Category Archives for Beauty

Men’s Skincare: Here are the Facts

Men need a cleansing skincare routine, too.

Here are some things to pay attention to when it comes to a daily skin care regimen just for men.

Make no mistake: men need to care for their skin as much, if not more, than women. However, men and women have different types of skin with different needs. Here are some factors to consider when determining the best skincare regimen for you.

Thick or Thin Skinned?

How thick a person’s skin is depends on many factors, including their sex, age and the area of the skin in question. For example, skin on the eyelids is very thin, while skin on the palms is very thick. On average, a man’s skin is approximately 25% thicker than a woman’s. This is primarily due to testosterone. Men’s skin will gradually thin with age, while the thickness of woman’s skin remains steady until around the age of 50 when it will also start to thin, especially after menopause. Because men have thicker skin, they also tend to have more elastin and collagen than women, making their resistance to the signs of aging greater than women’s. Unfortunately, women show the signs of aging faster than men, and they are much more vulnerable to the damaging UVA rays of the sun.

Oil Slick or Dry as a Desert?

Because men have thicker skin, they also have more sebum-producing glands. Women’s oil production starts to decrease a lot sooner than men’s, on average by about 20 years. It’s these natural oils that help to protect the skin, keeping it feeling softer and smoother. So, while a woman may experience more skin dryness, men may experience larger pores and be prone to more blackheads and whiteheads. Women also experience increased skin dryness during menopause.

Rough and Tumble or Baby Smooth?

When it comes to skin texture, men have skin that’s rougher, primarily due to the fact that the outer protective layer of their skin is thicker. Throw in differences in hormones, oil and sweat production, facial hair and shaving, and there are inevitably textural differences. Men tend to have acne that lasts longer; they experience more skin irritation and suffer from a condition called rhinophyma, which is only found in males with extreme cases of rosacea.

Shaving: Super Sensitive or Ultra Resilient?

Because most men shave, they’re prone to shaving bumps, ingrown hairs and skin sensitivities, primarily brought on by daily shaving. Shaving damages the hydrolipidic film on the surface of the skin, which erodes the skin’s natural lubrication and protection. Shaving can also cause nicks and scrapes on the skin, allowing for a man’s skin to become more sensitive and easily irritated than a woman’s.

So, what should every man do when it comes to his daily skincare regimen?
    Use a Facial Cleanser

    You may have gotten used to using regular bar soap, but that isn’t doing your skin any good. Bar soaps can contain harsh detergents and deodorizers that aren’t meant for the face. They can also disrupt your skin’s pH balance and strip it of beneficial oils. Choose a facial cleanser that can target excess oil, thoroughly remove dirt, oil, sweat, debris and provide much needed hydration. Look for formulas that do not contain sulfates or parabens, but do contain antioxidant vitamins and Aloe vera for added hydration.

    Start Exfoliating

    Due to the thickness of a man’s skin, exfoliation is necessary and can be done more frequently than a woman. Scrub away that dead skin buildup on a regular basis, which will help clear out your pores and ease the frequency of white and blackheads.

    Skip the Aftershave

    Most post-shave products contain alcohol, hence the burning and stinging effect when applied to the skin. It’s time to ditch those irritating products because they just aren’t healthy for your skin. They can cause dead skin cell buildup, which causes hair strands to get trapped in the skin, leading to ingrown hairs and irritation. Invest in an antioxidant-rich facial skin toner that is alcohol-free to help soothe the skin post-shaving. No more stinging and burning for sure.

    Apply Sunscreen

    Applying sunscreen every day before going outdoors is especially important for men. Men tend to spend more time outdoors than women and are more exposed to environmental factors. There’s also a greater risk of incidental sun exposure just from walking the dog, doing a bit of yard work or simply driving a car (the sun’s rays can penetrate through glass). So, men should always apply a moisturizer containing SPF 30 sunscreen to help fend off the signs of aging.

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Sunscreen Myths and Facts

Reapply sunscreen when going in the water.

There’s plenty of inaccurate information about using sunscreen. So, let’s clear it up now.

We hear a lot about the importance of wearing sunscreen. It’s been drilled into our heads that without it our skin will burn, we’ll experience signs of aging and, of course, place ourselves at risk of getting skin cancer. There isn’t a dermatologist, beauty magazine or skincare TV commercial these days that doesn’t tout the importance of wearing sunscreen or other protective products. SPF products seem to come in all forms, from clothing to cosmetics. But everything we read isn’t necessarily true. Let’s break down some common sunscreen myths and get the facts straight once and for all.

Sunscreen Myth #1: People with dark skin don’t need sunscreen

No matter how dark- or light-skinned you are, sunscreen is important. Everyone’s skin is subject to burning, premature aging or developing skin cancer when left unprotected. Don’t believe for a second that if you have dark skin you can skip the sunscreen. Everyone, regardless of their skin color, should wear sunscreen on a regular basis.

Sunscreen Myth #2: You don’t need to apply sunscreen if it’s in your makeup

I used to get very excited at the idea of having my sunscreen needs covered by my makeup. Talk about being lulled into a false sense of security. Unfortunately, what I learned was the opposite. Foundations, blush and bronzing powders all seem to contain SPF these days, but it isn’t enough. Makeup with SPF is usually applied unevenly. Think about the quick dusting of blush or the little dab of foundation we often apply. It’s simply not enough coverage to offer appropriate protection. While it’s a nice, added benefit for those areas that need ample coverage, it’s very important to double-up on your protection and use a sunscreen as well. Opt for a daily moisturizer with SPF 30. You’ll get added moisture and protection in one easy step.

Sunscreen Myth #3: You don’t need to reapply “waterproof” sunscreen

The FDA guidelines for sunscreens have become more stringent over time. The newest regulations prohibit companies from using the term “waterproof” on their sunscreen products. The appropriate labeling is “water resistant.” With the term water resistant, companies must now designate whether the product is protective for 40 minutes or 80 minutes, while swimming or sweating.. You must reapply at least every two hours, and even more frequently if you’re swimming or sweating. It’s easy to forget about reapplication when you’re having fun at the beach or pool. Keep your sunscreen in a visible place so it doesn’t go unnoticed. If you just can’t seem to make it happen, set an alarm on your phone or other mobile device. My sunscreen may be tucked away in my beach bag, but my phone is never far from sight.

Sunscreen Myth #4: You only need sunscreen for certain areas of the body

If you have skin that’s exposed, it needs sunscreen. This includes your feet, ears, back, arms, legs and neck. If it’s an exposed body part, it needs protection. I’m always most concerned about my face, because I want to keep those fine lines and wrinkles at bay. But after close inspection of my body, I had a very rude awakening. My shoulders have many dark spots on them, as does my cleavage area. Even my legs are riddled with sun damage, due to my youthful sunscreen neglect in pursuit of the perfect tan. I have become obsessive about the backs of my hands and now keep sunscreen in the cup holder in my car. If it can be seen, it needs sunscreen.

Sunscreen Myth #5: Adult sunscreens are not as protective as those made for children

Sunscreens contain the same active ingredients whether they’re for kids or adults. If you’re looking at two products labeled with the same sun protection factor, whether for kids or adults, the protection is about the same. There are different types of formulations, however, and many sunscreens made for children have been developed for more sensitive skin. They can be fragrance-free, chemical-free, paraben-free and more. Also, many products for kids are tear-free to avoid any stinging of the eyes. Otherwise, the SPF number is pretty reliable.

Sunscreen Myth #6: Sunscreen has an endless summer

If you have a leftover bottle of sunscreen from the previous year, do yourself a favor and throw it away. If you’re using sunscreen every day, you won’t ever have leftover product. A good rule of thumb is to not treat your sunscreen as a seasonal product, but realize its importance year-round. Always check the expiration dates on your bottles. The dates can be found on the label or embossed on the crimped edge of a tube. Nothing lasts forever, and sunscreens will lose their effectiveness over time. Pay attention to expiration dates, and make sure you’re slathering on something that will actually protect your skin.

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Easy Tips to Create a Natural Look

Go barefaced for beauty.

Mastering the natural beauty look is about using makeup sparingly and strategically, so that your natural skin and best features come forward.

Some of today’s most gorgeous celebrities are frequently caught on camera with little or no makeup—and they don’t care. These “barefaced beauties” have decided to emphasize clean, fresh skin and have adopted a natural beauty approach when it comes to cosmetics. It’s no coincidence that for the last few years runway models have been appearing deliberately barefaced. It’s a trend that’s here to stay. The latest look shows models with beautifully enhanced brows and an ethereal glow, but they’re certainly anything but plain. Ladies, wouldn’t we all love to capture that beauty that doesn’t seem to come from a bottle?

If you want to go for a natural look, start by taking a good look at yourself in the mirror. Take careful stock of your features. Think about the final look you want to achieve. Natural beauty techniques can highlight the areas you like and downplay the areas you don’t. It’s all about allowing your natural complexion to shine through.

Here are some ways you can achieve a luminous natural look.

Start with a clean pallet.

The first step towards a natural look is to start with a fresh, clean face. Choose a facial cleanser that is best for your skin type. Wash thoroughly using warm water. Pat your face dry with a clean towel and make sure you have removed all traces of makeup. Even the slightest makeup residue, especially around the eyes, can drag your look down. So if you need to use makeup remover please do.

Exfoliate and Moisturize

A good exfoliation is another sure-fire way to get started. By removing any excess dry skin from the surface your skin will not only have a more youthful glow but, your skin care products will be able to penetrate better as well. And, best of all makeup will go on smoother and look fresher throughout the day. When skin isn’t moisturized it looks dull and drab. Be sure to use a daytime moisturizer with SPF to keep skin hydrated and protected during the day and a rich replenishing night cream for bedtime.

Go light with coverage

Less is always more when you are capitalizing on your natural beauty. For a super sheer look, skip the foundation and opt for a tinted moisturizer. Use your fingertips to apply in small areas, starting with the center of the face and working your way to the edges. If you want to stick to solid or liquid foundation, apply it with a brush, stroking from the center of the face outwards and blending well.

Bronzer and blush

Use a bronzer and/or blush to emphasize features. Bronzers provide a warm sun-kissed tone to skin. They’re a great way to create a natural glow. You can either dust bronzer along the T-Zone and cheekbones, or you can add it to your entire face. Apply bronzer lightly to the areas that are most frequently in the sun’s glow, such as the bridge of your nose, cheeks and forehead. Bronzer can replace a blush, or you can apply a very fine layer of blush over the bronzer. The most important thing to remember with bronzers is that less is more.

Illuminators

Illuminators or highlighters contain reflective ingredients, such as mica or other minerals, to catch the light. Apply with a large Kabuki or stippling brush. Start with a very small amount and increase as needed. If you want to find your best features to highlight, step into the natural light to see what parts of your face capture the light. Maybe it’s your cheekbones, bridge of your nose or chin. Focus on those areas. I always add a little highlight to my cupids bow.

Concealer

First, make sure your concealer matches your skin color. You may need a lighter shade for underneath the eyes, or use a concealer with blue undertones. It’s important to only . dab concealer on blemishes, spots and red areas, not around, to prevent a halo effect. Gently blend to achieve the natural look. Some people find fingertips work as well as a concealer brush when applying.

Eye makeup

Use eyeliner and mascara lightly. Bold liquid eyeliner does not belong in the natural beauty regimen. Instead, use an eye pencil in a velvety brown and do what’s called tight lining: apply your line directly in between your eyelashes and on the underside edge. Use a brush to gently lift your lid and draw the pencil across the underside edge. Remember my favorite tip: curl your lashes with an eyelash curler, and then apply mascara.

Eyebrows

Pay careful attention to your eyebrows. First, get them in shape and clean up stray hairs. Using a soft eyebrow powder and small brush, carefully fill in the bare spots with subtle color that matches the natural color of your brows. Finish with a brush-on gel to keep your brows perfect all day long.

Lips

Avoid shiny gloss and chalky lipsticks. Instead, use a neutral or sheer gloss and skip the lip liner. Apply a lipstick that’s a few shades darker than your natural lip shade. Wait a few minutes then wipe it off. It leaves a bit of stain behind that really looks like your bare lips, only better. My favorite tip is to find a shade of lipstick that is the same color as my tongue. Sounds crazy but it looks totally natural with a bit of a punch.

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Wedding Day Beauty Tips – How to Look and Feel Stunning

Plan ahead, but don’t forget to pamper yourself.

One of the most special days in any woman’s life has to be her wedding day. We choose our bridesmaids, pick our color scheme and we’ve even been fantasizing about Prince Charming from the time we could walk. For some of us, all roads lead to the most magical day of our lives—the day we say, “I do.”

A bride’s wedding day is the perfect occasion to shine. Of course, she wants to look gorgeous but she also wants to be radiant, confident, sexy and demure. Remember, all eyes are on the bride on this very special day, and it’s important for her to exude confidence without a worry in the world. This beauty will be captured in memories and photographs that will last a lifetime.

How to prepare for your wedding with as little stress as possible

Plan ahead

The morning of the wedding is not the best time to start experimenting with hair, makeup, nail polish—anything. Keep things simple and close to your personal comfort zone. Think classic, not trendy. By planning your look well in advance of the wedding, you will surely eliminate unnecessary stress and look fabulous as a result.

Practice makes perfect

Practice wearing different hair styles that complement your dress and your veil. Think about the photos you wish to have, and also think about looking back at your wedding album 20 years from now. Will you say, ‘Aww, look how cute we were’? Or will you say, ‘Oh, my gosh––what were we thinking?’

A few wedding day beauty tips

Get your hair trimmed to eliminate any split ends or frizzies, which will keep your hair looking polished and smooth. Do any trimming or cutting about 2-3 weeks before the wedding so it looks completely fresh and natural.

Wash your hair the day before—not on the morning of your wedding. The extra oils and product that are left lingering in your hair only help your style (especially your curls) stay put and last longer. When hair is freshly clean, it won’t hold a style as long.

If time and budget permit, hire a professional hair stylist for the day. Meet with the stylist a week or two prior to the wedding for a practice run, and don’t forget to bring your veil with you and even a photo of your gown. Take pictures of your hair during the practice run so you can see what you will look like from all angles. You may see an opportunity to add a hair accessory or quick change up for the reception.

Flawless skin for the big day

No matter what your skin care practices have been until now, as the wedding approaches you cannot go to bed without thoroughly cleansing your skin. All traces of makeup, especially mascara, must be removed at bedtime. One night of sleep with makeup on your face can leave your skin looking dull, dry and, well, just not healthy. So, get a good cleansing using warm water with a facial cleanser as your first step towards radiant skin.

Moisture, moisture and more moisture

Skin always looks best when it’s hydrated. Never go to bed without applying a nice, rich night cream that will hydrate your skin while you sleep. In the morning after cleansing again, be sure to apply a hydrating day lotion to keep your skin soft and supple. Apply, apply and reapply. And remember, if you’re going out into the sun, be sure to use a product containing SPF to keep your skin from burning and, dare I say it, aging.

The eyes have it

Tears, coupled with a nervous night’s sleep and a few glasses of champagne at the reception, can really make your eyes look tired and droopy. It’s important to get the skin around your eyes in tip-top shape well before the big day. Invest in a nice firming eye gel for daytime use that helps tighten the skin around the eyes, and look for a hydrating eye cream to wear at bedtime. And whatever you do, don’t forget the waterproof mascara.

Scrub ’til you shine

Exfoliating once a week leading up to the wedding is great for the skin, and it will also allow your makeup to stay on longer and look smoother and fresher.
But don’t stop there. All exposed areas need to be scrubbed. Arms, elbows, knees, feet, legs, you name it. With a good exfoliation followed by a great moisturizer, your skin will be soft, smooth and kissable well into the honeymoon.

Choose the right makeup

If a professional makeup artist isn’t in the budget, then just do a bit of investigating. Flip through bridal and fashion magazines, and look online for pictures.
Or, go to the makeup counter and get a free makeover. Look for softer, more natural color pallets and try to avoid the dark, bolder colors. The cosmetic counter consultants can demonstrate for you exactly how to apply the products for the best look. Be sure to bring along your bridesmaids and make a fun day out of it.

Some final quick beauty tips for your wedding day

Pack a “quick fix” bag for the reception. Be sure to bring along some touch-up makeup, nail polish in your shade of the day, deodorant, mints for quick breath freshening, and even a pair of comfy shoes or an extra pair of nylons in case you get a run. Pack anything you can think of that can help reduce any last minute worry or stress to help keep your perfect day on track.

Relax and enjoy

Leading up to the big day, bride and groom can engage in some couples activities to relax. Think about getting a couple’s massage, or just simply spend some quality time with each other over a quiet dinner at home, or take the time to watch and laugh at an old movie. Staying relaxed and calm during such a stressful time will increase the bond for a couple—and it can only make the entire experience, from start to finish, even more memorable.

At the end of the day, your wedding will be something that you’ll never, ever forget. You’ll be surrounded by family and friends, and you’ll be exchanging vows with the love of your life. By preparing in advance and anticipating any issues that may arise, the day will go as smoothly as possible.

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Affordable Antiaging Solutions

Wear sunscreen daily to protect your skin.

Many women are concerned about aging and can benefit from preventive treatment. Don’t wait until you see a wrinkle or sunspot to start taking care of your skin.

The sooner you start, the sooner you will reap the benefits. Here are some simple antiaging solutions you can start today.

 

Avoid tanning beds and intentional sun exposure

When you bare your beautiful skin to UVA and UVB radiation, it creates free radical cell damage. There is a breakdown of elastin and collagen, which are vital substances to help the skin look young, supple and healthy. The more you expose yourself, the more damage will accumulate over time. You might not see it right away, but as you get older, your skin will start to look older than its chronological age.

Wear sunscreen daily

You get more sun exposure on your skin by walking around on a daily basis than you do when you go on a yearly vacation. UVA radiation is always present, whether the sun is out or not. You might be under the impression that sunscreen is only for days when the sun is out or when you’re on vacation, but it actually should be used daily. Find a moisturizer with an SPF 15 (or higher) broad-spectrum sunscreen. Make sure you apply the sunscreen 30 minutes before you go outside, as this allows it to have enough time to provide the maximum benefits to the skin.

No smoking

Cigarette smoke depletes many critical vital nutrients and vitamins that the skin needs to look amazing. One of the vitamins it depletes is vitamin C, which is essential for protecting and helping to repair the skin. Some of the long-term effects of smoking may include smoker’s lines around the lips and ashen looking skin. Who wants that? There are no creams, sunscreens or magic wands that can undo the damage of cigarette smoking, so the best treatment is not to smoke.

Use products with antioxidants

Antioxidants help fight off free radical cell damage that can prematurely age the skin. They also may improve the health and glow of your skin. Some examples of useful antioxidants are vitamins A, C and E. If you want to get the most value for your skincare, find a moisturizer with these ingredients. Products that have antioxidants can benefit the appearance and health of the skin, including a reduction in signs of premature aging.

Antiaging prevention should be a consistent program you do on a daily basis. You can’t stop the aging process, but in the process, you can enter that stage gracefully!

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8 Tips to Achieve Clean and Healthy Looking Skin

Clean your phone for clean skin.

Keep your skin looking at its absolute best with these helpful tips.

When it comes to achieving clean and healthy looking skin, following a daily regimen is key, but there are little changes beyond washing your face you can make that you may not have thought of. Here are some tips you can implement for immediate results.

Hands Off Your Face

Every time you touch your face, chances are you’re transmitting dirt, oil and germs onto your skin. So, a hands-off approach is best. This rule also applies to pimples. Try to resist the urge to pop or pick at them, or it could lead to infection.

Change Your Pillowcase

When it comes to keeping your skin clean, changing your pillowcase as frequently as possible is important. When you sleep at night, your hair and skin are in direct contact with your pillowcase. Your natural hair oils, and hair products if you use them, are transferred onto the pillowcase and ultimately end up on your face. Use a clean pillowcase each night, and if frequent laundering isn’t an option, turn them inside out or flip your pillow over to help keep impurities from collecting on your skin.

Clean Your Phone

If your phone is touching your face, there’s a good chance it’s depositing germs onto it. Clean your phone on a daily basis using a spray hand sanitizer or antibacterial wipe. You can also get in the habit of using your speakerphone or headphones to avoid contact.

Pull Your Hair Back

Your hair is layered with oils, any products you may use on it, and it also catches debris that it comes into contact with. These impurities can transfer onto your face, resulting in a breakout. The solution is to keep your hair pulled back from your face as often as possible, especially when you’re at the gym or in bed.

Remove Your Makeup

Sleeping in makeup can cause your pores to become clogged and lead to acne breakouts. It can also cause dry skin, redness and irritation. Be sure to thoroughly cleanse your face of all makeup products, including eye makeup, each night before bed.

Avoid Alcohol-based Skin Products

Skin care products that contain alcohol tend to dry out the skin. If you’re already prone to dryness, the result can be dry, flaky and even chapped skin that makes you look older. Look for alcohol-free products that will be much gentler.

Apply Your Makeup After Finishing Your Hair

If you apply your makeup and then blow dry your hair, your makeup can melt. Then, when it dries, it can settle into your pores, causing them to become clogged. Do your hair first and you can avoid this problem.

Clean Your Glasses

If you notice breakouts on your nose, temples or upper cheeks, your eyeglasses could be the culprit. Not unlike your phone, you need to get in the habit of cleaning your glasses. Apply rubbing alcohol or a spray hand sanitizer and wipe down the lenses, arms and nosepiece every day to ensure you’re removing germs, makeup, oils and debris.

Show Your Body Some Love

Breakouts can occur on areas of your body other than your face, including your back and shoulders. To keep the skin on your entire body clean, be sure to wash from head to toe and use a moisturizer. Additionally, after a workout, try to change out of your sweaty clothes immediately, even if you don’t take a shower right away. And always pat your skin dry with a clean towel. Never reach for the family hand towel.

If you’re interested in treating acne and blemishes, remember to use products formulated and labeled as anti-acne products. Remember that the healthiest skin is always the most beautiful.

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8 ways to survive the most common beauty mishaps

Swipe a light coat of contrasting polish to
grown polished nails.

Beauty emergencies happen. That’s why today I’m sharing my top beauty secrets with you.

When you’re on the go, you need to think quickly and creatively when a beauty mishap occurs. Though not every situation has a quick fix, you can sure give it a try. Here are my top beauty secrets that have helped me in past dilemmas, and will hopefully help you, too.

Remove a deodorant smudge on dark clothes

A deodorant mark is never a good look, but you don’t need to spend the day feeling self-conscious or change your perfect outfit. Grab a pair of nylons and rub them on the mark. Nylon is perfect on delicate fabrics like silk and will quickly remove the smudge. No nylons? Try baby-wipes or simply dampen a clean cloth and gently scrub away the stain.

Avoid smudged eyeliner

Avoid smudged eyeliner easily. After you have applied your gel or liquid liner, go over it with a matching powder eye shadow. The eye shadow will help seal the eyeliner so it will last through the day (or night) without smudging. Just be sure to take it all off before you go to sleep at night.

Make your manicure last longer

If you have a chip in your French manicure, use a correction pen to fill it in on the go. Noticeable nail growth? Swipe a light coat of contrasting polish, gold or sparkles work great, at the nail beds and lightly feather up. No one will ever know you haven’t had time to go to the salon. Snag your nail at a dinner date? Ask the bartender for a book of matches. The strike pad is an excellent substitute for a nail file.

Hide a bad hair day

Are your roots really noticeable today? Try a zigzag part to help camouflage. Root concealers work great, but if you don’t have any, find an eye shadow in your cosmetic bag that’s close to our hair shade and lightly power up those roots so they aren’t so obvious. Experiencing fly-aways and static? Grab an anti-static dryer sheet and lightly rub across your hair to help tame the frizz. Humidity causing hair to go wild? Rub a bit of hand cream into your palms and lightly pull through hair. This will weigh down hair and calm the fly-aways.

Repair a torn hem

Have you ever been out at a social event and suddenly realized that you have a torn hem? To get the job done, you can use pins, or my personal favorite––durable tape. Staples can even work as a fast fix. If you have time, color them in with permanent pen to camouflage your DIY hem fix.

Unstick a stuck zipper

What do you do when your zipper sticks? Just apply a bit of soap along the zipper––bar, foam, liquid, whatever you can get your hands on. Use sparingly, and with a little wiggle it should do the trick.

Prevent green stains from costume jewelry

Before you wear any rings, paint the inside of the ring band with clear nail polish. Let it dry––and voila. This beauty secret also works on necklaces and bracelets. You just need to seal the metal before wearing them.

Rid your clothes of wrinkles

This is common when traveling and living out of a suitcase. But what can you do when you don’t have an iron handy? Use your hair appliances. A flat iron or straighteners can be a quick fix for getting wrinkles out of clothing. This won’t work for every kind of wrinkle, but it can be a quick fix for small ones. Always start with the lowest setting on the flat iron. Wipe it clean with a damp cloth to remove any leftover hair products, gently place the wrinkle between the flats of the iron and hold it for a second or two. Works like a charm.

Now that you have these beauty secrets in your back pocket, you’ll be better prepared to deal with life’s beauty mishaps.

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Give Your Makeup Brushes a Clean Sweep

April 24, 2018

DIY tips to keep your makeup brushes clean.

Makeup brushes feel so soft and plush when they’re new. Over time, wear and tear on your brushes can take that feeling away. Caring for your brushes doesn’t have to be a chore, and it can extend their life for years.

Good quality brushes turn ordinary makeup application into something almost magical. When I have that special brush in my hand, I just feel like I know what I’m doing—like a true makeup artist. If you’ve ever bought a good quality makeup brush, you know just how expensive they can be. And they won’t last long if you don’t take care of them.

The one thing that all makeup brushes have in common is that they’re a breeding ground for bacteria. Yuck! Think about the oils and germs that gather on your face. And then think about how those undesirables get transmitted onto your brushes every time they come into contact with your skin. If that’s not enough to make your skin crawl, nothing is.

High quality makeup brushes are designed to last for years, but only if we take care of them and clean and store them properly.

Here are my top tips for keeping your makeup brushes feeling like new.

Clean your makeup brushes on a regular basis

If you wear makeup all the time, then clean your makeup brushes once a week. Wear makeup less regularly? Clean them at least monthly.

I find that it’s best to wash makeup brushes at night before you go to bed, so they’ll have the opportunity to dry before you next use them. Be sure to lay them flat to dry. If you dry them standing up, water will seep into the brushes at the ferrule (the fancy name for where the bristles meet the handle). When this happens, the water can weaken the glue where the bristles are bonded and your brush will start to lose its hairs.

Grab a bar of soap

There’s no need to waste your hard earned money on special makeup brush cleansers. You can give your brushes a really great cleansing with plain old unscented white soap. You can also use gentle shampoos that are sulfate free, or even baby shampoo. The gentler the better.

If you really want to get a special makeup brush cleaner, then be sure to read the label and don’t purchase any cleansers that contain alcohol. Those will only dry out the brush hairs and eventually cause breakage. In my opinion, it’s just not worth it when a little old bar of soap will do the same trick.

1. Get your brush completely wet using lukewarm water.

2. Once your brush is saturated, swirl your brush onto a bar of soap until it lathers, or apply shampoo to a sponge and simply swirl your brush on the sponge until you create a nice lather. It’ll totally gross you out when you see all of the makeup colors coming out of the brushes.

3. You may have to rinse the brush and continue the same swirling technique a few times to clean all the old makeup off your brush.

4. Once you think all of the makeup, oils and gunk have been removed from the brush, rinse it in lukewarm water. If the bristles feel slippery or slimy, then you’ll need to continue rinsing to ensure all of the soap or shampoo has been removed.

If your brushes have a metal band on them, try not to get this area wet. It can lead to rust and eventually may destroy your brush.

5. Give your brush a gentle squeeze to remove the excess water and leave to dry flat on a clean towel. Your brushes should dry in about 6 to 8 hours, so cleaning them before you go to bed is the ideal time.

Don’t forget about the handles

You can simply clean the handles with a soapy cloth. If you’re a real germ freak, use a bit of rubbing alcohol. This way you can clean and disinfect in one quick step.

Preserve the names and numbers

If you really want to keep your brushes in tip-top shape, put a bit of clear nail polish over the name or number on the brush handle. Names and numbers will eventually wear off, and with regular washing you’ll notice them starting to disappear. A quick coat of polish will definitely protect the brush information, so you won’t forget just which brush is used for what.

Condition your brushes

If you notice that your brushes are feeling a bit stiff over time, try massaging a tiny bit of hair conditioner into the bristles and rinse in warm water. Dry them flat as you normally would to bring back that soft, luxurious feel.

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Don’t Let Your Skin Reflect Your Stress

April 17, 2018

Try meditation to relieve stress.

Here’s how you can manage stress levels for your overall health and your appearance.

It’s Stress Awareness Month—a great time to focus on managing stress levels for your overall health and appearance. Stress can impact the health of your heart, digestion, weight, memory and even your ability to sleep. Stress and lack of sleep can also negatively impact your looks, causing blemishes and breakouts, as well as dehydration, which can lead to fine lines and wrinkles. Stress can also negatively impact your hair, resulting in graying and hair loss. So, in the name of beauty, here’s how you can learn to de-stress.

Teach Yourself to Relax

For some people, relaxing can be quite difficult. However, if you can set aside just a few minutes a day to meditate, it will serve your mind, body and spirit well. By entering into a relaxed and peaceful state, you release chemicals into your body that help to counter the stress hormones you’re creating. Practicing yoga or deep breathing exercises can help you find calm. As you do, you can reduce stress-related symptoms that negatively affect you. Set aside 5 to 10 each day to help you relax.

A few calming tips:
  • Look for a place that’s quiet and removed from the daily chaos.
  • Close your eyes, sit up straight and tall, and place your hands in your lap.
  • Slowly begin to breathe. Inhale through your nose until your lungs are filled and then slowly exhale through your mouth. Deep breathing will help to slow your heart rate and inspire a feeling of calm. It also helps to lower your blood pressure.
  • If you can dedicate even more than 10 minutes, do it. A few extra minutes out of your day will only help you to further alleviate your stress levels.

    Get Up and Get Moving.

    Exercise can be the ideal stress reducer. It not only improves your circulation, which is great for your skin, but it also releases endorphins that can make you feel both energized and calm at the same time. So, take a brisk walk, join a fitness class or go on a bike ride. It’s the perfect way to reduce stress, clear your mind and achieve that healthy post-exercise glow.

    Stay Focused

    There’s nothing worse than feeling (and looking) frazzled. Rather than becoming completely overwhelmed by what the day has in store for you, try to control it by prioritizing. I love to write my daily tasks down in a notebook or you can also download an app for this. For me, just being able to see the different tasks that I need to complete gives me more clarity. I can see what must be done, versus what I hope to get done. And sometimes I realize that I can push some tasks to a different day. This not only reduces my stress, but it also allows me to be more productive. And I love crossing off my completed tasks.

    Learning to manage stress can be difficult. But we all need to take advantage of every opportunity we can to keep our stress at a manageable level. Once you’ve gotten better at relaxing, you’ll definitely notice a change in your demeanor and your appearance. Say good-bye to brow furrows and stress lines, and say hello to a revitalized you.

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    Body Skin Concerns: Address Them on a Budget

    April 10, 2018

    A face scrub has many uses.

    Having separate products to alleviate dry hands, clogged pores and dry lips can be overwhelming. Not only would it be extra work to find specific products, but it could also be costly. Here are some simple tips on how to use your existing skincare products to address various common body conditions.

     

    Dry Hands

    Many of us wash our hands using hot water, and as a result, we strip our skin of natural oils that keep it soft. To alleviate the dryness, use a face scrub on your hands once a week. Wet your hands with warm water and apply a nickel-size amount to the back of the hands. Gently massage the top and bottom of the hands for 20 seconds, then remove the scrub with lukewarm water, pat dry and add some facial night cream. Night creams tend to have more emollient and moisturizing ingredients. Look for products with ingredients like aloe vera, macadamia oil and olive oil, which are soothing and moisturizing.

    Chicken Skin

    Keratosis pilaris is a skin condition which usually appears as tiny bumps that look like chicken skin. They can appear on the back of the arms, legs, and sometimes on the thighs. Even though having clogged pores is not life-threatening, it is not very visually appealing. The solution is to use a face scrub in these areas a few times a week. The most convenient place to use a scrub on the body is in the shower. Use a sponge or loofah to apply a quarter-size amount of product, and gently massage those areas for 30 to 40 seconds, rinse off, and you will be ready to go.

    Dry Lips

    Lips are fragile, so they tend to lose moisture very quickly. Lack of humidity during the winter and excessive sun exposure during the summer months can also worsen the condition, making lips dry and chapped. Try using a face scrub on your lips once a week. Wet your middle and index finger, apply a dime-sized amount of scrub, and in a soft, circular motion, scrub your lips for 15 seconds. Remove the scrub with warm water, pat your lips dry and add some face serum to keep them soft. Look for scrubs with blueberry, grapefruit and pomegranate seeds, as these ingredients are gentle and can help achieve smooth skin. When identifying a good face serum, make sure it has antioxidants, vitamins and essential oils, as they provide hydrating properties.

    Body skin concerns can come up at any time during the year. Stress, medications and hormonal changes can also affect your skin’s appearance. Use high-quality products to achieve exceptional results. The above recommendations take just minutes, and since you’ve already invested in the initial products, doing the treatments won’t cost a fortune. However, they will make you feel like a million bucks!

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