Archive for the ‘Hands and Nails’ Category

Promoting your nail health (and leaving them be)

Saturday, March 12th, 2011

Promoting your nail health (and leaving them be)If you’re like a lot of us, the day-to-day stresses of everyday life may inspire all kinds of unruly nail-biting habits and cuticle abuse. And, on top of everything else, we’re just starting to see the light at the end of the long winter tunnel, a season which isn’t particularly known for being friendly to our hands.

Perhaps it’s time to make a resolution, don’t you think? With a few simple steps and expert tips, we can all start treating our manos a bit better. After all, who doesn’t want to be able to show off gorgeous, manicured hands on a regular basis?

1. Every good manicure starts with a soothing soak – attending to your skin is an important first step to getting those hands into shape.

While every inch of your skin generally requires extra TLC in the winter, nothing gets a harder beating than your hands. If you’ve been suffering from dry, cracked knuckles, it’s crucial that you begin applying lotion to them at least once a day. Carrying ultra-rich hand creams in your purse is also a good idea if you find yourself needing access to the stuff at all hours of the day.

Look for lotions that are specially designed to treat the sensitive skin on your hands. L’Occitane Mini Honey and Lemon Hand Cream will make taking care of yourself all the more intoxicating with its fresh, delicious scent and ultra-effective shea butter.

Cuticles also need special attention in the winter, and tending to them well can help prevent the temptation to chew them up.

“I’ve had a number of nail gurus tell me that oil is better than lotion,” Genevieve Monsma, beauty director of MORE magazine, told CNN.

Monsma recommends applying nail oil to the cuticles before bed or before putting on your gloves in the morning in order to give enough time for the product to sink in (olive oil works just as well, too).

2. For those with some rugged-looking cuticles, keeping your nail beds in shape can make the difference between promoting your bad habit and having flawless, healthy nails.

Toronto nail salon owner Leeanne Colley told The Globe and Mail that avoiding “wet” and “soak” manicures may be a better solution for the cuticle-afflicted. Colley recommends applying a gel cuticle remover on dry nails and letting it sit for about 30 seconds or so. Then, gently push back the skin with an orange stick wrapped in cotton.

For healing purposes, a bit of special cuticle salve may help you with any existing damage on your hands. Colley recommends looking for products that contain grapeseed or almond oil.

3. If you’ve been tearing up your cuticles, chances are you never let your nails get too long either. Some people like having short, manageable fingertips, but if you’re longing for a little extra length, there are ways you can promote your nail growth.

A high-protein diet can be an unexpected route toward faster growth, according to OneIndia Living. Fish and lean meats can provide the most noticeable results, and vegetarians can benefit from some Vitamin D supplements or protein-rich legumes.

The news source also recommends massaging nails with olive, coconut or sesame oil. This is especially good therapy for anyone that does a lot of dish-washing throughout the day.

If you haven’t been wearing gloves this winter, you should probably get on that right away. Nails can crack without the proper circulation and warmth, which doesn’t do much for your manicure. One way to help prevent this is by wearing some thin polish at all times, according to the news source.

Of course, a little outside help never hurt anyone. Use a special nail treatment such as Talika Nail Regenerator Serum for extra nourishment and healing power.

The key to youthful looking hands

Wednesday, January 26th, 2011

The key to youthful looking handsWhile many women spend time and money on age-defying products for their faces, it's important to take care of your hands. But how should you go about making your hands appear more youthful?

According to Deborah Sarnoff, a clinical professor of dermatology at New York University, it's not that difficult, as long as you use the right products, O magazine reports.

To treat hyperpigmentation (also known as brown spots or age spots), use a bleaching cream to fade the discolored areas. At night, apply a hand cream that contains retinol, such as Dermalogica AGE Smart Multivitamin Hand and Nail Treatment.

Sarnoff reminds women that SPF is not just for your face – or the summer time. She recommends using an SPF 30 sunscreen on your hands year-round to keep new age spots from appearing.

Finally, don't underestimate the best hand protection of all – gloves and lotion.

"Wear cotton-lined or rubber gloves when you're working around the house and leather gloves when you're outside," the publication reports. "And moisturize like crazy."

The perfect winter pedicure

Wednesday, January 26th, 2011

The perfect winter pedicureWhile many women only indulge in pedicures during sandal season, treating your feet in the cold months too can be a great pick-me-up. However, a winter pedicure requires a little more TLC than a summertime one.

According to, begin by exfoliating your feet in the shower with a pumice stone, but wait until the end of your shower so that your feet have had ample time to soak (at least five to 10 minutes). Dry off and use a lotion with vitamin E, such as June Jacobs Green Tea and Cucumber Hand and Foot Treatment.

"[Vitamin E is] an antioxidant, so it protects skin from various sources of pollution, UV rays, stress damage, drugs and toxins, all of which can trigger cell-damaging free radicals," nail technician Mara Taskin told the news source. "Plus it just helps keep skin and nails healthy and supple."

You should also look for a treatment that contains glycolic acid, like Exuviance Heel Repair, to remove calluses. Massage cuticle oil into your nail beds and use a cotton-covered orange stick to push back cuticles.

Finally, apply a base coat, two coats of nail polish and a top coat. Taskin recommends using a light-colored lacquer – dark polish is trickier to apply as the slightest mistakes are more noticeable.

Treat yourself to an at-home spa day

Tuesday, December 28th, 2010

Treat yourself to an at-home spa dayMany people who go home for the holidays spend the week after Christmas taking a break from work and relaxing with family. And now that the stress of the holiday season is behind you, why not treat yourself to some at-home beauty treatments? It's a great way to look and feel your best before New Year's Day.

According to Allure magazine, you can easily recreate a spa-quality pedicure in your own abode, as long as you have the right products. L'Occitane Lavender Harvest Fizzy Bath Pebbles will make any foot soak more enjoyable, and a rich moisturizer like Get Fresh Rescue Me Intensive Foot Repair Creme will keep your skin conditioned during the dry winter weather.

You'll also need the appropriate tools, and Tweezerman Pedicure Solution Kit provides you with everything you need, from a pumice stone to cuticle clippers. Finally, don't forget to apply a great nail polish to make your feet look extra pretty.

"If the cold weather has left your skin looking drab, an at-home moisturizing treatment can be just the trick to restore brightness," the news source suggests. Products like Dermalogica Skin Hydrating Masque or Exuviance Rejuvenating Treatment Masque, will condition skin and make your complexion glow.

A winter beauty kit makes a great gift for her

Wednesday, December 22nd, 2010

A winter beauty kit makes a great gift for herFinding the perfect present for a loved one can sometimes leave you scratching your head until the very last minute. If you still need a gift for your mom, sister or best friend, why not put together a winter beauty survival kit?

Assembling this set is relatively easy, as long as you know which products are necessary. Cold, harsh winds can wreak havoc on skin, so pick up uber-hydrating lotions, such as L'Occitane Shea Butter Hand Cream and L'Occitane 24 Hours Ultra Rich Face Cream. Don't forget the lips either. Jane Iredale Lip Drink SPF15 will condition lips and protect against sun damage.

Because skin tends to be paler in the wintertime, select a few cosmetics to add color to your complexion. A sheer bronzer will infuse your face with warmth and will appear natural-looking whether you're in front of the fire place or outside walking in a winter wonderland.

Red lipstick is a quick and easy way to brighten your face, but make sure to choose a creamy, moisturizing formula, such as Jane Iredale PureMoist LipColour SPF 18.

Package these items in a makeup bag, and you've just created the perfect holiday gift!

Three beauty products to keep at the office

Wednesday, November 24th, 2010

Three beauty products to keep at the officeWhile some women keep a few go-to beauty products in their car and others carry a small cosmetic case in their purse, ladies who spend the majority of their time at the office may want to stash a few necessities in their desks.

Though there are a seemingly limitless amount of products on the market, not all are necessary to keep in your workspace. But a few items – dry shampoo, lip balm and black eyeliner – may be worth storing.

"My fine hair tends to go limp after a few hours, and [dry shampoo] give my roots a shot of volume," Allure editorial assistant Sophia Panych told the publication. "And on days when I skip shampooing, it's necessary that I have one of these to soak up oil and keep my hair looking refreshed."

Lip balm is another key item, as we have yet to find a lip color that looks good on cracked, flaking lips. A multi-tasking lip balm, such as L'Occitane Pure Shea Butter Apricot Flower, will moisturize your pout and can also hydrate peeling cuticles and dry hands and feet.

Finally, analysts at Allure recommend keeping a black eyeliner pencil nearby, as lining your lower waterline is a quick way to brighten tired eyes.

Prepare for your wedding – while you sleep!

Friday, November 12th, 2010

Prepare for your wedding - while you sleep!While girls who are planning their weddings can often feel overwhelmed by massive to-do lists, there is one component that ladies should not neglect – their beauty routine! Not only will the bride be the center of attention on her big day, her look will be immortalized in the hundreds of wedding pictures taken throughout the celebration.

However, brides-to-be usually have their days filled with appointments with various vendors and professionals. Luckily, according to, there are a few beauty treatments that can be done while you sleep.

“Overnight’s the ideal time to do teeth-whitening treatments because you produce less saliva when sleeping, which means less fluid to wash away the active ingredients,” the news source reports. “You’ll also be less aware of any stinging sensations, which some people experience.”

Additionally, women can fight dry skin as they snooze. Before bedtime, apply a rich moisturizer, such as L’Occitane Shea Butter Ultra Rich Body Cream, to your hands and feet and slip on a pair of thick socks and gloves. When you wake up, your skin will feel smooth and look flawless!

Keep skin cool as the season changes

Monday, September 27th, 2010

Keep skin cool as the season changesWhen preparing your beauty routine for the transition from summer to fall, there is more for women to be aware of than simply a change in color palettes. As the temperatures drop, ladies who drink hot beverages and take hotter-than-usual showers should remember to keep their skin cool.

"Anything that raises your body temperature – be it spicy foods, hot showers, or drinking steamy beverages – can lead to inflammation and aggravate your skin," Dr Jessica Wu, a cosmetic dermatologist in Los Angeles, Califonia, writes on the Beauty Counter Blog. "This can cause problems like acne, wrinkles, and redness over time."

To reduce these risks, Wu suggests washing one's face and body with lukewarm water and letting hot drinks cool down a bit before sipping, and avoiding exercises that raise one's body temperature to the extreme, such as hot yoga.

Women can also use products specifically formulated to cool skin, such as L'Occitane Mint Verbena Cooling Powered Foot Gel and L'Occitane Verbena Cooling Hand Cream Gel, which are designed to refresh sweaty and swollen-feeling skin.

Brides should remember to treat their hands before the ceremony

Friday, July 30th, 2010

Brides should remember to treat their hands before the ceremonyWhile brides-to-be often focus on their gown, hair and makeup before their upcoming nuptials, few may take time to think about an extremely important feature – their hands! Women who are about to say ‘I do’ may want to treat themselves to a manicure – as soon as rings are exchanged, guests will be glancing at your hands all night.

To keep your skin soft, apply a rich hand cream each day, in the weeks leading up to the ceremony. Ladies who desire a more advanced moisturizing treatment can use special gloves designed to provide intensive hydration. Borghese Spa Mani Moisture Restoring Gloves feature a blend of oils and vitamins to help rehydrate and rejuvenate skin.

When selecting a nail polish, opt for a light hue. “Under no circumstances should you have color on your hands,” Ji Baek, owner of New York City’s Rescue Beauty Lounge spas, told Allure. Lippmann Collection offers a great set of sheer, light nail lacquers, aptly named The Princess Bride Collection.

However, ladies who love candy-colored nail polish can opt for a bright pedicure. “If you want to show your wild side, put color on your toenails,” Baek suggested, “but not too bright there, either – a nice dark pink or classic red.”ADNFCR-3538-ID-19915604-ADNFCR

Allure recommends ways to keep hands looking young

Tuesday, July 13th, 2010

Allure recommends ways to keep hands looking youngWhile many women focus on their makeup, hairstyle and wardrobe to keep them looking young, experts at Allure magazine warn that ladies might often neglect taking care of their hands.

“Even the most diligent skin-care junkie can be guilty of forgetting about her hands,” the magazine reports. “But why spend all that time saving face when your hands tell the world your real age?” Luckily, the news source reveals four insider tips to keep hands looking (and feeling) great.

Each morning, women should slather their hands with a rich hand cream that boasts a high SPF level. Lippmann Collection Rich Girl Hand Cream SPF 25 offers great sun protection, and the moisture-rich formula includes conditioning ingredients like shea butter, avocado and jojoba oils.

At night, ladies can apply a retinol product to keep skin firm and evenly toned, such as Replenix Retinol Plus Smoothing Serum, which is available in four strengths to accommodate all skin types.

The publication also recommends that women use a facial scrub on the backs of hands every two weeks, and Neova Microdermabrasion Scrub can help buff away dead skin and keep hands looking brighter and healthier.

Finally, experts suggest that those who suffer from age spots and discoloration should dab on Murad Age Spot & Pigment Lightening Gel, a two percent hydroquinone formula, for younger-looking hands.ADNFCR-3538-ID-19886269-ADNFCR