October 7, 2015

We Tried It: Japanese Skincare + the Perfect Sunscreen for Fall

I don’t know about you, but every time fall rolls around I feel a little more inspired to give my skin some well-deserved TLC. Between one too many patio happy hours over the summer and now-fluctuating temps, finding the right skincare products in the new season is always at the top of my to-do list—including my ongoing search for the perfect sunscreen. Yes—sunscreen! It’s a year-round thing.


A few weeks back I stumbled across Equitance, a new-to-me Japanese line whose “Bihada” approach (the belief that beautiful skin comes from thoughtful skincare practices and eating/living well) totally resonated. Equitance has built a brightening skincare line rooted in powerful plant-based ingredients, including Vitamin C and one I hadn’t heard of: linoleic acid, extracted from safflower oil. All of us at BB are so big on preventing and minimizing sun damage as naturally as possible and no one has cornered that market better than the Japanese. In a clinical study, Equitance users reported a nearly 30% decrease in dark spots after using the regimen for four months. I believe it: I’ve already seen a noticeable difference in mine!


Like any good skincare line, each product works better when they’re together. To really get to know the brand, I hopped right on the whole regimen to see if this stuff was really as life changing as the reviews said (spoiler alert: it was everything, and more). Now, I start my mornings with the Brightening Foaming Cleanser, which has become my go-to for silky smooth, squeaky-clean skin. Not only does the cleanser eliminate my dull, tired skin cells, but it also leaves my skin brighter and more radiant than before – double bonus! Next, I reach for Equitance’s Brightening Toning Lotion that’s known for helping your skin better absorb moisturizer. It’s the perfect base pre-makeup application, and it smells extra delicious to boot, which everyone can get behind. For my blotchier, red skin areas (no shame ladies, we all have it!), the Brightening Serum has become my new favorite product to even out my skin tone. I then make sure to grab Equitance’s luxurious Hydrating Brightening Cream, known to protect against environmental stressors and restore radiance. If you’re a big city gal like me, you know how much pollution and the harsh environment can test your patience, and your skin – so this lotion a must have if you’re looking to give your skin (and confidence) a much needed radiance boost. Lastly, I’ve been taking Equitance’s Skin Radiance Dietary Supplements and I’ve seen visible effects in the last few weeks in improving my skins appearance and overall radiance. If you’re new to the vitamin and supplement skincare scene, definitely give these a try!


To top it off, I make sure to put on a few drops of sunscreen before I head out the door. As a sunscreen aficionada, I’m always looking for a light, effective and purse-sized lotion that will protect me from the sun, and I loved Equitance’s Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 36 lotion. After seeing the insane number of positive customer reviews on this product, I took it out for a spin last weekend while out on a boat in the middle of Lake Michigan. As you’d expect, my blonde hair, blue eye combination makes me a magnet for even the weakest rays. Rather than tanning as much as I did in my early 20’s, I’ve happily taken a step back, fully embracing my porcelain skin. Believe me, in the long run, pasty’s where the party’s at. Although I adore all the products, the Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 36 is easily one of my favorite sunscreens I’ve tried. Equitance uses a mix of scientific and all-natural botanicals to give your skin the best of both worlds: brightening and moisturizing in addition to major sun protection. That is no small multi-tasking miracle in my book. I love using the purse-sized lotion whenever I find myself unexpectedly out in the sun for too long, or as a protecting primer before putting on my makeup in the morning.


Have you tried Equitance yet? We are officially curious about Japanese beauty!

July 25, 2013

Why I Can’t Stop Reading YouBeauty.com

cindy crawford big hair | beauty bets

When Dr. Oz and his partner-in-crime Dr. Michael Roizen debuted their healthy living site YouBeauty a couple of years ago, I took note. Finally! A beauty + wellness destination built on smart science and common sense, not superficial fluff or heavy green washing. Since then,  YouBeauty has become my go-to resource for feel-good beauty tips, cutting-edge ingredients, and self improvement from the inside out. It doesn’t hurt that YouBeauty‘s intelligently curated ecommerce site BeautySage is just a click away with some of the best natural beauty around. Read on . . .

How to get big, 90s supermodel hair like Cindy Crawford. Hint: I’m reconsidering mousse.

Is your lipstick laced? Don’t be a metal mouth.

New research: Wear Makeup, Look Younger (hello!)

benefits of the mediterranean diet

Is the Mediterranean diet the best diet ever? I’m a believer.

Go three days without shampooing using a few ingenious products that even I had never heard of.

The scary number of people who don’t wash their face + why you really, REALLY should.

low cal cocktails

Low-calorie summer cocktails. Cheers!

Speaking of which, wine boosts your brain power.

Why fat talk is bad for your friendships. Also: Should you toss your skinny jeans?

cucumber rosewater toner

These DIY Summer Fruit Treatments have me reaching for the produce.

Everything you ever wanted to know about Botox but were afraid to ask.

I knew there was a reason I liked avocados so much.


July 23, 2012

Indie Beauty Week: Belmondo

I’m dedicating this week to the indie beauty brands that have slowly yet surely been taking over my vanity. They’ve managed to elbow out some pretty big names—and rightfully so. I couldn’t ask for anything more when it comes to ingredients, efficacy and packaging. I do a little happy dance every time I stumble upon one of these gems. They’re raising the bar on beauty by getting back to basics. It’s a beautiful thing!  –Bets

Brand We Heart: Belmondo
Have you ever seen such killer packaging?! I love that modern yet homey chalkboard thing, plus those luxe frosted containers. It’s no wonder Anthro picked up this small-batch, hand-crafted line. Esthetician Daniela Belmondo was inspired by the gorgeous olive oil used in her native Italy, but she’s done equally amazing things with exotic floral essences and essential oils.

Best Bets: The Cloud ($52) face cream is impossibly velvety and imparts the perfect amount of dewiness. It’s dreamy. I’m also enthralled by The Rain ($33), an herbal facial cleanser that you apply with a cotton ball, toner-style. Once you get used to the apple cider vinegar (a natural exfoliant/wonder drug), and water-free approach, it’s so refreshing to swipe over your skin in the morning.

Where to Get it: Belmondo.ca and Anthropologie

June 18, 2012

Face Spray Fans, Rejoice!

Ever since I had to discontinue my skincare line, I’ve been searching for alternatives. The Face Spray, may she R.I.P., has really given me a run for my money. Most of the hydrating mists I’ve tested are either rife with synthetic preservatives or smell way too fake/strong/perfume-y. Meanwhile, my private stash has been dwindling away. Then  a package magically arrived from a new line, and inside the first product worthy of standing in for Face Spray. Blissoma Intense Hydration Tonique ($22) is not only 100-percent natural, but contains a the sort of skin-energizing blend of essential oils that a girl like me can only dream of: bergamot, holy basil, rose geranium, honeysuckle. It reminds me of a minty herbal tea, which is exactly what I want to spritz my face with all summer!

Blissoma is available online and in the Twin Cities at Nature of Beauty.

April 12, 2012

Mario Badescu. That is all.

You may know her as the brilliant, sassy girl behind Nelle Handbags, but Laura Nelli is actually a world-class product junkie. She may even hold some sort of record. (Naturally, I love her.) So when Laura says she’s found THE BEST SKINCARE LINE EVER—I completely ignore her. We’ve been down this road before. But this time is different! she protested over French martinis. This time she’s been using the brand for two whole months, no cheating. One look at Laura’s dewy, soft, shiny cheeks and I know she’s telling the truth.

A New York City institution and favorite of Martha Stewart’s, Mario Badescu is best known for its pimple-eradicating pink Drying Lotion. Now that it’s readily available at Nordstrom and Ulta—and a crazy good price—I have a feeling we’re going to see a big resurgence. Laura swears that Mario has transformed her dry, sensitive and red skin into peaches and cream. It’s really quite dreamy. Here’s what she uses:

Keratoplast Cream Soap ($10) – cushiony, moisturizing
Aloe Vera Toner ($15) – gentle, soothing, alcohol-free
Collagen Moisturizer SPF 15 ($22) – A.M., lightweight yet deeply hydrating
Control Cream ($30) – P.M., calms L’s redness and rosacea!
Hyaluronic Eye Cream ($18) – plumps up wrinkles, the first eye cream that doesn’t irritate L’s eyes
Calma Mask ($22) – once weekly, leaves L’s skin “velvety”

Have you used anything from Mario Badescu? Do tell. And be sure to check out Laura’s brand new and super pretty Nelle Handbags site, then join in on her sweet Pinterest contest. Who doesn’t want FIVE sparkly new clutches?!

  • bio-230
    Born and raised in Minnesota by surprisingly low-maintenance parents, beauty writer and lifestyle editor Elizabeth Dehn (aka Bets) spent her awkward years buying Mood lipstick and whipping up DIY face masks before founding Beauty Bets in 2009.
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