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    The Best Hair and Skin Care Tips for the Winter

    skin care tips, beauty tips, hair care tips, sustainable

    The Best Hair and Skin Care Tips When the Weather Turns Cold

    When the winter months finally arrive, we often shift our focus from fun in the sun to indoor heating bills, winterizing our cars and stocking up on winter apparel. While those things are very important, we often forget to consider something else that can be adversely affected by harsh winter weather conditions and that is our skin.  Our skin comes in constant contact with harsh wind, snow and rain causing severe windburn. And that’s just outside. This time of year we like to turn up the heat on in our homes, offices, and cars. This type of artificial heat can suck the life out our skin causing it to become dull, dry, flaky, and confused.

    THAT’S NOT ALL

    What about our hair? To protect ourselves from harsh winter weather, we turn to wearing hats, scarves and hoods to stay warm. However the materials in these items, often made of cotton, wool and the like, can dry our hair out even more, causing our hair to become dry, brittle and dull which often leads to breakage.

    MAKE THAT CHANGE

    So what is one to do?  You may have your hair and skin routine down to a science for the warmer months but with the change in weather comes a physical change in our hair and skin. The products that may have worked in warmer weather may need to be adjusted for colder months. Where you may have been using lightweight oils, gels and creams, now is the time to switch to something more emollient.

    CONSIDER THESE HAIR AND SKIN CARE TIPS

    There are many things you can do to help keep your skin and hair healthy and manageable during the cooler months.

    Increase Your Water Intake.  It goes without saying that water has a myriad of health benefits such as keeping your body hydrated and your digestion regular but it also keeps your skin (and hair) hydrated, clear and soft.

    Exfoliate.  Use a gentle exfoliator once a week on your face (don’t forget your neck and decolletage), body and scalp.  Doing so will relieve itchiness, remove dead skin, and improve circulation.

    Take Supplements.  Healthy skin and hair comes from with so be sure your diet includes foods/supplements with essential fatty acids.

    Lower The Temperature.  It is tempting to take a hot shower to thaw out and relax our minds after a long day or to put the heat on the highest setting to keep warm but keep in mind these things will deplete moisture from the skin.

    Use A Humidifier.  A humidifier will add humidity to the air in your home or office.

    Add An Oil/Serum.  If you have not become familiar with the benefits of using face/hair oils and serums, now is a good time.  These types of products usually contain additional benefits to help with hydration and conditioner (as well as repair, strength, brightening, etc).  These are also good to add to your favorite moisturizer (or foundation) that you prefer to keep using throughout the year.

    Mask It.  Even when you are doing all you should be doing to maintain healthy skin and hair, sometime your hair and skin need a boost.  Consider using a hydrating mask for skin and hair that you can leave on for 20 minutes to an hour or even sleep in.

    Whether you choose do some or all of the hair and skin care tips listed above, remember to be consistent because that is where you will achieve sustainable results.

    We want to hear from you!  Let us know what tips resonate with you or what you do to maintain healthy skin and hair during the cold winter months.

     

    2017 Presidential Inauguration: Stay Camera Ready With These Beauty Tips

    2017 Presidential Inauguration, Gala Season, Inaugural Parties

    Getting Prepped for the 2017 Presidential Inauguration

    The 2017 Presidential Inauguration is right around the corner. Regardless of what side of the fence you are on, inauguration season in the nation’s capital is still the perfect time to get glamorous and head out to party. Whether you are celebrating or coping, an evening gala calls for the following tips to slay and remain camera-ready.

    Prep Your Skin

    It goes without saying that before you apply any makeup, you need to prep your skin to keep your makeup looking flawless all night long. Start off with cleaning and moisturizing your skin with products formulated for your skin type. Follow up with a primer such as Smashbox Iconic Photo Finish Foundation Primer that will smooth texture in the skin and, minimize pores and fine lines. If your skin is more on the oily side, try Becca Ever-Matte Poreless Priming Perfector which is like blotting papers for the skin. Follow up with foundation and blush. Set your makeup with Laura Mercier Candleglow Sheer Perfecting Powder which is a multipurpose powder which sets and perfects with a diffused luminous glow.

    Eyes On The Prize

    Before applying concealer,  prep with an eye cream. Boscia Enlivening Amino-AG Eye Treatment targets the delicate eye area to help with hydration, puffiness and dark circles. Apply Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion to prep the lid for eyeshadow/liner application. Fill in your brows with a pencil or powder. If you are attending a daytime event, consider a soft eye look which includes liner and lashes. For an evening gala, consider a sultry smoky eye. Urban Decay Naked Smoky is perfect for achieving both looks. Add liner, lashes and mascara to complete the look.

    Lip Service

    To ensure your lip color lasts throughout your event, start with smooth, hydrated lips. Exfoliate with a lip scrub and follow up with a balm. For lip color that will stand up against eating and drinking, apply Huda Beauty Liquid Matte Lipstick. Apply a little gloss if you prefer your lips to be less matte.

    To complete your look, apply Tata Harper Hydrating Floral Essence which is great for use on top of make up and for boosting skin’s natural hydration.

    Tell us what you are doing for the 2017 Presidential Inauguration Season. Since we know when is the next presidential election, do something fun now! We would love to hear from you.

    The New Skincare Routine Basics

    The Difference Between Toners, Essence, Serums, and Boosters

    Your New Skincare Basics

    How many times have you thought you had your skincare routine on lock only to hear about some new product or trend to pique your interest? Once (or twice) a year, there is an explosion of new products, trends, and techniques that come across our radars which ultimately have us asking ourselves if we need to re-evaluate our routines and maybe our lives.  Then the research begins.

    The latest skincare obsession I have been hearing a lot about is the skincare essence—a staple in Korean skincare routines. It has gained a lot of popularity here in the US. What is an essence?  Is it a fad or clever marketing? How is that different from a toner or a cleansing water? During my research, I found that there are subtle differences and maybe even some overlap in products.  Here’s a breakdown of the different categories of products, their purpose and their position in your skincare routine.

    Toner

    There has been a long-standing debate over the necessity of toners. From dermatologists, to estheticians to lay-people, everybody has a differing opinion. So what is a toner anyway and how is it different from an astringent?  To begin with, toners and astringents are both water-based. But the key ingredients in toners and astringents are what give them their subtle points of difference. The key ingredients in toners are witch hazel and some form of a humectant such as glycerin. These are great for normal to oily skin. Astringents, on the other hand, usually have a higher alcohol content as well as salicylic acid. These work better for oily and acne-prone skin. Toners and astringents are thought to have an additional cleansing effect such as removing any additional residue that washing your face doesn’t remove. Also it is thought that cleansing the skin can sometimes strip the skin and raise the PH level. This causes the skin to become unbalanced. Toner will neutralize the skin.  Korres Pomegranate Toner $22

    Essence

    Although not new, this Korean staple (and other Asian countries) is gaining in popularity in the US. So what is an essence and how is it different from a toner or serum? Used after the toner/astringent step, think of an essence as the first step in the treatment phase of your skincare routine. An essence delivers extra hydration to the skin and preps it for other skin care products. It makes other skin care products more effective. So if you really need that acne gel to work faster and more effectively, consider using an essence. It’s perfect for all skin types.  May Coop Raw Sauce $43

    Serum

    A serum has similar functionality to an essence. It’s can also be a part of the treatment phase of a skincare routine. A serum is that they are usually targeted for specific skin concerns such as brightening, repair, hydration or hyper-pigmentation. Since the molecular structure of a serum is very small.  Serums have the ability to penetrate deeper into the dermis to do more reparative work, you can use an essence followed by a serum.   Tatcha Luminous Deep Hydration Firming Serum $95

    Cleansing Water

    Cleansing water has nothing to do with a body detox. This is actually a low/no foam cleanser for the face. Why not just splash water on your face and go on about your day? Well, there is more to it than meets the eye. Cleansing water contains micelles which are tiny oil molecules suspended in water which absorb dirt and debris. Cleansing waters are good to use by themselves if you wear minimal to no makeup. Otherwise, use it to remove your makeup. Follow up with your regular cleanser or use a cleansing water like you would use a toner. That’s my favorite way to use this particular product.  Koh Gen Do Cleansing Spa Water $39

    Boosters

    Think of a booster as a turbo-charged serum. It can help you customize your skincare routine. Boosters, unlike serums, are meant to be used for a certain period of time. Perhaps you have a favorite moisturizer that you use but notice that maybe in the winter you need more hydration, brightening or radiance. That is what you would use a booster for.  Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare Clinical Concentrate Boosters $58

    Before you launch a search for one of these new products, keep the following in mind:

    1. Know your skin and how it reacts to certain stimuli like hormone fluctuations, weather changes, diet, lifestyle, etc.
    2. Understand the ingredients of the products you are considering. Ask yourself what your skin needs and what can your skin tolerate.
    3. Don’t forget that sunscreen, especially if it is not in your moisturizer. Apply sunscreen as the last step of your skincare, before any makeup application.

     

    How to Tame Your Oily Skin and Dry Skin This Summer

    oily skin, dry skin, skincare, makeup tips

    Get Your Oily Skin and Dry Skin Under Control

    Warmer weather is approaching and it’s time to get excited!  This means more summer activities, more places to go and more people to meet.  But with summertime heat and humidity, our skin becomes more oily. If you are someone who has dry or normal to dry skin, you may be thinking to yourself, what’s wrong with a little extra oil? I will tell you. If you are like me and countless other people, rising temps can have you scrambling for solutions to keep you from looking like you smeared a can of Crisco all over your face.

     
    Listed below are some myth busters and suggestions to help keep those oil glands in check. Not only for the upcoming season, but also in the long run.
     

    Invest In The Right Cleanser For Your Skin Type

     
    There are many cleansers to choose from that can help to get that oil under control.
     
    I recommend the following types:

    • Exfoliating Cleanser
    • Glycolic Cleanser
    • Gel Cleanser

    A cleanser with smaller beads, such as Philosophy’s Exfoliating Facial Wash, will help gently cleanse and exfoliate your skin. It removes pore-clogging dirt, makeup, and dead skin cells.  This is a key step in the fight against excessively oily skin. When our skin becomes clogged with these irritants, it can send our sebacious glands into overdrive, making our skin oilier.  Also keep in mind that you don’t want to overuse any exfoliating cleanser. Even when the instructions say you can use daily, it can strip your skin causing it to be unbalanced.

    • If you prefer not to have an exfoliant with beads in your cleanser, you can also try a glycolic acid wash such as Peter Thomas Roth Glycolic Acid 3% Facial Wash.  Glycolic acid is part of the AHA (alpha hydroxy acid) family and is derived from sugar cane. It is great for soothing, toning, brightening and gently exfoliating the skin.  It also helps with discoloration and is great for anti-aging.
    • If you choose not to use either of the types listed above, use a gel based cleanser such as Boscia Purifying Cleansing Gel.  These types of cleansers are specifically formulated for combination to oily skin and will help cleanse and purify the skin.

    What About Masks?

    Clay masks, such as Fresh Umbrian Clay Mattifying Mask, can work wonders. Use it once or twice a week in addition to your regular skin care routine. These types of masks will do a number of things including draw out impurities and toxins, balance and tighten the skin, soothe irritations and help control breakouts.

    Don’t Skip The Moisturizer!

    GASP!!!  Yes, oily skin can still be dry. This is an essential step that many of my oily skin compatriots tend to skip. Not moisturizing even the most oily skin will actually make your skin unbalanced and cause it to over-produce oil. What is the solution? An oil-free moisturizer such as Sephora Collection 8 HR Mattifying Moisturizing Suncreen , which will not only provide moisture and much needed sun protection, but will also mattify.
    While I’m at it, I am going to make a suggestion that may solicit the side eye. Try using a facial oil, such as Nude Progenius Treatment Oil.  Shocked?!?! Yes. Same thing I said before I tried it. Although it sounds counter-intuitive, like attracts like. It will actually balance your skin, making it less oily. Concerned about using it during the day? Try using it at night. Just mix it with your moisturizer or use it alone.

     

    Complexion Rescue

    If you are not already using a lightweight, oil-free foundation (Nars All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation) or even a tinted moisturizer, BB/CC cream, as well as, a mattifying primer (Becca Ever-Matte Poreless Priming Perfector), you may want to consider switching. These products are ideal for those with oily skin and are perfect for the hot months ahead.

     

    Blame It On The A-A-A-A-A-A-Alcohol

    Okay, that was corny. But you definitely want to avoid products with a high concentration of alcohol. It will dry your skin out. This will also cause your skin to become unbalanced and oily. Remember what I said about that moisturizer? While I am talking about alcohol, if you like to enjoy “Happy Hour” beverages, remember that over-consumption of alcohol can leave you dehydrated. And yes, it will affect your skin. See where I’m going with this?

     

    You Are What You Eat

    How many times have you heard that line? Well it’s true. Our skin is the last layer of elimination. Whatever we put in our bodies shows up in our skin. Therefore, be sure to include foods such as leafy green vegetables, fruits and other anti-inflammatory foods like wild caught salmon in your diet. Don’t forget about water! Drink plenty of water. All of this options can help you to have the best skin possible—regardless of skin type.
    What are some of your haves and go to products to help keep oily skin under control? Comment below. We would love to hear from you.
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How to Use Self Tanners and Not Look Like An Orange

self tanners, self-tanning, tanning, summertime, skincare

Self Tanners Made Easy!

The hot weather is in full swing. With that comes the desire to look like a golden goddess. A golden glow can take away years, making you look healthier, younger−even slimmer. Who doesn’t want that? Looking like you just got back from an island getaway doesn’t have to be difficult and if you want to protect yourself from the sun’s harmful rays, consider the myriad of sunless options that are available to you.  Whether it comes in a bottle, tube, wipe or even a compact, you are just a few swipes away from golden perfection.

First things first. Prep Prep Prep. I always talk about the importance of prepping the skin before any type of cosmetic application – whether it is for eyes, lips, face or even nails. It is no different for self tanners and bronzers. There is nothing worse than applying these products on scaly skin. For your face and body, you want to make sure that you are using a gentle exfoliator, preferably oil-free, to slough off dead skin (please don’t forget your knuckles, ankles, elbows and knees). Be sure to follow up with a lightweight moisturizer.

Which tanner is right for you? There are endless options for self tanners. For your face, try a self tanner that will allow you to build your tan over time. This way you can adjust or skip a day if you don’t want your tan to be very deep. Another option is to try a tanning towelette. It’s perfect for minimizing streaking and can also brighten the skin (Dr Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Glow Pads). Just rub over your entire face, neck and ears. For the body, if you have dry skin, try a lotion or oil and for normal skin, try a mousse. For a more seamless application, try a tanning mitt to help apply. Please remember to immediately remove tanning product from anywhere you don’t want it to stay such as nails and in between fingers and toes.

How to remove self-tanning mistakes?  What do you do when self-tanning goes wrong? You know, like animal stripe wrong or you look like an orange? Fret not. There are a few things you can do to help lift off some of that color so the color will be even.

You can:

  • Exfoliate with a body scrub that contains oil.
  • Slather on some baby oil. Apply it to the affected areas and leave on for 10-15 minutes. This will help the color to loosen and lift off.
  • Rub a mixture of sugar and lemon juice over the affected areas.

How to keep the color from fading? Be sure to limit your exposure to water by taking short, cool showers. Pat yourself dry. If you are going to go swimming or participate in water sports, use a water-resistant SPF.

With all of that said, what if self tanners are not your thing but you still want that beautiful glow? Try a bronzer. This creates a temporary glow sans the hard work and you can wash it off at the end of the day. Try:  Too Faced Sun Bunny Natural Bronzer which can be applied with a brush. If you want a product that you can apply with your fingers and can mix with your foundation or moisturizer, try Armani Fluid Sheer. All over sheen your desire? Try Nars Body Glow, a lightweight oil that will give the skin a warm summer glow.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Summer Sun Protection: What Are Your Best Sunscreen Options?

sunscreen options, summer skin, how to apply makeup, best sunscreens for summer

Sunscreen Options for the Summer

Last week we discussed the importance of using sunscreen – what it is, who it is for, and when to apply. We did some myth busting as well.  This week we get to the fun stuff! We are looking at the different sunscreen options that are available on the market, as well as a shopping trip. Because, well, you will need to go to your favorite beauty store to make a purchase! Now, sunscreen has come a long way from the one size fits all option. There are new beauty innovations in sunscreen products which include options for our lifestyle and our skin types. The following are six formulations that offer a variety of options:

 

Which of these Sunscreen Options is the Best One for You?

 

Sticks

Moisturizing sunscreen sticks are the perfect option for the woman on the go. Formulated with antioxidants and moisturizing ingredients, sunscreen sticks makes it easy to swipe on broad spectrum UV protection without having to worry about spilling or leaking.
Murad Essential-C Sun Balm Broad Protection SPF 35 PA +++ $25

 

Oils

Perfect for dry skin, sunscreen oils are a great way to hydrate the skin and leave a nice radiance. It doesn’t feel greasy because it absorbs into the skin – all while providing great UV protection.
Supergoop Sun-Defying Sunscreen Oil Broad Spectrum SPF 50 $26

 

Powders

Sunscreen powders are great for those with oily skin or suffer from acne breakouts. You normally need to touch up your makeup throughout the day.  The packaging is travel-friendly as it has a brush attached to the container. This allows you to buff the product onto the face. What is also good about this formulation is that some brands come in a variety of shades to suit various skin tones.
Peter Thomas Roth Instant Mineral Powder SPF 45 $35

 

Sprays

Sprays are perfect because you don’t have to worry about spilling it. More importantly, the spray nozzle will allow you to spray on even coverage for full sun protection.
Supergoop Antioxidant-Infused Sunscreen Mist SPF 50 $19

 

Mineral

If you are someone with sensitive skin, mineral sunscreen is the option for you.  Formulated to help irritated skin, mineral sunscreen can give the soothing and healing your skin desperately needs, all while delivering powerful UV protection.
Supergoop Skin Soothing Mineral Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 40 $28

 

Consider your skin type, lifestyle and your daily needs when researching your sunscreen options. You want to make sure that you choose the option that will easily fit into your daily beauty routine.

 

Your Beauty Routine: How To Fake Awake

beauty routine, skin care, how to look your best

Your Beauty Routine: How to Look Like You’ve Had A Good Night’s Rest

You know the drill. Perhaps you were out a bit late socializing or  indulging in a few extra cocktails.  Or, maybe you were up super late, burning the proverbial midnight oil in order to put the finishing touches on that major term paper.  In the midst of it all, not only did you not get enough beauty rest, you also skipped a few important steps in your nightly beauty routine.  Now it’s morning and you have to drag yourself out of bed to face the world. You look rather, let’s just say, worn.  You have only a few minutes to get ready. No time for your regular beauty routine. You need to look like you’ve had a good night’s sleep.  But before you leave the house to grab your double shot of espresso, follow these tips to help you Fake Awake.

 

  • Start with Visine to help get the red out of those tired bloodshot eyes.
  • Follow with a good eye cream such as Caudalie Polyphenol C15 Anti-Wrinkle Eye and Lip Cream. Eye cream should be a part of your regular beauty routine.  This lightweight gel-cream is packed with powerful antioxidants and Vitamin C which will help firm, brighten, and hydrate the eye area.
  • Fill in your brows with a good brow pencil like Anastasia Brow Wiz.  This tiny wiz has the tiniest point which allows you to make tiny strokes that mimic brow hairs.  Filling in your brows will help give shape and lift to the face; especially important when you need to look awake.
  • Apply a foundation primer that brightens/illuminates like Givenchy Mister Smooth Primer to help smooth out skin texture and boost luminosity, as well as hydrate.  Layer your tinted moisturizer/foundation on top for smooth flawless skin.
  • Use an under-eye concealer a little lighter than your complexion. Please, not in a reverse raccoon sort of way.  Smashbox’s Camera Ready BB Cream Eyes Broad Spectrum SPF 15  is lightweight and has the coverage of a concealer. It also hydrates, illuminates, and has an SPF in it.  Dispense a small amount to apply to the inner and outer corner of the eye, above and below the brow, and in a V-shape under the eye. Blend with an airbrush concealer brush (Sephora Collection Pro Airbrush Concealer Brush #57 is a top pick).
  • Use a lash curler and mascara (Smashbox Full Exposure Mascara) which gives volume (and length).  Pay extra attention to the outer lashes to curl them to give the eyes lift.  Skip liner and mascara on the bottom lashes if you are naturally dark under the eyes.  You can also use a pair of lashes to give more fringe to the eye or do a cat eye/winged liner which will also give lift to the eye.
Now you are ready to face the world. Add these tips to your regular beauty routine and you will look refreshed even when you are not. Check out other beauty tips in our Beauty Section.

 

Makeup Tips: How To Get Beautiful Summer Skin

makeup tips, how to do makeup, summer beauty products

 Makeup Tips for Beautiful Summer Skin

Summertime is here and with its rising temperatures, the heat and humidity can wreck havoc on our skin.  We all want beautiful glowing summer skin but before we go there with our bronzers, luminizers, highlights and contours, we must ensure our skin is in the best condition before we apply makeup to enhance our beauty. We know that you are in desperate need of some great makeup tips to help get your summer beauty routine off to a great start.

To address concerns and maintain the look of your skin, you should have a regular skin care routine which includes daily cleansing, toning, and moisturizing.  Occasionally your skincare routine may not be enough however.  Many factors affect skin – pollution, poor diet and lack of sleep, hormones. Sometimes we just need a little something extra to help boost radiance or smooth the texture of our skin.  Whatever your skincare concern is, here are a few makeup tips including products which are some of the most buzzed about summer beauty products. These skincare products include treatments which boast innovative formulations and ingredients designed to get your skin of the right track.

Algenist Algae Brigtening Mask 
Is your skin dull and lackluster? Perhaps you have clogged pores and no amount of cleansing seems to solve the problem?  Try Algenist’s Algae Brightening mask which delivers the power of algae. It’s known to beautifully detoxify the skin.

 

Fresh Soy Face Exfoliant 
If your skin is rough and flaky or your foundation tends to catch on your face or not even stay in place, try an exfoliator like, Fresh Soy Face Exfoliant.  Formulated to be gentle yet effective, this exfoliator is a natural form of microdermabrasion and will slough off dry, flaky skin.  It contains rose hips and vitamin e (to hydrate) and cucumber to sooth as well soy, which is rich in amino acids known to brighten and help with cell turnover.
Glamglow Supermud Clearing Treatment
Not a teenager anymore but your skin is breaking out and producing excessive amounts of oil?  Try GLAMGLOW Supermud Clearing Treatment.  This treatment contains a six-acid blend which includes glycolic acid (helps with cell turnover), salicylic acid (cleans out pores) and charcoal (draws out dirt, toxins and other impurities), all of which is designed to treat problem skin to reveal beautiful, glowing skin.
Boscia Luminizing Black Mask
Is your skin easily irritated by the additives found in many skincare lines?  Boscia is the antidote to that.  This botanically-based, preservative free line has created a black peel off mask designed to gently and effectively deep cleanse, exfoliate and brighten the skin.
Korres Greek Advanced Nourishing Sleeping Facial
Does your skin feel extremely dry?  If you need an extra boost of hydration, more than what your daily moisturizer can offer, try this sleeping facial.  Designed to wear while you sleep, you rinse it off when you wake up. This product, whose proprietary ingredient is yogurt (provides proteins and vitamins), will hydrate, sooth and refine the look and texture of the skin.
Dr Dennis Gross Skincare Alpha Beta Peel 
If you are having issues with dark spots, uneven skin tone, fine lines and wrinkles, try this peel.  This two step system contains pads that include acids that aid cell renewal and provide powerful antioxidants that will reveal younger looking skin.

 

Be sure to share these makeup tips with your girls. These are definitely some of the most coveted summer beauty products out there. Need more makeup tips, check out our article on Summer Bridal Beauty Tips.