Short on time but high on skincare needs? Lucky you — sheet masks are on the rise and primed to only get bigger, more specialized and more effective.
Another lucky turn? These babies are super affordable, easy to use, and come in so many different varieties/ingredient combinations that you could probably use a new one every day for five years and still have versions you’ve never heard of. (But don’t do that — your skin would be VERY confused.)
If you have dry, sensitive skin…
…try ENATURE’s Squeeze Green Watery Sheet Mask. They’re not joking around when they call this thing “green” and “watery” — and that’s a good thing. Packed with chlorophyll and parsley, two dryness-fighting, moisture-packed green machines, this sheet mask is like a big glass of green juice straight to the face.
If you need some light exfoliation…
…try Joanna Vargas’ Dawn Mask. Physical scrubs can often do more harm than good, especially if you’re going about it with a heavy hand. Instead, rely on an acid-based exfoliant, like the mandelic acid in this mask, to gently slough away dead skin. No more dead skin means skin can regenerate quicker, which means a smoother, more even texture.
If your skin is stressed and irritated…
…try the Cicaherb Restore Sheet Mask from ENATURE. Kick environmental skin stressors in the butt with this mask’s main ingredient: centella asiatica, an herb that’s been used for centuries to reduce swelling and improve circulation, treat wounds, and calm topical flare-ups.
If your skin needs a quick pick-me-up…
…try ENATURE’s Bio-Zeup Sheet Mask. Soaked in an essence that’s packed with fresh paprika extract (antioxidant, antifungal, antibacterial) and lactobacillus ferment (the good bacteria), this sheet mask will leave you with instantly refreshed, glow-y skin.
If your skin needs a bit of plumping…
…try the Forever Glow Mask from Joanna Vargas. Forgot to drink your eight glasses of water yesterday? Have no fear, Joanna Vargas (and her masks) are here. Let this masks olive leaf extract, algae extract and rose water work their plumping, hydrating magic on your thirsty face to seriously refresh your skin.
If your pores bother you…
…try Whamisa’s Sea Kelp Mask. Make like the little mermaid and embrace the power of ocean plants. Seriously, kelp not only soothes and hydrates skin, it also works to remove toxins, clean out your pores and reduce inflammation. The seaweed is always greener indeed.
If your sensitive skin needs to be restored…
…Joanna Vargas’ Euphoria Mask is your best bet. “Euphoria” may be a strong word for how you feel about your skin but after donning this sheet mask for a bit, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a word that better describes how you’ll react, particularly if you started with a red, irritated face. Thanks to calming ingredients like calendula, rose water and ginkgo biloba, the bamboo mask calms and nourishes angry skin.
If your skin is looking a little “meh”…
…try ENATURE’s Vita 8 Nutritive Mask. “Meh” shouldn’t ever be how you feel about the state of your face but I get it—some days are better than others! Thankfully, the essence this mask is soaked in is so chock full of vitamins (C, E, F, H, B5, B6, B9 and B12) and nutrients that, upon removal, you’ll barely recognize your newly-energized and refreshed skin.
Sure, there are some products that provide quick fixes, but for true, lasting results when it comes to the health of your skin, you’re gonna have to play the long game.
One of the great (or terrible, depending on who you ask) things about living during this time is the ability to get nearly anything instantaneously. The amazing new book that came out this morning? Check. A 4am burrito because you’re so enthralled with the book that you forgot to eat dinner? Check. A new duvet because you spilled the burrito all over your bed? Check. A last-minute cleaning service because you forgot you were hosting book club and don’t want your friends to see the rice and beans under your bed? Check.
But with all this near-instant gratification comes something less gratifying: the inability to deal when you do have to wait for something. No matter how many times you open an app, snowball season will still be months away, water will always take way longer to boil for pasta than you think it should, and introducing a new skincare product in to your routine will not result in the best skin of your life overnight. Sure, there are some products that provide quick fixes, but for true, lasting results when it comes to the health of your skin, you’re gonna have to play the long game.
As a general rule, the more work that needs doing, the longer the product is going to take to show its effectiveness. For example, a basic pimple that springs up suddenly can be remedied in a couple of days with a spot treatment. A real here-today-gone-tomorrow situation. But if what you’re applying to your face is meant to change the structure of your skin’s cells — like vitamin C or retinol — get ready to wait. And wait. And maybe wait some more.
While this isn’t an exact science, most moisturizers will make a noticeable difference as soon as you apply them. Since they’re only working to plump up the very topmost layer of your skin, they don’t need a lot of time to prove themselves. Other hydrating products like hyaluronic acid serums will show up on your face quickly too for the same reason. That said, this also means they won’t stick around long and will come off easily after cleansing.
As far as masks that promise immediate brightening/toning/lifting/clearing results, proceed with caution. Sure, you may notice a difference upon washing the mask off, but it’s just a temporary, superficial fix. Even masks that “remove blackheads” are really just removing sebaceous filaments (totally normal and health hair follicles with some dead skin in and around them), which will replenish after a few days.
These quick “result” products aren’t bad, just don’t rely on them. Instead, focus your energy on the long-term effects of the following types of products that can cause real, lasting change at a deeper level.
Some patience needed:
Believe it or not, your skin needs a couple of weeks to get used to a new cleanser as it shifts your skin’s pH balance. This is a delicate process, one the should take some time so your skin doesn’t freak out, so if you find that a new cleanser is having a real effect after just one use, it may be too good to be true.
Same goes for all-over acne treatments (not just spot cases) like toner or salicylic acid serum. Since the concentration of acne-fighting ingredients is lower here to preserve the general health of the skin and not dry it out, you may be waiting up to two weeks to see a difference.
Anything that requires your skin to change on a cellular level can take a long (long) time to be visible, but that doesn’t mean it’s not working beneath the skin’s surface. Acne scars, hyperpigmentation, sun spots — be prepared to use a product for at least three months before any noticeable change occurs. And even then, it may be small. But slow and steady wins the race when it comes to this kind of skincare; it may feel like it’s taking forever but stick with it. I promise it’ll be worth it.
Pack these wellness essentials for your next adventure in the outdoors… or enter to win and show off ALL three packages!
Now that summer Fridays and extended vacations are here, it’s time to set your out-of-office greeting and get out of town. Depending on where you’re heading — straight for the sea-salty air of the beach or the high-altitude climate of the mountains (or anywhere in between) — we rounded up the best wellness essentials you’ll want to bring with you to stay glowing and radiant on the go.
Your Destination: The Beach
–Skin is Good My Calming Cooler: After a long, hot day at the beach, cool your skin with this orb-like device. Just spread any cream or serum on the base and then glide it over your face to bring down inflammation (tip: store in the fridge at your Airbnb or hotel room).
-January Labs Restorative Tonic Mist + Moisture Renew Mask: Defend your face against pollution and environmental damage this combo—the mist seals in antioxidants while the leave-on mask repairs your skin overnight.
–Everyday Oil: This versatile cold-pressed botanical oil is like the Swiss Army knife of skincare—use it as a body moisturizer, face wash, deep conditioner for your hair, cuticle oil, after-sun oil, bath soak or anything else you can think of!
-Eyeko Mascara Off Eye Makeover Remover Wipes: On those nights you stay up super late (hey, you’re on vacation, right?) take off your makeup in two seconds with these soothing wipes.
–Sphynx Portable Razor: This genius, palm-size razor comes with a built-in balm so you can shave even if you don’t have access to a shower.
+ Want to win everything you see here? Enter our great outdoor giveaway below!
NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Open to residents of the United States. Ends 6/19/18 at 11:59pm EDT.
It’s no surprise that the power duo of Whitney and Danielle have made food sexy again… The success of their brand Sakara Life has everything to do with the power of woman and their unwavering search for solutions.
Sakara Life was born out of the need to find answers to the question — what does true health look like? Through trial and error and, most importantly, an absolute no-fear attitude, Sakara has become a wellness force to be reckoned with. Their brand offers a variety of nutritious and beneficial food-based services, including clean, organic, ready-to-eat meals and other sundries; guidance and support from Certified Health Coaches, AND delivery to your door!
Chances are that at this point in your life, you know the wonders that a great night of sleep can do for your skin. And you also know what a really good face mask can do for your skin. So why did it take us this long to combine the two?
If they aren’t already, sleep masks — or overnight masks —are about to become your new favorite skin secret weapon. Applied just before bed as the last step in your nighttime skincare routine, sleep masks are moisturizing powerhouses. You see, no matter how many serums and oils you may apply pre-bed and no matter how moisturizing their ingredients may be, there’s nothing to stop them from evaporating throughout the night.
It’s like if you put a bunch of super-cute puppies in a yard without a fence; sure, some of the puppies might stay behind obediently, but many of them will probably make a run for it. Now, if there was a fence, you’d get to keep all those super-cute puppies. Same goes for skincare: you need an occlusive barrier (a layer that keeps water in) on top of everything to make sure you’re getting all the moisture you so rightfully deserve. Because not only does that occlusive top layer mean your other products aren’t escaping like those puppies, it also makes sure they’re penetrating your skin better while still being light enough that your skin can breathe while you sleep.
Now, you may be asking, “Ok but what’s the difference between a sleep/overnight mask and a regular moisturizing mask?” To that, I say, “good question!” But I also say, “How long do you leave a standard mask on your face, on average?” The beauty of a sleep mask is that it provides prolonged, deep treatment for your skin. Since you’re zonked out while wearing it, a sleep mask is totally undisturbed and so can really get to work at a deeper level than a standard mask you wash off after 15 minutes.What’s more, sleep masks are also often more gentle on your skin than their quickie counterparts. Since that 15-minute mask only has 15 minutes to get its job done, the concentration of powerful ingredients is super-high, which may not agree with your skin. Sleep masks, however, have those same powerful ingredients but at a lower concentration so they do their job gently and over time, not in a slap-dash sort of way.
For example, at nighttime, if you’ve got oily or problematic skin but find the serums and treatments targeted to you are too drying (because the concentration is too high), look for a sleep mask with hyaluronic acid to hydrate without clogging your pores or drying you out. If you want to even out skin tone but find retinols irritating, a sleep mask with a low dose of retinol could be the way to go for a slow-and-steady-wins-the-race approach. If you’re dealing with redness and inflammation, look for soothing ingredients like rose water and ginkgo biloba to bathe your skin in their healing powers all night.
Listen, you’re already sleeping every night, so why not add a layer to your routine that takes minimal effort and will have you waking up glowing every morning? It is called beauty sleep, after all.
Chilling in the water can restore your mind — and make your body glow. Here’s all you need to know to curate your ideal summertime soak.
Taking a long soak in the tub is often a beauty ritual we reserved for the wintery months. And yet bathing in summer can be just as good for your body — and, in fact, deeply detoxifying says Jenna Coviello, the founder of Take Good Care, a service that offers personalized wellness consultations. “I do love a cooler soak when the weather is very hot,” she says. “It relaxes and cools down the body and mind and helps relieve bloating, inflammation, and sunburn.” Depending on what you add to the water, you can target different issues. “Epsom salts and body oil is a really simple combo that exfoliates, detoxifies, reduces bloat, and relieves muscle pain,” she says. And a drop of essential oil goes a long way whether it’s “lavender before bed” or “eucalyptus for congestion.”
Baths might also be your easiest form of summer self-care. “I love the ritual and relaxation of it,” says Coviello. “The ability to completely shut off for 20 to 30 minutes. A shower always feels a bit rushed —but a bath is such a luxury.” (And FYI: baths use less water than showers). Here, the wellness guru gives her personalized guide to meditative summer soaks.
Pick Your Purpose.
“My ideal summer bath routine is all about detoxification, exfoliation, and hydration,” says Coviello.
Step 1: Set Your Intention (and the Mood). Coviello likes to light the sandalwood Mama Moon Candle, draw a slightly warm bath, and add the Pursoma Digital Detox Bath salts “to detoxify my body from EMF [electromagnetic field] radiation and my mind from digital overload.”
Step 2: Dry Brush First. “Before getting in the bath, I dry brush my whole body, which stimulates blood flow, circulation, lymphatic drainage, and deeply exfoliates dead skin.”
Step 3: Mask It. Next, she slathers on a face mask to soak up the benefits while she’s chilling in the tub. Her go-to: “The Captain Blankenship Mermaid Detox Face Mask — the matcha is soothing and brightening and the clay and seaweed pull out toxins and gently exfoliate, yet hydrate the skin.”
Step 4: Do a Cool Rinse: “After soaking for a while, I like to drain some of the warm water and add in cold water for a cooler soak — it feels really refreshing and helps with bloating.” She exfoliates again, this time with Linné Activate Body Wash, which has a combination of Dead Sea salt, volcanic ash, and activated charcoal to purify and exfoliate (and as added bonus, “the eucalyptus scent is awakening and calming — it’s especially nice first thing in the morning,” she says if you opt for an a.m. soak).
Step 5: Hydrate: “Finally, I get out and remove the face mask with a warm muslin cloth,” says Coviello. On damp skin (skip the towel dry), she applies “my favorite body oil ever, Everyday Oil, from head to toe.” Not only does her skin look radiant, but Coviello says she feels totally recharged after a bath. “It connects you with your physical body during a season when you’re showing more skin,” she finds. Consider this the ritual we all need right now to “pamper skin and give it a little extra love.”
+ What’s your favorite bath ritual? Share it with us in the comments!
Even an American beauty can nail the French Riviera’s signature gleam with a supercharged self-care routine…
There’s something about post-Cannes springtime that leaves me a bit dreamy over those elusively nonchalant red carpet moments steeped in French Riviera beauty. Perhaps it’s the way the locals manage to don a halo of fresh-faced glamour that translates as easily to a sandy beach as it does an after hours soirée.
SELF-CARE > COSMETICS
Delivering a clever counterpoint to America’s more-is-more beauty aesthetic, the film festival’s homegrown stunners like Louise Bourgoin and Marion Cotillard prove time after time that understated French glamour rides not on heavy-handed cosmetics, but another form of insouciant style: That otherworldly glow that smacks of just the right touch of skin-perfecting exfoliation, illuminating moisture, and a near-imperceptible hint of screen star shimmer.
THE BELIEVABLE BOMBSHELL
To master the modern French girl routine, an inside-out, outside-in self-care attitude is the key to appearing plein de vie (or, full of life) rather than fully painted. This means gut-friendly beauty tonics and skin-friendly formulas that deliver believable bombshell results without the smoke and mirrors. Below, six steps to nailing the most coveted international beauty standard, naturally:
An impossibly chic French co-worker once imparted the cultural secret: “your body is your best accessory.” And as such, exposed limbs should be polished like jewels. Indie Lee’s Coconut Citrus Scrub makes it look easy with exfoliating sugarcane and a cruelty-free blend of coconut and jojoba oils that buff away dull cells to reveal a gleaming surface.
Sifting a sachet of The Beauty Chef’s Glow powder into a bottle of mineral water is one fairly effortless step toward nourishing your complexion with its organic probiotic cocktail of nutrients. Taking the mystery out of each sip, an independent group study showed that more than 90% of month-long users saw an improvement in hydration and pre-existing complexion congestion.
Fanatical about removing every trace of makeup, the French girl will. not. stand. for drying formulas. Enter Joanna Vargas’s Vitamin C Face Wash, which gently cleanses with antioxidants like Goji berry while simultaneously conditioning skin with hyaluronic acid for a detoxifying option that won’t leave you chapped.
Luxuriating in a fruit-infused face mask can be as intellectual as it is glamorous if you grab an actual book and spend the half hour taking in a chapter or two. Orgaid’s chemical-free Vitamin C Revitalizing Mask can help reduce the appearance of damage with organic extracts meant to boost skin’s natural healing response.
Simplicity is essential when keeping up the elusive level of insouciance which made tousled bedhead and smudged eyeliner a cultural mainstay. Streamline your glow-inducing moisturizer routine with Everyday Oil’s unisex-scented blend of cold-pressed and essential oils designed to multitask its way into seemingly endless uses: make-up remover, deep conditioner, cuticle softener, bath hydrator, and natural insect repellant (for romantic walks in tall grasses) are just a few that stand out.
Notorious for sticking to a five-minutes-or-less makeup routine, French superbabes unsurprisingly nix all forms of contouring, though angelic illumination is fair game — as long as it’s imperceptibly sheer. Hand blended to deliver a transparent glow, Noto’s Hydra Highlighter Stick moisturizes while soothing skin with calming lavender and organic shea butter. Try swiping its pearlescent mica formula from cupids bow to collarbone for a sun-reflecting gleam.
Practicing sugary restraint is easy when complexion-friendly confections come in the form of Hum’s vegan Glow Sweet Glow Gummies. Enjoying two of the tangerine-flavored treats per day helps to reinforce your skin’s ability to retain moisture. Hyaluronic acid and vitamins C and E tackle collagen production and cell health while masquerading as adorable heart-shaped bonbons.
Way before it become a #trend, Ere Perez was bottling botanical cheek tints and healing elixirs in her native Mexico. Now, her sophisticated range has finally landed in the U.S., and she’s giving us an inside glimpse into how it all came to be.
Superfood-infused beauty products might be everywhere at the moment, but Ere Perez has been mixing up vitamin-infused remedies since she was a child. The Mexico-born skin-care and makeup founder grew up watching her grandfather — a local medicine man — concoct plant remedies and her mother taught her to rub beetroot on her cheeks as a natural spin on blush. All that good training inspired Perez to launch her own line, which she did shortly after settling in another botanical-rich destination, Australia.
Perez’s brand of vegan, antioxidant-packed essentials — everything from foundation spiked with inflammation-calming quinoa to strengthening almond-oil mascara to her now cult-favorite beetroot cheek and lip tint — have freshly arrived on our shores. Here, Perez takes us inside her dreamy wellness world and shares her creation process.
Where did your interest in beauty come from?
“I grew up in Monterrey, a beautiful place in northern Mexico. I was always interested in natural remedies from my grandfather, who was a medicine man. Also my grandmother was so good at reusing everything — nothing went to waste! Their whole life was like a wellness dream! My grandmother is still alive, at 98 years old and still making dresses for my girls! On the other side of my family, my grandparents were chemists who had a laboratory. I was born surrounded by incredible energy and a warm family.”
What kinds of beauty products did you use in Mexico?
“I used beetroot on my face, as my mom did not want me to use chemicals. There was no natural makeup available when I was growing up. It really didn’t exist yet.”
What inspired you to launch your line, and move to Australia?
“Ere Perez came from my dream of combining natural health with beauty. I knew how many toxins were in traditional makeup and I wanted to give women a healthy alternative. I have sensitive eyes and can’t live without mascara—I look sleepy! So it was actual need for me. I followed love to Australia, when my fiancé moved from Mexico. I studied natural therapies before I moved and have a degree on nutrition — which is why each of our products has a beautiful edible hero ingredient.”
Where do you the source your natural ingredients?
“Our ingredients come mainly from plants all over the world. We are proud to use Australian native ingredients such as quandong and blue cypress in our botanical skincare. We create natural formulations that are safe and have the performance and beautiful texture that any mainstream chemical brand can offer.”
Talk us through what’s special about the Ere Perez products we have in stock at Free People.
The Natural Almond Mascara launched our range 13 years ago — it smells amazing, is good for sensitive eyes, and has become our most loved product. The Avocado Waterproof Mascara is one of the only natural waterproof mascaras on the market and the Aloe Gel Lash & Brow Mascara is so good for taming eye brows as well as giving shine to lashes (it’s also a night treatment for lashes).”
Do you have a favorite or product that you constantly reach for?
“That’s such a hard choice; I love them all! But I wear the Almond Mascara every day. It’s my go-to… I have one in my handbag, another in the car. It always comes to the rescue when I need to quickly give my face a boost. My lashes are long but straight, so has a good curling effect, too!”
How do you practice self-care when life is so busy?
“Life can be busy, that’s for sure. I am the creative director of our brand, plus a mom to three gorgeous and fun children. For me, I make sure I eat healthy, balanced, clean food and get out into the fresh air. I’m learning not to sweat the small stuff. You can’t make a big deal over everything in life; it’s not worth the stress.”
What’s the best makeup trick you’ve learned over the years?
“Definitely that less is more. I remember when the fashion was to wear thick layers of foundation, to cover over skin and make everything look false. Thank goodness trends have changed. These days, it’s about allowing natural radiance and healthy beauty. One of my best tricks is to smile and dab a little tint on my cheeks—it really brings youth.”
+ Click here to shop and discover the Ere Perez collection.
The family-owned and -operated hair care company — 3 sisters and a dad — share stories about their philosophy, their products, and why they have no choice but to give back to women in need…
Sisters was created by Eva, Jo & Doni who are, in fact, sisters. What brought you together to create this line? And your DAD works with you, too?
Well, a number of years ago our dad was tinkering with a shampoo idea. He’s a very well established scientist in the world of innate immunity. As a family, we grew up testing out his new ideas and projects together. So, one day, he came up with this idea for a shampoo that worked with the scalp and hair’s microbiome. We started using it, and… turns out that the product he created was truly great. So, about a year ago, the three of us decided to initiate a project that allowed us to support Dad’s shampoo (and conditioner), but to also work creatively as sisters. We began playing around with packaging and essential oils that we loved, changed the original formula a little, and came up with Sisters Body!
Why hair and body care?
Skin and the scalp have such an interesting biology — our skin is an amazing barrier and one of the first lines of defense for our immune system. It is complex and the host of incredible ecosystems!
You ensure that a good portion of your proceeds goes to fund women’s health projects. Tell us about that.
As the political climate shifted in 2017, and the threat to defund Planned Parenthood and other women’s health services became a reality, we wanted to put our money where our mouth was. Two of us work in women’s health — Jo’s a midwife and Eva’s a family doctor — so providing quality health care to women is something to which we have dedicated our lives. Being able to donate a large amount of profits made this project feel exciting, like we were actually making a difference.
What does your typical day look like? Do you live near one another/work together directly?
We live in different cities on the east coast. The business is based out of Jo’s house in Brooklyn, but we talk and text many, many times a day. Since we all have other full time jobs and families and kids of our own, our typical days are totally nuts!!.We are juggling a million things. but it’s a really amazing opportunity for all of us to be able to create and work together as sisters.
Can you explain a bit more about the body as a microbiome and how Sisters affects that?
The microbiome, a microscopic ecosystem that lines the surface of our body, is made up of natural oils, peptides and organisms. Our body works really hard to establish a well-balanced, healthy microbiome. We believe that the products we use should enhance, not harm, our body’s wellness. So, by respecting the microbiome of our skin and hair, we feel better and look healthier. We also formulated our products with a very gentle cleanser that washes your hair and skin but doesn’t strip away all the good oils and peptides our body works so hard to create.
Your biggest inspiration…
Pippi Longstocking! ;)
If Sisters had a soundtrack, what 5 songs would appear on it?
Alessi brothers – Seabird
The Roches – Hammond Song
Jim Croche – Operator
Bonnie Rait – Love me like a Man
Lijadu Sisters – Come On Home
How easy was it to make a biodegradable beauty line? Amazing, by the yay.
That’s where our scientist dad comes in handy!
The next big thing for Sisters:
Prebiotic, microbiome-friendly deodorant! And hopefully more availability in stores!
Carla Oates is no stranger to Free People — she’s granted us several interviews about her famously successful brand, The Beauty Chef, and now she’s here to empower YOU to follow your gut.
When we asked our videographer Jana about her date with Carla Oates, she could do little more than beam at us a giGANtic smile…not unlike Carla’s. Immediately warm, open and spirited, Carla shared with us her motivation behind the creation of The Beauty Chef, the advice she got — and ignored — and the absolute necessity of natural foods for optimal health.
Glow on, take a look, and watch out for future episodes from our new series, For Women, By Women.
Free People Beauty + Wellness: For Women by Women feat. The Beauty Chef - Vimeo