Posts Tagged ‘health’

EMANI Cosmetics Made My Catalina Trip Amazing

Thursday, June 6th, 2013

It’s almost summer which means it’s time to plan mini getaways, warm trips, and long vacations! Personally, I spent my weekend on the gorgeous island of Catalina; Avalon to be exact. Of course, I did my homework ahead of time to determine what I needed to bring per weather restrictions, the verdict you ask? Sunny in the mid-70’s! Sounded like perfect sun bathing weather, however I remembered that Catalina weather is always iffy. A beautiful sunshine-filled afternoon can have a wind chill leaving me freezing cold!

I decided to bring my new eco-friendly EMANI cosmetics with me, not only because the colors are brilliantly tropical (and healthy – 100% vegan!), but also because they have breathable products which are designed to perform in all kinds of elements; extreme heat, humidity or cold temperatures. They seemed like a perfect fit for my Catalina getaway!

EMANI is a rare breed: 100% vegan, 100% gluten free, 100% American made, cruelty free, PETA certified and award winning, paraben/talc/mineral oil/etc. etc. FREE! These stats made me think the company must create great green products, however I questioned if they would provide good enough coverage or rich enough shades. They actually wear very light but provide deep coverage just like our favorite, expensive, luxury brands. I was shocked.

A few of my favorite products I used this weekend were the Crushed Blush in Cancun Heat, the Flawless Matte Foundation in Nude Beige, and the Mosaic Eye Shadow in Feeling Mischievous. I was really glad I brought my EMANI round-up because Saturday was gorgeous and hot (mid-80’s), but Sunday was sunny and freezing (the wind made it feel like low 60’s!). Regardless, my makeup looked flawless throughout. Aside from the high-performing pigmented shadows like the gorgeous Crushed Mineral Color Dust in Bamboo, the best item I brought was the Vegan Travel Brush Set. This set should actually be incorporated into my daily beauty regimen, not just for travel. Unbelievably soft, the brushes allow for an even and easy application for all kinds of product. They even have a top secret way of affixing each individual bristle to the wand to ensure they never leave stray hairs on your face!

Thanks EMANI for making my Catalina trip full of luminous color, coverage, and all around excitement!

Summer Essentials – 3 Products You Never Knew You Needed

Tuesday, May 28th, 2013

By Jenna

Memorial Day weekend has already come and gone which doesn’t just remind us not to squander time but to also start enjoying the summer. Like right now. In the next few months we will be going on vacations and flocking to bodies of water. With the upcoming excursions and lazy, leisurely days we need to be sure that we’re protected from the rays of the sun and for anything that life throws at us whilst indulging. We all know the basics to bring to any summer soiree: SPF, lip balm, waterproof mascara and body oil, however the bare bones pack job may not cover us for more than a day. Wherever I go, I want to not only look my best but feel my best around the clock and I have a feeling you’ll want to pick up a few of my secrets too.

Being on vacation or at a party should be glamorous right? If there’s one thing to turn to it’s a face palette. My favorite face go-to is the Instant Face kit from Claudio Riaz. 4 amazing products in 1 – BOOM. Pool party, BBQ, boat trip, beach day, no problem. You have everything in this gorgeous kit to apply or touch up. Guess what? It’s refillable! After using up what you love, stage a makeup mutiny and switch with ANY of the rest of Claudio’s line so you can build your own perfect palette over time. No hot mess face over here thank you.

No matter your weight, everyone gets a little critical about themself while in a swimsuit. Relax girls, you can get a leg up on the competition. I have quite a few weekend trips planned where bikinis are a must but I don’t want to worry about any puckering going on with my legs or behind if you get my drift.  My secret to a better look from behind is Bliss’ FatGirlSlim. I don’t want anyone actually knowing exactly what I’m doing, so I put some of the lotion in a travel container and label it just ‘lotion’. Genius, I know. While I’m hydrating, I’m reinforcing and if applied every day it’s smooth sailing.

With a trip already booked to an eco-friendly boutique hotel in a 3rd world country, I’m really careful to pack only what I need. To help conserve and conscious of my carbon footprint, I’m packing up LA Fresh’s Oil-Free Face Cleanser Wipes. These 100% biodegradable wipes can be used on your face or body for a quick refresh at any time of the day. With ingredients like aloe, chamomile, vitamin E, cucumber and papaya, they remove makeup while soothing and cleansing your skin. I cannot stress enough about how amazing these wipes are for anywhere. I have a pack in my gym bag, beach bag, and suitcase and they come in handy every single day.

Have any summer beauty essentials that you can’t live without? Share!

5 Tips for Surviving Cold and Flu Season

Thursday, December 15th, 2011

image: flickr user Mrjmsmith

It’s the most wonderful time of the year … but if you’ve ever spent the holidays stuck in an urgent care waiting room, you know better than anyone that we’re approaching the peak of cold and flu season. Yeah, this is a beauty blog. But I’m guessing that a puffy face, irritated eyes and a red nose aren’t part of any holiday beauty looks you’re hoping to pull off this season (insert Rudolph joke here). With that in mind, here are some quick tips for making it through the next few weeks with your wellness intact!

1. Wash your hands! (Duh.) Everyone could use some reminding … and this one really can’t be stressed enough. It is SO important, not just for you, but for those around you, that you keep your hands clean. Wash vigorously and with warm water. If you’re like most people, you’re probably not washing for long enough. 20 seconds is a good time to aim for. Try singing “Happy Birthday” twice silently if you don’t feel like counting to 20.

2. Don’t touch your face if you can help it. (Look at that! It’s a good rule of thumb for keeping your skin clear, too!) In particular, keep your paws away from your nose, eyes and mouth. You don’t want to give germs any sort of advantage in their quest to get in your system!

3. Drink hot liquids. Whether it’s scientific or psychological, many of us agree that drinking hot liquids, or even eating them (chicken soup, anyone?) helps when we feel a cold coming on. FYI, I personally don’t eat chicken, so my go-to is lemongrass soup. I swear by it.

4. Drink water! (Another one that doubles as a beauty must.) Your body doesn’t function at ideal levels when you’re dehydrated. Give yourself the best chance you can to fend off cold and flu germ assault!

5. Take it easy if you’re sick. Do yourself and those around you a favor—avoid being that person hacking up a lung while hobbling along on the treadmill. Stay home from work, take a hot bath, have some soup and take a nap! You’ll feel better and your coworkers will be happy they didn’t catch whatever you have.

The Health Benefits of Pantyhose

Thursday, July 28th, 2011

image courtesy of

Even though the royal wedding happened months ago, Kate Middleton remains a pretty hot topic among beauty buffs and fashion aficionados everywhere. She’s actually a source of heated discussion around this office—some of us think she’s the picture of elegance, with her long, silky hair and rail-thin physique. Others are less than impressed by her conservative aesthetic, which I will admit flirts with “matronly” from time to time. Whatever your take on Duchess Kate, there’s one thing you can’t deny: the girl’s a trendsetter, deservingly so or not. The J Brand 811 jeans? Those things FLEW off shelves everywhere once the world spied how fab she looked in them. (I think it’s pretty cool she wore them several times—I like that she isn’t above wearing something repeatedly just because she has the kind of shopping budget that most women only dream about.) Now, the naysayers (NayKaters?) would probably argue that J Brand jeans have been “cool” for quite some time. They’d be right. But what about pantyhose? What do you have to say about those, NayKaters? I say that until Kate Middleton and her Midas touch got a hold of them, pantyhose most certainly were not gold.
I’m under the impression that pantyhose are part of the agreed-upon dress code Britain’s royal types are held to, so I’m not necessarily convinced Kate Middleton likes them any more than I do. But I bet she doesn’t know that they could be beneficial to her health and beauty. (Bet you didn’t know that either.) But they could be! According to Dr. Z Catherine Navarro, Medical Director of The Vein Center of the Palm Beaches in Florida, “wearing support stockings can help prevent poor circulation in the legs and swelling of the feet, ankles or legs.” What’s more, pantyhose can prevent varicose veins and spider veins—AND they can thwart the formation of a blood clot in a vein. Pretty awesome, but I think I’ll go ahead and stick with my trusty black tights when bare legs aren’t doing it for me. Now I know they’re good for my health! What about you? Are you rushing out to your local drugstore to stock up on L’Eggs?

Dr. Murad’s University of Inclusive Health

Tuesday, June 7th, 2011

I recently went to Murad’s Inclusive Health spa in El Segundo for training. I wanted to share my experience because this is a fairly new program and I think that anyone interested in health and beauty could truly benefit from this program and experience. I’ll explain what the Inclusive Health program is about, how it works and what I did/learned during my training.

What is inclusive health?

Inclusive health is a breakthrough approach to health and aging. It creates the ideal environment for cellular health. This astonishing approach looks at the body as an integrated system that can be transformed by building health at the cellular level. Inclusive health broadens its horizons by focusing on the overall health of each person from the cellular level up. Patients have a consultation with Dr. Murad and a trained Inclusive health practitioner to set up a 10 week program that focuses on correcting skin conditions and the management of aging. Each individual program is based on the individual wants and needs of each patient. Using a three-pronged approach that consists of topical, internal and emotional care, Inclusive health offers a unique collaboration of services, this concept is absent from today’s medical spa market, which makes this program so innovative and one of a kind.

How does the three-pronged approach work?

External Care: The skin is the body’s largest organ and first line of defense. Esthetic facials, tips for clear skin, cosmetic medical services and appropriate skincare regimens are all included in inclusive health’s plan.

Internal Care: Supplements, prescription medication, nutrition and physical activities are all included to support all aspects of a healthier lifestyle.

Emotional Care: It is important for patients to achieve psychological and social balance. Spa feel-good services and stress-reduction activities like support groups to nurture the psyche and exercise are included in this section of wellness.

Dr. Murad has created a program that strives to make the whole body healthier by helping each cell in the body function at optimal level. Inclusive health’s secret weapon is that it is rooted in The Science of Cellular Water. This science was discovered by Dr. Murad; he studied the strength of the cells themselves and found that they are the ultimate marker of youthful, good health and primary wellness. Gradual loss of muscle and bone mass, a lower metabolic rate, decline in hearing, vision and strength are all the result of a decrease in intracellular water. Howard Murad, M.D. states “The common thread to all physical aging and disease processes is life’s most fundamental component: water.” The Science of cellular water is about getting water into the cells and connective tissue so that it can function at its full capacity. Inclusive health not only explains the benefits of drinking water but how “eating your water” when you eat raw fruits and vegetables, may be an even better form. If the body is healthy, the skin will be as well. How do we increase healthy water? Through diet, exercise, lowering stress level and doing things that will make and keep us happy this is the essence of Inclusive Health.

University for Inclusive Health

UIH curriculum is based on Dr. Murad’srevolutionary Inclusive approach to esthetics and health. Inclusive Health courses are based on Dr. Murad’s vision of better living through the complete integration of these realms: health, beauty and wellness care; which address the mind, soul and body.

Advanced tools cater to clients who have been affected by the impact of cultural stress. Cultural stress is a term coined by Dr. Murad referring to the normal stresses of everyday life, traffic, technology and long work weeks. Students who work through this program become proficient in the course materials needed to become an Inclusive Health Ambassador.

What I did all day

Now, that all of the back ground info is out of the way; let’s get to the good stuff! The program is an intense 5 day course where students sit in on lectures taught by the President of Inclusive Health Tracey Sameyah, Dr. Murad himself and other health practitioners who have gone through the training successfully. My group actually got to sit in on three patient/doctor consultations with Murad and watched how he interacted with each patient. Each patient filled out a sense of self questionnaire that asked a series of lifestyle questions. They each ranked the questions (10 being the most 1 being the least).

Some sense of self example questions:

“I am at my ideal weight”
“I get 7-9 hours of sleep every night”
“I am hopeful for my future”
“I have a lot of energy when I get up in the morning”.

The way each patient rates these questions helps Dr. Murad and health practitioners set up a plan for each patient based on their lifestyle. I really enjoyed the training it was very informative, each of us came up with our own 10 week program based on our own sense of self. This gave us all a feel for what the patients were doing and how we can relate to them. At the end of the course we took a cumulative exam when you pass, you receive a lovely certificate and become a Certified Inclusive Health Practitioner.

Stop Avoiding Black Lights! Get your Flakey Scalp In Check.

Tuesday, December 7th, 2010

By Liz W


stock.xchng user Sammylee

To some people, admitting they have dandruff can be humiliating, and walking into the drugstore to get some medicated shampoo requires a level 10 head-to-toe disguise. But, just like all the other embarrassing creams and OTC remedies for delicate health problems, dandruff shampoo is purchased by millions of people every day.

Some people are plagued with scalp problems year round, but even those with baby smooth scalps can find themselves seeing flakes when the weather is wacky. No matter which category you fall into, the causes and treatment for dandruff can vary, so in order to cure this pesky malady, finding the root of the problem is your best bet in solving it.

The first thing you should do is determine the severity of your condition. If you are experiencing extreme symptoms and nothing you try seems to be making making them any better, it might be more serious than just dandruff. If you have pain, excessive scaling (that might affect other parts of your body as well as your scalp), and redness, a doctor will be able to prescribe you a stronger method of treatment for Seborrheic Dermatitis.  But, if you are just experiencing an itchier than normal scalp and are concerned with having snow-flecked shoulders, there are plenty of things you can try that will combat the problem.

What many people don’t realize is that the cause of dandruff is  an imbalance of yeast and bacteria on your scalp. Before you freak out and jump into a tub full of Purell, know that both yeast and bacteria are necessary for our bodies to function, and different kinds are living in harmony together all over our skin, hair, and our insides. The problems occur when one starts to overpower the other, allowing one side’s population to thrive and the other’s to dwindle. Things like dandruff are the result of a low bacteria count and a high yeast count. This can be caused by internal as well as external factors, but many times the slew of hair products we slather on our hair daily is the culprit.

To maintain optimal scalp health, the right hair products must be used and the wrong ones must be eliminated. Even expensive shampoos are full of oil stripping, moisture sucking ingredients and can ruin all attempts to grow the perfect head of hair. To maintain a flake free scalp year round, look for shampoos that use gentle cleansers like Cocamidopropyl Betaine, which is made from coconut oil. Another good thing to look for in a daily shampoo is an antimicrobial that will make sure to keep both yeast and bacteria in check. Look for fungus fighting ingredients (they usually end in “conazole”) when dealing with dandruff. A good option is DS Labs Dandrene Shampoo. But don’t stop at just the right shampoo. Try to cut out as many after shower products as you can, as they can cause build up when used every day. This applies to hair sprays, mousses, gels, and all other mane control serums, spritzes, and salves that you may be applying more often than necessary.  Replace some of these products with a good quality hair follicle treatment like Alterna’s Life Volume Restore Scalp and Follicle Treatment. This will not only nourish your hair and scalp, but it will also help keep the healthy bacteria and yeast in perfect harmony throughout the day.

Dandruff can be a frustrating condition, but with the right tools, it can be easy to control.  With the right hair-care routine, you will be itch-free and wearing black with confidence again in no time.

Fact vs. Fiction : Breast Cancer Myths Debunked

Thursday, October 14th, 2010

Flickr user Blueconitza

Did you know that women who detect their Breast Cancer in the earliest stages have a 98% survival rate? Science has made incredible breakthroughs in breast cancer research and women are now more proactive than ever when it comes to being aware of their health and breast cancer facts. That being said, there are still a few misconceptions and breast cancer myths floating around that we need to debunk.

  1. The only sign of breast cancer is a lump. So not true! Although lumps in the breast can be signs (but not always) of breast cancer, symptoms may come in many other forms as well. Keep an eye out for dimples, swelling, irritation or rashes, nipple retraction (turning inward), thickening of the breast skin, or a discharge. Breast cancer can also spread to underarm lymph nodes and cause swelling there before a tumor in the breast is large enough to be felt.
  2. Women with fibrocystic breast are more at risk. There is absolutely no link whatsoever to fibrocystic (lumpy) breast! However, it is very difficult to perform self exams when you have this condition. Women with fibrocystic breast should educate themselves on the correct way to perform an at home breast exam and conduct them often so they can distinguish between what is normal and out of the ordinary lumps.
  3. Antiperspirants increase your risk of breast cancer. Regardless of the American Cancer Society’s reassurance that this rumor is false, it has been around for years and years. There are no studies that show antiperspirants as a risk factor. However, it can’t hurt (yourself or the environment) to go paraben-free!
  4. If you’re at risk for breast cancer, there is nothing you can do. False! There is so much you can do to lower your risk of breast cancer.  Regular exercise, limited or no alcohol consumption, not smoking and maintaining a healthy weight are all easy life adjustments that can lower your risk. Other drastic but effective measures include preventive chemo and having a prophylactic mastectomy.
  5. Radiation in mammograms can be harmful. According to the American College of Radiology the risk of radiation is practically non-existent- the equivalent to two or three months of natural environmental exposure. Besides, the benefits and preventative measures clearly outweigh the tiny miniscule risk.  Mammograms are not going to give you cancer- quite the contrary; they could save your life!

Detox Spa Treatments: Japanese Enzyme Bath

Wednesday, April 28th, 2010
Wood shavings are a key ingredient in a Japanese enzyme bath

Photo by Dravir.B

This past weekend a girlfriend and I decided to try a Japanese enzyme bath at Willow Spa in Santa Monica. It sounded unusual, and was something new even for me (a beauty professional and self-professed spa junkie). I have experienced many different types of spa treatments all over the world, and some have been strange and usual, but nothing prepared me for this. The Japanese enzyme bath is a dry bath made up of wood shavings, rice bran, and fruit and vegetable enzymes. The combination of the ingredients generates a tremendous amount of heat so when you step in it’s very warm and toasty. As my therapist Yuki was burying me in a large pile of hot dirt and wood chips, I couldn’t help but call out to my friend “I’m having a very LA moment right now!” I mean, where else would people pay to be buried in what is basically a large, hot pile of compost?

All kidding aside, I was very curious to see what the whole experience was about. It is a detox spa treatment, and I am always game for a little detoxification. When we arrived at the spa we were treated to a warm foot bath with fresh rose petals and grapefruit slices and a pampering foot massage. They also gave us a shot of an Akatsuki Enzyme Drink (very thick and sweet tasting, but supposedly a good internal complement to the external enzyme treatment we were about to receive). The enzyme drink is made from fermented vegetable and fruit extracts and contains over 400 enzymes. Enzymes are essential for good health, but apparently many of us suffer from an enzyme deficiency. Learn more about how enzymes work here.

While our therapists massaged our feet they described what was going to happen next and warned us about the smell. As we approached the treatment room we quickly understood what they were talking about – it smelled like garbage. With our bathing suits on, we stepped into the dry bath mixture and they proceeded to cover us fully from the neck down (like when your big sister buried you in the sand at the beach). It starts off warm, but after a while you start to feel very hot. The therapists come in and check on you every 5 minutes and give you water to drink through a straw and blot your face with a cold compress to help keep you cool. The maximum time for a heat treatment like this is 20 minutes. We both stuck it out for the full time, but we had to pull our hands and feet out after a while because we were getting too hot.

I must admit, as strange as the experience was, there was something very comforting and relaxing about the way the treatment made me feel. After our 20 minutes were up we proceeded to take showers to wash off all of the dirt. This is no easy task, I assure you. After our very long showers we were taken to a massage treatment room and received lovely Thai massages. As we left we were instructed to drink lots of water to hydrate and to help the detoxification process. We were also told to eat lots of protein, (but not meat) and fresh fruits and vegetables. We took that as an opportunity to treat ourselves to sushi.

The Japanese enzyme bath treatment made my friend feel relaxed, but it made me feel more energized. I am in the process of moving which has left me in a constant state of exhaustion, and when I arrived at the spa I felt drained and tired. After the dry bath, I felt more awake and relaxed at the same time. I’m not sure if it actually detoxified my body (I’m not sure how I could know that), but it did have an instant effect on my energy level and feeling of well being afterwards. We both had a nice glow to our skin too.

If you are interested in getting this type of detox spa treatment, you may have to travel. According to Willow Spa, they are one of 2 spas in the United States that offer the treatment. There is also a location in Northern California called Osmosis. Otherwise you’ll have to visit Japan.

What’s the strangest spa experience you have had?