Clean Beauty: What it is and why it matters

Clean Beauty: What it is and why it matters

When it comes to the stuff you put IN your body, you understand the importance of eating clean. But do you call upon the same “clean” standards when it comes to the products you put on your skin, the body’s largest organ? Turns out, more and more consumers do care about clean beauty... and we do, too! Here’s what clean beauty is and why it just may matter to you.

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Drugstore Beauty Dash

We get it. You live and breathe all things beauty. (Welcome to the PrettyCity club!) And, while we love designer brands like Chanel, Gucci, and Prada, but we’ve got to feed our beauty habit, pay opur bills... and still have enough money left for soy lattes, yoga classes, and Uber.  

For this edition of Drugstore Beauty Dash, we’ve rounded up a few essential beauty products that are easy to find and won't break the bank.

Essence Eye                                                                                                                                  

They say the eyes are the windows to the soul.  Well, why not make those peepers unforgettable?  Whether you are looking for gorgeous shadows, solid liners, stunning brows or sexy lashes, Essence has you covered.  With eye makeup ranging no more than $10, you can hide, or tell, all with your newfound steal of a deal.  In rich neutrals and easy-to-carry palettes, don't blink and miss out on this one!

Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick

Lipstick on the teeth might be our scariest nightmare yet…or was it a real life dilemma?  Not anymore thanks to Revlon. The Super Lustrous Lipstick is not only drenched with hydration but the color stays put on your pout!  Whether you are looking for vixen red or subtle sand colors, Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick has you covered.  And at only $4.99 a tube, be bold and try a few. We won’t kiss and tell.


Maybelline Volum’ Express The Falsies Push Up Drama Angel Mascara

Bigger is not always better unless we are talking about hair and lashes of course!  Cue Maybelline Volum’ Express The Falsies Push Up Drama Angel Mascara.  Its signature wing brush actually lifts and extends the lashes to greater lengths. There’s no clumping, no messy residue, or flaking left behind.  Just soft, lengthy lashes that last all day.  Ophthalmologist tested and only $7.49 each, we bat our lashes to that!

Jordana Easyliner for Lips

You’ve got the lipstick, but with pennies to spare, why not grab a lip liner that completes the look?  Jordana’s got you locked and lined with ultimate color.  Creamy, consistent shades that glide on smooth without any need for sharpening, this lip liner is so fabulous that it can be worn on its own!  Choose from a lineup of amazing colors at only $2.99…you will wonder how you ever lived without!


Soap & Glory Glow All Out Highlighting Face Powder .31 oz

Cheekbones are all the rage.   With so many highlighting and contouring products out there, it’s easy to get lost in a sea of blushes and powders.   Keep it simple and sexy with Soap & Glory’s All Out Highlighting Face Powder.  A gentle sweep across the cheekbones for a highlighted, luminous look that will make every selfie seem as though there’s perfect lighting.  Get it for $12.99 at local drugstores.

The Fountain of Sustainable Youth

The Fountain of Sustainable Youth

Sustainable Youth is a luxury collection of skincare that uses alasta, a patent-pending anti-aging factor derived from the inside of the rind of an Aloe Vera leaf.  Got your attention, eh? According to clinical trials, alasta can naturally increase skin elasticity and firmness up to 72%.  And with alasta, skin is better equipped to fight inflammation and combat free radical damage and collagen fiber deprivation. 

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Win it! Vegan Eye Shadow From The Body Shop

 Three lucky winners will receive their favorite hues of one of our favorite Vegan Eye Shadows from The Body Shop.

The Body Shop

Terms + Conditions:

Three winner selected IN TOTAL from entries on Instagram @prettycitydotcom or via the form below. | Each winner receives two shadows | Open to US shipping addresses only | Winners selected from entries below AND Instagram entries via comment and follow.

Name *

The Best Concealers... and a few concealer mistakes you DON'T want to make!

Best Concealer

The Best Concealers | Concealer Reviews

We've all got our dirty little secrets. When it comes to looking gorgeous, honesty is not the best policy. We recently put dozens of cover-ups and concealers to the test in an effort to find the best products money could buy. A few favorites emerged. A few less-than-stellar concealers made separating the bad from the beautiful an easy task.

Here's what we loved and what to look out for... because getting what you want often begins with figuring out what you don't want. (Turns out that's true of men and makeup.)

So, we begin our search for the best concealers by establishing our list of don'ts..

Concealer Dont's

  • Don't use one concealer for all purposes. For example, the best cover-up for blemishes is often too thick under eyes.
  • Don't apply concealer underneath foundation; that reduces the effectiveness of even the best products.
  • Don't rub; apply by patting lightly with your pointer finger or a flat makeup brush. 

The Best Concealers

Jane Iredale's Circle/Delete Under Eye Concealer, $32, is the best product we've found for concealing dark circles. But this must-have product goes beyond just covering up "raccoon eyes." Key ingredients such as titanium dioxide and zinc oxide provide sun protection while vitamin K reportedly acts as a lightening agent to help fade hyperpigmentation. Get yours here.

Best concealer for blemish cover-up

Laura Mercier's Secret Camouflage is the hands-down winner for covering a bevy of skincare sins, from blemishes to blotches. In a range of shades with unsexy names such as 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8, this product proves that concealing imperfections is serious business. Each compact in the Secret Camouflage collection contains two shades: one to match skin's undertones and one to match skin's color. Each shade can be used separately or blended together as needed. Get yours here.

Best Concealers

Best bargain and best VEGAN concealer

Ideal for blemish-prone skin, The Body Shop Matte Clay Concealer helps conceal all types of skin imperfections with their 100% vegan Matte Clay Concealer. This lightweight concealer is enriched with skin-clearing tea tree and offers up a full-coverage matte finish that we tested...and loved

It promises to work well at concealing imperfections, blemishes, and dark circles; we found it's excellent for covering zits and equally as good under eyes. Normally $10, on sale for $6 now here.


Best Concealers

Best concealer for him

For men who have something to hide, we like the Menaji Skin Care line, reportedly used by everyone from Tom Hanks to Evander Holyfield. The Undetectable Concealer ($29 at is available in hues ranging from Light Camo to Deep Dark Camo. The fragrance-free formula is sure to be a hit with guys, and the added benefit of SPF 8 helps prevent sun damage, particularly good in the sensitive under eye area.

Carolyn's "Best Concealer" pick: Tarte Double Duty Beauty Shape Tape Contour Concealer

"Tarte makes one of my favorite concealers. I discovered it at Ulta when a under eye laser treatment left me with not one but two black eyes! This concealer was dense enough to cover my med spa "oops!" and years later, I still count on it. If you want substantial coverage -- like I do thanks to running several businesses and having four kids -- Tarte serves up natural looking coverage that is ideal for covering up a myriad of sins." Get yours here.

What's your favorite concealer? Do tell! Share the scoop in the comments below or find us on Facebook + Instagram.

Best Dry Shampoos and Worst Dry Shampoos

When Heidi Montag tearfully declared, “I was just trying to calm Spencer down… he’s so mad because he knows how much this means to me,”  she wasn’t referring to her religion, her wedding ring or even her plastic surgery. Nope, it was the frivolous wasting of Montag’s dry shampoo on I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here that elicited this cry of outrage. And Montag’s not the only girl who loves her dry shampoo, Katy Perry told Vanity Fair that Dry Shampoo is a “staple” in her makeup bag.

So this week we’ve got the dish on this cult celebrity favorite including what dry shampoo is, why you might actually need some,  and of course, which ones work and which are just a waste of money.

Dry shampoo is designed to remove excess oil from hair follicles, minus the soap and water, of course.  And if you’re wondering why anyone would want to skip washing their hair in favor of using a dry shampoo, there are actually are a myriad of beauty benefits.

Dry shampoo doesn’t clean hair like traditional shampoo; it most commonly removes oil and leaves a pleasant scent behind. But for women with color treated hair, shampooing less, even if they traditionally use color safe shampoo, may actually have some benefits including extending the life of their color.

And for those of us who, thanks to oily scalps, can barely make it through 24 hours without having to wash our hair, dry shampoo is a fabulous way to banish those oily roots without drying out the more parched ends of hair.

Stylists often recommend hair that was washed the day before as the optimal base for updos and other styles, but greasy hair doesn’t look good on anyone. Dry shampoo is ideal for keeping day-after hair fresh looking and in great shape for a special event updo or simply creating the braided side pony that is so haute now.

For those considering trying dry shampoo, don’t hit the hair salon, specialty store or drugstore without our list of dry shampoo duds and darlings…


Love it! Herbal Essences Dry Shampoo

We love Herbal Essences Bio:Renew Volume Dry Shampoo. And, at less than $7 at local drugstores, like Walgreens, your wallet will adore this dry shampoo, too. Available in a variety of lightly scented options -- White Grapefruit & Mosa Mint or Green Tea are our favorites -- this best dry shampoo is blissfully free of gluten and colorants. Get it here.


Love it! Caviar Anti-Aging Dry Shampoo from Alterna

This high end dry shampoo is best for blondes and worth the $25 you’ll pay for 1.2 oz. at Ulta stores and top-notch salons. It’s paraben free and unlike many of the other dry shampoos we tested, it’s non-aerosol.  Using the PerfectDose dry shampoo powder spray pump, simply rub the product into the scalp and rub oil out. Ideal for extending the life of a blow-out, this talc-free product earns a spot at the top of our love list. Get it here.

Leave it: Baby Powder

OK do-it-yourselfers, we love an affordable beauty fix as much as the next woman, but sprinkling your hair with baby powder is not the same as using an effective dry shampoo. So leave the powder for Junior’s bum, and skip the lovely gray halo this DIY trick leaves behind. If cost is your concern, try Psssssst Instant Spray Shampoo, available at local drugstores for about seven bucks.

best dry shampoo

Love it! Rene Furterer‘s Naturia Dry Shampoo

Rene Furterer‘s Naturia Dry Shampoo promises that its patented formula serves up anti-sebum benefits, and boy does it deliver.  We give the product high marks for being free of parabens, sulfates, petro chemicals and phthalates and even higher marks for easy spray-on application that absorbs oil and freshens hair for hours; $36 here.

Leave it: Bumble and Bumble Hair Powder

Bumble and Bumble’s Hair Powder comes in different colors, think black, brown, red, white and even “blondish.” It sprays on, but thanks to a combo of ingredients that include Oat Starch and Oat Flour, this product “starched” our hair, leaving it feeling thick and stiff, like a cheap men’s shirt.

Love it! Oscar Blandi Pronto Invisible Volumizing Dry Shampoo

This clear-spray dry shampoo is ideal for all hair colors and perfect for times that hair needs a cleaning, volumizing boost...without residue. Vitamin E and wheat proteins strengthen hair while Lemon Verbana provides a subtle, clean scent. Get it for $25 here.

Which brand do you think makes the best dry shampoo? Share the scoop in the comments below!

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    CLOSED: Win it! 10 Winners Get a Trio of Hard Candy's Lip Plumping Gloss

    CLOSED: Win it! 10 Winners Get a Trio of Hard Candy's Lip Plumping Gloss

    This shiny, volumizing, and hydrating lip gloss gives lips the appearance of being fuller while serving up serious shines in a variety of flattering hues. Available in a range of sheer and full color shades, we love "Swan Lake," a sheer nude, and "Magic Mauve," an-oh-so-pretty pink.

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    The Best Lip Glosses for 2018

    The Best Lip Glosses for 2018

    This week, we asked PrettyCity readers to share which one beauty product they couldn’t live without. Turns out glittering lips beat pretty peepers 2 to 1, with 1,871 respondents picking lip gloss and balm over mascara. (Powder, bronzer and concealer couldn’t even compete.)

    And, since we like to think of ourselves as Beauty MDs, we’re prescribing glosses that shine and balms that soothe...pick two products and sparkle in the morning :-) 

    Our A to Z "gloss-ary" of the best lip glosses on the market now.

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    Beauty From The Inside Out


    Dark Circles Begone!

    It’s been long rumored that super models and stunning celebs alike rely on the Japanese Adzuki Bean to banish dark circles under eyes.  We taste-tested this theory and we’re hooked.  Available at local health stores or gourmet food markets, the Adzuki Bean is said to help rid the body of the pesky toxins that may be causing those raccoon eyes.  Whether suffering from occasional or chronic dark circles, a weekly bowl of this warm, spicy soup may banish darkness for good.

    Adzuki Bean Soup Recipe:

    • 8 oz. adzuki beans 
    • 6 cups water 
    • 1 large onion, chopped 
    • 6 celery sticks, chopped.
    • 2 tbsp. of finely chopped basil
    • 2 large cloves of garlic, minced 
    • 2 tsp. Of sea salt 
    • 4 tsp. of coarsely ground black pepper 

    Bring 6 cups of water to a boil.  Add beans, onion, celery sticks, basil, garlic, salt and black pepper. Boil rapidly for 15 minutes or until frothy. Remove froth with a spoon and discard. Reduce heat and simmer mixture for 2 hours.  Bottoms up for a more beautiful you.

    You can check out other Adzuki Bean Soup recipes on Genius Kitchen here.

    Smooth Skin Saboteurs.

    What you are eating could be sabotaging your chance of having the smooth, dewy complexion you crave.  Alcohol, caffeine and saturated fat may be wreaking havoc on your skin care routine. Here’s how…

    Alcohol dehydrates the skin so limiting consumption is key.  As always, it’s all about moderation.  Women’s skin is thinner than men’s skin, so experts believe that the effects of excessive alcohol are more apparent on a woman’s complexion.  Hey, we’re all in favor of a martini with your manicure, just remember to consume two 8 ounce glasses of water along with every alcoholic beverage to fight off dehydration.

    Caffeine is a diuretic so with every sip of that latte, your skin is being robbed of precious moisture.  What to do? Down 8 ounces of H20 each cup of Joe; this is the best way to have your cake and eat it, too. 

    Saturated fat and trans fatty acids set off the production of free radicals and free radicals are the perpetrators responsible for wrinkles, skin thickening and other signs of premature aging.  Free radicals also cause skin inflammation, inviting enlarged pores and breakouts.  If your low-carb lifestyle finds has you consuming steak and bacon galore, your face may suffer. Another thing to watch for is partially hydrogenated oil- a mainstay in many processed foods (including energy bars).  Partially Hydrogenated Oil is in the trans fatty acid category and not only can these trans fatty acids ruin your skin, many studies suggest they are murder on your heart. 

    Breakfast is on you.

    Start the day with a skin-softening mask (perfect for Winter weary skin) made of healthful ingredients you may already have in your fridge.  Darrin Zeer, dubbed America's "Relaxation Expert," suggests this easy, skin-friendly at home mask: Start with 2 tbsp. of plain yogurt, 3 tbsp. of uncooked oatmeal and a few drops of honey. Mix the yogurt and the oatmeal together in a bowl, then add honey and stir the mixture until relatively smooth.  Gently massage the mask onto your face avoiding the eyes.  Leave the mask on for five minutes before removing with warm water.  Now, you can face the day.

    The Best Red Lipsticks and The Worst Red Lipsticks: So Many Reds, So Little Time

    By Pretty City Editors

    The Best Red Lipsticks

    The Best Red Lipstick and the Worst Red Lipstick

    Crimson lips are simply timeless. We’ve been long-time fans of a classic red lip done right...  but red lipstick done wrong is a messy, feathery, unattractive affair. That's why the most important thing -- other than confidence -- when rocking bold lips, is picking a lipstick that lasts, and dumping the ones that don't. Here's what you must know... hold your kisses until the end, beauties. ;-) 

    Red lips demand attention so starting with a smooth canvas is a must. Ban pesky lip bits with Aveda’s Botanical Kinetics Liquid Exfoliant ($27 at Aveda salons and spas and online here). Apply generously to a cotton ball and then swipe over lips. Next, for a perfectly smooth pucker, moisturize lips by swiping on lip balm and then blotting lips with a tissue. 

    While some beauty experts recommend certain shades of this hue based on skin tone, we’ve found that trial and error is the true test. Thankfully, we’ve done some of the work for you, pre-screening over two-hundred red lipsticks to round up a few of the darlings and the duds.

    Best Red Lipstick: Prescriptives Colorscope Lipcolor in “Racecar Red” ($21)

    You’ve undoubtedly heard of fire engine red, but Prescriptives kicks it up a notch with their Colorscope Lipcolor in “Racecar Red,” a juicy apple red available in your choice of cream, shimmer or sparkle finishes. The moist formula goes on smooth but boasts a surprising level of staying power; $21 at

    Worst Red Lipstick: NYX Black Label Lipstick in “Cherry” ($7)

    We’re fans of the NYX collection and The Black Label collection lipstick in “Cherry” appeared to be a winner at first glance. Unfortunately, this “silky smooth” lipstick went on slick, and didn’t stay put, leaving us red-faced rather than pucker perfect.

    Best Red Lipstick: Rimmel’s 1000 Kisses Stay On Lip Liner Pencil in “Red Dynamite” and Lasting Finish Lipstick in “Alarm” ($3 to $5)

    For just a few bucks, we fell in love with Rimmel’s 1000 Kisses Stay On Lip Liner Pencil ($3.99 at Walmart) because it glides on easily and keeps its commitment to stay on our lips without straying.   Paired with Rimmel’s Lasting Finish Lipstick in “Alarm” (on sale now for $4.97 at Walgreens), this glamorous duo aims to prove that style can be a steal.

    Worst Red Lipstick: Milani’s Glitzy Glamour Gloss in “All About Me” ($6.99)

    Take it from us, ladies, avoid red lip gloss at all costs… especially this one. Perhaps as punishment for straying from red lipsticks into red gloss, “All About Me” ended up all over us; and the hue that had looked so beguiling in the drugstore left us looking more foolish than fashionable.

    As a side note, we still live and die by Milani's Easy Lipliner Retractable Pencil ($4.99 at local drugstores or at "Cherry Pie," hand’s down the best bargain-priced red lip liner that we’ve reviewed.

    Best Red Lipstick: VMV Hypoallergenics Velvet Matte Lipstick in "Light My Fire" ($27)

    Color us yummy, thanks to VMV Hypoallergenics’ long-lasting "Light My Fire.”  This just-right-red is universally flattering, hypoallergenic and 100% Free of Phthalates, Parabens + Preservatives. VMV Hypoallergenics Velvet Matte Lipstick  is made with green tea for antioxidant benefits plus virgin coconut oil for intensive moisturization.

    Get it for $27 at

    What's your go-to red hue? Do tell! Share the scoop in the comments below or better yet, head to our Facebook page and share pictures of your favorite red lippie.

    This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links, PrettyCity may receive compensation… so start clicking!

    Drugstore Beauty Dash: Kokie Cosmetics Offers Affordable, Korean-Inspired Beauty Products

    Imagine if MAC and Clio had an even more adorable baby and offered it up for a fraction of the cost of its parent's collections -- meet Kokie Professional, a self-described Korean beauty inspired line sold at mass retailers such as Walmart, Bed, Bath and Beyond, Meijer and others. 

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    Metallic Lips for Fall 2017 and How to Wear Them

    Metallic Lips for Fall 2017 and How to Wear Them

    One of the hottest trends for Fall 2017 is metallic lips. Whether it’s a liquid lipstick, gloss or regular lipstick, it looks hot!  But, how exactly do you rock a shiny metallic lip, and what are the best brands and colors? Well, the choices are endless since almost every company has jumped on this beauty bandwagon. After doing some digging (and lots of shameless purchasing), we’ve rounded up some amazing shades for those who want to take a bite out of the Metallic Lip trend for Fall 2017.  

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    Beauty Tips For Pregnant Mamas

    Beauty Tips For Pregnant Mamas

    By Carolyn Brundage

    There’s a scene in the movie Knocked Up where Katherine Heigl sits atop Seth Rogen with tousled hair and heaving breasts (basically looking gorgeous) and declares, “I can’t do this!” And that, in a nutshell, is what it’s like to be a pregnant woman. You’re uncomfortable and insecure and the only thing you know for sure is that... you can't do this!

    But while the next nine months will test your relationship with your significant other, your willpower and your nerves, not only will you be able to master this new-mom thing, you’ll do it with patience and panache.

    I would know. I’m currently 30 weeks pregnant, and I’m here to help you get through the next nine months feeling great and looking incredible.

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    Natural Soap We Love: Meiling Skincare

    Natural Soap We Love: Meiling Skincare

    By Pretty City Editors

    You start your day with warm water (filtered, of course) with a squeeze of lemon. Breakfast is organic strawberries and greek yogurt, after breakfast, you brush your teeth... with Tom's, naturally,  Then, it's out the door with your travel water (filtered, of course), housed in your aluminum, with BPA-free lining, reusable water bottle.

    We get it, you take good health seriously.  

    But when's the last time you considered the ingredients in the watermelon scented shower gel you use or that anti-acne face wash you swear by morning and night?

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    These Mother's Day Gifts Are Musts!

    These Mother's Day Gifts Are Musts!

    By PrettyCity Editors

    Mother's Day is just days away and if you haven't gotten your Mom a gift yet, it's time to get your shop on. Immediately! There's  still time to get something shipped directly to Mom so you can skip the whole last-minute-digital-gift-card routine and, maybe even, make your mother believe that you've got this adulting concept covered. As if.

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