Archive for October, 2013

Your ultimate nighttime skin routine

       
Tuesday, October 22nd, 2013

Your ultimate nighttime skin routine

There’s a reason it’s called beauty rest: The hours between your head hitting the pillow and your alarm going off are crucial for your skin to repair itself. Skin cells regenerate, toxins are released through your pores and, by morning, your complexion is rejuvenated.

While it’s inarguably important to get enough sleep, you also need to consider your nighttime skin regimen. Products that you apply before you catch some Z’s have the ability to seep even deeper into your skin while you snooze. So follow these steps before you hit the hay and you’ll wake up with that sought-after natural glow:

Clean surface
First thing’s first: You need to wipe away your cosmetics with a proper makeup remover. If you wear waterproof eyeliner or mascara, you’ll need an especially potent solution.

It sounds like a no-brainer, but it’s critical to wash the dirt and oils off your face before bedtime to avoid clogged pores and breakouts. Not only that, but clearing your face of any impurities enables your moisturizer to absorb more effectively. If your skin is especially dry, look for an oil-based or creamy cleanser that can help to maintain moisture. The being TRUE Restoring Deep Cleanser is formulated with gamma linolenic fatty acids, which restore lipid balance and lock in hydration for supple, smooth skin.

Remember to rinse with cool to lukewarm water instead of hot, which could promote dryness as well as a feelings of tightness. Oily skin types should look for a gel cleanser with ingredients that can help to control oil production overnight. Then follow with a clarifying toner to ensure that any traces of oil or dirt are removed.

Twice a week, all skin types should use an exfoliator after washing, unless the cleanser has one built in. Scrubbing away dead cells promotes turnover, meaning a renewed, radiant complexion.

Wage war on wrinkles
If you’re fighting the effects of aging, your nighttime skin routine will play a major role in your efforts. Dr. Melvin Elson, a clinical professor of dermatology at Vanderbilt School of Nursing, told Prevention magazine that because your body temperature rises while you sleep, anti-aging solutions have a better chance of working more effectively as they can sink deeper into the skin. Choose a powerful product that’s formulated with retinol, which has been proven to make fine lines, wrinkles and age spots fade away. Dr. Patricia Farris, an assistant clinical professor of dermatology at Tulane University School of Medicine, advised in Prevention applying retinoid treatments before bedtime as UV rays can compromise their effectiveness during the day.

Diminish dark circles
Shadows under your peepers make you look tired, even if you aren’t. So before bed, dab on an eye cream infused with vitamin K. According to Prevention, a study by Elson found that women who used one every night for three months saw their undereye circles recede by 33 percent. Exuviance Brightening Bionic Eye Creme not only has vitamin K, but also vitamin A, polyhydroxy acids and cooling cucumber extract to target puffiness and shadows as well as brighten the overall eye area.

Pump up the hydration
Moisturizer is a must in any skincare routine, but especially before you hit the hay. While you’re sleeping, your body temperature rises and you sweat out a significant amount of your skin’s water content. In winter, this is even more of an issue as the air is naturally dry. Dermatologist Dr. Murad told Beautylish that it’s crucial to use a rich cream that has ultra-nourishing ingredients, like glycerin or shea butter, which act like a moisture magnet.

Ponytail inspiration for every look

       
Monday, October 21st, 2013

Ponytail inspiration for every look

There are a few reasons the ponytail has been a go-to hairstyle for decades: It’s convenient, chic and completely understated. Still, achieving a polished look with a pony requires more than just piling your hair up and winding an elastic around it. While that’s fine if you’re heading to the gym, you probably want a little more drama for other occasions.

If you’re looking for a way to shake up your style, consider these ideas for a completely different take on the ponytail:

Sleek
A ponytail doesn’t have to be casual – in fact, it can be supremely elegant if you use the right products and techniques. Refinery 29 suggested taking a cue from the latest runways and opting for a super slick low pony. If you don’t have naturally pin-straight hair, use a flat iron to smooth it out. Part your hair down the middle and pull it into a pony at the nape of your neck. Then take a small section of hair and wind it around the elastic, securing with a bobby pin at the bottom. Split the pony into two sections, weave several inches into a fishtail braid and secure with another elastic. Then repeat your previous step and coil another thin piece of hair around the bottom, using a pin to hold it in place.

Tousled
A bedhead-inspired pony is alluring without being over the top. To get the look, use a texturizing spray or dry shampoo and only comb your hair enough to get the tangles out. Next, gently tease hair at the crown and pull back into three even sections. Begin to weave only the center and the right section like you were beginning a braid, then use a large pin to secure it from underneath so it’s invisible. Pull the left section and wrap it all the way around both pieces, pinning it at the bottom. The result? Imperfect yet irresistible.

Curly
Coils can add an unexpected playful bounce to your pony. After blowdrying your hair with a round brush, secure at the back of your head with an elastic. It’s up to you where you pile it – a high pony has a coy and girlish look while a low one looks elegant for the evening. Try wrapping the entire pony around a two inch curling iron barrel if you have fine strands, or dividing and curling multiple sections if your mane is thicker. Finish with a mist of strong hairspray to freeze your locks in place.

Quick tips for glowing skin

       
Thursday, October 17th, 2013

Quick tips for glowing skin

Glowing skin is essentially the holy grail of beauty. Though every woman is on the quest for a radiant complexion, it’s not an easy feat.

However, there are some simple strategies and powerful products that can help you get a luminous effect. Follow these tips and you’ll be glowing in no time:

Hydration = happy skin
Moisturizer is key for that dewy effect you’re aiming for. However, everyone’s skin type requires a different formula for optimal hydration. Thick creams can be difficult for the skin to absorb, meaning you don’t reap as many of the benefits and you’re left with a greasy finish. The BABOR Skinovage PX Intensifier Moisture Plus Serum is an ideal alternative because it can instantly penetrate your pores for a smoother appearance.

Go nuts
Superfoods will play a major role in your get-glowing skin regimen. Molly Morgan, a sports specialist dietician, told Women’s Health magazine that walnuts, which are particularly high in omega-3s, can prevent acne and reduce inflammation. Meanwhile, integrative practitioner Isaac Eliaz explained that macadamia nuts are also high in those essential fatty acids, and can help with cell turnover and repair.

Get your beauty rest
There’s a reason your skin looks tired when you didn’t get enough shut-eye. Dermatologist Amy Wechsler explained in Women’s Health that when you get too few hour of sleep, your blood circulation slows and you end up looking pale. Aim to get a solid eight hours for optimal cell repair and an overall rejuvenated appearance. If you had a late night, try sipping on some soy milk, which has proteins that can calm and hydrate your skin.

Product in all the right places
While using the right illuminating makeup is no doubt crucial for glowing skin, you’ll also need to be mindful of where you apply it. Makeup artist Angela Levin, who is behind the flawless complexions of Jennifer Aniston and Michelle Williams, told Harper’s Bazaar that one of her top tricks is only to dab on four dots of foundation: one in the middle of the forehead, one on each cheek and one at the chin. Blend them in with a foundation brush or with your fingers to even it out. This technique, she says, can actually give a more natural dewy look than too much caked on coverage.

She also noted that pinching your cheeks can help you to determine where you would naturally flush – and thus, where your blush should be applied.

A guide to growing out your hair

       
Tuesday, October 15th, 2013

A guide to growing out your hair

If you’ve ever dreamed of long, lustrous Rapunzel-worthy hair, you know that growing it out is the hard part. Considering hair grows an average of just one-quarter inch every month, getting to your ideal length could take some serious patience. Still, anyone can accomplish long locks, as long as they’re willing to put in the effort to maintain healthy strands.

There is no one surefire way to make your hair grow at a rapid pace, but there are tactics that can speed up the process. Follow this guide and you won’t have to wait as long for the mane you’ve always wanted:

Go on a ‘do diet
It should come as no surprise that your diet can have a significant impact on how shiny and strong your strands are. Still, did you know that certain foods can also help to promote growth?

Protein is the building block for hair cells, so it’s crucial to have a source at every meal, whether it’s yogurt, lean poultry, tofu or beans. It’s also important to have enough of the “good fats” – which include polyunsaturated and monounsaturated types. Find them in nuts, olive oil, avocados and oily fish, such as salmon and mackerel.

U.S. News and World Report revealed that not getting enough iron or zinc could hinder the growth of your locks, and potentially cause hair loss. Therefore, you’ll want to incorporate foods like oatmeal, lentils and oysters to get enough of these vitamins – or consider taking a supplement. A vitamin C deficiency compromises the strength of your hair, so nosh on kiwis, leafy greens, guava and chili peppers to make sure your hair isn’t dull or prone to breakage.

Don’t forget biotin – the National Institutes of Health noted that it simultaneously supports healthy growth while preventing hair thinning or loss. Look for this vitamin B complex in egg yolks, soybeans, peanuts and almonds.

Remember regular trims
It might seem counterintuitive to cut your hair frequently when you’re trying to grow it out, but this practice is key. If you neglect to trim off dead ends every five to eight weeks, you may end up having to lop off a lot more on your next visit to the hairdresser. That’s because once the ends split, the breakage begins to creep up your strands at a faster rate. It’s not that regular trims will make your hair grow faster at the root, but they will will prevent your strands from breaking off farther up, meaning you’ll be able to achieve the length you want more quickly. Besides, split ends can give the illusion that your hair is thinner at the bottom, and isn’t the point to get a full mane?

Treat your scalp to a massage
Soft, shiny hair depends on a healthy scalp, as that’s where the roots of your hair follicles are. Just as muscles need a helping hand once in a while to recover and rejuvenate, so does your scalp. This requires a massage, which can accelerate blood flow, thereby stimulating the scalp and allowing essential nutrients to travel there more quickly, nourishing hair follicles.

This doesn’t mean you have to go to a professional, either. L.A. stylist Philip B recommended to Marie Claire magazine simply using your fingers to firmly massage in a revitalizing shampoo for a minute or two while showering. Use this tactic while you’re rinsing as well, starting at the back of your head and moving forward. As added benefits, you’ll feel totally relaxed and you’ll cleanse your strands more thoroughly.

Beauty Bridge contest: Which celeb look are you falling for?

       
Tuesday, October 15th, 2013

Beauty Bridge contest: Which celeb look are you falling for?

The truth is, anyone can rock dark lipstick – it’s just about finding the right hue and artfully complementing it with other makeup.

Celebrities have been embracing this edgy fall trend, opting for more dramatic shades for a pout with some pow. Lana del Ray achieved a glam effect with burgundy lips, an alluring brown smoky eye and sculpted, bronze cheekbones. Meanwhile, Camilla Belle channeled old Hollywood with a matte complexion, bold brows and blackberry lips. Megan Fox accented her crimson pout with a smoldering smudged black cat eye.

So which look are you falling for? We know you’re all practically beauty experts, and we want to hear your vote for the celebrity with the best take on dark lips – so much so that we’ve launched a contest.

Simply head to Facebook and “like” the Beauty Bridge company page. Then, you’ll be directed to a questionnaire, where you’ll enter your vote for the star who stole the show. After offering your top pick, you’re automatically entered to win a basket brimming with our favorite fall beauty products.

The final step? Head to Beauty Bridge to pick out a dark lip shade to make the look your own.

Making waves with minimal effort

       
Friday, October 11th, 2013

Making waves with minimal effort

Just because summer is long gone doesn’t mean you have to abandon those carefree waves.

Wavy hair is just as appropriate for cozying up to the fireplace as it is for basking on the beach. Plus, it’s simultaneously laid-back and romantic, meaning it works for nearly any occasion, from a casual coffee date to an elegant affair. Creating the perfect style doesn’t have to take a lot of effort, either – after all, the idea is to look effortlessly stunning. Ditch the styling tools and use these tips to achieve flawless, fuss-free waves overnight:

Braids
You may already know that braids are big this fall, but were you aware that un-doing this technique can also make instant waves? After washing your hair and combing it out, pat it dry and part down the center. Then begin weaving it into two braids while it’s damp. Looser braids will make for gentler waves, while tightly wound braids will produce a more crimped effect. You can also change the look with the number of braids: One will produce a subtler curvature, and three or four of them will make high-intensity waves. Secure the ends with an elastic and leave them alone until dry. Doing this a couple hours before bedtime is ideal, as you can wake up and quickly finish styling them.

Once your hair is dry, unbraid it and use your fingers to comb through your strands, which will help to create a natural look. A spritz of strong hairspray will provide the hold you need to lock your waves into place.

Buns
Another supremely simple way to get whimsical waves is by twirling your hair into multiple buns. While it’s still damp, smooth some shaping cream over your strands and twist it into coils on top of your head, securing with bobby pins. As with the braid method, more buns will make for a drastic finished look. Unpin them once your hair is dry and shake your tresses out to get a tousled effect.

Headband
There are endless possibilities when it comes to wearing a headband, and one of them can create perfectly sculpted waves. Using a soft elastic headband, wrap your hair section by section around it, using pins to secure the ends. Once all of your strands have been wound around the headband, leave it to dry, ideally overnight. After unpinning every section, scrunch them with some texturizing mousse for extra oomph.

Post-exercise skincare tips

       
Thursday, October 10th, 2013

Post-exercise skincare tips

There’s nothing like a little exercise to give you a natural glow. As your heart rate rises, you sweat out impurities in your system and your blood circulation accelerates, making your skin radiant. However, a grueling session can lead to redness, blemishes and full-on breakouts if you don’t take proper care of your skin – especially if you’re wearing makeup.

Here are some post-workout tips to make sure your cardio doesn’t compromise your complexion:

Hands first
Before you even touch your face, you must clean your hands. In an interview with Teen Vogue magazine, Jessica Clark, lead aesthetician at Equinox in New York City, advised using an anti-bacterial soap and vigorously lathering your palms for a minimum of 20 seconds.

Banish bacteria
Removing bacteria and grime from your face is a key step for avoiding clogged pores. Beautylish explained that cleansing pads are helpful for preventing breakouts. If you’re in a rush, some products don’t even require water to swipe away dirt and oil. The ultra-convenient B. Kamins Chemist Anti-Blemish Pads are powerful enough to get rid of germs and bust both blemishes and blackheads, but gentle enough on irritable skin since they’re oil- and fragrance-free.

If you’re prone to breakouts on your back or chest, Clark recommended spraying witch hazel on those areas right after stepping out of the shower.

Get steamy
Steam rooms and saunas do more than just soothe sore muscles. Self magazine’s assistant beauty editor Runa Bhattacharya explained that steam naturally removes impurities from your skin and unclogs your pores while giving you a healthy flush. Steam rooms are better than saunas if you have especially dry skin, as they have far more humidity in the air than saunas. Additionally, steam can help to regulate the oil glands, which is helpful if you suffer from acne. Bhattacharya recommended drinking plenty of water afterward to rehydrate your body, which will translate to a dewy complexion. You should also use a proper moisturizer to keep your skin looking supple and feeling soft.

Cool down
Just as you need to bring your body temperature down after a workout, you may need to cool down your skin. Frugivore suggested making your own solution by putting cold green tea in a spray bottle. A quick spritz post-exercise will not only alleviate any redness, but will also infuse your skin with antioxidants for cell protection. GloMoist Hydration Mist by GloMinerals is formulated with calming chamomile extract, and can instantly boost your skin’s hydration.

Prepping your skin for the colder season

       
Wednesday, October 9th, 2013

Prepping your skin for the colder season

Winter is fast approaching, which means snowfall, hot cocoa, holiday parties and a lot of other excitement. However, the colder, dryer weather doesn’t bode as well for your beauty. Harsh conditions can be tough on your complexion, meaning you’ll need to take certain precautionary measures to prevent flakes, cracks and other skin problems.

Follow these tips and your face won’t be looking as bleak as the weather:

Use kinder cleansers
While you may have been using an aggressive cleanser in the summer months to manage sweat, humidity and excess oil, it might be time to ease up on these solutions as the climate changes. Erica Glaub, Los Angeles-based makeup artist, explained to Shape magazine that gentler oil-based or milk cleansers and soaps are best for washing away impurities without completely stripping your skin of moisture.

Upgrade your moisturizer
Just as you transition your wardrobe to more substantial fabrics, you’ll also need to switch out your moisturizer for a heavy-duty cream. Dr. Deborah Sarnoff, a dermatologist at the North Shore-LIJ Health System in Greenvale, N.Y., told LiveScience that a richer product will have more natural oils. She also advised applying a night treatment for some deep hydration while you sleep. Glaub noted that optimal contents for your go-to winter cream are shea butter, almond oil, olive oil and grapeseed oil. Jojoba oil, which helps to balance your skin and accelerate cell repair, is also a key rejuvenating ingredient.

Did you know that honey is also a natural source of hydration? Try rubbing some into your elbows, knee caps or other parched areas, then rinsing.

Adjust your shower
While it’s tempting to take a hot shower in the winter months, doing so can seriously dry out your skin. That doesn’t mean you have to shiver your way through a cold shower - Glaub stressed that even lukewarm water is better. If you can’t bear to turn down the temperature, bathe for a shorter amount of time. When you get out, pat your skin dry instead of rubbing it with a towel and immediately apply moisturizer all over.

Exfoliate every week
It’s imperative to exfoliate in the winter, as sloughing off dead skin cells will allow your skin to absorb moisturizers and creams more effectively. Avoid products with abrasive chemicals or beads, which can irritate your skin, especially if it’s on the sensitive side.

Remember sunscreen
Just because the sun’s presence isn’t as strong in the winter doesn’t give you permission to neglect protection from UV rays completely. Sarnoff suggested looking for a moisturizer with at least SPF 15, or 30 if you’re outside more often.

Common Makeup Mistakes

       
Friday, October 4th, 2013

Common Makeup Mistakes

Common makeup mistakes

There are a few common makeup mistakes that could seriously sabotage a successful look. Fortunately, there are ways to correct your errors to ensure you put your best face forward. Ready to refresh on some basic beauty lessons?

Foundation
While it might seem tempting to build layer upon layer of foundation to hide your flaws, that can result in a caked-on effect that’s highly unflattering. The product will inevitably begin to settle into any wrinkles and lines, thus drawing extra attention to them, especially in harsh lighting. Sometimes it’s best to be a minimalist with face makeup. A mineral foundation evens out your skin tone, hides any pores and subtly conceals blemishes for a radiant complexion. Try the ultra-lightweight Youngblood’s Natural Mineral Foundation, which comes in 16 shades and gives you optimal coverage without the cakiness.

Blush
A little blush goes a long way, so be mindful when applying pigment to your cheeks. If you’re getting a more garish look than a subtle glow, you might simply be using the wrong shade for your coloring. A soft neutral rose, like GloMinerals gloBlush, can complement any skin tone. Keep in mind that blush shouldn’t be applied all over, either. To find the apples of your cheeks, try smiling as you’re putting it on.

Eyebrows
Skinny brows are out, and bolder brows are in. Instead of over-plucking them into a slender shape, opt for a fuller one, which actually defines your eyes more effectively and frames your face. After you’ve achieved the arch you want, use use short, upward strokes to fill in your brows with a pencil that’s just one shade lighter than your natural hair color. BABOR’s Maxi Definition Eye Brow Pencil comes with a handy brush on one end to help you blend the pigment.

Lips
You have to color inside the lines when it comes to your lips. While liner will make your lip color last longer, it looks sloppy if you’re not precise with your technique. The key is first to choose the right shade – which should be close to your natural lips if you’re sporting a sheer gloss or balm, or similar to your lipstick hue if you’re rocking a deeper color. Youngblood’s Lip Liner Pencil not only defines your lips and extends the life of your color, but also moisturizes your pout to prevent dryness and unsightly cracks

Tips for proper face washing

       
Friday, October 4th, 2013

Tips for proper face washing

Just because you’ve been washing your face since you were in elementary school doesn’t mean you know how to do it properly.

In fact, you may have even fallen into certain habits and routines that aren’t working, meaning you’re not seeing your complexion at its highest potential. To get the most out of your cleansing process, follow these tips:

Frequency and formula
First, you might be wondering how often you should be washing – but the truth is, everyone is different. If you work out frequently, wear a lot of makeup or have especially oily skin, you may need to cleanse more often than someone with dry skin who wears minimal beauty products. However, the general consensus is that two times a day, three at most, is ideal.

To make washing easier and more effective, the first step is to take off your cosmetics. Make sure that the makeup remover is gentle enough for the delicate eye area, but powerful enough to get waterproof products off. After you’ve eliminated the majority of your foundation, mascara and other products, you’ll need to select an optimal cleanser for your skin type. Dermatologist Ariel Ostad told Daily Makeover that formulas with salicylic acid or alpha hydroxy are ideal for those prone to a greasy complexion, as these agents can help to reduce oil. Dry or sensitive skin types that tend to flare up should look for a mild cleanser. Ideally, the fewer ingredients the better so as not to risk any irritation or compromise hydration.

Tactic and temperature
You also need to make sure that you’re using the right technique. Dr. Ostad noted that a wash cloth is great for removing dirt and grime, but some people tend to rub too vigorously or for too long, which can cause redness. While one minute is not sufficient, five minutes of scrubbing is overkill.

The temperature of the water is another important consideration. Dermatologist Dr. Jessica Krant stressed that lukewarm water is better than hot, which can “strip healthy natural oils from your skin too quickly.” If you can handle it, icy cold water is even better – not only will it perk you up in the morning, but it’s less likely to leave your face feeling tight and dry.

Now that your skin is nearly squeaky clean, it’s time to dry off. While it might be tempting to just reach for a towel and wipe away, Krant recommended using a soft cloth to pat dry, which will leave a thin layer of moisture on the skin’s surface.