February 2009 - Posts
Yesterday’s article was all about getting your feet in to great shape. There’s nothing worse than seeing a really cute sandal or strappy shoe with dried and cracked toes and heels. There’s this old saying that one of the biggest deal closers (meaning he‘s no longer interested in pursuing the relationship) for a man is a woman who doesn’t take care of her feet.
So today I thought I’d share with you some really cool little items that will be the icing on the cake for your beautiful feet.
There’s a company called Foot Petals that have some really cool products for comfort and the perfect fit of your shoes. For added comfort and prevention of blisters. Do you own a pair of sling backs that constantly slip down, well then try Foot Petals Strappy Strips. You get 8 thin strips that are virtually invisible. I like using them when I buy a new pair of flip-flops cause those always seem to hurt until they’re broken in. But when you apply the strips right under the straps I’ve found they are no longer uncomfortable.
One of my favorite products for my feet is by Bliss. This must-have twosome is the best thing you can do for your feet at night. Its called Bliss Ultimate Foot Duo and the kit Contains: Bliss Softening Socks these socks form a feathery film around the foot, creating an instant moisture barrier to help alleviate dryness and battle the buildup of corns and calluses. The kit also comes with Bliss Softening Sock Salve its a treatment balm that tenderizes tough heels and toes. It soothes, smoothes, and softens the skin, leaving with insufferably soft soles. Check out the review I found on this product at SkinStore.com:
Great Product! I have tried so many products for dry hands and feet, and nothing seemed to work. I finally decided to give the Bliss socks and gloves a try. They are amazing. They feel so good on that you don't mind wearing them all night. When I would trying wearing cotton or nylon gloves and socks to bed, I would end up taking them off after about 5 minutes, but not these--they stay on all night.
Next I have to share with you Foot Petals Sweaty Pedi and Foot Petals Pedi Fume. The combo kills odor causing bacteria and facilitates aromatherapy of lavender and vanilla. It also contains menthol to soothe tired, swollen feet. Just spray it on and go out strutting your stuff. Go ahead and read some reviews I found at SkinStore.com. Just click on the link below:
In yesterday’s article you may recall that most everyone who tries or uses L’Occitane Shea Butter Foot Cream absolutely love it? Well I wanted to give you a link to click on so you can see what others are saying about it. You’ll see why you should try it!
The last thing on wanted to share with you is another product by L’Occitane. It’s their Shea Butter Exfoliating Foot Care. They have the most impressive list of exfoliating ingredients and comforting and hydrating properties that I’ve come across in a very long time. Along with softening, smoothing, exfoliating it also prevents calluses from forming. This product not only eliminates dead skin cells it also prevents calluses. In three words: Buy and Try!
While staying in Utah for a month this winter my dry skin got even dryer. Well that’s a given because we all know that dry air is harsh on dry skin. However, that wasn’t my only issue. I have great hydrating moisturizers and skin barrier protectors for my body which kept my dry skin soft and supple. My real problem was the harm the dry climate did to my feet. My poor heels were cracked, dry and downright painful.
I decided to get up, take my shower, eat a healthy breakfast and head to the nearest salon I could find who specialized in pedicures. Then I realized I’d be paying a fortune for a service I could do at home by myself. Additionally, most salons use gallon size jugs of moisturizing lotion that is just mediocre in quality. And to make matters worse I always try to tell them to not use the callus remover on my feet because I’m sensitive to it and my skin splits right open. Well they take it upon themselves to do it anyway (so sure enough the skin opens and stings) and then they add five bucks to my bill for something I said no to in the first place!
My objective wasn’t so much to have gorgeously painted nails, I just want nice soft feet that would look attractive in a nice sling type shoe or sandal. So I searched for everything I needed to achieve my goal. I opted for quality, yet affordable products and bought the most minimal tools I could get away with for a quality job.
The really cool thing about this researching and shopping the net was that I had no idea all the cool things they have come up with for a great pair of feet.
I knew I would need a nail clipper and file, but had those items already. Then of course when I started reading about pedicure and manicure tools I soon found out that nothing beats professional quality tools. A good manicurist would never be without a ultra good cuticle nipper. (I know they say, never clip cuticles but I’ve never had a professional manicurist not do it). So I did end up buying some tools along with the best cleansers, exfoliators, extra emollient moisturizers and any other foot gadget or new specialized product for foot care I could possibly find.
Below is the list of items I’ve purchased and used faithfully and compliantly . And I’ve got tell you my feet look fabulous, feel great and so refreshed. Additionally, I have no more foot pain and I’ve never had so much fun shoe shopping in my life!
For cleanser I use H2O Plus Lemon Lust Shower and Bath Gel cause its only 9 bucks and smells delicious and my body and feet feel so refreshingly clean. However you may use whatever body soap you already have or like.
For implements I chose Tweezerman Pedicure Solution Kit because of their well-known excellence in quality. The kit comes with a Power Toenail Clipper, Stainless Steel Cuticle Nipper, Stainless Steel Pushy/Cleaner, Callus Stone Pedicure Files, 2 Wooden Pedicure Stick and a Red Roll-Up Case.
I also purchased a specialized toenail emery board called SpaRitual Zebra Board. It’s just the right dual sided grit to get the job done.
To exfoliate and remove calluses and dead skin I went with SpaRitual Let It Go Callus Remover to see if my feet would sting and crack open like they have in the past at salons. However, this product didn’t do that but did remove the toughest, thickest callus buildup. I loved it!
For basic hydrating and moisturizing for daily usage you can not go wrong with L’Occitane Shea Butter Foot Cream. Everyone I know thinks it’s the best foot cream in the world…and I have to agree!
Now for the best part. Tomorrow’s entry will be some other foot/feet/pedi surprises. Here’s a little hint: Some products that work while you sleep; some solutions for foot odor, some customer reviews on the products I've shared with you in part one and part two of this series, and maybe even a way to turn uncomfortable shoes into a pair that feel like you'll want to dance all night!
What is it about the Oscars that has everyone going wild? Is it the anticipation of finding out which fabulous films and stars will be nominated for an award and which ones will actually win? Is it the chance to see all of our favorite stars dressed up for a fancy night out? Is it about living a fantasy, imagining that we ourselves are the stars?
Whatever the reason, all of the attention never ceases to amaze me. Experts had predicted low viewership due to the fact that many of the films nominated were not big block busters. Regardless of that, there’s no shortage of fans wanting to experience the ultimate glamorous evening.
Every year the Oscars do play an important role in fashion. Designer dresses are always showcased and any new or upcoming designer who is lucky enough to have a star don an original will enjoy an ample career boost following the awards. On the other hand, designers also suffer when their dresses are judged a bust.
I have to say that I’m a bit perplexed this year at the dresses that were deemed to be failures. Did Sarah Jessica Parker really look that bad? One site I visited said that the dress made her look like Glenda the Good Witch. Ouch! That’s a little harsh. Check out all of the comments on the worst dressed celebrities here: http://www.celebtv.com/poll-worst-dressed-oscars
As much as we love to put celebrities on pedestals, we are also very quick to judge every little flaw. It must be hard to live in a fish bowl. I sure am glad there’s nobody to snap my picture every time I’m caught wearing something that’s less than flattering. Then again, I don’t have millions of dollars to pay celebrity stylists!
I just got back from a week in Europe and I couldn’t believe what the traveling did to my skin! I am fighting quite the nasty breakout at the moment. I find that the effects of travel hit me about a week after I return home and that getting my skin back to normal takes longer than my actual vacation.
Why is traveling so hard on your skin? Air travel is often blamed since the air in a plane is recycled and very dry. More importantly, it’s the fact that we are out of our element, exposed to a different climate and different germs, not eating as well as we should and not taking the same care with our skin as we do when we’re home. Skin doesn’t always adapt well to change.
I do notice a difference when I really make an effort. For one thing, drinking lots of water is extra important, especially when traveling by plane. It’s amazing how dry air can dehydrate the body. When your skin isn’t properly hydrated, it is not as resilient and can’t heal as fast. Try not to worry about disturbing your neighbor by having to get up to use the bathroom. Getting proper hydration is much more important.
If you’re oily like me, you probably really feel the need to cleanse your face at the end of the day but on long flights you find that you have to go more than a day without this essential ritual. Believe it or not, you can wash your face at the airport. Sure, it’s a bit of a pain but absolutely worth it. Just pack travel size products that don’t take up much counter space and do your work quickly. I have found that this makes a big difference in preventing breakouts. If that’s really too much of a pain, use a cleansing towlette like MD Skincare EZ4U 4 in 1 Facial that not only cleanses but also fights the signs of aging. I was lazy this time and didn’t cleanse between flights despite a 4 hour delay in Houston. I am now paying the price!
Don’t skimp on the essential treatments when you’re on vacation. It may seem like a hassle to pack a lot of products but it’s just a matter of finding items that travel well. I am so glad that my favorite soap, Cor Silver comes in a travel size! It certainly wouldn’t be practical to lug a full sized bar over to Europe. The travel size makes it easy. Another of my favorites that comes in portable form is MD Skincare Alpha Beta Daily Face Peel. The two step process makes my skin feel extra clean after a long day. The packettes are really easy to travel with since they are flat. You can fit them anywhere. Kinerase also has the Instant Radiance Facial Peel in individual pouches. They don’t lie quite as flat as the MD Skincare treatments since there’s an applicator but they still don’t take up much room.
I figure I have a few more days to go with this breakout. Next time I travel, I’m taking my own advice!
How can you determine (aside from a dermatologist’s diagnosis) if you have rosacea? I really want to know because in the last year or so I have wondered if I am showing early signs of the condition. I can clearly see numerous small, broken capillaries on and around my nose and at times during the day I experience redness on the forehead and nose for no obvious reason. The flushing usually subsides after an hour or two.
Rosacea seems to be largely a mystery in the medical community but is gaining more and more press as increasing numbers of people are diagnosed and subsequently the demand for effective treatments climbs. Yet, despite growing concerns, I still can’t seem to find a clear definition of the condition. Some sources simply define rosacea as “adult acne” while other sources are vague about symptoms as subtle as broken capillaries and as severe as weeping lesions.
A couple of my friends have been diagnosed with rosacea and rely on regular steroidal treatments to control flare-ups. Although they (like many rosacea sufferers) don’t fully understand their condition, they do say that their skin remains problem-free as long as they are faithful to their prescribed treatment.
I’m not sure if I’m at a point where I need to see a dermatologist to determine whether or not I have rosacea. I am sure that at this point, my condition is much too mild to warrant a prescription. However, I can’t help but to wonder what’s in store for the future of my skin. Will my symptoms worsen and how can I control them?
I know that many of you reading this have been diagnosed with rosacea and I am eager to hear about your experiences. Are any of you managing your condition with over-the-counter treatments or do you absolutely need a prescription to control flare-ups? Can anybody provide a clear definition of rosacea and explain how a diagnosis is determined?
Does everyone hate the word “wrinkles” as much as I do? I mean the word alone sounds bad. Is it because we automatically cringe when we hear the word, oftentimes identifying it with our own skin or because it reminds us we’re getting older? I can’t remember for sure, but I don’t think I ever gave the word itself a second thought before I started getting wrinkles which makes me think the word only irritates me because I’m attaching it to who I am.
Having said that, I would never want to look plastic or like a girl in her twenties or thirties because I think a woman who ages gracefully is absolutely gorgeous. It’s just that I want to always take great care of myself so I look as young as I feel. And I feel really young! Well except for backaches and night sweats!
Let’s look at the word itself and what it means. Wrinkling (general term we use for creases, furrows and lines on our face) occurs naturally when we age. That’s all there is to it; however, most often it is accelerated by the way we live. But remember we can absolutely slow it down by implementing 3 simple things into our lives.
1. Never smoke. If you do, quit.
2. Use sunscreen. Period.
3. Follow a good skincare regimen.
As far as treating wrinkles and fine lines that have already occurred there are a multitude of solutions.
1. Follow the three steps for prevention above and start as early as possible. If you didn’t start taking good care of your skin when you were young, don’t worry about it. Just start now. Today’s skin care products are effective. Science has now been incorporated into cosmetic skincare formulations that effectively change the texture and tone of the skin. No more snake oil promises, many actually work.
2. Keep your skin hydrated. Drink water and use moisturizer!
3. Explore and educate yourself on ingredients and products (depending of course on your skin type and your doctor or skin therapist’s recommendations). The ingredients below have shown great promise in the reduction of fine lines and wrinkles.
• Prescription Retin A or over the counter retinol creams and products.
• Glycolic acid
Retinol and glycolics are great for fine lines and blemishes, removing dead skin cells and for stimulating collagen production. I refer to these ingredients as “tried and true” anti-aging skincare.
• Alpha Lipoic Acid
• Copper Peptides
Idebenone, lipoic acids and copper peptides are integrated into many skincare products and are the basis for why the creams and serums seem to work so well in many brands. They work over time to reduce the signs of aging and again show great promise.
The last two (DMAE and pentapeptides) work by affecting the lower lying tissue and muscles under the skin to give an appearance of better tone. In other words, the substance stimulates nerve function and stimulates the muscles to contract and tighten under the skin. Thus giving a more relaxed and less lined look to the face.
Watch for Part Two and Part Three of Wrinkles 101. Part Two will focus on the most effective products containing these ingredients and Part Three will explore other avenues in wrinkle reduction such as Botox, Injectible fillers, and chemical peels.
After showering, getting her face luxuriously exfoliated, conditioning and cutting her wavy locks, my sister was ready for part two of her make-over. I laid out an outfit for her, added accessories, shoes and bag to match. Albeit, knock-off Prada boots and fake Dolce & Gabbana purse, but none the less, really cute! I chose to draw attention to her small waist and wanted an outfit that would elongate her legs. To accentuate her small waist I chose a fitted blouse with princess seams. Luckily I found one that one that had no pockets. That was a score because she’s kind of top heavy and wants to downplay the size of the girls! When there are pockets, the eye will be drawn directly to the chest. The crisp white blouse was a perfect duet with a pair of a dark blue rinsed boot-leg cut jeans. The darker color is not only fashionable but thinning as well. The slight flare and looser fit look better on a curvy figure so as not to bring attention to the hips and thighs. The pant should have as few items (such as buttons, pockets, etc.) as possible. To finish the look I chose a pair of boots that had a 3&1/2 inch heel to give her some height as well as elongate the leg.
Now back to the face, neck and décolleté. After the peel and rinse in the shower, I applied a full dropperful of SkinCeuticals CE Ferulic. I know I could have easily gotten away with much less but I was a little overzealous with this whole blossoming of Linda gig I had going on. I was starting to wonder if like my teenaged daughter I was a little too excited about makeovers. However, as the progression became obvious this was going to be a success and just what the doctor ordered I answered my own question. The answer: a brilliant idea!
After the serum I wanted a firming and plumping moisturizer that hydrates well. I used PCA Skin phaze 11 Plus Apres Peel Balm. For her makeup application I decided to use my new Bare Minerals Get Started Kit. Her coloring is close to mine so I figured it would be a good enough match. I ordered it from SkinStore.com for only 49 bucks (and it was valued at $110) and I hadn’t yet used it. I decided to give it to her and order another one. An added little bonus to really make her day. Her make-up application turned out flawless. She looked gorgeous!
I dug through my perfume samples and let her choose the one she liked best. She went with Gwen Stefani’s fresh floral, yet musky scent, L.A.M.B. A perfect choice with her sassy and sensual new look.
Hindsight 20/20 is so apropos to this whole make-over scenario. It means that you can look in the past (hindsight) and see what you did wrong. Perfect vision is 20/20. So as you look back, you're able to see "perfectly" what you should have done. "Hindsight is 20/20"
When we step back and separate ourselves from a lesson-learned, life experience, we receive what is referred to as "hindsight." Hindsight is the process of deriving meaning from what we have seen or experienced. It's an examination of the "lesson learned." Hindsight allows us to reflect and clearly see our past, then, with depth perception, connect it to our "now." When we fuse these two pictures together, we gain optimal focus and extraordinary clarity. It allows us to shed light on a decade-old event with pristine, peripheral vision. Hindsight is the ability to see, after the event, what should have been done.My sister felt so gorgeous with her new look. Her outlook on life seemed to get much better. She was excited about her work once again and wanted to start getting out of the house more. I already knew that when you look great you feel great, but I had never thought about the lesson she learned that day. When she had just plain given up and thought it was “too late” for her, she realized she was wrong and that the only thing to do is to learn from it and move on. Now I’m betting that she will apply this concept to every facet of her life. From now on she and I will realize that foresight is 20/20!
There is nothing like a make-over to take the blues away. My sister was so down and out. She was not at all herself and her depression was psych 101 text book obvious. She hadn’t gotten out of bed for a couple of days and then when she did she looked like hell. No make-up except for the mascara that she hadn’t washed off in days that was making her look like the raccoon that had been coming over every night to ravage my trash.
Her hair was way too long for a 50 year old woman and was damaged from using cheap shampoo and conditioner and her skin was dull from no exfoliation or proper care for weeks.
I couldn’t stand watching her go further and further downhill so I finally told her “today we’re giving you a make-over!” She didn’t seem thrilled and looked half offended. I suppose one would if someone blurts that out. But quite frankly, she needed the proverbial slap in the face.
She insisted that she didn’t want one and that nothing would help because she said “it was too late.” I begged to differ and boy was I ever right.
I told her to jump in the shower and which shampoo and conditioner to use. I suggested she use my products knowing she would get the most ultimate results. I told her to use my Alterna Hemp with Organics Repair Shampoo first and to rinse and repeat. Next I had her use Frederic Fekkai Shea Butter Hair Mask. The treatment mask hydrates and repairs the hair with shea butter and macadamia nut oils.
Additionally, I had her do an in-home peel to brighten her dull skin and firm it up. She was looking older than she actually is and she has always looked much younger than her age. First we used June Jacobs Perfect Pumpkin Peeling Enzyme Masque. This mask may be used on both face and body and leaves the skin absolutely radiant. She was no exception. The results were stellar!
After showering and removing her pumpkin peel I cut her hair. I just simply cut off 6 inches all the way around, cut in some long chunky layers and long bangs that she could wear to the side. Knowing she has soft curls (you couldn’t tell with the long hair because all that weight kept the curl down) I scrunched it with Frederic Fekkai Luscious Curls Wave Spray which brought back all her gorgeous bounce and springy curls. The conditioning treatment made the locks shiny and soft.
There is more! I will post tomorrow part II of Hindsight is 20/20. But let me just tell you this much. After she was done she went to the store to pick up a few things and came back crying. I said “oh my gosh, Linda, what’s wrong?” And she proceeded to tell me that for the first time in weeks men were checking her out and women looked at her like she was pretty.” She said she was so thankful for her resurgence that she will always maintain her skin and hair from this point on and that she hadn’t felt this good in years. Now she wonders why she ever let herself go. I told her hindsight is always 20/20!
Just when you thought SkinCeuticals couldn't get any better the company brings on the mother of all anti-aging serums. For the last couple of years my favorite SkinCeuticals product that I could never live without was C E Ferulic. Have you tried it? I don't think I've ever read a bad review on CE Ferulic. Well imagine CE Ferulic squared?
The company has recently come out with SkinCeuticals Phloretin CF. This new serum still contains vitamin C and ferulic acid but they’ve potentiated it to make it a broad-spectrum treatment which not only protects against free radicals but also a whole range of other reactive molecules known to cause damage and DNA mutations at the cellular level. But that’s not all. It also corrects existing damage by stimulating protein and fiber synthesis and accelerates new cellular turnover. You’re left with a strengthened support structure which translates into a firmer and much more youthful appearance.
Get radiant skin with SkinCeuticals new patent-pending breakthrough technology. By combining the power of Phloretin with Vitamin C and Ferulic Acid, SkinCeuticals Phloretin CF has raised the bar in the science of skincare.
I have to admit that with all of the talk these days about false lashes, I have never tried them. I certainly am a good candidate with my fine lashes and I am very curious to try a pair. I guess I’m a little leery since I have such sensitive eyes and experience irritation very easily.
Today I’m even more intrigued since reading an article on the Blog BeyondBeautyBasics. You can check out the article and pictures here: http://beyondbeautybasics.com/shu-uemura-false-lashes-lash-out-at-your-next-holiday-party/
There are some really wild party lashes that certainly would draw attention at any event. I have trouble imagining myself wearing a pair of these as they must be very cumbersome and uncomfortable to wear for extended periods of time. I wonder if you can even see properly with these one. Can people actually drive in these?
In spite of the incredible pictures, the article does give great practical advice about purchasing false lashes (the basic ones too) as well as the application and removal process. I have to say that after reading this article, I’m less intimidated and even more motivated to try false lashes.
One question still remains in my mind: can you use mascara in conjunction with false lashes? How does this affect removal?
As some of you may have read in my blog posting exactly a month ago, I gave up dairy for a whole 30 days in an attempt to dramatically improve my skin. After hearing so much about the link between dairy and acne, I just had to give it a try.
Overall I have to say that I didn’t notice much of a difference. While I do typically go through periods where my skin is fairly clear, I still experience mild breakouts at times and the dairy free diet didn’t seem to change this. I’ve read that the main reason for the acne link is the high level of hormones in dairy. Maybe the diet didn’t make a big difference since I have never been particularly prone to hormonal breakouts. This might also explain why birth control pills never did much to clear up my skin.
Despite my disappointment, I would still encourage people struggling with acne to give the dairy free diet a try. If there’s a natural way to control breakouts, it’s certainly worth the effort. I can’t imagine it would ever replace effective topical treatments but it certainly could help others to maintain clear skin.
I have to say that eating no dairy did make me feel pretty good. Although I inadvertently cheated a tad a couple of times during the month, I did manage to stick to this diet more easily than I originally thought. I had to increase my intake of lean proteins like fish to make up for the lack of dairy and somehow, I do feel much better. That said, I plan to add dairy back into my diet but in moderation. Maybe instead of the three or four servings a day I can aim for three or four servings a week. I was hoping that I would have a really strong incentive to avoid my biggest temptation, ice cream. As much as I love ice cream, I would always choose clear skin given the choice. I guess I’ll have to find will power in another source.