If you care about putting only the cleanest ingredients on your skin, but still want to look great, our Project Wellness blog offers the best in natural makeup tips. Our estheticians and favorite brands love to share their makeup tips with our readers—from creating the perfect natural makeup look for an evening out to protecting your skin with mineral makeup. You’ll learn about natural makeup techniques, powerful ingredients your skin will love and sales and specials on our favorite cosmetics brands. Turn to Pharmaca for the latest information on luxurious natural makeup that not only makes your skin look great, but also makes it feel great.

  • Spice Up Your Makeup with Marsala This Fall

    Have you spotted Marsala in your travels this fall? #Pantone #ColoroftheYear 2015 #Marsala

    A photo posted by PANTONE (@pantone) on

    It’s time to put away the pastel eye shadows, pink lip glosses and brightly painted nails of summer....and turn our attention to fall-inspired red-browns, like Marsala, the Pantone Color of the Year! This earthy, warm color gives you a look that says you just came in from a brisk walk in chilly air. To help you find the marsala that’s right for every skin type, we turned to cosmetologist Cintya Lull in Portland.

    Fair skin tones
    Marsala’s deep tones can stand in sharp contrast to fair skin during the day, so it’s best to stick with sheer tints of this rich color. “Start with one light swipe at first,” says Cintya, “and build more layers until you get the color you want.” For a hint of marsala-hued color on your cheeks and lips, try jane iredale’s In Touch Cream Blush in Charisma and Mineral Fusion’s Sheer Moisture Lip Tint in Adorn. At night, marsala’s rich wine color is perfect for adding a touch of glam to pale skin. We love jane iredale’s PureMoist Lipstick in Katerina for its saturated color and nourishing botanicals.

    Medium skin tones
    Medium skin looks great with a pop of marsala on one feature and more neutral or nude tones for the rest. W3LL PEOPLE’s Universalist Multi-Use Colorstick 3 in Berry Aubergine lets you choose which feature to emphasize with marsala since it’s made for eyes, cheeks and lips. Turn to their Universalist Multi-Use Colorstick 9 – Nude Flush to highlight other features in a more subtle way. The lightweight creamy formulas are extremely blendable, Cintya tells us, and help nourish skin with aloe, vitamin E and green tea extracts.

    Olive or dark skin tones
    Marsala perfectly complements darker skin with its warm richness (“This color is made for you!” says Cintya). Start with a blush that gives your skin a soft glow like W3LL PEOPLE’s Purist Luminous Mineral Blush in Rose. Paraben, talc and chemical free, this powder can also be used as eye shadow for a monochromatic look. At night, amp up your look with jane iredale’s PurePressed Eye Shadow in Merlot, a highly pigmented color that’s crease-resistant. For lips, try Burt’s Bees’ Lip Crayon in Napa Vineyard, a full-coverage matte color that’s creamy and moisturizing with shea butter, jojoba oil and kendi oil.

    Every skin tone
    Want to dip your toe into the marsala trend? Spice up your fall pedicure with Deborah Lippmann’s Nail Color in Lady is a Tramp, a matte cream polish free of toluene, formaldehyde and DPB (dibutyl phthalate), and rich in nail-saving botanicals including green tea extract and aucoumea. If you prefer a little sparkle, try SpaRitual’s Fall in Love Nail Lacquer, a vegan polish that uses mica for shimmer instead of guanine (fish scales that are often found in mass-marketed nail polishes). Keep your nails chip-free longer with a base coat that bonds your polish to nails with a rubberized basecoat like SpaRitual’s Lacquer Lock Colorstay Basecoat, that’s free of nasty chemicals (and vegan, too).

  • Which Makeup Foundation is Right for You?

    Woman with makeup brushThe secret to the perfect foundation? Not letting anyone know we have it on! We look radiant and our skin looks poreless, glowing and youthful—not caked with color. Choosing the wrong color or type can actually detract from our looks. To get the low down on how to pick and apply the best makeup for a flawless face, we turned to Pharmaca cosmetologist Joyce Anderson at our Los Altos store.

    Start with a primer or color corrector

    Using a sheer primer or color-correcting base under foundation helps makeup last throughout the day, and corrects any unevenness in skin tone, Joyce tells us.

    If your skin looks dull, a brightening primer is a good bet. Try jane iredale’s Smooth Affair Primer & Brightener with fruit, tea and algae extracts that minimize large pores, boost skin’s radiance and create a smooth, satiny finish.

    If you flush or get red splotches easily, use a green-tinted primer that balances redness, like ZuZu Luxe’s Color Correcting Primer Anti-Blotchiness. For sallow or very pale skin, try jane iredale’s Dream Tint Tinted Moisturizer with SPF 15, in either Lilac (to balance yellowness), or Peach to bring subtle warmth to skin. These can be used alone too, if you just want a hint of color.

    Liquid, powder or stick?

    Mineral-based foundations are free of irritating chemical preservatives and come in formulations that work for every skin type.

    For normal-to-combination skin, Joyce says customers rave about W3LL PEOPLE’s Narcissist Foundation Stick. It’s a super easy-to-use cream—just swipe it on. Plus, it comes in eight easy-to-match shades for medium coverage with a velvety matte finish.

    If you tend to have oily skin, try jane iredale’s PurePressed Base Mineral Foundation in a refillable gold compact case. This sheer pressed powder comes in 26 shades, can be layered for just the right amount of coverage and gives a semi-matte, weightless finish. And it has broad-spectrum, SPF 20 coverage! For perfect application, use their Handi Brush.

    For dry or mature skin that needs coverage with a boost of moisture, look for liquid-based products like jane iredale’s Liquid Minerals Foundation. This light-reflecting (read: flaw-hiding) foundation feels moist and light, comes in 12 shades and nourishes skin with hydrating botanicals and skin-plumping hyaluronic acid.

    Set it up

    A translucent powder helps set your foundation, making it last longer, and is also a great way to touch up your makeup during the day. Mineral-based powders work best since they won’t clog pores with waxes or silica, and don’t leave an unnatural white sheen on your skin, Joyce says. Customers love the 100 percent mineral-based Realist Satin Mineral Setting Powder from W3LL PEOPLE for its weightless feel and ability to control shine. And oil-absorbing silk powder and tapioca come together in Dr. Hauschka’s Translucent Face Powder that leaves skin soft and smooth with a clean, natural finish.

    When applying, be sure to use a fluffy brush that picks up just the right amount of powder, like EcoTools’ Bamboo Powder Brush. Just dab it in the powder, tap off the excess and lightly dust over your face.

  • Medicine Cabinet Spotlight: An Esthetician’s Beauty Essentials

    LaehBcroppedOur health and beauty practitioners are pros at recommending natural skin care remedies for customers. But what are the essentials they always keep on hand? We asked Laeh Benyamin, herbalist and esthetician at our store in south Boulder to tell us about Pharmaca favorites.

    ZuZu Luxe Mascara
    “This is hands down the best mascara we carry! It gives a natural look, it’s hypo-allergenic, it never flakes, and it stays on all day.”

    Juice Beauty Stem Cellular Repair CC Cream

    “They call it the multi-tasker and that’s exactly what it is—it includes natural mineral SPF 30, anti-aging botanicals, antioxidants and a slight tint to even out skin tone.”

    Astara Blue Flame Purifying Treatment

    “This is a great product for adolescent/adult acne. It can be used as an all-over serum or as a spot treatment. I’ve felt a pimple coming on, put on the blemish serum at night and woke the next morning and it’s gone! It works wonders.”

    John Masters Jojoba & Ginseng Exfoliating Face Cleanser

    “This is a great gentle scrub that’s well-suited to a normal or drier skin type. For dry skin especially, a scrub really helps get the dead skin off the surface so your face can look smooth and bright. This product does the trick without overdrying.”

    Jane Iredale Magic Mitt

    “I take it for every overnight I go on, from camping to the Ritz. It removes my makeup so easily—even mascara. Just wash and use again!”

    Garden of Life Kind Organics Women’s Multi
    “This vitamin is made from 100 organic percent food from a farm, which I love because I think real food is easier for your body to assimilate than synthetic vitamins. I take one every day to ensure I’m getting all the minerals, vitamins and micro-nutrients needed to look and feel healthy.”

  • Celebrity-Approved Beauty

    Celebrities depend on a bevy of skin care solutions and prettifying products to ensure they get the glow required to keep them camera ready—products that can be found right here at Pharmaca. Whether you’re looking to get Gwyneth’s glow, Natalie’s natural radiance or Cameron’s easygoing surfer girl look, these natural beauty skin care brands are not only good for you, but also good enough for the red carpet.

    512px-Barack_and_Michelle_Obama_at_the_Home_States_Ball NEXT UP: THE SKIN CARE LINE MICHELLE OBAMA LOVES











    Ahava receives plenty of press, and for good reason. Ahava’s rejuvenating Dead Sea mineral actives help Natalie Portman get her glow. Portman is a fan of Ahava’s Dead Sea Mud Exfoliator, and their powerful mineral products are also enjoyed by First Lady Michelle Obama and actress Kristin Davis.

    Dr. Hauschka

    Supergoop co-owner Maria Sharapova

    This natural skin care company creates chemical-free, botanically based products with garden-fresh, ultra-pure ingredients, so it’s no surprise that this pure line has quite the celebrity following. Vermont-bred Olympic snowboarder Hannah Teter told Glamour magazine her post-snowboarding ritual is to “load on Dr. Hauschka Arnica Energizing Body Oil all over my body and face.” And model Kate Upton enjoys the brand’s gently exfoliating Cleansing Cream, telling InStyle “My skin feels so soft after I use it.”


    Supergoop co-owner Maria SharapovaThis natural sun care line is co-owned by tennis star Maria Sharapova, and is another favorite of Gwyneth Paltrow's beauty editors. Their Daily Correct CC Cream does double duty as a primer and foundation, while smoothing fine lines, hydrating skin and providing SPF 35 sun protection.

    jane iredale

    Anna Kendrick

    Recently, the New York Times ran an interview with Anna Kendrick, in which the actress stated “I’m not big on lip color, but I like to have a little bit of something. I just ordered a jane iredale’s Just Kissed Lip and Cheek Stain. It doesn’t just give you that bee-stung thing for two seconds; it lasts for hours.” Original supermodel Cindy Crawford also told that she chooses jane iredale’s mineral powder for both herself and her teenage daughter. “I feel like you can’t mess it up. It doesn’t streak; it’s not like a liquid foundation that you can put on too thick, or you can forget a spot. I feel like that’s really easy for her to use.” Jessica Alba credits jane iredale’s 24-Karat Gold Dust for her helping with her red-carpet glamour, using a tiny bit to give shine to her hair, clavicles and décolletage.

    Juice Beauty

    Cameron Diaz

    In her health and wellness tome, The Body Book, Cameron Diaz lists Juice Beauty as one of her favorite skin care lines, touting its commitment to pure, organic ingredients. Juice Beauty’s Green Apple Peel popularity helped the brand to gain quick momentum, garnering celebrity mentions and rave reviews. Juice Beauty has since enjoyed partnerships with celebrities such as actress, vegan and The Kind Life blogger Alicia Silverstone, and its Organic Lip Moisturizer is mentioned as a clean beauty must-have on Gwyneth’s Paltrow’s blog, Did we mention that Gwyneth was just named Juice Beauty's creative director? Talk about celeb cache.


    Lauren Conrad

    This ingenious beauty tool has enjoyed a swift rise to fame, with promises to remove 60 percent more dirt and oil with its gentle scrubbing brush head. Celebrities have been quick to jump on the Clarisonic bandwagon, including fashion and lifestyle guru Lauren Conrad and country music star Faith Hill—who claimed the Mia as one of her must-have beauty items in InStyle Magazine.

    Dr. Bronner’s


    DrB LiqSoap_lavcroppedDr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps are universally appealing to natural skin care devotees. The company’s long-standing commitment to Fair Trade, organic ingredients has not gone unnoticed by stars such as Gwyneth Paltrow and Lea Michele. Paltrow—who aims to keep readers of her lifestyle blog,, informed of handmade, healthy products—has listed Dr. Bronner’s Lavender Liquid Soap as a favorite, while Glee’s Michele keeps Eucalyptus Liquid Soap in her shower.

    The Honest Company


    HC Healing BalmcroppedJessica Alba defied naysayers when she launched The Honest Company back in 2012 with a mission to provide safe, healthy products for families. The Honest Company has since grown to be a trusted name in natural products, and includes a line of award-winning body lotions and balms—the Organic Healing Balm has been spotted spilling out of several celebrity handbags, while their Honest Wipes are among actress Lena Headey’s on-the-go must haves.

    Deborah Lippmann

    Deborah Lippmann

    With too many celebrity clients to count, manicurist Deborah Lippman founded her own line of 5-free nail color in 1999. Now her natural polishes and lacquers are seen on the runway, magazine covers and the red carpet, adorning the hands of A-list celebrities such as Reese Witherspoon, Lady Gaga, Gisele Bundchen, Alison Williams and Shailene Woodley. We even spotted it on Mindy Kaling's Instagram page the other day!

  • Fall Makeup Trends: From Neutral to Noticeable!

    Woman with makeup brushIf your go-to makeup products are all in the neutral brown, taupe or beige family, fall is the right time to bring in a splash of on-trend color. Adding a shimmery metallic eyeliner, colorful eyeshadow or berry-toned lipstick can brighten sallow fall skin and move you out of the neutral zone. For everyday wearability, be sure to choose just one feature to highlight with color or shine and keep the rest neutral.

    Bold lips

    Rich berry shades are the right choice to complement this year’s fall fashion colors. “Jane iredale’s new PureMoist Lipstick in Katerina is a deep berry that looks good on all skin tones,” says Lauren Mohney, esthetician in Carlsbad. For a more casual look, Lauren likes jane iredale’s PureGloss Lip Gloss in Kir Royale, a sheer plummy berry shade that treats lips with avocado oil, moringa seed oil and natural fruit extracts.

    Vivid eyes

    Metallics and bright colors are a great way to make eyes pop this fall. ZuZu Luxe eyeliners add a touch of metallic sheen, and Lauren likes ZuZu’s Liquid Eyeliner in Luxor, which is a coppery bronze that complements green eyes; Black Pearl, a shimmery black with blue undertones best for blue eyes; and Nile, a peacock green liner that’s fantastic for brown eyes.

    Colorful eyeshadows are another on-trend look, and using highly blendable formulas make these brights surprisingly easy to wear, both day and night. For a flash of color try jane iredale’s Pure Pressed Eye Shadow in Red Carpet, teal blue Magic or vibrant Violet. A little applied close to the lash line (not the whole eyelid) and blended lightly upward works best. Color and metallic combine in W3LL People’s Elitist Mineral Shadow in Gilded Green, a sheer wash of green that can be layered for a more dramatic look.

    With vivid color or metallic shadows, finish with black or dark brown eyeliner and mascara to look polished.

    If you are unwaveringly faithful to your neutral brown eyeshadow, turn to mascara for your pop of color. Dr. Hauschka’s Volume Mascara in Aubergine or Royal Blue adds subtle interest and makes the whites of your eyes appear brighter.

    Luminous cheeks

    Glowing, luminous cheeks are important this fall and easy to incorporate into our beauty routine. Jane iredale’s 24-Karat Gold Dust in Champagne, Silver or Gold brings just the right glimmer to cheekbones when applied lightly with a fan brush. Or add 24-Karat Gold Dust to your regular cream blush for a subtle glow.

    Knock-out nails

    If makeup with color and shimmer are out of your comfort zone, try incorporating fall trends with nail color! Dark berry shades like SpaRitual’s Nail Lacquer in Tapestry or metallic browns like Deborah Lippmann’s Superstar are just right for fall. And if your favorite summer polish was sky blue, transition to fall with SpaRitual’s Oasis, a rich shimmery navy.

  • Natural Perfumes: A Chemical-Free Fragrance Guide

    CheekyPerfumes often have such sweet, uplifting names...Happy, Heavenly, even Curious. That's why it may come as a surprise that most mass-marketed fragrances are formulated with toxic chemicals—ingredients that give these fragrances staying power or mimic a natural scent. But these ingredients are also linked to a host of health troubles, from asthma to hormone disruption. Here’s what you need to avoid and safe ways to add fragrance to your life.

    Avoid “fragrance” as a labeled ingredient

    This generic term is used by cosmetic and perfume companies and they are not required to disclose what ingredients actually make up their fragrances. Many mass-marketed perfumes include synthetic chemicals that are known allergens and sensitizers (chemicals that can cause allergic reactions, including asthma, wheezing, headaches and contact dermatitis).

    Avoid phthalates and parabens

    These chemicals are often added to perfume products to increase their staying power on your skin and in the bottle. But they’ve been linked to hormone disruption, breast cancer and reproductive toxicity—especially in teens, since they’re some of the largest consumers of fragranced personal care products.

    Avoid synthetic musk (including Nitro-Musk, Galaxolide and Tonalide)

    Musk is a common scent found in perfumes. Fragrance companies may say it’s a sexy animal scent, but its side effects are decidedly not sexy. Synthetic musk is a toxin that accumulates in our body, especially in fatty tissue and breast milk, and acts as a hormone disrupter.

    Use natural essential oils

    Natural essential oils are pure oils distilled from plants—flowers, leaves or seeds. These oils have distinct aromas like woody, spicy, green, herbal or floral. Here’s what you’ll smell with some of the common scent families.

    Woody or spicy aroma: stimulating, clearing, grounding
    Look for: clove, frankincense, cedar, sandalwood, patchouli, vetiver
    Try: Pacifica's Sandalwood Perfume Roll-On, a warm, velvety woodsy scent

    Green or herbal aroma: brisk, clean
    Look for: citrus, bergamot, eucalyptus, rosemary, chamomile, basil
    Try: Love & Toast's Gin Blossom Perfume, a fresh, crisp citrusy scent

    Floral aroma: sweet, serene, feminine
    Look for: lavender, rose, ylang ylang, neroli
    Try: Jurlique's Essence of Rose Roll-On Fragrance, a pure rose scent made from Gallic roses

    Make your own

    It’s also easy to make your own fragrance creations. For tips on scent combinations that work well, check out this guide to the aromatic blending of essential oils. Remember, some essential oils are skin irritants due to the high concentration of active compounds, so make sure to dilute them with a carrier oil or alcohol.


    15-20 drops of essential oil (in whatever combination of scents you like)
    2 tablespoons unflavored vodka (100 proof is best) or pure grain alcohol

    Pour alcohol in a glass bottle first, then add essential oil. Let it age for at least 2 days, and up to 1 month. Finally, dilute with 1 tablespoon distilled water.

    Body Oil/Lotion

    15 drops of essential oil
    2-3 tablespoons of jojoba oil, almond oil or unscented body lotion.

    Blend and store your fragrance in a dark glass bottle.

    Explore the essential oils and natural fragrances at a Pharmaca near you!

  • On Trend for Spring: Radiant Orchid

    OrchidPink, fuchsia and purple all come together in this year’s Color of the Year, Radiant Orchid. Pantone, the color experts, choose a new "it" color each year that influences everything from fashion to makeup to home furnishings. According to the folks at Pantone, this year’s color inspires creativity, imagination and joy. What better way to welcome spring and perk up our makeup palette? Esthetician Nicole Mueller in Albuquerque shares some fun ways to try this cheerful color.

    Pretty pout

    Lip gloss or tint is one of the easiest ways to add radiant orchid to your makeup bag. These four work well with any skin tone. For the softest hint of color, Burt’s Bees' Tinted Lip Balm in Blush Orchid is a lightly tinted balm that nourishes with shea butter. Another soft wash of color can be found in Pacifica's Color Quench Lip Tint in Sugared Fig. This tint is packed with moisturizers like coconut and avocado oils for smooth, soft lips. For a little more intense color, Nicole recommends Love and Toast's Misbehavin’ Lip Glaze, which includes botanical oils that bring the shine factor up a notch. For staying power, try ZuZu Luxe's Lip Gloss in Mania, a long-lasting gloss that protects your lips with SPF 8.

    Fresh blush

    Orchid can be more of a cool tone, says Nicole. For those with a cool undertone to their skin (pink, red or bluish tone), orchids blend beautifully. Those with naturally warmer skin undertones (yellow, peachy or golden), can use orchid blush by first balancing the warmer tones with an overall bronzer on the face. Try applying jane iredale's Quad Bronzer in Rose Dawn, then lightly brushing orchid on your cheekbones. Or try ZuZu Luxe's Blush in Nymph, a subtle orchid that gives a fresh, natural look.

    Pop of color for your eyes

    If you’ve got green eyes, Nicole says, radiant orchid is made for you! It complements the green and makes your eyes really stand out. W3LL People's Elitist Mineral Shadow in Luminous Cassis is a plummy orchid that can be layered for more intensity. Blue, brown and hazel eyes can wear orchid, too—try jane iredale's Eye Steppes Go Cool, a four-shadow compact featuring the right shade for every eye color.

    Make a statement mani or pedi

    Radiant orchid nails are a fresh way to let the world know you’re ready for spring and summer.  Deborah Lippman's Nail Color in Makin’ Whoopee is a high-energy orchid that conditions your nails with biotin and green tea extract. SpaRitual's Nail Lacquer in Disco Inferno is a good choice for those who prefer colors with a shimmery finish. Bonus: These vegan lacquers are free of toxic chemicals like toluene, formaldehyde or DBP (dibutyl phthalate).

  • The Case for Natural Makeup

    PL makeup brushes group shot no bkgrndIs your medicine cabinet already stocked with the best in natural skin care? Time to take it to the next level and make sure your cosmetics are clean and healthy too. Here, a few of our estheticians talk to us about why natural cosmetics are the way to go.

    First, it’s important to remember that 60 percent of what goes on our skin gets absorbed into your body (read more about skin care by the numbers). That’s more than half of every drop of body lotion, serum, lip gloss or concealer you put on. Just like skin care, cosmetics serve as a sort of conduit to your body—what type of ingredients they’re conducting is up to you.

    Pharmaca’s natural cosmetics lines ensure that these ingredients are actually good for your skin while doing their job. Take jane iredale’s Circle/Delete, an undereye concealer that hides flaws while healing skin with avocado and cucumber extracts. “Many mainstream cosmetics companies have similar products that are full of chemicals,” says Beth Walker, esthetician in Boulder. “It may camouflage the skin, but once it’s washed away, the chemicals have probably created a whole new problem.”

    Instead of creating new problems, mineral foundations, like those from jane iredale and ZuZu Luxe, actually serve as nutrition for the skin, says Beth. “It’s wonderful for sensitive skin, acne, rosacea, sun damage,” she says. Instead of exacerbating those conditions, it will actually treat the skin while providing coverage.

    “I love the fact that mineral foundations include zinc, which is especially good for healing acneic skin,” says Kathleen McCummings, esthetician in Seattle. Plus, she says, “It’s good for all skin types, it doesn’t tend to emphasize lines and wrinkles, and it gives you a complete, natural SPF!”

    “Knowing that our natural mineral makeup is talc free is another big bonus,” says Kathleen. “Talc is a known carcinogen and it’s at the base of all conventional makeup. You don’t want to put a product on your face that can potentially cause cancer.”

    Beth adds that lip glosses and lipsticks can also be full of unwanted ingredients. “They say we ingest something like a tube of lipstick each year, so choose something without petroleum or parabens. (Learn more about other ingredients to avoid—and why.) She loves PureGloss from jane iredale, which includes pomegranate oil and vitamin E to provide hydration along with shine and color.

    In the end, both Beth and Kathleen love the way natural cosmetics look. “People wearing natural makeup have a much more radiant look about them than people wearing mainstream foundations,” Beth says. She also loves the fact that they’re easy to use and many are cruelty free. “It’s guilt-free beauty!”

  • Four of Our Favorite BB and CC Creams Among EWG’s Top Picks

    AgingWe just love it when we can spot a great product that harnesses the power of natural ingredients to make your skin look and feel great! It’s part of Pharmaca’s commitment to being your trusted editor when it comes to clean skin and beauty care products.

    Many of the brands we carry have come out with BB and CC creams in the last few years as a simple way to get moisture, sun protection and coverage all in one simple tube (learn more about the ABCs of these multitaskers).

    Because of this emerging trend, the Environmental Working Group recently rated many of the BB and CC Creams on the market today for their safety and efficacy. Among the top 10? Four popular products from our favorite brands:

    Researchers at the EWG added that BB and CC Creams are a better, safer bet anyway, since you’re combining the function of three products into one. So take comfort in nourishing your skin with moisturizing, sun-protecting, coverage-providing multitaskers from Pharmaca!

  • Nail Know-How: Expert Manicures & Inspired Designs

    sparitual-emeraldcityGlance down at someone’s nails these days and you might be in for a surprise. Bold colored polishes, metallic top coats and intricate artistic patterns are making nails a fashion accessory. But how do you get these on-trend looks?

    SpaRitual, innovative creators of vegan nail care products, and Pharmaca team up in this DIY guide to beautiful nails.

    Manicure 101
    Follow these simple steps for a salon-worthy look, and create a base ready for artistic designs.

    1. Clean and shape. Start by removing old polish (SpaRitual’s Extra Strength Lacquer Remover Cloths are extra convenient). Next, shape with the right file. On natural nails, a fine-grit file is gentle yet effective; acrylics require a coarser grit. Pharmaca’s Nail Files are color-coded to make it simple to choose the right grit:
    • Acrylic nails: violet or green, coarse grit
    • Acrylics, for smoothing edges: yellow, medium grit
    • Natural nails: black, fine grit
    • Buffing and shining: white, extra fine
    1. Treat cuticles. The secret to healthy cuticles is to keep them moisturized. Never cut the cuticle, just gently push it back. Try SpaRitual’s Cuti-Cocktail Pen & Pusher, which contains botanical oils and vitamins to soften the cuticle, and a pusher to safely move the cuticle back. Use the oil at night for extra hydration.
    2. Exfoliate and moisturize. SpaRitual’s Affirming Scrub Masque gently exfoliates and refines the skin with micro-algae, plus Indonesian ginger essential oil warms and energizes. Follow it up with Pharmaca’s unscented Ultra Moisturizer is non-greasy and hydrates with natural shea butter, grapeseed and sesame oils.
    3. Prepare for color. Wipe nails clean and apply a basecoat. Try SpaRitual’s Lacquer Lock Colorstay Basecoat, which bonds polish to the nail for longer wear.

    Design Time!
    Start by choosing fun colors. SpaRitual’s Nail Lacquers come in a wide range of hues, from pale pinks to inky blue-blacks. The only tools you’ll need are transparent tape or striping tape (available in many narrow widths), toothpicks, bobby pins or a disposable wedge makeup sponge. Here are some ideas to get started.

    • Make one nail stand out. Use an accent polish in the same color family, but a shade lighter or darker on one nail. Or try a metallic version of the same color on one nail if the rest are matte.
    • French, with a twist. Instead of the classic white tip of a French manicure, use a different color on the tip. Black or metallic tips are hipster-chic.
    • Try this year’s “it” color, emerald green. SpaRitual’s Emerald City Crème Lacquer is a standout, and a great match for fall clothing.
    • Break out the tape. Stripes, plaids or chevron designs are easy to create with transparent tape, or thin striping tape. First, apply a light color polish. When it’s dry, apply narrow strips of tape over the nail in the pattern of your choice (leave a little hanging over the edge for easier lift-off). Press it down firmly so your lines are clean.  Next, brush on another color over the tape and nail. While the polish is still wet gently remove the tape. Let the nail dry and apply a topcoat, or even a light shimmery metallic, to preserve your masterpiece.
    • Digging the dots. Apply one or two coats of polish and let it dry, then apply dots by dipping the end of a bobby pin, toothpick or straight pin in another color and dabbing onto the nail. Start in the center and circle outward for an even pattern.
    • Easy ombre. Apply a base of white polish and let it dry. Cut a makeup sponge so it’s as wide as your nail. Paint two or three stripes of the same color family (from light to dark) across the sponge, then dab the sponge onto the nail a few times in the same spot. Re-paint the sponge for each nail.

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