Posts Tagged ‘Skin Care’

Ready for the blush Mystery Beauty Box?

Tuesday, July 30th, 2013

After 19 seasons, Beautyfix is officially closing up shop. While I’m also officially sad to see Beautyfix go (I have separation issues—especially with beauty products), I’m really excited about DermStore’s new and improved beauty discovery program, the blush Mystery Beauty Box available at blush.com. If you love the brands featured in Beautyfix, I assure you that you’ll love this beauty box just as much (if not more). Here’s what’s great about this box:

  • Each month, you get over $100 worth of mostly full-size and some travel-size skin care, makeup and hair care products—curated by a new beauty expert each month
  • As in any DermStore, blush or HairEnvy order, you get a free gift, free samples and free shipping on every order
  • You have a choice to try one box for just $34.95, or you can sign up for monthly subscription and save $10 a month

If you think about it, it really comes out cheaper than Beautyfix. And if you’re a beauty junkie just like all of us here, you’ll love the thrill of not knowing what beauty products you’re going to try each month. It really is the best way to discover and experience new beauty brands and products. In fact for July, I was so happy to see that the box actually has 6 full-sized products—that’s way, way better than any beauty box out there!

I’m sure I’ll miss Beautyfix. (I mean, if it weren’t for Beautyfix, I wouldn’t have discovered some of my favorite brands like Eminence, Nick Chavez and jane iredale—brands that you don’t normally see in your local, brick-and-mortar beauty store, or being advertised on TV.) But with the blush Mystery Beauty Box arriving at my doorstep anytime soon, I’m sure I’ll get my addiction to beauty products equally satiated.

The Best Kept Secret Is Out! How To Achieve A Less Oily Complexion

Tuesday, July 9th, 2013

Summer is the time of year when my oily skin goes into overdrive!  I find myself patting my oily complexion throughout the day with tons of oil-blotting papers to get rid of the shine. Hot and humid weather conditions actually accelerate the oil-producing process, especially in the T-Zone area. Having oily skin has its benefits such as a youthful appearance and softer skin, but I don’t want to look like my skin is melting with my makeup running down my face. Enter Santalia Daily Cleanser, a gentle foaming cleanser formulated especially for oily and blemish-prone skin.

 

Here are a few reasons why Santalia Daily Cleanser is my new favorite cleanser:

  • Salicylic acid gets rid of dead skin cells and balances excess shine

 

  • Kakadu plum, rich in vitamin C, brightens and revitalizes

 

  • Sandalwood oil soothes acne and softens skin

 

  • Grapefruit oil tightens pores

 

I’ve been using the cleanser morning and night for a week now and have noticed my skin is a lot less oily. Also, the blemishes on my chin are completely gone!

Give Your Limp Hair a Little Oomph!

Wednesday, July 3rd, 2013

Please tell me you’re not using your heat styling tools in this scorching weather. Please tell me you’re doing the world a huge favor by not adding to the heat! If you still are, consider this post an intervention. Please step away from those tools and listen to me very carefully: summer sun + metal plates = toasted strands!

The good news is that nobody cares if your hair is a little bit on the unpolished side when it’s 100 degrees out. That doesn’t mean, however, that “unpolished” can’t be chic. Here, I give you 3 no-heat hairstyles for summer. (Actually, I sport these styles all year round because I’m too lazy to use styling a tool.) These are all so easy to do, they don’t take more than 2 minutes, and you only need your pair of hands, some hair ties and Nick Chavez Horsetail Root Lift Spray. While it’s great to work with your natural hair texture, none of these hairstyles will look great on limp and flat hair, which is why a volumizing spray is necessary. I like this one in particular because unlike other sprays, this one isn’t sticky, smells great and adds a glossy sheen. Now that we got that out of the way, here are 3 ways to add oomph to your summer hair.

1. Tousled Waves

Beachy waves are just as much of a summer staple as SPF. But if you don’t have natural waves, create them! Here’s how: At night, braid your hair while your hair is still damp. Spray Nick Chavez on your roots before unraveling your hair in the morning for that bombshell finish.

2. Messy Pony

Ponytails are making a huge comeback. Not that they were ever out of style, but recently we’ve been seeing a lot of them on and off the red carpet. For a summer-perfect pony, flip your towel-dried hair forward and mist it with volumizing spray from roots to ends. Once it’s dry, scoop your hair up in a high pony. (For that beautiful mess, don’t bother using a comb or a hairbrush.) Run your fingers through your crown and loosen big clumps of hair to add volume and texture.

3.  Undone Bun

Or, instead of a high pony, tie your hair up in a loose low bun. Pull your bun slightly away from your head until a few face-framing strands fall naturally on the side.

 

There you have it! 3 ways to make hairstyling easy and fuss-free this summer!

 

 

Any Given SUNday

Monday, June 17th, 2013

Recently, I took some time to soak up the while working to achieve my first official tan lines to get the Summer season started. I did my very best to avoid getting sun burn, but failed miserably. Instead of enjoying a new set of tan lines, I was slathering aloe vera all over my charred skin and wondering what I did wrong. I was trying to be so careful to avoid this.

Here are a few things I noticed, so take note as it might help you with sun safety and avoiding sun burns.

Always wear sunscreen

This seems like an obvious one, but I was shocked when I was laying out with my friends by the pool and they were not applying sunscreen as they wanted to get some ‘good color.’ You will still get tan, but less skin damage with a sunscreen.

Check the expiration date

Make sure you are using sunscreen within the suggested timeframe. If not, then it’s time to toss it and refresh your stock. Sunscreen (like most other things that expire) will not be effective past this date.

Re-apply

Just because it’s waterproof and water-resistant doesn’t mean you don’t have to re-apply. ALWAYS RE-APPLY and do it often. You should put sunscreen on at least 30 minutes prior to sun exposure and re-apply at least every two hours, maybe more often if you are swimming, sweating, etc.

Look for sunscreens labeled ‘broad spectrum’

Only sunscreens that pass a new test of UVA protection can be labeled “broad spectrum,” a claim that will indicate that the product protects equally against UVB (turns skin red and causes cancer) and UVA (ages the skin and causes cancer) rays. The new season of Beautyfix has an awesome broad spectrum sunscreen called  Gytone Spray Mist Broad Spectrum SPF 50. This sunscreen is a non-greasy formula that hydrates & protects the skin without clogging pores. It helps to prevent the signs of aging due to sun exposure.

Don’t let the SPF fool you

SPF only refers to protection against UVB rays, the ones responsible for burning the skin. It doesn’t have anything to do with protection against UVA rays that penetrate the skin deeper and can lead to skin cancer. This is why it’s important to look for broad spectrum. The EWG recommends purchasing sunscreens with SPFs higher than 15 but no greater than 50.Often times sky-high SPFs can give us a false sense of security. Many doctors argue that a higher number tricks people into thinking their sunscreen lasts longer than one with a lower SPF, causing them to reapply less often, so they’re more at risk for burns.

Stay in the shade

Sunscreen is just one factor of an overall plan for skin protection. It’s also important to stay in the shade as much as possible and wear protective clothing like hats and long sleeves. This is not the most ideal way to get a ‘good color’ but it will help with keeping your skin healthy, hydrated and protected.

A Season of New Beauty Finds

Tuesday, June 11th, 2013

Summer is only a few weeks away and what better way to get ready with the upcoming season of Beautyfix that starts tomorrow June 12.  I’m super excited about the new beauty product picks in every category that I know you’ll love too! From dazzling nail colors to top notch anti-aging skin care and hair care, Beautyfix has all the essentials you’ll need to be the perfect beauty all summer long!

I thought I was going to have a tough time picking my must-have product this season but surprisingly my favorite by far was Jane Iredale  POMMISST Hydration Spray. And you ask why I’m obsessed with this spray-on formula?  Well it’s simple, everything Jane Iredale formulates has fantastic benefits for your skin! This one is my favorite for a few reasons:

  1. It’s a lightweight spray that instantly refreshes and cools the skin.
  2. Sea minerals and pomegranate extract help hydrate and protect against free-radical damage to maintain a youthful complexion.
  3. It’s the perfect hydrating moisturizer for oily skin types.

I’ve been using this spray every day it’s almost all gone! I know I will definitely be stocking up with more. Here’s a complete list of the new beauty product picks that will be featured on Beautyfix.

7 Makeup Must-Haves for ‘Faux’ Naturel

Tuesday, June 4th, 2013

Doesn’t Angelina Jolie look absolutely glowing at the World War Z world premiere in London? That’s considering she had just undergone a preventive double mastectomy to lessen her risk of getting breast and ovarian cancer.

But it’s not just her breasts—or her lack thereof—that inspired me to blog about her today. It’s her makeup choice, which looks virtually non-existent from where I am. I really like it when celebs dare to go fresh-faced for a change. It’s always interesting to see the real face that’s buried under those heavy layers of foundation. But more importantly, it reveals those distinct qualities, those seemingly imperfect attributes that really make a face standout.

Going au naturel is probably the easiest look to master and requires the least amount of time to do—IF you have Angelina’s naturally flawless complexion, perfectly arched eyebrows, prominent cheek bones and pillowy pout. If you don’t have at least 3 of the qualifying requirements—most mere mortals like us do not—don’t fret, as that’s what makeup is for. Here are 7 makeup products you need to complete an au naturel look.

1. BB Cream – You can never go wrong with a BB cream. It conceals minor imperfections while providing your skin with some skin care and sunscreen benefits.

2. Tinted Moisturizer/Sunscreen – If, after everything we’ve written about BB creams in this blog, you’re still a “non-BBliever” (sorry, I couldn’t resist), you can always reach for a tinted moisturizer or tinted sunscreen. These products will give you the same lightweight coverage, just less skin care perks. My absolute favorite and the one I use every day is CoTZ Face SPF 40. I can do away with makeup, but not if I don’t have this on!

3. An Eyebrow Filler – Trust me, a well-defined set of eyebrows makes a world of difference! It frames your eyes and really draws attention to their shape and color—this is especially crucial if you’re deciding to do away with eye shadows and liners. For a more natural finish, try SmartBrow.

4. Concealer – Not all of us are blessed with a blemish-free complexion, but to keep your look believable, try not to conceal every square inch of your face. Apply concealer only where you need them: under the eyes, sides of nose and blemish marks.

5. Cream Blush – Here’s why I prefer cream blushes over powder: It gives my cheeks a sheer wash of color that never looks like makeup. Apply it on the apples of your cheeks and continue to blend until you don’t know where the blush ends and your skin starts. If you haven’t tried a good cream blush yet, Face Stockholm has a lot of color options.

6. Lip Stain – The best thing about lip stains is their unbeatable staying power. You can go the whole day without retouching. To make it believable, choose a shade that mimics your natural lip color.

7. Highlighter – Natural skin is never matte, so don’t shun a little bit of shine. Apply highlighter on strategic “high points” of your face—forehead, cheekbones, down the center of your nose, brow bone and Cupid ’s bow—to make your skin look naturally glowing.

And there you have it—everything you need to fake that au naturel look we’re all dying to sport this summer!

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!

My Personal Skin Saver

Tuesday, May 21st, 2013

This month has been a killer for me. I am sure my friends, family and coworkers are pretty sick of hearing my complaints about my travel schedule, especially since the majority of the month has been fun (REALLY FUN) trips that I scheduled myself- an impromptu marathon with one of my favorite friends, Grandma’s surprise 80th birthday on the East Coast, girl’s trip to Las Vegas, a bachelorette party in Palm Springs, plus a little work trip to NY. All super fun but the back to back trips are starting to take its toll on my sanity and my skin. I am a stick-to-my-routine and eight-hours-of-sleep-per-night kind of girl, so multiple red-eyes, smokey casinos and late nights dancing (with Grandma, not in Vegas) can really throw me off. I generally have pretty resilient skin but I noticed after my most recent jaunt that my skin was looking really dull, I developed circles under my eyes and I was starting to breakout. Who would have guessed that traveling and not sleeping could do so much skin damage so quickly! I asked my go-to skin gurus, AKA my coworkers, what I should do rectify my skin care issues and everyone recommended trying out a serum.

Initially, I was a little skeptical because some serums I have tested leave my skin oily and greasy; however, after reading reviews on DermStore.com, I decided to test out DDF’s Amplifying Elixir. The name alone was enough to sway me- an amplifying elixir was exactly what my poor skin needed.  The first time I put it on, it felt like my skin literally drank it up. I am sure it had something to do with my skin’s level of dehydration but it absorbed so quickly and felt amazing! The DDF skin care product is full of botanical extracts- think lotus flower, banyan leaf, cactus and red clover- that work together to detoxify and hydrate the skin. After just a few uses, I noticed my skin had regained an even skin tone, my breakouts were vanishing and my complexion looked brighter! Additionally, a little bit goes a VERY long way. I don’t think I have even put a dent in the bottle after several uses! This 1.7 oz bottle of skin-saving goodness will be tucked safely in my carry-on this weekend…and the week following… and then the next weekend. Welp, I might not be well rested, but at least my skin will not be what gives it away!

 

Bring Lackluster Skin Back To Life With Bliss Triple Oxygen+C Energizing Cream

Wednesday, May 15th, 2013

 

 

 

My new go-to skin hydrator is bliss Triple Oxygen + C Energizing Cream. This lightweight, gel-like formula helps revive dull, stressed or fatigued skin after a long day at the office. It works to improve skin hydration, clarity and enhance your skin’s natural radiance. Use it every morning before applying your makeup foundation to achieve a fresh, dewy glow.

 

Of all the options in the world of skin care, here are a few reasons why bliss Triple Oxygen + C Energizing Cream is a spectacular product that combats lackluster skin:

 

  • Vitamin C boosts collagen production to maintain a youthful complexion

 

  • O2 (Oxygen) reenergizes skin cells to improve the skin’s vitality

 

  • Sodium PCA binds water to the skin to replenish moisture loss and plump fine lines for a smooth appearance

 

  • Grape seed extract maintains skin’s elasticity and protects against sun damage

 

Within three uses, my skin felt noticeably softer. It also brought relief to those dry patches of skin I get on my chin. Now I’m hooked! It really helps “wake up” my skin, even when it’s too early to be up at the crack of dawn and does a fantastic job of really replenishing moisture without feeling heavy, sticky, or leaving a greasy finish. I can’t say enough about this cream. Best of all, it doesn’t clog my pores and a little goes a long way!

How to Deal with Aging Hands

Tuesday, May 7th, 2013

Research shows that most people can accurately guess the age of a woman just by looking at her hands. That statement wouldn’t be true for me, because if someone were to guess my age based on my dry and wrinkled hands, I bet that person would say I’m over 60 years old!

Blame that on years of neglecting my hands. Of washing my hands profusely with bar soaps and slathering them with alcohol-based hand sanitizers.  Of scrubbing the bathroom floor without wearing any gloves. And of using my fingernails to tinker with just about everything. For years I was convinced I did all my skin care regimen right, cleansing, exfoliating, and slathering moisturizer and sunscreen on my face religiously and accordingly—until I saw how miserably my hands have aged. It was only then that I realized that I should’ve extended the same care and attention I gave the skin on my face to the skin on my hands.

But it’s not just me. In fact, even renowned celebrities like Madonna, Sarah Jessica Parker, Nicole Kidman and Angelina Jolie are suffering from the same veiny, crimpled and crepey skin on hands! “The hands are one of the first places where we see the signs of aging, and also the area most people neglect when it comes to skin care,” says dermatologist Rhoda Narins, MD, professor of dermatology at the NYU School of Medicine in New York.

Aside from constant sun and chemical exposure, loss of moisture is one of the most common causes of premature aging on hands. Of course there are several procedures now that can reverse this, like the “hand lift,” Fraxel laser and fillers—but not everyone has enough disposable income to afford those. Thankfully, there are several skin creams and oil-based moisturizers that promise the same effect. Trust me, I’ve tried a lot of them. And while some of them have eased the discomfort associated with dry and flaky skin, I’ve never encountered anything that immediately transformed the look of my aging hands—until I’ve tried AmLactin Ultra Triple Action Alpha Hydroxy Acid Hydrating Body Cream.

I was really amazed at how fast my skin responded to this cream. In just 30 seconds, the lines and wrinkles on my hands softened, and my skin looked brighter, plumper and smoother. It turns out that easing dry skin isn’t all about supplying your skin with enough moisture. In order for that moisture to effectively penetrate your skin, you have to remove the dulling debris that clog your pores. That’s why this cream contains alpha hydroxy acid, to exfoliate your skin first before drenching it with rich humectants and creamy emollients.

Now this cream is nowhere near luxurious. It’s not expensive, it doesn’t come in fancy packaging, and it doesn’t smell like a botanical garden. But it sure does the job well, and for me that’s all that matters. If you want your hands to look younger, I assure you this is the best cream there is.