamberg's favorite scent, Baccarat Rouge 540 candle "This gorgeous candle diffuses my signature scent (created by my favorite perfumer Francis Kurkdjian) and the pillar is practically an objet d’art, a bit of home décor with a decidedly personal touch." The brass exterior of the candle is ultra-chic. 

Follow Gwen; @gwen_beauty


Didi Gluck: Deputy Beauty Editor, Shape


Didi treats her giftees to products that can be used for an at-home spa day from candles, to soaps, to body washes! Gluck loves to give Fresh body soaps according to zodiac signs, "My personal favorite is the Patchouli scent, but if I know my recipient's star sign, I often go for the appropriate zodiac soap." Now that is really cool, if you are a beauty junkie like me. Molton Brown is known for their superlative body washes. Gluck is obsessed with their Cypress & Sea Fennel scent, but any Molton Brown scent is, (as Didi puts it), "delicious". And as for Diptyque candles, a classic holiday favorite, Didi goes for the intriguing Oud fragrance, as the Baies scent is overrated. Spa a la Gluck, excuse me while I sign up. 

Follow Didi; @didigluck


Holly Carter: Contributing Editor, Oprah Magazine


Holly Carter is the epitome of a beauty expert; reporting the latest and greatest trends in makeup, skincare, hair, alongside the classic beauty tips and tricks to live by. Holly knows her sister would love an all-encompassing eyeshadow, "The Moschino + Sephora Limited Edition Collection has the most adorable golden teddy-bear shaped palette with 21 great-looking shadows. Creating day and night looks is a cinch with this baby." Now that you have displayed your opulent eyeshadow for a night out on the town, when winding down, Holly is obsessed with body oils and candles, as one typically is. For your bestie, Holly recommends the Diptyque Six-Piece Candle Set, " Everyone’s home is a little merrier and bright with a great-smelling candle. Diptyque’s custom six-piece candle set allows you to create your own mix of the iconic candles to give to a loved on—my BFF would love it. I’ve always been obsessed with the wood-burning scent of Feu de Bois." The perfect winter skin treatment according to Carter is Frédéric Malle Portrait of A Lady Hair and Body Oil "it’s rich and warm with rose, patchouli, sandalwood and frankincense.".

Follow Holly; @hollsbeauty


Lindsey Metrus: Managing Editor, Byrdie


Lindsey Metrus is a big Sunday Riley fan, just like me. Metrus is obsessed especially with their Power Couple Duo, "I credit both Good Genes and Luna for reviving my skin when it's seen better days. The latter is super brightening, and the former is immensely hydrating and glow-inducing. I love that they come in this literal power duo so you can give the gift of good skin for much less than buying them separately. No doubt the giftee will be thrilled." Now that your skin is glowing and not dull anymore, amplify your game by applying a bold lip. Tom Ford Boys & Girls Lipsticks are the essential personalized beauty holiday gift, "These little lippies are not only pretty to keep on your vanity (or in your bag), they're cute to give as a gift when they match the name of the receiver (or the man/woman in their life)." Not sure what exactly your loved one wants? Atelier Bespoke Fragrances is the answer to your frantic worries, "The brand has a genius quiz on its website to find your perfect notes, and once you get your results, you can dress it up the bottle(s) with a special engraved leather case. Ambiguously send the quiz questions along to your loved one and surprise them with a new scent wardrobe." Metrus also mentions the notable scent and packaging.

Follow Lindsey; @lindseymetrus

Let me know what you guys think in the comment section down below! Any feedback, suggestions, tips, and more. Hope you enjoyed this post. Stay Ruff!

Cover Credit: Karen Rosalie


Why I Wash and Style My Hair With Champagne...

David Ruff

Are there truly any positive benefits to being drenched in champagne? I think not... party animals might beg to differ, and so do sybaritic beauty lovers. Cuvée Beauty is the brand to know; with luxe champagne-infused products at an affordable price and a genius story behind it.

The founder, Rachel Katzman, while partying had copious amounts of champagne sprayed in hair (as one does) from an unhinged celebratory Vegas night. Katzman woke up the next morning noticing her hair seemingly more texturized, wavy, and nourished. From there, an idea blossomed to launch a champagne based haircare line.

But how does one exactly wash, treat, and style their hair with champagne without breaking the bank? Because let's face it... dunking your hair in Dom Perignon every day might entail taking on a few more jobs on the side to maintain such a lifestyle.

Champagne extract is the primary ingredient in these opulent hair products, amongst white truffle, platinum ferment extracts, resveratrol, ceramides, plant proteins, and botanicals. The smell is quite extravagant which might be a pro or con depending on your preference of fragrance. I for one, love the whiff of champagne at 6:45am whilst styling my hair in the bathroom getting ready for school - others maybe not. 

Now you still might be pondering why champagne in these products? It's the subtle stickiness that aids in styling the hair, all while nourishing and protecting as these ingredients are filled with rich (yes, pun intended) antioxidants to promote healthy, attractive hair. 

Out of all the products I have tried from the Cuvée line, the styling balm is hands down my favorite (shop here). The prominent smell of champagne and fig is amazing, in addition to how it shapes my hair effortlessly. The styling balm can be used as a gel, or as a base before smearing on gel depending on how natural or heavy you want your hair to look. It has been a staple in my morning hair routine (for all my other fave hair products click here), and I have loved the results after using the styling balm. 

Luminous hair and decadent products is something we all can raise a glass to; preferably a glass of champagne, or if you are like me (fifteen years old and all) we can raise a nice refreshing glass of water.


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1. Shampoo -

2. Conditioner -

3. Volumizing Mist -

4. Travel Set -

5. Champagne Spray -

6. Première Treatment -

7. Styling Balm -

8. Protective Treatment -

Let me know what you guys think in the comment section down below! Any feedback, suggestions, tips, and more. Hope you enjoyed this post. Stay Ruff!


This blog post was not sponsored by Cuvée Beauty, nor was I compensated at any capacity. Products mentioned were gifted by PR. All sponsored content will be indicated, read this for FAQ questions. Further questions may be asked at 

Mixing My Ellis Brooklyn Fragrances

David Ruff

In my previous blog post, I interviewed celebrated New York Times beauty columnist, Bee Shapiroon her product line, Ellis Brooklyn, and now I am telling you about my favorite fragrances that I selected - and what I do with them. Ellis Brooklyn's products range from perfumes to candles to lotions, but what I really gravitated towards were their signature scent RIVES, and their newest addition, SCI-FI.

Shop My Faves

Click on the selected picture to take you to a direct link to shop.

All of their products are unisex, but as we all know, fragrances smell differently on different people. This is because the smell of a fragrance on someone is dependent on the PH level of their skin, and it's overall chemistry. When the perfume molecules react with the pulse points of our heart beat, the end result of the scent is determined by our hormones and our skin, this results in a particular diverse smell. No two people are the same, such that the chemical reaction that this gives off will never smell exactly the same to that of someone else.

I found that the scents I liked, RIVES and SCI-FI, smelled feminine on my skin (individually), although the ingredients in both, when mixed, complemented each other and alluded to a rather masculine aroma. RIVES's scent consists of neroli, lavender, and cedarwood, inspired by the French Rivera. SCI-FI is essentially the icing on the cake, figuratively and literally. The scent is similar to that of a whiff of vanilla cake, it is rather subtle yet sweet, making the mixture more lively and attractive. SCI-FI also includes bergamot and green tea. 

When these scents were mixed together, the leading characteristics of each fragrance created a prominent manly aroma, probably because of the natural nature-based ingredients which many associate with a robust figure, if you will. This mixture is the perfect combination for my skin's chemical makeup because of the perfect balance of masculinity with hints of delicate scents. The selection of Ellis fragrances offer a wide variety of natural unisex fragrances that are fun to mix and match, or wear exclusively on it's own. 

NYT Beauty Writer, Bee Shapiro, On Creating The Brand The Beauty World Was Missing

David Ruff

Bee Shapiro is not your typical editor. Lawyer turned top beauty columnist; Shapiro is a perfect example of the modern day woman - mom and wife, hustling non-stop, whether it be a New York Times article, a piece for Vanity Fair, or in the lab constructing a unique scent with the chemists for Ellis Brooklyn. To say Shapiro's repertoire is anything but admirable would be an understatement.

Her arsenal of accomplishments don't just consist of her coveted beauty column on the Styles section of the New York Times profiling the hottest products and people in the industry. Always tackling a new project, Shapiro just launched her new book Skin Deep, featuring her noteworthy columns and new exclusive interviews with the innovators in the beauty world. As a chunk of Bee's job is testing and trying the latest and greatest luxury products, Bee felt a sense of emptiness in the fragrance aspect of the beauty product realm and created Ellis Brooklyn to fill that void.

We turn the tables, and Bee is the one who is now the interviewee. Read along to find out Bee's inspiration for her brand, the story behind its exponential growth, and much more in our Q & A!

1. What is the story behind the name "Ellis Brooklyn"?

"I was pregnant with my first daughter Ellis when I came up with the idea for the line and we live in Brooklyn. I was keeping it simple!"


2. How has having your own beauty column for the New York Times inspire you to create your own brand?

"Being a beauty editor, you're constantly swabbing, testing, trying, experimenting. You get to know products and ingredient lists really well. I think there's a point were you've seen it all in a sense, but then you get the light bulb moment to make something specific and unique and special. That's how Ellis Brooklyn came about. There was this amazing green or conscious beauty movement happening in skincare and makeup, but nada in fragrance."


3. I remember you telling me that creating a brand is a very personal thing, can you elaborate on that?

"When you put it out there, it's truly your baby. You've put your heart, soul and creative energy into each product. It's a culmination of months-long, sometimes years-long creative journey, so it becomes very personal in a magical sort of way."


4. What is your favorite and least favorite thing about having your own brand?

"Favorite thing is all the amazing people I get to collaborate with from my perfumer to package designer to chemist. The downside is all the no-fun homework stuff like making sure I get all my invoices and POs to my bookkeeper-- bleh."


5. What is the afflatus behind each fragrance scent?


"Because I wanted to keep it very personal, each scent is about taking an ingredient and really doing it in a way that hasn't been addressed well before. For example, SCI FI, our latest scent is taking vanilla, which is very well known, and keeping all its warm beauty but doing it in an elegant, almost clean way as opposed to your typical gourmand, cupcake-y vanillas of old."


6. If you had to describe your own personal scent, what would your top three adjectives be?

"I specifically created Ellis Brooklyn Myth for myself. To me, it's pretty yet urbane, modern yet warm."


7. What do you look for in a fragrance, and how have you applied that to each scent you have produced?

"I think finding the right fragrance is like dating. When you know, you know. It's the pathway there, which can be full of doubts and outside influences and opinions that is tough to navigate through. For me, because I've smelled SO many fragrances at this point, my starting off point is: does it smell good. I think so many brands I've reviewed miss this point. I want people to wear my scents. I want the fragrances to be part of their lives— to create memories where the scents play a role. Then, my next thought is: have I smelled this before? Is this unique? Is this special enough to warrant yet another fragrance out there in the marketplace? I am also a stickler for making sure the fragrances smells incredible from start to finish."


8. Can we expect any other beauty products, such as skincare and makeup, from Ellis Brooklyn in the future?


Right now, I think there are enough amazing skincare options out there right now. I feel like I could have a few things to say about natural or green makeup but it's not really something I'm planning on. I'm truly focused on fragrance.


9. How does beauty resonate with you in terms of current-politics and issues in the world? Is it an outlet of expression, a symbol for feminism, a distraction from the real world, or all of the above? 

"For me, it's all of the above. Scent, above all else, says something about you in a very subtle yet primal way. When you breathe in a scent, it goes right to your frontal lobe where your instincts are. You're going to be remembered that way. You're going to be identified by a scent. That's very powerful and exciting from an expression point of view. Because of that scent can be playful and transformative too."


10. What does being a powerful creative woman in the beauty industry mean to you?


"One of the beautiful things I've discovered since starting my life is how there are these wonderful female entrepreneurs out there who have been incredibly generous. I've gotten advice from Bobbi Brown. Laura Slatkin, founder of Nest, introduced me to Sephora. Mona Kattan, the business brains behind HudaBeauty, has shared with me countless resources and info. Jen Atkin of Ouai has connected me with her Middle East contacts when I was doing research on the region. The list of amazing women to thank goes on! That to me, is the definition of being a power woman: being secure enough about your success that you're down for lifting other women up."

11. If you had to name someone(s) as your muse for your fragrance line, who would it be and why?


"I don't have a muse. I actually would like to get away from the idea of a muse for fragrance. I feel like I see a lot of muses being created that are not at all like what real, modern women or men are like. I want each scent to stand on its own."



12. Where do you see yourself, and Ellis Brooklyn in 5 years from now?


"Taking over the world-- kidding! I would love to see us making an impact not only as a brand, but also in sourcing and sustainability. This is an area that green brands need to be more and more aware of. All this demand for green and natural ingredients means we have to be all the more responsible when sourcing. I would love to have a program in place that impacts environmental awareness and education in a big, important way." 

I hope you guys enjoyed this blog post, a review of all my favorite Ellis Brooklyn fragrances and candles will be up here shortly! In the meantime, shop Ellis Brooklyn on Sephora, Barneys NY, and other select stores. 


New YouTube Video: Interview with Sir John, Beyoncé's Makeup Artist

David Ruff

I had the pleasure of sitting down with Sir John, to chat about all things beauty, politics (gender/sexuality, feminism, etc.), and his new TV show with Adriana Lima; American Beauty Star. Sir John is a celebrity makeup artist and L'Oreal brand ambassador. Sir John is known for his iconic work and relationship with Beyoncé. We even found out an exclusive Bey story that you won't want to miss.