Category: Beauty + Cosmetics

The coolest accessory brands and shops that we fell in love with this year: Editors’ Best of 2015

You might say we’ve got a little thing for accessories. And you might say that’s a huge understatement. Which is why we have the best time all year poking around the internet, cruising the trade shows, and poking our heads into local jewelers, artists’ studios and museum shops, all to find cool new accessories we love. And we do love them. So we hope you love these, our picks for our artists and resources for jewelry and accessories that we shared in 2015 — but are going to be wearing (or just coveting) long into 2016 and beyond. If it helps update your wardrobe, it it...

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The best Black Friday deals: Shop right from your couch!

If you’re looking for some of the best Black Friday shopping deals and discounts around the web, we’ve rounded them up for you right here, along with the best Black Friday tech deals over on Cool Mom Tech.We’ll continue to update the post all day long with sales all day (and weekend) long, so be sure to check back, and follow us on Twitter where we’ll be tweeting them. And don’t forget to check out our 2015 Holiday Guide for even more gift ideas featuring indie designers and small businesses. APPAMAN (above) 40% off site-wide with the code: FRIDAY40 DYLBUG: 20%...

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Fresh Prince nail decals? Parents just don’t understand.

The team at Cool Mom Picks always makes fun of me because of my strange aversion to nail art. (Seriously, do you see any nail art on our Pinterest boards? Exactly.) The way some people hate feet, I’m a little weird about close-up photos of nails. And yet I’ve finally come around — something I never thought I’d do — if only because I can’t stop laughing at the awesome assortment of pop culture nail decals from our friends at indie shop Shana Logic, illustrated by That Jane Designs. When I was a kid, I never in a million years thought there would...

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5 smart, simple, pediatrician-recommended winter skin care tips for babies and kids.

With cold weather pretty much here for lots of us, and on the way for the rest of us (wah!), this is the time of year we start getting more reader questions about baby and kids’ skincare. I know it’s hard to weed through all the info; I’m sure you’ve read all sorts of things about what to do, what not to do, which of those lotions and potions in your medicine cabinet to use, and how to differentiate a minor skin issue from something that might require more attention If you’re like me, by the time you figure out what you’re...

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Easy hair tutorials: Update your basic ponytail with these braids, buns, and twists

Sitting in a Brooklyn hair salon at the start of the summer, I agreed to let my stylist chop my long hair into a trendy lob on one condition: I still needed to be able to pull it back into a ponytail. Because with two kids under the age of four, I don’t get to wash and style my hair every day. Or even every three days. I also hate having my hair in my face when I’m cooking, bathing my boys, or building blanket forts. If you also rely on hair elastics to get you through the day, maybe it’s time to upgrade...

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A lovely new line of natural baby and pregnancy skincare: Dear Baby

When you are pregnant or have a new baby, you are suddenly super aware of all the ingredients in everything you put in and on your body. Decoding labels can be a chore and while we’re all for splurging when it counts, it’s even nicer when we can find affordable, natural, safer options. So hooray for Dear Baby, a handcrafted line of all-natural baby and pregnancy skincare products that makes it easy to treat yourself — and your baby — while protecting all that extra-sensitive, precious skin. Dear Baby was founded by mom Kate Ansari after being diagnosed with thyroid cancer during her pregnancy–...

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CoverGirl Star Wars MakeUp: We love you. (And yes, we know you know.)

I heard rumors about the CoverGirl Star Wars MakeUp line a couple of months ago, and now, it’s a reality. Yep, coming this Fall, you’ll be able to snatch up the CoverGirl Star Wars: The Force Awakens inspired line at your local drugstore. Sweet! I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect in terms of the color palettes. R2D2 gold? Darth Vader black? Padmé Amidala red that you only wear on half your lips?  But I have to say they look pretty fun, including lipsticks, nail polish, and mascara with very clever packaging. In fact, I might just have to snatch up one...

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ParaKito: A natural alternative to mosquito repellents for kids.

My son will be heading off to day camp later this month where he will swim, run, climb, and, quite possibly, be eaten alive by mosquitoes. Since I’m not too keen on him reapplying toxic chemicals all over himself midway through the day, I’m glad to have found a natural option in the ParaKito mosquito repellent band that will help keep those itchy biters away from his limbs. This soft, colorful neoprene band is one of the easiest ways I’ve found to get kids ready for a full day in the great outdoors. Just fasten the velcro tab around their arm or ankle and off...

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The EWG list of the safest sunscreens for kids. Just in time for summer

Each year, I check out the Environmental Working Group’s Guide to Sunscreens to find the safest sunscreens for kids. With a slew of fair-skinned redheads in my family, I feel like I go through gallons of sunscreen each summer, and while I’m not all-organic-all-the-time, I do tend to splurge on lotions that are safer for my kids and lower in chemicals since we use so much of them all season. Related: What is the safest sunscreen for kids and babies? If you haven’t yet been to the site,  EWG ranks an impressive 1700 products, from spray sunscreen to lip balm with SPF, and scores them (lower numbers are...

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The loveliest temporary tattoos now from Tattly.

We love when some of our favorite indie makers, brands, and artists find each other, and that goes for the latest announcement from our friends at Tattly. They’ve just introduced a new collaboration with the wonderful Anna Bond of Rifle Paper, who is often imitated, but never matched. Check out the aptly named lovely set of temporary tattoos at Tattly. I can almost smell those rosebuds. Obviously they’re perfect for an engagement party or wedding with that always and forever tattoo, if you’re the type who can get away with temporary tattoos — or maybe coordinating floral tats all on your bridesmaid’s...

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An all-natural skin care line that’s seriously awesome. Even if the name is silly.

I’ll admit that I was skeptical at first of a company with a nonsensical name like Meow Meow Tweet natural skin care products, but I’ve been quickly won over by their hand-crafted products. The small-batch skin care company makes everything in Brooklyn using only organic ingredients, like raw plant oils and cold-pressed essential oils, and all of their products are preservative-free, vegan, and certified cruelty-free. And the packaging! I’m a sucker for lotions and potions in glass bottles. Besides being better for the environment than plastic, they just look so fancy on my bathroom counter — if out of reach of the kiddos, of...

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Delilah cosmetics: The new makeup line I will cry over when it runs out.

I like trying new makeup, but I’m also ridiculously picky. I tend to have a cosmetics bag full of lots of different brands because one makes a good mascara, another makes the perfect smudgy liner. You get it. However Delilah Cosmetics, a new high-end line of luxury cosmetics out of Britain that just hit our own shores, may be the first brand that seems to get everything right. I mean, everything. I can’t believe it myself, but I think I’ve fallen seriously in love with every single sample I tried. Just ask every female relative, cosmetics junkie, and makeup artist I have talked to about it...

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Making mom queen for a day. At least in her bathroom.

There are plenty of online retailers (and PR emails in our inbox) declaring, “Find your mom the perfect gift this Mother’s Day!” Turns out they’re talking everything from hair color to bathing suits. But one site that I think totally delivers on the suggestion: The Body Shop. Not just because of their fair trade purchasing and ethical practices, but because they have so many smart, affordable Mother’s Day gift ideas, like the limited edition Treat Me Like a Queen tote bag. Spend $30 on products to fill it, and the bag is yours for another $30.There are great options among their limited edition skincare products with...

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You know it’s natural nail polish when there’s spinach in it

I’m known to friends as slightly (ahem) neurotic when it comes to using eco and natural products for everything from face creams to house cleaners, so a line of natural nail polishes called Play Love Laugh from Hugo Naturals for my kids? A no-brainer. They get a freshly-painted thumbs up from all of us. The polish is free from the five main chemical offenders in nail polish, but also all kinds of others including FD&C dyes. And because it’s made from all non-toxic ingredients that include fruits and veggies — yup, even spinach — it’s actually a great choice for kids who suck on...

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The best nail shades of the Pantone spring 2015 colors. Also the most affordable way to stay on trend.

We’re digging our way out of the snow yet again this weekend, and I, for one, am soooo ready for spring. For the moment, however, looking at Pantone’s cheery palette of spring 2015 colors will have to do. As much as we’d love designer handbags in all these shades, nail polishes is a far easier — and less expensive — way to stay on trend. Plus you won’t be paying off your credit card bills when the next seasons’s colors are released. I’ve compared all the Pantone 2015 colors from Aquamarine to Marsala from all of our favorite nail polish brands to track down the most perfect match for each...

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3 of the best BB creams for any busy woman without a lot of time in the morning

I’ve been using BB creams since I first discovered them years ago thanks to my Birchbox subscription, and I’ve never gone back to using anything else, though surprisingly enough, not a lot of women I know have used one. If you’re wondering what the heck a BB cream is, it stands for Beauty Balm, but I describe it as a product that falls in between a tinted moisturizer and foundation; light to medium coverage that evens your skin tone and gives your skin an extra boost of nutrients and SPF. I realize that everyone’s skin is different, and I’ll...

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Givenchy Noir Couture Mascara: Call us its new biggest fans.

I’ve been using the same awesome drugstore-brand mascara for as long as I can remember because, well, it works and costs me less than $10. But I was introduced to the Givenchy Noir Couture mascara on a recent trip to Sephora, and let’s just say I’ve never seen my eyes look like this. Ever. In a good way. Consider this mascara a regular fixture in my makeup bag from now on. What’s cool about this particular mascara is that it contains keratin and peptides, which means it gives your lashes a little extra boost of nutrients while making them look fabulous. And...

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A zit stick that actually works, and fast. Yes, please.

I had the opportunity last year to try Bremenn Clinical, a line of mid-priced corrective skincare products and I’ll be honest, nothing was exactly 100% right for my own skin type. I’ve heard good things about it from people I trust though, so maybe I’m supposed to be 19 like the model on the website? That, I’m not. However, like the model on the website (presumably), I do get zits from time to time. And so last week, in a moment of desperation, I tried the Bremenn Clinical Strength Emergency Zit Stick that had been hanging around my bathroom, and whoa…this is a great product! Bremenn calls the Zit...

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Tata Harper Revitalizing Body Oil: Just, wow.

This year, I was delighted to be treated to a most surprising gift: A bottle of Revitalizing Body Oil from the brand Tata Harper, which is not new to these pages but was new to me. Since then, I have not stopped telling friends about it. Seriously. Ask the rest of the Cool Mom Picks team and they’ll be like, “we know! we know!” As someone who is super picky about lotions, oils, and other beauty products (and gets to sample a whole lot of them) I’m not often so impressed so quickly. If you’re looking for an incredibly indulgent, luxury...

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3 fun long lasting lipsticks for the holidays that actually work

I’ve been obsessed with bold lip colors ever since I got a pixie cut a couple of months ago, but after reapplying way too often during the day (hello, coffee addiction) I decided I needed to switch to long-lasting lipsticks. But if you’ve tried them, you know that too often they’re not really long-lasting. So I decided to put three popular brands to the test (yes, I even kissed my hand to show you how well they stayed on), all in colors that I think are perfect for the holidays. “What, no red?”  you ask. And sorry, no reds, ladies. It’s all...

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A natural skincare gift for your cosmetic junkie friend in need of rehab.

If you have a cosmetics junkie friend–you know what I mean–it may be time for a gift that takes thing back to a natural, cleansing place. And a new line I just discovered,  Board and Batten, could be a perfect fit with their “farm to skin” products–kind of like farm to table, only you know. For skin. There is no shortage of high-quality non-toxic skincare brands out there, but I love a brand that sources all of its ingredients from their very own Florida farm, and handcrafts the products in small batches, too. You won’t find parabens, GMOs, sulfates or synthetic fragrances here. Instead, expect skin-loving natural ingredients like...

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Sponsored message: 14 surprising ways to use Aquaphor that you might not have considered

This is a sponsored message from Aquaphor Healing Ointment.  Busy parents can always appreciate products that do double duty, but when it’s got more uses than you have fingers to count on — especially if it’s something you might already have in your medicine cabinet, like Aquaphor Healing Ointment, then it might just make you sit up and take note. So it’s no surprise that for the 90 years Aquaphor has been around, parents have discovered these 14 surprising ways you can use Aquaphor, from baby care to beauty tricks.     1. Take care of diaper rash.  Aquaphor can be used to keep diaper rash cream on baby’s bum and off the...

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Marc Jacobs Twinkle Pop Eye Stick: Time saving beauty product alert

Trying to get four kids out the door in the morning means I need a super quick, super easy makeup routine (hello, time saving beauty products) which is why the Marc Jacobs Twinkle Pop Eye Sticks I picked up during a rare solo trip to Sephora a few weeks ago are my new favorites. And in blue, even! I usually just pop on a bit of my blush as eyeshadow for my weekday look–if I can even call it “my look”–but now that I have these sticks, my eyes have way more pop in the same amount of time. As in, none. The...

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If you can’t get to the spa, Spa Heroes brings the spa to you. In a box.

I’m really digging the newest spin on beauty subscription boxes, which are now providing full sized products  instead of appealing to the dabblers with a bunch of trial-sized samples. Along with BeautyDNA, the newest beauty subscription service to enter the full sized category is called Spa Heroes. Each Spa Heroes beauty box contains a spa product carefully vetted by a panel of ingredient-savvy professionals who only choose products free of stuff like parabens, hydroquinone and propylene glycol. Spa Heroes speaks to my green juice-loving side since all products are also formulated to go beyond beauty and support well-being–just like a trip to the spa. Your products will arrive in the most...

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The Crocodile Dundee of Australian skincare is luxe, all-natural, and super effective.

Remember when Crocodile Dundee said, “That’s not a knife; THIS is a knife?” Yeah. That’s how I feel about cheap face wash right now, because this new jojoba oil skin care line straight out of Australia is giving me major results. Every day is a g’day when I’m slathering myself in products by The Jojoba Company, and that’s not nearly as hokey as it sounds. My current regimen includes washing with the Purifying Citrus Foaming Cleanser, moisturizing with the CoQ10 Antioxidant Serum, and doing weekly masks with the Skin Refining and Brightening Face Mask. Although all the ingredients are...

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Healthy Hoohoo: Natural feminine care products so awesome we’re trying hard not to make fun of the name

Yes,  I’m introducing you to natural feminine care products here, but hey, we’re all women (well, about 98% of us) and you can probably relate to my own minor recurring issue: During my last well visit, my nurse practitioner gently reminded me to ditch the gym clothes immediately after my workout and use feminine wipes if I wasn’t able to shower right away. And so, in an example of perfect timing, I got my hands on something called (wait for it…) Healthy Hoohoo wipes. I know. I know. Granted, I giggle every time I look at the package because well, the name and all, and...

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Subscription boxes made for moms as picky as we are.

Oh, boy, do we love gift subscription boxes for moms around here. Whether for self-pampering, kid activities, or great gifts for new moms, we’re all about adding the (well curated!) element of surprise to an otherwise dreary mailbox without having to do the hours of curation ourselves. Now Ecocentric Mom is another great option to add to the list, especially if you’re super picky about what you put on and in your body. Because they are indeed super, super picky. Ecocentric Mom (not to be confused with Egocentric Mom which would be a totally different kind of gift box) offers three different subscriptions:...

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Luna Star: Safe, natural makeup for girls. Yay for more choices!

One of the more promising trends at the NY International Toy Fair earlier this year was the introduction of even more safe, natural makeup for girls, for when they’re are heading out somewhere a little special, putting on plays at home, or this month, painting each other’s faces in daily practice for a sixteen-hour trick or treat marathon. (Which of course may just be my girls, and it may just seem like sixteen hours). Luna Star Naturals is one of those brands, and they have some welcome new products just out for older kids too. For some time now, Luna Star has made a series of natural...

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The best liquid eyeliners: Steal vs Splurge

I basically consider myself a liquid eyeliner beginner. I dabbled with it years ago then walked away as I exited my twenties. But after years of fearing look like a toddler with a shaky hand took a black Sharpie to my eyelids, I’ve finally tracked down some of the best liquid eyeliners and I’ve given in completely. Here are two I’ve really taken to, at two price points, both of which are being put to excellent use in my makeup bag these days. Hope it helps you discover the joy of the modified cats eye too. [CMP is an rstyle...

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BeautyDNA: Like match.com meets the best of the beauty subscription boxes

Beauty subscription boxes are definitely the new black. (Aw, remember when Birchbox was the only game in town?) But as fun as it is to receive a monthly box of mini beauty products, it’s frustrating when what’s inside doesn’t work for me. I’m also not a huge fan of samples that only last a day or two. Enter BeautyDNA–what I’m thinking of as the Match.com of beauty subscription services. Created by the folks who own the glossy beauty magazine New Beauty, Beauty DNA delivers one really well-thought out, full size beauty product each month, chosen specifically for your skin or hair type, with product recommendations courtesy...

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