Posts Tagged ‘beauty tips’

Skyn ICELAND Pure Cloud Cleanser, and Tips for Glowing Skin

Tuesday, January 11th, 2011

By Liz W
Blue Lagoon Spa, Iceland

Some people have glowing skin that responds perfectly to any cream, serum, or cleanser, but some people, like me, seem to be constantly searching for the best face wash to fit their unique, complex, and very finicky skin. If your skin tends to throw temper tantrums on a regular basis and won’t decide whether it is dry, oily, sensitive, or full of acne, try changing your way of thinking, and basically do the opposite of what you have been doing for years.

Instead of constantly trying to fight your skin with acids and peels and masks, just do the bare minimum and let it make up its own mind. If you give it what it needs, it will heal itself naturally.

Have you ever noticed that the people with the best skin are constantly declaring insane statements like, “I never wash my face, I just wipe a wash cloth over it sometimes.”? Well, it is time to start following their lead (to a certain extent).

Most of peoples’ skin problems are the result of them over treating their various maladies.

For example:

  • If you strip all evidence of oil’s existence from your skin, the only result you will achieve is super-charged, over-active oil glands.
  • If you scrub your skin to death trying to uncover the baby soft complexion beneath, all you will get are more dry skin patches.
  • And, if you pick and over-medicate every hint of a blemish, all you are going to see is more pimples and red bumps popping up like crazy.

With all the “perfect skin tips” out there that involve harsh ingredients and painful procedures, it is hard to believe, but many people find that once they stop trying to achieve perfect skin, it actually emerges on its own.

Ever since I discovered that leaving oil on my face when washing it was the trick to having a matte complexion all day, I was searching for a face wash that would not only leave my face clean, but also had awesome ingredients (and, most importantly, didn’t smell like patchouli). When I tried Skyn Iceland’s Pure Cloud Cleanser, I knew I had found the answer to my prayers. I had given up on my search and had been trying to concoct my own natural skin remedies at home.

The very first use provides results, especially if you are used to regular face washes, and your skin will glow so much, I guarantee you (and others) will notice. It is full of beautiful ingredients like coconut oil, olive oil and aloe, that completely dissolve makeup while hydrating the skin simultaneously. Its star ingredient, Angelica archangelica, is an Icelandic relative of ginseng, which helps protect your skin from infections and environmental stressors. It is even fun to use, as it is most effective when applied to dry skin, then removed with the muslin cloth that is provided with the cleanser.

If you are looking for a cleanser that really does leave the skin soft, this is a must-have for any skin type.

A Few Beautiful Resolutions and How to Keep them for 2011

Thursday, January 6th, 2011

As we all know, along with the New Year comes  New Year resolutions. There are the ever popular lose weight, save money, stop smoking, try new things and to learn a different language. However, working at a beauty company, my coworkers have a few more specific goals for 2011 and as you can guess they are all beauty and health related.  When polled, the members of my office listed everything from styling their hair every morning to running a half marathon to eating more antioxidants to performing weekly at home manicures (ok, that last one is mine, and sad to say, 5 days in and I have already failed…chips galore).  Not surprisingly, statistics show that around 90% of New Year resolutions fail. While New Year resolutions can be tough, here are a few tips to attain your beauty and health goals for 2011.

One of my co-workers vowed to blow-dry her hair every day, not to haphazardly apply her makeup in the car and to not pick at her nails. If your resolutions mirror hers and revolve around a more put together appearance, try incorporating one new element at a time.  Grand beauty ideas are fantastic but even just the smallest tweak to your beauty ritual can make your confidence soar. Get a great blow out in the beginning of the week, try a manicure with shellac nail polish (they last for weeks and don’t chip!), or set aside an extra 5 minutes for your makeup and indulge in a new eye shadow palette (I adore Becca Cosmetics palette).

A handful of other coworkers made resolutions along the lines of a healthy detox, working out and living a booze free 2011. In fact, one of them boldly declared that she “will only eat fruits and vegetables, workout an hour every day and not drink alcohol at all!” While this is an extremely commendable new year resolution, experts insist that making extreme goals and absolute resolutions (think words like always, never and every day) is just another way to set yourself up for failure.

While incorporating fruits and vegetables into your diet is amazing (think of all the antioxidants you will get!) it’s not very likely that someone that ate cheeseburgers twice a week will be able to solely exist off the fruit of the land (literally speaking).  If a healthy lifestyle is your resolution this year, try setting attainable and manageable health goals. Challenge yourself to eat 8-12 servings of fruits and vegetables a day, drink more water, attempt Meatless Mondays (its only one day, not forever, you can do it!) and hold off on the booze until a well deserved weekend cocktail. Instead of working out for one hour, seven days a week and loosing 10 lbs in 10 days, try a non-weight related goal. Aim for 5 hours of cardio a week (that way if you miss a day or two, there are still five or six days left to make up for it) or train for a race. You won’t be worried about the number on the scale, just the accomplishment of reaching your goal.

Moral of the story? When it comes to new year resolutions, moderation is key. Cheers to 2011!

The Best Beauty Trends (and the worst!) of 2010

Thursday, December 16th, 2010

Flickr user limonlucikolata

flickr user chicagophotoshop

2010 was a pretty beautiful year, literally speaking. Aside from a few missteps and casualties (Bump-its anyone? Jersey Shore-esque tans? Anything from the Taylor Momsen makeup bag?), this past year has ushered in some gorgeous new looks and brought relevance to retro trends as well. Below is a list of some of the best beauty trends 2010 had to offer.

  • Ombre Hair- Good news for those who despise the monthly trips to the salon for touch-ups! Perfectly maintained hair is out and ombre hair is in!  Celebs like Nicole Richie and Rachel Bilson started bucking the beauty rule of root maintenance this summer.
  • Retro hair- Think beehives, a la Scarlet Johanson, and Veronica Lake waves made popular by beauties such as Megan Fox and Angelina Jolie.
  • Cat eye makeup and winged eyeliner- A favorite of everyone from Lauren Conrad to the make up artists at fashion week, this easy-to-achieve look dominated the beauty pages in 2010.  With a steady hand and an easy-to-use liquid eyeliner (I prefer Hourglass Cosmetics Calligraphy Liquid Eyeliner) anyone can perfect this subtle, yet sexy come-hither look. Again, please remember, you are going for subtle, not Little J!
  • Pixie cuts- For the past couple months, stars have been chopping off their long locks one-by-one to reveal a gamine and gorgeous, yet classic do. Celebrities such as Michelle Williams, Ginnifer Goodwin, Carey Mulligan, Emma Watson, Elisha Cuthbert and Rihanna have all made the cut, literally. Beware though; this hair trend is not for everyone.
  • Braids- The braided hair style is my personal favorite look from this year. The mixture of simplicity and versatility, mixed with my laziness and unruly mane, has turned the braid into my go-to hair style.

The worst? There were some doozies! The aforementioned Bump Its, Oompa-Loompa tans, raccoon eye makeup, also snuggies, neon makeup and scraggly extensions (again, bad year for Taylor Momsen) … but the absolute worst beauty trend of 2010? Vajazzling!

Healthy Tips for the Holidays

Thursday, November 11th, 2010

Flickr user blucolt

‘Tis the season! The holidays, aka my favorite time of year, are just around the corner. Can you really think of a better reason to enjoy some hot chocolate by the fire place, spend quality time with loved ones, bake pumpkin pie, and indulge in a little eggnog and mulled cider? Not to mention all the fantastic holiday parties and sparkly outfits that go hand and hand with the upcoming months. The downside of all these festive treats and activities? The slew of calories that generally accompanies them. Not to worry, below are a few healthy holiday tips and tricks to make it through December and still fit into your New Year’s Eve dress. (Bonus- you can still have your pumpkin pie and eat it too!)

How to tackle the holiday party scene:

  1. Never arrive hungry. This is the number one healthy holiday tip! Always make sure you have a healthy snack before you go to a party. Take the edge off your hunger by eating a few slices of turkey breast, some veggies or fruit before you go. That way, you won’t be tempted to pig out on the cheese platter and dessert tray.
  2. Bargain with yourself. Make up little deals, such as allowing yourself 1 cookie after eating 5 healthy things.
  3. Count calories. I know, it’s annoying, but if you are aware of how many you’re consuming throughout the day, you will know how many you may eat at the party. If your friend makes the world’s best apple pie or you are planning on having a few cocktails, substitute your usual sandwich at lunch for a low-cal salad.
  4. Chew gum. Several studies have concluded that chewing gum before snacking can reduce your cravings and hunger. Plus, it keeps you occupied.
  5. Remember that the purpose of a party is to socialize, not to eat! Try making the rounds and talking to people first, instead of heading to the buffet table. You might find that you aren’t even hungry.

Other tips for a healthy holiday:

  1. Don’t skimp on your workout! In fact, try to increase them during the week. Add just a little bit more cardio to your general routine so that you can have an extra glass of wine or a second helping without the guilt.
  2. Sign up for a race. Lots of towns host races around the holidays, such as a 5k or 10k Turkey Trot. Participating in a race is a great way to stay active, get in the holiday spirit, motivate yourself to stay healthy in the coming days and even lose holiday weight.
  3. Remember to drink water! Water is one of the best things we can put in our bodies—it flushes out all the toxins (one too many holiday-tinis? Chug some agua!), hydrates skin in the dry winter months and keeps us hydrated, which minimizes hunger pains.

These aren’t just great tips for a healthy holiday, try and remember them year round as well!

Working Overtime- Eye shadow can play almost every role in the makeup bag

Thursday, November 4th, 2010

Flickr user Jacklyn DL

As you might be able to tell from some of my other blog posts, I’m not exactly the biggest of beauty junkies. Don’t get me wrong, I do like makeup and feeling feminine but I simply detest spending time, energy and money on pampering. My makeup bag is pretty bare, not because I don’t need that much makeup, but because I have found my no-fail products that work double and sometimes triple duty- cutting down on clutter, cost and time. The MVP of my makeup bag? Eye shadow! There are so many different uses for eye shadow that with a few different shades and pigments, you could practically toss half of your beauty product arsenal! Read on to learn about them.

  1. Eyeliner- Eye shadow is a great substitute for actual eyeliner, plus there is a far greater selection of shades! Simply wet an angled or pointed brush, dip into your eye shadow and voila—custom eyeliner!
  2. Eyebrow pencil- Very similar to the previous tip, applying eyeliner, eye shadow may also be used as a great eyebrow pencil.
  3. Blush- Red and pink eye shadows are not the most popular shades, but if you happen to have a color that suites your skin tone (perhaps it came in an eye shadow palette with various colors) it can be a great blush.
  4. Lip gloss- Making lip gloss with eye shadow can be really fun and produce great results! Start with Vaseline on the back of your hand and start mixing in different shades of eye shadow until you create the perfect color
  5. Nail Polish- This use of eye shadow was news to me and I have yet to try it. However, one of my cosmetically gifted coworkers told me about this little trick and swears that it works wonderfully! Simply mix your favorite color of loose eye shadow with clear nail polish to create your desired shade. Try a vampy burgundy or purple, one of this winter’s hottest trends!

The Lazy Way to Clear Skin

Thursday, October 7th, 2010

A fellow beauty publicist recently asked me what my favorite products are, assuming that I have a slew of serums, shadows, lotions and skincare potions at my disposal.  While she was right, I do get to learn about, try and test tons of great products, I’m just not a beauty junkie. In fact, I actually have a confession to make—I hate washing my face, let alone following steps and applying the correct product to each specific area in the correct order. I know, I know, I should be ashamed to even post this on a beauty blog. Truth be told, my favorite beauty products are face wipesa lazy girl’s best beauty buddy.

Multitasking products are another great addition your skin care routine. They cut down on products and basically allow you to exert as little effort as possible. Below are a few items that perform double, or even triple, duty!

  • Jemma Kidd’s Cleansing Wipes actually have residence on my bedside table. The antioxidant-rich facial cleansing wipes are so easy to use! They are ultra soft and effectively remove makeup and dirt, while toning the skin and cleansing.
  • A moisturizer with spf provides daily sunscreen doses and also replenishes and provides the skin with essential nutrients- if you can find one with a tint, such as Dermalogica’s Sheer Tint Moisture with SPF 15, then you even cut out a makeup step!
  • Pevonia Botanica’s Gentle Exfoliating Cleanser gently exfoliates and thoroughly eliminates dead cells, sebum, toxins and impurities without being too abrasive.
  • A colleague of mine and all around beauty buff, swears by iQ Derma’s Clear Remedy Purifying Cleanser, insisting that it cleanses, removes all her makeup and is specially formulated to help prevent breakouts.

Longer Lashes in the Blink of an Eye

Friday, September 17th, 2010

I, like most women, love the look of luscious, long eyelashes. (Wouldn’t we all love to walk around every day with Kim K’s stunning lashes?)  Although, due to clumsiness, laziness and lack of time, I rarely make an effort.  My unsteady hand generally results in mascara on my nose and eyeliner smudged on my lid and cheek (don’t even ask how it gets there, I have no clue). Fake eyelashes? Please, there is NO WAY I trust myself with eyelash adhesive around my eye region.  I toyed with the idea of trying a product such as Latisse or RapidLash—but I don’t want to deal with a prescription and both of these products contain Prostaglandin, which can alter the color of your eye. Even though I don’t have gorgeous blue or green peepers, I’m kind of partial to the boring brown eye color that I was given.

I recently decided to try Smartlash, a new eyelash enhancement which utilizes VisiLash Technology to create a gentle product that produces serious results. SmartLash is prescription-free formula that replaces harmful ingredients, such as Prostaglandin, with mild peptides to improve the look of lashes and brows without affecting the remaining eye area and skin. Although, what really sold me were the clinical results.

A 30-day independent clinical study yielded the following results:

  • 100% saw an increase in the appearance of eyelash length, fullness and thickness
  • Participants experienced up to a 68% increase in the appearance of lash length!
  • 100% said they feel like they need less mascara
  • 100% indicated superior performance compared to previously used eyelash enhancers

SmartLash is so incredibly easy to use. I just apply it to my lash line, as if I am applying eyeliner, twice a day and I’m done. I have only been using the product for about 4 days, so will check back in after a month and share my results!

10 Easy to Follow Weight Loss Tips for Every Day

Friday, September 10th, 2010

As much as I love summer- the vacations, the sun, sand, bike rides and ocean breezes, there are a few things that really start to take a toll on my body and waistline- namely the barbeques, burgers and booze that are synonymous with warmer months. I assumed that after Labor Day passed, I would be back to my healthy eating habits and kick the added calories. Although, I seemed to have forgotten that after summer comes my other favorite time of year- Football Season. (Go Canes!) Along with football season comes even more barbeques, burgers and booze. Sigh. Luckily, there are some easy ways to lose weight without giving up all the fun stuff. With just a couple tweaks to my diet and following these simple healthy eating tips throughout the day and week, I can still have my cake and eat it too…. or burger… or margarita.

  1. Cut your portions down. Portion control is such an easy thing to correct during the day. Instead of eating an entire bagel for breakfast, eat half.  Our portions are generally much larger than a recommended serving size.
  2. Go Green! And red. And Purple. And yellow. Eat as many colorful veggies and fruits as you possible can during the day. Not only are they a great low calorie snack but they provide tons of nutritional benefits!
  3. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. Often times people mistake dehydration for hunger pains. Before you sit down to feast, drink a glass of water or two and reevaluate just how hungry you truly are.
  4. Eat wholesome foods. If you cannot pronounce some the chemicals, additives and substitutes, don’t eat it.
  5. Take your vitamins. It is a simple way to get your daily nutritional needs and it aids in weight loss. It really doesn’t get any easier than that.
  6. Behave on school (work) nights. Try to limit alcohol, going out to dinner and generally unhealthy habits during the week. If you treat your body right throughout the week, not only will it be reflected in your energy level and your performance at school or work, but then you will deserve a nice meal or cocktail (or three) on the weekend.
  7. Drink coffee. Caffeine is a great appetite suppressant, just be sure to go light on the sugar and cream. Black coffee has close to zero calories but can quickly become unhealthy.
  8. Get moving. I know working out is harder for some people than others but add a little cardio to your weekly routine and you won’t be nearly as worried about the hot dog that you had on Sunday.
  9. Get your beauty sleep. Research shows that less than 8 hours of shut eye can decrease your metabolism and increase hunger.
  10. Educate yourself. Just being aware of nutritional facts will help you make healthier choices. Sign up for weight loss newsletters, emails and tweets. Eat This Not That is a great website that give nutritional info and guidance on everything from what fast food lunch is most nutritious to options at a BBQ.

Makeup APPlication: The New Way to Shop For Color Cosmetics, Courtesy of Pur Minerals

Thursday, September 2nd, 2010

Makeup /technology geeks everywhere, rejoice: Pur Minerals—a line that’s long been a favorite of ours, offering skin-friendly mineral makeup that doesn’t contain harsh ingredients and isn’t tested on animals—has just introduced an exciting iPhone app: iPur Beauty. And it’s gonna change the way you think about new makeup looks and shop for color cosmetics.

Remember those funny (albeit futuristic at the time) mall kiosks from the early 2000s that had the ability to take your photo then show what you’d look like sporting different hair styles and colors? Well, iPur Beauty is the app incarnation of that—but it’s so much better. Anyone using an iPhone or iPod Touch (and running the 4.0 version of the operating system) can grab this awesome beauty tool from the app store at no cost. And I strongly encourage you to do so!

With iPur Beauty, you can test-drive a brand new makeup look by following a few very easy steps. Once you’ve downloaded the app, all you need to do is snap a photo (a clean, makeup-free face makes for the best canvas) or select a model’s image from the photo gallery. Now you’re ready to experiment! From base makeup to blush, eye shadow, eyeliner and lip color, iPur Beauty enables to you try out colors from Pur Minerals’ entire line. No crowded cosmetics counter to deal with, no coming home with a bogus shade, no hassle. Best of all, these experiments are shareable—you can email them to a friend for a second opinion or share them via Facebook to see what everyone in your social network thinks about your proposed makeover. The app also allows you to shop online or locate nearby retailers—and of course, you can always snag your favorite Pur Minerals makeup products at

Have an iPhone or an iPod Touch? Grab the iPur Beauty app and have fun with it—show us your new looks!

You Are What You Eat

Thursday, August 26th, 2010

Flickr user .craig

Here is some food for thought: what you put into your body is just as important for your skin as what you put on it. The foods you eat directly affect your outward appearance, primarily on your skin. While the beauty industry is constantly evolving and progressing with scientific breakthroughs and discoveries, spending hundreds of dollars on the newest revolutionary product might not be the only solution.  Although proper cleansers and creams are vital, achieving gorgeous glowing skin can be as simple as assessing your diet and adding food for healthy skin. The next time you are tempted to hit the beauty aisle, perhaps you should consider the food section first because beauty really does come from within!

What to consume for healthy-looking skin:

  1. Whole grains- Not only do these healthy starches help whittle your waistline—they can also help prevent acne. Unhealthy carbs, such as potato chips and cookies, affect hormone levels and cause the body to produce excess oil, which clogs the pores. Next time you’re craving carbs, put down the Pringles and pick up some popcorn. The fiber will not only fill you up but regulate your insulin, which keeps your hormones and oil production in check.
  2. Water- There are countless benefits of drinking water. Water is crucial to proper skin hydration. Plus, it carries nutrients to cells, aids in flushing out toxins, and helps your body sweat more efficiently. It sounds gross, I know, but sweat is a natural cleansing mechanism that brightens the complexion and keeps skin looking fresh.

    Flickr user Pink Sherbet Photography

  3. Blueberries, Blackberries, Strawberries and Plums- These four super fruits contain some of the best antioxidants out there. The benefits of antioxidants are vast, and can play a role in everything from preventing heart disease to boosting the immune system. Lucky for us, these delicious fruits also play a major role in anti-aging. They protect the skin cells from free radical damage.
  4. Green Tea- Another reason to go green! Green tea benefits include antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties, packing a 1-2 punch for beautiful skin. Studies suggest that green tea, which protects the cell membrane, can reduce the risk of UV damage and thus minimize the risk of skin cancer. Also, the polyphenols found in green tea have anti-inflammatory properties, ideal for people trying to prevent and reduce acne.
  5. Turkey- Roasted or smoked turkey has a high concentration of zinc, which helps maintain the collagen and elastin fibers responsible for the skin’s elasticity and firmness. Zinc also helps regulate sebum production, putting a stop to shine and helping to prevent pimples. Other foods for healthy skin that contain zinc: chickpeas, pumpkin seeds, baked beans and beef.
  6. Salmon- Get soft, supple skin by adding salmon to your diet.  It’s rich in omega3 fatty acids, which are essential for healthy cell membranes—they hold in moisture and help keep skin plump and youthful. Omega3 fatty acids also have anti-inflammatory properties and can decrease clogged pores.