June 2008 - Posts
Whatever happened to the StriVectinSD rage? I just found an old tube in my train case and I got so excited. I remember the first time I had heard about it. I was reading a magazine in my doctor's office and couldn't wait to stop at the pharmacy on the way out to buy a tube. I wondered if all the hype was just marketing but equally wondered how much was truth, so I had to give it a try. It turns out I was pleasantly pleased. It actually worked as well as it said it would. When I talked to others about it they too were thrilled with their results.
I also couldn't help but notice that even though it cost a whopping $135 bucks the tube is large and lasts forever. It's 6oz. which basically means it's only $22 an ounce. That's the size of many quality anti-aging face creams, which are typically two to four times the cost.
Anyway, back to the point at hand. I went ahead and used my old tube because I know that it should have about a two-year shelf life and it looked the same color and smelled the same so I was fairly sure it was still effective. It worked wonders! I'm so mad at myself for straying from it for so long.
Next I'm checking out the StriVectinSD Neck Cream. Has anyone tried it? I hope it firms up my neck the way the original StriVectinSD firmed up my face!
I can't stress enough how amazing the aptly named Amazing Cosmetics really are. Check out Amazing Cosmetics Perfectly Amazing Kit at SkinStore.com. This kit comes with an instructional DVD, a miraculous concealer brush, and the best concealer and mineral foundation on the planet. Your skin will look like it has a porcelain finish. It's foolproof! It literally makes my face look like I have a professional make-up artist apply it every morning and it stays fresh all day. And if that's not enough to impress, try this on for size; it also minimizes the appearance of fine lines and large pores!
I've been in this business over a quarter century and I rarely call anything amazing much less try a product so bold as to call itself "amazing." But in this case…it's very true. It is indeed amazing!
You know how they say that you are never to use an eyelash curler after you apply your mascara? That you should only use it before the application? Well maybe they're right in terms of some issues such as possible breakage. But as far as a nice curl goes, it works best when you curl post mascara application. I say on special occasions: just do it! I feel it's about the same law breaking activity as cutting those tags off your pillows. I seriously doubt anything horrible will happen if done occasionally. And believe me, what a difference in the curl when applied by breaking the rule. And if you really want to be a bad girl; curl first, apply mascara and curl again!
Now say you do need some damage control. Perhaps your eyelashes are short, stubby, and straight and have some breakage or are thin and sparse. Try one of the new conditioning eyelash treatments such as Jan Marini Marini Lash. It works really well and is an upgrade and newer improved version of their Age Intervention Eyelash Conditioner. A colleague of mine told me that she attended a Jan Marini post graduation class where she was told that the original formulation was used successfully with patients after undergoing chemotherapy who had sparse eyelashes and how many were so pleased with their results. This newer version is even better as it's been formulated with a "newly discovered peptide, when combined with other essential factors, produces extraordinary eyelash and brow enhancement without the use of prostaglandins."
So condition those lashes daily and on those special occasions when you want those peepers to look extra fab, curl after mascara application!
It is so true that when you're older and have some fine lines and wrinkles that you should NOT use dewy moisturizers and foundations. I am living proof. I have such dry skin that I often use my most hydrating and greasy (for lack of a better word) moisturizers for my day cream because I just want to feel like I'm not a dried up prune. But believe me there is something to be said for the matte look. I used to think that a light moisturizer and matte powder would make me look dry and my make-up look caked on so sometimes I would use Mary Kay's Night time Emollient after my shower in the morning before I applied my foundation.
I have a library of beauty books and I'm always reading and researching. I've read over and over again about how a greasy, glowing look will make pores and wrinkles appear larger and more apparent. But still, I didn't agree. Well today I decided to just give the matte look a try and everywhere I went I was pummeled with compliments. Everyone would ask what I've done differently or if I've had something "new" done. The only difference was I decided to take the advice of many make-up artists and give the matte look a try. I already have some matte make-up products in my beauty drawer but I had never put them on my face with only a sheer moisturizer. I also used a mineral based sheer powder sunscreen instead of my "greasy" one.
The look was amazing. I eliminated my nighttime moisturizer (for day use) and used only my daily hydrating cream. Today I used Atopalm MLE Face Cream which is great for dry skin but still very light once it's applied. Then I applied my tried and true ColoreScience Line Tamer to spackle up any lines and wrinkles I wanted to conceal. Then I chose a new loose powder mineral foundation by Amazing Cosmetics and topped it off with their setting powder to finish off the matte look. Lastly I used my favorite mineral sunscreen from Colorescience SunForgettable SPF 30.
Now I know. And more importantly, I believe! One definitely looks younger without a glowing, over hydrated, almost greasy look. The only difficult thing is realizing I'm wrong every now and then.
As I sit here watching the Laker's game, I can't help but wonder if there isn't something a woman can do to get the attention of her husband while he's watching. Don't get me wrong I love basketball too, but it's just frustrating to ask him a question and get absolutely no response. Or if he does answer the answer doesn't match the question. Kind of like what my kids say I do when they're asking me a question when I'm not fully paying attention to them and answer, "yes, honey." The problem is the question wasn't a yes or no question.
Well I decided to make a change because there will always be sports and finals every month of the year. I pondered what exactly I could do to get at least a fraction of attention from him and I came up with what I call the Laker's foot rub!
I filled a big pot with warm water and got out my pedicure kit. I stuck his feet in the soapy water to get them squeaky clean before I began with the treatment. Once I took a foot out of the water and began the exfoliating scrub I was actually in control of the night. I scrubbed his feet with Bliss Super Slough Scrub and then massaged with L'Occitane Shea Butter Foot Cream and shaped up his feet with Tweezerman Pedicure Solution Kit. He never even got up to get a beer!
Even if it were Superbowl Sunday I'd have total control. Those million dollar commercials got nothin' on me!
Did you know that “take-out” can be beneficial to your health? Yes, even pizza can help combat wrinkles and sunburn damage. Why? Well according to Emily Payne’s article in TheSun.co.uk the red tomato sauce on the pizza contains lycopene. This “super-nutrient” is well known for its antioxidant properties in many skincare preparations. Additionally, tomato paste has even more of an antioxidant kick to it due to the concentrated form with which it is made.
One of my favorites Payne writes about is Thai food. Apparently there is a study that suggests that Thai women who consume a lot of sticky rice have a lower chance of developing breast cancer. Apparently sticky rice contains Tricin which is thought to be a cancer fighting agent. Now I love Thai food on two levels!
Lastly, let’s head for the sushi bar. Yes the fish in sushi and sashimi are packed with omega 3 fatty acids. These acids are great brain and heart health boosters!
Oh one more perk. Spicy fast food such as in Indian cuisine boosts your metabolism and makes you feel full faster.
Let’s all call for “take-out” tonight!
It seems that many doctors (at least dermatologists and plastic surgeons) are crazy about Botox. I am too, in terms of quick treatment and quick results! However, I have a difficult time believing there are virtually no complications other than the bruising and potential eye droop that they warn you about. Even allergies are blamed on the saline or other mediums in the injection other than the toxin itself. I realize allergies are rare with Botox; however, I've witnessed one for myself. My sister was one huge red hive after her treatment with Botox. Before it was all over she had gone through 3 or 4 courses of Prednisone. I don't see why it couldn't be the toxin itself. Why are people allergic to bee stings or poison oak? Isn't it the actual poison that they're allergic to? If it wasn't the toxin itself that my sister was allergic to then why did the allergy last as long as the Botox itself lasted which was approximately 4 months? It's just confusing to me. I realize I'm not a botulism toxin type a expert but I just can't help but wonder if it isn't the huge financial gain that motivates this across the board craze and solidarity among Botox offering doctors.
Having said that, I realize millions of Botox injections are given each year with the vast majority resulting in success with little or no complications. But for me, however, the jury is still out.
After being at my sister's house for a week and a half I noticed something strange happening to my skin and hair. It was all dull and dried out looking. I can't help but wonder if it wasn't the drinking water. Perhaps it was too hard leaving mineral deposits. I'm not really sure. All I know is I hated it and wanted my shiny hair and glowing skin back.
I asked my sister what it could be and she said she didn't know but that she had noticed it too. I was surprised because though her hair looked dry and dull, her skin looked fabulous. She said she uses Juice Beauty Green Apple Peel. I immediately begged her to let me try it because I had actually heard other women rave about it and thought what a good opportunity to give it a try. I'm only bummed I didn't take before and after photos because oh what an improvement!
It's very easy to use and is relatively inexpensive. It's about 40 bucks a jar and a superficial AHA peel is like $150 in a dermatologist's office. My results were similar with any of the AHA lunchtime peels I had tried in the past. However, I've had Beta Hydroxy Peels that seemed to be better, but again were a lot more expensive.
For my hair I used Alterna Life Solutions Clarifying Shampoo. If you can't find this one at least look for a clarifying shampoo that removes mineral deposits, medications and chlorine (or whichever one or two you think may be causing your dullness). I looked specifically for one that removed mineral deposits assuming that was the culprit. Again, I hit pay dirt. Not only did my hair look much more shiny it looked a lot blonder as well. Apparently, not only did the minerals dull my hair, they had also darkened it. Afterward I decided to spring for a deep conditioning mask. This was one time I didn't mind digging a little deeper in my pocket so I purchased Alterna TEN Hair Masque. I'd been hearing great things about it and boy were the results fabulous. I felt like one of those girls on the Pantene commercials. I had the shiniest, bounciest, blonde hair I'd had since I was a little girl.
It turns out that what I thought was the worst vacation ever (because her house dulled my skin and hair) had ended up being one of the best things to happen in terms of discovering new fantastic beauty treasures. I ended up going home looking better than I did before I left!
I liked the idea of using my own fat to fill in the lines and wrinkles on my face, and even more, the idea of having fat sucked out of my stomach or thigh sounded like an added bonus. However, after much research it turns out that fat transfer has some downsides, including pain, bruising, swelling, downtime and the fat harvested is too small an amount to reduce the size of the stomach or thighs that it is taken from.
It is considered fairly permanent and there is virtually no chance of allergy due to the fact that you're using your own tissue. Many contend that it looks very natural (more so than the other injectables such as Restylane and collagen) when a skilled cosmetic surgeon performs the procedure. It is considered an 'office procedure' but many prominent surgeons prefer to use the operating room and sterile environment. The optimal scenario seems to be when one is already undergoing liposuction and the surgeon can harvest the fat right then and use some of the fat removed to inject. Or perhaps another favorable scenario might be when one is already undergoing another cosmetic surgery and the fat can be harvested and transferred while the patient is already under anesthesia and in an sterile environment and was already anticipating downtime.
It can be done in the office but it's not like the quick little fillers you may be used to. You don't get to go back to work right afterward and it is much more painful and there are two sites that bruise and swell. First the fat must be harvested from an area such as your stomach, and then injected into the area of treatment. As stated earlier the amount of fat that is taken is so small that you won't notice a smaller stomach. Many are thrilled with the results but you just need to be prepared for a downtime of up to a week. There is usually significant enough swelling that you may not want to be seen in public for quite a few days.
One of the most interesting things I learned about fat transfer is that when the patient gains a significant amount of weight, those areas gain as well. In other words, they are still your fat cells and still react as they would have if they were still in the original area they were harvested from. So imagine how odd that could potentially look. As for me, I don't think I'll be divorcing Restylane or Juvederm anytime soon.
Is it really possible to get fuller lips without injections? Absolutely! While you won’t get the results that a dermatologist can deliver, lip plumpers can temporarily leave you with fuller looking and feeling lips.
I must say that I have never suffered from thin lips and have never been tempted to go for the injections. However, I have been curious about topical products and have done some experimenting. After all, I am the ultimate guinea pig. Karen will be the first one to attest to that!
Some traditional lip plumpers have gotten a bad rap for using irritating ingredients that cause the lips to redden and swell. My friend Connie learned this the hard way when she liberally applied a lip plumper intended to be used sparingly. Oops! She looked like she had been kissing honey bees. I think it took her a couple of days to recover.
Today, there are non-irritating lip plumpers which feel great and leave the lips soothed and soft. My favorite product is LipFusion XL Micro Injected Collagen Lip Plump which uses micro-injected collagen rather than irritants. The plumping effect is subtle but it’s real and I love the way my full lips look and feel. My lips still look natural and not the slightest bit irritated. The product is moisturizing and even tastes great. The flavor is light and lemony. LipFusion also has lip plumpers with gloss and color.
So now I am convinced that you can have fuller lips without injections. Just be realistic and understand that the effect is not long-lasting. If anyone has other natural and gentle lip plumpers they would recommend, I would love to hear about it.
My eyelashes are definitely not one of my best features. I have always found them to be fine and short. I even had a college roommates go so far as to call them “stubby”. Needless to say, that didn’t set well with me. I of all people should be considered an ideal candidate for mascara but for the last few years I have barely worn it.
In my opinion, mascara is difficult to wear, especially for those of us who are active and have sensitive eyes. Many mascaras I’ve tried run or smudge when I rub my eyes or when I sweat during workouts. Sure, I try my best to keep my hands away from my eyes but even that’s not enough to keep my eye makeup in its place. Other “smudge-proof” mascaras flake and get into my eyes causing irritation. I don’t wear contacts but I figure it must be much worse for those who do. And of course I’ve tried the waterproof mascaras but they are very difficult to remove and I always felt like I was losing so many lashes that it defeated the purpose. Eye makeup remover never seemed to offer a good solution either as it irritates my eyes even more. I have to be careful with even the mildest of removers. Products touting the term “hypo-allergenic” never seemed to be gentle enough for me.
So what is someone like me to do? Am I doomed to just accept my fine short lashes? I was just about to give up when I had the privilege of trying a sample of a different kind of mascara, “kiss me” by a company called blinc. First of all, I was thrilled to be able to find a brand that has an alternative color to black. I am blonde with light skin and black is just too harsh. Brown is a much better choice for fair people as it doesn’t leave us looking so obviously made up. While it may be true that some people strive for the “goth” look, I have to say that it’s clearly not for me. Applying the blinc kiss me mascara was easy. It goes on just like any other mascara. However, if you’re going to apply more than one coat or separate your lashes, do so before it dries. Once it dries, it is set until you remove it and that’s what makes this product truly unique. It actually tubes your lashes as opposed to coating them.
My lashes looked great, thicker and longer but natural looking at the same time. I was very pleased. Then I put this mascara to the test and was delighted with the results. Even after a full day’s work and a sweaty session on the elliptical machine, the mascara absolutely stayed put. I never saw the slightest smudge, flake or clump. My eyes also didn’t experience any irritation. That was a first for me.
I was probably most concerned about removing the mascara as the company has very detailed instructions about using a lot of warm water and applying light pressure. But the process was actually very easy. I just rinsed my lashes with water and rubbed very gently. The product came off easily in tube-like strings. It was as simple as that. I am sold!
Is there any drawback to blinc mascara? Just one, it’s a little pricey but for me it’s absolutely worth it. I can’t tell you how many tubes of mascara I’ve thrown out because they weren’t working for me. If you have been unable to use mascara like me, give this one a try. You just may find that you can finally wear mascara with no trouble.