From “leaves skin soft and balanced” to “very versatile and easy to wear,” real Free People customers sound off on why Josie Maran’s line proves that “beauty products don’t have to be complicated.”
There’s a reason that Josie Maran’s products revolve around a single hero ingredient — argan oil is her personal favorite moisturizer. And thanks to her ability to bottle it in its purest form, mix it with other hero ingredients, and simplify the process into a tightly edited line of straightforward products, FP customers are already joining the model-turned-skincare-guru in singing its praises.
Full of essential fatty acids with soothing antioxidants, there are new studies showing that argan oil could increase skin elasticity. Even for hair, the oleic and linoleic acids that make up its structure are incredibly beneficial for moisturizing both scalp and strands. Plus, wound-healing is believed to be increased significantly by using the oil topically on cuts and burns, while stretch marks can be visibly reduced with regular application. There’s a reason why one customer (below) touts the straight-up oil as “a little miracle in a bottle.”
For Maran, who started modeling at age 12, the idea to launch her argan-infused line came from sitting in makeup chairs and realizing that the ingredients from the skincare and makeup being applied to her face were often toxic, and rarely good for her complexion. Now, years later, the real-life reviews of her products speak to the powers of her organic blends and the Moroccan argan trees that offer their natural fruit oils to the potions.
Below, four unsolicited FP customers weigh in with their personal experiences on four of Josie Marans’ five-star hero products:
Way ahead off the waterless product trend (which reduces packaging waste), the Argan Exfoliating Cleansing Powder shakes out finely milled argan shells and rice enzymes that gently buff skin without scratching.
*****A five-star review on Free People’s site from a customer from Franklin, TN who goes by Sungato starts with “WOW!” and continues: “gentle exfoliating and leaves skin soft and balanced. Like it along or with a cleanser. Permanent addition to my skin care. Highly recommend.”
As a lip-nourishing balm or tint of color, the Argan Lip Sting Butter plumps (with a gentle stinging sensation) and hydrates with manuka honey and moringa butter.
*****London-based Olgasnow announces in her five-star review that it’s “nourishing and natural” before admitting “I have all four colors and find them very versatile and easy to wear. The lipsticks feel like balms but the color payoff is fantastic. There is a faint smell of honey which I find very pleasant.”
Mixing it up with shea butter and olive fruit oil, the pretty metallic tube of Whipped Argan Oil Hand Cream is a spill-proof, portable option thanks to its whipped formula.
*****Hailing from “Earth” and going by the name Ms1v, this FP customer followed the five-star rating with “Great hand lotion: This smells more like peaches than apricot vanilla to me, but either way it’s a nice scent. Not too strong and doesn’t linger long which I prefer. This hand cream is very moisturizing. I only need a little. It’s soft & creamy rather than greasy or oily. Sinks right in. Leaves no residue & hands feels very soft. Great for throwing in my handbag or keeping by the bedside.”
Take the 100% Pure Argan Oil dropper, finally, which is not only organic but only requires a few drops—wherever you want it—to see results.
*****On Free People’s site, a Philly-based fan by the name of Cy11113333 announced, “I’ve been turning to cleaner beauty options, & this argan oil has been on of my main go-to’s. After I wash my face at night, I put this all over to moisturize and on my eyes as an eye cream. When I get out of the shower I put it in my hair to make it easier to brush out. I also use it on my lips as a lip balm. I literally use this stuff everywhere. It’s so simple, but it’s kind of like a little miracle in a bottle. Beauty products don’t have to be complicated. Will purchase over and over.”
If you’re not interested in learning how to literally make your face seem like it’s glowing from within, that’s fine. But you’ll be missing out on the makeup miracle that is highlighter.
Aside from the fact that highlighter is pretty much universally flattering (something no makeup product in the history of makeup products has been able to do since mascara IMHO), its ability to instantly make dull skin light up and accentuate your facial features makes it a must-have.
That said, it only works this magic if you’re using it correctly. There isn’t much of a learning curve here — highlighter is pretty simple to use once you get the hang of it — but a few tips and tricks will go a long way in making your face look like it’s perpetually bathed in the most flatter Instagram filters out there.
What’s the point of highlighter?
Highlighter 101 says that the whole point of the product is the accentuate and emphasize your features by catching light. When light reflects off the makeup, it creates dimension by brightening the area of the face you’ve applied it, allowing you to play up certain features and create a glow-y aura.
What kind of highlighter should I use?
You’ve got three options when it comes to highlighter formulas: cream, powder and liquid.
Cream highlighters come in pots or sticks and can be applied with your finger, a brush or sponge. True to their name, cream formulas tend to be the most blendable and buildable, creating a natural, dewey look.
Powder highlighters are infinitely buildable — you can add as many layers as you’d like for a more opaque finish — and are best used when the look you’re going for is an intense one. Be careful with powders, though: you want a lightweight, not-too-glittery formula that won’t settle into fine lines on your face or sit too obviously on top of skin.
Liquid highlighters are the most versatile of the bunch since you can use them in the standard way on your face — mix a pump or two into your moisturizer for a full-body glow or add some to your foundation or tinted moisturizer for something really subtle-yet-beautiful. Liquid formulas are the most subtle so if you’re unsure whether highlighter is for you (IT’S FOR EVERYONE, promise!), this is a good place to start. It’s also the most foolproof to apply since you can control exactly how much you’re dabbing in with your fingers and where.
Do I need special tools?
Short answer: no. You can use a makeup sponge for some serious blending horsepower or a fan brush for powder, but my preferred method is always my fingers. Not only can you control how much product you pick up, but the heat from your fingerpads helps melt the highlighter into your skin for a much more natural look.
Where should I put it?
ANYWHERE YOU WANT! Seriously. Highlighter is like the little black dress of makeup: it goes with everything, anywhere. But if you want to get strategic, aim for the high points of your face — cheekbones, brow bones, the bridge of your nose, etc. — as these are the places sun would hit and naturally reflect off of.
Want to make your eyes appear bigger and more awake? Dab some highlighter on the inner corner of each eye and the center of your eyelids. Then swipe some along your browbone, just underneath each eyebrow. The shimmer will catch the light and brighten up an often-dark area of the face.
Trying to create the illusion of a thinner face? Aim your highlighter directly down your nose. As the highest point on your face, the bridge of your nose is the first thing light will hit.
Interested in faking fuller lips without messy lip liner? A blended dot of highlighter on the Cupid’s Bow (that little depression between your nose and upper lip) equals a seriously enviably pout.
In search of a way to define (or fake) cheekbones? Sweep highlighter along your cheekbones in a diagonal, toward your temple. Be sure to blend well and layer if necessary. Then stand back and check yourself out in the mirror. Bellissima!
The first step to introducing your skin to this cooler weather? A weekly detox mask to make sure you’re getting as much leftover summer out of your pores as possible.
So long sweet summer, we barely knew ya.
While it may seem like the long, languid, carefree days of summer are far behind us (adios, Labor Day), it’s a surefire bet that your skin isn’t ready, willing or able to forget about the season’s weather quite as quickly.
You see, your skin just spent the last four months adjusting to warmer temperatures, more time outside, harsher sun, and higher humidity. Sure, you spent all of May and June hoping your face would figure it out and swapped in lighter, summer-specific products to help the cause. But the great cosmic joke of it all is that, just as your skin is finally coming to terms with summer weather and maybe even learning to love it—hydrating! That dewy glow! Barely any makeup! — the weather goes and changes again and your skin has to figure it all out again for a different season.
The first step to introducing your skin to this cooler weather? A weekly detox mask to make sure you’re getting as much leftover summer out of your pores as possible. Yeah, you’ve diligently double cleansed after every day at the beach to make sure you’re getting all the sunscreen and sweat out of your pores, but give your skin a helping hand with something like Goldfaden MD’s Facial Detox mask to really draw out dirt and pore-clogging debris. The combination of zinc oxide, sulfur and camphor work to deep-clean skin while also soothing it.
If you’re feeling inflamed from too much sun, double up on masks and make sure the second one is nourishing, hydrating, and soothing. Sheet masks are a great — and easy — way to get enough moisture into your skin because you just slap ‘em on and continue about your day. (Inside, though…maybe don’t leave your house with one on?) The whole line of sheet masks from Lapcos is amazing, but I’m partial to their aloe version for soothing and hydrating between seasons. Think of it like a gentle hand to hold during a transition.
Once you’ve got your mask game under control, it’s time to exfoliate. The trees shed their dead leaves during fall, and so too should you be shedding the dead skin that’s likely built up on your face as a result of summer damage. If you don’t get rid of those dead skin cells, your face is going to look rough and dull…and will likely lead to some gnarly clogged pores. That said, make sure you’re getting rid of the dead skin in a gentle way that won’t irritate or strip your skin of much-needed moisture. If you’re a scrub gal, look for one that’s very gentle with hydrating ingredients, like Pai Skincare’s Kukui & Jojoba Bead Skin Brightening Exfoliator. For a bit more oomph — and for something you can also use on the scaly parts of your body — consider a tool like the Spin for Perfect Skin cleansing brush.
You will, of course, want to follow up all this masking and exfoliating with a great moisturizer, but know that the one you used during the summer when you were likely a bit oilier and exposed to more natural moisture thanks to humidity likely won’t cut it as temperatures continue to drop. Depending on your skin type and climate, consider switching to a creamier daytime moisturizer, like Pai’s Geranium & Thistle Rebalancing Day Cream, and a richer night cream for an extra boost. (I like the Hydrating Cream from Joanna Vargas, layered with a lightweight serum that targets dark spots and hyperpigmentation — whoops, summer sun — for overnight use.)
If the transition is all too much for your summer-loving skin to bear and you find yourself breaking out, don’t panic. Your skin needs to get used to 1) these new temperatures and 2) your new skincare routine. I promise that in a week or two, things will settle down as the weather forecast gets its act together. In the meantime, you want to steer clear of any blemish-targeting masks or cleansers as they’re likely too drying to use right now and will further mess with your skin.
Alright, now go pick some apples or eat a pumpkin baked good. You deserve it.
A co-founder of the popular nail salon, Tenoverten, Nadine Abramcyk talks to us about her brand’s origins and the importance of wellness in your nail care regime.
What led you and your partner Adair to want to open a nail salon?
Tenoverten was born out of personal frustrations that there were no neighborhood nail salons that were thoughtful on multiple levels. My co-founder Adair Ilyinsky and I had no background in beauty, yet we were living in NYC and enjoyed getting our nails done together on a regular basis. We always thought we could improve on the model and started a list of things we would shift in the industry. One year after those conversations started we signed a lease for our first salon in Tribeca, and the rest is history.
The name Tenoverten – where did it come from?
It is a reference to ten fingers over ten toes.
Tell us about the benefits of non-toxic nail care, and your 8-free philosophy?
Our mission is to remove as many potentially harmful chemicals from our nail polish and care products without sacrificing their quality and function. We believe there is no place for chemicals such as formaldehyde and camphor in nail products. Our mission is to expand our non-toxic nail care making it more accessible to everyone and the norm in the industry, replacing all the ‘nasties’ that are typically found in nail care. If you were to start with just a couple of things to replace in your nail care regiment it would be to start using a non-acetone remover and a clean 8-free base coat.
10 words to describe a Tenoverten salon visit:
Non-toxic, formaldehyde-free, safe, community, relaxing, uplifting, grounding, neighborhood, elevated, self-care.
You’ve also curated your own line of polishes. How did you arrive at the color palette?
We get inspired each season to release colors not only wearable for that particular time of year, but to also round out our entire 50+ color collection. We don’t look at trends, but rather think about what colors we as founders would want to wear ourselves and can’t find on our polish wall.
Your fave polish color?
Our Summer 2018 nude, Canal.
Be Present in The Moment!
Pro tips on keeping nails healthy:
Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate from the inside out, by drinking loads of water and from the outside in by using a 100% natural cuticle oil daily on your nail beds.
+ Shop Tenoverten here.