January 2009 - Posts
I just spent the last couple of hours looking through dozens of beauty blogs and I realized two things. One: There are some really cute blogs out there! And two: I never or very rarely write about brushes and tools. That's so crazy that I forget to share the most fundamental aspect of all beauty treatments.
You can't have a great result without a great tool. Period. Here's an example to prove my point. Picture buying a new powder blush and in the tray of that new blusher is the measly little brush the makeup company often includes. Your good brush is at home but you want to try the new color really bad so you go into the office restroom and put it on. However, once you apply it with that little included brush you realize that all it does is place a rosy colored stripe on each cheek. Then the next morning you dig out your Kabuki brush and the new powdered blush glides on perfectly with plenty of ease and control. You know what I'm talking about!!!
More examples? How about tweezers or razors that don't work? Or what about a flat iron that doesn't actually straighten your hair? The one thing that all of these issues have in common is usually we don't want to pony up the dough for the quality tools. When in reality paying extra may save you money, frustration and precious time in the long run.
So here ya go:
For beautifully applied makeup try Colorescience On The Go Brushes.
For a tweezer that actually plucks check out Tweezerman or Billion Dollar Brows.
And for beautifully straightened gorgeous shiny hair you must have a quality flat iron. The best is by Metropolis Technology.
All of these topnotch tools can be found at SkinStore.com.
I've always wondered if "natural" products were just as good as chemical (for lack of a better word) products. I found out with Priori they are! I've been hearing about the antioxidant coffeeberry for a year or so but haven't tried it until recently.
The best thing about being in this industry for a whopping 25 years is I know ingredients. And I know how to recognize products with good ones. Priori's CoffeeBerry or NatureCeuticals line is extremely effective along with being "eco-friendly." In fact, in terms of eye serums and face tightening serums its better!
CoffeeBerry is said to be a powerful anti-oxidant like that of blueberry, pomegrante or green tea only has been touted to be even stronger than those. Anti-oxidants fight free radical damage which is one of the causes of anti-aging. I only recently decided to look into it (to check out some studies which by the way were impressive) and since I'm a fool for eye serums and instant skin tighteners I decided to order Priori Radiance Eye Serum and Priori Tightening Serum. Both have the most incredible list of ingredients in terms of efficacy that I had seen in a long while.
The eye serum firms, tightens and diminishes dark circles and wrinkles and the tightening serum instantly tightens and firms the skin while adding the most beautiful radiant glow. I will never be without it! I love it for special occasions. Well actually truth be known, I love it every day of the week! When I try to go without it I notice a difference. I don't get as many compliments and quite frankly I don't look as young as when I use it.
So when you have your coffee in the morning, whatever you do don't forget your CoffeeBerry!
Have you noticed more people talking about the Biggest Loser lately? It seems that everywhere I go people are chatting about the contestants and eagerly awaiting the next episode in hopes of witnessing dramatic weight loss.
There’s something really inspiring about watching overweight people lose weight naturally through diet and exercise and drastically improve their lives. With so many resorting to bariatric surgery, it’s refreshing to see that people can drop hundreds of pounds the old fashioned way. The show has certainly inspired others to do the same. In fact, my gym is currently holding a competition for members who have weight loss goals. Teams compete with each other for a grand prize just like in the Biggest Loser.
Along with all of the positives, I do have to say that there’s a negative aspect to the show. I’m not convinced that it’s a good idea to go from a couch potato to working out six hours a day. I’m also not sure it’s a good idea to be dropping 20 or more pounds in one week. I keep wondering what kind of stress that must put on the body. To make matters worse, the mind games must do a number on all of the contestants as they find themselves pitted against each other to stay in the game. I have always heard that a good support system is key in losing weight and keeping it off. The food temptations can also be down-right cruel at times.
Despite the negative aspects, I think it’s great that so many people are inspired and encouraged to get healthy and slim down. After all, this country is facing a very challenging epidemic with a population that is becoming increasingly heavy and unhealthy. Sometimes popular television can make a huge difference.
I would love to hear from all of you Biggest Loser fans. If anyone has a great inspiring story, let me know. What does anyone else think of the show?
Anyone who knows me knows I love good red wine. Problem is I also love sparkling white teeth. As you know the two together are not a good combo because red wine is definitely not conducive to sparkling white teeth. If I had a nickel for every time I had a red wine tooth stain I’d be rich. Thank goodness I don’t smoke. And even more of my undying gratitude goes to my little teeth whitening fixes.
There are many teeth whitening products on the market today but I tend to lean towards the little “on the go” type. I’ve found that as long as I maintain my whitening I don’t need to do the whole enchilada all over again. And if I don’t have them ready in my purse at any given time I won’t do it at all.
My favorite whiteners that are convenient and effective are GoSmile Touch Up Peachlicious and Pearlicious refills. These red wine and tobacco stain fighters are a better bargain than buying the little GoSmile compact full of 7 mint touch ups and I kind of like the peach flavor every other time. However, if you do have some extra money the little silver compact containing the seven ampoules is pretty cool to pull out of your purse. That little treasure is called GoSmile Touch Up Refillable Compact Mintilicious. I’m also a fan of Supersmile Quickee. It’s convenient, removes plaque and stains effectively and is very refreshing. Any of these are great little companions to have on hand at the office, on a date or just about any daily activity.
I remember when I lived in Hawaii and I was shopping at the grocery store I happened to notice the most beautiful asparagus. I hadn't enjoyed asparagus since I had lived on the mainland. It looked like the most beautiful pencil thin asparagus I had ever seen. I grabbed the baggy off the roll to place my choice of heavenly spears and then looked up at the sign displaying the price. It was $8.99lb! I couldn't believe it. I remember pondering "who the heck would spend nine dollars a pound for asparagus?" The next thing I knew I was in the checker's line with my bag of gorgeous purple tipped veggies. It turned out to be one of the best investments I made on the island of Maui. I learned a serious lesson that day. You really do get what you pay for!
Has anyone ever paid over a hundred bucks for a bar of soap? Believe it or not...I just did. I suppose because of the lesson I learned on that expensive day in Hawaii. Well first I suppose I should share with you what had transpired to make me do such a crazy thing. I had tried the travel size of Cor Silver Soap because it made sense to give it a shot after all the rave reviews I had heard about it. I wanted the full sized bar but there was no way I was gonna pony up that kind of dough without some kind of tangible proof. Even then I thought I would never do it. However I bought the little one and by the time I had finished using it up, I was sold! I would have bet my life I would have never thought of cleansing as being one of the most important steps in the skin care regimen but that could be because I've never invested heavily into a cleanser. This time there was no denying my new beautiful complexion was because of this soap.
Everywhere I went people would comment on how great my skin looked. Even though I kind of knew it was the Cor Silver Soap I still couldn't admit it to myself. My whole career revolved around what I had considered the only effective skincare products which were moisturizers, serums and treatments; not cleansers. It turns out, it takes the whole regimen to build a beautiful face!
I will never doubt the power of silver. Check it out! It not only removes makeup but bacteria as well for a beautiful complexion. Evens out skin tone and fades sun spots. Maintains the skin's natural moisture. Replenishes collagen. And even provides UV protection of SPF15.
I love their slogan because it is so true! With Cor you simply lather up, wait a few minutes and the job's done. Foam... rinse... glow...™
I love when a beauty brand formulates products with ease, innovation and convenience in mind. This could be a risky business decision because it seems companies tend to manufacture their tried and true products to lessen the chance of having a product bomb out which equates to huge economic losses.
Stila brand is so great at taking risks and luckily for them (and us) they hit pay dirt dead on every time. Check out a few of the products Stila makes that you can't really find elsewhere. At least I haven't been able to at this quality level.
Stila Hair Refresher in Jade Blossom. This little product will refresh and pick up your dingy hair with a few sprinkles and it smells delightful. The last time I saw a dry hair shampoo was as a nursing student in a hospital about 15 years ago. Only difference is Stila Hair Refresher smells great and works!
Stila Sun SPF15 is the best bang (I mean) bronzer for your buck.
Lastly my never leave home without Stila product. Stila Cherry Crush Lip and Cheek Stain. I swear it would be the one thing I would take if I were a contestant on Survivor!
I couldn’t possibly go all week without mentioning anything regarding the Presidential Inauguration. What an amazing moment in history. What’s even more amazing is how much attention Michelle Obama got regarding her attire for the daily events.
I’m not entirely surprised that all eyes are on the First Lady’s fashion. After all, she’s relatively young, stunning and quite a presence on stage. I got to thinking that she may influence fashion more than any First Lady since Jacqueline Kennedy.
The most attention probably came from that beautiful ball gown designed by Jason Wu. I had never heard of him before yesterday but apparently he’s only 26 and his career is sure off to a great start. Had anybody heard about him before yesterday? Has he designed clothing for any other celebrities recently?
It will be interesting to watch the fashion trends this year and see just how much influence Michelle Obama will have on women all around the country. I am betting there will be many more interesting ensembles to come.
First of all you'll need to read Gina's Jan. 6, 2009 posting titled Are you a skincare product junky? for this to make any sense. But in a nutshell, she mentions a website had cited that the average woman uses 32 different products each morning. We're gonna take a look at my list. I'm scared! Well here goes (I'll try to include product names when I can think of them offhand, but even that gets switched up all the time).
Random deodorants. Usually Dove.
- SkinCeuticals Daily Sun Defense SPF20
Biolage Silk Serum
Gina, did ya see that? Only 20!!!
Hi Guys. For years I’ve been telling you and your gender you don’t need to use a “for guys only” type skin care product. And I still believe it applies in general. However, in a perfect world, it kinda does matter. Oh alright...I’m starting to learn along the way products developed specifically for men really are a better fit for you.
The one thing I am absolutely certain of is you fella’s hate puffiness and dark circles around the eyes, you prefer a light moisturizer as opposed to feeling greasy, you don’t like products that are too fragrant (if at all), and most of you like “anti-aging” products almost as much as we do. Well I guess technically that’s four things.
I’m gonna share with you a secret you’re gonna love and yes it’s made specifically for men. Lab Series is a line of skincare products developed just for men by a team of doctors, scientists and skin care professionals. It’s referred to as “technologically advanced skin care” and touted as “high-performance.”
Just by picking up a copy of GQ or any popular magazine today we know men are becoming much more into looking healthy and well-groomed. And guys...we love it! There is nothing like a smooth and clean shaven gorgeous face to gander at so get on board and check out Lab Series Skincare for Men.
I would start with the basics and an eye cream. Check out Lab Series Basic Tools Kit. You get a foamy cleanser, a soothing lotion called Razor Burn Relief Ultra, and a moisturizer with an SPF of 15. Lab Series Daily Moisture Defense Lotion contains quality and proven ingredients and anti-oxidants that not only treat but prevent fine lines and wrinkles.
The other suggestion I mentioned is their eye-cream which in their line is actually a light-weight gel. When I tried it (even though I’m a woman) I fell in love with it! The ingredient list in Age Rescue Eye Therapy is so chocked full of the best eye area ingredients I’ve come across in a long while. And believe me that speaks volumes because I love good eye products! You will notice your dark circles disappear, puffiness allieviated, and the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles diminished. A refreshed, well rested looking eye is paramount to a fresher and more youthful appearance.
So guys, here’s your chance to look better than ever with the easiest skincare regimen you could ever imagine. Check out Lab Series for Men and use it! See ya later Mr.GQ man!
I love Bare Minerals. It was my first transition from only using bronzer and blush to the foundation world. And when I discovered foundation I was one happy camper! The Bare Escentuals line is perfect for someone who isn’t used to foundation because of its light feel and translucent look. In a nutshell, when it comes to foundation in my opinion, less is more. I didn’t wear foundation specifically due to that yucky heavy feeling and worse yet the yucky appearance. When I thought of foundation I immediately thought of Mrs. Diamond. A very nice woman but all you could do while chatting with her was notice her foundation. I wondered if it was perhaps the consistency, the wrong color possibly, or maybe she just needed some serious skincare for a better canvas to work with. Actually I knew darn well it was the thick and too dark foundation which I’m certain is why I developed an aversion to it.
It wasn’t easy being in this beauty industry not wearing such a main staple in make-up because I felt as if others in my business world looked at me as if it were odd. Kind of like the feeling you may get if you were not wearing nylons at a business conference. It’s like you know you look better sans the pantyhose but others think it odd and even unprofessional.
My preconceived notion of foundation was shot when I stumbled onto Bare Minerals. It’s the best for beautiful and natural looking coverage. Bare Escentuals is proud of the minerals they use in their Bare Minerals line. They are the purest and highest of quality and may be used by those with the most sensitive of skin due to the “preservative and filler free” formulation. The make-up is so clean you don’t have to worry if you fall asleep with it on!
If you want a gorgeous face that looks radiant take a look at the spectrum of color Bare Escentuals offers in their proprietary line of Bare Minerals. The foundation goes on smooth and does its job remarkably well without any lines of demarcation around the face. The result is a flawless face that doesn’t look “made up.” Additionally, Bare Minerals eye colors remind me of gemstones and their blush gives the perfect accent to a flawless finish.
I've noticed that every time I deviate away from my StriVectinSD I find myself right back to it eventually. Even when I'm using other products in my regimen I like the results I get from the cream. Maybe because I have dry skin and the consistency is quite thick. To me it feels dreamy but I suppose to a person with an oilier skin type it may be too much. However, if one were to use it and think it too viscous I would suggest they use it on the body. As you're already probably aware it was developed for use on stretch-marks anyway. So I use it on my belly, thighs, and face. The tube is large enough so as not to feel I'm wasting product on my body. Additionally, my body looks better when I do use it. It's just worth it to me.
But the one StriVectin product I can't wait to tell you about is StriVectin-HS Hydro-Thermal Deep Wrinkle Serum. You have got to try it. I can't believe the difference it makes in erasing my fine lines and wrinkles. If you do purchase it be sure you take a before picture so you can see for yourself. It's so cool! I started doing that a while back on any products I truly wanted to see if the effectiveness is what the marketing boasts. In this case, it truly is. At least it was for me. I'm fairly confident it will be for you as well. If you're nervous about trying something that feels a little on the pricey side, purchase from a store or website that has a good history in guaranteeing returns such as SkinStore.com. I've returned products there with no resistance which helps me with feeling comfortable when trying something new.
StriVectin-HS is a heat-activated, penetrating formula specifically developed to enter the core of the Dermal-Epidermal Junction where deep wrinkles begin. StriVectin-HS travels directly to the base of deep wrinkles, decompressing the look of deep creases from the dermal substratum upward and outward to the skin’s surface. To me, it's kind of like pushing them outward from the inside. My favorite place to use it is on my naso-labial folds (the lines from nose to the mouth) and on those marionette lines at the sides of my mouth. But it may be used anywhere you have deep creases such as between the brow or lines at the corners of the eyes.
And remember to take that before and after. It's a photo-op you won't want to miss!
Anybody who knows me is fully aware that I am a skin care product junkie through and through. Recently one of my friends told me that she had read on packagedfacts.com that the average woman uses 32 products each morning. I was amazed! It certainly wouldn’t surprise me to learn that I use that many products but the average woman? There have been mornings when I’ve thought, good God I use a lot of stuff! So I’m very taken back to hear that using dozens of products is actually typical.
Of course I had to find out for myself how many products I use in a typical morning. Keep in mind that I’m an absolute guinea pig and mix up my products regularly. This is what I came up with this morning. Interestingly enough, I counted 34 products, just above the average. I guess there are worse junkies out there. Of course this is only counting my morning products! Try it yourself and see what you come up with. Let me know how many products you use and if you were surprised by the outcome.
3. Body soap
4. Facial cleanser
5. Shaving cream
6. Body scrub
7. Self tanner
8. Post shave treatment
9. Body moisturizer
10. Acne body spray
11. Scalp treatment
12. Revitalizing hair treatment
14. Pore treatment
15. Radiance serum/moisturizer
16. Oil control serum
17. Mattifying gel
19. Corn starch
20. Mineral foundation
21. Mineral pressed powder
22. Makeup finishing spray
23. Beauty Elixir
24. Eye pencil
25. Petroleum jelly
26. Eye cream
27. Cream eye liner
30. Lip balm
31. Lip color
32. Lip gloss
33. Tooth paste
After feeling lousy for the last month I thought to myself, gee I wonder if the fact that my nutrition hasn’t been up to par and that I haven’t been exercising has something to do with this lack of energy?!? After pondering this I had to laugh at myself and think “boy, my genius scares me!”
I thought, well I suppose I can research nutrition and put myself on a vitamin and mineral supplement. I also thought I’d start back on the popular new antioxidant “super-food” known as the ‘acai berry.’ A year or so ago, I was taking supplements and drinking an acai berry juice and I felt like the little “energizer bunny!” I had never felt better, never had so much energy, and my skin had never looked so good. However, the juice got expensive and I started getting tired of swallowing all the vitamins and minerals in my little daily packet. Before I knew it, I stopped doing the very things I knew were helping me.
The result from discontinuing Perricone MD supplemental nutrition? No energy, a compromised immune system resulting in physical ailments and changes in the lucidity of my skin (and mind for that matter!). After this no-brainer observation I jumped up this morning and rummaged through my medicine cabinet looking for a multi-vitamin to pop, stat.
When I got back to my computer I followed my instinct to learn as much as I could about vitamin supplementation. What I discovered was a particular vitamin that I know I’m lacking in just from the symptoms listed on vitamin informational websites. It’s one of the vitamin b’s, known as niacin or vitamin B3.
The B vitamins play a key role in promoting the health of the nervous system, skin, eyes, hair, mouth and liver. Niacin helps rid the body of toxic and harmful chemicals, improves circulation, and reduces cholesterol levels.
The University of Maryland published an article on the web stating, “An interesting area of research currently underway is the use of niacin skin care products as anti-aging agents, for treatment of acne, and, possibly, for prevention of skin cancer. Dermatologists expect that there will be information emerging about topical forms of niacin for these purposes over the next few years.”
Though the article covered a multitude of reasons for use, I still couldn’t help but take note of niacin’s use in skincare. One, because I’m in the industry and always want to keep abreast in new skin science and two, because I keep hearing rave reviews about a new skincare brand called NIA24 that uses niacin as its basis for its efficacy. The developers of the NIA24 line state, “it has been discovered that Niacin is a key factor in helping the skin protect and repair itself from sun damage and aging.”
After delving into this whole nutritional question I pondered this morning I’ve decided I’m going to add a B Complex vitamin to supplement my daily diet and I’m definitely going to check out NIA24 line because the use of niacin in promoting the health of the skin makes all the sense in the world to me.
Niacinamide is "functionally identical" to niacin but is used in many skin care products because it is less irritating to the skin. DDF brand offers many highly rated products with this form.
Take note that vitamin and mineral supplements need to be taken as directed as there can be side effects and over-dosage. Always consult with your physician when starting any nutritional supplementation.
I keep hearing about the link between diet and acne. For years experts have attempted to dispel the myths that greasy pizza and chocolate cause acne. I was always told that certain foods cannot trigger breakouts but somehow I had trouble believing that there was no link. I certainly think that a healthy diet does make for healthier skin.
Recently I became particularly interested in the link between dairy and acne. Many experts believe that dairy triggers acne for several reasons. One reason is that dairy in this country often comes from pregnant cows which means the milk contains high levels of hormones that can contribute to breakouts. Another reason is that the high calcium content can interfere with the absorption of zinc which is vital to clear skin. The last reason I have found is that milk causes a high insulin response in the body which can also cause acne breakouts.
This said, I have noticed more breakouts that usual in the last few months and it just so happens that I’ve been eating more dairy than usual, about four servings a day. What can I say? I love cheese! My intense workouts build a mean appetite and since I eat very little meat, I usually turn to dairy for protein. Since I’m such a guinea pig, I have decided to cut way back on my dairy intake (eliminating it entirely just isn’t realistic) to see if I can reduce my breakouts.
Has anyone tried cutting out or severely reducing diary intake to clear up acne? What did you eat as a substitute? Were you able to stick to this diet?