Archive for December, 2013

Must know tips before using makeup remover

       
Monday, December 16th, 2013

Must know tips before using makeup remover

Makeup remover is a key element in every girl’s nighttime beauty regimen. After all, you need to get off all the products you’ve used at the end of the day to let your skin breathe and prevent clogged pores, or worse – a breakout. However, there’s more to this product than meets the eye. It’s crucial to be mindful about what’s in the solution you’re using, as well as how you’re apply it to ensure it’s effective. Additionally, you could do some damage to your skin if you aren’t careful about which makeup remover you use.

So before you go to clear off your cosmetics, keep these tips in mind:

Read the label
Just as you look at the ingredients on your food to make sure it’s good for you, it’s imperative to do the same with your makeup remover. Certain agents can be particularly harsh, and therefore, should be avoided, especially if you have sensitive skin. Stay away from solutions that contain fragrances, preservatives or alcohol. None of these ingredients will make the remover work better, so they’re unnecessary. Plus, they can irritate the skin, particularly around the eye area.

Consider your skin type
You take your skin type into account when buying a cleanser and moisturizer, so keep this mind when you’re purchasing a makeup remover as well. Dr. David Bank, director and founder of The Center for Dermatology, Cosmetic & Laser Surgery, told The Huffington Post that it can be helpful to consult with your dermatologist if you’re unsure about your type or what product is ideal for your skin. As a general rule, though, he advised using a hypoallergenic fragrance-free makeup remover if you have rosacea or eczema. Sensitive skin types should reach for cream or liquid cleansers, which are less drying. For example, G.M. COLLIN’s hydrating Sensiderm Cleansing Milk, which has soothing properties, is made for sensitive skin.

Be gentle
The method that you use to remove your makeup is just as important as the product. Especially when you’re removing stubborn waterproof mascara or eyeliner, it can be tempting to rub vigorously to get it all off. This tactic is detrimental, though, as the eye area is particularly delicate. An optimal eye makeup remover will be strong enough to slough off any product, so let it do the work for you.

The best way to get rid of makeup without irritating your skin is to press a cotton ball or pad soaked with remover over your lids. The product will dissolve, and then you can simply wipe it away. Always avoid rubbing the under-eye area and follow up by washing your face to eliminate any residue from the remover.

Do’s and don’t's for dramatic lashes

       
Friday, December 13th, 2013

Do's and don't's for dramatic lashes

Long, lush lashes are the ultimate beauty achievement, but this is no easy feat. While some were blessed with naturally voluminous lashes from birth, others spend a considerable amount of time trying to amp them up. There's so much to consider in your efforts, too. Which mascara will really maximize your lashes? How and when should you curl them?

If you're trying to up the intensity on your lash factor, keep these do's and don'ts in mind:

Do
Pay attention the brush, as it's a good indicator of what effect you'll get with the product. One with spiky straight bristles will separate your lashes, thus preventing any clumping. A big, bushy brush on the other hand will make your lashes look extra full. Want to give your lashes some curl? Then seek out a brush that has the curvature you need.

Start by applying your mascara on one eye, then switch to the other – but most importantly, let that layer dry completely before passing over with a second swipe.

Use an eyelash curler before you reach for mascara when you want a wide-eyed look. To get the best results, press the curler down at the roots for about five seconds and then continue to clamp down on the lashes for one second several times. 

Don't
Don't try to do it all when it comes to your mascara. It may not be possible to find a product that lengthens, thickens, curls and adds volume, so decide what your top priority is and then select a product that promises that specific benefit. Keep in mind that if you want some lift, you'll need to look for a curling mascara that has the right waxes and resins to bend straight lashes into shape. Or, if you're trying to extend the length of your lashes, you'll want to look for a formula that has nylon fibers in it.

Do not be afraid to wiggle. Carefully press the brush right up against the base of your lashes and then pull it upward, shimmying as you go. This motion separates your lashes while simultaneously ensuring that each and every lash gets an even coat of pigment. 

Avoid using a waterproof mascara all the time. Most of these formulas are rather difficult to remove, which can take a toll on your lashes and potentially promote breakage. For everyday use, aim for a traditional formula, and then bust out the water-resistant formulas for those special occasions.

Don't forget your lower lashes, either. You can focus on your upper fringe for your natural daytime look, but lightly brushing the wand along your lower lashes can add some drama and definition to a smoky eye.

Trend alert: Blurred lips

       
Friday, December 13th, 2013

Trend alert: Blurred lips

The latest lip trend is the epitome of perfect imperfection. While blurred lips may seem like a beauty accident, the look is actually totally intentional, and incredibly stunning. However, achieving this effect doesn't just require messing up your lipstick – it's an art. This trend initially exploded when models on couture runways strutted down the catwalks rocking a blurry pout, and ever since then, more fashion-forward ladies have been clamoring to emulate the look.

You can get a soft-focus pout, too, by following these simple tips:

Red outside the lines
The models at the Marni show sported a classic red lip, which certainly never goes out of style. However, their version didn't seem to have any boundaries. In fact, the outline of the lips completely disappeared, so it looked as if the lips faded right into the skin. To get that effect, makeup artist Tom Pecheux told Allure magazine that he used a matte berry lipstick to get a rich pop of pigment. Then, he dusted a bright crimson loose pigment on top to set the color. After dipping a cotton swap into translucent powder, he swept it around the edges of the lips to make it look blurry.

Makeup artist Lucia Pieroni used almost the same tactic on the models at Vera Wang. She layered two different burgundy lipsticks on the center of the lips to get the perfect wine-inspired hue, and then dragged the pigment toward the edges with a Q-tip. 

Grunge glam
Rachel Zoe wanted a dramatic look for her show. Makeup artist Charlotte Tilbury told the magazine that the designer sought a bold oxblood lip color, which strikes a balance between red and purple. However, she also aimed to soften the intensity of the dark hue by diffusing it. After applying an oxblood lipstick, focusing on the middle of the models' lips, Tilbury blended the pigment outward using her fingertip. The result? A look that's both elegant and edgy at the same time.

Fade out
While you typically apply lip color to make your pout appear plumper, the objective at the Dior show was just the opposite. Makeup artist Pat McGrath, who has painted the models' faces for dozens of couture designers, said that the girls in Andy Warhol illustrations were her muse for this look. She started by applying an intense fuchsia lipstick all over the lip. Then, she used translucent powder to tone down the color a bit and lock it in place. The most important step, though, was dabbing concealer around the border of the mouth so that only the center had a pink flush.

How to rock Radiant Orchid: Pantone’s color of 2014

       
Thursday, December 12th, 2013

How to rock Radiant Orchid: Pantone's color of 2014

Every year, Pantone selects a new hue for us to focus on, which dictates the color of everything from our clothes to our manicures. In 2013, that color was emerald green, and there's no doubt that the glimmering shade was seen everywhere. By the year's end, we may have tired of the color somewhat, but luckily we have a new hue to look forward to: Radiant Orchid.

"An enchanting harmony of fuchsia, purple and pink undertones, Radiant Orchid inspires confidence and emanates great joy, love and health," said Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute, according to Beauty World News. "It is a captivating purple, one that draws you in with its beguiling charm."

Ready to incorporate this color into your makeup routine? As 2014 approaches, here are some ideas to help you embrace this stunning shade of purple:

Eyes
It seems that celebs are way ahead of the trend when it comes to purple eye makeup. Lea Michelle sported plum eyeliner at the People's Choice Awards last January, and Selena Gomez performed "Come & Get It" on "Dancing With The Stars" last April with a violet smoky eye. Radiant orchid is a decidedly different shade, though, and it's a great option when you want a pop of color around your eyes that's striking but not shocking. Reach for a silky eye crayon in this hue and line both your upper and lower lashes. Then follow up with a thinner application of black liquid liner on top of it to further define the eye. If you're ready to amplify your look, dust a layer of orchid shadow over your eyelids and then carefully sweep a deeper shade of the same hue into the crease. The final step? Mascara with a subtle hint of purple, of course.

Lips
You may be well aware that purple lips are in – just look to Ke$ha, who showed up at the 2013 MTV Movie Awards with this look. Radiant orchid isn't as severe as the dark plum lip shades that we saw this year, though. In fact, because this hue has pink undertones, it's wearable on any complexion. Look for a rich creamy matte lavender lipstick with just a hint of rosy pink and apply two layers for extra intensity. In terms of your eye makeup, it's best to accent your radiant pout with cool tones like silver and slate. Try sweeping an iridescent highlighter on your brow-bone to brighten up your eyes, then cover your lids in a pearly pale gray shadow. Glide a dark charcoal pencil along your upper lash-line and then use a smudge brush to soften up the smoky look.

Say goodbye to chapped lips

       
Thursday, December 12th, 2013

Say goodbye to chapped lips

Chapped lips are an inevitable side effect of winter but they can really put a damper on your look, not to mention they're rather uncomfortable. Trying to keep your pout smooth so you can rock the matte lips trend? Or, are you just hoping for a smooch under the mistletoe?

Either way, these tips will help you to protect your lips against the dry, cold air:

Hydrate
You've heard time and again that you're supposed to drink eight glasses of water a day. Hydration isn't just essential for your health, it's also important for ensuring that your lips don't dry out. Even if you drink plenty of water throughout the day, you may notice some cracks. In that case, you may want to invest in a humidifier for your home.

Exfoliate
Just as you exfoliate your face to get rid of flakes, you should to do the same on your lips. However, it's critical to be careful when you're buffing your pout or you could make dryness worse. A damp washcloth or a soft bristled toothbrush can certainly be used to slough off the dead skin. For the best results, though, use a gentle solution like the Bliss Fabulips Sugar Lip Scrub. Simply smooth it on a circular motion and the natural oils, butters and vitamins in the formula will nourish your skin while the the exfoliants get rid of dry surface cells. The result? A flawless canvas for all your favorite lip colors.

Moisturize
A moisturizing treatment is essential for avoiding chapped lips, particularly right after you exfoliate. The only bummer about a lip balm is that sometimes you want a little pigment to amp up the color of your pout. In that case, reach for the Lip Treatment Moisturizer SPF 15 by BORGHESE. This rich formula is infused with an innovative Acqua di Vita Complex to maximize moisture, and even protects your pout against damage from UV rays. Plus, it comes in four lustrous shades that are flattering on nearly any skin tone, including the perfectly peach Naturale and the alluring deep Berry.

Treat
Hopefully after treating them with care, you won't experience chapped lips. However, sometimes harsh conditions prevail and you need to alleviate the discomfort. Rue La La recommended making a DIY remedy by steeping a green tea bag in warm water and applying it to your pout. The calming tannins in this solution will help to soothe any burning sensation. Alternatively, the source suggested letting rose petals soak in milk for a few hours, mashing them into a paste and applying the mixture to your lips several times a day to calm them down and even enhance their natural pigment.

Take a leap with a bold lip color

       
Wednesday, December 11th, 2013

Take a leap with a bold lip color

Change is a good thing. So isn't it time you set the traditional pink and red lipsticks aside for something a little more daring? Fortunately, unusual lip shades were popping up left and right on the catwalks and red carpets this year, meaning now is the perfect time to experiment with a new hue. 

If you're thinking it might be time to switch it up, consider one of these ideas to perk up your pout:

Blue
Before you balk at the idea of blue lipstick, consider the fact that Rihanna rocked this lip color and still looked impossibly chic. It's a gutsy choice, for sure, but with the right beauty tactics, can still work for almost anyone. Follow RiRi's lead by going for ultra long lashes, which gives the whole look an otherworldly feel. Keep the rest of your makeup minimal, though, avoiding any pigment on your eyelids or cheeks. Just a simple sleek cat-eye can make the whole look more polished and add some allure. Most importantly, make sure your complexion is even by using a BB cream or foundation that can camouflage any redness.

Gold
Searching for a new go-to shade for all your glitzy holiday parties? Look no further than gold lipstick. Makeup artist Nico Guilis told Refinery 29 that this metallic shade is just as romantic as it is glamorous – and it's actually totally wearable, too. He advised using luminizer all over your face to get a dewy, glowing effect. Stay away from shimmery formulas when it comes to your eyeshadow or bronzer, though, since you don't want any glitter competing with your lips. A sweep of espresso eyeliner is just enough to add a sultry touch to your sparkling look.

Purple
You can't get edgier than a purple pout. First, though, you'll need to select the right shade. Those with cool undertones should opt for purples that also have a blueish base, like a true violet. Warm complexions are complemented nicely by a shade that's between purple and red. The key to making purple appear perfect is making sure your complexion is neutral and flawless, which means matte foundation, highlighter and setting powder but minimal blush and bronzer for a porcelain finish. Then add some warmth back to the overall look by applying bronze eyeliner. Remember that dark colors can tend to bleed into fine lines, so it's important to use a lip primer. Guilis noted that you can also apply concealer and line your lips in the same hue to lock the pigment in place.

Pointers for maintaining a pretty pixie cut

       
Wednesday, December 11th, 2013

Pointers for maintaining a pretty pixie cut

This year, the pixie cut had a major moment. Everyone from Beyoncé to Jennifer Lawrence chopped off their locks in favor of this super cute 'do, demonstrating that it's actually ultra flattering for a variety of face shapes and features. Still, maintaining a pixie cut isn't necessarily easy. Having less hair to deal with can take some of the work out of styling, but you still need to put some effort in to make sure your tresses look polished. 

If you already went for a super short cut or are thinking about rocking a pixie, use these tips and tricks:

Consider your hair texture
There's no one size fits all pixie cut that works for everyone. You should definitely think about your hair type, and let that dictate the length and style. Manhattan-based hairstylist Julien Farel told Teen Vogue magazine that a super short cut can give fine hair some much-needed body. On the other hand, she pointed out that it's best to keep curly hair slightly longer to prevent frizz. Thick hair types have the freedom and flexibility to experiment with different lengths. However, layers are key to making sure the hair still has some natural movement.

Get a glossy sheen
Don't overdo it on the products with a pixie cut – in fact, less is more since you don't have a ton of hair. Instead, you want to focus on infusing shine into your locks so they look as healthy as possible, thus accentuating the shape of the cut. After showering, spritz some of Fekkai's Advanced Brilliant Glossing Sheer Shine Mist into your hair, which will give it a lustrous finish that lasts all day long without weighing it down.

Learn to love dry shampoo
Shampooing your hair every day is going to lead to a parched pixie, so it's best to give your hair a break by waiting a day or two. That's why dry shampoo should become your go-to solution when you're sporting a short 'do. Refinery 29 production assistant Chloe Daley admitted that she swears by this product for extra volume, even when her hair is clean. The key, she said, is to turn your head upside down when you apply it and massage it into your scalp. When her hair is looking particularly greasy, she simply sprays in some dry shampoo and changes her part. Reach for the​ Balm En Root Dry Shampoo to soak up excess oil, lift your strands at the roots and extend the life of your style between shampoos.

A Fungus Among Us

       
Wednesday, December 11th, 2013

It often starts off as a simple itch, down in between your little toes. Then it spreads, from a small itch to cracked and inflamed skin that doesn’t seem to stop. It’s athlete’s foot, and it happens to a surprising number of people. Despite the name, athlete’s foot isn’t limited to those who play sports. Athlete’s foot is much like any other fungal infections, such as ringworm for example. A group of microscopic organisms known as dermatophytes grow much in the same way that mold does and can quickly spread across your foot, leaving it cracked, tender and worst of all, itching.

What Causes Athlete’s Foot?

Your body is a host to a large number of microorganisms, which are normally kept in check by simply keeping your skin clean and dry. Unfortunately, dermatophytes are considerably more resilient than your typical microbial, which makes athlete’s foot a common irritation. Athlete’s foot absolutely loves to grow when you’re wearing thick, tight shoes that don’t allow your toes much wiggle room. Because your toes are squeezed together, it creates little moist and warm areas that are just perfect for the fungus to grow. Wet or damp socks coupled with warm shoes make for the perfect breeding place for the pesky dermatophytes, especially when you’re wearing shoes that are made from plastic or other synthetic materials that don’t allow for proper airflow.

picture of fungus

Microscopic View of the Fungus
Photo Taken By: Ecorahul

So we know what makes it grow, but what actually causes the fungal in the first place? Athlete’s foot is super contagious and can be spread from contact with contaminated surfaces, such as towels, dirty floors, shoes and even other people with athlete’s foot. While it’s good to share, this is another reason to reconsider swapping shoes.

Prevention is the Key

There are several ways to help prevent the growth and spread of athlete’s foot. First and foremost, shoes that fit! Wearing shoes that are made from a breathable material, such as canvas or leather that also fit properly can help alleviate the optimal growth conditions for the fungus. Dry socks are also a key component to stopping the growth and spread of the dermatophytes. Change socks when you can, especially after exercise or physical activity, and make sure you wear clean, dry socks. Finally, while it might seem like a no-brainer, some people tend to take their foot health into their own hands by not wearing shower shoes in a public shower. Avoiding the long gruesome list of gross things that are potentially growing on the floor of a public shower, wearing shower shoes is a super effective way to avoid contact with any of it. When in doubt, break the flip-flops out.

It Gets Worse

As if the cracking, peeling, sometimes bleeding and always itchy feeling you get from athlete’s foot wasn’t bad enough, there can be some complications that make it worse. Because of its very nature, athlete’s foot can create an environment that’s perfect for other nasty bacteria to grow, creating a secondary infection. This secondary infection of bacteria can release a substance that breaks down the skin tissue in the foot, causing soggy eroded areas between the toes that are incredibly painful.

Some people are unfortunate enough to suffer from an allergic reaction after a particularly bad case of athlete’s foot. Here the proteins from the fungus can enter into the bloodstream and actually spread to other parts of the body, leaving an eruption of unsightly and painful blisters.

Treatment

If prevention measures aren’t successful and you find yourself with a bad case of athlete’s foot, then it’s time to treat it. While there’s a never-ending line of products that are foisted upon you from the TV, some are better than other, as is the case with all things. Babor has a product that is particularly useful when combatting foot fungus. Babor Feetness Refreshing Foot Bath is a product that’s not only a great way to relax at the end of a long day, but goes a long way in helping prevent some of the conditions that cause athlete’s foot to grow to begin with. The skin of your feet is moisturized and nourished, promoting healthy skin growth and regeneration, while the mixture of aloe vera and eucalyptus come together to inhibit bacteria growth and even combat foot odor.

ways to treat athletes foot

The year in beauty – lessons we learned in 2013

       
Wednesday, December 11th, 2013

The year in beauty - lessons we learned in 2013

Every year, new trends are ushered in as others fade away, and 2013 was packed will all kinds of unexpected beauty revelations. The best part about these makeup crazes is that they give us a chance to attempt a new look that we wouldn't normally be brave enough to try. This year, the beauty fads were as bold as ever, allowing us to explore our edgier side while still maintaining a polished appearance. As we look back on 2013, there are a few lessons we learned from the trends that trickled down.

Here are the major looks that we mastered:

Smoky eye doesn't have to be black
For years, women have been going for a smoky eye when they want to appear sultry or alluring. It's an evening-ready look that never seems to go out of style. Yet this year, it became clear that the smoky eye looks just as stunning in other hues as it does in stark black. For example, some people went for a turquoise version, while others used violet. The brown smoky eye offers a somewhat subtler, earthy look that was striking for fall and can even work during the daytime. Ultimately, the possibilities are endless – black is certainly not the only option.

Anyone can rock dark lips
Not everyone has been brazen enough to use a dark lipstick in the past, but in 2013, this look went from punk rock to mainstream. Between the runways and the red carpets, stylish women sported a deeper lip color this year, no matter their skin tone. From crimson red to rich berry and plum, there are countless shades to choose from. One thing's for sure, though: Matte is a must if you want high intensity. 

Over-plucking is out
It may come as a relief that you can put down the tweezers and give your plucking a rest. Bold brows are in, meaning that it's more important to keep your eyebrows trim and tidy than super slender. Hollywood has been leading this trend, rocking thicker shapes that balance the features and frame the face much better than pencil-thin brows can.

Nude is the new pink
Nude makeup was everywhere in 2013 – even eyeliner. The whole philosophy became "less is more," meaning the goal was to look as natural as possible. So while typically the go-to shade for lipstick and manicures may have been pale pink, nude stole the spotlight.

How to be a blushing beauty

       
Monday, December 9th, 2013

How to be a blushing beauty

Even though you've been wearing blush for years, you still may not have gotten it quite right. In fact, this is one of the most common makeup mistakes. A natural-looking flush requires more than just sweeping some color onto your cheeks with a brush - you need a combination of just the right tools and tactics.

Follow these tips and you'll have the perfect rosy glow in no time:

Prep properly
Before you even reach for your blush, it's important to prepare your complexion with the right products. Achieve a flawless canvas by starting with primer and then either the foundation formula of your choice or tinted moisturizer. Primer is essential because it ensures that your foundation and your blush go on evenly, and that they both last longer. Once you have evened out your complexion and covered up any flaws, then you

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can add some color back with blush.

Pick the right pigment
Choosing the right hue depends on your skin tone. Essentially, you are trying to mimic the color that your cheeks naturally turn when you're cold or a little bit bashful. If you're not sure of the right shade, you can always pinch your cheeks to help you figure it out. Those with fair skin and cool undertones should stick with pink blushes. However, if you have lighter to medium skin with golden undertones, a peachy or coral pigment is best. If you have darker skin, you can opt for deeper berry shades like raspberry and plum. 

Place it strategically
When you're applying pink blush, be sure to focus on the apples of the cheeks, where rosy color tends to pool naturally. Don't know how to find your apples? Look in the mirror and aim for those rounded front parts of your cheeks that pop up when you smile. Placing one finger at the edge of your mouth will tell you where to stop when applying the pigment. Peach blush is better used for sculpting the cheekbones while adding a subtle glow. So when you're applying a blush in this hue, place three fingers along the outside edges of your lips to determine where you should stop brushing it on.

The best kind of brush is dense with soft bristles, has a dome shape and a flattened edge. This kind of tool ensures you can more effectively concentrate color in the right areas.

Swirl the brush into the pigment and then tap it on the edge of the compact to eliminate any excess. Using circular motions, lightly sweep it onto your cheeks.