Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Quick and Easy Beauty Tips!

I know you're busy. We all are. BUT.. here are a few quick and easy beauty tips to add to your routine to freshen up your look with almost no effort.

--Brighten your teeth with baking soda and peroxide
In 4th grade, I sat at the end of a hopscotch court (I had to google that, but wikipedia says it's a court). Needless to say, I have some fake teeth because hopscotch involves THROWING ROCKS. I thought I needed a whole new set of choppers to see teeth that didn't resemble corn on the cob after rocking (I'm sorry) these fake teeth for the last 20+ years. Instead of $2,000 - how about $2?

Try this: wet your toothbrush with a small amount of hydrogen peroxide, put a couple tablespoons of baking soda in a small bowl. Dip your damp toothbrush into the baking soda. GENTLY scrub your teeth in circular motions. Rinse your mouth with water, or follow with a regular brushing with toothpaste. 1x/week

--Deep condition your hair at night
My ends are DRY AS A BONE, Y'ALL. I've been bleaching and coloring and ombreing and balayaging my hair for years. To combat the ill effects, I've been known to slick on a little coconut oil on the ends, and tie my hair back into a loose braid. If you tend to have breakouts, you will want to keep the coconut oil to a minimum in case some transfers to your pillow case. If you have dry skin, get your groove on. You can even massage it into your scalp. Just make sure you have plenty of time to shampoo it all out the next morning before you have any planned activities (trust me).

--Try a silk pillowcase
Fine lines and wrinkles and split ends can be minimized by switching from your standard cotton pillow case to a silk pillowcase. The slickness of the fabric helps you to slide around a little better instead of gripping to the cotton, causing creasing and snagging hair and skin. There are so MANY options to choose from out there, from ones containing copper, to antibacterial pillowcases that are perfect for those of us who are more acne prone! This is a very popular trend right now and I don't think it's going anywhere anytime soon!

--Mix your sunscreen into your moisturizer OR your foundation
It doesn't seem like much, but it's summer time and the humidity is at 400% so your regular full foundation probably isn't happening anyway. YOU NEED (broad spectrum) SUNSCREEN EVERY DAY. I do NOT play about my skincare, and neither should you. You'll be running to us estheticians begging for help with your fine lines and sun spots and we'll be shaking our heads behind your backs. Just kidding. Sort of. Also, slap a little sunscreen on the tops of your hands and your décolleté. The sun hits there too and I don't need anyone asking for my "wisdom" due to my age spots quite yet.

--Try a Korean sheet mask!
These are just fun. I'm not seeing life changing results, but my skin definitely has a soft glow after using these and you get to send horrifying selfies to all your friends while you watch The Bachelorette, which is a very good use of your time...obviously. I'm into the Tony Moly brand masks because they are inexpensive and you can find ones with ridiculous patterns on them like a panda's face (please don't ask me why anyone would want this. I have no idea, but i want it). But, if you're more into high end, Dr. Jart has an incredible hydrating one that is chock full of fancy ingredients but still has the horrifying selfie factor that we all crave.

--Take your vitamins every day!!
You'll feel better and you'll look better. I mean stop it. It doesn't get any easier than this.

These are just a few little things I've been adding in to my routines and they are making a difference!

Friday, March 11, 2016

Product love: Cleansing Conditioner

We tend to neglect our scalps until something is wrong because we have been "conditioned" (Sorry, I couldn't resist) to the routine of shampoo at the root, condition the end.  I am a believer of this much of the time,but there are times when your scalp could use a little love.  Cue the cleansing conditioner.  This product is designed to condition and cleanse simultaneously - hence the name.  It will not strip your natural oils and leaves your hair and scalp clean and hydrated in one step. I started using this last winter when I went through a particularly unpleasant itchy scalp phase.  I thought I had lice about 10 times people.  It's enough to drive a person insane.  Anyway, I decided to try this and it neutralized my scalp issues and gave me peace of mind at the same time.  Priceless.

How to use a cleansing conditioner: Wet hair thoroughly.  My hair is super long, so I use about 10-12 pumps of product.  Mix in a little water. Apply half to the crown of your head and half to the underside of your head - directly to the scalp.  Massage in for a few minutes at the scalp - then work your way down to the ends. Let it absorb into your hair for a few more minutes, then rinse out!  Sounds like a pain but honestly, think about the shampoo twice then condition for 3 (or more) minutes routine you're used to!  Yep.

If you find that your ends need little more moisturizing, take half a pump and lightly massage into the ends as a leave in conditioner.   It's a 3in 1!  Use your standard shampoo and conditioning method approximately 1 to every 6 cleansing conditioners.

Side note: if you have been wanting to try Wen, but are not thrilled by the price point and negative attention they have been getting lately, try this.  It has all the benefits, none of the bad chemicals (free of sulphates, parabens, dyes, gluten, phthalates, propylene glycol and they do not test on animals!), and the price is fantastic. This is also great for any and all hair types and ethnicities.  That's tough to find!

Renpure Solutions Rosemary Mint Cleansing Conditioner -
You can buy it here or you can pick it up at your local Target.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Makeup Primers. Do you need one?

Some people love primer - others find it to be a waste of time.  As a foundation wearer, I personally love the results I get with a smooth primed face. I don't wear a foundation primer every day, but if I am going to be in pictures, if I have a long day and won't have time to look at myself in the mirror for 14 hours, or when my skin isn't looking particularly smooth and even, I will definitely be taking a moment to make this happen.

If you are an eye shadow wearer, eye primer is a necessity!  Here is why I have a love affair with both face and eye primers and why I highly recommend a primer - especially if you don't have  a.) perfect skin or  b.) are a human - You can usually fall into AT LEAST one of these categories.

Pros of foundation primer:
- foundation looks smoother
- foundation is less likely to settle into fine lines
- foundation lasts longer - which in turn helps everything applied after foundation to also last
- specific formulas can fill in fine lines and pores and give the look of a perfect complexion - with or without foundation over it.
 - excellent for color correction
- can add luminosity
- look for oil free formulas to help oily skin hang on to your makeup for hours longer
- many have additional health benefits such as Vitamins or an SPF

Cons of foundation primer:
- adds time to your makeup routine
- another layer of product on your face

Put a pea sized amount on your finger tips, then gently smooth across your entire face, including lightly on the under eye area. I use a flat kabuki brush to put it on in seconds all over.

Primers that fill pores.  These are good for all skin types.  Foundation or no.
Benefit POREfessional
This is the holy grail of smoothing primers.  Someone actually thought I was my daughter's big sister.  I give all the credit to a broad spectrum SPF and this primer.
- these primer formulas are great for anyone without perfectly smooth skin (isn't that everyone?).  Slight scarring, large pores, fine lines, any imperfections that leave skin with an uneven texture.  Put a pea sized amount on your finger tips, then gently smooth across your entire face, including lightly on the under eye area.

NYX Studio Perfect Primer in Clear
- an affordable basic option that smooths skin and sets the tone for the rest of your makeup.

 - This is your basic oil free primer. This can also be worn without foundation to smooth and help control shine.  I love all Smashbox primers (in general) for under foundation as well.

Color correction primers -
 - these are great if you're a little red or a little yellow and need a little nudge into the neutral zone.

- I love this one for under eye darkness.  This is a primer, not a concealer, but this helps with all color correction. When concealing undereye circles, always lean towards a concealer that has a touch of a peachy shade to it.  Because undereye circles tend to be purple or blue, the opposite color on the color wheel will help neutralize them!  That would be ORANGE!  It's crazy, but it works.  That's also why you see a trend right now of women using orange red lipsticks under their eyes then covering it with a skin tone concealer.  Works wonders. Just make sure you practice that at home before you step out into the world if you try this interesting technique.

MAC Prep + Prime Fix +
- Kind of a confusing product if you chat with the MAC people, but my experience is that I spritz my face a couple times in lieu of a typical creamy primer on days that I'm in a hurry or am feeling dry.  This is hydrating and refreshing and helps get your skin ready for what comes next.  I also like to apply this when my makeup is finished.  It especially helps if you've found yourself getting a little powder happy!  I especially love this in the summer.  Feels goooood.

If you are an eye shadow lover, you are doing yourself an injustice if you don't use a shadow primer!  

Pros of Shadow primer:
- remember when you spent 5-10 minutes putting on eyeshadow this morning?  a good primer will allow you to gaze upon your work hours and hours later.
- many have concealing qualities and can help cover any darkness or veins
- it will help your shadows to go on true to color.  See that color of shadow you picked out? Well forget about it! It doesn't look like that when you put it straight on your eyelid if you have any darkness or oiliness.
- many have anti aging benefits and vitamins - heck yes.

Cons of Shadow Primer:
- nothing.  It's amazing and you should go buy some right now.  :)

Put a tiny bit (teeny tiny bit) on the pad of your ring finger or on a small fluffy brush and apply all over your lid up to your brow.  If you choose a colorless primer, go ahead and drag it across your brows too as any brow product you apply after that will now have serious staying power.

- the price is RIGHT on this guy and it works!  it is colorless, so it will not conceal, but it works beautifully to help keep your shadow stay right where you put it!  I highly recommend this one!

MAC Paint Pot in Painterly
- the go to product to conceal and prime your lid.  Drag this up to the lid and around your tear duct and you're already looking like you got 10 hours of sleep.  Yes, please.

 Urban Decay Primer Potion
This is a classic shadow primer.  Good stuff and if you use it with Urban Decay's super pigmented shadows - holy moly.  So good.

I would recommend a face primer for those special occasions and anytime you wear makeup or eye shadow - definitely take an extra 10 seconds to put on a thin layer of shadow primer!