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Breakthrough Beauty Launches — Discover All The Game-Changing Products and Gadgets Featured On CBS Austin’s “We Are Austin”


New lipsticks, shampoos, facial cleansers, and beauty gadgets are released on a near-daily basis, but how many of these have really wowed us with truly innovative ingredients based on the latest scientific findings or awed us with their cutting-edge design and professional-grade results? Well, in my latest “We Are Austin” segment, I discussed a few breakthrough launches from forward-thinking brands, all of which have revolutionized the beauty landscape. From color-changing lipsticks to ergonomic makeup brushes, check out some of the beauty industry’s game changers.


LaFlore & The Benefits Of Probiotics In Skincare


You have likely heard the phrase “acne-causing bacteria” in almost every commercial hawking a new product designed to zap away zits, decongest pores, and detoxify skin. As a result, you might think bacteria is the last thing you want to put on your face — and yet, you’d be mistaken. See, bacteria already populate our skin microbiome — in fact, the skin has its own ecosystem and it’s inhabited by billions of microorganisms, otherwise known as skin flora, with different bacteria strains constituting a large part of this microbial population. And here’s the kicker: if you want healthy, glowing, radiant skin, you want to maintain that balance between good and bad bacterial. As with our digestive systems, it turns skin needs good bacteria in order to defend itself against pathogens and environmental aggressors. So, when you turn to a harsh cleanser that contains alcohol or promises to eliminate any bacteria, you’re actually doing your skin a disservice, weakening its immune system. When this occurs, a number of problems can ensue ranging from breakouts to dryness, dullness, redness, and so on.

In order to restore the skin microbiome to a proper equilibrium, you can rely on LaFlore’s three-step system, which was formulated using live probiotics. Designed for sensitive skin but suitable for all skin types, LaFlore’s products were formulated using a patent-pending technology whereby the live probiotics are kept dormant while inside their respective bottles and, once they hit the skin, they essentially wake up and get to work! Once the skin is balanced and nourished, it can stop working overtime to defend itself and, instead, focus on creating collagen and elastin, fortifying its moisture barrier, and performing all the functions that keep our complexions looking radiant, supple, and healthy.

Another distinguishing property of LaFlore’s products is that they feature aloe — not water — as the primary ingredient. Because of its soothing and anti-inflammatory properties, aloe further helps to ease any skin stress.

The plant-based, ECOCERT-approved, vegan, cruelty-free skin care line consists of three products: the LaFlore Probiotic Cleanser ($40 at LaFlore.com), a mild and gentle cleanser featuring live probiotics as well as pineapple extract with bromelain to exfoliate the skin, perilla seed oil to support circulation and calm any redness, and botanical extracts with antimicrobial qualities such as cinnamon, clove, rosemary, thyme, and lemongrass oils; the LaFlore Probiotic Serum Concentrate ($145 at LaFlore.com), which contains aloe and probiotics, along with beta carotene, and such nutrient-dense ingredients as hemp seed oil (an excellent source of fatty acids) and sea buckthorn oil (which is rich in amino acids, antioxidants and vitamins); and the LaFlore Probiotic Daily Defense Moisturizer ($95 at LaFlore.com) which contains probiotics and aloe, along with pyconogenol (a molecule that protects the skin’s collagen and elastin and also safeguards DNA and prevents photo aging), antioxidant-rich pomegranate seed oil, hyaluronic acid, and vitamin D3.

The three-step regimen is also unique in how it’s meant to be employed — for instance, the industry experts behind the line recommend that women only cleanse their faces once a day and that they do so at night, before applying the LaFlore serum. When they awake, instead of reaching for the cleanser, they should simply rinse their faces so as to not disturb any of that good bacteria that’s been working through the night. After rinsing, they can apply the moisturizer and commence their day@


The products also contain plant-derived ingredients like pineapple extract and Japanese mint that hydrate the skin, promote cellular renewal, boost circulation and enhance collagen production.


Artis & The Reinvention Of The Makeup Brush


Venture into a makeup store and examine your typical eyeshadow brush, foundation brush, and blush brush. How are they really different from, say, a brush you’d use to create an acrylic or watercolor painting? After all, from a construction standpoint, they’re quite similar, typically made of a wooden stick with a bundle of animal hair (or, nowadays, of synthetic bristles) glued to a metal piece on one end. Sure, the bristles may be slightly angled or the handles may come in pretty prints but, at their core, these brushes share the same basic attributes. Former MAC Cosmetics executive Matthew Waitesmith noted the lack of innovation within the realm of makeup brush design, and he set out to reinvent these tools — and to do so in a way that would be more conducive to self-application. Hence, Artis was born.

Aside from their luxurious, streamlined silhouettes which convey a sense of opulence and elegance, Artis brushes are unique in that they feature an ergonomic design, so that their handles feel almost like an extension of your finger. They also have a bit of flexibility along the curve of each handle’s neck, which is particularly useful when doing your own makeup since the most natural movements will be those that mirror the act of applying shadow, concealer, and so on with your finger.  And that’s not all! Instead of animal hair bristles, each Artis brush is constructed using CosmeFibre, a man-made, precisely engineered fiber with a tapered tip that feels soft and delicate against the skin and also facilitates a more uniform makeup application. Another attribute of CosmeFibre is that it has some built-in shape memory and so Artis brushes are much less prone to losing their form than your average brush. Each brush features thousands of tiny fibers and the density of each brush’s surface also helps to better blend any makeup applied.

During the segment, I showcased four different brushes from the Artis Elite Mirror collection: the Oval 7 ($62), which is ideal for applying foundation and setting powder to large areas of the face; the Oval 6 ($57), the brand’s best-selling brush and a multi-tasking wonder that features over 100,00 fibers and can be used to apply foundation, blush, and bronzer; the Oval 3 ($41), a smaller oval-shaped brush that’s the perfect size for applying eyeshadow to lids or smoothing on concealer; and the Linear 1 ($36), which features narrow rows of fiber and an elongated shape that makes it ideal for applying eyeliner and filling or shaping eyebrows.

When using these brushes you want to use very fluid, gliding, continuous movements since that’s what’s going to yield that coveted airbrush finish! And remember not to use too much product: because Artis brushes have such a dense surface, the tips of the fibers do all the work, and the product doesn’t sink down so that you won’t waste any product (yay!).

The Artis brushes are available at ArtisBrush.com and at Austin area Dillard’s stores, including those at Barton Creek Square (2901 S. Capital of Texas Highway), at The Domain (3211 Feathergrass Ct.), and at Hill Country Galleria (12800 State Highway 71 West) in Bee Cave.


Michael Todd Beauty SonicSmooth & The Art Of At-Home Dermaplaning



This year, dermaplaning has been one of the most requested skin care services at medical spas and dermatologists’ offices.  If you’re unfamiliar with the procedure, dermaplaning is an exfoliation method during which a medical professional uses a scalpel to very gently remove the top layers of dead surface skin cells, along with any peach fuzz, thereby revealing a smoother and more radiant complexion. But here’s the catch: a single dermaplaning session usually costs anywhere between $75 and $150, and you’re going to want to repeat the process every two weeks or so. That’s a lot of time and money spent at the dermatologist, right?

With the Michael Todd Beauty Sonicsmooth device ($99 at MichaelToddBeauty.com), we can all enjoy the benefits of weekly dermaplaning sessions from the comfort our own homes — without the expense or the hassle of in-office treatments.  And don’t worry: you won’t be using a #10 or #14 surgical blade, so the process is perfectly safe and painless. This handheld device uses sonic technology to effectively remove dirt, debris, and dead skin cells, and it features three speed settings so you can customize the intensity of your own session. The blades, meanwhile, were carefully designed so as to ensure the user’s safety.

To begin your dermaplaning session, you’ll want to wash your face with the Honey & Oat cleanser included in the kit, then towel dry. Once your face is clean and dry, you can power on your Sonicsmooth and, placing the blade on your skin at a 45-degree angle, begin gently moving the edge downward, using feather-like strokes. If you want the device to vibrate at a higher speed, you can press the center button to alternate the velocity. Once you’re accustomed to using the device, you’ll see it takes as little as 5 minutes to dermaplane your whole face and the results are striking: your complexion is hair-free, smooth, supple, and glowing!

Once you’ve completed your treatment, you can then apply the soothing serum included in the kit. The unit is rechargable and it includes a 2-month supply of single-use edges.


 Sassy Lips Make The Moment Collection & Color-Changing Magic



You remember the mood rings many of us wore in the ‘90s? Well, the lipsticks in the Sassy Lips Make the Moment collection  ($25 each at SassyLips.us) are like mood rings for your lips. Each translucent lipstick changes from a pink to a deep fuchsia depending on your body temperature, which is so much fun! Plus these lipsticks contain shea butter, jojoba oil, vitamin E, and aloe vera, so they’re hydrating and comfortable on the lips, and they deliver a gloss-like shine and a long-lasting tint.

Each lipstick is painstakingly handmade and contains real gold flakes — and, if you look closely, you’ll see a real flower nestled inside each lipstick bullet, which just elevates each offering to work-of-art status.

Need another reason to love Sassy Lips? Well, through October 20th, 30% of the proceeds from lipstick sales on SassyLips.us will be donated to Global Giving to help with Hurricane Maria rescue efforts in Puerto Rico.


CBD For Life & The Rise Of Cannabis-Derived Beauty Products



It used to be that when you heard the word “cannabis,” you instantly thought of every stoner movie imaginable: from the old-school Cheech & Chong flicks to cult classics like Half Baked and Smiley Face. Recently, however, that stigma has started to disappear — particularly as people come to understand the medicinal properties of all cannabis strains but, moreover, to discern the difference between hemp (the fibrous form of cannabis, which has a low THC level) and marijuana (the herbaceous plant with high THC levels). Research indicates that hemp seed oil has high levels of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, as well as antioxidants (particularly tocopherols), and that CBD, a non-psychotropic compound derived from industrial hemp also has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties and features its own set of nutrients such as omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins, and amino acids.

CBD For Life, which launched in February 2015, specializes in a variety of beauty and wellness products that contain 99% pure CBD extracted from stems and stalks of industrial hemp. One of their must-have products is the Pure CBD Rub ($25 at CBDforlife.us), a salve that relies on the anti-inflammatory properties of CBD to ease aches and pains, and which also features a soothing mix of  clove, eucalyptus, and mint oils. This muscle-soothing rub comes in two scents: Original and Lemongrass.

The brand’s most recent launches are the CBD For Life Shampoo and Conditioner ($25 each at CBDforlife.us), which are designed to gently cleanse strands, restore lost moisture, stimulate hair growth, and prevent breakage. Both are sulfate-, paraben-, and phtalate-free and are formulated with the highest quality CBD, as well as hemp oil and such nourishing and invigorating ingredients as coconut oil, rosemary oil, avocado oil, and lemongrass oil.


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