Featured Skin

Natural Flower Extracts Can Be Allergenic?

Gorgeous as these flowers are, it’s important to remember that if you have very sensitive skin, even the most natural extracts and oils of flowers, fruits, and various plants can be allergenic. Many flowers are on published allergen lists — individually, or as part of Fragrance Mixes. Other flower or plant oils are comedogenic, too (to learn about some allergen flowers and plants, check out the Allergen, Not An Allergen tab on

But isn’t natural safe?

“Natural” is so frequently associated with “safe” that it may sound counterintuitive…but if you have a history of skin reactions, you might actually need to avoid natural skin products and cosmetics.

Less processed and organic foods are certainly healthier than their counterparts. But allergens can cause problems no matter how natural their origin. Food and skin allergies don’t work in the same way (different cells are involved) but in terms of natural origin, the same warning applies: if you’re allergic to a food (say, peanuts or strawberries), you should avoid it no matter how organic it is. In skincare or makeup, if you’re allergic to lavender, rose, or fragrance mixes in patch tests (which include moss and other plants), you should avoid them no matter how organic they are.

But I love natural things (sad face)…

Don’t we all! Blooms are beautiful to look at and be around, and it would be a shame to avoid them if you don’t need to. If you have a history of sensitive skin, don’t guess: random trial and error can cause more damage. Ask your dermatologist about a patch test instead.

If your patch test does show a sensitivity to flowers and flower-related ingredients, you don’t need to give up indulgence entirely. Our clinically-valid spa treatments are as “skindulgent” and sublime as they are therapeutic. And our skin-safe Skintelligent Beauty Makeup delivers beautiful, high-performance pigments that wouldn’t be out of place at the botanical gardens (without sacrificing your skin’s health). All that soothing care, vibrancy, and color sans the rashes, acne, and hyperpigmentation? Now that’s beautiful!

To shop our selection of hypoallergenic products, visit Need help? Ask us in the comments section below, contact us by email, or drop us a private message on Facebook.

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Bold, Beautiful Party Makeup Ideas

We put together some of our favorite makeup tips, across different seasons, to create a bold, beautiful look — that is as gorgeous across a crowd as up close, and in photo after video after photo — for your biggest celebration this year!


Think: less is more — heavier foundation can look weighed down and dull over time.
Think: easy to retouch — so a quick dot and dab in the bathroom is all you need.
Think: highlighting over contouring — it’s like wearing your own filter in photos.


Add a bit of pure virgin coconut oil Know-It-Oil to Skin-The-Bluff Concealer. This complexion-perfecting tip from Underneath It All…Is Great Skin! effectively conceals “quirks in progress” while keeping skin naked-looking. The subtle sheen adds extra camouflage by reflecting light. Then, mix the coconut oil in with Skin Bloom Blush highlighter in “Luminous” before applying to skin, and voilà…it’s like walking around with very your own lighting team (now all you need is a wind machine).

blog-luminous-wframe-20161226Light and bright, light and bright:choose strobing over contouring for a big fête. Strobing creates the dew-glow-radiance of healthy-looking skin. Unless you’re an expert, contouring can look harsh or get muddy as the hours pass, or be obvious in different lighting. Like contouring, strobing can sculpt the face — but, instead of with time-consuming and skilled shadowing, by making certain features brighter. Learn how in Hypoallergenic Strobing.


Shown here: Illuminants Brilliant Finish Powder Foundation (use dry for a light powder, or wet for fuller coverage),
Skin-The-Bluff Concealer,
Illuminants+ Face-Hand-Body Lotion (a brightening moisturizer),
Skin Bloom Blush in “Luminous”,
Eyeshadow & Concealer Brush, Foundation Brush, and
Skintangible “BBBB” Cream (BB But Better) SPF 30.

Make sure your foundation lasts as long as you do with this all-night technique: target imperfections with your shade of Skin-The-Bluff Concealer (it also comes in green to cancel out redness, and yellow to hide dark under-eye circles). Then, even out your skin tone with Skintangible BBBB Cream, which keeps the look fresh —it works with all skin tones, too. If you’re feeling pale, add a touch (a touch) of sun with a subtle hand and our Tarte-à-Tan “Coco” Bronzing Powder (Tor Torre shows you how — and even how to use it with Luminous — in How To Apply Bronzer). Highlight with Skin Bloom Blush in “Luminous” for dewy skin that also emphasizes contours and lets light bounce off beautifully in photos (see above). Finish with Illuminants Brilliant Finish Powder-Foundation as a final touch to pull it all together and control shine (you want to glow, not borderline bead-up with sweat). Don’t forget to take your concealer and powder with you for easy touch-ups throughout the night (from The ONE Look — Party After Party, Photo After Photo — You’ll Need This Holiday Season).



Definition, definition, definition. Go for a sharp, clean wing or smudgy, smoky drama, but get those eyes standing out!

blog-partymakeupideas-eyes-wframe-20161226Clockwise from top left: (H)ighbrow Eye & Brow Liner in “Brown,”
Ooh-La-Lash Volumizing Mascara!, and
Two True Hues Eyeshadow Duo in Bleecker (metallic rose gold and deep wine), “Dallas” (a warm copper-coral mix), and Roses & Bon-Bons (a rich dark brown and pale pink-cream). 

Parties means photos, and the key to definition in any photo: bold eyes and brows.

There is nothing like eyeliner to add drama to a look, and tightlining is all the rage, writes Yciar in Three Beauty Trends To Try Now. Use (H)ighbrow Eye & Brow Liner to draw on the waterline above and below the eye. Or, create a cat-eye to make eyes look bigger and build depth — use your liner on the insides of the lash line then above it, working upwards and outwards to draw a wing.

Fill in and shape brows architecturally. Least likely to fade, they’ll ensure definition even in low-light conditions.

Finally, Lots of lashes are key: thank you, Ooh-La-Lash Mascara! Use a lash curler for an even more bright-eyed appearance…necessary with so many late nights in a row (from The ONE Look — Party After Party, Photo After Photo — You’ll Need This Holiday Season).

Lips & Cheeks


Lipsticks: Subtle Shine Lipstick in (clockwise from top) “Beet It,” “Strawberry Fields,” “Fifi,” and “Giddy.”
Velvet Matte Lipstick in “Light My Fire” (center) and “Copa” (bottom middle).
Skin Bloom Blush in “Heat,” “Pant” (top right) and “Georgia.” 

Try this fun, color-blocking technique by Jess Arnaudin to add freshness, depth, and a surprising complexity to bright lip colors — and just like personalities, bright colors with depth and complexity can make a party! In The ONE Look — Party After Party, Photo After Photo — You’ll Need This Holiday Season, Jess adds, “Go bright, or go home. Cameras tend to wash out and flatten…and you’re not always in control of the filter. On lips, brights like Beet It and Copa are brilliant buildable options: dot on lightly for a sweet, subtle stain or layer on (and top with The Big, Brave Boo-Boo Balm!) for more glamor. For cheeks, try a bright pink like Georgia or toasty Heat, so you’re peppy and glowing in photos no matter how late it is!


Beauty Trend: Old Hollywood Glam…With Hypoallergenic Makeup!

By Jess Arnaudin

This look evokes feelings of old Hollywood glamour with a fresh and modern twist. The look is simple, and doesn’t feel overdone while also packing a high voltage pop of color.


Products you’ll need:

How To “Dew” It in 5 Steps:

Step 1: Prep Skin

With every makeup application I always tell clients, “the skin you start with is the skin you end with…” – meaning that no amount of makeup, even expertly applied, will yield the best result unless skin is prepped beforehand. Always take time to cleanse your skin and pat on a light moisturizer such as Hydra Balance Smart Moisturizer or a few drops of Know-It-Oil before you start.

Step 2: Let-Your-Skin-Glow-Through Foundation

Use two pumps of our skin-loving non-makeup Skintangible “BBBB” Cream and disperse onto skin evenly with clean fingertips. I absolutely love this product because it’s shade-matching meaning there is no guesswork as to whether it’s the right color for you. When in doubt, start in the center of your face and blend outwards.

Step 3: Time to Highlight!

Swipe Boldly Glow Coconut Oil Skin Bloom Blush Stick in Luminous onto tops of cheekbones, down the line of your nose, on the cupid’s bow of lips and also to inner corner of eyes. This illuminating cream stick is the key that radiant “i-woke-up-like-this” glow. It’s filled with super hydrating organic cold pressed coconut oil, so it melts into skin effortlessly. Bonus points: encased in iridescent crushed mother of pearl from the Philippines…the packaging is seriously next-level gorgeous.

Step 4: Define the Eyes

Give your lashes a boost with my all time favorite Ooh-La-Lash! Volumizing Mascara. Try it once and you’ll be forever obsessed! The magic is in the way the formula cocoons each lash hair in product for buildable volume that doesn’t smear. Apply from root to lash ends. Then go back over top with another coat just on the center of lashes above the iris. This really opens and defines the eyes.

Step 5: Red Lips Statement

Now comes the bright pop of color! Use Skintelligent Beauty Lip Brush with Velvet Matte Lipstick in Light My Fire for precise application. I believe everyone can wear a red lip and this shade specifically is one of the most universally flattering ones I’ve ever come across. Bonus points: it has a touch of blue undertones so it makes your teeth look whiter! Start with the cupid’s bow, then line your bottom lip, then extend color down the sides of lips and fill in completely. Use a tissue to blot, if needed.

Jess is an organic beauty coach and licensed esthetician, makeup artist, yoga teacher and beauty foodie! Follow her on instagram for her beautiful photography and expert tips for health, skin and soul!

Beauty Featured Skin

Trash & Re-Stash: Hypoallergenic Alternatives For Your Entire Medicine Cabinet!

Start from scratch — with hypoallergenic alternatives — to end the scratching!

You Just Got A Patch Test?

Great! Now you know exactly what you need to avoid and are on the road to skin health, clarity, and comfort. But…what’s that? Your patch test shows you’re allergic to ingredients in pretty much everything you use now? You have to throw it all away — all of it…shampoo, cleanser, lotions, makeup — and start from scratch with hypoallergenic alternatives? That can be scary. So can that “naked” feeling of not using anything at all until you find products without your allergens.

Think about it: you have to go without using anything (including, in many cases, antiperspirant and toothpaste) until you find products you can use…and it may have taken you weeks or months to find all the stuff you use now!

Before you resign yourself to Walking Dead chic, try this: ask your doctor about our Allergen-Free Starter Set or pick up our Skin “Detox” Kit. Either covers all your basic needs so you needn’t panic when beginning your hypoallergenic lifestyle. Each formulation has zero of all 76 of the most common allergens (based on over 28,000 patch tests), making them ideal for the majority of allergic, irritated, or hyperreactive skins. Then, use this chart for an easy guide to hypoallergenic alternatives for your medicine cabinet staples. Still reeling from ingredient lists? Contact us for customized recommendations based on your patch test results!



Match what you need to trash with its hypoallergenic alternative. When in doubt, select products with the highest VH-rating (VH-76/76) — which means they have none of all common allergens.

Still unsure? For customized recommendations based on your patch test results, contact us by email, or drop us a private message on Facebook. To shop our selection of hypoallergenic products, visit

Beauty Featured

Make Up For Past Mistakes

Forget the hot mess that hurt you. This gorgeous is actually good for you!

Tying It “Oil” Together: Our clinically-published, coconut-derived monolaurin is in all VMV Hypoallergenics products. Our blush, eyeshadows and lipsticks have our organic virgin coconut oil, too. Far more than a pretty face, this makeup gives you anti-microbial, anti-aging, skin-strengthening goodness in every swipe.

What Cheek!


Skin Bloom Blush

No dyes or parabens (they cause dark spots and rashes).
No comedogens to prevent acne…instead, monolaurin actively treats it.

Eye Care.


Two True Hues Eyeshadow Duo

The skin around the eyes is pretty thin. In addition to irritations, allergens can stress the skin and hasten aging.

Watch Your Mouth!


Lip Gloss, Velvet Matte Lipstick

Chronically chapped lips are a sign of irritation. Photo-allergens can cause lip darkening. And get this, the right lip products (and toothpaste!) alone can be miraculously effective at clearing up acne, rashes or dark spots around the mouth, or on the chin or jawline.

Beauty Featured Tip of the Week

The ONE Look — Party After Party, Photo After Photo — You’ll Need This Holiday Season

by Jess Arnaudin

Picture Perfect

100 Parties, A Million Photos, ONE LOOK. Rushing from a full day at work to the office party, then a family dinner and your BFF’s big bash? Who has time to change outfits or makeup? You want one look that works for any affair and that photographs beautifully, reliably. Because you can’t get much past a camera these days — even smart phones have great resolution! — make sure your makeup is high-def ready with these simple yet effective tips.

Shades can vary depending on your skin tone and preferences, but follow these basics and you’ll be glowing in person and online, no matter the lighting (or the state of the evening)!

  1. Light foundation and radiant skin: keep you from looking tired…
  2. Dramatic lines: for photos, eyes need definition, definition, definition….
  3. Bright colors: are kryptonite against a camera’s tendency to wash out and flatten.


Heavy, complex foundation can be harder to make work with different types of lighting, and get blotchy or dull as your skin tires. Try this all-night technique: target imperfections with Skin-The-Bluff Concealer then even out your skin tone with Skintangible BBBB Cream, which keeps the look fresh. Highlight with Skin Bloom Blush in Luminous for dewy skin that also emphasizes contours and lets light bounce off beautifully in photos (check out highlighting tips here). Finish with Illuminants Brilliant Finish Powder-Foundation because lights, heat, nerves (or a cute new acquaintance) can lead to sweat and too much shine. Don’t forget to take your concealer and powder with you for easy touch-ups from party to party.


This technique looks fresh and natural in brightly-lit videos…


…and warm and glowy in late-night, low-light photos.




Line up and lash out! The key to definition in any photo: bold eyes and brows. Fill in and shape brows architecturally. Least likely to fade, they’ll ensure definition even in low-light conditions. Winged liner makes eyes look bigger and builds depth — try (H)ighbrow Eye & Brow Liner on the insides of the lash line then above it, working upwards and outwards. Lots of lashes are key: thank you, Ooh-La-Lash Mascara! Use a lash curler for an even more bright-eyed appearance…necessary with so many late nights in a row.



Go bright, or go home. Cameras tend to wash out and flatten…and you’re not always in control of the filter. Adding drama to eyes and lips ensures your features’ prominence. Try the Two True Hues Eyeshadow Duo in Dallas (a warm copper-coral mix) or Bleecker (metallic rose gold and deep wine). On lips, brights like Beet It and Copa are brilliant buildable options: dot on lightly for a sweet, subtle stain (as I did with CC, above, for her TV appearance); layer on (and top with The Big, Brave Boo-Boo Balm!) for more glamor (on Kristen, above; and Tina and Mireya, top). Contour cheeks with Skin Bloom Blush in Chisel; blend well and follow with a bright pink like Georgia or toasty Heat so you’re peppy and glowing in photos no matter how late it is!


Jess is an organic beauty coach and licensed esthetician, makeup artist, yoga teacher and beauty foodie! Follow her on instagram for her beautiful photography and expert tips for health, skin and soul!


Renewable Energy

Makeup by TorTorre


Renewable Energy

What we’re loving: powerful, defined eyes against a soft, sunlit radiance.

Shown above: Tarte-à-Tan Bronzing “Coco” Powder; Skin Bloom Blush in Bellini; Two True Hues Eyeshadow in Dallas; (H)Eyebrow Eye & Brow Liner in Brown; Ooh-La-Lash! Volumizing Mascara; a mix of Lipstick in Beet It and Birthday Suit.

Start with dewy skin (a good skincare regimen plus moisturizer; finish with a layer of virgin coconut oil). Apply sunny touches everywhere — bronzer plus a gold-peach blush and peach-pink lids and lips. Finish with dark, tightlined eyes (draw on the lashline’s waterlines) and layers of mascara. If you’re feeling more power than solar, opt for a loud red lip.

Click here for more beautiful, sunny trends to try now.


Solar Power


Top, clockwise: Velvet Matte Lipstick in Birthday Suit; Subtle Shine Lipstick in Beet It; Glitz Lipstick in Sweater Girl; Skin Bloom Blush in Bellini; Tarte-à-Tan Bronzing “Coco” Powder; Two True Hues Eyeshadow Duo in Berries & Cream, and Dallas.

Bottom, clockwise: Ooh-La-Lash! Volumizing Mascara; Velvet Matte Lipstick in Va-Va-Voom; (H)Eyebrow Eye + Brow Liner.

Beauty Featured Skin

Wedding Belles — Say I “DEW”: Bridal Skin + Beauty

Lorinda, a good friend of the VMV family, has a contagious love of life and the world. She’s lived in Ghana, Spain, the Netherlands, New York, Brazil and D.C., where she met now-husband Ben, in their last semester at law school. Ben loved Lorinda’s cooking (they later went on a journey to eat their way across the U.S.) and won her heart by digging her car out of two feet of snow with a garden spade. Attended by friends from around the world, their wedding’s relaxed sophistication was rich in laughter and peppered with silly (flash mob to Thriller, anyone?). Such easy grace requires attention to detail. Even Lorinda’s skin wasn’t left to chance. And it shows: no makeup can faux that resplendent a glow! 
“I did not ‘prepare’ my skin for the wedding,” writes Lorinda, “I believe that you need good skin care always.” Lorinda is sharing fundamental “skintel”: caring for your skin early on gives you the best results. Starting a regimen weeks before an event is better than nothing, but results can be remarkable if started several months (or more) before. “My favorite is Id Toner. I have been using it for over five years. It evens out my skin and keeps it looking and feeling smooth. If I miss even a few days, I definitely notice a difference.” 
An outdoor wedding means sunscreen. “Growing up in Ghana, I was always in the sun. I never thought about sunscreen. I thought that because I was black, I had a natural shield from the sun and did not need to worry about sun damage or skin cancer like my fairer friends.” This is a misconception that can have dangerous consequences. Luckily, Lorinda was disabused of this notion early on. “I realized I was terribly wrong when I went to my first dermatologist appointment and my doctor told me that I had sun spots. I was confused and even tried to explain to her that she had to be mistaken because I was black! She patiently explained to me that I still needed protection.” Since that day, Lorinda says, I always wear sunscreen, at least SPF 30.

After my experience, I tell every darker-skinned person I know that they need sunscreen. We are not immune.

Under makeup, a sunscreen helps with spread and hold. But with such great skin care for years, Lorinda skipped base. “For my wedding, I just made sure to wear Armada Face Cover 30 because it was very sunny outside.” Instead, Lorinda focused on color: “Since my wedding was at dusk, I used bold colors for eyes—a dark sparkling blue and a lighter gold. I felt like it was a lot of makeup but strong colors work in pictures.” The perfect bridal accessory? Rosy cheeks. This wakes up the skin and brings to the fore the beautiful glow that all brides have.
To get this look: try Two True Hues Eyeshadow Duo in Sea & Sky for brilliant blues and Dallas for oranges and golds. Get rosy cheeks with Skin Bloom Blush in Georgia or Pant. For lips, start with Velvet Matte Lipstick for longer-lasting color. Try a nude like Birthday Suit then top off with Lip Gloss in Sweet Stuff or Beso for camera-loving shine. 
Chic Sheet
As far ahead as possible, start a targeted skin care regimen like Id for acne (and bacne; crucial for off-shoulder gowns!) or Illuminants+ for dark spots.
Add monthly Vx Facials to boost the efficacy of your regimen and clean away pore-clogging and skin-dulling impurities. The relaxing bliss is a welcome escape from wedding-planning stress, too!
Yes, it’s for the dress, but it’s for your skin, too. Eating right, exercising regularly, and getting enough sleep are fundamental to a gorgeous, intrinsic glow (and a way better mood!)
Book a pamper party with your bridesmaids at a VMV Skin-Specialist Boutique, or gift your bridal party with bliss: adorable eGift Cards or “gift skintificates” to our popular Vx Facials


Beauty Featured

The Neo Natural

Natural needn’t mean tousled.

Fresh-faced makeup that’s polished enough for work? #candew!

Get this glow-rious look that works as well next to the pool as next to your boss…and doesn’t take half a day.

Start with the mainstays of bronzed skin and sunny cheeks (courtesy of a soft, generous wash — as opposed to defined chiseling — of a warm blush).

Extend the sunny disposition to the lids with a gold-coral-copper shadow but get sleek with tightlining on the top lash line, a glossy nude lip, and simple, yet put-together hair.


Tarte-à-Tan Bronzing “Coco” Powder; Skin Bloom Blush in Heat; Two True Hues Eyeshadow in Dallas; (H)Eyebrow Brow & Eyeliner; Ooh-La-Lash! Volumizing Mascara; Lip Gloss in Slip.

Beauty Featured

Three Beauty Trends To Try Now

Yciar Castillo does gorgeous makeup, but we love her for more than her talent.  She’s a gentle soul — her calm is as vital to us as her artistry on manic shoots — and a great mom to her adorable little girl.  We also love Yciar’s philosophy of simple makeup application for the everyday woman.  With so much picking up speed this time of year — work, fitness, decluttering, skin goals — we thought who better to tap for spring trends than the makeup artist whose mantra is makeup does not have to be complicated!

Spring is breaking but before you decide to give up your more dramatic holiday and winter looks, this year, spring  makeup trends actually call for a bit of drama and colour.  

Here are my favorites:

1. Makeup? What Makeup?


Dewy, beautiful skin is still a thing this season.  As always, the first step in makeup is skincare.  The healthier your skin, the easier it is to achieve this look.  Apply a generous amount of moisturizer and  top with a very lightweight foundation or BB Cream such as Skintangible “Faint”action Skin-Refining Non-Makeup SPF30.  Then use a minimal amount of concealer to hide any unwanted blemishes (spot conceal).  The less makeup you look like you have on, the better.

2. Rock and Sol


Keeping with the “healthy skin” look, add some warmth to your skin with a light sweep of bronzer on the cheeks, forehead, chin and top of the nose.   Tarte-à-Tan Antioxidant Bronzing Powder is perfect to get that wonderful sheer bronze glow.  The best part is that it takes care of your skin by repairing and keeping skin hydrated while you rock that sun-kissed radiance. 

There nothing like eyeliner to add drama to a look.  Tightlining is all the rage for spring.  Use your eyeliner and draw on the waterline above and below the eye like I did here.  

3. Loudspeaker


The classic red lip has decided to stay for spring. Pick pure red shades such as VMV’s Velvet Matte Lipstick in Va-Va-Voom for a gorgeous pop of colour on those lips.  

Lashes are huge this season – the longer, the thicker, the better!  You can achieve the look I did here with coats (and coats) of mascara.  Ooh-La-Lash! Volumizing Mascara coats each lash with a special compound that makes your lashes look thicker and more luscious.

Learn more about Yciar here and on, and follow her to learn how makeup — even really beautiful makeup — does not have to be complicated!

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