Archive for the ‘Hair and Skin Conditions’ Category

Key steps for a clear complexion

       
Tuesday, September 24th, 2013

Key steps for a clear complexion

No matter your cosmetic preferences or style, clear skin is always a top priority – after all, your complexion is the base for the rest of your makeup.

Achieving a flawless face takes more than a little soap and water, however. While everyone is different, there are certain solutions and even beverages that can help prevent pesky blemishes and breakouts. With these strategies and an optimal combination of products, anyone can bring out the best in their skin:

Banish impurities
The obvious first step in any skincare regimen is a cleanser, but which formula is best? It's crucial to know your skin type - oily, combination, dry or sensitive - before choosing a product that will address your needs. Elle magazine noted that though it may seem like an oxymoron to clean your face with oil, cleansers with these ingredients are extremely effective at eliminating excess oil, as well as removing waterproof makeup. Plus, these formulas don't strip your skin of moisture, which can cause glands to overproduce oil to compensate. Being TRUE's Restoring Deep Cleanser contains seven different exotic oils that can banish impurities while still maintaining hydration.

The way you apply cleanser is just as important as the product itself.  Dermatologist Dendy Engelman told Daily Makeover that rubbing the product on in a circular, upward motion enables the active agents to absorb faster and better. 

Buff off dead cells
Exfoliation is key for a radiant complexion. However, those products with a gritty, sand-like texture can be rough on sensitive skin, causing visible irritation. Elle advised using an exfoliant that contains beta hydroxy acids or fruit enzymes, such as the Dermalogica Gentle Cream Exfoliant, which is fragrance-free and gentle enough for all skin types. By lifting off dead skin cells, you can prevent clogged pores, blemishes and blackheads.

Boost your skin overnight
It goes without saying that it's crucial to use a makeup remover before you go to bed, but you should also consider a treatment that can enhance your skin while your sleep. Elle noted that retinol can be helpful, as it has the ability to decrease oil production at the source by making oil glands smaller. The source recommended smoothing on Philosophy Help Me Nighttime Retinol Treatment, which not only shrinks and deep cleans pores, but also helps to accelerate cell turnover.

Beauty detoxing
While going au naturel may seem difficult, sometimes your skin just needs a breather. Engelman suggested wearing no makeup for 24 hours once a week. This is especially important if your skin is prone to flaring up, because it'll get a break from allergens, fragrances and other harsh ingredients.

Hello, sunshine: Tips to brighten your eyes

       
Tuesday, September 17th, 2013

Hello, sunshine: Tips to brighten your eyes

If there's one thing that can drag down your entire look, it's eyes that seem dull and tired. Bright eyes are key because they make you appear younger, alert and refreshed.

While there is a multitude of factors that could contribute to this problem, with the right makeup in your bag and tricks up your sleeve, you can cover up any flaws – from puffy bags to dark circles. Ready to step into the light?

Face the shadows
Dark circles are often unavoidable – especially as skin thins with age or when you simply haven't gotten enough sleep. With a little concealer under your eyes and on your lids, though, you can completely camouflage them. Prevention magazine recommends choosing a concealer that's two shades lighter than your skin and yellow based. A golden hue counteracts both the bluish tint of dark shadows and the redness of blood vessels. After applying it underneath your eyes, on the lids and in the corners, brush on a layer of finishing powder to make the concealer stay put.

Draw the line
Eyeliner can work wonders for opening your peepers – but it has to be the right hue. Makeup artist Mally Roncal told Oprah magazine that a bone-colored eye pencil is ideal for all skin tones. She recommended lining the corner of your eyes to make the whites seem brighter. PopSugar explained that a bright white can work for fairer skin, and advised outlining the lower lashes for a doe-eyed look. The source also emphasized that an iridescent shadow helps to keep your eyes looking alert when you're rocking dramatic dark liner. Darker skin can get an eye-opening boost from a neutral shimmery shadow extending all the way up to the brows.

Raise a brow
Speaking of eyebrows, they can make a major difference in how bright your eyes look. Damone Roberts, a celebrity eyebrow artist, told Prevention magazine that over-plucked brows actually age you, while a bolder shape with a significant arch can give you a fresh faced, youthful appearance. She suggested using a specialized brush to apply brow powder in delicate strokes, working in the direction your hair naturally grows.

Another helpful tip is to dust a small amount of blush at the peak of your brows – the rosy tone will offer a radiant, alert effect and bring out the whites of your eyes.

Foods and drinks that age your skin

       
Wednesday, August 21st, 2013

Foods and drinks that age your skin

You probably already know that certain superfoods can make your skin look healthier, younger and more radiant. But were you aware that other foods and drinks can actually age you? Certainly, anti-wrinkle products, a rich moisturizer and a powerful concealer can help you to reduce or hide any flaws that come with time. But in order to help stall the aging process from the inside out, try limiting your intake of substances that could seriously sabotage your skin.

Sugar
There are a multitude of reasons to limit your sugar intake, but in an interview with Discovery Fit & Health, Dr. Nicholas Perricone explained that excess sugar can actually lead to the kind of inflammation that accelerates aging. He noted that when blood sugar spikes, “glycation” happens, which involves the sugar adhering to collagen. As a result of this proves, the skin becomes more stiff and prone to wrinkles. It’s not just your typical candy bars and desserts that cause these effects, either: Dr. Perricone pointed to refined carbs like white pasta, bread and rice as other major culprits.

Foods such as white pasta, bread and rice act the same way as sugar, according to Dr. Henry Lodge, who told Care2 that these refined carbohydrates can cause a dramatic rise in blood sugar levels and glycation. Additionally, they promote insulin resistance, which happens when too much insulin is released and your blood sugar levels crash. You don’t need to cut out carbs completely – just opt for whole grains, which digest slower and won’t cause blood sugar to suddenly soar or drop.

Alcohol
You might want to think twice before picking up that second or third drink. Dr. Oz reported that excessive alcohol consumption can hinder the body’s production of vitamin A, which is crucial to the skin’s cell turnover and the production of collagen, which is key to a youthful complexion. Additionally, he revealed that when alcohol is broken down in the body, it expands the blood vessels that allow blood to flow to your face, causing redness and puffiness. Over time, alcohol continues to make blood vessels widen, and can eventually lead to permanent red patches similar to rosacea or broken capillaries.

Salt
Our bodies need salt for survival, but too many shakes can add years to your face. Neal Schultz, a dermatologist, told Shape magazine that excess salt can cause you to retain water, which leads to a swelling effect. This can translate to a puffy face, which makes you look old and tired. Shultz noted that this is especially common around the eyes as the skin there is thin and delicate. Sodium also dehydrates you, which can promote dry, tired looking skin.

Coffee
Even though you drink java to feel awake and alert, too much of it can dehydrate you, causing you to look more tired. Dr. Deborah Wattenberg told NBC News that since caffeine is a diuretic, coffee, soda, tea and energy drinks don’t allow your body to hold on to the water it needs. This causes your skin to look old and shriveled instead of supple. Try to stick to one cup of joe a day, and even less when it comes to sugary soft drinks.

Saturated Fat
Saturated fat isn’t just damaging to your heart and your waistline – it could also make your skin age faster. A study by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that a 17-gram increase in daily intake of these fats was linked to a more wrinkly face. Related research by the International Health and Development Unit at Monash University found similar adverse skin effects, particularly as a result of butter consumption. Try to avoid fried and processed foods, which are loaded with these unhealthy fats.

Caring for curly hair: Essential tips

       
Friday, August 16th, 2013

Caring for curly hair: Essential tips

While you may have battled with your curly coif your whole life, you’re likely the envy of most of your friends. In fact, some straight-haired women spend hours trying to get the same bouncy, voluminous tresses. The question is – how do you discipline your ‘do? With these tips and a powerful combination of products, you’ll be able to keep curls under control.

Comb carefully
The more you brush curly hair, the greater the frizz factor. So before you step in the shower, use a boar-bristle brush to make sure the natural oil from your scalp is evenly distributed throughout your hair. Tommy Buckett, celebrity hairstylist for Garnier Fructis, noted to Glamour magazine that curls tend to get tangled and knotted. In the shower, use a wide-toothed comb to brush your conditioner through your strands from roots to ends. Buckett explained that color-treated curls are extra thirsty and require a deeper conditioner. Opt for a weekly treatment like the Fekkai Advanced Essential Shea Ultra Rich Mask, which enhances hair’s strength and manageability. Once you’ve rinsed out the conditioner, avoid wringing your hair, rubbing it with a towel or putting it in a turban. Instead, lightly squeeze the moisture out with a clean towel, encouraging your curls’ natural shape.

Style smarts
This is a key step in your regimen, whether you have kinky ringlets or looser ones. While hair is still damp, work a reasonable sized amount of de-frizz serum or styling cream into your locks, scrunching as you go. Finer hair can benefit from the lightweight Leonor Greyl Algues Et Fleurs Curl Enhancer, which uses seaweed and other film-forming proteins to restructure the curls so they maintain their shape. Thicker, coarser curls should opt for a heavy-duty product that can tame and relax the hair, like the rich Hamadi Shea Hair Cream.

Whatever product you use, don’t go overboard as too much can make your hair greasy and weigh it down. Air drying is your best bet for avoiding poofiness, but if you’re jetting out the door, blowdry your bangs and roots. It’s helpful to pop a diffuser on your hairdryer, which can distribute the heat more evenly.

Sleeping beauty
Waking up with flattened or frizzed out locks? The way you style your hair before you go to sleep can have a big impact on how it looks in the morning. For a better bed-head, pile your hair high on top of your head in a  neat knot. You’re less likely to have a tangled mess in the morning, and more importantly, you’ll avoid the risk of breakage. Buckett also recommended in Glamour purchasing a silk pillowcase, as it won’t cause as much friction on the hair fibers as a cotton one.

Spotlight on BB Cream: How to use it

       
Tuesday, August 6th, 2013

Spotlight on BB Cream: How to use it

The buzz about BB creams has been building in recent years, and with good reason: These multi-tasking products are a perfect solution when you don't want to wear heavy concealer or foundation. While moisturizing your skin, a BB cream can also provide just the right amount of sheer coverage without a caked-on appearance. Moreover, most of these products have SPF to protect against sun damage. In addition, they can act as a primer for the rest of your makeup and survive through sweat for a long-lasting look.

Finding your match
With a slew of BB creams out there, it can be hard to know which one to choose. The best BB cream for you depends on your specific concerns and priorities. If you're looking for a product that can lift sagging skin while fighting fine lines, the B. Kamins Chemist BB Cream is chock-full of powerful vitamins and antioxidants that revitalize aging skin. Not only that, but particles in the cream reflect light on your face for a boost in radiance.

The G.M. COLLIN Mineral BB Cream SPF 25, on the other hand, is a great alternative if you just want to correct any discoloration while hydrating and smoothing out the skin. This cream is also lightly pigmented to give you a healthy bronze glow. However, if you're looking to address serious breakouts or blemishes with BB cream, She Knows advises getting a dermatologist's opinion to help you decide on a product.

Let the benefits begin
Before applying the selected BB cream, thoroughly cleanse your face. If your skin is ultra dry, celebrity makeup artist Piper Cline told She Knows that it can be helpful to first put on a moisturizer. Next, take no more than a tiny dollop and dab it onto areas in need of correction, such as redness in the cheeks or dark undereye circles. Finally, use a foundation brush to distribute the product evenly across the rest of your face. Cline also noted that dusting on a finishing powder afterward can help to achieve a flawless, shine-free complexion all day long. 

There are plenty of uses for BB cream beyond evening out your skin tone. Allure magazine explained that applying BB cream over a blush, whether it's a cream, powder or stain formula, can tone down a cheek color that's too intense. The magazine also pointed out that mixing a shimmery loose powder into the BB cream can brighten up a drab complexion or act as a highlighter on cheekbones, browbones and the collarbone.

Blowout bliss: A step-by-step guide to perfection

       
Monday, August 5th, 2013

Blowout bliss: A step-by-step guide to perfection

There's really nothing that boosts your confidence like a fresh salon blowout. However, achieving the same look at home can be a struggle without the right tools and products. Whether for date night, a summer soiree or an important job interview, use these tips for a coif that looks like it was handled by the professionals.

Prep with products
A good blowout starts with the shampoo. If you expose your hair to heat frequently, the Protein Rx Reparative Shampoo by Fekkai not only helps to nourish strands, but the soy and milk protein also strengthens them to prevent future breakage. If your hair tends to fall flat, opt for the Advanced Full Blown Volume Shampoo, which amps up thin tresses for a fuller finished look. An ultra-moisturizing conditioner is also key for a shiny blowout, as excessive heat can leave hair looking like straw. Treat hair to the Ristorativo Di Vita Conditioning Treatment by Borghese, which hydrates brittle strands while transforming the texture for softer styles. Gregory Patterson, a hairstylist at Blow in New York City, told Women's Health magazine that it's important to thoroughly rise out any conditioner for a long-lasting look.

Fight frizz by spritzing in lightweight Serum de Soie Sublimateur by Leonor Greyl, which smoothes the hair shaft without weighing it down for a poof-proof appearance. If your hair is highly unmanageable, opt for Condition Naturelle by Leonor Greyl, which contains protective proteins and seaweed extracts for shine and buoyancy.

Time to dry 
Now you're ready to pick up the hairdryer. Real Simple magazine recommended starting with the bangs when they're still wet. For more volume, hold hair in a round brush vertically above the head, but for a sleek, pin-straight look you'll want to pull hair downward. Next, Real Simple suggested moving to the back sections, which can be harder to perfect, and working forward toward the face. Always keep the blowdryer constantly moving – directing heat in one spot for too long can scorch your hair and cause serious damage.

Preserve and protect
After all that work, you'll likely want to make your blowout last. In Women's Health, Patterson recommended using dry shampoo, which can absorb oil and keep your style looking fresh. He also advised using a clip or a headband instead of an elastic because they won't leave a pesky crimp.

Follow these steps and your hair is bound to blow everyone away.

What to drink for healthier, brighter skin

       
Monday, August 5th, 2013

Healthier, brighter skin now: What to drink

We all know it's important to drink enough water and consume nutrient-dense superfoods for radiant skin. However, experts say that there are other beverages that can provide a bevy of benefits, from fewer fine lines to enhanced elasticity. Here are some drinks you'll want to sip on for a glowing complexion.

Green tea
For maximum skin-boosting advantages, this tea is best consumed hot. Women's Health magazine reported that heat causes the tea to release an antioxidant which not only acts as an anti-inflammatory but can also ward off cancer. The source noted that a study in The Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry determined that drinking between two and six cups a day may help prevent malignancies that result from too much sun exposure.

Oat milk
Some say that eliminating dairy products can improve the skin's appearance. Glamour magazine recommended switching out traditional cow's milk for oat milk, which is available at most supermarkets. The source explained that this alternative has a significant amount of vitamin E and folic acid, both of which are key for healthy skin regeneration.

Nettle tea
Does your skin tend to flare up? Nettle tea might be just the remedy if you are prone to breakouts or eczema, according to Glamour. High levels antioxidants mean the tea may also help rid the skin and body of toxins and free radicals, which tend to speed up the aging process.

Fruit and veggie juice
When you're not in the mood to eat your vegetables, drinking them can provide the same essential nutrients that help brighten and protect skin. Noelle Swatland of GreenLemonade.com told Shape magazine that the right concoctions can help to rid the body of impurities and restore balance to the skin, thus evening out its tone. Cucumbers are her top choice, as they are packed with skin-boosting potassium, magnesium and silica. Not only that, but cucumbers are a whopping 90 percent water, so they're ultra-hydrating. Tomato juice is also an ideal selection, as Glamour pointed out that these fruits contain skin-tightening vitamin C and lycopene, which helps circulation.

Peppermint tea
Stress is a major skin villain. When things are getting tense, unwind with a cup of peppermint tea, which Glamour magazine pointed out has innate soothing effects. There are other benefits as well: The herb can help to clear out the sinuses, relieve a headache and facilitate digestion.

Look alive! Makeup for looking less tired

       
Friday, July 26th, 2013

Look alive! Makeup for looking less tired

On mornings when you're not well rested, all it takes is a few tweaks to your makeup routine to look less tired. While putting on concealer is helpful, it's not enough to cover up the exhaustion – but these tips can help you fake a good night's sleep.

The first step to livening up the face is applying an illuminating foundation to even out the complexion. It's crucial to use the right hue for your skin​ tone, as a too-pale shade could look dull and wash you out. A pop of rosy blush brightens the entire face, which distracts from any shadows under the eyes. Look for a color that has a hint of gold, which will also counteract the blue tones in undereye circles. A shimmering bronzer can also do wonders for adding dimension to the face and making you looking more lively.

Lighten up on eyeshadow application, as a heavy, dramatic or smoky look can actually make eyes look smaller and wearier. Lining the upper lashes with two different hues, such as a deep brown and a vibrant emerald green, can make the whites of your eyes look even brighter.

A softly arched brow lifts the eyelids, drawing attention away from dark circles and puffiness. Brush eyebrows upward and fill them in with a pencil or powder that is two shades lighter than the natural color to appear even more alert.

How to make thinning hair look thicker

       
Wednesday, July 24th, 2013

How to make thinning hair look thicker

Starting to notice a widening part or a more visible scalp? You're not alone: More than 30 million women in the U.S. suffer from hair thinning or loss. Fortunately, this problem can be addressed with the right dietary choices and supplements, hair products and styling tricks.

The first step to thicker hair starts at the scalp. Try Jack Black's True Volume Thickening Shampoo, which is formulated with expansion technology and delivers body-building wheat protein and creatine into the hair shaft to give each strand a fuller appearance. Basil and tea tree oil help to keep the scalp flake free and stimulate the hair follicles for healthy growth, thus minimizing any potential hair loss. Meanwhile, soy protein provides structure for thinning hair, and white lupine revitalizes and strengthens new hair growth.

Next, work in En Root Give Me Volume Conditioner by theBalm, which is infused with bamboo, rice protein and vitamins A, C and E for soft, full, voluminous hair. Work a mousse like the Fekkai Advanced Full Volume Styling Whip through damp hair. The solution packs a powerful plumping complex which can help to boost the fullness of every strand from roots to ends while providing lightweight, all day hold. If you need to fake it till you make it, ESalon recommends opting for a multi-layered haircut or face-framing bangs and getting regular trims to keep hair from looking flat.

By following these steps, you can achieve a fuller, healthier and more voluminous looking mane.

Superfoods for radiant skin

       
Wednesday, July 24th, 2013

Superfoods for radiant skin

You are what you eat, and this adage is no less true for your skin. Whatever your concerns – whether it's a dry complexion, signs of aging, or damage from the sun, your diet can actually make a huge difference. Include these superfoods along with the right skincare products to boost hydration, fuel faster cell turnover and make skin appear younger for the long-term.

Frank Lipman, founder of Eleven-Eleven Wellness Center in New York City, told Allure that the healthy fats in wild salmon can help to pad skin tissue and cell membranes, leaving skin looking plumper. He suggested aiming for two to three servings per week. The monounsaturated fats in avocados can also help skin to retain moisture as well as replenish its own natural oils.

Cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, kale and cabbage are a powerhouse of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants – and they can also reduce the production of free radicals. Redbook reported that raw kale is especially rich in carotenoids, which according to research by the University of Nottingham, gives skin a glow that's even more attractive than a sun tan. Meanwhile, the lycopene in tomatoes is essentially nature's SPF, offering extra protection against the sun's harmful UV rays.

Fruits and vegetables with a high water content, like watermelon and cucumbers, can help hydrate and nourish skin, which is especially important in the dry summer heat. Papaya contains two to three times your daily vitamin C needs – which is key, as Redbook noted that women with diets higher in the vitamin had less wrinkles and younger looking skin.