Posts Tagged ‘Beauty Routine’

Lessons from Lesley. Lesson 1 – How to apply blush for everyday wear

Thursday, July 22nd, 2010

How to apply blush. Flickr user Ritab38315

I’m somewhat of an anomaly within my company, career, and probably most women my age- I know close to nothing about beauty products! My lack of knowledge when it comes to primers, powder, plumpers, serums, sprays and just about anything makeup related has become increasingly evident since I began my current job at a high-end beauty company.  Prior to this job, my bathroom cabinet was constantly stocked with generic lotion, plain soap, one brand of makeup (same shades as in high school!) and whatever drugstore shampoo happened to be on sale that week. Now, I have a plethora of products at my finger tips and no idea what to do with them! As it turns out, I don’t even know how to apply blush properly. Lucky for me, I sit next to Lesley- a cosmetic genius, skin care guru and all-around whiz with a makeup brush. Also lucky for me, she isn’t shy about offering “constructive criticism.”

Lesson One- How to Apply Blush (without looking like the main attraction at a five year old’s birthday party)

I may not have a huge variety of colors and products in my bag, but my favorite cant-live-without item is blush and needless to say, I am slightly heavy handed in the application process. The other day, I received a new Colorescience Blush with a built in blush brush and was so eager to try it out that I applied it right at my desk. After swiping it across my cheekbones, I inspected myself in the mirror. I murmured an approving “mmhhmmm” and thought, “Not bad! Nice rosy color, what more could a girl want from a blush?” Once I looked up over the cubicle divider and saw Lesley’s face I knew that my assessment was slightly off.

After nicely explaining that I had essentially drawn pink racer stripes across my face, she took the time to impart her wisdom and explain the correct way to apply blush.

Step 1. Choosing the right blush -

“Your blush color should match your skin tone. Think about the color of your cheeks when you get out of the shower or after you finish exercising and try and find a blush that matches that shade,” explained Lesley. “Obviously, lighter pinks look better on fair skin and warmer colors look great on darker skin tones.”

Step 2. Best Type of Blush Brush

“There are so many different types of makeup brushes and a lot of people assume just about any cosmetic brush will work for applying blush. Not true! Using a proper blush brush will make all the difference. A real blush brush has long, soft bristle and is either slanted or rounded shape. You should use the slanted brush if you are contouring and the rounded brush is for more even and natural placement of the powder.”

Step 3. Blush Application

“Blush can make your skin look healthier and vibrant with a couple quick swipes, however there is a correct way to apply blush and make sure it looks natural. Your skin naturally flushes on the apples of your cheeks, so that is where the blush should be applied. Look in the mirror and smile, that will help you determine where to apply. After brushing the blush onto your cheeks, make sure that it is blended properly. The key is to enhance your facial features but make sure it looks natural.”

Sun Protection 101: Play It Safe With Facial Sunscreen

Thursday, May 6th, 2010

May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month so we are going to help spread the word this month in a series o f articles focused on one of our favorite subjects – sun protection! The weather is starting to get warmer and summer is just around the corner, so it’s perfect timing to start thinking seriously about sun block. Of course, we advocate wearing sunscreen every day of the year, regardless of season, but now is the time when it becomes more crucial as we spend more time outdoors and the sun’s rays are getting stronger. While I can talk for days about why wearing sun block and makeup with sun protection in it is important, we’ll focus on targeted areas and what functional products will do the job. One of the must-have products during the summer is facial sunscreen. Let’s face it; your face is your money maker and you don’t want to be seen looking like a shriveled fig. Sun damage causes premature aging and can make you look more than 10 years older than you really are. I don’t know about you, but I will do whatever it takes to protect my skin from the sun’s harmful rays, but that doesn’t mean I have to stay completely out of the sun. These sun protective cosmetics are easy to use, easy to remember and will do the job phenomenally well when you need it.

Starting with the first step of your skin routine, use an SPF moisturizer. This will help give you a great base before makeup, keep your skin hydrated and offer the protection that it needs all in one cream. I love iQ Derma’s Life Without Wrinkles Day Cream SPF 25 Moisturizer. It is very lightweight and doesn’t make your makeup ball up and flake off. It’s the perfect base with added protection. If you don’t normally use a moisturizer before you apply your makeup, there’s also foundation with SPF available. SPF foundation is another great way to utilize your normal makeup routine while incorporating sun care.

So your makeup is done and you’ve got your face well protected for the day. Sun protection doesn’t stop there. What most people don’t realize is that for an SPF to be effective, it has to be re-applied! There is also a universal misconception of what the Sun Protection Factor actually means. Sun Protection Factor is a measure of how much protection you get from UVB rays (the rays that cause sunburn). So, if you wear SPF 15, it will take 15 times longer for you to burn than if you didn’t wear any sun block. SPF does not account for protection against UVA rays, which are the nasty rays most associated with the visible signs of aging and also skin cancer. Learn more about UV rays from the Skin Cancer Foundation.

Here are some factors that influence the efficacy of your SPF:

  • Your skin type
  • The amount applied and how often you re-apply
  • Activities that you engage in (i.e. swimming leads to a loss of sunscreen)
  • The amount of sunscreen your skin has actually absorbed.

Source: Flickr User dipster1

This is why it’s so important to re-apply throughout the day. If you aren’t sun bathing and aren’t in need of SPF lotion every 2 hours –Let’s be honest, I’m not rubbing oily SPF on my face every 20 minutes- then I highly recommend a SPF mineral makeup brush. This multi-functioning product is easy to use and very effective. I use Colorescience’s Sunforgettable Brush SPF 30 while I’m on the go and keep it in my purse so it’s always available. At the same time of providing my skin with SPF, it also takes away shine and offers mineral coverage when I need it. Not only is it a fabulous multi-functioning product, but it’s recommended by the Skin Cancer Foundation. If you want something a little smaller, you can also use their smaller Sunforgettable Orb which you can choose in your next Beautyfix kit!

I’m truly a believer that sunscreen should be worn year round with no exceptions – (unless it’s night-time.) Your skin is your largest organ and is your body’s first level of defense against the sun’s rays. There is NO excuse not to take care of it. This means, be dedicated to taking care of it. Moisturize, protect and don’t bake in the sun until you’re burnt. And ladies please, if the new tanning tax wasn’t enough, no tanning beds! The last thing you want is to be in a doctor’s office waiting for your melanoma to be cut out. If you aren’t protecting your skin, then you should stay out of the sun or at home.

P.S. I’ve talked about your face but don’t forget to protect your lips also! Coola’s Liplux is awesome!

What are you sun care favorites?

Makeup Application Tips: Interview Dos and Don’ts

Thursday, April 8th, 2010

By Liz W

dressing for a job interview user gcoldironjr2003

Getting ready for a job interview can be stressful, and being prepared is key to having a smooth experience. Most people focus on the potential questions they may be asked during the interview and spend time rehearsing the best possible answers to those questions. That’s a great start, but it’s also important to do your research and find out exactly what type of environment you are about to walk into. Looking the part will give you added confidence and will show your potential employer that you’re the right fit for the job. In addition to what you wear, it’s important to consider your makeup look. We have put together a few makeup application tips to help you look your best.

The most important thing to remember when it comes to job interview makeup is to look conservative and appropriate, no matter what the job is that you are interviewing for (unless, of course, you’re trying to get a job at a night club). Generally, even if you are applying for a job at a really edgy place, you don’t want to look unprofessional with tons of heavy eyeliner and super dark lips. Keep your makeup natural and make sure you look clean and polished.

Start with a clean face and use a light foundation or tinted moisturizer to even out your complexion. Then apply a subtle blush to the apples of your cheeks to brighten up your face, making you look energized and healthy. Finish your face with an oil controlling powder to ensure that your makeup stays put and your skin doesn’t get shiny. You can also set your makeup with Skindinavia’s Makeup Finishing Spray – it’s genius for keeping your makeup on all day long.

For your eyes, stick with neutral shades of eyeshadow, and the more matte the better. Serious job interviews are not the place for green eyeliner and glitter. Sweep a shade that is a tad lighter than your natural skin tone over your lids, and then blend a darker shadow from the same color family in your creases to open up your eyes. Julie Hewett Los Angeles created the perfect job interview makeup palette exclusively for Beautyfix members. After applying your shadows, thinly line the top lid with dark brown or black liner, like Rosie Jane Eye Define in Beech Tree and either use a small amount of that liner for your lower lids, or use the same eyeshadow you did for your crease and use a liner brush to apply it to the lower lash line.

To complete the look use a natural, non glittery lipstick or lip gloss, and avoid dark or day glow shades that could intimidate or distract your interviewer.

In order to make the best impression, dress to impress, and wear a tasteful outfit that fits in with the company’s daily dress code.  Looking attractive is key, but looking sexy could be a turn off in a professional setting, so opt for higher necklines and lower hemlines to ensure you are taken seriously.

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.

Beauty Guide: Get Your Beauty Sleep!

Thursday, March 4th, 2010

By Jenna

Think about this long and hard. How many hours do you sleep at night? Many of us don’t get enough beauty sleep, and this takes its toll on our skin. For those of us who are sleep deprived, we often walk around like zombies throughout our days. Late nights out, late nights at work, and late nights in front of the television all take a toll on our bodies. For what price? Sleep deprivation is not only bad for our bodies, but it’s terrible for our mental health and affects the way we look.  Beauty sleep is not just a myth; it’s extremely important to our overall health and well-being, and is essential for younger looking skin.

When we drift off to slumber land our body is at peace. What you probably don’t realize is that your body is working its magic overnight. It’s trying to refresh, revitalize and keep you looking your best for the next day. Consider sleep as your body’s maintenance time. Sleeping too little can have adverse health effects on your body that can lead to diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, irritability, slower reaction time, slurred speech and tremors. Skin cells regenerate faster at night than during the day and ultimately help your skin look younger.

Lack of sleep causes you to age faster by changing your metabolism and affecting your hormones. The period of deep sleep, or R.E.M., is when people typically have a surge in growth hormones. These increased growth hormones help repair and rebuild tissue like your muscles. Your body’s cells also show increased production and less protein breakdown when you sleep. Proteins are important because they are needed for cell growth to help protect and repair damage from stress and UV rays. It’s not just about how much you sleep (a minimum of 8 hours per night are generally recommended), it’s also about the quality of your sleep. Better quality sleep = younger looking skin overall. Here are some tips for getting a good night’s rest.

Getting enough quality sleep is one of the best natural skin care techniques for looking your best. You can enhance this time by using skin care in the evenings that are rich in anti-oxidants. You will get increased benefits, as the anti-oxidants will stay active on your skin longer while you get your beauty rest. I love using Dreamweaver by Sircuit Skin before bed as an overnight moisturizer. The chamomile in it calms and relaxes my skin for a deep, heavenly sleep. Decleor’s Aroma Night Regenerating cream is also a dream to use. Infused with black orchid and primrose, you’ll awake to renewed and radiant skin.

Flickr User: EF Photography

Sleep deprivation also affects your skin hydration. When you’re not getting enough sleep, the first thing you run to is caffeine. Not so great for your skin! Caffeine exhausts your skin and takes away moisture from your body leaving your skin thirsty. If you’re stuck sleeping only a few hours in a night, take coffee and tea out of your diet and stock up on water. Adding water back into your system will have your skin looking moisturized instead of completely water deprived.  Sleep also acts as a natural moisturizer when you perspire. Usually when you sleep your entire body (including your face) tends to perspire more, giving you a natural skin treatment.

I don’t know about you but not getting sleep makes me a really cranky monster. Not being a morning person to begin with, the last thing I need is to compromise the well-being of my body. Getting my beauty sleep not only helps my human self function better, but I’m happier and less likely to get into a funk of depression. One thing that helps me get my quality beauty rest is having a satin sleep mask. It blocks light so my sleep isn’t disrupted. There are many different eye therapy masks you can also try to rejuvenate your tired eyes. Now take a minute and listen to your body, it’s telling you something. Are you sleep deprived? Are you dehydrated? Are the bags under your eyes so bad that they’re impossible to hide with even the strongest concealer? Get some Z’s.

3 Steps to Younger Looking Skin

Tuesday, February 16th, 2010

By Liz W

sun protection user Ninha Morandini

With age comes great wisdom, but unfortunately wisdom doesn’t come alone; and you might be considering a change in your skin care routine. Every year, another unwelcome candle finds its way to your birthday cake, and another even more unwelcome wrinkle appears on your smiling face. Anti aging skin care can make a huge difference in fighting the visible signs of aging. Cosmetic Surgeon Dr. Chip Cole shares his skin care advice on the best things you can do keep your skin looking as youthful as possible.

Dr. Chip Cole, a quadruple board certified Oculofacial Plastic Surgeon, who specializes in facial rejuvenation and eye and facial surgery, says the secret to slowing down the signs of aging is a three step process:

“Resurface, Rejuvenate and Protect.  Resurfacing your skin with a retinol will help to address and correct sun damaged skin, acne scarring and rough or coarse texture.  More than 90% off the sun damage we attribute to aging is the result of cumulative sun damage. Rejuvenate your skin by using a topical Vitamin C.  This will help reverse much of this sun damage and help protect your skin from further damage as well.  Protect your skin daily with a hydrating sunscreen.  I recommend a minimum of SPF30 (like Canyon Ranch Your Transformation  Protect UVA/UVB SPF 30 Facial Moisturizer) that protects against both UVA and UVB rays.” –Dr. Chip Cole.

There are other paths you can take when you suddenly stop looking forward to birthdays, and realize your youth is behind you. You can accept that you are growing older, and consider each new line on your face a sign of a happy smile-filled life, and stop caring about your appearance, as your best years have passed. Or, you can start caring for your skin in a way you know you should have been since the first time you noticed your lipstick was exploring those fun little lines around your lips. We recommend taking Dr. Cole’s advice on aging gracefully.

The Hair Dryer Chronicles – The Benefits of a Good Hair Dryer

Thursday, January 14th, 2010

By Jenna

Let’s face it; my hair has definitely gone through A LOT and it’s taken some tender, love and serious hair care to keep it from frying off my head. I’m currently bleach-blonde and I have been for a long time. I’ve even gone from light to dark back to blonde in less than 8 months and my head hates me for it. The good thing is that my hair doesn’t look like straw and it’s taken a lot to keep it healthy through all of the tough times I’ve put it through. Good hair care and using the right hair products in my beauty routine is to thank for that. Another thing that makes a huge difference in how healthy my hair remains after styling is my hair dryer. It may not seem like it makes a difference but it makes a tremendous one. Think about how much pain and torture you put your hair through. You’re putting serious ammonia and chemicals on your hair when you dye it, frying it with heat, breaking it with brushing and styling. If your hair could scream at you, I’m sure it would every day. The better you treat your hair when styling, the better your hair is going to look and feel.  Think about it, when your hair looks good, you’re on top of the world, so why not pamper it?

Years ago, when the whole ionic drying fad was new, I was ecstatic to jump on it. I purchased an ionic dryer and was impressed with the results. I switched from a traditional one after doing some research. Traditional hair dryers use positive ions when they dry hair that ends up exposing the hair to more heat damage as well as opens up the cuticle, which can cause excess frizzing. An ionic hair dryer is different because it uses negative ions to nourish the hair. These ions speed up the drying process because they break down water molecules, (which means less heat damage) and also tightens up the hair cuticle resulting in less frizz after drying. Most salons prefer to use ionic hair dryers to reduce damage after processing. Even though they may cost more, they last longer and help the condition of your hair. These benefits to me are priceless.

One hair dryer that I have recently stumbled upon and am having an affair with is The Featherweight by T3. I can seriously tell you all that I’m completely IN LOVE (and want kids) with this dryer and am never turning back. Or at least until something new and amazing comes along. This hair dryer is light weight, tourmaline-infused, and my favorite part is that its packaging and performance is just as attractive as its description. It utilizes an infrared heat technique and dries hair 60% faster than most hair dryers. It also uses negative ions with parts made from tourmaline gemstones that fortify, nourish and moisturize your hair. This leaves your locks shinier, smoother, and silkier. I don’t think I’ve ever had more complements on my hair as after using The Featherweight. I no longer need as much product after shampooing and the best part is I don’t need to use any flat irons or curlers. This dryer from heaven does it all for me and in a fraction of the time.

If you want to cut back your styling time and save your damaged hair as well, I highly recommend investing in a really good hair dryer. Your head will be thanking you, I know mine does. After all, who wants to look like they have troll hair?

Bad hair day

Winterize Your Skin and At-Home Spa Treatments

Thursday, December 3rd, 2009

By Liz W

Winter skin care user Tarnishedrose

During the frosty winter months your skin loses moisture faster than your pockets lose depth, and protecting it from harsh conditions means adjusting your skin care regimen. The main thing people complain about when the temperature starts to drop is dry itchy skin. Combine cold weather and winter colds, and people are left looking like poor Rudolf, with chapped lips and raw unhappy skin.

In order to plump your skin back to its former hydrated glory, take a look at your current moisturizer. Chances are that the product you were using in the summer was a light water based formula. This is great for humidity, but when it feels like you’re living in the North Pole; your dry skin will absorb lotion before you can even rub it in. One of the best gifts you can give your chapped skin this year is to store away that light lotion with your sun dresses and sandals, and exchange it for a rich, indulgent cream.

Usually lotions come in pump bottles as they have a thinner consistency, being water based. Oil based creams, like Dermalogica’s Super Rich Repair are much thicker and generally come in jars for easier access. They tend to have a lower PH and will quench your parched pores much better than a water based product can.  However, slathering moisturizers on dead skin cells will have little effect, so for even better results use an exfoliating mask like Skin Zyme Green Papaya Enzyme Mask, from Jan Marini. This mask has active enzymes that will remove dead skin build up, without the irritating effects of some at home facials.

For ultimate comfort, don’t stop at just your face, treat your whole body to a spa-like treatment.  To lock in moisture after a bath, skip the bubbles which can strip moisture from your skin, and instead, add a few teaspoons of oil to your water. It will sit on the surface and cling to your skin when you get out, leaving it silky and shiny.

If chapped lips are ruining your spirit, try to find a lip product that will do more than just add pigment and shine. Pick up a present for your lips to keep them soft so that you aren’t left out during a game of spin the bottle driedel. There are plenty of lip sticks and glosses that are enhanced with rich emollients that heal and protect your pout, taking it from cracked to kissable in no time. Colorscience Lip Serums pair plumping ingredients with nourishing ones, promoting not only a healthier smile, but fresher breath as well!

With your rosy cheeks, supple lips, and breath that’s sweeter than a candy cane, your confidence is bound to soar.  So this year, don’t be surprised if you find yourself puckered up and prancing towards the mistletoe with more pep than you have ever dared before.

Hair and Skin Detox

Wednesday, November 18th, 2009

By Liz W

Hair and skin detox user sanberdoo

Usually people are so focused on adding things to their hair and skin, like deep conditioners and moisturizers, they forget that what their beauty routine really needs is a good scrub down. Although it is wonderful to treat your hair and skin to rebuilding and thirst quenching products, sometimes, just the opposite is in order.

Over time, even when using the best beauty products, your hair and scalp will need a good cleanse to remove build up left over from hairspray, mouse, you name it. And even if acne is a distant memory, anti-wrinkle creams will work much better on fresh de-clogged skin.

A quick and inexpensive way to detox your hair is to add a teaspoon of white or apple cider vinegar to your daily cleansing shampoo. This will remove buildup and help smooth and close the hair cuticle. When the hair cuticle is damaged or exposed to heat, it opens and causes the hair to look dull and frizzy, so closing it down will add amazing shine, leaving you with ultra healthy looking hair.

For your skin, the best ways to detoxify are by working from the inside out. Everything you put (and don’t put) in your body shows up on your skin. Make sure to eat a well balanced diet full of whole, unprocessed foods and drink plenty of water. Equal to eating well, exercising is one of the most important things to do for your skin too, as it gets your blood flowing, and body sweating out those toxins.

Even if you eat a perfectly healthy diet, and get all your beauty sleep, it never hurts to treat your skin from the outside too. Dry brushing is an amazing way to stimulate cell turn over and unclog pores. Some people claim it is so effective they don’t even need to use body lotion after showering! For a similar treatment suitable for your face, a facial brush, like the Clarisonic can work wonders for removing dirt and makeup buried in your pores.

We all slip up once in a while and indulge ourselves with too much champagne and holiday treats, but as long as we focus on cleansing our bodies after polluting them with heavy makeup and red meat, we should all be able to stay un-blemished and un-bloated well through the New Year.