clos-ette favorite: Sarah Howard of

Posted on September 19, 2011 by melanie fascitelli

If you’re anything like us, the endless array of beauty products on the market can feel positively overwhelming. That’s why we’re so grateful for the guidance of our friend Sarah Howard, the gorgeous guru behind the blog Beauty Banterand why we’re so thrilled to announce her new personal consultation services. The New York-based beauty writer (and proud product junkie) is essentially doing for medicine cabinets, bathroom shelves and vanities what Clos-ette does for closets: she can help you weed out what doesn’t work for, and find what does. So if you need help combating a massive mess of not-quite-right products, or simply need expert input on how to update your hair, makeup routine, or overall look,  Howard is your go-to girl. (Check out her website for packages and prices). 

clos-ette favorite: Sarah Howard of Beauty Banter

Here, the the beauty maven gives us the scoop on her services, and dishes a few insider tricks we're already obsessed with.

What inspired you to start consultations?

A lot of people come up to me and ask me for my advice. They’ll say, ‘I don’t know what to do with my hair’ or ‘what skincare products should I use?’ They’ll ask me what makeup should they use, how they should do it. It just became everyone asking me questions all the time. It was the same reason I started my blog.

What’s the biggest beauty problem most people face?

Most people have all the wrong beauty products for their type of skin or their coloring, and they don’t know how to use what they have. A lot of people don’t know how to put on makeup. I want to help people edit out what’s old and not right for them, and then get new stuff. Another thing that people want to do is ‘green’ their beauty routines. Especially people my age, because they’re getting pregnant or they’ve just had their first child, and they want to make sure everything is ‘green’.

What are your best tips for editing your beauty stash?

I’m constantly throwing out stuff I don’t use. With clothing, you can put it in a box under your bed and think, ‘this could come back into trend in five years’ –and it probably will, because that’s just the cycle with clothes. And it’s the cycle with makeup too, but you have to remember that makeup goes bad (especially mascara and organic products). If you haven’t opened something and it’s been two months, throw it out. If you have opened it but you’ve only used it once or twice, ask yourself, do you think you’re going to use it again? You might keep it and put it in a drawer with products you ‘might’ use –sort of like how you would do with a closet. Unless you go organic, most products (including creams, hair products, face washes, lotions, and any makeup) don’t really go bad for a long time because there are so many preservatives in there.

A glimpse at Howard's own perfectly-organized bathroom shelves.

What products should every woman own?

*A red lipstick. I think everyone can wear red. Everyone. I don’t understand the people who say they can’t wear red. It’s a lie. You’ve been misled!

*A tinted moisturizer.

*Really, really good mascara. I think mascara is a female rite of passage. It’s one of the most fun, liberating things that a woman has. It’s like a great pair of stilettos.

*Eyeliner, because there’s so much you can do with it: you can smudge, line, make a smoky eye, or fill in your brows. And not necessarily a black eyeliner – I think that’s where women go wrong.

*Eyebrow gel. I would die without it. I think eyebrows shape your entire face, so a good arch is so important.

*A good bronzer, and a nice coral brush. It’s a sort of a year-round color and a universal shade that flatters all skin tones.

*An illuminizer to highlight your brow bone, your cheek bone, the corners of your nose – it’s where you want the light to hit your face. I use it on my collar bone. I like the cream ones. You can mix it with your tinted moisturizer to give an all around dewy glow.

And the #1 product you can’t live without?

Either Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream, if you want to spend a little bit more money, or plain old simple Aquaphor. You can use it a million ways: for your lips, to highlight your brow bone and cheek bone, on your lashes to elongate them, on cuticles, knees, elbows or any dray spot to moisturize, or on your teeth if you’re wearing red lipstick. I also mix it with cheap foundation from the drug store to make a body foundation gel. It makes you look thinner and elongates your legs, it makes you look tanner, and it washes right off. That’s what all the models use on shoots.

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