Posts Tagged ‘Beauty products’

Coffee for Skin: Friend or Foe?

Thursday, September 27th, 2012

A few weeks ago, I’ve had the chance to try Juara’s Invigorating Coffee Scrub.  Of course, being the coffee addict that I am fell instantly in love with it. The smell—a heady mix of chocolate and coffee—was so invigorating; it smells good enough to eat! But more than the smell, I love how the ground walnut and Sumatra coffee bean granules left my skin clean, smooth and moist after I used it. Which makes me wonder…what does coffee or caffeine really do for our skin?

I’m not sure when coffee and skin became bitter enemies, but I do remember reading a lot of articles before about the negative effects of coffee or caffeine on our skin, which includes dry skin (from dehydration), liver spots and even acne. However, recently, a growing body of evidence suggests that a daily cup of joe can actually be good for us. One study even states that drinking coffee can lessen your risk of getting basal cell carcinoma, a type of skin cancer, by helping the body kill off sun-damaged cells that could later become cancerous. Here are the other positive proofs I was able to dig about coffee.

Caffeine Suppresses Skin Issues

Caffeine’s high doses of antioxidants offer amazing anti-inflammatory benefits, which can reduce redness and irritation commonly associated with skin issues like psoriasis, eczema and rosacea. Its ability to constrict small blood vessels and reduce inflammation also makes it a favorite ingredient in skin care creams designed to minimize fine lines and wrinkles, as well as dark circles and sagging skin under the eyes.

Caffeine Can Cure Cellulite?

Some sources say the dehydrating effect of coffee teaches the body to hold more fluids and fats, causing cellulite; others say caffeine’s stimulating properties –as well as its ability to cause dehydration—can actually increase circulation, drain excess fluid and toxins and tone the skin, reducing the appearance of cellulite. While there is currently no conclusive independent scientific research that proves this, several cellulite cream companies—as well as their patrons—swear by the effectiveness of this ingredient.

Caffeine for Longer Hair

Scientists have linked hair loss to dihydrotestosterone or DHT, a byproduct of testosterone that causes follicles to shrink and eventually stop producing hair. According to a study by International Journal of Dermatology, caffeine was found to stimulate hair growth by counteracting the effects of DHT. Applied to shampoo, caffeine may be able to stop thinning hair.

Now that we’ve cleared caffeine’s record, I can breathe easy knowing that I don’t have to give up my daily source of energy. But of course, as in anything in this world, moderation is key!

Nurse Your Nails Back to Health with Nailtiques

Tuesday, September 4th, 2012

Nails can make or break a look. A set of freshly painted nails can easily top off a perfect fashion ensemble—just as a set of chipped, brittle and discolored ones can easily ruin it. But more than just a fashion accessory, did you know that your nails also reflect the general state of your health? This is why it is absolutely necessary to take your nail health seriously.

If you’re like me, you’ve probably tried just about every nail art design this summer. And just like my nails, yours are probably just as in dire need of nourishment. Remember, just like our skin, our nails also dry out, peel, break or become infected—especially when they are frequently exposed to harsh chemicals. If you find yourself in this situation, you may want to try Nailtiques Nail Moisturizer and Formula Kit to save yourself an expensive trip to your nail salon.

Nailtiques offers a therapeutic line of conditioning protein-based nail enhancers that are formulated to keep nails strong and healthy. The good thing about this kit is that it includes four of Nailtiques most popular products: the Nail Moisturizer, Cuticle and Skin Gel, Nail Protein Formula 2 and Oil Therapy.

Nail Moisturizer – Formulated with jojoba, aloe and soluble collagen, this non-greasy nail cream nourishes, conditions and moisturizes the nails. It also promotes nail flexibility. Use this if your nails break or split easily.

Cuticle and Skin Gel – This is a glycerin and aloe-based cream that’s designed to soften and smooth dry and cracked skin around the nails. To get the most out of this gel, apply this at bedtime, and put on a pair of cotton gloves. As a bonus, you can also use this on your elbows and knees!

Nail Protein Formula 2 – This protein-based healing formula is designed to treat nails that are soft, tender, peeling, or growth-resistant. If you want your nails to grow faster, this baby is a must!

Oil Therapy – This formula features a blend of natural, vitamin-rich oils that restores and seals in moisture to extremely dry and brittle nails, cuticles and skin. This can also serve as a drying agent to help set nail polish.

Cheers to Healthy Skin!

Thursday, August 9th, 2012

Have you ever heard of the phrase, “garbage in, garbage out?” It’s mostly used in the computer science world, but it’s also true for skin. As an outside indicator of good health, our skin shows not only if we’re eating a balanced, nutrient-rich diet and getting enough hydration, but also if we’re taking in too much garbage or poison—like alcohol. Allow me to elaborate.

Doctors and beauty experts agree that there’s a direct correlation between alcohol and skin aging. For one, alcohol increases the rate at which the body excretes water—and we all know what happens when our skin gets too dehydrated. Dehydrated skin ages more quickly, making it more prone to deep lines and wrinkles. Alcohol also causes blood vessels to dilate, producing flushed, coarse skin and worsening existing skin conditions like Rosacea. Finally, alcohol limits the absorption of nutrients vital for skin health like amino acids, minerals and vitamins.

While we can’t avoid occasional drinking with friends, there are other liquids that we can drink to counter the aging effects of alcohol. Here they are…the best drinks for healthy skin!

Drinking plenty of water rejuvenates skin cells. More than hydrating cells, it also helps cells get toxins out and essential nutrients in. Nutrition expert Liz Lipski also says that when the body is properly hydrated, it sweats more efficiently, keeping our pores clean and clear.

Green tea is rich in antioxidants that reduce inflammation and protect cell membranes. Because it’s said to be high in polyphenols, compounds that help eliminate cancer-causing free radicals and reactivate dying skin cells, some say it’s very effective in reducing the damage of sunburns and overexposure to ultraviolet light, which makes it a good prevention weapon against skin cancer!


Drinks made with blueberries and carrots don’t just taste amazing after an intensive workout; these are also one of the most nutritious drinks for the skin. Experts consider blueberries as the highest food source of antioxidants and phytochemicals, protecting the skin cells from damage and disintegration. It’s also an excellent source of soluble and insoluble fiber, vitamin C, manganese, vitamin E and riboflavin. Carrots, on the other hand, are an excellent source of vitamin A, which is a required nutrient for healthy skin. Carrots are also a superior source of fiber, biotin, vitamins K, C and B6, potassium and thiamine.

And since we’re talking about beauty drinks, I can’t help but mention Borba Clarifying Skin Balance Crystalline – Pomegranate. This fruity drink is not just perfectly refreshing during hot summer days. It also delivers all the essential nutrients to keep my skin well-hydrated, healthy, radiant and youthful-looking!

Murad Hybrids: Skin Care Meets Makeup

Tuesday, July 17th, 2012

When I think about Murad, the word “makeup” isn’t always the first thing that comes to mind.  I’d think “anti-aging” or “acne solution” or “comprehensive skin care regimen.” So when I heard about Murad’s Hybrid line, Murad’s ambitious attempt to combine skin care and makeup into one product, I was definitely curious.

The strength of Murad Hybrids lies in its ability to conceal imperfections and even skin tone while improving the skin’s health over time. That sounded too good to be true at first, but then I read so many rave reviews in several publications about two of its products—Skin Perfecting Primer Matte Finish and Eye Lift Perfector—so I decided to try them!

I’m very particular about using primer, not only because it acts as a barrier between my skin and the chemical compositions of my other makeup products, but also because of the slew of benefits it provides like balancing oil production, filling in lines and pores, evening out skin tone, and holding my makeup in place throughout the day. Sometimes, it’s all the makeup I use.

As a primer, Murad’s Skin Perfecting Primer – Matte Finish does its job so well! It’s refreshingly cool on my dry skin, hydrating it while delivering skin-nourishing ingredients that would eventually refine the texture of my skin and shrink my enlarged pores. When it dries up, I get a smooth and shine-free finish that’s ready for makeup. What’s more, this product comes in one, universal shade, so it takes the guesswork out of finding the right primer that matches your skin tone and type. And because it’s oil-free, it doesn’t clog my pores and cause breakouts.

Murad’s Eye Lift Perfector is another wonder product, and it perfectly complements the Skin Perfecting Primer. It has a light, sparkly tint that not just conceals dark circles and discoloration, but also brightens my eye area and makes me look more awake. As a bonus, it features an advanced formula that hydrates, smoothes, firms and nourishes the skin, providing long-term solutions to skin issues under the eyes.

Overall, I’m very happy with my new discoveries. Using products that act both as a treatment and makeup don’t just save me money and application time, it also reduces my skin’s exposure to potentially toxic ingredients that come with applying too many skin care and makeup products.

Summer Kiss with jane iredale

Thursday, June 21st, 2012

Summer makeup is all about looking natural, especially if you’re planning to spend most of summer lounging by the beach. The same rule applies with summer lips.

I usually try to steer clear of makeup during warmer months, lipstick especially, because I get dehydrated easily and that shows on my dry, chapped lips. Usually I’d go for a medicated lip balm—or if I need some color when I go out at night, a medicated lip balm with a hint of tint. Yes, that’s all the makeup my lips would usually get.

That is until I tried jane iredale’s Just Kissed Lip Plumper in Milan. The first thing I loved about this lip color is its shade—a natural-looking, nude pink shade. Its sheer color is so summery; it looks effortlessly pretty. It’s perfect if you want to wear a little bit of color without looking too made up.

I also like that this creamy formula glides smoothly on my lips—it’s buttery, but not sticky. Plus, its gorgeous, light-catching shimmer stays on for the most part of the day, whether at work or play. But more than that, I also find that minty feel (as well as that slight tingling sensation) so refreshing on my lips. It’s almost like that fresh, clean feeling you get when you just brushed your teeth.

Of course, I must admit that I have some biases when it comes to jane iredale products. I did my research before I picked this product. I already know that jane iredale’s entire makeup line comes from naturally derived ingredients, with no harmful ingredients like talc, perfume, alcohol, dyes or anything that can harm my skin.

True enough, this lip color is enriched with vitamins so your lips would feel as good as they look. It features natural oils from shea butter, sunflower and aloe vera to soften and moisturize your lips; lemon and tangerine oils to exfoliate dead skin cells; and unique time-released peptides to encourage healthy collagen production. And as if that’s not enough, it features ginger root extract, as well as spearmint and peppermint to oils, to stimulate blood circulation and plump your lips naturally. Whew! That’s a slew of benefits from a lipstick!

Honestly, when I got this lipstick, I wasn’t looking for something to plump my lips. All I needed was a lip enhancer that could moisturize and give it a slight hint of color. But with this product, I got those and so much more! I got smooth, healthy, plump and soft lips! This is definitely going to be one of my beach-bag staples.

Hope for Ho-Hum Hair

Tuesday, May 29th, 2012

Hair can make or break a look—that’s coming from a girl who has always been plagued with limp, lifeless hair: ME. I used to think that the problem was not having the best hairstyle for my face shape. But then, after trying just about every possible hairstyle—long, shoulder-length, pixie, bob, layered and shaggy—the limp look lingered. So on days I couldn’t spare an extra 10 minutes to blow dry my hair, I’d just tie the whole thing up in a messy pony or bun to add volume to hair and simulate a textured look. Most of the time, my hair would just look, well, messy, as if I was wearing a bird’s nest as a hat. But this was before I came across Nick Chavez Amazon Hair Body Building Styling Clay.

I’ve always been impressed with Nick Chavez’s hair products, not only because he had a pretty colorful history. (I mean, who would have thought that grooming his family’s horses would eventually make him one of the most sought-after hairstylists in Beverly Hills?) But more than that, I like that his products are very gentle to my sensitive scalp, like his Volumizing Shampoo. Regular shampoos tend to make my scalp itch uncontrollably, but that shampoo doesn’t. Plus, this shampoo contains a powerful blend of protein- and vitamin-rich botanicals to strengthen and thicken my ultra-fine and color-treated hair.

If your hair is like mine, the best limp hair advice I can give you is to use Nick’s Amazon Hair Body Building Styling Clay together with Nick’s Volumizing Shampoo. This hair clay is so easy to use. After I towel-dry my hair, I blow-dry just the roots of my hair. Then, I take a pea-sized amount of the clay, rub it between my hands, and then rub my hands all over the roots. The result is almost immediate. Once the rest of my hair has been air-dried, I get is a nice round plump shape that frames my head—and it stays that way all day long! And since this product is highly concentrated, I don’t use up that much product, which means I’ll probably hold on to the tube I have for a really long time.

Of course, I’m still on the lookout for that one defining haircut—the same defining hair moment that catapulted Jennifer Anniston’s layered locks into instant stardom. Maybe one day I’ll meet a genius hairstylist who will pave the way for that. But for now, I’ll let Nick Chavez’s hair clay work its magic on my stubborn head of hair.

Kick Start Your Summer Beauty Routine!

Thursday, May 24th, 2012

The long awaited, three day weekend is almost here!  It’s time to switch up your beauty routine to prepare for those hot Summer days and warm summer nights!  As the seasons change, so should your beauty products and beauty routine. It’s time to think about smooth legs for those short shorts, moisturized elbows and knees for those sleeveless tops and summer dresses and the list goes on.

Check out this Summer beauty checklist so you are fully prepared for what the new season brings:

Hair Removal- Summer time means swimsuits, swimming pools and beaches, so prep that Summer bod by taking some time to remove that unwanted hair. Whether it is on your legs, underarms or lady parts make sure you select the right kind of products to keep yourself properly groomed for the summer. Shave or wax the legs and underarms and for those sensitive bikini areas try BareEase & Cream for an ouchless experience. They even make Numb Nuts for any Manscaping that needs to take place…and yes, I’m serious :)

Tanning- I hate the feeling of getting in a bathing suit for the very first time in the start of Summer. Mostly because I feel like my pale skin would blind everyone around me if they were not wearing their shades. To make this process a little more welcoming, I like the idea of getting a spray tan prior to stripping down to that little bikini. Don’t want to go get a spray tan? Give yourself a little color, safely at home with some self-tanner. Colour Couture has some great tanning products and lucky for you they are giving some away!

Mani/Pedi- Bright colors are in this Summer and here are some favorites to try:  SpaRitual’s Pigment Lacquer Mini Kit this offers a variety of fun and bright colors in a multi-colored bag, perfect for taking to the beach!  Lara’s Theme by Deborah Lippman makes your nails a bright summer-time accessory and Essie Lights  is the perfect shade of pink.

Aside from that, don’t forget the basics like wear your sunscreen at all times, moisturize and lighten up on the makeup. If you have to wear makeup, try a tinted moisturizer rather than a heavy foundation. Also, don’t skimp out on the elbows and knees, make sure they get enough moisturizer so you won’t have those ‘rough’ patches. Stay smooth and colorful! Enjoy the weekend and don’t forget to take some time to reflect and honor those brave men and women who served to protect us.

Leave us a comment and tell us how you plan to celebrate this weekend!

Beauty Tips for Brides-to-Be

Tuesday, May 8th, 2012

Last night, as part of our pre-wedding anniversary celebration, my husband and I saw The Five-Year Engagement. First, let me compliment Emily Blunt’s perfect ringlets, which stayed shiny, bouncy and immaculate throughout the film (even when she was preparing to go to bed!). Second, although the movie got me cracking up for the most part, I must admit I got misty-eyed when Violet (Blunt) and Tom (Jason Segal) finally got married after everything they had been through. I remembered my own wedding, which also took 5 years to plan.

So to all brides-to-be out there, let me just say that I do understand the ordeals you’re all going through—the physical, mental and emotional strain you all had to endure to make this 4-hour celebration an affair to remember forever—and that’s on top of the pent-up anxiety all engaged couples go through. So to make sure you look your utmost best on the most important day of your life, I’d like to share with you a few bridal beauty tips I’ve learned from my own wedding experience.


1. Six months to a year before: Avoid Wedding Crashers!

You have to start your beauty and workout plan as soon as you get engaged. Crash diets never work—especially with all the food tasting and pre-wedding parties you’re bound to attend. The same goes with skin care, as your skin needs time to adjust to a new regimen. So as you book your wedding suppliers, remember to book a series of regular facial appointments and hair treatments as well, with your last appointment set no later than 2 weeks before the big day. If a chemical peel is on the agenda, get it done no later than a month before. If you’re planning to try out a new beauty product or experiment on a new hair color you’ve read from a bridal magazine, this is the best time to do that.


2. A month before: Leave No Room for Trial and Error

Once you’ve decided on which makeup artist and hair stylist to get, schedule a hair and makeup trial session at least a month before the wedding. This way, you’d know right away if the kind of hair and makeup you envisioned suits you. This will also give you the opportunity to get comfortable with the two most important persons who can make or break your wedding day look.


3. A Week Before: Here Comes the Groom

All facial and body waxing, including getting that perfect eyebrow shape, should be done at least a week before. That should give your skin enough time to recuperate from the redness and swelling that usually come after the procedure. This week is the most crucial. No matter how stressed out you get, try to steer clear of sweets, salty foods, soda and alcohol.


4. A Day Before: There’s a Reason You Have Maids

The things you’re only allowed to attend to at the last minute are your nails. Get a massage and sleep. Should last-minute problems arise, if you don’t have a wedding planner, let your maid of honor and bridesmaids handle this. This is the reason you have them in the first place.


5. On the Day: Waterproof Everything

By now you’re skin has already adapted to your current beauty regimen, don’t change anything! Also, photographers and videographers love capturing those tearful moments. So to make sure you’re picture-perfect even during your most vulnerable moments, you need to waterproof as much makeup as you can. Finally, relax, breathe and trust that you did everything you can to make this wedding a success.


6. Lastly, don’t forget to pack your Day-of Emergency Kit, which should include facial tissue and baby wipes, small mirror, bobby pins, Tide-to-Go, fashion tape, facial mist and oil blotting paper.


Vitamin C and E for Healthy Skin

Tuesday, April 17th, 2012

It is by now an acknowledged fact: A balanced and vitamin-rich diet is your foolproof ticket to healthy glowing skin. In the words of dermatologist Ellen Marmur, “our skin is constantly under construction,” and to repair and rebuild itself, it uses vitamins and nutrients from food, particularly vitamin c and vitamin e. After a little research, I discovered the specific benefits of vitamin c and e on skin:


  • For Acne -  Both vitamins are anti-inflammatory, and have a calming effect on skin.
  • For Wrinkles, Fine Lines and Hyperpigmentation – As antioxidants, these vitamins block the damages caused by free radicals (a.k.a. unstable molecules responsible for the appearance of visible signs of aging). Both vitamins also assist in the skin’s healthy production of collagen and in encouraging cell regeneration, thereby improving the appearance of skin tone, texture and firmness.
  • For Sunburn and Sun Protection – Because broad-spectrum sunscreens only block up to 55% of UV-induced free radicals, antioxidants make the perfect supplement in protecting our skin against sun damage and skin cancer.


Now I do know for sure that stuffing myself with vitamin-enriched fruits and vegetables will make my skin look and feel healthy, but I was a little apprehensive about getting the full benefits of vitamin c and e on my skin when topically applied. This is why I tried SkinMedica Vitamin C and E Complex.

The premise of this this serum is very promising. It boasts 15% stabilized vitamin C and E that are encased in a sophisticated silicone suspension system, which gradually delivers these nutrients to the layers of the skin every time you need it throughout the day. That alone is impressive!

When I first applied it, I immediately fell in love with its scent. It smelled like honey, and it sort of gave me the assurance that I was putting something really good on my skin. I also liked how a single pump of this cream was enough to fill up the surface of my freshly cleansed face. Usually, after applying moisturizer, I had to layer different products to give me a smooth and even canvass for makeup. But because the serum left a silky smooth finish, I decided to skip the first few steps of my routine and moved on to the next. For someone who’s always in a hurry to get somewhere, this was a huge help!

To be honest, I was quite surprised at how instantly this serum worked. It gave my skin a matte finish without drying it. I have an acne scar right above my upper lip and a really obvious brown spot under my right eye that just won’t go away. Both appear to be less visible now after just two and a half weeks of applying this product. In fear of slathering my face with too much chemicals, I try to limit my skin care products to sunscreen and moisturizer. But in this particular case, I think I’ll make an exception.

This is my prime(r)

Thursday, March 29th, 2012

When I wake up in the morning, my skin definitely needs a little primping and priming to smooth out the little lines, big pores and the oiliness too. Once my skin is as smooth as a canvas, I really don’t like having to touch up my makeup, only blot my very oily face face with oil-blotting papers. Since I’m such a beauty junkie, I love trying different products and recently got the opportunity to try the best skin primer, BECCA Resurfacing Primer, and it’s my new hero beauty product! I’ve definitely tried my share of primers, but I simply love this primer. The texture feels amazing on my skin and it’s oil-free too, which works perfectly on my oily skin.

I don’t like my skin to feel overwhelmed by products, but this sheer cream feels just right. The first thing I do before applying the skin primer is wash my face. Once I’m done I apply the primer all over my face, making sure to get enough on my forehead, nose and chin, where I have oilier skin and large pores. I also noticed that my skin felt smoother and more even after I had applied it. BECCA Resurfacing Primer keeps my skin in line to set up my face for the perfect makeup application that doesn’t look heavy and that lasts long. I did a little research on this primer and was happy to discover that it’s formulated with jojoba oil. Jojoba oil works as an amazing moisturizer on your skin. So this primer is the perfect 2-in-1 formula for me because it acts as a moisturizer and a primer to keep my makeup looking fresh all day long.