The Hair Diaries: How to Restore Your Crowning Glory

May 3rd, 2013

One day not that long ago I was having a really bad hair day, I know we all have them when no amount of brushing, combing, curling or styling will get our locks to look good. In this particular instance I would have settled for just better than bad, however it was not meant to be and I ended up putting my hair in a ponytail which affected my entire day, as I was really not in a ponytail mood.

The next day with my hair freshly washed and conditioned I was ready for a new outlook on life and what do you think happened ANOTHER bad hair day! Now I am starting to question the root (pardon the pun) of these increasingly often issues with my hair, is it too much  styling product , too much heat from my blow-dryer or any of the other tools I use or could it be blamed on climate change?

The only way I was going to find out was to start a journal and write down everything I use, how my hair looks and feels and get to the bottom of this problem. I always thought I was good about taking care of my hair. I use the appropriate shampoo and conditioner for my hair type , I mask my hair weekly if needed and go to my hair salon on a regular basis ( very regular , as in every 5 weeks) to get my highlights done and split ends removed. The next time I was at my salon I told my colorist about my issues and she told me it could be MY AGE!

As I thought about what my colorist told me, and yes I am still going to her, I realized she was probably right. I am over a certain age and the problems I am having can be related to age but the good news is these problems can also be fixed. Looking after “Older Hair” is much easier now as anti-aging products are made for hair as well as skin and dedicated to restoring your crowning glory to its youthful best.

How does hair change as you get older and what do you need to look for? Well genetics does play a role in how your hair changes and at what rate and what age, but typically hair becomes slightly thinner and finer in texture, hair also loses water as we age so our hair will begin to look a little duller or dehydrated.

I researched the products, read as many reviews as I could get my hands on and spoke to my co-workers who know a thing or two in the beauty biz. The products I have been using now for a little over 2 months have made a huge difference in my hair and my self-esteem.

Phytophanere Dietary Supplement-These supplements infused with vitamin B, C & E are used for hair, nails and skin and they WORK! They not only have boosted the shine factor in my hair but my hair has grown over ½ inch in the short time I have been taking them . I am not really one to take vitamins on a regular basis even though I know I should but these supplements are fantastic!

Phytolisse Perfect Smoothing Shampoo-This shampoo is very hydrating to my hair and works really well with heat styling products, even helps speed up the straightening process and my hair feels really silky afterwards.

Phytomist Instant Hydrating Conditioner-I love this product because it boosts radiance, protects color and instantly detangles the hair with its lightweight, mist-on formula.

Phytovolume Actif Volumizer Spray-This root lifting spray is formulated with keratin amino acids which help add volume at the roots but does not dry your hair out. It is perfect to add volume to thinning or fine hair and yet still looks natural when you are done.

Phytodefrisant Botanical Hair Relaxing Balm-I use this product last to smooth down any flyaway strands as it moisturizes, softens and protects your hair while keeping away any frizz that may want to pop up unexpected.

Phyto is a haircare brand that has been around for 50 years and is made with all natural botanical ingredients, this brand was green before green was a trend. When I was researching brands to fit my specific needs I was amazed at how many celebrities are followers of Phyto from Halle Berry, Cameron Diaz, Heather Locklear, Sandra Bullock, Salma Hayek and even Leonardo DiCaprio, the list goes on and on. I am a big fan of this brand and as I continue to use Phyto no one will ever know my hair is aging.

Beyond Addictive – jane iredale’s Lip Drink

April 30th, 2013

At any given time of the year I can guarantee that a woman will have at least 3 lip balms in her possession. Mind you, that is a really conservative number. The range usually consists of our favorite chapstick that we must have within reach at all times, the one we thought was cute at the register that isn’t always your first choice and the one you had wanted to try or had recommended for you but are very meh about it. Then there are the others. The ones you’ve forgotten about, the one you have randomly in your car, the one in your purse, the one in your bathroom and the one you stole from your boyfriend. If you had chosen correctly this season, you can forget about every other lip moisturizer on the planet. That’s right, jane iredale’s Lip Drink is the holy grail of all lip balms.

Not only does it offer SPF protection, but it quenches your lips and invigorates your senses. How could it possibly surpass all others? It’s packed with all natural, good-for-your-lips ingredients like, avocado and carrot oils, lotus extract and lemon peel oil to help deeply nourish and heal your parched and irritated lips.

It’s extremely luxurious and that’s why I absolutely love this lip conditioner. It glides on so smooth and has the most deliciously light citrus-lemon scent. I suffer from chronically chapped lips no matter the weather and jane iredale’s Lip Drink has helped them make a full recovery. Aside from the ingredient perfection, the tube is top notch in the looks department and can hold its own against rival designer tubes. It also works well with different lipstick formulas. I can apply a thin layer of this lip moisturizer before my favorite lipstick and it really enhances the lipstick color. Needless to say, I’m addicted. If you were smart enough to swipe one of these in your last Beautyfix you’re well on your way to sheer indulgence.

My New Skin Savior: Zensation Glycolic Acid Essence 10 Percent

April 25th, 2013

I am definitely NOT one of those people who needs to be reminded to exfoliate more. If anything, the opposite is true; you see, when I was in my early 20s, I got my first spa facial.  The esthetician informed me that my skin was so dry and congested that my moisturizer was rendered useless/unable to penetrate … and of course this perpetrated a vicious cycle: My skin felt and looked dry, I’d slather it with a heavy cream that probably wasn’t right for my skin at that age anyway, and nothing would change. Until I got that facial, I mean! That particular facial included a light glycolic acid peel, which righted my wrongs, gently sloughing away dead skin and clearing out my pores. In short, it made my skin receptive to the products that I used (which, by the way, were minimal, as I was a spring chicken and wrinkles and spots were the furthest things from my mind). Since then, I’ve been mildly obsessed with glycolic acid products. I do enjoy a nice coarse scrub from time to time, and I do use a Clarisonic brush to wash my face if I’m removing a lot of makeup. But glycolic acid has always worked for me. Whenever my skin is acting up—be it eczema, breakouts, spots or dullness—glycolic acid proves to be a hero.

 

 

And that’s why I love Zensation Glycolic Acid Essence so much!

With a 10% formulation, this stuff is fairly gentle. (Much more gentle than your standard retinol product, that’s for sure.) Overzealous as I admittedly am, I can never seem to use too much of it. It’s never once irritated my skin, and I can definitely tell a difference when I don’t use it. And not for the better.

Bottom line: I’m all about glycolic washes, glycolic toners, glycolic anything. This product is one of the easiest ways to get some glycolic acid in your life, and if you’ve got skin that’s anything like mine (combination/sensitive), you need it.

Did you receive this gem in your Beautyfix kit this season? If you did, you know what to do! Leave a comment telling us how much you love it.

Lights, Camera, Action!

April 23rd, 2013

With the launch of our awesome new BeautyTV, I have been spending a lot more time in front of the camera- which I actually really enjoy! It is so fun to work with the video production team and learn about new beauty products before they come out, plus my grandmother loves watching my videos (she might be the only one…). The only downfall is my hair! It is long, thin, stringy, damaged and in need of a serious haircut (we have discussed my laziness when it comes to this, don’t be surprised). As you can imagine, my hair was looking pretty lifeless on camera.  Our hairstylist tried everything to make my hair look camera ready but nothing was working- until we were introduced to Denise Richards Volume Extend by Cristophe!

It makes sense that someone who has spent years behind the camera developed a product line that would cure my onscreen woes! Denise Richards and stylist to the stars, Cristophe, came together to create an amazing line of volumizing and nourishing products that promote healthy and fuller looking locks. Plus, it is cruelty free! The entire line features innovative Voluminis and Aquaflex technology, which adds serious volume. Additionally, antioxidents, such as sea fennel, protect the hair and keep it hydrated. I could tell an immediate difference the first time we used it on my hair! The entire line is fantastic but my personal favorite is the Finishing Spray, which kept my hairstyle in place but natural looking and I never felt as though my hair was stiff or crunchy. I was able to move around naturally and feel confident on camera. I might not look as great as Denise Richards, but thanks to her new product line, at least my hair can!

Celebrate Earth Day & Go Green!

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!

Hooked on Jurlique Herbal Recovery Gel

April 16th, 2013

I have used so many different products, but there’s only one skin care serum that’s proven beneficial to my skin in a number of ways:  Jurlique Herbal Recovery Gel. It works to reduce oiliness (my skin is very oily) but it leaves my skin soft and hydrated—never dry or irritated. It also minimizes the prominence of the pores on my nose! Sometimes I mix a few drops to my foundation to achieve a dewy finish. You can also mix it in with a rich face cream to create a nice light moisturizer.

Here’s just a little info on the ingredients that make Jurlique Herbal Recovery Gel such an outstanding product:

 

  • Ginseng root helps firm saggy skin
  • Gingko biloba extract and vitamin E boost radiance
  • Vitamin C lend critical antioxidant protection
  • Rosehip oil and marshmallow soothe sensitivity

 

Have you given Jurlique Herbal Recovery Gel a try? Leave a comment and let me know if you love it as much as I do!

Like 4 Products in 1: ARCONA Cranberry Gommage

April 11th, 2013

There are a lot of products out there that claim to cover all bases: cleanse, protect, tone, define, etc. etc. etc. But in all honesty, is there really only ONE product that goes the whole 9 yards? Until recently – I didn’t think so. I always had 4 separate products: my favorite cleanser which was mild enough to use every morning and night, my best toner which completely clarified my skin, a weekly mask to exfoliate, and a moisturizer I couldn’t keep in the bottle to save my life.

Thanks to BeautyFix I was recently introduced to the luxury skin care brand ARCONA,  which is a personal favorite of Zoe Saldana, Emmy Rossum, Rachel Zoe, Julia Roberts and Anna Kendrick – just to name drop a tad. With a roster like that and Allure’s Best of Beauty Award seal of approval, I knew there had to be something special about ARCONA’s products so I decided to try the Cranberry Gommage. I kid you not when I say this single item has eliminated my need for the 4 aforementioned products in my beauty regimen. It has cleansing properties to smooth, purify, and tone skin. It has tough ingredients including salicylic acid and volcanic minerals (which are actually finely crushed to be 1/1,000th of an inch – the perfect, mild exfoliant!) to keep your skin free of bacteria. It has cranberry and raspberry enzymes which not only gives the product a pretty purple hue but also unclogs and shrinks pores. Last but not least, it has anti-aging antioxidants that kick free radicals and environmental damage to the curb.

The Gommage is for use on normal or oily skin, which is perfect for me since I tend to be on the oily side. I diluted the product with water for the first week of use because I didn’t want to overwhelm my problem skin with a heavy mixture, but I was surprised to see how well my skin handled the change. I only use it three times a week – but it’s perfect for the face, neck and décolleté! This product has left my skin softer, smoother, and healthier than it has ever been, so I will be sure to add my name to the list of important ARCONA ambassadors!

Have you received your own ARCONA Cranberry Gommage from BeautyFix yet?

Springs’s Perfect Accessory: Colorful Nails

April 9th, 2013

Nail polish brings out the artist in everyone, and I think a bold nail polish is a perfect (and budget-friendly) spring accessory! To pull off the trend all you need is some nail-spiration and a few pointers.

1. Get some inspiration

Checkout pantone.com for their Spring Fashion Color Report.

Pinterest and Instagram have a ton of images nail polish images from perfectly painted solids to elaborate DIY nails. One of my favorite nail art instagramers is @sfpartynails, a San Francisco-based nail artist who hosts pop-up polish parties!

A. Vermillionaire by Essie

B. Cheeky Chops by Butter London

C. via @sfpartynails

D. On The Beach by Deborah Lippmann

E. Butler Please by Essie  via pinterest.com

F. Pink by RGB

G. Ivy League by Ginger+Liz

H. Bond With Whomever by Essie  via adrmoda.blogspot.com

I. Really Red by Essie



2. Don’t be a hoarder

Once opened the quality of the polish will diminish after 2-3 years so don’t forget to replace old bottles. (Click here to find out the proper way to dispose of old nail polish)

3. Buy a buffer

Do yourself a favor and start your spring mani with a clean even canvas. Base coats will also help to prime your nails before you lay down your color.

4. Get comfortable

Sit at a table and try resting your painting hand on a higher surface like a book so that you hand remains steady.

5. Choose quality

Highly pigmented polishes work best for making designs or patterns because fewer coats are needed to show the color contrast. Butter London is a perfect example of a highly pigmented opaque polish brand.

6. Keep a polish remover pen and/or pads on hand

This way, you’ll be able to clean up any mistakes/remove excess polish from the skin around your nails quickly and easily.

The best part of freshly painted nails is sharing them! Share your nail looks or other tips below.

A Breath of Fresh Air for Skin

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!

Is it Too Late to Fix an Aging Neck?

April 2nd, 2013

A few months ago I was having headshots taken for work. As I was looking over the images I saw something I had never noticed before, so I took a closer look and was aghast! On my neck were visible signs of CREPEY SKIN! I thought maybe it was just a shadow or a bad angle so I proceeded to have several more photos taken … and yes, in every shot the skin on my neck did not look the same as the rest of my face.

How could I not have noticed this before? I mean, I am very good about taking care of my skin. I cleanse thoroughly morning and night, exfoliate 2-3 times a week, use the appropriate moisturizer and sunscreen for my skin type and use an eye cream. In fact, a few months ago I probably would have told you I may be using too many products as I am a self-proclaimed beauty junkie. After all, it’s hard not to be working in the beauty industry.

I have been neglecting two of the first areas to show signs of aging and I KNOW THAT….. I have not been listening to the advice I give to others! I know the skin on the neck is thinner and has few sebaceous glands so of course it would be an area to become dry and show signs if aging first.

However (prior to now that is) I have been using my neck as a hanger for necklaces and scarves (which I will be wearing a lot more of if I do not take care of my neck now).

At this point you may be thinking this is depressing, but it gets better. Immediately, I set out on the hunt for the best product to improve the look and appearance of the crepey skin on my neck and hands.

When I obsess on something I REALLY obsess on it, and for the past few months I have diligently been using the products I picked. Now there are many good products out there and the main thing that I have learned is neck and hand products ARE different than regular moisturizers which up until now I did not pay attention to as long as I was moisturizing and using sunscreen.

The other good news is it is never too late! In just the few months I have been using these products I have seen a major difference! HALLELUJAH!!!!! I am not going to have to wear scarves or gloves every day after all.

These are the products I picked:

StriVectin –TL Tightening Neck Cream: This cream has an immediate firming effect; it contains an exclusive molecule called NIA-114 which boosts the skins ability to hold natural collagen and moisture. I could feel the tightening the first time I used it and began to see an improvement in 2-3 weeks .Now, after several months the skin on my neck is much smoother and firmer. I don’t feel like I have the crepey appearance any longer.

Nia 24 Sun Damaged Repair for Hands and DécolletageFirst of all this cream feels great! Plus it contains ingredients to lighten and even out the appearance of age spots and discoloration. It also contains a molecule called Pro-Niacin which can penetrate the epidermis and strengthen the skin barrier. I have been using this cream morning and night on my hands but it can also be used on the décolletage, shoulders or any areas that have discoloration.it has made my hands smooth and virtually spot free.I am happy as I have improved the appearance of my neck and hands and I have added new products to my ever expanding beauty ritual which of course I love!