Beauty, Makeup, Skin Care

Tips on Summer-proofing your makeup

We can all feel the heat and in some cases, humidity, rolling in to kick off the summer. The sun feels great, only not when your makeup begins to melt off your face. You will not only sweat more but your face will produce more oil. Here are some easy tips to help keep your make looking and feeling fresh.

Photo Source
Photo Source

Before applying

Use a oil controlling cleanser and blot before applying.

Try using a clay mask once a week to control oil production.

Use a primer first. They create a barrier between your skin and the foundation. They also help your makeup stay on long. Eye primers are also recommended with eye shadow for the same reason.

Face

Apply foundation sparingly. If you can avoid it don’t apply it at all. If you must apply do so sparingly. Light, sheer color is best. I recommend a tinted moisturizer or a light concealer.

You can use a translucent powder to set your foundation. Powders help absorb extra oil as it’s produced.

After application

Keep a sponge handy to smooth out creases as they appear. Then reset with a light dusting of powder.

Blotting papers are extremely handy and easy to carry around. They are also very inexpensive. If you feel slightly oily use one to stay looking fresh.

Other tips

Skip the heavy lipsticks and use a tinted lip balm or lip gloss.  Going lighter and more subtle on the lips will allow you to play with the bright purples and blues this summer. To get extra staying power you can use a lip primer. Stains are also in this season as they boast staying color. If they are too dry pair them with lip balm.

Use a waterproof or water resistant mascara. They have the staying power and look great for all occasions. To remove them effectively invest in oil free eye make up remover to use before cleansing.

Use these tips to beat the heat and keep looking fantastic. If you have any questions, would like clarification, or have tips of your own please share them. I love hearing from you!

 

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Skin Care

Your skin and Windburn: Tips on treatment and prevention

This weekend I was at a desert motorcycle race up in the mountains where it was windy and cold. When I got home I was burnt out and then I realized my face was literally burned, but not sunburned.  It was from being in the cold wind two full days in a row without protection. I had an idea about what caused it but I wasn’t sure what the best way to treat it was. Your face is hard to protect because you can’t fully cover it up like your neck and hands. Now the questions become what causes windburn, how do you prevent it, and what do you do when it’s too late?

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Photo Source

What is windburn?

Windburn has nothing to do with sunscreen or UV rays, although it can feel and look similar. Cold temperatures and dry air draw the natural moisture out of skin, causing blood vessels towards the top of the skin to dilate, creating a red complexion. Your skin can also peel as a result. Windburn is generally associated with skiers but it can happen anytime of the year, especially in high altitudes.

Treatment

So, what do you when your face is windburned? Your skin will be particularly sensitive to products so make sure you steer clear of products with harsh ingredients. A great product for sensitive skin in general, including windburned skin is Cetaphil Daily Facial Cleanser. You also want to re-moisturize your skin and trusty aloe vera will get the job done.

Prevention

Obviously, the best way to avoid it is not go outside in extreme conditions and if you must, only go out for short periods of time. A good skin care regimen is important because if your skin is properly moisturized to start with the windburn will be less severe. If you are going to be out in those conditions make sure to use a moisturizer with occlusive ingredients. Occlusive ingredients create a layer over your skin to help prevent moisture loss. Beeswax and shea butter are common ingredients that do this.

Even though windburn has nothing to do with UV rays I still want to stress the importance of using sunscreen. I understand not wanting to use the same sunscreen on your face that you do on your body and there are options. A great option for you face is tinted moisturizers with SPF, this will help take care of both kinds of burn. Another option is the increasingly popular CC (color correcting) creams with SPF.

If you found this helpful please share or leave a comment if you have suggestions or questions.

Back to Basics, Skin Care

Back to Basics: What should you look for in a facial mask?

You may have found the perfect combination of cleanser, moisturizer, and serums. However, you may still be lacking a touch of moisture or want softer skin. You are thinking you already apply quite a few products during your morning/evening routine so what else can you do? Facials at spas can be very pricey, especially when done on a regular basis.

At home facial masks may be the answer to your problem. Their possible benefits cover a wide range of needs, all you have to do is identify what you want. Masks blanket the skin, helping the active ingredients be absorbed more deeply. Depending on the mask, it can draw out impurities, eliminate dead cells, moisturize and tighten or tone skin.

Masks are typically worn for 10-15 minutes, depending on the mask. However, some deep moisturizing masks are worn overnight to allow maximum penetration. When applying a mask you should do so on clean skin before you put any moisturizer on. It is also recommended to gently steam your skin over a cup of hot water or pat with a warm washcloth to open the pores up and loosen impurities.

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Best mask by skin type:

1. Dry and/or sensitive skin: A hydrating mask is the only one you should use. Anything else will be too harsh. Chose a cream formula over a clay or exfoliating mask. The purpose is to rejuvenate and protect your skin. One great DIY mask for dry skin is greek yogurt with a teaspoon of honey. The enzymes in the yogurt help remove dry, flaky skin while maintaining your skin’s natural oil balance.

2. Acne prone skin: Avoid using any mask that strips too much moisture. One powerful recommendation is to use oil to fight oil. As the case with oil facial cleansers, masks with oil are beneficial to acne prone skin as the oil bonds with oil to remove the excess. Start with a clay or gel mask, you can even add a little oil to the formula for double the effect.

3. Oily skin: Clay and exfoliating masks are the way to go. The minerals from the clay will leave your face feeling soft and supple, however, they tend to dry your skin out a bit too much. To counteract that use a hydrating mask afterward to add the necessary moisture back into your skin.

4. Combination skin: Use a clay mask on the t zone and a hydrating mask, such as the DIY enzyme mask on the rest of your face. Another twist on the yogurt mask is to mash up pineapple or papaya as the enzymes found in these fruits are great for removing dead skin cells. Your skin may change with the seasons so adjust accordingly.

If you have a favorite DIY mask or mask in general please share or leave a comment with questions or suggestions.

Beauty, Makeup

Mineral powder foundations demystified

Over the past few years there has been a huge increase in products that boast mineral properties that provide health benefits for your skin. bareMinerals is probably one of the most recognizable of these products. The question is do they actually provide any extra benefits to your skin? It is a good question to ask as these products tend to be more expensive and for those on a budget it is a big deal.

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The lowdown on mineral products

One of the reasons mineral products have taken off is they work very well for women with sensitive skin. Mineral makeup tends to have a shorter list of ingredients, leaving out commonly used ingredients such as emollient oils, waxes, fragrances and preservatives. This is great for sensitive skin because the shorter list means less possible reasons for skin irritation. Since it is non-comedogenic it won’t clog pores, which is a plus for acne prone skin.

Mineral powder is typically finer than regular powder and this can be a plus or a minus depending on how you want to look at it. This can help the coverage appear more natural and help control oil throughout the day. The flip-side is it can collect in fine lines and wrinkles, particularly with dry skin, accentuating these features we try to hide. Some types can also be drying.

One important takeaway is if you have sensitive skin and have concerns you should read the label before buying. Some brands have been adding the ingredients back into their powders that were previously removed and branding the products as mineral powders. In reality, these are no different than a regular powder. Look for ingredients such as titanium dioxide and zinc oxide, both are shown to be effective UV protectors. Keep in mind these products do not replace sunscreen.

Is is worth it?

I would have to say yes, mineral powder is worth it if you have sensitive or acne prone skin. I have used it and I do really like it but I tend to use it more during the spring and summer as it can dry out my skin. It provides a great, smooth coverage I don’t see from other powders. I also exclusively use mineral eye shadow and love it.

One thing I want to be clear is it doesn’t replace any of your moisturizers and serums. You skin doesn’t absorb any benefits from the powder, which is one benefit of being non-comedogenic. Your skin doesn’t absorb it and clog pores. Technically, all powder foundations are mineral foundations because they are made of minerals. Ignore the hype and just look for the shortest ingredient list that contains oxides, such as mica and iron oxides, and you should be fine. I highly suggest researching a brand before you buy it to make sure it is what it claims to be.

If you have a favorite brand or found this helpful please share or leave a comment!

Beauty, Skin Care

March Goodie box reveal

I realize it is a little late for March reviews but I wanted to officially introduce beauty product subscription sites. I recently signed up for two sites after seeing a fast moving beauty trend, subscription sampling. It is a great way for companies to get their products out to a lot of people and a great way for us to sample new products before spending big bucks on them to see if they work or not. The ones I decided on are Birchbox and Julep.

Both sites take you through a beauty profile in order to get the information they need to tailor your monthly box to your beauty style. Your box is then put together based on these answers. If you end up not liking the products you can change your profile to fit better with your needs and style.  There is a small cost,  Birchbox is $10 and Julep is $20. Since people are more likely to purchase a product if endorsed by peers, Birchbox and Julep encourage subscribers to post reviews about the products.

Here is a look at what I received from both of the sites in March 2014.

March 2014 Birchbox:

birchbox mar 1

1. Supergoop! – Anti aging serum that creates a weightless UV shield wearable year-round.

2. Air Repair – Natural salve repairs dry, cracked skin anywhere on the body.

3. Skinfix – All-natural balm that quickly repairs and softens severely dry skin – eczema included.

4. theBalm – How ‘Bout Them Apples? cheek and lip cream. A dual purpose cream stain with a hint of shimmer.

5. Mighty Leaf – tea pouches with handpicked blends of organic tea leaves, dried fruit and spices in a biodegradable pouch.

March’s theme was dry skin, as you can see. With winter coming to a close there is no shortage of dry skin to treat. I have  been using the Skinfix and am already seeing a difference in dry patches on my elbows and heels.

March 2014 Julep Maven box:

Jules box march

 

1. Zora – Shimmery, light pink nail polish

2. Myrtle – Bright red nail polish

3. Mighty Nail and Cuticle serum – contains peptides to transform dry and damaged cuticles overnight

The Julep Maven box contains two full-size, early preview nail colors and one beauty product. The nail polish contains Hexanal as well as oxygen technology to strengthen and condition nails. I have used both colors and love them. They are vibrant, go on smooth and are wearing very nicely. I am in the first stages of the cuticle serum so I have no results at this time.

So far I am very happy with both subscriptions. I have already been introduced to some great products I would not have known about otherwise. If you subscribe to something like this and use the products, I highly encourage you to write reviews. It lets the company know what you think and your unique perspective may help out a fellow beauty lover before purchase. Stay tuned for how the rest of the products perform based on their descriptions.

If you found this helpful please share or leave a comment if you have suggestions or questions.

Skin Care

Oil facial cleansers: How they work

While I was doing research on a different topic, I stumbled upon oil facial cleansers. I haven’t seen them before and was intrigued. Isn’t’ the whole point of cleansing, using serums, and moisturizing to help control the amount of oil your skin produces? I was surprised by what I found out: using a oil cleanser might be just as good or better than your current cleanser.

Fresh and lovely woman washing her face
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How?

You might be asking how is that possible? Especially if you have combination/oily skin. It turns out oil can be a very effective way to fight blemishes and extra oil production. Traditional acne cleansers can be harsh, stripping away too much natural oil leaving skin too dry and prone to over producing oil. This can create a vicious cycle of harsher products and more of them.

Oils bond with the excess oil on your face, gently removing it along with dirt and daily toxins. Water doesn’t bond with oil so cleansers use certain chemicals to remove excess oil. Research shows that oil bonds with oil, making it ideal for gently cleansing skin. This particular bond has a deep pore cleansing effect. However, you don’t want to use just any oil, plant based are the best and certain formulas are used for different skin types.

Other benefits

One prominent cause of breakouts, besides picking, is skin dehydration. This creates microscopic cracks in the skin, giving bacteria a way in. Oil cleansers can help maintain skin’s moisture, creating a barrier to bacteria and outside elements. If you are worried about pimples make sure to pick a non-comedogenic oil cleanser and rinse off completely. Certain formulas provide antioxidants, helping fade pigmentation and scarring. Each formula will provide different benefits.

How to apply

Oil cleansers should be applied to slightly moist skin, not wet. This allows the oil in the cleanser to bond better to the facial oils, makeup and dirt on your skin. Using the cleanser, give your face a massage to clean skin and unblock pores. After a couple of minutes, thoroughly rinse your skin. There should be no residue and the cleanser should be completely removed.

Oil cleansers are another product that is gaining recognition in the skin care world. It’s not a fad and will be around for a while. If your current cleanser isn’t working out for you, maybe think about giving an oil cleanser a try. The cost is minimal if it helps your skin. This type of cleansing can be as beneficial for dry skin as oily/combination skin. The end goal for you is clear, healthy, hydrated skin and I want you to have all the options.

If you found this helpful please share or leave a comment if you have suggestions or questions.

Skin Care

Facial Cleansing Brushes: Are they worth it?

A newer trend in facial cleansing is battery operated facial cleansing brushes. Now, the brushes have been on the market for a few years but have seen a recent surge in popularity. They feature vibrating heads that are supposed to clean and exfoliate skin better than a wash cloth or by hand. One major question to ask is are they worth it?

Having not used one myself, I searched for accounts of others who have added them to their skin care regimen. The initial reports are very favorable. Users were boasting clearer, healthier looking skin due to the brushes exfoliating properties, quickly removing the makeup and daily buildup.

After daily use over an extended period of time users experienced irritated, red skin and multiple breakouts. Could the facial cleansing brush be causing these issues? After consulting dermatologists users realized it was indeed the brushes. Overuse and poor maintenance can lead to excessive dryness, irritation, redness and sensitivity. However, does this make the facial brushes unusable?

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The answer is no. While breakouts can be caused by overuse and not properly cleaning the brush, there are many benefits. A study done by Lancôme revealed women who used a facial cleansing brush on half their face felt the side they used the brush on was more toned, pores appeared smaller, and skin looked brighter. So far so good for the brush.

In the study women also used a serum after cleansing and were seeing results in two weeks that were normally seen in four. This is attributed to the exfoliating properties of the brush, which effectively removed impurities, dirt and makeup to let the serum better penetrate the skin. The brushes also increase blood circulation. These results were echoed in a study done by Olay.

After reviewing the studies and user accounts there is a definite upside to facial cleansing brushes. However, they are expensive to buy and maintain. Considering the growing number of them on the market this trend is here to stay. There is no use in buying expensive serums and moisturizers if they don’t get where they need to go, your skin. This is accomplished by use of the brush or microdermabrasion, it’s up to you.

If you decide to use the facial cleansing brush, proper maintenance cannot be stressed enough. Most of the issues experienced with them initially was the lack of cleaning the brush. Recommended cleaning techniques include anti-microbial soap and water, soak the head in alcohol for about one minute, and make sure to thoroughly rinse after use. If you have sensitive skin begin by using the brush every other day for about a minute, 20 seconds on each side so you don’t overdo it.

The next question is do you need an expensive brush or will a more modest model work? Research states the less expensive brushes cleanse just as well as the more expensive ones. The advantages to a more expensive brush are higher quality bristles so you don’t have to replace the heads as often, a charger instead of batteries and a timer so you don’t cleanse too long.

If you found this helpful please share or leave a comment if you have suggestions or questions.