Posts Tagged ‘Bath and Body’

Beautyfix Spotlight: Philip B.’s Chocolate Milk Body Wash and Body Crème

Wednesday, March 9th, 2011
Chocolate body wash

Source: Flickr user el patojo

OK, time for a weird fact about me:  I really don’t like chocolate. Not one bit, not even during that time of the month. I know, it’s unheard of if you’re female. Naturally, I tend to stay away from anything that has to do with chocolate. So it’s never crossed my mind to pick up a beauty product that smells like it or has chocolate in it. I was a little reluctant to try Philip B.’s Chocolate Milk Body Wash and Body Crème (thank goodness for Beautyfix and the deluxe travel sizes.) Expecting neither product to be anything I’d ever like, I was pleasantly surprised with both.

A lot of body washes dry out my skin, and I often turn to my best friend named Dr. Bronner, which does the exact opposite. So using this in the shower was quite different than what I’m used to. The smell of chocolate milk is sweetly present and will take you back to the good ol’ days when you were on a swing set asking mom for a YooHoo. Philip B.’s body wash gently dissolved dirt and debris and left my skin super soft out of the shower. The best part about this body wash is that it doubles as a bubble bath for an extra tasty treat. After using, my fiancé couldn’t help but notice the delicious scent and for once, loved the smell of my new body wash.

I’m all about body crèmes, so I was anxious to try this one after using the body wash. With ingredients like cocoa butter, safflower seed oil and extracts of chocolate and vanilla it was sure to be a winner. The luxurious and delectable body lotion was milk chocolate-y smooth and creamy with application. My skin was left soft and nourished from the body crème and the lingering sweet smell was one to enjoy. Could it be, could it actually have happened? I think I’ve found a few chocolate beauty products that I like. Best of all, no calories. Beautyfix approved and almost good enough to eat!

Beautyfix Featured Product: SweetSpot Wipettes

Tuesday, July 27th, 2010

By Jenna

Warning: This article is not for the faint of heart! If the subject of feminine hygiene makes you uncomfortable – turn back now!

Flickr User: Chuck "Caveman" Coker

Feminine hygiene products sure have come a long way. During the 20’s, 30’s 40’s, 50’s and 60’s, women commonly used Lysol  Douche (yes Lysol!) and other toxic products for their feminine douche. Fortunately, these products are now reserved for cleaning your floors and bathrooms. See some of the old Lysol ads here. Luckily, we have better options than household cleaning products to help us with our feminine needs today. Sweet Spot Labs created a line of products for “down there” that address a woman’s desire to freshen up. It’s refreshing to have something available that’s tailored to a woman’s needs without harsh chemicals.

SweetSpot On the Go Wipettes are amazing and are gentle enough for daily use to aid with feminine hygiene. Why are these little cleansing wipes so great? It’s all in the science of course. SweetSpot Labs has carefully created specific products designated for your “sweet spot”. The results of these grooming products are better feminine hygiene and an all around better personal routine.  You can clean up while you are on the go, when you need it.

SweetSpot notes that this topic doesn’t get much love. For example, the feminine aisle at the grocery store is most often categorized as ‘clinical problems.’ Really?  The last time I checked, wanting to be clean and fresh wasn’t a medical issue. Beauty products should be used from head to toe and enjoyed, not a bummer. They’ve dedicated their brand into being a luxurious, well formulated and pH friendly brand because your sweet spot requires extra special attention. Let’s face it, your tulip isn’t the same as your underarm so why use the same routine and wash on both? The important factor is that your vaginal pH is important. You want to clean up without disturbing that very important balance. Naturally the pH level is at a mid-4 range, being slightly acidic. This means that the pH of your sweet spot must stay at that level to keep bacteria away and maintain proper health. Any product that isn’t at that level could irritate or compromise your pH balance. This doesn’t mean that every soap and shampoo is going to cause total destruction to you. But, using perfume, essential oils, and other products are very harsh and not good for that sensitive area at all. It all simply means that you can do better with a gentler product.

These cleaning wipes have been specifically formulated to complement the health of your private parts. They’re extremely convenient and ready to use when you need them, as they fit discreetly in your purse. They are single use, but biodegradable, so you don’t have to worry about harming the environment. These disposable wipes smell pleasantly sweet and fresh. When you think about it, everyone can use a little pick me up during the day. It doesn’t just do your hoo-ha wonders, but it freshens up and revitalizes you as well. Ideal to use after an afternoon workout, before a date, before intimacy, and just about any time you need to freshen up. The scents are not overpowering and provide the perfect balance between your anatomy and your sweet spot needs. SweetSpot’s wipettes will become a part of your everyday routine and a necessary item in your bag.

The best way to put it, is that it’s like baby wipes for adults. The amazing part about these is they are meant to be just for you. Don’t be afraid or hesitant because it’s not a much talked about subject. Don’t live in the past. Chances are, your best friend is thinking the same thing. You’re going to love these little lifesavers plus you get the best of both worlds – a refresher, a pick me up and you’ll never be caught off guard. ;)

Hair Removal Techniques: Making the Best Choice for Body Hair Removal

Tuesday, June 8th, 2010

By Jenna

Summer can be loads of fun and filled with vacations but news flash: vacations aren’t fun when you’re hairier than a bear underneath that swim suit. Unless you’re going au natural, body hair removal is something that we can’t ignore. There are many hair removal techniques available, and for some can be a nightmare. The trick is finding the best one for you. From shaving, waxing, electrolysis, threading and laser the cost of hair removal is also more than just money, it can be painful. Here’s a breakdown of what these techniques are all about.

Flickr User: digipam

Shaving can be a pain and the next step up is waxing. Hair waxing is easy, cheaper than other techniques, and is painful for a short amount of time. Waxing is a semi-permanent hair removal technique that removes hair from the root. There are many different types of hair waxing and should ONLY be performed by a licensed cosmetologist or esthetician. It’s effective to remove a larger amount of hair at one time and can last from 2 to 8 weeks. A drawback of waxing is it can be painful and some people experience ingrown hairs, minor bleeding and bumps. Hair follicles are the strongest the first few times when your hair may be a little thicker causing these setbacks.  Ingrown hairs and these complications can be helped by exfoliating the areas before and after waxing which is highly recommended before getting your sweet spot waxed. If you’re sensitive to waxing and razor burn I highly suggest Get the Bump Outta Here by No Scream Cream.

Electrology involves (you guessed it) electricity to permanently remove hair and has been around for over 135 years as well as effective on ALL hair colors. Electrolysis is the actual process in which the hair is removed. This process can also be costly, cause some discomfort during sessions and take a few visits but it is the ONLY PERMANENT hair removal technique available.  A licensed practitioner will slide a solid, thin metal probe into each hair follicle in the same direction of hair growth. Yes that means one at a time. If your professional knows how to do this properly, this will not puncture your skin. Electricity is then delivered from the probe into the follicle which causes localized damage to the areas that generate hairs. There are 3 different methods used in electrology; galvanic, thermolysis and blend. For complete permanent hair removal, it may take up to 4 years to complete.

Laser hair removal is tricky. After its introduction, the FDA declared laser hair removal methods can only claim to reduce the growth of hair but not permanently remove it. In 1997 lasers were approved for “permanent hair reduction” in the United States by the FDA. Instead of destroying the hair follicles, they can ‘shock’ them into a temporary hibernation which reduces hair growth. Laser hair removal is widely practiced and the efficacy of it is generally accepted in the dermatology community. Lasers can cause localized damaged by selectively heating dark target matter or melanin in your skin, in the area that causes hair growth (follicle) at the same time not heating the rest of the skin. Laser works best with dark, coarse hair and light skin dark hair combinations are ideal with new lasers are now available to target darker skin and darker hair. This technique is widely popular because of its speed and efficacy although the efficacy is dependent on the operator and laser technology used during the session. It usually takes 3-8 treatments suggested 8-12 weeks apart and can require touch ups. The major cons to this are the cost and side effects. Some normal side effects can by hypo or hyper-pigmentation (which can be permanent), swelling, burning, itching, and redness. For some it works like magic and for others, no results at all.

Flickr User: wander.lust

Before making any decisions and spending thousands of dollars on hair removal, your best bet is to weigh your options and make the best decision for you. There are also alternative options like creams and at home hair removal treatments. One of my favorite new toys to play with is the Silk’n SensEpil Home Hair removal Device. It’s FDA approved, effective, and allows you to get the same laser hair treatments normally performed at your dermatologist’s office in your comfort zone at home. Less hassle and less costly. Do your research and take the plunge. You’ll be bikini ready in no time.

What kind of hair removal techniques are you a fan of?

Mother’s Day Gift Ideas

Tuesday, May 4th, 2010

By Liz W

mother's day

Photo courtesy of Apple Bottom Photography

Mother’s Day is around the corner and even if you shower her with gifts every day of the year, Mother’s Day should be the day that shows her how much you care. When trying to come up with Mother’s Day gift ideas for the most important lady in your life, try thinking about what she does every day, not for you and others, but for herself. Does she love gardening? Cooking? Travelling? Going to day spas? The outdoors? If you focus on what she already loves, then gift buying will be easy and will melt her heart. Knowing you spent time thinking about giving her something she loves will mean more than the gift itself.

Ideas for Mother’s Day Gift Giving

For a jet-setting mom on the go, give her the gift of time. Whether she spends her days carting around preschoolers to non-stop T-ball practice and ballet lessons, or she is preparing for her first grandchild by picking him up little gifts from all her worldly destinations, a busy mom is a busy mom.

For someone who rarely takes a break and spends all her time on other people, give her the gift of some me time. Don’t just stop at gift certificate for her to enjoy some relaxing spa treatments; actually schedule the time for her to go and arrange for all her motherly responsibilities to be handled by someone else for the day.  That extra bit of planning to make sure she can really take some time for herself will mean the world to her and will really show that you care.

For the mom to be or new mom, give her a grown up gift. New moms are usually considered the easiest mom’s to plan for on mother’s day since motherhood is taking center stage in every aspect of their life, but focusing on HER, instead of the baby will be something she won’t expect. Chances are, she has been showered with gifts for her new little bundle of joy ever since the happy little plus sign on the pregnancy test popped up last year, so she might be feeling a little bit left out with all the love and attention the little one is basking in.

mom to be

Photo courtesy of Apple Bottom Photography

If the mom in question is your beautiful wife, give her the gift of some baby-free romance. Send her a gift basket stocked with everything she needs to get ready for a very adult evening. Include some pampering bath products, a romantic candle like Diana B. Black fig candle, and a bottle of her favorite wine. Then, tell her to relax in the tub, and get ready for a romantic date when you get home. This will make her feel like sexy, sophisticated woman, and she will never have felt more appreciated.

No matter what the mom you want to celebrate is interested in, just showing her that you are deeply appreciative of all that she does is the most important message to send on Mother’s Day.

Women Helping Women – Four Truffles Organic Body Care

Monday, April 19th, 2010

Beautyfix caught up with Four Truffles founder Ana Soriano to discuss her organic body care brand and her dedication to philanthropy work for women and children throughout the world.

Ana Soriano

BF: What inspired you to create Four Truffles?

AS: With Four Truffles I found something that allowed me to combine two of my passions – my love for the beauty industry and my love for helping other people with my philanthropy work. I started doing a lot of philanthropic work in my local community; we are in the Palos Verdes area. When I realized there could be a connection, I thought, wait, hang on one second here. Im always around women, and Im always hearing about beauty from the inside out- I want to practice that. So I found a way to marry those two passions together by creating Four Truffles.

BF: What is your beauty background?

AS: I started in working in the beauty industry in 2001 working behind the scenes with bigger brands and big retailers, as well as some start-ups. Ive been involved in doing product development and designing promotional tools to help brands get out in the market place. I have a nice, well rounded knowledge of the industry.

BF: Your company is very women-focused. Why is that important to you?

AS: We have a philosophy that we call a Women for Women Journey and its about the belief that women are born with an innate sense of family and community and unity. Growing up I saw why my Mom worked so hard and why she wanted to always make sure we had a better life, and she wanted to give us the best of everything. She really saw the importance of making sure that the family was together. It was interesting when I started this brand because I wanted to find ingredients that really benefited the women who would be my end users, but also the women who worked behind the scenes. Thats one of the reasons we work with Argan Oil. The women in Morocco who cultivate it they have the same philosophy there as we have here. Its all about women who want to make sure that family stays together. I thought that was really beautiful and felt that it was the perfect tie-in for our whole philosophy. We really aim to create a circle of giving.

BF: What are some examples of how your company helps improve the socio-economic lives of women around the world?

AS: There are a number of giving-back programs that we do. For example, the use of Argan Oil in all of our products directly affects the women in the Berber Tribe. They are the ones who care for the land and who are in charge of harvesting the oil. When we purchase the oil from them, they get paid directly.

Our Shea Butter comes from Burkina Faso and its the same idea. The women are in charge of cultivating and harvesting the Shea trees. They are directly impacted when people such as us purchase from them.

Both sources use traditional means of harvesting and producing the product by hand to preserve the trees, land and its resources. It is a major source of income and opportunity for personal growth for these local women who leverage both to access better education and business skills that allow them to flourish, be confident and provide for their families and community.

Once we complete the process and our goods are packaged and were ready to sell them, we turn around to help our local communities in the South Bay. The causes we support locally are women and children who have been victims of domestic violence and who are experiencing a tremendous poverty level. We give back by financial means, but we also donate a lot of our time and do hands-on work.

BF: Argan Oil and Shea Butter are key ingredients in your products why?

AS: Those ingredients are really effective and they have so many benefits. Theyre safe and effective for all ages, first of all. The Argan Oil is really rich in fatty acids, which allows it to soften and hydrate the skin. Also, its really good for reducing skin irritation, so its great for someone who has eczema, psoriasis, or severely dry skin. In addition its filled with Vitamins A, B1, E and F. Its been proven, its been tested, and its been proven to work for centuries.

Shea butter is super rich in hydrating properties due to its rich fatty acid and vitamin A, E and F content. It also has a non-greasy feel that helps heal, soothe, moisturize and promote skin elasticity. It forms a protective layer that helps lock in the moisture and serves as a protective barrier from all the harsh chemicals and free radicals that are floating around the environment.

BF: How do you source your ingredients?

AS: We source them from various places, whether its directly from female-operated cooperatives, or going through partners that are primary distributors who obtained Ecocert certification for the ingredient.

For our packaging we have our signature wooden truffle jars that we source directly from artisans in the Philippines. We designed and developed those from scratch by working hands-on with the artisans there.

Official Beautyfix Selection: Four Truffles Products

BF: What percentage of your products are made with EcoCert organic certified ingredients?

AS: It depends, we have 3 main products the Body Butter, the Body Smoother and the Creamy Body Wash. The Body Butter is 75% organic, the Body Smoother, I believe is 60-65% organic, and the Creamy Body Wash is 55% organic – the rest of the ingredients are natural and vegan. Sometimes its not feasible to go all organic because of the accessibility and performance. For the Smoother, for instance, its easier to access natural raw sugar than the organic so we opt to do it that way. We use raw sugar in various forms and sizes to get the best results.

BF: Why was creating a natural and organic brand important to you?

AS: We think that what you put in, on and around your body is really crucial. As everything in the world evolves, we find that nature is always constant and we value our resources. We try to use natural ingredients that are derived by natural processes in the most eco-friendly ways. There are already strong traditions and history behind holistic skin care remedies. For us, just by going back to those roots, we can count on something with a proven past and perfect it for our current use by marrying it with scientific technologies. I am a strong believer in naturopath and holistic medicine. I have had personal experiences doing more of that school of thought versus the advanced medicine and I know that it works.

BF: What is the benefit of using natural and organic body care products?

AS: When youre using ingredients that are cultivated and harvested using really pristine methods, youre putting in your products the wholesome goodness that you actually get. Youre keeping everything intact. To me, when you have something as pure as that and you put that on your body, you cant go wrong.

BF: Is your packaging environmentally friendly too?

AS: We are starting to look more towards that. Our labels are produced with a company who has been awarded with green certifications and a low carbon footprint. We always aim to use products and services from environmentally friendly sources and were looking for more eco-friendly packaging overall. Theres a big push to make sure everything goes in that direction.

BF: Are there other green business practices that your company observes?

We source our signature wooden truffle jars directly from the Philippines to support local artisans and then we support a local plant-a-tree movement. Our philosophy is to pay it forward to Mother Nature.

BF: What are your dreams for the future?

AS: As we grow we want to give back even more. Were streamlining our giving-back programs and getting more organized with our donations. This year we are implementing a charity of the quarter program, and we will organize four major promotional fundraisers each year. Were doing one right now for Haiti. Its called Make Your Mark for Haiti, where we directly support an organization called New Life for the Children or NLC. Its a great cause.

You really have to dig in to learn about whats going on with Haiti. Weve been exposed to it so much and hear about it all the time that theres a great need, but its not until you actually start reading about it and really learn about specific organizations, what theyre about, what the problems are, and what the needs are, then you really start to understand, okay, this is how I can help. Its really good to know, to find out the progress of the donations that youre pouring into a certain organization. Its very rewarding to see the impact or to hear about the impact from the help that youre giving them.

In the second quarter were supporting Bridges of Hope. Their main thing is building schools for women and children who have been affected by the HIV/AIDS pandemic.

As we grow, our hope is to be able to make a bigger impact in helping women through our philanthropy.

Winning the Battle of the Bumpy Bulge

Thursday, April 1st, 2010

By Liz W

get rid of cellulite user Ana Patrícia Almeida

As summer approaches many of us are suddenly thrown into an extreme state of anxiety; We rush to the gym, cut out all carbs from our diet, and start obsessing about our cellulite (how to get rid of it, that is) just so that bikini that is buried at the bottom of our drawer doesn’t have to stay buried all summer.

Even the skinny minis that are blessed with super human metabolisms are sometimes plagued with lumpy skin on their thighs and tummy. Cellulite can strike any one of any age, any weight, on any diet, and any exercise program.

The best strategy to help you win the battle of the bulge is a 3-pronged approach for complete cellulite eradication.

Step 1. Watch what you eat. This might seem obvious, but it really is important to cut out high sodium, high fat, and high sugar processed foods from your diet if you want to slim down your thighs. All those foods not only contribute to weight gain, but they cause bloating and excess fat storage, which make cellulite much worse. Here are some great tips on foods to eat and other ways to reduce cellulite.

Step 2. Get yourself on a daily exercise program. If you want to lose fat, combine strength training with cardio. This is the best way to boost your metabolism and build muscle, which helps tone your body, and keep it burning more calories on a daily basis. Even if you hate working out, there has to be something that you enjoy that gets you moving on a daily basis. Even just some vigorous vacuuming or a long trip to the mall can burn tons of calories. To see how many calories you burn on a daily basis, here is a calorie calculator that includes tons of different activities, so you can see what you are burning.

Step 3. Use some high quality Anti-Cellulite lotion every day. There have been a lot of advances in topical treatments for cellulite over the past years, and many women and men have seen great results using them.

Stick to these rules and over time you will start to notice your lumps and bumps getting smaller and less noticeable. Also try to remember that you see your cellulite through a much more critical lens than anyone else does, and it’s probably nowhere near as bad as you think.

Make Your Pedicure Last: Pedi-Tips from Celebrity Manicurist Michelle Saunders

Thursday, March 18th, 2010
Pedicure tips user Pink Sherbet Photography

If we had it our way, at home pedicure maintenance would be unnecessary as we would gladly sit in that plush pedi chair and be pampered daily with a professional pedicure. The unfortunate reality is that many of us are lucky if we get to the nail salon once a month. If you are guilty of neglecting your tootsies until the polish has shrunk to a little dot on your big toe, here are some easy at home foot care tips from celebrity manicurist  Michelle Saunders that will keep your toes looking freshly painted and dry cracked heels a thing of the past.

Here is what she says:

“The professional pedicure you just had at the salon could last up to two weeks longer with some TLC at home.

If the skin on your feet is callused or dry, the most important thing you could do is use a pumice stone (wet or dry) or a foot file about once a week. That will keep the skin smoother between pedicures, and don’t for get to lotion up! Nightly would be ideal, but if you do it once a week that’s better than nothing.

If your polish loses its luster after three weeks, add a top coat! That will bring the shine back. If you are wearing flip flops or shoes that show your toes, all you have to do is add a little cuticle oil to the cuticles on your toes and voila, the pedicure looks instantly refreshed!”
If you take Michelle’s advice, you can get away with long stretches in between pedicures. It is easy to keep your feet looking and feeling perfect for weeks. With a little scrubbing, moisturizing, and top coating, you will be proud to show off your toes, instead of hiding them in socks and shoes 3 1/2 weeks a month.

Using fabulous pedicure products can make giving yourself an at home pedicure feel luxurious instead of daunting. Some of our favorite products include Alchimie Forever’s Watercress-infused hand and foot treatment. It hydrates without making your feet feel sticky, and the Watercress has a soft scent so you won’t feel like you dipped your feet in melted candy canes. For cuticles we like SpaRitual’s Cuti-Quench because it’s a cream instead of an oil, making it easy to apply throughout the day on your hands too  without making a greasy mess out of everything you touch by coating everything you touch with oil.

A professional pedicure should last 3-4 weeks but can go 5-6 with proper home care.”–Michelle


pedicure tips

Michelle Saunders, Celebrity Manicurist

Based in Los Angeles, Michelle’s manicures and pedicures are regularly seen all over the red carpet and on the covers of your favorite magazines. Her work frequently graces the hands of myriad celebrities including Kim Cattrall, Kate Beckinsale and Eva Longoria Parker.

Managing Stress with Massage Therapy

Tuesday, March 16th, 2010

By Jenna

Let’s face it. Times are tough and stressful. Work, kids, money, everything is on your mind all the time and it tends to build up mental stress and physical stress that we don’t need. You don’t mean to be a worry-wart, but you can’t help it. Neither can I, not to mention my lovely bad-luck streak that happens to be lasting my entire life. There are things that we can do other than eliminate the sources of stress to help with managing stress. One thing that is a must in my life that I’ve made a vow to do is get monthly massage treatments to keep myself in tip-top shape. Since the economy is sooo solid right now (sarcasm), to me a spa treatment (aka my stress reliever) is an investment in the state of my mental and physical well being. As a result of the recession, less fluff is needed in treatments and more get-to-the-point massages are on high demand. Here are a few of my favorite stress relieving massage treatments to help you ease your body, mind and soul.

A massage has profound effects on your body and frequent visits can do even more. Benefits of massage therapy include:

  • Increases circulation
  • Relieves migraine pain
  • Reduces spasms and cramping
  • Relaxes and softens muscles
  • Reduces fatigue
  • Improved concentration
  • Enhances sleep quality
  • Decreases depression and anxiety
  • Alleviates lower back pain
  • Improved range of motion
  • Enhances immunity by stimulating lymph flow
  • Promotes tissue regeneration reducing scar tissue and stretch marks

The most common massage treatment is the Swedish massage. This type of massage involves long, gentle flowing strokes and is perfect for first-timers or those who want relaxation. If you’re into harder pressure massage, Shiatsu or Deep Tissue might be the one for you. These are designed to really loosen you up. The masseuse will target specific areas for a deeper relief using slower stoke techniques. Reflexology massage involves manipulation of nerve reflex areas in your hands, feet and ears that correspond to other parts of the body. This is used to stimulate body organs and relieves congestion in your body by using pressure points in these reflex zones. Aromatherapy is the use of essential oils in your massage that stimulate your senses. Based on what’s ailing you, each essential oil can be used to target your needs. My all time favorite massage has to be the hot stone massage. Smooth stones are hot water-warmed and placed along your body to melt away your stress and muscle tension. They’re also used during the massage as massage tools in the hands of the masseuse that glide across your body. It’s a deeply relaxing treatment and the hot temperature of the stones is heavenly. The hot stones are also warming you and comfortably raising your body temperature for better circulation.

Flickr User: Jaylara

Take a second and think about this estimation: 90% of disease is related to stress. Along with sun damage, stress ages us faster internally and externally. After all, skin is your largest organ. Going for a spa day or getting a luxurious treatment or whatever it may be, shouldn’t be considered as a frivolous or unnecessary purchase. You’ll be amazed at how much more productive you’ll be after some spa therapy. It’s about being in a relaxing and positive state of mind. The spa is tranquil for a reason: to be soothing and relaxing for YOU. Spa treatments aren’t just a luxurious treat but they are pampering, rejuvenating, therapeutic, and stress relieving. It releases muscle tension, ails pains, lessens depression and anxiety, releases endorphins and improves circulation. Your body is good to you and wants to be the best it can be, so why not treat it to the best things available? It’ll be thanking you day by day, when you’re taken care of. There are tons of different spa treatments that are dedicated to your wellness at affordable prices. You’ll find everything from basic massages to intricate spa treatments for moms-to-be to holistic treatments. There’s a huge spa world out there, all you have to do is explore it!

What are you favorite spa treatments?

Soak your Stress Away

Tuesday, December 29th, 2009

By Liz W

Relaxing bath user sbharless

Living in an age of high- speed everything, we are used to moving to the rhythm of alarm clocks and up to the minute calendar reminders on our computers and cell phones.  But if an early grave is not your goal, give yourself a break and relax in a bath with a purpose.  Here are some easy ways to spice up your bath with simple ingredients that relax, exhilarate, and moisturize.

If you are looking for a way to wind down and free your mind of every day stress, add a few drops of lavender and frankincense oils. To really set the mood, light some candles and play some serene music before you settle into the fragrant, relaxing water.  Lavender is well known for its relaxing scent, but many people don’t know that the essential oil is also very soothing, and effective at treating burns or irritated skin. Frankincense’s main purpose is to be used in perfumes and aromatherapy. The fresh, woody scent has been used in religious ceremonies for centuries, and it is coming back in style with the rise of the aromatherapy trend in ayurvedic spas.

Some people, like me, find the idea of relaxation stressful in its self, so if you prefer an exhilarating bath to refresh your energy levels, a mineral saline bath, could be just what you are looking for. Adding salt to your bath can provide a number of effects, the main one being a circulation aide. Taking this bath in a whirlpool tub will stimulate circulation further.

For a moisturizing soak, take a tip from Cleopatra and Queen Elizabeth I. They were big fans of milk baths, and for good reason. Being high in Lactic acid, milk is really effective at dissolving dead, chapped skin bringing the healthier skin underneath to the surface. To step it up and really bathe like a queen sprinkle some rose petals in the water, or drop in a sweetly scented Milk and Honey bath bomb, before you lay back and let the milk works it’s magic.

It is important to take care of yourself emotionally as well as physically. Even the healthiest diet, when paired with a high stress lifestyle, can lead to problems later on. So take some time out for yourself and relax in the tub, your body will thank you.

Winter skin care: Advice on How To Handle Hangnails from Celebrity Manicurist Michelle Saunders

Thursday, November 5th, 2009

By Jenna

This week has been a little difficult because I’ve been getting these terribly awful hangnails and I think it’s time to talk about winter skin care – starting with our hands. Not only are hangnails annoying, but being the vain person that I am, nail care is important and I hate to walk around with my cuticles all over the place. Yuck! Since I can’t get a manicure once a week like I’d like to, I asked our dear panelist and celebrity manicurist Michelle Saunders what beauty tips she can give to take care of hangnails. Here’s what she had to say about what we can do to save our cuticles.

Celebrity Manicurist Michelle Saunders

Celebrity Manicurist Michelle Saunders

“There are several reasons one gets hangnails. The most common reason they occur is due to the climate change from summer to fall/winter -the colder weather dehydrates the hands and cuticles. In addition, people tend to wash their hands more often because of the cold and flu season. Most of my clients will say during this time, “Why are my cuticles so dry and sore lately? I’m not doing anything different!” But because the skin is dryer, normal things like our hands going in and out of drawers, washing dishes, doing laundry – all of those every day things we do pull and tear on our dry skin which causes the cuticles to detach and pull away. So, there are two things that one can do to help in this situation. One, get a professional manicure – this will offer the opportunity for all of the hangnails to be removed properly, (kind of like going to the dentist for a cleaning so it’s easier to keep the teeth plaque free). Second, use hand cream and cuticle oil everyday and often, especially after hand washing! For home care, if you get a really bad cuticle that needs to be trimmed use a small nail clipper or cuticle nipper and gently remove hangnails and then immediately apply cuticle oil, or an antibiotic ointment (like Neosporin) if it is red and angry. And whatever you do – don’t tear them! This only makes them worse.”

So let’s recap:

To get rid of and prevent hangnails

  1. Get a professional manicure
  2. Use hand cream and cuticle oil often!
  3. Use a small nail clipper/cuticle nipper to remove hangnails gently
    1. Use cuticle oil or Neosporin immediately after!

    Pretty nails

    Flickr user: Maria Clara de melo

So after taking Michelle’s brilliant advice, not only did I make time in my busy schedule to get a professional manicure, but decided to pick up some really good hand cream (love the Jaqua Pink Champagne smell) for dry skin. No matter where you are in the country, winter is almost here to dry your skin out and dry skin care is imperative, especially for your hands and feet. So yes ladies, this is your excuse to pamper yourself with many manis and pedis. J

About Michelle Saunders:

Michelle’s celebrity clients include Amber Heard, Amber Valetta, Angie Harmon, Devon Aoki, Eva Longoria Parker, Kate Beckinsale, Katie Holmes, Kim Cattrall, Lady Ga Ga, Melissa George, Megan Fox, Mila Kunis, Pamela Anderson and Shannon Elizabeth. Her work has graced many fabulous publications including Vogue, W, Elle, Flaunt, Maxim, In Style, Glamour and Bazaar.

Michelle kept Kim Cattrall’s hands hangnail-free for the Sex and the City movie.

Michelle kept Kim Cattrall’s hands hangnail-free for the Sex and the City movie.