Helping Women be the most Beautiful, Inside and Out

Posts tagged ‘beauty products’

It’s Not Too Late to Exfoliate

Exfoliation is an important part of any skin care regime.

Why do I need to exfoliate?   Exfoliating removes the dull dead outer layer of  skin cells, unclogs pores, helps reduce acne breakouts, and keeps skin clean.  It also allows the new layer of cells to emerge, making your face look more healthy and radiant.

How often should I exfoliate? Once or twice a week is suffiicient depending of course on if you have dry, normal or oily skin. Two times a week for oily and once a week for normal to dry skin is good.

Should I wash my face before exfoliating?  Yes, you want to remove the surface dirt first.

Will it dry my skin out?  It can depending on what type of products you use.  It’s important to apply a moisturizer to your face after exfoliating.

Should guys exfoliate? YES!  Men need to take care of their skin, and remove dead skin cells just like women.  It also helps men get a better shave by exposing the hair follicles.

There are 2 basic types of exfoliation:

1. Mechanical Exfoliation– involves physically scrubbing the skin with an abrasive. They can include such things as microfiber cloths, adhesive exfoliation sheets, micro-bead facial scrubs, crushed apricot kernel or almond shells, sugar or salt crystals, and abrasive materials such as sponges or brushes.

Professional treatments include Microdermabrasion and Micro Diamondabrasion.

2. Chemical Exfoliation– includes facial scrubs containing salicylic acid, glycolic acid, fruit enzymes, citric acid, or malic acid.  These can be applied in high concentrations by a medical professional, or in lower concentrations through over-the-counter products.

It is recommended for people with acne to use products that contain alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) or beta hydroxy acids (BHAs).

One of my favorite products is Adrien Arpel’s Microderm Cleanser.  It’s both a gel cleanser and exfoliator in one!  It’s gentle but effective, with the same crystals used in professional micro-dermabrasion treatments.  It’s enriched with vitamins A, C and E to help repair and maintain healthy skin.  I love how it makes my skin feel!

Professional methods can be very costly, but there are many inexpensive exfoliators you can make yourself with household ingredients such as coffee grounds, baking soda, sugar, even asprin.

Here’s a video for a great do-it-yourself facial:

Aspirin Mask

So in conclusion there are many ways to exfoliate, the main thing is to make it part of your regular beauty regime to help keep your skin looking radiant, silky smooth and refreshed.

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Beauty Only Skin Deep?
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To Reveal or Conceal

If you are like me,  you wake up in the morning, eyes half-open, stumble to the bathroom and go right to the mirror.

Wish I could fix my face with my eyes closed!

My Mission: To improve my appearance before anyone else sees me!  But unfortunately on occasion, my husband is making his way to bed as I’m rising and we met in the hall.  Yikes! He is the last person I want to see me before I put my face on!

One of the biggest things I notice first is the DARK CIRCLES under my eyes!

Or the “Raccoon Effect” as some call it.

There are several different causes of dark circles, here are some of the common ones:

Lack of Sleep – One of the most common reasons of “temporary” dark under eye circles is lack of sleep.   Making sure to get at least 8 hours of sleep regularly is the way to keep dark circles at bay.

Iron Deficiency –Low iron levels can result in lessened blood oxygenating efficiency. One of the areas seen the most of all is under the eyes where vessels tend to clot and pool, thus causing the dark circle eye effect.  Increasing iron intake by adding some of these foods to your diet such as; Eggs, oily fish, red meat, dried fruit such as figs and apricots, beans and nuts which are all rich in iron can help diminish dark circles and other symptoms IF deficiency in iron is the problem.  It is important to  get enough Vitamin C also, as this helps the absorption of  iron by your body.

Hereditary –Do others in your family also have dark under eye circles?  The majority of people who have dark circles under the eyes don’t suffer from any deficiencies or fatigue, it is simply an inherited trait.  This can be the most frustrating because no matter what you do, you always look tired,  even after you’ve had a great night’s sleep.  That’s me!

Dark circles are similar to bruises, they are really oxidizing hemoglobin.

Dark under-eye circles begin in the capillaries, the tiny blood vessels that web the delicate skin around the eyes.  Frequently, red blood cells get lost and wander into the surrounding skin. This is normal and the enzymes in your body break down the red blood cells, including their hemoglobin (the molecule that gives them their distinctive red color).

But the reason dark under-eye circles are so apparent is that the skin around the eyes is some of the thinnest, most delicate skin of your entire body.  And the capillaries are much closer to the surface of the skin there.  Many people’s skin is not only thinner around the eyes, but also more translucent.

The combination of capillaries near the skin’s surface and translucent skin makes this discoloration a lot more apparent.

A few home remedies for dark circles:

Apply slices of cucumber to your eyes.

Cucumbers lighten the skin,  soothe and cool the eyes.  This really helps if you’ve had a late the night before or your eyes are red and tired from allergies.

It’s best to lay down on your back, or else the cucumbers will fall off!  Lay a thin slice of cucumber on each eye, making sure they have contact with the skin under the eyes.  Leave them on for 5 to 10 minutes.  Might want to set an alarm so you don’t fall asleep.  Also be careful not to get the juice from the cucumber in your eyes.

Apply Tea bags to your eyes .

The caffeine in the tea bags acts as a remedy for dark circles by diminishing puffiness. Tea also contains antioxidants that are beneficial to the skin.

Take 2 used tea bags, can be green, black or white tea that’s been squeezed out.  Make sure you wait till it is cool!  Lie down and leave them over your eyes for about 10 minutes.  You’ll see a noticeable improvement in puffiness and under-eye circles.

Apply a concealer to hide dark under-eye circles

Concealer is the most effective tool for hiding dark under-eye circles.

You’ll want to choose a color that’s a shade lighter than your normal color if your dark circles are blue-black.  Just don’t go too light or you’ll get the reverse “raccoon effect”! Concealers are effective at hiding dark under-eye circles because they’re opaque, meaning they don’t let light through.  When applying concealer never use your index finger as it will apply too much pressure on the sensitive area around your eyes.  You can use a sponge or your ring finger for the best results.  If your dark circles are not terribly noticeable you might be able to get away with just using a foundation instead of a concealer.  If you use both some recommend applying the concealer first then the foundation, but I’ve heard others do the reverse.  Whatever works best for YOU!   It is also a good idea to finish with some translucent power over your face  so your face doesn’t shine!

Products that reduce dark circles

Another solution is to find a product that can actually help to get rid of dark circles completely.   But don’t expect a miracle, nothing works overnight.  There are a lot of products out there to choose from.  Most contain a pigment-lightening.   Warning these products are not cheap!

Personally, I’ve been extremely happy with the results from a product I’m using,  Adrien Arpel’s Eye Perfection crème.  It is a triple action formula, that takes care of puffiness, dark circles and fine line and wrinkles.  Nice thing is it is slightly cooling, and non-greasy.   It also hydrates, revitalizes and smoothes, de-puffs and reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

Hope these suggestions help to remedy those unwanted “raccoon” eyes.   Hey, you know that smokey eyes are in style now!

Maybe we could start a trend that makes dark eye circles popular!

How Long Does It Last?

Ever wonder about expiration dates?

Aren’t you glad there are labels to warn you when your milk is about to spoil rather than finding out the hard way, after you’ve poured it on your favorite breakfast cereal, and took a big sour spoonful?   That is IF you read it before you drank  it. 

Well actually milk has a “sell by” date stamped on it (see picture above), this is for stores to know how long they can display a particular product. If you keep the item refrigerated it will usually remain drinkable for about one week after the “sell by” date on the package. The date tells you how long the product is likely to remain at its best quality when unopened.  But it is not a safety date.

Most products have the “use by” or “best” date stamped on them, after these dates have passed, you will start to notice changes in the product’s texture, color, or flavor.  But as long as you’ve been storing the item properly, you can generally consume it a little beyond this date (depending on the specific product).   The best way to gauge the quality is by smell or taste.  Always discard foods that have developed an off odor, flavor or appearance (like green fuzz growing on it is pretty obvious), for your health and safety.   

 “Use by” is like an expiration date on medicines, and taking them after the date listed is not recommended.

But how about your skin care and makeup?  Do they have expiration dates? 

Since you can’t smell or taste them how do you know how long they will last?

There is currently no law requiring similar labeling on cosmetics.

But all cosmetics do have a shelf life, as to how long they can stay good while unopened, and  how long they remain safe once opened.

When either of those periods ends, spoilage can begin, and reduce a product’s effectiveness, allowing bacterial growth that can cause irritations or infections.

It is best to replace any of the following products that are past these expirations:

 

Eye Cream  6 Months

Mascara   6 Months

Lip and Eye Pencils   12 to 18 Months

Lipstick   12 to 18 Months

Concealer  2 Years

Powder   2 Years

Liquid Foundation   2 Years

Powder Blush   2 Years

Cream Blush  2 Years

Moisturizer   2 Years

Sunscreen   2 Years

Face Cream    2 Years

 

It is also a good idea to clean your makeup brushes regularly (every month or two) with a mild soap, baby shampoo works great. 

Just put a little in the palm of your hand with water and swish the brush around.  Then rinse it until soap residue is gone.  Squeeze out excess moisture and let dry before using.  Never immerse brushes in water, as the bristles are glued to the base and will come apart (even the most expensive ones).

You should also throw away any broken containers or ones that are missing caps.  Powder blushes and pressed powders that have broken are hard to use and should also be trashed.  Then you can make space for your newer, fresher, shelf life items.  Here is a suggestion when you purchase new products:  put little stickers on your lipstick, concealers etc… with the recommended expiration dates, so you won’t have to guess later down the road.

Don’t cry over sour milk, or expired beauty products, just replace them when needed to keep yourself healthy and beautiful!

For great vitamin enriched makeup and skin care: www.colormedirect.com/triciat

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Beauty Only Skin Deep?

I’m sure you’ve all heard the phrase,

“Beauty is only skin deep” 

Although your “True Beauty” lies within you, people will never get to know your inner beauty until they meet you and accept you on the outside first.

Your beautiful appearance starts with your skin.  All the makeup in the world cannot hide skin that is poorly maintained.  Proper daily skin care makes a hugh difference in your appearance. You can not only see, but feel the difference when your complexion has a natural radiant glow.

The Skinny on Skin:

Did you know that your skin is the largest living organ of your body?  It covers your whole body and protects everything inside.

But it is also one of the most neglected and unappreciated parts of the body.

The skin has three main functions:

1.  Protection (from germs and injury)

2.  Temperature control (through perspiration, to aid in keeping the body’s internal organs close to our normal internal temperature of 98.6° F.)

3.  Perception (nerve endings in our skin give us sensations of touch, pain, heat, and cold)

The skin is made up of three cell layers:

The Epidermis (outer layer)  Though you can’t see it happening, every minute of the day we lose about 30,000 to 40,000 dead skin cells off the surface of our skin.   A substance called Melanin gives skin its color. The darker your skin is, the more melanin you have. But even though melanin is mighty, it can’t shield you from the sun’s UVA rays. Protecting your skin can help prevent skin cancer when you get older.

The Dermis (middle layer) You can’t see your dermis because it’s hidden under your epidermis. The dermis contains nerve endings, blood vessels, oil glands, and sweat glands. It also contains collagen and other materials vital to the skin’s strength, its ability to repair itself and fight off infections.

The Subcutaneous tissue ( bottom layer)   It is the border zone between muscle and bone tissues on one side, and the dermis on the other,  serves as insulation, a food reserve and binds the skin to your body.

Skin is also the site of the body’s natural production of vitamin D, stimulated by exposure to sunlight.

Now that you know the important functions your skin plays in your overall well being how important is it to take care of your skin?  

Let’s face it, your face is your interaction with the world, so shouldn’t that be one of the most important parts to take care of? 

Proper daily skin care is essential to your overall health, and beauty. 

There are basically three skin types: Normal, Dry and Oily or a combination of Dry and Oily.  

This is important to know in order to use the right products for your specific type. 

Darker skin tones tend to produce more oil.  Fairer skin tends to be dryer, fragile, and is more susceptable to sun damage and skin cancer. 

Did you know that the ultaviolet rays from the sun cause 90% of all signs of aging?  This is why you need to protect your skin (especially your face) when being exposed to the sun for extended periods.

Bottom line is if you take good care of your skin it will take good care of you!

 

For some awesome Adrien Arpel skin care products:  www.colormedirect.com/triciat

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Dying Your Hair Without Killing Your Looks

We’ve all had “bad hair” days, right? 

But when you make a mistake in coloring your hair you have to live with it for a lot longer than a day!

I have to admit that I have dyed my hair almost every color in the spectrum, aside from the outrageous purple, blue or orange variety.  I’ve never been that wild or brave! 

Every time I started to feel unattractive the first thing I used to do to change my appearance was dye my hair.  Somehow I thought that it would transform me into another woman, more beautiful and desireable.  But sometimes it had the opposite effect, and  I would end up looking and feeling worse than better. 

It was hard to pinpoint the problem. 

Then I realized that some of the shades of colors I chose to dye my hair were just not right for my skin tone.  If I went too dark or too red I looked pale and washed out.  

When I finally learned about the Four Seasons of Color and found my correct Season I no longer made hideous color choices.  I could color my hair in a variety of different shades within my Season and never look bad.  What a relief!

The main reason we dye our hair is to change our appearance.   Maybe we just want to look younger (cover grey) or we don’t think our natural color has enough pizzazz!  Or we just want to see what it is like to look different (women love change!)

Ready for the BIG SECRET  to choosing the best colors for your skin type?

Just remember what the natural color of your hair was before you started dying it.   That is the best clue to determine your correct season. 

Let’s say you were a natural born red head, you could be either a Spring or Autumn, depending on how light or dark your true shade is or was.  A natural red head can change to certain shades of brown but needs to stay within the correct” warm” season.  Never use “cool” shades! 

The same is true for someone who has a natural “cool” shade of  dark brown or black, they should never dye their hair a “warm” shade of brown, red or blonde.

You will notice when shopping for hair dye that the shades are separated already into cool and warm colors to help you in picking the correct shade for your skin type. 

That takes out most of the guesswork!

Here is a good word of advise about hair dye that I learned from a good friend of mine who is a professional cosmetologist.   She warned me that  hair colors you buy in the stores have twice the amount (or more) of ammonia in them than professional hair dyes.  Why do they use more ammonia you may ask?   To sell more hair care products.  I’m not joking!   That’s marketing.  The damage to your hair makes you go out and buy more products.

Ever noticed that the directions tell you to do a test first to make sure you are not allergic to the product?  Well who follows directions right?  I admit I didn’t  and regretted it!  I had a horrible experience using one store-bought name brand color (on sale!), as soon as I started applying it to my roots and working it into my scalp it felt like I let loose an army of red ants that started stinging me all over my head.  I was almost crying in pain as I rushed to the sink to wash it out.  I vowed to myself that I would never use that brand again.  

You may pay a lot more by going to a beauty salon to get your hair done, but overall it is worth it to prevent harsh chemical damage to your hair.

What about highlights?  

To add highlights to your hair it is best to use lighter shades within your Season for a more natural look.  Otherwise the overall effect will not be flattering, not to mention a waste of time and money, and embarassing looks from friends and strangers alike. 

Don’t worry about what is trendy, or in fashion at the moment because it will go out  just as fast as it came in style.  And just because a color or style may look good on a model or actress doesn’t mean it will on you.   Celebrities change their hair color like the wind, it depends on the roles they play.  But even most of them don’t have a clue what looks best on them without their professional hair stylist.

By using the various hair dyes available within your correct season you will look and feel naturally vibrant and beautiful.

If you need help determining what season you are, check out the related article below.

Related Article:

What Season are You?

 

To help you choose the best colors of makeup for your skin tone: www.colormedirect.com/triciat

Are You Attracting or Detracting?

 

Learning how to accentuate and complement your natural beauty can make a world of difference in your appearance. 

One of the first things you must know is what are the right colors that complement your skin tones, your hair, and your eyes.   Makeup (ie. eye shadow, lipstick, and blush) comes in both Cool and Warm shades, so you will need to determine which is best for your type (see related articles below).   This key element is crucial in defining whither you will be attracting or detracting from your natural beauty. 

Let’s look at some common mistakes women make in applying makeup, and how to avoid them:

Eye Shadow:

Shimmery iridescent eye shadows may look good on teens, but for women that are starting to age those shiny eye shadows actually emphasize lines, and wrinkles so it is best to avoid them and stick with a matte finish that will soften your look.

For those of you with blue or green eyes it is best to stay away from eye shadows that too closely match the color of your eyes.  As they will actually detract from your own eye color.  Instead look closely at the different  flecks of color in your eyes and choose one of those shades to highlight and complement your baby blues.

Applying too much color under the eye emphasizes puffy eyes and dark circles.  It also fights with the color of the eye.  Instead use a thin line of brown, taupe or black and smudge it for a smokey look.

Concealer:

When covering dark under eye circles don’t use too light a shade of concealer or it will produce the “raccoon eye effect” which makes dark circles look worse.  Concealer should be half a shade lighter than your skin, a light color foundation can also be used.  It is best to apply with a wedged sponge, cotton swab or soft brush, never use your index finger as it puts too much pressure on the delicate area.

Blush:

Blush should not be applied on the upper side of the cheekbones, as it will interfere with the eye area making the skin under the eye look puffy.   Blush should be used to contour and highlight using two shades to achieve this look.  The darker shade should be used on the hollow of the cheek (under the cheekbones) applied in an upward motion from the hollow to the temple.  Then the lighter shade applied to the apple of the cheek.   The purpose is to add slight color and dimension to your face, apply it lightly so that it looks natural, too much will detract.

Perfume:

Don’t spray perfume directly on your clothing, the oils and alcohol will damage your garments and the scent never smells as good on your clothing as on you.

Be careful not to apply too much fragrance, you want people to notice you, not your perfume!  When it is overpowering it can be offensive.

The best  rule of thumb in appying makeup is that “less is more”.

The big key is that you don’t want to emphasize your makeup, you just want to diminish any imperfections and enhance your best features to be the most attractive natural beauty you can be.

 

For great color coordinated, vitamin enriched makeup and skin care: www.colormedirect.com/triciat

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True Beauty is a State of Mind

Makeup Your Mind

Makeup is an important accessory that can help you look and feel your best.   Remember your true beauty is what’s on the inside, but it is benefical to make the packaging pleasant as well.  Your appearance is what attracts people to you, then once they get to know you they can see your heart.  It doesn’t work in the reverse.

It starts with the image you have of yourself in mind.  Then you tranform that image onto your face.  The art of applying makeup is tricky business tough. When it is done right, makeup magically conceals flaws and imperfections and enhances your best facial features all at the same time.  Makeup can transform you into any look you want, with infinite possibilities.

Maybe you are the type that doesn’t wear makeup at all because you think you don’t have nice facial features to emphasize anyway.  You might think makeup makes you look sleezy. Or you think because you don’t look like a movie star you shouldn’t wear any?

Well let me tell you that movie stars don’t have naturally great looks either!  Makeup is the key to make a Plan Jane into a Gorgeous Star.

Just look at some of these Stars without their makeup, and tell me they look better than you!   Makeup is a tool, you just need to know how to use it to your benefit.

Sure these stars have professional Makeup Artists to transform them from ugly ducklings into beautiful swans.

But you can learn how to use makeup yourself to bring out your best features, and diminish your flaws (don’t worry eveyone has them).

It doesn’t need to take hours to look beautiful if you know the best technics and understand how to work with your specific facial features.

Have you ever wondered which colors of blush or lipstick would complement your skin tone, or your hair and eye colors?  Choosing the wrong colors will give you that blah, worn-out look. Choosing the right colors, however, will accentuate your natural features and make you glow.

To help you find out what season you are and choose the right colors to look your best  check out my article on What Season are You?.

All the shades of blush, eyeshadows and lipstick fit into two basic color catagories either warm or cool.   Check out this chart to help you see which colors fit you.  Just be careful to not put on too much blush, you don’t want to look like a clown with big red cheeks.  You just want to give your face a little color to look healthy and vibrant.

Warm skin tones have yellow undertones,  whereas cool skin tones have rose undertones.  Lighter shades should be worn for lighter skin tones and darker shades for darker skin tones.

Here are various Foundation colors separated into cool and warm shades.

The color of eyeshadows you choose should enhance the shape and color of your eyes.  But don’t try to match your eyeshadow to the color of your clothes or it will diminish the most expressive part of your face that accentuates your beauty.

There are many sites and books available that can help you with the specific technics of applying makeup.  Have fun learning and don’t be afraid to experiment with different looks until you find what looks best on you.  I’ll be writing more articles on this topic as well in the coming months so stay tuned!

To help you choose the best colors of makeup for your skin tone check out www.colormedirect.com/triciat.

The big secret to wearing makeup is to make it look like you’re not wearing any. When makeup is applied properly what should be emphasized are your own naturally beautiful features.

Just remember you can look like a Star if you make up your mind to it!

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Related Articles:

True Beauty is a State of Mind

What Season are You?

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