The quality and type of make-up brushes make a world of difference in the overall application of make-up. Therefore, it is imperative to clean your make-up utensils regularly if you want the best result. By neglecting to bathe your brushes, you are essentially just applying dirt, oil, and bacteria onto your skin with every brush stroke. Not to mention compromising the overall look of your make-up application. Your colors may look distorted or the buildup in your dirty brushes will make it difficult to get a smooth finish. If you are willing to spend time and money on skincare products and make-up as well as brushes then be sure to take care of your investments and your skin. You may be using an expensive, high end blush, but if the applicator is dirty then you are not getting your money’s worth. Cleaning your brushes is quick and easy and should be done weekly. You can find brush cleaners at department stores, drug stores, and beauty supply stores. Or you can make your own! Combine 2 parts water and 1 part vinegar, dip your brushes in the mixtures and rinse clean in warm water. Most importantly, be sure NOT to share your brushes with anyone. Sharing your make-up is like passing around bacteria from one person to another and potentially infections especially with eye shadow and mascara. Sharing these items is similar to sharing a toothbrush. Ewww! If you want to take care of your skin then you must take care of what you put on it! Be sure to bathe your brushes!
For many people, a facial treatment is a luxury and often only scheduled for a special occasion or received as a gift. One of my goals as an Esthetician is to educate a client on the importance of a healthy skincare regime which includes monthly visits for professional treatment.
Of course I understand that the expense of incorporating these treatments into your monthly budget can cause a dent in your wallet. However, if you take into consideration the long term benefits of skincare health and maintenance, you will find it is quite comparable to many other activities and luxuries that you are willing to make the investment for. For example, many people pay a monthly fee for a gym membership. This is probably because you feel that fitness and a trim, healthy physique are important to you and therefore, you are willing to invest in your overall health and appearance. Ladies, you may have a shopping budget every month that allows you to splurge on a new pair of shoes or a cocktail dress. Well, I encourage you to look at your skin with the same significance and think about how preserving the health of your skin is a viable and essential part of your overall wellbeing. Aside from the core benefit, receiving monthly facial treatments allow you quality time for rest and relaxation, which is another vital aspect of your overall health.
Realize that investing in your skincare health is not about vanity and should not be disregarded. Your skin is the largest organ of the body and serves as a shield against viruses, bacteria, and other environmental factors. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States. That statistic alone is worth taking your skincare health seriously and making a conscious decision to make the investment. You will thank yourself later. 🙂
My inspiration for this post comes directly from my overwhelming feeling of stress at the moment. So many things to do and not enough hours in the day. Personally, I am balancing a full time marketing job, running a day spa, as well as maintaining responsibilities as the Co-President of my sorority alum club, not to mention making time for friends and family. However, the fact of the matter is that most of us have a million things going on and we are all busy. So how do you keep yourself from screaming at the top of your lungs? Well here are some little de-stress tips that will keep your skin clear and your mind sane…
Take a walk: I know, you can barely find time to get all your obligations taken care of much less schedule time for a walk. However, it is necessary. Even for five minutes, taking a short walk will instantly allow you to separate yourself from a stressful environment and it gives you an opportunity to think clearly.
Exercise: I think a good workout is one of the best ways to destress. You can clear your mind and gather your thoughts while on the treadmill and just the act of working out will put you in a better mood. After all, Elle Woods said it best, “Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. Happy people just don’t shoot their husbands.”
Take a bath: Again, another great way to destress is to create your own private spa experience. Light some candles, play some peaceful music, add essential oils and bubbles to your bath and sit back and relax. Even for just a few minutes, this will instantly stimulate your senses and put you at ease as well as soften your skin.
Massage your ears: Sounds weird huh? Actually parts of your ears have tiny reflex points that can relax specific areas of your body. I always include an ear massage in the facials I give because it is an instant sensation of relaxation for the body. Give it a try.
Take a mental health day: Sometimes you need to take a day off from all your normal chaotic activities for a mental health day. My parents were firm believers in this and therefore I am too. You may not feel sick, but taking care of yourself and your stress level is a viable cause to call into work and nurture yourself back from stress overload.
Know your priorities: Making a list of your priorities puts things into perspective in regards to what you need to take care of immediately and what can wait. This will also help you stay organized and budget your time.
Remember the stress you’re feeling internally usually ends up showing itself on your skin. By maintaining a healthy body and lifestyle you will essentially be caring for your skin as well. People with high stress levels show more signs of ageing than those who are able to keep their stress to a minimum.
We have all had days when you see a friend, family member, colleague, etc and the first thing they say to you is, “You look tired.” Most people take offense to this assuming what they really mean is, “gosh, you look awful.” However, a busy schedule, lack of sleep, and stress can all cause us to not quite look as alert as usual. So here are some tips on keeping your appearance fresh and well rested, even if you’ve pulled an all night study session, a night on the town, or a restless night’s sleep.
A sure sign of tired eyes is puffiness. To relieve this unfortunate symptom, apply a cold compress for a few minutes. You can even apply a cool, wet tea bag to the eyes. The antioxidants and caffeine in tea will relieve inflammation and dark circles.
For dark circles, apply concealer on the under eye area for an instant brightening effect. If dark circles are an ongoing issue for you, get an eye cream that includes Vitamin K. This will assist in diminishing dark circles in the long run.
Most importantly, make an effort to get the proper amount of rest each night to avoid “looking tired.” Remember it’s not just about appearances; you must take care of yourself inside and out. So keep the all-nighters to a minimum so you can feel as refreshed and rested as you look.
You have probably heard Tyra Banks shamelessly coin the phrase and teach the technique of “smizing” to her ANTM contestants. Tyra will tell you that it is the art of smiling with your eyes. Go ahead and give it a try. It reminds me of a squint and glare. 🙂 Well, while others may look silly attempting this sultry look, I can tell you what eye shadow colors correspond with your eye color and how to make them smize on their own.
Brown Eyed Girls: Brown eyes are the most versatile when it comes to shade collections. You can pretty much pull anything off. From cool blues (however, I generally think blue eye shadow is a no no) and greens to warm champagnes and bronzes, all of these colors will enhance beautiful brown eyes.
Green Goddesses: Shades in bronze, espresso, champagne, gold, and taupe will always make green eyes pop. However, avoid blue shades (you should anyway). Even Pink tones will enhance a green eye. Kinda like blue, you have to be careful with this one. You don’t want to look like you have a case of pink eye. Try to find a pink shade with a gold undertone.
Baby Blues: Blue eyes generally look good with cool tones like pale pinks and purples. They also look great in a dark blue/navy shade (the exception to my no blue rule) but they can also look radiant with warm colors like browns and khaki.
This is for the Gen Y crowd. We should all be so thankful to our baby boomer parents for experimenting with poor skincare habits (i.e. baby oil and sunbathing). At least they have the excuse, “we just didn’t know back then.” However, our generation knows better than to repeat the same skincare mistakes they made. What we must remember is that it is much easier to prevent skin damage than it is to repair it. So, my advice is to start your anti-ageing regimen early. Eye cream should be your first anti-ageing initiative. This is a great product to begin using as a teenager. The skin around your eyes is very sensitive and therefore shows the first signs of ageing. Remember to always use a moisturizer and sunscreen on a daily basis. Practicing this skincare ritual regularly will result in balanced, younger looking skin.
Cosmetics are a multibillion dollar industry with hundreds of brands and products available to consumers. With products ranging in price from extremely economical to outrageously expensive, how are you supposed to know what items to splurge on and when to skimp? Well here is my take on items that you should indulge in and the ones that are not worth the mark up.
Items to splurge on:
Foundation/Powder: I think its important to invest in a higher quality foundation and/or face powder. After all, these items are applied to the entire face and a cheaply made product filled with preservatives may cause breakouts or other skin irritations.
Suggestions: I am loving 100% Pure Cosmetics! All of their products are all natural and made with real fruit and vegetable pigments. Its like applying antioxidents directly to your skin. I recommend their powder foundation. I used to skip foundation and powder all together but since I discovered this product I use it everyday and I know my skin is being taken care of.
Eye Shadow: I have mixed feelings about drug store eye shadows and expensive, designer brands. For the most part I do believe that you should invest in some good shades of eye shadow opposed to cheaper ones. After all, if you experience oiliness throughout the day and creases on your eye lids, you may want to consider splurging on eye shadow that will assist in combating those issues.
Suggestions: Bare Minerals. These cosmetics glide evenly onto the skin and they have beautiful shades.
Items to skimp on:
Mascara: I once purchased a $36 mascara at Sephora thinking that it would make my lashes longer, thicker, and curvier than the drug store brands. Unfortunately that was not the case. It did however dry out and clump much faster than the drug store brands I had used previously. So, I would definitely skimp on this item.
Suggestions: I love Maybeline’s Lash Stiletto. I did notice drastic length with this item. I also like Maybeline’s Full & Soft mascara for volume. I always apply two different kinds of mascara at once. One for length and one for volume.
Eyeliner: I had the same experience with expensive eyeliner as I did with the expensive mascara. Just not worth it.
Suggestions: I always buy Jordana mascara from Walgreens. It is $2 and I love it! I usually buy several at a time just so I always have them on hand. I prefer basic black, however, for you daring, experimental make-up artists, they have all kinds of colors to choose from like blue, black, green, gray, etc.
Lipstick/Gloss: I think when purchasing lipstick or gloss, products priced middle of the road are the way to go. Super cheap lipsticks and gloss often appear much different on your mouth than they do on the tube and may require frequent re-application or touch ups.
Suggestions: I think you should look for a lipstick/gloss that has spf in it and/or one that is ultra moisturizing. I have used Avon lipsticks before priced between $5 and $10 and I was very pleased. They have tons of shades to choose from and they have several that focus on hydration, longevity, and protection.
So there you have it. You don’t need to have a make-up bag full of top of the line products. Choose wisely where you are willing to splurge and when it is not necessary.
I must admit that during my high school days I was a bit of a fake bake fanatic. Under the impression that I would look more attractive if I were a few shades darker, I made weekly visits to the tanning bed. Even after experiencing several tanning bed disasters like raccoon eyes (ya know when the goggles leave rings around your eyes) and then of course miscalculating the correct amount of exposure time and then walking out of the tanning salon a nice crimson shade of burnt!
However, because I attended Eshtetics school at the age of 18, I was able to get the sense knocked into me at a fairly early age and since then, I have sworn off tanning beds and I can probably count on one hand the times since that I have even layed out in the natural sun in an effort to attain the supposedly better, darker shade of myself.
Even though we all know how bad tanning beds are for you, people still continue to make their weekly or daily visits. Well if the cancer possibilties aren’t scary enough, perhaps the drastic effects on your skin will convince you to lay off the bulbs a bit. After continuous exposure to the sun or the equivalent, your skin will become more wrinkly, dehydrated, and appear leathery. It may be easy to dismiss these facts now, but in time once the repercussions start to surface you may have regrets.
So folks, embrace your pale, pasty selves and stay away from the dark side of tanning beds!
When I began my college career at the University of New Mexico in 2003, I had just completed my Esthetics program in the interim of high school graduation and college commencement. I immediately joined the fabulous sorority, Pi Beta Phi, where my esthetics talents were embraced and appreciated by the 70 plus girls I called my sisters. It wasn’t long before I had girls knocking on my door in the Pi Phi house requesting assistance with an embarrassing pimple. Of course it was my pleasure to assist them.
The one thing that I noticed from these girls and most people who attempt to perform their own blemish extractions for that matter, is that they are doing it all wrong! Some skincare advisors may caution you from attacking your blemishes, however, I know that is a little unrealistic to assume that you have the discipline to just let the pimple the size of jupiter leisurely linger on your face. So, my outlook on the issue is to go ahead and perform the minor surgery necessary to boost the healing process.
Its all in the technique. First of all, stop using your dirty fingers! Using your fingers to extract blemishes only spreads bacteria and the friction from your nails may potentially puncture the skin leaving a scab in place of the pimple. The primary tools used in the proper extraction process are q-tips. Use the soft heads of the q-tips to apply pressure to the blemish area. Remember that you want to push down and up so the fluid in the pimple is extracted properly. Don’t just push down. This will make is more difficult and may cause inflammation. If you do not have access to q-tips at least use a kleenex or gauze to wrap around your fingers before you attempt the extraction. Once the bacteria is successfully extracted onto the q-tips, it makes for easy disposal. No mess, no bacteria on your hands, and your skin will feel much less stressed than when you attack it with your bacteria infested fingers. Happy popping!
Fall is officially here! Like the changing colors of foliage and temperature modifications, your skin goes through seasonal transformations of its own. There is no better time than the present to treat yourself to a suitable skincare regime and get healthy, luminous skin for the fall. I have been an Esthetician for seven years and I have worked with and personally used more skincare product lines than I can remember. However, the one product line that was most influential and is my product line of choice is Image Skincare. I have included specific products from this company in my suggestions below. I encourage you to give em a try and see if you find your skin healthier, more balanced, and hydrated.
For starters, you must acquire the skincare basics: Cleanser, Exfoliant, Serum, Eye Cream, Moisturizer, Sunscreen. I know that seems like quite a collection of products for a daily skincare routine, but believe me your skin will thank you for the extra attention. Let me break down the importance and the specific role each of these products play in the overall health of your skin.
Cleanser: Perhaps the staple in your skincare routine. It is important to choose a cleanser that corresponds with your skin type (i.e. dry/sensitive skin-cream cleanser, oily/acneic skin-foaming/gel cleanser, etc.). The purpose of the cleanser is to remove dirt, oil, make-up, and bacteria settling on the surface of the skin.
Suggestions: Image Skincare products have several cleansers that accommodate varying skin types. Try the Ormedic Cleanser. This gentle balancing cleanser lifts away make-up and impurities. It balances the ph of your skin and eliminates the need for a toner. A harmonizing blend of french chamomile, green tea and rich mango pulp deliver essential nutrients to restore the skin’s natural balance.
Exfoliant: It is my belief that everyone who implements an exfoliant into their skincare routine will immediately see the benefits of this product. The purpose of this product is to remove the layer of dead skin cells that accumulates on the skin’s surface. Exfoliants come in varying textures. Many exfoliants include buffing beads or grains that slough away debris. There are chemical exfoliants that include alpha and beta hydroxy acids that work to dissolve dead surface cells and lower the skin’s ph level revealing smoother, more luminous skin.
Suggestions: Image Ageless Total Resurfacing Masque is an exfoliating blend of glycolic and salicylic acids that resurface the skin, gently sloughing off dead cells. A lightening blend diminishes dark spots.
Serum: The use of a serum in your daily skincare routine is an anti-ageing must have. The purpose of this product is to add a concentrated dose of ingredients specific to your skincare concerns (i.e. Vitamin C, Hyaluronic Acid, Alpha Hydroxy Acids, etc.). This should be applied after your cleanser and exfoliant but before your moisturizer.
Suggestions: Image Skincare offers several highly effective serums to incorporate into your daily skincare regimen. After all, those of you who reside in drier climates know that your skin is often thirsty for hydration due to lack of humidity in the air. Using a serum is the perfect product to combat harsh, dry climates. I recommend the Vital C Hydrating Anti-Ageing serum from Image Skincare. This pharmaceutical grade Vitamin C serum immediately minimizes and soothes the visible effects of environmentally damaged skin. Vitamins A, C, E and antioxidants nourish the skin to create healthy, youthful, glowing skin.
Eye Cream: I think eye cream is the most important anti-ageing product to implement at an early age. The skin around your eyes is much more sensitive than the rest of the skin on your face and therefore is the first area to show signs of ageing.
Suggestions: Image Vital C Hydrating Eye Recovery Gel is a scientifically advanced hydrating ani-ageing gel. It contains a blend of nourishing antioxidants that reduce the appearance of fine lines and prevent the breakdown of collagen. Vitamin K diminishes dark circles.
Moisturizer: Moisturizer is a key product in everyone’s skincare regime that must not be ignored. The purpose of this product is to hydrate, deliver nutrients to the skin, protect against harsh environmental conditions and to rebalance the overall skin condition.
Suggestions: Image Skincare Ormedic Bio-Peptide Creme is an organic blended bio-peptide creme that delivers essential anti-ageing nutrients and vitamins to the skin. Organic Japanese Green Tea, mango shea butter, apricot and cucumber restores and balances the skin.
Sunscreen: There is no excuse for skipping this step. We are full aware of the damage one can acquire from over-exposure of the sun. So, make sunscreen your absolute skincare essential. Research shows that 90% of wrinkles are caused by the sun’s harsh ultraviolet light and sun damage is the number one cause for premature ageing.
Suggestions: Image Skincare offers Tinted Solar Defence Organic SPF 30. This sunscreen is ideal because it works to prevent sun damage as well as providing moisture and a hint of color to even out skin tone. This physical UVA/UVB broad spectrum daily moisturizer is enriched with essential vitamins and antioxidants that prevent free radical damage and preserves skin hydration for the entire day.
Now that you know the importance of these vital skincare products and their role in preserving and nourishing your skin, start gathering these skincare essentials. Like many products I mentioned above, some play the role of multiple products in one. For example, the Tinted Solar Defense Organic SPF 30 is a moisturizer and sun protectant in one. The Ormedic Cleanser I recommended is a cleanser and a toner in one. Finding products that kill two birds with one stone will not only make your skincare routine more efficient, but may also be more cost effective as well.