January 2010 - Posts
When looking for a product for a certain indication and you want to try a new product or brand check out the "Staff Favorites" page on skin care or beauty websites. I've had 100% luck of return when I've shopped this way. Oftentimes the staff of online stores will have tried many products simply due to the fact that they get to try many more products than the rest of us. Some companies offer their employees freebies or almost always offer them a discount which enables them to get to try the majority of them. We on the other hand aren't usually as lucky to get to try a whole slew of products. We either go with what we know we've liked in the past or take a gamble on trying something new without the "know already factor."
A few of my favorite websites that have this great option are SkinStore.com and SpaLook.com. Check out their "Staff Favorites" pages.
SkinStore.com Staff Favorites Page
SpaLook.com Staff Favorites Page
Be sure and let me know how this works for you. I hope you enjoy the scoop as much as I have!
I have to admit that I have never been very gifted when it comes to applying eye makeup and mostly just stick to simple eyeliner and mascara. But everyone has been talking about the smoky eye and I have been envious!
So maybe some of you have been in the same boat and have wondered where to start. After all, buying a bunch of individual colors and experimenting can be quite frustrating.
Then I found two amazing little makeup kits that offers the perfect solution:
Too Faced Smoky Eye Palette is designed specifically for the lady looking to create that signature smoky eye. The portable collection contains shades that work together to build a fabulous glamour look. The kit also contains cards that provide instructions on how to apply shades in combination to create that smoky eye. Why take a stab in the dark when all of the resources can be found right in front of you?
The Stila Smoky Eye Palette – Original is a full palette that includes four shades which complement one another. But the best part is the magic button. Just push it and the talking palette will walk you through five easy steps to making the perfect smoky eye a reality. It’s almost too good to be true!
Now I feel ready to actually take this on. I’m not too proud to ask for a little help!
Today I share with you my top ten picks to use your tax refund on (or any extra cash you may want to spend on yourself). Let’s face it, sometimes we know we should do the right thing and pay off bills and other responsibilities we have as we should. However, it’s always nice to save a little piece of an unexpected nest’s egg on ourselves.
Here are my 10 picks from SkinStore.com and SpaLook.com:
Silkn SensEpil Hair Removal Device
Clarisonic Mia Sonic Cleansing System
Dermalogica Smart Power Rich
Dermelect Nail Recovery System
Anastasia Seven Piece Brow Kit Medium Ash
Being True The Kit Medium
Colorescience Lip Restoration System
GoSmile Go All Out Kit
After answering today’s forums I realized I had never written about the benefits of therapeutic massage. My favorite skin care websites sell lots of great spa quality massage oils so it dawned on me to write a little bit about massage as well as share with you some of the great massage oils and products that I have purchased over the years. As with any type of beauty or spa/skincare product I have my favorites. Both in terms of their quality and their scent.
I truly feel massage should be incorporated into everyone’s life. Once I started getting monthly massages I immediately recognized the quality of my life greatly improved. I felt less pain, had improvement in my skin texture and tone and mentally I felt like a million bucks.
I thought I’d copy and paste a list of benefits I found on a fabulous website called MassageTherapy.com. It is chock full of information that I was unaware of.
The Benefits of Massage
What exactly are the benefits of receiving massage or bodywork treatments? Useful for all of the conditions listed below and more, massage can:
• Alleviate low-back pain and improve range of motion.
• Assist with shorter, easier labor for expectant mothers and shorten maternity hospital stays.
• Ease medication dependence.
• Enhance immunity by stimulating lymph flow—the body’s natural defense system.
• Exercise and stretch weak, tight, or atrophied muscles.
• Help athletes of any level prepare for, and recover from, strenuous workouts.
• Improve the condition of the body’s largest organ—the skin.
• Increase joint flexibility.
• Lessen depression and anxiety.
• Promote tissue regeneration, reducing scar tissue and stretch marks.
• Pump oxygen and nutrients into tissues and vital organs, improving circulation.
• Reduce postsurgery adhesions and swelling.
• Reduce spasms and cramping.
• Relax and soften injured, tired, and overused muscles.
• Release endorphins—amino acids that work as the body’s natural painkiller.
• Relieve migraine pain.
What I realized early on in my massage infancy was that I couldn’t continue to pay for them on a professional basis as much as I would have liked so I devised a plan B. I bought oils and informed my significant other that he and I were adding massage to our lives once a week and paying for them once a month. We both worried that we may not be good at giving the other a good massage but it turned out that there is no bad massage. Touch alone with pressure and a little bit of love and caring truly does the trick. Obviously, there are risks with massage and risks need to be addressed but neither one of us have any indications that would make it dangerous to massage one another. Nor do we use an over-abundant amount of pressure; however, whatever we do truly works. I feel good, we get along better and when either one of us wants more of a deep or therapeutic massage we pay a professional massage therapist.
My favorite oils are as follows:
For my dry parched skin I love Aromatherapy Associates Enrich Massage and Body Oil. It uses carrier oils of macadamia, olive and coconut which help condition the skin and leaves it exotically scented with geranium, ylang ylang and vanilla. This is my decadent massage!
When I want an extremely relaxing massage I go with Pevonia Micro Emulsion Massage Oil Anti-Stress, It’s delightfully aromatic with nourishing safflower, geranium and orange oils. Love it!
And lastly when I want to firm up my hips and thighs I head straight for my Nuxe Tonific Minceur Body Contouring Massage Oil. This oil is one of my favorite little finds! It’s a non-greasy oil that combines essential oils and plant oils that help to fight off cellulite and bloating associated with fluid retention. I love it!!
Today I thought I’d continue with my article from last week in which I shared with you all how I transformed my house into a home simply by using candles and fragrant gifts I found on SkinStore.com.
First I’d like to share some candles that I purchased but didn’t have room to tell you about in my last article.
Kerstin Florian Aromatherapy Votive Candle
This candle is such a fabulous gift for anyone (and a great gift to yourself). It fills the air with a luminous aroma of French cassis, pomegranate and sweet tangerine. Aromatherapeutic candles use the power of plants and flowers to lift your mood, calm overwhelming anxieties, and awaken and energize your spirit. I’m in love with this candle!
My very favorite fragrant gift for the home is Molton Brown Sleep Cedrus Room Aroma Rocks. Anyone who has a heck of a time with getting a good night’s sleep or who can’t rest all that well needs this precious gift!
Reduce stress and invite a dreamy night’s sleep into your bedroom by opening this potent box. Natural rocks of acacia tree sap are drenched in fragrance of cedrus and lavender oils which diffuse into the air creating an incredibly relaxing restful ambiance. The oils such as cedrus, lavender and orange promote and encourage sleep and relaxation. This is an insomniac or anxious person’s must-have!!
Here are some important candle usage and safety tips from some of the companies I’ve been writing about in this candle series. Some are quite obvious but are great reminders to keep you and your home and family safe while using candles. Other’s are great tips (that I know I never knew of) to get the most out of your new candles.
Directions For Use (Information found via various brands that sell fragrant gifts and candles on SkinStore.com):
To prevent fire, never let a candle burn out of your sight, keep it out of children's and pets reach, and never place it near anything that can catch fire. Place candle on a heat-resistant surface. Once extinguished, allow to cool before touching. Never burn a candle for more than 3 hours at a time. Discard container and discontinue use when 1/2" wax remains. Always trim wick to 1/4" and remove any debris before lighting.
Always light candle from base of wick. Keep lit candle out of children's reach. Never leave burning candle unattended. Only burn on a stable, non-flammable surface. Enjoy a room filled with a luminous aroma.
To Extend the Lifetime of Your Candle:
• Before lighting your candle, straighten out the wick and trim the wick to 1/4 inch - 5 mm.
• Every time the candle is lit, it is preferable to make the wax melt over its whole surface before extinguishing it.
• Avoid exposing to drafts.
• Never burn the candle completely. Dispose when 1 to 2 mm of wax remains in container.
Always place lit candle on heat resistant surface. Trim wick to 1/2 inch before each lighting. Stop use when 1/2 inch of wax remains. Never burn unattended. Keep out of reach of children and pets.
Sundari reminds us to remove candle from the carton.
The fragrant gifts mentioned in these two candle articles definitely do transform your house into a home but they actually do more than that. They contribute to our own beauty as well as they calm our senses and lift our spirits producing a beauty that makes us look even more beautiful from the inside out!
So last month I talked about the new Clarisonic Mia Sonic Cleansing System that uses the same technology as the classic Clarisonic but is smaller and absolutely portable. I have been using mine for a little over a month and all I can say is WOW! I love this little Mia and really cannot be without it. Fortunately, the smaller size makes it easy to take anywhere. In fact I hauled it to the mountains during the holidays and was quite pleased about how little space it requires.
My results have been fabulous. Because my skin is oily and congested, I often feel that I just can’t get clean enough but I really feel thoroughly cleansed with the Clarisonic. My skin is smoother, my pores are less noticeable and my dark patches are lighter. I feel like my products work better because my skin is constantly exfoliated and ready to take in active ingredients.
Clarisonic has now come out with the new Clarisonic Mia Sonic Cleansing System – Yellow. It has all of the same great features as every Clarisonic Product. I’m still waiting for feedback from our readers. I know some of you have used it. I always see great Clarisonic Reviews out there. It’s amazing how many happy customers there are!
With the horrible rains and weather in California I’ve been spending most of my time in my little new apartment. And the funny thing is I love being in my cozy little place and it’s not just for the warmth and obvious benefit of staying dry…it’s because it looks and smells absolutely lovely.
A few weeks ago I decided when I move into my new place I would keep it ridiculously tidy, decorate it to a tee and make it smell delicious. I achieved the latter two goals with a great selection of candles.
Candles are the most affordable way to make your house a beautiful home. The key though is to buy quality candles. They burn better, last longer and smell lovelier. I chose mine from a webpage on SkinStore.com about (fragrant gifts for home). Many of the brands they sell have a line of candles for the home and I already trusted those brands from the great skincare products I’d already used over the years. Sometimes, I’ve received candles as gifts with purchase which I absolutely love…but for the larger one’s I just sat down and ordered them separately after reading their descriptions of therapeutic scents. These candles truly potentiate and set any mood. It’s aromatherapy via ambience!
My picks with wicks:
For my living room on my new pillar candle sticks I got from Pier One Imports that are like 4 feet tall. I have three pillars with the following candles placed on them.
I chose three pillar type candles from a lovely company called Archipelago Botanicals. They offer natural soy candles, scented diffusers, natural fragrances and bath and body products that help us relax and enjoy life and transform our homes into veritable sanctuaries.
Archipelago Botanicals Pillar Candle in Jaipur (A blend of Cedarwood, Kaffir Lime and Amber)
Archipelago Botanicals Pillar Candle in Demeter (Orange, Patchouli, and Cardamon)
Archipelago Botanicals Pillar Candle in Madagascar (White Orchid, Vanilla, Freesia and Jasmine)
All three smell incredible and burn for an amazing 65 hours!!
In my kitchen I keep my L’Occitane Peach Blossom Scented Candle (described as “A walkway to a sunny orchard of Provence, evoking the delicate freshness of flower petals and the sweet, velvety scent of white peaches. The fragrant pleasures of a fruit garden, captured in a candle.” This little gem burns for around 20 hours.
Tomorrow I’m going to share with you a few more of my favorite candles and amazing fragrant gifts for your home. One of which even sets up an atmosphere of total relaxation and an amazing night’s sleep. Additionally, I will share with you how to extend the lifetime of your candles as well as some other tips regarding usage and safety.
I’ve come to the conclusion that in order for you to get the ultimate moisturization, protection and staying power in hand and foot creams the product must contain paraffin.
Ultra hydrating hand and foot creams work best when they contain ingredients that form a barrier to shield the skin from dehydrating and irritating daily issues such as over-washing, dry air and other environmental assaults. Additionally, that same barrier that protects seems to hold the nourishing properties of the creams and lotions in as well. Therefore it shields what goes in from sneaking out along with acting as a barrier to keep the irritating factors out. As far as I’m concerned, the best barrier/shield in any skincare product is paraffin.
Below is a list of excellent products that contain paraffin. All are 5 star rated and/or my personal favorites:
For chronically dry skin: Nouriva Repair Moisturizing Cream
For Body: Celazome Penetrating Moisturizing Body Lotion
For Hands, Feet and Nails: Barielle
Barielle Professional Hand Cream
Barielle Total Foot Care Cream
Barielle Nail Strengthener Cream
And now…I’m so excited to introduce to you my all time favorite paraffin product. All the products I mentioned are absolutely incredible and I promise you will love them. But this next product is so cool for smoothing out wrinkles and fine lines on the face. Immediately your complexion looks much more youthful, fresher and clearer. I LOVE THIS PRODUCT!! This mask kicks butt on any professional treatment I’ve ever gotten.
Thalgo Wrinkle Control Intercellular Fundamental Mask
When in the bitter cold...do as the Beauty Researchers do! Treat and protect your dehydrated skin and lips with Kerstin Florian!
I’m so crazy about the moisturizing and soothing properties of Kerstin Florian products that I just had to share a few of my favorite products I use during the cold brutal winter months when I’m in Utah with my daughter or up in the Sierra’s where I used to live.
Kerstin Florian Rehydrating Liposome Night Crème (I use this baby all year long!!):
Nourishes, rehydrates, oxygenates, and rejuvenates!
Kerstin Florian Lip Balm (life saver for lips!):
Orange, peppermint and organic canola oils in wild harvested beeswax with and SPF15. Need I say more? Lips are left brilliantly smooth, soft and moist. Love it!
Kerstin Florian Krauter Chamomile Body Lotion (your skin will drink it up!):
• Aloe leaf juice is healing and soothing.
• Vitamin E provides antioxidant nourishment.
• Chamomile extract is calming and soothing.
• Emollient jojoba seed oil is nourishing, moisturizing and healing.
Kerstin Florian Sun Protection SPF30 Face and Body (never leave home without it!):
We’ve all heard many beauty rules – you know, things you absolutely should do and things you absolutely should not do. I’ve certainly been known to break a few rules in my time. Sometimes it comes down to common sense and realizing that the hard and fast rule doesn’t always apply.
I was reading a great article on Skincare-news.com about five rules that you should be allowed to bend and it really got me thinking about how rules frequently don’t fit all types of skin. You can check out the full article here: http://www.skincare-news.com/a-6973-Bend_These_Beauty_Rules.aspx
I especially like number four - the rule that says everyone has to wash her face twice a day. That really doesn’t apply to all skin types and may not be appropriate for everyone. Some people can get away with only washing their faces at night. Since nobody wears makeup to bed, dry and sensitive types might be able to skip the morning cleanse.
So here’s my little addition: Everyone needs a moisturizer every day. The truth is that if your skin is in need of more moisture, it will tell you. You really shouldn’t have to guess. If you’re guessing, you’re not in tune with your skin. Also, many products that aren’t designated as moisturizers do contain moisturizing ingredients. This can be the case for anti-aging serums, lightening lotions, mattifying products, etc…. You don’t have to rely solely on a label that actually says “moisturizer” to see hydration benefits.
I know that some of you out there must have other beauty rules that you have bent. Let’s hear them!
With the new year upon us, all I can think about are ways to rejuvenate and repair my skin. I suppose it’s “the resolving to get better” phrase that I keep hearing over and over in my mind. And nothing makes me think of rejuvenation of the skin quite like chemical exfoliation. And nothing rings truer for the most effective way of this type of exfoliation than retinol products, at least not when you’re referring to the top of the line in retinols. So I’ve decided to make my top ten list of retinol products for 2010 and share them with you!
First here’s a brief definition of retinol:
Retinol skin care products are available in an array of creams, gels and serums that contain derivatives of vitamin A. These retinoids work exceptionally well when it comes to repairing, normalizing, maintaining and treating the health of the skin’s collagen. The products work by exfoliating the skin for a dramatic effect in cellular turnover, unveiling a youthful glow and a softer, more supple skin with improved clarity. Having said all that, there are some warnings such as sun sensitivity and some product information you will need to be aware of before starting a regimen with retinol skin care products. However, if you use as directed and purchase high quality products with an effective amount of retinol potency, you will love your skin like never before. Many products may be used on all types of skin but as I mentioned, be sure you’re using the correct retinol product for you.
Here are the best retinol products on the market:
AFIRM 1X, AFIRM 2X and AFIRM 3X – AFIRM is highly effective but gentle on the skin. The three step system allows users to chose based on skin type and to gradually acclimate to higher levels of retinol. If you are sensitive or are new to retinols, start with AFIRM 1X. If your skin is fairly normal or you have acclimated to the 1X and are ready to take the next step, you can use the AFIRM 2X. If your skin is tolerant and you have acclimated to the 2X, the AFIRM 3X is your choice.
SkinCeuticals Retinol 0.5 and SkinCeuticals Retinol 1.0 – Like Affirm, SkinCeuticals also offers choices depending on skin type and tolerance. Beginners and sensitive types can start with the SkinCeuticals Retinol 0.5. Once acclimated, you can move to the SkinCeuticals 1.0 provided your skin is tolerant enough to handle the higher concentration. Both products are very light and leave a nice, matte finish on the skin.
SkinMedica Retinol Complex – SkinMedica found a way to make a very effective retinol formula that’s exceptionally gentle on the skin. It makes a big difference with fine lines and sun damage.
PCA Skin Retinol Renewal Phaze 26 – This retinol formula actually increases water content in the skin so it’s ideal for those experiencing dehydration. The formula by PCA Skin also offers superior antioxidant protection.
EmerginC Multivitamin and Retinol Serum - EmerginC created and exceptional multivitamin formula for increased protection against skin damage. It’s ideal for those suffering from rosacea and sensitive skin. The serum calms redness and improves the appearance of broken capillaries.
Topix Replenix Retinol Plus Smoothing Serum 2X, 3X, 5X and 10X – The Topix system has a whopping 4 levels to accommodate every skin type and allow users to acclimate. Similar to the AFIRM system, the retinol virgin and anyone who is sensitive should start with the Topix Replenix Retinol Plus Smoothing Serum 2X. Move on to the Topix Replenix Retinol Plus Smoothing Serum 3X which is suitable for normal types. Then proceed to Topix Replenix Retinol Plus Smoothing Serum 5X for tolerant skin. The Topix Replenix Retinol Plus Smoothing Serum 10X is the strongest formula available, suitable for tolerant skin acclimated to the lower levels of retinol.
Peter Thomas Roth Retinol Fusion PM - The formula contains a combination of retinol along with Vitamins C and E for exceptional antioxidant protection. Make sure you shake well to mix everything. I was told by a Peter Thomas Roth representative that this is not a good choice for oily types as it can clog pores if not mixed properly.
RoC Retinol Correxion Deep Wrinkle Serum – In addition to all of the benefits of retinol, this RoC formula stimulates the skin’s renewal process to improve skin tone and texture.
Philosophy On A Clear Day Retinol Clarifying Lotion – This is a great choice for anyone wanting anti-aging and anti-blemish benefits. This product from philosophy is a multi-tasking product that improves skin texture and color while also minimizing large pores and acne scars.
DDF Retinol Energizing Moisturizer – DDF has combined a very powerful retinol in a moisturizer that reconditions dry skin. The skin is left looking firmer and softer.
Do you ever buy products because they are “bestsellers”? I know I do. With everything that’s out there, I rely on consumer feedback to help me make an informed decision. Anyone can benefit for zillions of first-hand users out there. I may not always agree with what’s been deemed as a great product but I figure it does increase my chances of buying a winner.
Most of the time, the best products don’t go on sale. When they’re popular, the nobody has to make an effort to get people to buy. But as luck would have it, many of the most popular personal care products are currently on sale at SkinStore.com. You can check out the vast list of bestsellers. There’s every imaginable product on the list including a few that I just can’t live without.
The holidays may be over but it feels like Christmas all over again!
Out with the old and in with the new. It’s time to detoxify and clarify your skin. You’ll find that once you purge all the impurities your skin will be much more willing to accept nourishment and respond favorably to it.
For detoxifying the skin of your body try MD SkinCare Detox Duo. Your body will be vibrant, firm, silky soft and you’ll feel like a million bucks!
For battling impurities of facial skin take a look at Boscia. Boscia skincare products combine botanicals with science to regenerate the cells of your skin. In addition, they had the wisdom to incorporate oral supplements within their line to insure beautiful healthy skin from the inside out. I call this skincare model…holistic skincare.
Boscia Clarifying Detox Mask uses deep cleansing clay of pure botanicals, herbs and other select ingredients such as Jojoba Leaf and Green Tea to draw out impurities and control excess oil to renew your skin from very deep within.
Lastly treat your skin to Hydroxatone AM PM to renew and restore youthfulness and elasticity by stimulating collagen production. It’s a multi-tasker that is a treatment and moisturizer in one amazing product. It dramatically minimizes the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, firms and improves the texture and tone of the skin and leaves it deliciously smooth.
Stay tuned for tomorrow’s article on The Top Ten Retinol Products of 2010! Retinols are one of the most effective ways to rejuvenate, restore and repair!
Not too long ago the word primer was typically used in conjunction with paint. However, primers have become more and more popular in the skin care industry to create flawless looking faces. Primers are designed to prepare the skin and ease the application of makeup. Some primers have additional duties and are geared towards specific skin concerns.
I definitely feel like I benefit from primers since I use so many products each morning. Frequently my layers of different treatments create an irregular surface and often times the products ball up when I apply my foundation. Whether or not you are applying treatments before your makeup, using a primer creates a nice smooth canvas that covers imperfections and allows makeup to glide on with no problem. Primers can also extend the wear of makeup so that you require fewer touch-ups during the day.
I wanted to share a few of my favorite primers with you and tell you about specific skin concerns that they address.
If you’re an oily type and/or looking to reduce the appearance of enlarged pores, you’ll want to check out MD Formulations Oil Control Pore Refiner from The Temps collection. This product offers a temporary quick fix for enlarged pores. I am impressed at how much smaller my pores look and how even my skin texture appears. Sure, it’s only temporary and goes away when you cleanse but how great to have an easy solution for such a pesky problem! The silicone-based gel also controls excess oil and creates an instant matte finish. You may not get all day oil-control but you can touch-up easily throughout the day as needed.
Colorescience Line Tamer SunReliable Primer SPF 20 is a must-have for anyone looking to minimize redness and fine lines prior to applying foundation. It’s a thick, greaseless cream that smoothes on the face, leaving a nice matte canvas and controlling shine for hours. It can be used on its own or with moisturizers and treatments. I’m always thrilled at how even my complexion looks after applying this primer. Just make sure you thoroughly blend the Line Tamer on the face as it can leave a slightly pasty look it it’s not applied properly. You can then apply Colorescience Foundation or the makeup of your choice. Your skin will look fabulous!
Priming isn’t necessary for makeup application but it sure does improve the whole process. People who prime swear by this simple step for better coverage, wear and skin texture. Just as we prime walls before painting to cover imperfections, priming our faces will also make for a smooth, flawless finish.
Who isn’t inspired by the upcoming Olympic Games? Even if you don’t have the games on your mind, you might be hitting the ski slopes or enjoying other winter sports like snowboarding and sledding.
The winter months can be misleading when it comes to sun protection. Many people forget about sun damage because they are fooled into thinking that there’s no danger when it’s cold. The truth is that while the sun is not as strong during the winter months, the reflection from the snow makes you more susceptible to sun damage. No wonder so many skiers have burned noses!
If you’re an athlete, you certainly don’t want to be messing with a zillion products out there. Keep things simple and go with a reputable brand of sun protection – Coola. Coola Face SPF 30 Unscented will give you outstanding protection out in the elements provided you reapply every two hours. It also keeps the skin moisturized. That’s an added bonus during the dry months when the skin can dehydrate quickly.
While you’re out having fun in the snow, don’t forget your lips. The lips are often neglected when it comes to sun protection. Coola Liplux – Original soothes and moisturizes while providing SPF 30 protection. Apply as often as needed!
All of Coola Products are free of parabens and are hypoallergenic. Check out the Coola Reviews from happy customers
Now that you’re properly armed against the elements, go out and enjoy yourself. The snow awaits you!
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