March is National Nutrition Month, and what better way to observe the occasion than by finding a way to use nutrition to beautify our skin. That’s why I’m pleased to announce a new feature on the blog: “Smoothie of the Month,” where I’ll feature smoothie recipes that are not only good for you on the inside, but will allow your outside to be beautified as well.
This month’s smoothie was inspired by the tropical fruit guava. Native to Central America, guava contains many nutrients which are good for the skin including vitamins A, B, C, lycopene and potassium, all of which reduce the impact of aging and keeps the skin radiant.
Since the delicious fruit is hard to find in-stores, for this recipe, I used half a bag of GOYA® Guava Fruit Pulp, l banana and half a can of crushed pineapple and blended the ingredients together in a mixer. The result was a yummy sweet concoction filled with healthy fruits, no added sugars and many skin benefits. Let me know if you give this smoothie a try. I’d love to hear what you think!
In an effort to start incorporating more health and wellness stories onto the blog, here are some tips on dealing with stress….
Stress can easily come from every direction in our lives—demanding bosses, wailing children, absent spouses, financial woes are just a few of the stressors that demand our attention and our sanity. All this pressure can add up and contribute to major and minor health issues. From muscle tension to high blood pressure to weight gain to aging skin, chronic stress does a number on your health and physical appearance. Get your body back on track by finding ways to eliminate or combat the major stressors in your life. If you can’t just ditch the job (or win the lottery), try regular exercise and meditation to help improve your stress levels. These two activities work in concert to help lower blood pressure, fight off that pesky stress-related spare tire, and reduce anxiety.
Try a variety of workout and meditative practice styles until you find something that you can stick with. Yoga is renowned for its stress-busting ability; and some people swear by running. As with exercise, finding the right way to meditate varies based on personal taste. If you need pointers on how to meditate, this infographic from Skin Energizer shows you the basics on getting started. Meditation is a mental exercise—and like any work out, the more you practice, the better you will become at it. And you will reap the benefits even if you haven’t gotten it down to science.
This is a guest post by Caroline Elliott, a freelance beauty writer.
Living an all-natural lifestyle requires a lot of effort, but gluten-free makeup is making life simpler.
Gluten-sensitive people say that their lips react to even the smallest amounts of gluten in their lipstick. And with this group of individuals increasing in number, this is a growing area of makeup to watch.
But what if you’re not gluten-sensitive?
If you’re interested in healthy alternatives to apply to your skin, gluten-free products might just be your beauty potions.
Facial skin is super absorbent, so you want to watch what you put over your precious pores. This is especially important if you’re someone who is concerned about what you eat because there’s a good chance that you’ll lick off some of your lipstick or breathe in some blush. And if you apply your makeup everyday, that’s a lot of gluten that you’re ingesting over time.
Gluten-free makeup companies are also pushing the health boundaries for the better. Makeup companies like Red Apple Lipstick are paraben free, soy free, dairy free and allergen free; oh, and also vegan, natural and cruelty free. Talk about health conscious.
Other companies are actively participating in their communities. For example, Afterglow Cosmetics signed the The Breast Cancer Fund’s Compact for Safe Cosmetics. Another gluten-free makeup company, Mineral Fusion, has officially partnered with the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence to help women in need.
For many people, gluten-free makeup is a natural next step to complete a wholesome lifestyle. So glam up, and show off your new look.
FTC Disclosure: This product was provided for review.
Over the years, I have become borderline obsessed with trying to find the best concealer to hide the genetic dark circles that have tormented my face since childhood. I always thought it would be great if a product would emerge on the market that would help fade the dark casts under my eyes, and reduce the tell-tale signs of aging. Alas, such a product has emerged promising to “get even” with dark under eye circles, whether it’s caused by hereditary factors, aging or thinning skin.
What is it? StriVectin-EV Get Even Dark Circle Corrector - A breakthrough, targeted eye treatment, clinically proven to be effective on all types of dark circles. 90% of women said they saw visibly lighter dark circle in only two weeks after using the product.
What it does: StriVectin-EV’s proprietary NIA-114™ molecule enhances the effectiveness of Vitamin C Actives to brighten the skin and reduce the appearance of discoloration under the eyes.
How to apply: Lightly dab (do not rub) around the eye area.
What I like: The luxurious cream provides instant hydration, and blends into the delicate skin around the eyes smoothly. It doesn’t leave behind any residue or tacky feeling, and also acts as a nice primer, making it easier for concealer to blend into the skin without a cakey effect. For an extra special touch, the cream’s light diffusing micas illuminates the eye area with a subtle hint of shimmer, which makes it a great choice for special occasions or for days you choose to go without makeup.
Final Result: My dark circles didn’t completely vanish, but they are noticeably lighter. It also acts as a good de-puffer; as soon as I apply the cream in the morning, my eyes look instantly brighter and refreshed. I do not have any fine lines yet, but I am a huge believer in the concept of prevention, and will continue to use the StriVectin EV- Get Even Dark Circle Corrector daily.
On Thursday, January 31st, I had the opportunity to attend an event to learn more about Reviving Red, a new hair care line developed by Pureology for red and copper color-treated hair. People with red hair often contend with fading and color bleeding; this hair care line makes it possible for red and copper treated hair to last up to 30 washes. The system includes a unique blend of oils to nourish, illuminate, and protect the hair from free radical aggressors. Reviving Red also delivers lycopene, a powerful antioxidant found in tomatoes and other red fruits, to help prevent color bleeding. The line includes a shampoo, conditioner, Caring Oil, and most notably, a color-depositing conditioning treatment. To learn more about the Reviving Red hair care line, please click here.
Today, I’m going to divulge her secret for soft, shiny hair. We all know the benefits of eating eggs. They are rich in protein, vitamins and biton, and usually people eat them. Well, not my mom. Since I was a kid I’ve seen her crack open an egg and add it to her hair instead of to the frying pan. The same essential vitamins and nutrients found in eggs that are good for your body, are also good for your hair. Eggs strengthen hair follicles, and some serious shine. Here are the steps:
1. Before shampooing hair, beat an egg in a bowl and set aside.
2. Shampoo hair normally.
3. In place of conditioner, massage the egg mix onto the hair and scalp and leave on for 15 minutes
4. Rinse the egg out with COOL water (Caution: make sure you do not use hot water to rinse the egg out, or it will scramble in your hair).
5. Optional: Shampoo hair again to rinse the smell out of your hair
6. Style as usual.
Friday, February 3, 2012, will mark National Wear Red Day®, an annual event that encourages Americans to wear red as a symbol of their support for women’s heart health awareness. In February 2003, The Heart Truth® campaign launched the Red Dress as the national symbol to inspire women to take better care of their cardiovascular health, and to build awareness of heart disease among woman. Heart disease is often perceived as something than mainly affects men; however, it is actually the leading cause of death among women. Since the red dress has now become synonymous with heart health, I thought I’d look all over the web to find some of my favorite dresses and hopefully, inspire you to wear red on Friday. After you flaunt your sexy silhouette in a fabulous red dress, you can hang onto it to wear in a few weeks…Valentine’s Day is right around the corner ;)
Note: Men can participate too by wearing a red tie or shirt.
Traditional workouts are a thing of the past. Gone are the days when women attended fitness sessions reminiscent of their high school gym classes. Now, you can attend can attend sultry classes that will let you burn calories and break out a sweat while, in the words of Ludacris, “shaking your money-maker like somebody ’bout to pay ya.”
Perhaps the most popular sexy gym workout sweeping the nation is pole dancing. Yes, that’s right, the pole is not just for strip clubs anymore, as many fitness chains and private studios are springing up all over the place offering the saucy aerobic exercise which allows you to enhance posture; develop upper body and core strength, and improve flexibility. And, believe me you have to be flexible in a class that requires you to hold yourself upside down on a pole while spreading your legs in a V shape over your head. Many who take pole dancing classes believe that it improves their self-confidence and is a fun way to burn calories. It should be noted that there are many dangers of attempting pole dancing, so it is necessary to find a certified professional pole dance instructor to teach you how to “work” the pole safely.
Check classes out at: S Factor
Another new sensual fitness craze is exotic chair dancing. I recently tried a class at Crunch Gym called Hot Seat, and let me tell you, it really was a workout. After learning a high intense cardio routine with our very special prop, a chair, all of the women in the class were panting and sweating heavily. We also spent 10 minutes of the class using the chair to assist us in a very intense abs workout. By the end of the class I went home knowing a sexy chair routine, and feeling very liberated.
Check classes out at: Crunch Gym
Burlesque is another sexy fitness phenomenon. With props such as feather boas, fans, fishnets and high heels, flirty participants shimmy their way to better fitness. While dancing to upbeat music, participants heart rates are increased, and they are able to isolate and strengthen certain muscles while doing core work on the chairs.
Check classes out at: NY School of Burlesque
Lastly, women can channel their inner Shakira by taking bellydancing classes, and in the words of the Ying Yang Twins, “shake it like a salt shaker.” Benefits of the workout include strengthening and tightening abs and obliques, as well as toning arms. Since there is a lot of shaking and isolations, bellydancing is a great cardiovascular workout and helps increase energy and strength.
Check classes out at: Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater
There are a lot of myths floating around out there. Thankfully, June is National Acne Awareness Month where medical professionals strive to empower acne sufferers with correct information and solutions.
Yes, most cases are based on genetics, hormones, and stress—but there are ways you can deal with and even reduce breakouts.
Being extra careful about your makeup habits is an excellent way to avoid breakouts, especially after you’ve gone through the trouble of applying all those soaps and creams!
When Makeup is Part of the Problem
Makeup is often applied in an effort to cover up the signs of acne and small breakouts, but ironically, cosmetics may sometimes contribute to producing the very skin problems they attempt to hide.
From natural fats and oils to complex acids and other substances extracted from animal products or synthesized in the lab, there are scores of ingredients in cosmetic products, each with a potential set of actions on the skin depending on a product’s overall formulation and the skin type on which they’re applied.
What are “Non-Comedogenic” Products?
I love going to the gym! I really do. On a good week I go up to five days a week, and it doesn’t hurt that I’m a member of Crunch, an amazing fitness chain that offers a wide variety of classes. I go to the gym because I want to be healthy, and still have a rocking body when I get older. I am convinced that exercising and eating well are the key factors that allow people to look and feel younger than they really are.
The latest issue of Vogue Italia features Kristen McMenamy, a 46-year-old model, half-clad in teeny tiny swimwear, looking absolutely amazing. Seeing her photos made me remember the picture Demi Moore tweeted of herself at age 47 wearing a skimpy bikini.
Moore has admitted to using Austrian leeches to detoxify her blood and also has tried the Master cleanse – a liquid diet that cleanses the body of various “toxins.” Uh, I think I’ll stick with the gym.
I’m sure there are a lot of crazy diets out there that people use keep their body looking great as they age, but since I will never have the will power to diet (or have creepy crawlers suck my blood), when I see someone over 40 looking like a 25-year old supermodel, I say to myself, now that’s why I work out…a lot.
Winter doesn’t last forever (thank goodness!), and neither does your makeup. At the beginning of spring, a lot of people begin to channel their inner Martha Stewart and perform housekeeping chores. It’s important to remember that you also have to do spring cleaning when it comes to your makeup, because all cosmetics eventually expire. Here are some commonly accepted guidelines that you should follow; however,if any product you are using changes color, develops a smell, grows mold, becomes runny, or changes consistency before these time frames, throw it out.
Mascara – 3-6 months
The chances of you going blind from using mascara that’s almost two years old is very slim, but your eyes are too important for you to risk a nasty eye infection because there’s just a little bit left in the tube. To prevent your mascara from drying out, don’t pump the wand in and out; instead wiggle it from side to side as you pull it out.
Eyeliner/Lip Liner – 3 years
If you sharpen your pencils regularly, they can last up to three years.
Eye shadow/Blush – 2 years
A good quality powder can last up to two years; cream based eye shadows and blushes should be tossed after one year.
Foundation – 1 year
Cream and liquid foundation can last up to a year. If you use a water-based foundation, you can add toner and shake it to extend its lifespan. Oil-based foundations can last up to eighteen months. Powder foundations can last up to two years.
Lipstick/Gloss – 18 months
If you sanitize your lipstick by wiping it regularly with a tissue and a few drops of alcohol, it can stay fresh for over a year. Also, if you store it in the refrigerator, it will last longer.
Nail polish -1-2 years
I am guilty of keeping nail polishes that are at least 4-5 years old. Always store your nail polishes in a cool, dry place. If the color in the bottle no longer blends properly, and you can’t hear the metal beads mixing the polish, it’s time to part ways with it.
*Always smell your products when you first open it, so that you will recognize when the smell changes.
*The day you open a new product, write the date on it.
*Avoid double-dipping your sponges to prevent contamination. Spread foundation on the back of your hand and collect the product with your sponge from there.
*Make sure your hands are always cleaned before using your fingers to apply any product.
*Have a ton of unused makeup products? Learn how you can donate them here»
Bottom Line- When in doubt; throw it out.
A new study published in a recent issue of the journal Media Psychology revealed that images of models can inspire people to achieve the same ideal shape, if accompanied by an article that gave tips on what the reader could do to achieve that modelesque body. The study showed that people who were unhappy with their shape and size spent more time looking at images of models, if the picture was accompanied by a how-to article on how to achieve that physique. The same people ignored photos that did not share tips or give inspiration on how to attain the perfect shape. So, even though the pictures made them feel flawed, they were still inspired by the photos, since the articles made them believe they could improve their body by following the tips provided. How do images of models affect you? When you see an article on how to achieve the perfect abs, next to a picture of Janet Jackson, does that motivate you to start working out?
Last week, the FDA announced that they will begin requiring companies to identify any products made with bug extract on their ingredients list, due to serve allergic reactions caused by beetle-based coloring additives. The beetle juice will be listed as cochineal extract or carmine, and is the main element responsible for making red lipstick the bright cherry shade women adore wearing. But, that’s not the only odd ingredient lurking within beauty products.
Diatomaceous earth, a component in dynamite, is sure to make you explode with beauty. It is used in deodorant, natural toothpastes, cuticle cream, and can even be found as a gentle exfoliater in beauty products.
Plastic, which we mainly use for packaging purposes, can be found in hair gel and hair spray, as it adds a protective barrier. Plastic is also responsible for making your waterproof mascara, waterproof.
Simethicone, the main ingredient in gas relief medicine, is used in some hair products to tame flyaway hairs.
Crave shiny, luxurious hair? Some hair salons have begun using bull semen, which is said to add high shine and softness to dull hair.
Now that you know about some of these weird additions in your beauty products, will you start reading labels on your products more closely?