For the last few months I have been using B. Kamins BB Cream, an 8-in-1 cream packed with anti-oxidants, vitamins and peptides. Designed to match all skin tones, the lightly tinted beauty balm, just does that. I’ve stayed away from most bbs (and even cc) because although the idea of having a multitasking product is very appealing, it is hard to find one that matches perfectly against my olive skin tone. At first glance, the color looked too light, but the transparent colour-correcting formula blends in seamlessly, and is virtually undetectable. It offers a nice light-weight coverage that blurs imperfections and makes the pores on my face look less visible. During the summer, I’ve worn it alone with a dusting of pressed powder; but, for the days, when I’ve need a little bit more coverage, I’ve used it as a primer under my foundation.
What it is:
A lightweight, non-greasy tinted beauty balm featuring a powerful combination of ingredients to moisturize and correct skin, while firming and brightening.
What it does:
• Provides sheer, luminous coverage and revitalizes the appearance of dull skin
• Combination of hexapeptide and hyaluronic acid targets sagging and smooth wrinkles
• Antioxidants of Vitiman C and green tea extract helps fight free radicals and brighten skin
• Powerful Bio-Maple Compound acts a s a moisturizing agent and contains AHAs and anti-oxidants to hydrate and brighten the face
$49 for a 50ml pump at bkamins.com
Who is it for? All skin types can use this product, but it is especially useful for anyone with tired, dull skin.
What it does: Arctic lingonberry seed oil works together with vitamin C to brighten skin’s appearance, while Arctic cloudberry seed oil helps strengthens and protect skin from environmental factors. The formula slowly releases the Vitamin C into the skin, for long-lasting effects.
How to use: For external use only; do not attempt to consume the capsules (even though they look like goldfish crackers). One beauty drops should be used per day, over the course of 28 days. The capsules twist open easily, and you just have to give it a light squeeze to reveal its silky-smooth, citrus-smelling contents. Apply to a cleansed face and neck before applying moisturizer or sunscreen.
The Result: Although I can’t say my skin looks more radiant than ever before, it does feel smoother and the ritual alone makes me want to continue to use the product. Since its summer, it has actually replaced my night moisturizer since it makes my skin feel smooth and supple.
Bottom line: Treat yourself to this product if you like feeling like you’re using something luxurious and special.
The Cost: $21.99 at Ulta.com
For the last couple of weeks, I’ve been testing La Mav, a luxury, certified organic and ant-aging skin care brand formulated with BIO-ACTVE ingredients that work with the skin to provide visible ant-aging results. I received an array of products and directions for a simple daily beauty routine customized to work well with skin type. All of the products smell amazing and are beautifully designed. Here are my top 3 favorites:
Pore Refining Toner
Designed to refine the appearance of pores and help maintain the natural PH balance in the skin, this toner comes in the form of an easy-to-use spray mist. It felt cool and refreshing to spritz on the toner, which is a great product to use during the hot summer months to revitalize the skin throughout the day.
Vit-C Advanced Nightly Repair Nectar
At first, it felt counterintuitive to use the repair nectar on my acne-prone skin, because the product is quite oily; however, once it absorbed into my skin, my face was glowing. The nectar is formulated with Vitamin C and Rosehip Oil to promote lighter, evenly toned skin while sleeping. I adore the design of the bottle, which comes with a dropper to measure out the right amount, so none of this precious product is overused or wasted.
Daily Vitamin-C Brightening Serum
Formulated to improve skin’s clarity, even skin tone, and diminish dark spots, the brightening serum boots skin’s radiance, strengthens collagen, and reduces hyperpigmentation. My skin looked luminous after applying the product, which absorbed nicely, without leaving behind any residue.
Learn more about La Mav, which is now available for sale on Amazon.com (U.S. only).
Summer is almost here, and you know what that means? You need a wide-brimmed hat to keep yours kin protected from the sun’s harmful UV rays. Because I care about your skin, I’ve searched far and wide (at least on the internet) to find you my top picks for the most sun proof hats that will keep you fashionable while offering a large circumference of protection. Behold:
FTC Disclosure: I received this product for review.
For the last month, I have been testing Fysiko Eyelash Growth Serum, an all-natural product that helps to regrow lashes and eyebrows within 6-8 weeks. The serum is very similar to other products out on the market now; however, it doesn’t require a prescription and is a lot more affordable.
What I like: It comes in a small, easy-to-to use tube with a precise applicator that makes it easy to target specific areas. Just one tube, provides enough product to last 6-8 months, which makes it a great, cost-effective investment. It only took a few seconds to apply, so it wasn’t an arduous added step to my morning and evening skin care rituals. There is also no harsh scent, and it doesn’t take too long to dry. Since I suffer from eczema, I was slightly concerned how my skin would react, but I didn’t notice ay side effects while using the serum.
My results: Because my eyelashes are already dangerously long, I opted to test the product on my eyebrows, which are quite sparse. For full results, it is recommended to use the product consistently for 16 weeks. I used the product for about 6 weeks, and below are my results.
I was skeptical about the product, and didn’t even really notice the difference myself until I saw my own before and after pictures. The hairs on my eyebrow appear darker and they were elongated, which gives the appearance of fuller brows.
Final thoughts: My eyebrows still don’t rival Brook Sheilds’, but the product does deliver, so if you would like fuller lashes or brows, it’s worth a try.
Cost: $139.00 for an 8ml tube
Where to buy: fysikolashes.com
If you are like me, you have spent a ton of money and time trying out every product that claims to be the latest and greatest new thing out on the market that will make you have beautiful, more youthful skin. In The Skin Regime: Boot Camp for Beautiful Skin, author Dana Ramos claims that many products on the market are not only costly, but useless. According to Dana, by following a simple “boot camp” skincare regimen consisting of several glycolic peels, you can transform your skin from dull to vibrant in as little as six weeks.
Anxious to read the secret to skin perfection I sat down with the glossy pink-and-green, army camouflage patterned book, and finished reading it in under an hour (FTC Disclosure: I received a copy of this book for review). The book is an easy read and written in a witty-tone, with the author handing out advice to you as if you are one of her best girlfriends.
“…there are some great books written by doctors which go into all the medical terms like dermis, epidermis and subcutaneous,” reads page 21. “The point of this book is to cut to the chase and give you basic cold, hard facts and info you need to get your skin looking terrific in a few weeks. This is boot camp, baby!”
In addition to providing skin regimen tips, Dana also lists makeup tips, as well how to transform your skin from head to toe. Here is a brief Q&A with Dana, where she answers some pressing questions, and provides some helpful skincare tips that can be used for the upcoming summer months and year-round.
How did you come up with the regimen?
I came up with the Regime after doing what my dermatologist, Dr. David Bank, instructed for years. In fact, he is the technical advisor of the book, and it is the TRUTH about skin care.
Are there any age groups that shouldn’t follow the regimen?
Anyone can follow it, but children should avoid it since their skin is too delicate and undeveloped. Pregnant women should also hold off on following the regimen even though there is very low risk of anything happening at all, it’s not worth taking the chance.
Since you are not a professional dermatologist, which should people trust your advice in the book?
Every single word in my book is approved by one of the most respected dermatologists in the United States: Dr. David Bank of New York. He was the technical advisor and wrote the forward. Furthermore, everything in the book is based on exactly what dermatologists suggest and reveal about what REALLY works in skin care, and what is just bull.
What is the most dramatic result someone has received from following the regimen?
I had bad skin and it has gotten better over the years. But one of my most notable clients is Tanning Mom; she healed her skin with The Skin Regime and you can see the results on my website.
What did you hope to achieve in writing the book?
I am passionate about teaching people the TRUTH about beauty products and skin care products. The beauty industry is full of fraudulent claims, and we waste billions on bogus products. People need to know the TRUTH which is laid out in the book. In fact, the very first page of the book is a challenge to the entire beauty industry to test against what The Skin Regime preaches. It is a powerful statement, and so far, no one has taken on the challenge.
I also give at least 5 percent of proceeds to worthy non-profit organizations. I really believe in giving back.
What are the biggest beauty product myths/scams out there on the market?
There are too many beauty myths to list in one answer, and I cover a lot of them in my book. For instance, the claims that you can get “firming” or “lifting” results in a bottle, or that the stuff in expensive skin care lines can do the things they claim—lies, lies, lies. They can’t. There ARE great products out there, and I teach how to recognize the fact from the fiction, and what the REAL pros say–the dermatologists in private practice. Again, you can read the “challenge” to the industry I give both as my first page in the book, and on my website (See Skin Myths Busted). I am out to BUST the myths and frauds, period.
What, in your opinion, are the top tips in the book everyone should follow year round?
Top tip, best ever: use sunscreen. The sun is the single worst thing for your skin. Smoking is number two on the list. No doctor in the world debates this, it is a FACT.
Another great tip: you can get great results with inexpensive drugstore items like Dove soap and Lubriderm lotion. Skip the expensive stuff. Any dermatologist will tell you the same thing.
And finally, you can give yourself exfoliation treatments, similar to what doctors use, safely, at home, and get great skin without having to pay a lot. That is one of the most revolutionary things I teach in the book. It is time for people to know they CAN do these things themselves.
With summer approaching, do you have any advice on how to transition into a new skin routine for the humid weather?
Use lighter moisturizers and makeup so that your skin can breathe. Don’t forget to do proper exfoliation. I have fabulous tips on this on my website, and in the book, of course.
What has been the most rewarding part of writing this book?
Hundreds of people have written to me saying that they had given up hope on getting great skin. They couldn’t believe that they had been lied to for so long by expensive beauty products, and now “see the light.” I love knowing I have helped those people save time and money. And for those who have severe issues such as severe acne or eczema, I have put them on the right track to get help with some of the newer treatments out there such as the use of light and lasers.
You can read the first 30 pages of the book for free at this link»
Click here to purchase the book on Amazon for just $8!
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.
If someone was wearing the wrong foundation shade, would you tell them? This is a question I contemplated as a I trekked across the street on a cold November afternoon from my office to a beauty department store for foundation samples. In the winter months, my skin gets very pale and is un-matchable by any foundation out on the market, so while I went to the store on a noble quest to actually find something that would closely match my skin, I also went there to search for something that would look completely wrong. My goal: to see if I left my office looking pale and returned with dark orange skin in under 30 minutes, would anyone say something to me? I wanted to know. Why? Because, would you want someone to say something to you? I’m very curious about social etiquette as it applies to a woman’s beauty blunders. Maybe it’s because I’m a fashion/beauty blogger, and I want to see every woman look their best, but if I see someone wearing the wrong shade of anything, I let them know. Granted, I won’t go as far as to walk up to a random woman in the street to school her on why the shade of pink lipstick she’s wearing makes her look washed out because of her undertones; but, if I interact with someone, I feel that it’s my duty to make them aware of their beauty faux pas. If I don’t say something, then they will continue to wear a strange hue on their face, and everyone will talk about it internally, but never say one word.
I returned with a very orange tinted face and it was apparent that everyone noticed. I figured this out, because when people stopped to talk to me, their eyes circled around my face, but never met my eyes. However, when I walked around outside with my new “face,” I was hit on by more men than usual. So, my conclusion is people won’t say anything if you have the wrong foundation shade on, because they may be afraid of overstepping boundaries or hurting your feelings. Or, maybe sometimes when you do wear a few shades to deep, it actually looks good, and maybe eyes circle your face in amazement at how gorgeous your skin looks.
Hilary Lambert is a skin care consultant for Rodan + Fields Dermatologists. She also writes a beauty and fashion blog at http://simpleaesthetic.com/. Her goal is to bring the audience simple ways to wear the latest styles in fashion and make up as well as give advice about skin care that makes it easy to get the best skin of your life.
Here she talks about how to transition your skincare regimen from warm weather to cold…
It’s that time of year again! Time when the cold fall/ winter weather tends to cause major changes in our skins look and feel. For most of us, cold weather dries out our skin leaving it rough, dry, cracked and red. For others, issues like eczema or acne are heightened by these weather changes. I’m a consultant with Rodan + Fields Dermatologists (the new Anti-Aging line by the doctors who created Proactiv) and here are some suggestions on how to combat the effects of cold weather and improve the overall look and feel of your skin at the same time. I’ve also made some recommendations for the skin care products you need to arm yourself with this fall /winter season to stay looking your best even when the weather isn’t optimal.
We all know that when you look good you feel good so read on…
First and Foremost…
It’s a great time to get rid of the sun damage that you may have done during the summer months and throughout the years. We’re outside all of the time during the summer and there’s only so much protection that sunblock can give us before we start to see the obvious and not so obvious signs of aging that comes from time is the sun. This exposure causes brown spots, dullness, hyper-pigmentation and melisma which are tough to get rid of without a trip to the dermatologists office. The doctors at Rodan & Fields have made it a lot easier to rid yourself of these problems without an expensive trip to the doctor’s office.
To get your young-looking skin back, pre-sun exposure, try the Reverse regimen.
This regimen will actively fade sun-spots and other damage caused by the sun by evening out your skin tone. This system has been clinically proven to be effective by doctor’s studies and by many before and after photos taken by clients.
For example, after 2 months of using the Reverse regimen this client looks 10 years younger. (more…)
Toners are one of the least used skin care items primarily because many people are unaware of their benefits. Sadly, toners are heralded as ‘unnecessary’ by many and this is downright false. If you currently aren’t using a toner already, find out why toners are truly a skin care-must have.
1. They are your cleanser’s sidekick
After you’ve cleansed your face, sometimes not every trace of makeup is thoroughly removed. This is where a toner will save the day. It ensures that every bit of dirt, oil and makeup is gone. Moreover, the tap water you’re using to wash your face may contain minerals, harmful elements and chlorine; a toner will help eliminate that from your skin.
2. They restore the pH levels in your skin
One of the unique aspects of toner is that it helps restore a balanced pH level in the skin. For instance, if a bar soap is used, that can disrupt the protective moisture barrier of the skin, rendering a pH level too high and leaving the skin feeling and looking dry. However, a toner will balance the pH in the skin if applied directly after the face is cleansed.
3. They are your serum and moisturizer’s booster
Did you know that toners enhance the efficacy of serums and moisturizers? When skin is damp with a toner and a serum or moisturizer is applied on top of dampened skin, it makes the skin up to 10 times more penetrable, thereby increasing the power of the product. Pretty cool, huh? (more…)
For centuries, Geisha’s have been looked at as the exemplification of flawless, perfect skin. Underneath the heavy layers of performance makeup, a Geisha’s skin remains baby soft and clear. These women do have a secret to maintaining their highly coveted porcelain skin, and now, TATCHA, a new skin care company is sharing their beauty secrets. TATCHA’s founder Victoria Tsai rediscovered the daily regimens of Geisha’s in a 200-year old manuscript, and used the foundation of their skincare regimen which included precious green teas, Okinawa red algae, rice bran and indigenous extracts, to create a luxurious 4-step skincare routine everyone can do at home.
Intrigued, I tested out the ritual for 4-step Normal + Combination Skin.
Step 1: PURE Camellia One Step Cleansing Oil
At first, this light cleansing oil, made with camellia and rice bran, didn’t feel like it was doing much, but once rinsed, I saw that my makeup had been gently cleaned away.
Step 2: POLISHED Classic Rice Enzyme Powder
The core of this enzyme powder is rice bran, which has long been used in Eastern beauty regimens for brighter, ageless skin. You pour a small amount of the powder into wet hands until it becomes a creamy paste that you massage onto your face. This was my favorite step in the entire routine. I loved the way the lather of the cleanser felt, and could not stop rubbing my face. Once I convinced myself to stop my mini massage and rinse the powder off, my dry skin was polished off and felt baby soft.
Step 3: RADIANT Deep Brightening Serum
After the skin has been prepped, it is ready to receive the benefits of TATCHA’s Deep Brightening Serum, which targets melanin production to even out skin tone and fade imperfections. My skin looked instantly hydrated and more luminous as soon as I applied the light serum, which absorbed very quickly.
Step 4: SUPPLE Moisture Rich Silk Cream
The first time I used the Deep Brightening Serum, I felt my skin was hydrated enough, so I decided to skip the moisturizer. But, now as the temperature is dropping, and my skin is drying out a lot faster, I’ve started using the silk cream, which seals in moisture and protects the skin from environmental elements. It comes with a tiny little gold spoon to use to scoop the product up; this is great because it prevent contamination from fingers. It didn’t feel heavy, and effortlessly melted into my skin.
Other: PETAL FRESH Original Beauty Papers & PETAL FRESH Evening Beauty Papers
I keep the oil blotting papers with me everywhere I go. No matter how many times I powder my face, I can still see the reflection of my forehead against shiny surfaces. The Aburatorigami all-natural leaflets, gently absorbs oil without removing makeup. Plus, they contain gold flakes, which definitely makes you feel a little regal.
Summer is coming to an end, and other than your tan, you will remember the sunny days when you look down at your dry, cracked heels. Footwear such as flip-flops and sandals are great to show off your pedicure, but the constant exposure to sun and dust, as well as lack of support on the heels can lead to moisture loss. Show your feet some love, by repairing the damage with NightCare’s Heel Treatment Kit ($25). The kit includes a Moisturizing Gel Heel Sock lined with Visco-GEL® to provide continuous hydration to your heels as you rest. It also comes with a 2oz tube of Intensive Healing Foot Cream to eliminate dry skin with vitamins A, D & E and urea.
The Intensive Healing Foot Cream is my favorite product in the kit. It goes on smoothly and after just a few days, I instantly felt an improvement in the softness of my feet, so I started using it to moisture my dry, eczema prone hands (I recently shook someone’s hand at an event, and they commented on how velvety soft my hands felt). The treatment kit is also great to use in the winter when the skin often suffers from moisture loss. Try it today. Your feet (and maybe even your hands) will thank you.
It took me a long time to come around to the idea of using a face serum, but ever since I started using Vitamin Veil by Ambé, I’ve become hooked. I first received Vitamin Veil in a gift bag at Nolcha Fashion Week in February, and only recently decided to give it a try. I was skeptical at first, but ever since I started using the highly concentrated, antioxidant serum, my skin has looked brighter, clearer, and supple. It has a light, soothing citrus scent, and the clear liquid absorbs into skin very quickly, without leaving behind a greasy residue.
Vitamin Veil works double duty as a barrier to protect skin from environmental factors, while being an active hydrator. It can be used on all skin types, and is the perfect addition to any anti-aging regimen. It can be bought online for $45.00.
On Monday, I told you about using Skin Authority’s Dramatic Eye Lift ($134.00), a highly concentrated, protein-rich formula that tightens and lifts skin around the eyes. Click here to read my full review on the product. Today, I’m giving readers the chance to win the amazing eye gel (worth $134), which is used by celebrities such as Glee’s Heather Morris.
*****This contest is closed. Congratulations to Holly Storm-Burge. The winner was notified and will have 48 hours to claim thier prize before another winner is selected*****
Here are the rules to enter:
1. Leave us a comment here with your email (= 1 entry).
For 3 more additional entries to increase your chance of winning (optional):
2. “Follow” Delialicious Picks on Twitter, then leave a comment here letting us know that you did (= 1 entry).
3. “Like” Skin Authority on Facebook, then leave a comment here letting us know that you did (= 1 entry).
Each comment counts as an entry. The winner will be chosen using random.org. For example if the number 4 is selected and your comment is the 4th one down, you will be the winner, so multiple comments increase your
Rules: This giveaway is open to residents of the US only. You must be 18+ to enter. One winner will be chosen at random on August 12th, 2012. All entries must be received by August 11th 11:59pm EST.
*Please do not post the same comment 2x. Some comments end up in the que if there are a lot of links associated with it, and I will do my best to approve them in a timely manner.
When I was a beauty public relations intern, I asked my boss, who had the epitome of beautiful, wrinkle-free complexion, if I should be using eye cream. Her response was, “If you’re old enough to ask for it, then you’re old enough to use it.” I was also old enough to ask about botox, and I’m sure I didn’t need it at 19, so I never really followed her advice. Later on, as I continued to advance in the beauty industry, I got better advice from another flawless beauty, “The key to ant-aging is prevention, so start early.” So, now as I am a few short years away from (gulp) the big 3-0, when women swear gravity begins to work against them, I have decided it is now time for me to start using an eye cream.
For the last two weeks I have been using Skin Authority’s Dramatic Eye Lift ($134.00), a highly concentrated, protein-rich formula that tightens and lifts skin around the eyes. Infused with essential fatty acids and anti-inflammatory agents, the product also reduces dark circles and promotes healthy skin turnover.
I like the way the gel-like consistency glides onto the delicate skin of the eye area, so there is no need for vigorous rubbing, just light tapping with the ring finger. Since it is highly concentrated, you only need a little bit to gain the benefits – and I mean a little bit. One night I got overzealous in my quest for smooth lines, so I slathered a huge pump of the product around my eyes, and was left with an uncomfortable warm sensation that lasted about a minute, so use sparingly.
Even though the gel is lightweight, it moisturizes really well, and my concealer went on smoothly after it was absorbed.
Glee star Heather Morris named Dramatic Eye Lift as one of her must-have products in Life & Style weekly last year. But, you don’t have to be a star, to give the product a try. Dramatic Eye Lift is available for purchase on Skin Authority’s website here. Also, this week one lucky reader will have the opportunity to win one bottle, so stay tuned!
This week in NYC, take a break from summer’s soaring temperatures, and stop by the Fresh Beauty Cleanse Pop-Up Truck. As an introduction to the Fresh Beauty Cleanse campaign, the truck will be stationed in two different locations (see map below) on July 25th and 26th, giving visitors the opportunity to learn more about the benefits of the company’s new Soy Face Cleanser, while enjoying BluePrint’s signature Spicy Lemonade.
An ultra-chic Fresh tote will also be distributed on the streets near the truck. The tote will be filled with the Soy Face Cleanser, BluePrint Cleanse Spicy Lemonade, and a card for a free mini Sugar Lip Treatment Advanced Therapy.
Can’t make it to any of the locations? Then, head on over to Fresh’s Facebook page, where you will have the opportunity to take part in the Fresh Beauty Cleanse by entering a contest for a chance to win $1,000.
Follow Fresh on Twitter for giveaways and prizes @Freshfounder #UltimateCleanse.
People with rich complexions are blessed with a natural SPF due to the pigment melanin, but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t wear sunscreen. No one is invulnerable to the sun’s harmful rays, and although dark skin people are not as high-risk as their fair-skinned counterparts, all complexions can burn and have a risk of getting cancer. So, what’s a dark-skinned beauty to do? Apply sunscreen, of course! If your skin color ranges from tan to olive to deep dark brown, there is a new fabulous sunscreen available specifically formulated for dark skin called EXTRASHADE. Infused with a combination of vitamins, botanical extract and antioxidants, EXTRASHADE, focuses on repairing sun damage instead of just preventing sunburn. When dark skin is damaged, more melanin production is triggered, which causes uneven skin tone and hyperpigmentation. The powerful combination of ingredients in EXTRASHADE protects the skin from sun damage, hydrates, prevents discoloration, and helps existing marks from becoming darker.
EXTRASHADE Daily Defense Hydrating Sunscreen SPF 30 can be purchased online for $33.00 here»
When I went to the beach last month, I made it my goal to find the perfect spot on the shoreline that would allow me to have a picturesque view of the clear, blue ocean, against the pristine, white sand of Punta Cana. It also was very important for me to have this great view, while being shaded in to avoid getting burned by the sun’s harmful rays. I somehow managed to find the ideal spot, and as dozed off under the gentle swaying palm tree I had rested under.
I awoke, and was surprised to see that I had still tanned, as rays of sunlight snuck their way through the fonds of the palms trees. It was only then that I decided to apply sunscreen, but it was too late to reverse my tan. This summer, anytime you go outside make sure you apply sunscreen 15 minutes ahead of time, even if you plan on staying in the shade. These are a number of great sunblock options available that are more convenient that the traditional sticky lotion. Here are some great options you may want to try:
Since I was a little girl, I’ve always watched my mom massage Palmer’s Cocoa Butter all over her body, including her face. She takes a small washcloth, dips it into the butter in circular motions, and briskly applies it to her skin. She is approaching 60 now, without one wrinkle in sight on her perfectly soft, youthful-looking skin. When she wasn’t looking, I would stick my little finger into the jar and bore a hole through the butter, because I liked the way the smooth texture felt against my skin. To this day, she still inquires about the mysterious hole that used to show up in her cocoa butter years ago.
Just the other day, as I thought about writing about the benefits of cocoa butter, I decided to sneak into her room and bore a hole through her butter the way I did when I was a kid for, um, research purposes. Do you see the trouble you all make me get into? The soft, creamy, lightly-scented cocoa butter brought back memories of my childhood, and I walked out of her room with supple, silky hands.
Cocoa butter is the natural vegetable fat that is extracted from the residue of fermented cocoa beans, the fruit of Cacao Trees which is located mostly in tropical jungles, and is traditionally used to make chocolate products. It has a soft, chocolate aroma, and has been used in skin care for years.
Nothing beats the moisturizing properties of cocoa butter, which melts as soon as it makes skin contact and is absorbed very quickly. It creates a second skin for your body, since a thin layer of oil is left behind, acting as a barrier between skin and the environment, making it the perfect choice for people who suffer from dry skin condition such as eczema and dermatitis. It can also be applied to burned skin to soothe irritation, and the appearance of scars. It is also acclaimed for its ability to prevent and reduce the appearance of stretch marks. The butter is also known for its ant-aging properties, so I think my mom has the right idea, applying it onto her face every night. Like I said, the woman has absolutely no wrinkles. Here are my favorite Cocoa butter products you may want to give a try:
1. Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Formula Original Solid Formula - My mom uses this every day to keep her skin moisturized. It’s also great to use for stretch marks, burns, and to reduce the appearance of dark spots.
2. Dove® Nourishing Care Shea Butter Beauty Bar – I suffer with eczema, especially during the cold winter months. This soap leaves my skin silky smooth, and keeps skin flare-ups at bay.
3. Cocoa Butter Moisturizing Stick – I always have a small stick of coca butter in my bag at all times. It comes in handy to treat dry skin, tame unruly flyaways, and condition cuticles.
4. Cococare Lip Balm Cocoa Butter – Keeps lips soft, supple and protected with this lip balm.
A friend of mine revealed that she used to walk around with an avocado pit in her pocket since she believed an urban legend that it would increase her beauty. Another old wives tale is that Cleopatra used to bathe in milk to keep her skin soft and decant. There are so many beauty tips and tricks that have been passed on from generation to generation, but how many of them actually work?
Old wives Tale # 1: Steam your face for clearer skin
FACT – The technique of using steam treatments for health and beauty purposes dates back to ancient Greeks and Romans. Facial steam unclogs pores and helps get rid of the dirt and bacteria that cause skin breakouts. If you suffer from blackheads, facial steaming is a good way to soften the skin and bring stubborn blackheads to the surface, making it easier for you to remove. It also encourages blood flow and improves circulation, resulting in a warm, healthy glow. You can use an at-home facial steamer, or place your face a safe distance over a bowl of hot water with a towel draped over your head for 10-15 minutes.
Old wives Tale # 2: You can use toothpaste as a spot treatment to clear up acne
FACT & FICTION – The menthol in toothpaste may be able to calm the skin, and there are ingredients in it that can help dry out a pimple. However, there is also a chance that toothpaste will actually make an inflamed zit even worse because of the harsh chemicals in it, which are meant to clean teeth and prevent decay. Toothpaste may actually burn a pimple, causing redness, and making it feel sore and irritated for days, so stick with over-the-counter spot treatments.
Old wives Tale # 3: Use cucumbers to reduce the appearance of dark circles
FACT – Whenever I think of a spa treatment, I envision women in white robes with a heavy face mask, relaxing on a table with 2 slices of cumbers over their eyes, and they are apparently doing it for good reason – cucumbers are laden with an ant-inflammatory which helps to reduce puffiness and soothe tired eyes. When you decide to use this trick, just be sure to refrigerate the cucumbers ahead of time so the cool temperature can reduce the bags under your eyes. Leave on for 15 minutes, then open your eyes and take a look at the smooth, hydrated skin around your eyes.
Are there any old wives beauty tales you follow/used to follow?
Many people go to bars to enjoy a good cocktail, but one thing the bartender won’t tell you is that the beverage you’re sipping on may have many hidden beauty benefits. Of course you don’t want to try any of the below alcohol inspired beauty treatments when you are actually at the bar surrounded by people. But, in the privacy of your own home you can use your favorite cocktail to tighten pores, reduce redness and fight acne.
Vodka on the Rocks
Vodka is safe to use as a natural astringent to cleanse the face, tighten pores and kill bacteria. Dip a cotton ball in the alcohol and apply. You can also add a shot of vodka into your shampoo bottle, which will help to remove product buildup from the hair and make it shiny.
Inspired product to try: Nailtini Topper Top Coat – Vodka, $13
Made with white rum, lime juice, sugar and sparkling water, mojitos are the perfect summer cocktail, since the beverage is light, crisp and refreshing. Just like vodka, the mint found in mojitos is a natural astringent that can be used to keep pores clean, treat breakouts, and balance oily or dry skin. Add some mint extract to your everyday foot lotion to soothe and hydrate tired feet. You can also combine mint oil and rubbing alcohol in a spray bottle to create a natural insect repellent. The limes in the drink are good for your skin as well. Limes are full with vitamin C and flavonoids and can be used to tone the skin and to reduce blemishes or dark spots. Just be careful when applying it, as lime does make skin extra sensitive to sunlight, so be sure to apply sunblock directly after using it externally. The sugar used in mojitos is a natural exfoliant, which can slough off dead skin cells and reveal a healthy glow. Learn how to make a mojito hand scrub here by using all three ingredients.
Inspired product to try: Mojito-Flavored Lip Balm, $12
A very complex drink, a Bloody Mary consists of vodka, tomato juice, celery salt, hot pepper, Worcestershire sauce and a variety of spices. The drink’s tomato base offers protection against sunburn, and boosts the production of collagen to keep skin looking youthful and vibrant. The secret is in one of the main antioxidants found in tomatoes called lycopene, which has age-defying properties, and is known for its health benefits such as cancer prevention and lowering cholesterol. Tighten pores by rubbing 1/2 of a tomato all over your face and neck and leave on for 15 minutes. After rinsing, apply your vodka toner and watch your pores shrink. You can also apply tomato paste to your face for 15 minutes to spot treat pimples. Tomato paste can also be used to deep condition your hair for 15 minutes in order to remove odors from your hair and treat chlorine damage.
Inspired product to try: Yes To Tomatoes Total Treatment Facial Mask - 1.7 oz., $14.99
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?
Summer is coming, which means it’s time for you to shake-up your beauty routine. Switch from the moisturizing cleanser you were using during the winter months, for something lighter and make sure these summer essentials are on your vanity:
◊Slather on the Sunscreen
Protect your skin from the sun by wearing sunscreen every day. For optimal use, apply every 1-2 hours, and be sure to apply it at least 15 minutes BEFORE going outside. It’s important to note that sunscreens do not last forever, so be sure to always check the expiration dates and toss the one you used last year. Sunscreens with a SPF of 30 or higher are best for the summer months.
Try this: New Ultra Sheer Liquid Daily Sunblock SPF 70 ($9.99)
◊Switch your Foundation with Tinted Moisturizer
Thick foundations tend to melt right off your face in hot weather. Tinted Moisturizers are much lighter and give you a fresh, dewy look.
Try this: Cover Girl CG Smoothers Tinted Moisturizer (about $7 at your local drugstore). I have been using this since high school, and it’s never failed me!
◊Protect your pout with Lip Balm
You’ve got the sunscreen for your body, and the tinted moisturizer for your face, but don’t forget about your lips! Your lips are one the most vulnerable parts of your body that can burn easily. Prevent your lips from peeling or getting sunburned by using a moisturizing lip balm that has at least SPF 15 in it. Wear alone, or under your favorite lip gloss or lipstick.
Try this: Banana Boat Aloe Vera with vitamin E Sunscreen lip balm ($1-2 at your local drugstore).
◊ Keep your Feet Soft & Touchable
During the summer your tootsies can breathe in a fashionable pair of sandals. Head to the spa and get a pedicure, or use a foot scrub twice a week to keep feet soft and healthy-looking.
Try this: Dr. Scholl’s For Her Pumice Foot Scrub
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.