Smaller Pores: How to Really Get' Em

Smaller Pores

They’re small…they just look big. They’re sensitive… they just seem impervious. And, for many women, they’re a big skincare concern. They’re pores, and for many of us, the quest for perfect skin begins with porefection.

Here’s our fail-proof, three-step program guaranteed to deliver the ideal pores you’ve been searching for.

Step 1: Get Real

Page through the photos spreads in many glossy mags and you’re bound to notice that YOUR pores may be larger than they appear on airbrushed images. In the real world, not even those glamazons have invisible pores. 

The first step in achieving porefection is to get real about your expectations. The goal is to minimize pores, not eradicate them. After all, pores do serve a purpose, allowing oil to flow efficiently, thereby, keeping skin soft and hydrated. 

Step 2: Keep it Clean

The good news is that clogged pores aren’t permanently enlarged, they just appear larger thanks to surface oil and dead skin cells that collect around each pore’s perimeter. The best way to minimize pores is to keep ‘em clean.  And clean pores begin with a daily routine.

Start with a gentle cleanser; one to try is Juice Beauty's Cleansing Milk ($25). The Cleansing Milk boasts a calming aroma paired with skin-saving benefits thanks to organic raspberry juice and organic plant oils.

After cleansing, daily use of an exfoliant will banish many of the irritants that clog pores. Aveda’s Botanical Kinetics Exfoliant is non-abrasive and safe for all skin types. Simply swipe on the liquid exfoliant and allow it to wipe out dirt and bacteria thanks to key ingredients such as salicylic acid, witch hazel, and lavender ($23 for 5 oz. at Aveda salons and spas locally).  

To maintain those newly dirt-free pores keep fingers away from your face. Fingers harvest not only natural bacteria but other types of bacteria as well, plus dirt and oil that can clog pores and cause acne.

Step 3: Call on the Experts

You may not need a skincare expert every day, but every four to six weeks your skin sure does. The benefits of getting a facial at the hands of an experienced esthetician or dermatologist include customized skincare advice and the arch-nemesis of clogged pores: facial extractions, the physical removal of blackheads.

Another reason to visit your local skincare expert is that skin-saving treatment known as microdermabrasion. Microdermabrasion involves the skin being "sandblasted" by aluminum oxide crystals, baking soda, salt or cob granules to remove the top layer of skin, made up of dead skin cells. Microdermabrasion also stimulates collagen networking to further even out skin texture and appearance.  Best performed at the hands of a medical professional, microdermabrasion is available at local beauty destinations for $100 to $150 per treatment.

Follow these three steps, and porefection, a nirvana-like state of complexion flawlessness, can finally be yours.

On the road to porefection, you’ll want to avoid ingredients that are comedogenic, meaning pore-clogging:

  • Cocoa Butter

  • PABA (para-aminobenzoic acid, formerly common component of sunscreen)

  • Salicylates (acetylated and nonacetylated drugs like Asprin, and Disalcid)

  • Shea Butter

Best Salons Elmhurst: Self (ish) Skin & Brow Bar and Judith B Salon

Just off York in Elmhurst, we discovered Self (ish) Skin & Brow Bar and Judith B Salon in Elmhurst’s City Centre. It was love at first arch ;-)

From perfect brows to gorgeous locks, glowing skin and beyond, Self (ish) Skin & Brow Bar and Judith B Salon offer an expansive menu of upscale salon and skin care services. But, before we spill the tea about all the salon + spa offerings at this pretty pair of beauty destinations, here’s a little background about both businesses, and the women who founded them.

All photography by Mysi Grubbe for PrettyCity, Inc.

All photography by Mysi Grubbe for PrettyCity, Inc.

Introducing Self (ish) Skin & Brow Bar

We’ve known — and loved — Clinical Esthetician and Brow Expert, Nia Molina, owner of Self (ish), for years.

Nia’s newest offering, Self (ish) Skin & Brow Bar, is a chic Facial & Brow Bar that offers services for every budget & time constraint.

Best Salons Elmhurst IL

This Facial/ Brow Bar is an innovative concept that serves up quick spa services, while still delivering the feel, and results, of full spa treatments. 

Best Salons Elmhurst IL

Self (ish) Skin & Brow Bar has a full facial bar menu featuring SkinCeuticals Professional Peels, Derma Needling, Dermaplaning, High Frequency Therapy, Red & Blue Light Therapy and Facial Ultrasound Services. In addition to facials, Nia’s built a reputation as one of the best for brow shaping, plus brow & lash tinting.

Best Salons Elmhurst

Meet Judith B Salon

Judith B is a bespoke Salon, DrySpa, Advanced Academy and Art Gallery.

Best Salons Elmhurst IL

Walking into the salon’s open, art-filled space, one is immediately hit by the energy and inspiration that powers Judith Barrientos, the owner, and her team.

Best Salons Elmhurst IL

Judith herself is a Vidal Sassoon (Chicago & London) trained hairdresser since 1995 and an educator since 2000.

Best Salons Elmhurst IL

When it comes to beauty, if you need it, you can get it at Judith B Salon.

Service menu offerings range from hair color and cutting to specialized services for curly hair. Texturizing treatments — think Cezanne Keratin — and beyond are on the menu, too.

Judith B also offers hair extensions, barbering, lashes, skin and brow services and cosmetic tattoos via Self (ish).

Best Salons Elmhurst IL

Changing the Face of Beauty with Judith B. Salon and Self (ish) Skin + Brow Bar

Here’s how Judith and Nia are Changing the Face of Beauty. They have linked arms with and Changing the Face of Beauty to participate in our year-long #Beauty4All campaign. In order to participate, each salon or spa enables PrettyCity to make an annual $500 donation to Changing the Face of Beauty.

But that’s not all! Next, each participating salon or spa offers discounted, fixed price $49 services to make the best in beauty accessible at all.

$49 #Beauty4All Treatment at Self (ish): Everyone’s talking about it… now you can try it for just $49. Get a lash lift and last tint for just $49 and bat-a-lash at gorgeous, naturally dark and lush lashes, all fall and holiday season long.

$49 #Beauty4All Treatment at Judith B Salon: Milbon Smooth Professional Treatment. Indulge in ultimate smoothing care. This professional 3-step deep conditioning treatment immediately improves hair’s texture, leaving it silky-smooth and soft. Formulated for fine, normal, and coarse hair, this service is perfect for all hair types. Results last up to 5 weeks.

Book now!

Judith B. Salon | Self(ish) Skin + Brow Bar
263 N York St., Elmhurst, IL 60126
To book: 630-359-3680

Women Who Rock

Doesn’t it feel like March is all about women? We’re loving this month. ;-) From International Women’s Day to Women’s History Month, it’s a perfect time to give props to the power of women, especially those who are standing up for causes that matter.

We’re crazy inspired by so many impactful women, but today we’ve rounded up just a few that are making a difference for both women like us and the little girls that are dreaming of what they’ll one day become. Here’s to living in a world where the answer is…anything they want!

Tory Burch Photo by ANGELA WEISS via CNBC

Tory Burch Photo by ANGELA WEISS via CNBC

Tory Burch

Designer Tory Burch makes stunning bags — and shoes, clothes and jewelry — but that’s not all that she’s about. Burch is on a mission to teach women to “Embrace Ambition” and pursue their dreams of becoming successful female entrepreneurs.

In 2009, The Tory Burch Foundation was created as a non-profit organization that offers small loans, mentoring programs, and no-interest investments to women-owned businesses.

Burch was named a Presidential Ambassador for Global Entrepreneurship, and, in 2017, she took her non-profit and created the Embrace Ambition program, addressing the negative stereotypes that often come along with women being “ambitious.”

The Tory Burch Foundation holds annual summits addressing the double standards women face, while tackling issues such as pay equity in the workplace, and more.

Image via PBS

Image via PBS

Emily Ratajkowski

Supermodel Emily Ratajkowski has a lot to say about being a powerful woman in today’s society. A self-proclaimed “feminist,” the model was often told to stay quiet when it came to politics and expressing her opinions, but she has taken a stance on the importance of women speaking up, in every industry and aspect of life.

Ratajkowski is also of the mindset that there is no one way for a feminist to look or act. We agree wholeheartedly!

“Making rules as to what a feminist should look like or wear is insane to me. No-one should be shaming anyone, and women especially should not be shaming other women,” she explains. Ratajkowski says that women can be both “sexy and empowering feminists.” She’s living proof that advocacy for any issue can take on many forms.

Image via Evening Standard

Image via Evening Standard

Malala Yousafzai

A woman whose heart and persistence captivated the world is perhaps one of the most influential females in current times. Meet Malala Yousafzai.

A Nobel Peace Prize winner, Yousafzai is a powerful and persistent advocate for the education of young women. Because of her outspoken views, she was shot in the head by the Taliban at age 12 in an assassination attempt in retaliation for her activism. After being left in critical condition, Yousafzai survived, moved to the UK and went on to create the Malala Fund, a charity dedicated to giving every girl an opportunity to achieve the future she chooses. 

A side note: Yousafzai is the youngest person — male or female — ever to receive a Nobel Peace Prize.

women who rock

Michelle Obama

Whether your political views are left, right or in between, when naming influential women, former first lady, Michelle Obama, has earned her spot as a woman who rocks!

A writer, lawyer, and influential figure, Michelle Obama has taken action on changing health care, education and beyond. Obama has led programs that stress the importance of post-secondary education, girl’s education specifically, the continuation of arts education, as well as healthy school lunch programs and fashion education programs for those who aspire to be in the industry.

And, we love this picture of Obama and George W. Bush because of the lesson it illustrates: We can have different views and still work together, with respect and kindness.

These are just a few of the many, many women who inspire us; there are countless others. Who inspires you? And, more importantly, how will you use your POWER as a woman to advocate for changes that matter to you?

After all, in the wise words of Michelle Obama, “There are still many causes worth sacrificing for, so much history yet to be made.”

Let’s go out there and rock change, ladies! Together.

PrettyCity Editorial Team with reporting by Nisrin Mazlumovic.

Best Beauty On The Go Tips & Tricks

Being a girl-on-the-go isn’t always easy, but when you master packing and consolidating all things beauty, travel can be a gorgeous adventure.

Here’s how to become the ultimate organizer while still feeling on fleek, thanks to our down and dirty, quick and easy beauty hacks. Bon voyage, beauties!  

travel beauty.png

Let’s pack

Organizing: its sounds simple, feels impossible. Where’s Marie Kondo when you need her? Lugging around 75 pounds of clothing and makeup in a suitcase is never ideal, but a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do.

Enter the habe Travel Makeup Bag, a Train Case that is ideal for anyone who’s serous about having all of her cosmetics at her fingertips. This bag comes with a 100% lifetime money back guarantee. We use and adore it, plus, the Amazon reviews are on point.

PRO TIP: Contact cases are great organizers and they’re not just for contacts. If you’re going on a short trip and don’t want to lug around a bottle of foundation or primer, use an affordable contact case to pour yourself some “sample” size portions of your favorite beauty products. This works really well if your foundation is in a glass bottle and carrying it around for a short trip makes you nervous.

Bonus: Cases mentioned above can be found for as cheap as $5.99 on Amazon for a pack of 5. 

Edit yourself, beauty!

Organizing is only half the battle of a constant girl on the go. Often times, it’s hard to only bring “what we need” when naturally most of us tend to be CHRONIC over packers… anybody else bring 847,483 outfit changes on a 3-day trip?!

This is a real problem for makeup-lovers. The solution? Multitask, pretty mama! Use 1 product for 2 purposes. Not only will this save your life in terms of number of things to pack, but it’ll also crunch your makeup application time in HALF. (Seriously). Instead of packing your top 15 favorite blushes on your next weekend-getaway, try to determine which products are multi-purpose.

For example, use your lipsticks as blushes. All you need is some color on the lips and to use your fingers to apply that same soft wash of color to your cheeks. Not only does this save you from carrying around an extra face product, but you’re also looking effortlessly flawless and natural by pairing the same monochromatic look on both your lips and cheeks. (Did you read our NYFW story? Monochromatic is a huge trend this spring!)

Another option? Bronzer as eye shadow; it creates the same natural, “model-off-duty” look for an always running around, busy gal. And, of course, there are plenty of companies that make products specifically for multi-tasking beauties like us. A few we like, include…

The Glow Stick from Bobbi Brown lends cheeks and lids that enviable sun-kissed glow.

It’s not cheap but we love, love, love Charlotte Tilbury’s Beach Stick, serving up lip color and cheek color in just one swipe.

A Succinct Skincare Routine

We all know skincare is the basis for gorgeous makeup, but bringing your whole at-home skincare collection when traveling isn’t possible…or necessary. A common beauty packing mistake is thinking that you need a thousand products, when on the flip side one really great product can do it all.

Case in point: Instead of packing deep moisture masks, oils, and toners, opt for just a moisturizer and an all-in-one oil. A really great Multi-Vitamin infusion can replace all those moisturizers you want to bring on board. We like Murad’s Multi Vitamin Infusion oil; get it for $68.40 here. What’s your favorite skin care multi-tasker?

Off subject, but on point

Although not beauty-related, this hack will save your life in terms of organization.

Rather than folding all your clothes down only to eventually be shoving shoes and more pointless items into an overly-crowded suitcase, roll your clothing. Yes, roll. Rolling your clothes down not only saves you an abundance of space, but it also ensures you’ll arrive to your destination wrinkle free. How great is that?!

So the next time you travel for a long romantic vacation or a short weekend girls trip, use these organization tips to save the stress of cramming unnecessary items along and just enjoy the journey, beautifully.

PrettyCity Editorial Team with reporting by Nisrin Mazlumovic.

Best Blowout Salons Chicago: DryBar

If your hair is 90% of your selfie, than it’s 100% essential that you have the best place for a blow out saved in your contacts. ;-) Meet DryBar, where blow-outs are what it’s all about. The good news is, we’ve got their number. Here’s the scoop…



Drybar isn’t trying to be everything to everyone, their goal is simple: do blowouts and do them alarmingly well. In fact, they promise that when you book a blowout at Drybar it will be the best blowout EVAH. Sounds like a challenge!

Image via Oak street social

Image via Oak street social

But blowouts at Drybar call upon much more than just your hair and some heat. The signature Drybar blowout is a 7 step experience that creates not only great hair days, but good vibes, too.

First, they prep hair with a shampoo and conditioning wash. Then, it’s towel dried before applying product to condition and detangle. Next, they section hair, then the signature blow dryers and round ceramic brushes make an appearance. Almost done; it’s time for a “cool shot” to lock in style and shine. Finally, Drybar products complete the look.

Image via Oak street social

Image via Oak street social

And, if you’re a true #blowout addict, or just love good hair days, you’ll want to opt for their “The Barfly Membership.” The membership includes 2 blowouts a month and 10% off all products and tools (in-store only). Plus, a free blowout on your birthday, cause birthday princesses need to let down their hair, right?

Drybar has three Chicago locations: Lincoln Park, River North and in the W Chicago.

How to book at Drybar

Call your fave location, book online here, or download the app.

Lincoln Park: (312) 288-3087

River North: (312) 279-1356

W Chicago: (312) 281-2698

Have you been to Drybar? Do you love it? Tips + tricks? Do tell! Share in the comments below…

Beauty trends to try from NYFW 2019

Beauty trends to try from NYFW 2019

Every year, NYFW sets the tone for the year’s clothing, hair, and makeup trends. In 2019, shows were filled with looks that are easy to re-create from bejeweled hair and makeup to fiery monochromatic looks. Glitz and glam was definitely this year’s main focus, here are the beauty trends to try from NYFW 2019.

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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! Get it here.

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 about $9 a tube, be bold and try a few. We won’t kiss and tell. Get it here.


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! Get it here.

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! Get it here.


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. Get it here.

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!

{Image Credit: Homepage and thumbnail image via}

    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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