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These 10 Summer Eyeliners Are the Pop of Color You Need
These 10 Summer Eyeliners Are the Pop of Color You Need
Jonathan Knowles

Cold days are behind us. Along with our skin becoming dewier and our blush becoming stronger, adding a pop of color on our eyes is one of the easiest ways to embrace summer makeup. Neutral eyeliners– like your typical black or brown liner– will always have their place in our makeup bags. But adding an unexpected hue can add a dramatic oomph to any look. “Colorful eyeliners are super fun and a great way to enhance any makeup look,” Sabena Collier, makeup artist and Bobbi Brown Pro Artist, tells Beautycon.

But which color to choose? While you should certainly feel free to snag the color that you’re the most drawn to, Collier has a few tricks to make it easy. Depending on your hair color and eye color, certain eyeliners might pop more than others. “For dark brown eyes and darker hair, you can truly use any color. However, green and purple are great complements.”

Meanwhile, for blue eyes and blonde hair, Collier recommends “warmer tones such as a gold shimmer or orange eyeliner.” As for red hair? “I love using gold or green eyeliner to enhance their look.” And, when it comes to what Collier herself is using this time of year, she gravitates towards orange, yellow, gold, green, blue, or purple color eyeliners. “These colors are beautiful and a great way to enhance your spring makeup looks.”

If you find that your eyeliner tends to fade throughout the day, Collier also has a few tricks to help the look last longer. To get the most out of the look, “I would recommend priming the eyelid before application for color payoff and longevity benefits,” Collier says. “A pro tip for applying colorful eyeliner is to layer it on top of a black eyeliner. This will enhance the color by giving it a more vibrant and bolder effect.”

Whether you decide to opt for something vibrant and neon, or a more subtle, everyday shade, here are the 10 best summer eyeliners that will give your makeup the pop it deserves.

Can Vanicream and Castor Oil Really Save Our Skin?

By now we know that skin care is a marathon not a race, and we should be wary of any product that has huge claims. And yet, when TikTok influencer Vanilla Swirl went viral earlier this year in a video where she stated that combining castor oil with Vanicream’s iconic Moisturizing Cream was the key to her glowing, acne-free skin, I immediately bought the duo to test out. Her recipe is simple: Add one pump of the Vanicream moisturizer, dribble on a few drops of the Sky Organics Castor Oil, mix, and apply before bed. 

For context, I have the unlucky combination of being acne-prone and dry, which means that my skin constantly craves thick, luscious creams, but breaks out immediately when I use them. In the past two years, I’ve been relegated to the gel cream section of skin care, mournfully watching my friends slather on heavy moisturizers. The idea that some extra oil could actually help my skin is groundbreaking–especially when the entire bundle costs less than $40. 

I was not the only skeptic. For every comment under Vanilla Swirl’s video that raved about her routine, there was at least one naysayer who claimed that castor oil broke them out. Dr. Karan Lal, a double-board certified dermatologist, was also hesitant to jump on the bandwagon. “I think castor oil is fine for those that want a natural moisturizer and don’t have acne,” he tells Beautycon. For people who do suffer from breakouts, like me, Dr. Lal was a little more stern. “Using an oil with a thick emollient can lead to breakouts as oils do clog pores,” he says.

This warning aside, there is some anecdotal evidence that suggests that castor oil could potentially help with acne. “Castor oil is an anti-inflammatory oil that has multiple fatty acids that can help restore the skin barrier,” Dr. Lal adds. “It also has some weak antioxidant properties.” Still: “I don’t recommend castor oil for those with acne despite it having weak antimicrobial properties because acne is more complicated than just colonization with C.acnes. It is a disease of the sebaceous gland and oils can enter these glands and cause inflammation.” Vanicream’s Moisturizing Cream on its own is a great non-comedogenic moisturizer for acne-prone skin that many people swear by. With this information in my back pocket, and after going through my fourth or fifth tiny bottle of $44 moisturizer, I decided to take the plunge.

My first impression was that castor oil is a lot thicker than other oils I’ve tried in the past. And secondly, the smell is not for the uninitiated. Slightly earthy and definitely reminiscent of an ashtray, I could see why some people couldn’t stand the stench. After a few uses, though, I hardly notice the odor anymore. The combination definitely feels thick–it doesn’t dry down in a hurry either, but stays on the skin. While I personally love feeling slathered in oils, I can see why someone else would hate the texture. 

It’s been about a month now of using this combination, and coincidentally or not, I haven’t had a single breakout since beginning. The breakouts I did have are healing, and there’s a lovely radiance to my skin for what feels like the first time in months. Not to mention, when I use Vanicream and castor oil under my makeup, it goes on perfectly– no dry patches ever, and my cream products blend like a dream. I could be imagining it, but I also have a feeling that my brows and lashes are looking a little more luscious, too, thanks to castor oil’s hair-growth properties. The best part? After a month of using these products twice a day, I’ve still barely made a dent in these jumbo-sized products.

These days, I’m slowly making my way through my Vanicream, occasionally adding in a few drops of castor oil when my skin feels particularly dry, or to use as a makeup primer. Whether or not this combination of products is the key to perfect skin remains to be seen, but all I can say is that it’s certainly not going to leave my routine any time soon.

What Is Mandelic Acid, and Why Does Your Skin Need It? 

In our never-ending pursuit for clear skin, mandelic acid has joined the ranks of other AHAs and BHAs that experts are turning to for gentle exfoliation. You might be familiar with glycolic acid and salicylic acid. These two are popular ingredients that are readily available in acne-busting products. 

Meanwhile, mandelic acid is new on the scene, and gaining popularity fast. Not only is mandelic acid more gentle than its alternatives, but it works just as well, if not better. 

Here, find out why you need to start incorporating mandelic acid into your routine– and the best products to do it with.

What is mandelic acid?

In the skincare world, it’s easy to think that stronger is better, but that’s not always the case. Many acne-fighting products can use very high concentrations of active ingredients, which can damage the skin barrier, cause excessive dryness, redness, and even scarring. That’s just one of the reasons why mandelic acid is becoming so sought-after. 

“Mandelic acid is a weak alpha hydroxy acid that usually comes from almonds,” explains dermatologist Dr. Karan Lal. “It is a very large molecule, therefore it only penetrates the superficial layers of the skin. It is a mild exfoliant and promotes cell turnover. It is great for patients with acne.” 

Because it’s not considered as powerful as other alpha hydroxy acids– also known as AHAs, such as salicylic acid– it still exfoliates and clears the skin, without causing barrier damage. That makes mandelic acid a great option for anyone with sensitive skin. “This is a great acid for sensitive skin, someone who has a lot of actives in their routine already, or someone who is breakout-prone. It’s also ideal for clients with a higher Fitzpatrick skin type, as some AHAs can lead to hyperpigmentation on a darker skin tone,” adds esthetician Sofie Pavitt.

What does mandelic acid do?

Mandelic acid, like other AHAs, is an exfoliant that helps promote cell turnover. Not only can this help battle breakouts, but it can improve other common skin issues. Pavitt says, “The exfoliation from mandelic acid can be amazing because it’s very gentle. If you’re dealing with acne, your skin can feel quite irritated so this is an ideal acid for breakout-prone clients. It’s also antibacterial so can help in reducing acne-causing bacteria and has a brightening effect.” 

Even for sensitive skin, mandelic acid can be used safely and effectively. “Mandelic acid is one of the most tolerable acids to use in the skin. It is safe for sensitive skin. It is great for all skin tones and skin colors. It helps with acne, hyperpigmentation, enlarged pores, and textural irregularities,” says Dr. Lal.

Additionally, if your skin is mostly clear, adding mandelic acid in the morning can help keep your skin bright and healthy, and keep your pores clear. Mandelic acid can also be used in body care products, like body wash, to treat everything from body odor to breakouts.

How should mandelic acid be used?

Because mandelic acid is so gentle, it’s very easy to incorporate into a daily skincare routine. “If you’re using a mandelic acid serum, it is preferable to use this in the morning on dry skin, and combine it with other actives such as hyaluronic acid and your moisturizer,” says Dr. Lal. “It is important to make sure that you are wearing sunscreen if you are using mandelic acid products because alpha hydroxy acids can increase your risk of getting red from the sun.” 

One of the great aspects of mandelic acid is that it’s gentle enough to pair with your other active ingredients. “Anyone who’s looking for gentle exfoliation, this acid works well with other actives such as retinol and BHAs also. I put almost all of my clients on a mandelic acid,” adds Pavitt. 

If you have extremely sensitive skin, you might want to consider opting for wash-off products like cleansers or masks that contain mandelic acid, as a way to dip your toe. “Mandelic acid can be used in a body wash and or as a serum. The body wash is great for patients that have acne and or body odor. Because body wash stays on the skin for a short period of time it is best for those with sensitive skin and dry skin,” adds Dr. Lal.

Expert-approved mandelic acid products

Do The Innersense Products Really Work For Curls?

Call me easily influenced, but when Innersense’s hair products began going viral on TikTok, I immediately paid attention. These days, it’s hard to get through a week without there being a new “it” product for curly hair–whether it’s a new tool or a hydrating leave-in, anything to make wash-day easier. 

On their website, Innersense markets itself as a planet-friendly, health-focused brand. Online, reviewers are completely obsessed with their innovative, nourishing products that are designed to work together. And while they’re not exclusively a curly brand, it seems that we’ve adopted them nonetheless. Always the skeptic when it comes to buzzy brands, I decided to try Innersense’s line on my 3A-ish curls. I tried five products: The Detox Hair Mask, the Hydrating Cream Hairbath, the Hydrating Cream Conditioner, the Quiet Calm Curl Control cream, and their viral I Create Hold styling gel.

The husband and wife-owned brand’s popularity might have grown since the dawn of TikTok, but their first burst of major curly attention in 2014 when “Our products were discovered by a worldwide curl specialist group which put our brand on the map, figuratively and literally,” Innersense founder Joanne Starkman tells Beautycon. “We didn’t start a clean hair care brand as a trend, we did it as a genuine concern for the health of people, hair and the planet.” Innersense has a huge list of ingredient no-no’s, which includes all silicones, with the goal of creating a brand that not only improves the overall health of your hair and scalp, but does so without compromising on style and effectiveness.

My specific hair type can fluctuate between 2A and 3A curls, depending on its length and health. When I wear my hair curly, I’ll typically stick with lightweight products like a gel and a mousse. I was slightly nervous to begin using Innersense’s styling products, in part because internet reviewers and the brand itself both claim that the brand uses highly-concentrated formulas, which I imagined would weigh my hair down. 

Because Innersense products are designed to work best with other products from the brand, they recommend beginning with the Detox Mask. “This clarifying mask detoxifies the scalp and hair to give flat, lifeless and greasy hair a detox. Its truly unique formula purifies hair and scalp of buildup and product residue without stripping away the hair’s natural oils to leave the scalp feeling refreshed and hair feeling fluffy, soft and light. It’s a game changer for all hair types and textures, converting those who give it a try to loyal brand users,” says Starkman.

Both the hydrating shampoo and conditioner felt lovely on my hair. The shampoo lathered surprisingly well, despite its creamy texture, but I wasn’t sold yet until I tried the styling products. Per instructions, I used a tiny pea-size amount of the cream and a good pump of the gel, and let my hair air dry. The I Create Hold styling gel is known for creating a firm cast, which I found to be absolutely true. When my hair was fully dry, it still had that wet-looking, crunchy cast that can either be great news, or a sign of a terrible week ahead. The moment I began crunching out the cast, I became inducted into the Innersense cult. My curls were defined, shiny, and felt like they had no product in them at all. The best part? They stayed that way for days.

Just in case it was a fluke, I called another curly-haired beauty editor friend and demanded that she test the line as well. Time and time again, we came to the same conclusion: Our curls have simply never looked better. “The love and support in our social media communities are a reflection of those who have not only fallen in love with our products, but also our brand and its commitment to people and planet. It’s amazing to have seen the growth of our social platforms and the enthusiasm from our community for our brand,” Starkman adds. As a newly-minted member of this enthusiastic community, I can safely say: Innersense is well and truly worth the hype.