Archive for the ‘beauty’ Category

7 Makeup Must-Haves for ‘Faux’ Naturel

Tuesday, June 4th, 2013

Doesn’t Angelina Jolie look absolutely glowing at the World War Z world premiere in London? That’s considering she had just undergone a preventive double mastectomy to lessen her risk of getting breast and ovarian cancer.

But it’s not just her breasts—or her lack thereof—that inspired me to blog about her today. It’s her makeup choice, which looks virtually non-existent from where I am. I really like it when celebs dare to go fresh-faced for a change. It’s always interesting to see the real face that’s buried under those heavy layers of foundation. But more importantly, it reveals those distinct qualities, those seemingly imperfect attributes that really make a face standout.

Going au naturel is probably the easiest look to master and requires the least amount of time to do—IF you have Angelina’s naturally flawless complexion, perfectly arched eyebrows, prominent cheek bones and pillowy pout. If you don’t have at least 3 of the qualifying requirements—most mere mortals like us do not—don’t fret, as that’s what makeup is for. Here are 7 makeup products you need to complete an au naturel look.

1. BB Cream – You can never go wrong with a BB cream. It conceals minor imperfections while providing your skin with some skin care and sunscreen benefits.

2. Tinted Moisturizer/Sunscreen – If, after everything we’ve written about BB creams in this blog, you’re still a “non-BBliever” (sorry, I couldn’t resist), you can always reach for a tinted moisturizer or tinted sunscreen. These products will give you the same lightweight coverage, just less skin care perks. My absolute favorite and the one I use every day is CoTZ Face SPF 40. I can do away with makeup, but not if I don’t have this on!

3. An Eyebrow Filler – Trust me, a well-defined set of eyebrows makes a world of difference! It frames your eyes and really draws attention to their shape and color—this is especially crucial if you’re deciding to do away with eye shadows and liners. For a more natural finish, try SmartBrow.

4. Concealer – Not all of us are blessed with a blemish-free complexion, but to keep your look believable, try not to conceal every square inch of your face. Apply concealer only where you need them: under the eyes, sides of nose and blemish marks.

5. Cream Blush – Here’s why I prefer cream blushes over powder: It gives my cheeks a sheer wash of color that never looks like makeup. Apply it on the apples of your cheeks and continue to blend until you don’t know where the blush ends and your skin starts. If you haven’t tried a good cream blush yet, Face Stockholm has a lot of color options.

6. Lip Stain – The best thing about lip stains is their unbeatable staying power. You can go the whole day without retouching. To make it believable, choose a shade that mimics your natural lip color.

7. Highlighter – Natural skin is never matte, so don’t shun a little bit of shine. Apply highlighter on strategic “high points” of your face—forehead, cheekbones, down the center of your nose, brow bone and Cupid ’s bow—to make your skin look naturally glowing.

And there you have it—everything you need to fake that au naturel look we’re all dying to sport this summer!

Summer Essentials – 3 Products You Never Knew You Needed

Tuesday, May 28th, 2013

By Jenna

Memorial Day weekend has already come and gone which doesn’t just remind us not to squander time but to also start enjoying the summer. Like right now. In the next few months we will be going on vacations and flocking to bodies of water. With the upcoming excursions and lazy, leisurely days we need to be sure that we’re protected from the rays of the sun and for anything that life throws at us whilst indulging. We all know the basics to bring to any summer soiree: SPF, lip balm, waterproof mascara and body oil, however the bare bones pack job may not cover us for more than a day. Wherever I go, I want to not only look my best but feel my best around the clock and I have a feeling you’ll want to pick up a few of my secrets too.

Being on vacation or at a party should be glamorous right? If there’s one thing to turn to it’s a face palette. My favorite face go-to is the Instant Face kit from Claudio Riaz. 4 amazing products in 1 – BOOM. Pool party, BBQ, boat trip, beach day, no problem. You have everything in this gorgeous kit to apply or touch up. Guess what? It’s refillable! After using up what you love, stage a makeup mutiny and switch with ANY of the rest of Claudio’s line so you can build your own perfect palette over time. No hot mess face over here thank you.

No matter your weight, everyone gets a little critical about themself while in a swimsuit. Relax girls, you can get a leg up on the competition. I have quite a few weekend trips planned where bikinis are a must but I don’t want to worry about any puckering going on with my legs or behind if you get my drift.  My secret to a better look from behind is Bliss’ FatGirlSlim. I don’t want anyone actually knowing exactly what I’m doing, so I put some of the lotion in a travel container and label it just ‘lotion’. Genius, I know. While I’m hydrating, I’m reinforcing and if applied every day it’s smooth sailing.

With a trip already booked to an eco-friendly boutique hotel in a 3rd world country, I’m really careful to pack only what I need. To help conserve and conscious of my carbon footprint, I’m packing up LA Fresh’s Oil-Free Face Cleanser Wipes. These 100% biodegradable wipes can be used on your face or body for a quick refresh at any time of the day. With ingredients like aloe, chamomile, vitamin E, cucumber and papaya, they remove makeup while soothing and cleansing your skin. I cannot stress enough about how amazing these wipes are for anywhere. I have a pack in my gym bag, beach bag, and suitcase and they come in handy every single day.

Have any summer beauty essentials that you can’t live without? Share!

Celebrate Earth Day & Go Green!

Monday, April 22nd, 2013

If you’ve been wanting to make the switch to organic and environmentally friendly beauty products, what better day to start than Earth Day! You can help preserve our planet just by changing up your beauty routine.

Here are a few beauty brand favs that honor Mother Earth:

LaLicious

After collaborating with Save Our Shores conservation group based in Monterey Bay, natural body care company LaLicious presents this year’s Sugar Reef Collection inspired by the majestic ocean breeze.

Jurlique

Environmental awareness and luxury come together with Jurlique’s recyclable packaging. It’s easy to love the earth with this line of naturally effective skincare, body care, baby care and essential oils.

John Master’s Organics

A favorite of actress Zooey Deschanel,  her “oh-so pure skin treatment” includes John Master’s Organics pomegranate facial nourishing oil, made with organic ingredients and free of parabens, artificial colors, and synthetic fragrances.

LaVanila

This brand doesn’t celebrate Earth Day, they celebrate Earth Month. Throughout the entire month of April, Lavanila will plant 2 trees with the Nature Conservancey for every new facebook fan, twitter follower and instagram follower.

Juice Beauty

Style maven, eco-stylist, model and founder of FashionMeGreen.com, Greta Eagan goes green with Juice Beauty.  Certified organic ingredients make this effective all natural and extremely pure skincare line one of her favorites.

Tarte

This brand goes beyond their green formulas with cases and compacts made to reduce green house gas emissions. Check out their refillable eyeshadow palette . Once you run out of a certain shade you can just replace it with a new pan. These reusable palettes help to reduce waste and the shadows are formulated without parabens.

What do you plan on doing today (or this month) to honor Mother Earth? Is a beauty product change-up on your list? Leave a comment below and tell us!

A Breath of Fresh Air for Skin

Thursday, April 4th, 2013

Oxygen has a very complicated love-hate relationship with our skin. You’ve probably heard about how antioxidants (a.k.a anti-oxidation) protect our skin from oxygen molecules in the air that causes wear and tear, disintegration and premature death of cells, causing premature skin aging. But on the other hand, every living cell in our body needs that very same oxygen in order to produce proteins and form new and healthy cells. So how do we give our skin the oxygen it needs without inviting damaging free radicals with it? Read on.

Oxygen facials have gotten so much media attention lately, not only because of the supposed benefits of oxygen for skin, but also because Madonna, Kate Middleton and Nicole Kidman are allegedly avid supporters of this. The theory goes like this: If oxygenating your body improves the health and appearance of your skin (the reason your skin assumes a more glowing complexion right after a rigorous workout), then applying it directly onto your skin through mists, masks, gels or facial creams would work even better. Sounds exciting? Maybe. However, several dermatologists don’t subscribe to the idea that the oxygen in the air has the same advantage as the oxygen being carried by our blood.

While the effectiveness of oxygen facial is still debatable, the idea of giving your skin the opportunity to breathe makes a lot of sense. I don’t mean this in a literal way (last I heard, skin doesn’t help us breathe in any way), but if you’ve ever slept with makeup on and wake up the next morning with a huge zit sitting on top of your nose, you’ll understand what I mean. So how do we achieve this? How do we ensure our skin can take in the good stuff and exhale the toxic ones? Simple: by removing makeup and product buildup at the end of the day, and only using products that won’t clog the natural mechanism of your pores, like Oxygenetix Oxygenating Moisturizer.

Oxygenating Moisturizer contains hyaluronic acid and sodium PCA, both ingredients are natural humectants (they naturally occur in the human skin) and known for their ability to absorb moisture from air and bind it to the skin. It lubricates the skin, reducing the look of dehydration lines and wrinkles. And because it’s easily absorbed by your skin, it won’t clog your pores, too. What’s more, this moisturizer contains antioxidant-rich grape seed extract and vitamin E, so that should shush your concerns about oxygen-induced free radicals. I don’t have sensitive skin (thank goodness!), but for those of you who do, it helps that this has aloe, an instant skin-soother and redness-reliever.

Overall, I really like this moisturizer, which makes sense because I’m also a fan of Oxygenetix’s foundation. I generally don’t like the feel of foundation on my face, but because this foundation is super light and doesn’t feel like I’m wearing anything at all, I use it when I absolutely have to wear one. But don’t just take my word for it. Try these products and see for yourself why everyone in our office is obsessed with them!

Lashes to Die For

Tuesday, March 19th, 2013

The name ‘Lashes to Die For’ is a bit extreme, but I must say this conditioning mascara makes a lasting impression.  One of the many reasons I am a fan of Beautyfix, is because it provides the opportunity to try products I otherwise might not be aware of. My main go-tos in the beauty department are bb cream, mascara and lip gloss so I was quite happy to find that pretty much all 3 were available in this season’s Beautyfix and I couldn’t resist to try a conditioning mascara!

I have very little lashes to work with, so I was eager to try out a product that seems to do it all for your lashes. Peter Thomas Roth Lashes to Die For Mascara is the best of both worlds. It not only works for grooming purposes but it also nourishes the lashes.

Spring is here and it’s time to ditch the clumped, old mascara and get a fresh tube. Most mascaras contain an antibacterial agent in the formula that protects your eyes from bacteria for around 3-6 months. Your risk of getting an eye infection from old mascara increases the longer you wait to throw it out. Don’t risk it, get a new tube and try something new! This is the perfect lightweight mascara to add to your spring beauty arsenal. With a clump-free application, Peter Thomas Roth mascara enhances your lashes by providing length and protecting lashes from becoming brittle. It creates more of a natural look and actually improves the health of your lashes the more you wear it.

Sound too good, to be true? Why not give it a shot and tell us what you think!

No More Dark Spots!

Wednesday, March 6th, 2013

Thanks to my mother’s genes, I never had to suffer from acne breakouts, even during the peak of my puberty, when all my peers would spend half their waking hours pricking and prying on their zits. I on the other hand would feel horrified if I even get 1 or 2 around the chin area once every few months. What my skin is prone to, however, is something that no amount of pricking and prying can cure, even temporarily—and that is skin discoloration.

Blemish marks, brown spots, freckles, darkened areas—yeah, I have all of them. Sometimes, depending on the season, I would get a huge white patch at center of my forehead (of all places!). I can’t recall how many drugstore creams I used to treat my pigmented skin, only to find out that to address this issue, I had to know what’s causing it.

Few of the major causes of uneven skin tone are sun damage, acne scars, dry and flaky skin, hormonal changes, medication reactions and medical conditions. Once you know what’s causing the discoloration, you can now start deciding on your next course of action. As for me, it’s years of UV exposure. I must admit I wasn’t very adamant about the use of sunscreen until a year ago. So aside from applying sunscreen (and re-applying every 2 hours) every day, I’ve also started using exfoliating cleansers with glycolic or lactic acid in it to buff away the darkened layers of my skin. And to help hasten the process, I’ve also started using Sonya Dakar Hydrasoft Lotion – Discoloration as my moisturizer.

This hydrating cream doesn’t just smell so good and refreshing, it also feels super cool on the skin because it uses eucalyptus as its main ingredient. According to my research, eucalyptus oil has been used for centuries by aborigine ethnic groups to treat everything—from wounds and insect bites to asthma, sinus infections and colds to headaches, fever, inflammation and muscle aches. Today, several skin ointments contain eucalyptus oil because of its antibacterial, antiseptic and anti-parasitic qualities. It soothes burns and blisters, calms skin rashes and irritations, and treats acne, eczema and insect bites. It also cleanses the skin, clears blackheads and blemishes and evens out uneven skin tones.

Aside from these eucalyptus oil benefits, Hydrasoft Lotion also contains ceramides and vitamin E to hydrate the skin without the greasy feel, neutralize free radical damage and rebalance the skin’s pH level.

Thanks to today’s advanced products, skin discoloration can be easily treated even without going to your skin doctor. But remember, some discolored patches are not as harmless as it looks. Always keep an eye out for changes in shape, size and color as it could be a warning sign for cancer. Lastly, in case I haven’t mentioned this enough: NEVER forget to apply sunscreen!

It’s SUPERHAPPYFUNTIME! PMSing At The Office – You And Your Skin

Friday, March 1st, 2013

There’s a theory—which I would say is proven—that when a female spends a lot of time in close quarters with other females, they all end up on the same cycle. With that said, on days like today, I feel extremely bad for all of our men here in the office. They are surrounded by women working at a beauty company Every. Single. Day. With all of us guwils being under a certain age, it can happen at any moment, strike at any time and blindside anyone within 10 feet at any hour or day of the year. This got me wondering, as my face is feeling like the Sahara, aside from the obvious emotional changes, what kind of effect does a menstrual cycle and PMS have on our skin? Are we OOZING it through our pores? Is my yelling across the office not enough of a red flag? Well my dear, hormones play a huge role in how your skin works. Here are the facts:

Not only are you more sensitive emotionally, (‘But you didn’t say it like you meant it!’) your skin is more sensitive when you’re PMSing, right down to your fingernails. When estrogen levels drop, your skin loses that precious substance called water, so it dries out and is more susceptible to touch and irritation. If you’re wondering why that manicure wasn’t so pampering this week, now you have the answer my friend.

You want the bad news or the bad news? Ready or not, the fat layer in your skin is thickest during that time of the month. That bloating is really there, by about 7% in your abs and about 4% on your thighs! Feel terrible enough yet? Scientific studies could attribute this to water retention, so keep this in mind when you want to scarf down those Cheetos slathered in nacho cheese and topped with kosher salt.

Your skin can be at its driest during your period. When estrogen levels are at their peak about 1 day before it starts, your pores will be at their smallest. It’s simple: Estrogen suppresses sebum production; therefore your skin will be less oily than normal. However, when your estrogen levels drop a week before your period, your oil glands are at their most active. Buckle up.

So kids, the solution to this is to hoard as many beauty products as possible and lock yourself in a closet with a bottle of wine and a plate of pasta. Just don’t go out in public at all. Be prepared for anything and take no prisoners. (I’m kidding.)

Since the prevalence of PMS is estimated to be between 3% – 30%, we asked the men in our office for their tips for coping with a female co-worker on their cycle. Survey says:

  1.  You see a purse being carried to the restroom – Just stay away. “If I bought cookies for every girl in here every time they were PMSing, I would be broke.’
  2.  Avoid disagreeing and extended conversations. ‘Little snippets of acute aggression followed by a slouched lack-luster look – Back away slowly.’
  3.  Keep calm and collected. ‘If you are dealing with someone that’s being difficult just keep an even head and be nice to people. Creating any arguments at work is never good.’
  4.  Just stay away.

 

What do you mean they are out of donuts?!

To this, I bid you adieu and God speed.

New Lashes with Neulash

Monday, February 25th, 2013

Flickr source meganlovestheVU

One of the most attention grabbing features of any person is their eyes. Long eyelashes have become a fascination for many women. The desire to achieve fuller, longer, envy-worthy lashes is a strong one. Heavily accentuated eyes were very popular back in the 60’s, with Twiggy leading the way. She wore a dark thick fringe of false lashes and lots of eyeliner. In many cultures, long, beautiful eyelashes are considered a sign of elegance and femininity. The dilemma is, not everyone is blessed with the gift of long lashes. Especially as we age, our lashes become finer and thinner, making the task of maintaining and achieving beautiful long lashes even more difficult.
Yes there are lash extensions, false lashes, mascara, etc. but what about our overall lash health? A lash can last about 3 months before falling out and can take two months or more to completely grow back.

 

 

 

Here are a few tips on how to achieve and maintain healthy lashes which will result in a fuller, thicker appearance.

  • Make sure you are eating a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, and proteins in order to promote lash growth. Seems like a no-brainer, but surprisingly many people don’t think of nutrients when it comes to growing lashes.
  • Less is more, when it comes to makeup, give your eyes a break every now and then and skip the mascara. You can use a liner instead to add some definition and give your peepers a little pop.
  • Toss old mascara and get a new tube every 3-6 months.
  • Don’t tug or pull at your lashes and don’t rub your eyes.
  • When curling your lashes, don’t pull on your eyelids
  • Apply Vaseline to the eyelashes. Vaseline is an excellent moisturizer and conditioner that can work wonders on brittle, dry lashes. It is both cheap and easily available.
  • Invest in a non-irritating lash enhancement product such as Neulash Lash Enhancing Serum. This serum nourishes, protects, moisturizes and strengthens your lashes to reveal a healthier, conditioned and lustrous look.

Now tell us, who are some of your eyelash icons?

The Answer to My Nail-Biting Habit

Tuesday, February 12th, 2013

I confess: I have a bad habit that I’ve been trying to kick to the curb for about…15 years now. No, it’s not smoking, but I consider it just as bad. My nails, cuticles and the surrounding skin tend to be picked and bitten until they are red, swollen and bloody. Yes, it’s terrible, but the worst part? I don’t even realize I’m doing it until I look at my nails and see the damages I’ve done! Talk about a high (and weird) pain tolerance.

Anyway, before I make myself feel guilty about it, or find a way to make it stop, I figured I needed to know the root of the problem first. I realized that I only bite or pick my nails when they become too dry, brittle or too long (“too long” for me is still considered very short by a non-biter’s standard). Enter Nailtiques Hand Conditioner. Right off the bat I knew this product was going to show some killer results. When I was younger my mom bought Nailtiques polish to harden the heck out of my nails to make biting nearly IMPOSSIBLE! Their products worked exceptionally well then, so I knew that this hand conditioner was going to bring me beautiful hands and natural nail beauty.

I religiously used Nailtiques Hand Conditioner three times a day for about two weeks. I applied it as if it were any other hand lotion – all over my fingers, cuticles, nail beds and hands. Whenever I do an at-home manicure session, I would massage this onto my cuticles just like the salon pros! The smell was kind of interesting – not my favorite, but not unbearable either. It almost smelled like sour plumeria (I’m not sure how I know what sour plumeria smells like) but it went away fairly fast without lingering on my hands all afternoon. The lotion was pretty thick, but it was absorbed after about 10 minutes, and left my hand thoroughly moisturized without being excessively greasy, thanks to aloe and jojoba oil, the product’s main ingredients. The jojoba oil actually acts as a fungicide too, which is fantastic since hands and nails are susceptible to infections!

Within just 4 days, I saw dramatic results. Two people actually complimented my nails (I don’t believe this has EVER occurred in my 24 years) and were genuinely impressed with how healthy and strong they looked. After 2 weeks, my hands felt really hydrated and smooth and looked really good with my fresh, strong nails.

I would like to think my habit has been kicked – but I don’t want to jump the gun as it’s only been 2 weeks. However, I am going to continue using Nailtiques Hand Conditioner to keep my hands soft and my nails healthy-looking and bite marks-free. Hopefully, in time I’ll be able to kick this habit for good! Wish me luck!

4 Ways to Include Antioxidants Into Your Beauty Diet

Tuesday, February 5th, 2013

With the flu season off to an earlier-than-usual start this year—and with the best vaccine available far from perfect—it’s only wise to turn to antioxidants to boost your immune system and strengthen your defense against viral infections. But did you know that the benefits of antioxidants on skin are tremendous as well? Applied topically, antioxidants don’t just protect against cell-damaging free radicals, they also boost collagen production, lighten hyperpigmentation and enhance the effectiveness of your other skin care products.

Fortunately, with today’s advanced formulations, you don’t need to buy one separate product to satisfy your skin’s antioxidant needs. After all, antioxidants come in all shapes and sizes, and you would want to maintain a balance intake of vitamins and minerals to get the most out of them. Here are 4 ways to incorporate antioxidants into your beauty diet.


Cleanser + Antioxidants

Healthy skin starts with a clean skin, so I always start and end my day by washing my face with Eminence Lemon Cleanser. This was recommended to me by my esthetician when I asked her about including antioxidants into my regimen. She likes this cleanser because it offers a nourishing blend of vitamins A, C and E, CoQ10 and alpha lipoic acid—all of which are powerful antioxidants that help eliminate potentially harmful substances from the body. Of course we know how important vitamins A, C and E are, but did you know that alpha lipoic acid, a fatty acid naturally found inside every cell in the body, has the unique ability to recycle vitamins after they’ve been used up? CoQ10 on the other hand—aside from being an antioxidant—helps produce the energy your body needs for cell growth and maintenance.


Moisturizer + Antioxidants

Fortunately, there’s no shortage of moisturizer-cum-antioxidant products in the market, but the one product that even my editor swears by is Sanitas Skin Care Vitamin C Moisturizer. Aside from vitamin C, this oil-free formula contains beta-glucans, or sugars found in cell walls of bacteria, fungi, yeasts and algae. Beta-glucans have powerful free radical-scavenging properties, and are even used to boost the immune system in people whose body defenses have been weakened by fatigue, stress and chemotherapy.


Sunscreen + Antioxidants

Here’s a shocking revelation: Studies say that even the best broad-spectrum sunscreens can only block up to 55% of UV-induced free radicals, leaving the skin still susceptible to environmental damage. Luckily, there are plenty of sunscreen products out there that offer antioxidant protection as well, such as Replenix Ultra Sheer Sunscreen SPF 55. I first tried this product as a sample here at Beautyfix, and it has been my go-to sunscreen ever since. I really like the texture and consistency of this product. It’s oil-, fragrance- and paraben-free, which makes it safe for sensitive skin. But more importantly, this product features green tea, one of the best food sources of flavanoids or phytochemical compounds said to be more powerful than vitamins C and E in thwarting oxidative damage to cells.  This product also contains reservatrol, found in the skin of red grapes, peanuts and berries and known for its anti-aging and disease-fighting properties.


Anti-Aging Serum + Antioxidants

According to Women’s Health Magazine, antioxidants “patrol every part of our body, repairing damaged molecules that if allowed to run rampant would accelerate aging and disease.” So if you’re hoping to treat wrinkles, uneven skin tone and other visible signs of aging, look for anti-aging products that offer superior antioxidant properties, like Glytone Anti-Oxidant Anti-Aging Facial Serum. This product features time-released vitamins C and E, red tea flavonoids and glycolic acid—the chief ingredient Glytone is known for. Derived from sugar cane, glycolic acid is one of the best at sloughing off dead and dull skin cells, smoothing out wrinkles and evening skin tone. By combining antioxidants with glycolic acid, Glytone offers a two-tiered approach to rejuvenating your skin.