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Beauty & Beyond: Winter Beauty Finds


After finding out that 45 percent of women don't wash their makeup brushes (ick) - (even though they harbor blemish-causing bacteria, oils and residue). I'm a tad OCD about cleaning my makeup brushes. But I've found that sprays get everywhere (but on the brush) and some liquids turn into disasters when attempting to douse the intended. Why are makeup brushes such moving targets? My countertop is always a mess after my cleaning attempts. Cleaning up after cleaning up. No thanks.

Known for its Allure magazine's Best Beauty Tool award-winning makeup sponge (it's shaped like an egg, you can't miss it), beautyblender now has an amazing solid cleanser. It's called, wait for it, Solid Cleanser. OK, not exactly an A for effort on the name. but the cleanser itself is just what I'm looking for.

This travel friendly "soap" comes in a little covered tray. Just put water on your brush and stroke it back and forth onto the non-foaming cleanser bar. It releases a lavender scent into the air and all the nasty residue from your brush onto the cake. Rinse your brush and the bar off, and leave both to air dry. The bar sits in its own little tray.

Now you're not icky, your brush isn't icky, and your countertop isn't icky.

You'll have to wait to buy the beautyblender solid cleanser by itself until later on this month, when it becomes available for individual purchase for $15.95. But if this is a gotta-get for your beauty drawer, you can buy it now as part of the beauty kit for $49.95 (comes with the beautyblender pure sponge and the air bag) on


My hair colorist is moving to another salon. This normally wouldn't be a cause for concern except that this new place is an hour away. Collective gasp. Thank you, ladies, for your worry.

I totally don't understand her need to spread her wings and try a new employer. But no, no, no'?¦the timing is all wrong. She leaves in a week. I won't need color for another four. Collective sigh and slow head shake.

Looks like I'll be doing my own color next time. Collective gasp. And these roots have no rules. They call the shots. I've colored my hair before and it's usually logistical nightmare. I always end up getting liquid everywhere-- hair, counter, somehow there were splatters in the shower last time. Don?t ask. Another problem is matching my true hair color a rich chocolate brown with red undertones that's being invaded by big giant grays.

I've always been intrigued with foam color. Mostly because it doesn't go anywhere but on the hair. Read: you'll skip the drips. John Frieda has his popular Precision Foam Color which gets rave reviews, but to make the color choice a little easier he just added a ton of new shades a professional palette that has exclusive blends customized to your skin tone. Not just the blonde, brunette, red and black that other companies have. OK, to be fair, they sometimes throw in two different shades of brown.

The new shades are salon-exclusives like dark cool pearl blonde, dark caramel blonde, light amber blonde, cool almond brown. They're also debuting five new shades like Medium Ask Brown and Blue Black. I'm choosing 5B, a medium chocolate brown from their Brilliant Brunette collection.

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With foam, there's a learning curve from regular color, you have to tilt, not shake the bottle. You have to squeeze not pump the bottle. You have to put the foam your hand first (yes, they give you gloves). So many rules. But all good relationships have boundaries and rules.

So it guess I'm writing my stylist a Dear John Frieda letter. It's not you, my dear. It's me. And I'll still look fabulous long after you're gone.

John Frieda Precision Foam Colour is $12.99 at drug stores.


It was nine degrees today. Nine little degrees, sitting there all alone. Freezing their little butts off, I'm sure. But we're idiotsget-out-and-do-things people. So donning the down and bundled up beyond recognition, we schlepped off to a museum and then dimsum. All during a day where most people were hunkered down, ready to break up furniture to keep the big fireplace fire going.

Why? Because of CJ. Or at the very least, his butter.

CJ's BUTTer is a recent discovery of mine that is a wintertime must-have for our entire family. Our daughter's little hands (and ours, let's face it) get so chapped in the dry air. They're like little pieces of pink sandpaper. This all-natural ointment is a serious do-it-all. It helps soothe her chapped skin while also protecting against windburned cheeks (I just rub in a little sweet smelling dollop). Since it's a bit greasy for day-time use IMO, I slather it on right before bed and my hands are always smoother the next morning. It helps with eczema and rashes (even diaper rash), and yes, my husband uses it when he's been washing his hands a lot during outdoor work or home stuff. You can even use a small amount as a leave-in conditioner for your hair.

My favorite scent is their popular Pink Sugar, with notes of sweet, sugary lemon drops and pink cotton candy. It goes from fruit to figs to caramel to a sweet vanilla-musk base. My husband hates it because he smells like a candy. That's the price you pay, babe. But you have your choice of dozens of fragrances (like My Pixie Pie, Love Spell and Warm Vanilla Cake).

So with CJ's help, we're going to remain idiotsget-out-and-do-things people. Until it drops to eight degrees. I draw the line at eight.

CJ's BUTTer is available at for $19 for a 12-ounce tub.

Momtrends was not paid for this post. We did receive samples for review purposes.

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