Things to Know About Your Moisturizer


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moisturizerMoisturizing the face is one of those steps in the beauty routine that is usually done without much thought put into it, but it can be helpful to think about why you’re doing it in the first place and the potential varieties that you have to choose from.

Moisturizing should always come directly after the washing the face to avoid letting it dry out. Even if you don’t feel dry right away after you wash your face once you leave the house you might encounter some weather conditions that your face would be better off with a protective barrier on it. Dryness is one of the leading preventable causes of skin problems like dullness, fine lines, and acne. When the skin gets too dry it will start creating more oil in an attempt to hydrate itself, which can lead to clogging the pores and making the skin look dull. Dry skin won’t look plump and youthful and instead will begin to sink into fine lines.

When you put on your daily moisturizer you should always be choosing one that contains an SPF, no matter what the weather conditions are outside. The sun doesn’t stop sending damaging UV rays your direction simply because of a few clouds. The SPF in moisturizer tends to be a little lower than a lot of protective sunscreens but at least in a good starting point and a step you don’t have to think about when it is already included in your moisturizer.

Moisturizers all have different elements to them that you might want to consider. If you have sensitive skin you may have found that some moisturizers bother your skin, but that can have to do with something simple like the fragrance they put in. If you have sensitive skin avoid fragrances in products all together since they are often synthetic and aren’t a part of the skin treatment. If you have oily or acne prone skin avoid any moisturizers that can heavy on things like oil. You need a thinner barrier to the skin and something that keep the skin protected as opposed to adding on too many layers of additional moisture that you already have.

Your skin type can also vary a bit by the time of year it is, and your skin care routine might need to be changed as well. In the winter you might need a thicker cream based moisturizer while in the summer you might be able to switch back to a lighter lotion.

Look at additional ingredients that moisturizers can offer you. Some will have antioxidants like vitamin C which are great for keeping the skin healthy. Others offer things like some color already in them like tinted moisturizers, which can be helpful if you don’t really need a full face of makeup but just need a little smoothing. Finding a moisturizer that doubles up on something can remove a step from your beauty routine, which can save you time and also ensure that you don’t skip the moisturizer in the first place.

What You Need to Know About Cellulite


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celluliteCellulite is more prominent in women than men but it occurs naturally in everyone. That means that it’s not totally avoidable but there are some things that you can do to reduce the appearance of it and maybe improve your relationship with it.

Cellulite can be hereditary depending on factors like how thick your skin is, but it can also come on from weight gain, lack of exercise, poor diet, dehydration, and changes to your hormones. It can be caused by weight gain, but it can also happen to very thin people so experiencing cellulite on the body does not automatically mean that you need to lose weight.

There are also different types of cellulite. Adipose cellulite is a firm type of cellulite, oedematous cellulite is from fluid retention, and fibrotic cellulite is a hard kind.

Cellulite tends to form in areas of the body that do not experience a lot of circulation, which is why both exercise and massaging your own skin regularly might help to reduce it. (Technically it is possible for it to show up almost anywhere.) Both of these have to be kept up on to experience a visible reduction in the cellulite. If you can apply cellulite fighting creams directing after you exercise the heat of your body can help to make the cellulite cream go to work faster and more efficiently. The massaging action of actually applying the cream can help increase the circulation to the area in addition to the benefits of the actual cream. If you can utilize a body brush you can do a lot of good to the fat deposits on your legs. The massage action from the brush can actually redistribute it in more even ways.

There are actual ingredients that you can put on the skin in the form of cellulite creams that can actually make a difference to the appearance of the cellulite. Try using ginkgo biloba, which can increase blood circulation and oxidize fat cells with its powerful antioxidant properties. Many cellulite creams have something called centella asiatica can help to increase the elasticity of the skin. Any other ingredients that the keep the skin from retaining water can also be helpful to keep the circulation in the body going.

Having some color on the skin can reduce the look of cellulite but instead of getting it from the sun try using a self tanner at home. The color deposit can make the skin look smoother and even make it appear a bit slimmer.

Another important factor for reducing the occurance of cellulite is to really revamp you diet. Eating processed foods, refined sugars and carbohydrtaes, and eating foods with artificial ingredients will have to come to an end. Not only do these foods cause inflammation in the body but they don’t have many benefits. Sticking with whole, natural foods is the best way to see positive changes to the skin because they provide nutrients and healthy fats with increasing inflammation.

Why Your Face Wash Might Be Polluting the Waterways


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facewashMany face wash products have things in them to exfoliate the skin at the same time as cleansing. This is crucial in a beauty skin care routine, since when the skin does not exfoliate fast enough the dead skin and the oil on the face get trapped in the pores and lead to breakouts. On the body a lack of exfoliation can lead to bumps and ingrown hairs, which can’t pierce the outer layer of the skin. Some natural products turn to using exfoliating items like pieces of almonds or even sugar, but other commercial brands turn to tiny plastic beads, which are less damaging to the human face, but more damaging to the environment.

The plastic beads tend to be easy on the face because they are round and have no sharp edges, which makes them appealing to consumers. If you use them you probably never thought twice about what they were even made of, and why would you. But what happens when the plastic beads make their way down the drain they eventually end up in the ocean, and it turns out that some floor dwelling sea creatures are actually eating the plastic pieces right up. Other sources of plastic in the ocean that get eaten include things like bags that get broken down into small pieces and clothing particles that go down the drain during a load of laundry. The danger in this of course besides punishing the innocent animals is that humans may end up eating some of those animals, and having a nice plastic snack along with them. That’s obviously not going to work out in the long run.

Luckily there has been plenty of interest in the topic and people have decided that the plastic scrubbing beads are not crucial to the livelihood of our faces, so they won’t be around forever. Unilever has announced that these plastics will be phased out of facial products by the year 2015, but in the mean time you can avoid purchasing them if possible.

It’s pretty easy to spot the facial and body cleansers that contain the plastic scrubbing beads as opposed to more natural alternatives. If you’re in doubt just look for one that mentions that it uses a natural ingredient that you recognize as its scrubbing agent. You can also make your own exfoliating scrubs at home, which work particularly well for the body. Just mix up some oil with some salt or sugar and you have an incredibly powerful exfoliating tool that costs next to nothing.

For the face, if exfoliating options that include natural ingredients are too harsh for your skin, you can try using products like salicylic acid and glycolic acid which naturally exfoliate the skin by encouraging the dead skin cells to slough off and new skin cells to turn over. Or you can reduce the amount of times you exfoliate in each week.

How Timing Can Affect Your Beauty Routine




shavingThere’s a sweet spot in the shower where you will get the best shave on your legs. Don’t do it first thing when you hop in the shower and your legs are still dry because you’re more prone to nicks and won’t get the smoothest shave. If you wait too long into the shower the warm water will make the skin swell a bit and you’re shave won’t be as close as you think it is while you’re in there. As soon as the swelling goes down you’ll have some prickles coming out. Do your shaving right when the body starts to heat up and is soaked in water so the pores open up and make the process a piece of cake. If you’re in the habit of doing it right away, try washing your hair and applying your conditioner first which will give it some extra time to moisturize.

Testing Perfume

perfumeIf you’re serious about finding the right signature scent you might want to do a little planning and put some time aside. Fragrances can change dramatically over the next couple hours after they are applied to the way they start interacting with your own body. (This is why the same fragrance can smell different on different people.) The smell also comes out in layers so you might get the top note right away but the rest of them can take some time to develop. Interestingly the best time to trust your nose is the week of ovulation because of the hormonal changes.

Skin Care Products

creamWhen it comes to your facial creams, all are not created equal. When they state on the label that are meant for daytime or nighttime, this is not just a marketing ploy to get you to buy twice as much product. When you use retinoids on the face to help combat acne and wrinkles, the most important active ingredient is the vitamin A. Vitamin A’s power can be lessened by the sunlight, which means these are nighttime products all the way! Your skin also does a lot of repair while you sleep so it makes sense to use your stronger face products while it’s actually working on repairing itself anyway. A lot of face creams for the daytime contain SPF to help protect your face throughout the day, which you should definitely be taking advantage of.

Specific acne treatments should actually be applied in the morning as a part of your daytime routine. The oil on your face takes a bit of a break while you sleep but starts surging when you get up and move around in the morning. Since you have more oil then you are more prone to breakouts during the day than during the night so it makes sense to prevent it as much as possible. If you have severe acne you can try applying your acne treatments in both the morning and the night to take advantage of the cell turnover power while you sleep as well the oil fighting technique.


How well is Your Makeup Removal Routine Working?

makeup removalBy now you know that you should be removing all of your makeup at the end of the day to avoid clogging the pores, which can lead to breakouts and sallow skin. Besides the makeup you wear during the day, your skin also picks up pollution and irritants from the outside world, which you don’t want to take into bed with you. You also need a clean slate for your nighttime skin care products to sink in on while you sleep.  But is your cleanser really removing everything or just giving the appearance that it is?

A good makeup removal technique will involve both taking off the obviously pigmented portions on the face and an all over cleansing for the stuff you can’t see. Even if you stick with a moisturizer in the day and skip foundation you still need to wash your face at night to ensure it’s clean. Be attentive to the different areas of your face and their sensitivity levels. Avoid scrubbing your eye area with washcloths, which can be a little too tough on the sensitive eye area.  Tissue can also be too tough on the skin because it is make with rough particles, and it can also break apart and cause a mess, which only adds more cleanup to your makeup removal time.

It can be tempting to leave on eye makeup that doesn’t wash off with the first round of cleansing, but if you do that mascara particles can drift into your eyes in the night and cause irritations. Using a gel or oil based eye makeup remover can be a good choice for any mascaras that are hard to budge. Try holding the remover (on a non shedding cotton round) over your closed eye for a few seconds before gently swiping the makeup away so that the makeup remover has time to start breaking down the makeup. Be gentle and avoid rubbing side to side across the lashes, which can break or pull them out.

To remove sticky lip glosses and darkly pigmented lipsticks, try using an oil based makeup remover again. Let it soak in a bit and start to break down the makeup before you start swiping it off otherwise you could end up with lipstick all over your cheeks as well. Be sure to use something gentle to remove it that will not scratch or shed.

After you successfully remove all of your makeup you still need to a face wash in the sink, since it won’t all be gone just because the color is gone. Use a face wash that is moisturizing if you have dry skin to avoid stripping off too many oils. If you have sensitive skin use a wash formulated for sensitive skin, and if you have acne use a wash with some sort of preventative treatment built in it to make sure you’re getting the right amount of exfoliation to keep your skin fresh.

The Right Way to Shave Your Legs

shaveYou’ve been shaving your legs for years, but with so much going on its easy to get a little lazy on the process and not pay much attention to your techniques. Or you may have not even learned the right way to do it from the beginning! Here are some tips to keep in mind from prepping the legs to keeping your razors clean.

Always use a sharp razor so that you can get a smooth shave and cause the least disruption to the skin while you do so. You should only use a blade or a disposable razor for about 5-7 shaves, which means if you shave everyday you should be replacing that razor once a week. Dull razor blades can lead to knicks and ingrown hairs since you have to apply more pressure on the drag to get it to slice the hair follicles accurately.

Don’t store your razors in the shower because they will rust more quickly due to the moisture that gets caught in there. Instead try leaving them in a cup of some sort on your bathroom counter. Before you store it rinse it off with some rubbing alcohol to kill any bacteria you collected during the shower. Also remember to rinse the blade in the shower every few strokes you take to avoid buildup of hair and dead skin cells which can disrupt the power the of the blade.

Try exfoliating before you begin shaving to loosen up any hairs that were on their way toward becoming ingrown. Hairs often get stuck under the top layers of dead skin but are pretty easy to remove at that point. If you get a lot of ingrown hairs you might also want to try alternative treatments specifically for that. Try shaving midway through your shower so you have time for the skins pores to open up a bit but before the skin swells from the heat which will make your shave be less close. Start shaving from the ankles and go up since the hair grows downward. If you are very sensitive you might want to shave in the same direction of the hair growth to avoid aggravating your skin.

Always prep your legs for the shaving. Use a shaving cream or even a conditioner to provide a smooth surface and keep the skin moisturized as you go. It can also help serve as a guide so you can see where you have already shaved and where you have not so you can stop missing that one side of your knee.

If you have skin that is very sensitive to shaving you might want to try shaving at night as opposed to in the morning. When you shave it does aggravate the skin a bit even though all you notice are your hairless gams. While you sleep the body goes to work repairing skin cells at a faster pace, so if you are prone to irritation shaving at night can help the skin recover faster.

Make Your Shower Work to Your Advantage

showerYou probably don’t give much thought to your shower besides the fact that it’s a place to get clean and time for some peace and quiet or a quick wake up. You might want to however, when you consider that what you’re doing in there can affect your beauty routine later.

Your water temperature is more important than just to your personal comfort level. A hot shower feels amazing and the resulting steam makes it easy to pretend you’re at the spa. But a too hot shower can actually dry you out which can affect both your skin and your hair. If you find your skin tightening up after your showers even when you’re applying lotion you might want to access your water temperature. The ideal place is warm enough that it’s comfortable and will open up the pores for cleansing, but not so hot that it’s leaving you red and stripped of oils that keep the skin healthy. Always apply your lotion immediately while the skin is still damp for the best moisturizing.

Another reason you might be experiencing dryness of the skin is if you are using antibacterial bar soaps. Some of these have ingredients that can strip the skin as the same time that are removing bacteria. Switch to a moisturizing body wash so you can begin to deal with the moisturizing step before you step out of the shower. Always keep a face wash in the shower that is meant for your skin type as opposed to doubling up with your body wash. The skin on your face is much more delicate and sensitive than the skin on your body and it should be treated accordingly.

Since warm water opens the hair cuticle you might want to follow your shower with a cold rinse to close it up. Hair becomes more elastic when it is wet and even more so when the cuticle is open. This makes combing your hair while it is wet more prone to breakage than when it is dry. To help your hair survive, try combing it out before you get into the shower to remove tangles before the hair gets wet. This is particular helpful if you just came from the gym or had your hair tied back in a ponytail. Then when you get into the shower you can wash and condition your hair before getting into the rest of your showering routine, which will give your conditioner plenty of time to work on the hair while you do whatever else it is that you need to do. For extra conditioning power, try putting your hair into a shower cap while you have your conditioner in. The shower cap will catch heat and moisture in the cap, which can help the conditioner soak in better. Always use a wide toothed comb or a soft bristled brush at the start of your detangling times as opposed to a hard bristled brush, which can be harsh and pull on hair strands.


Taking Your Makeup From Day to Night


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day to nightNo matter what sort of job or social schedule you might have, there comes a time in every lady’s life when you might have to run between daytime event to evening one. Even if it’s just transitioning from the office desk to happy hour, you might want to liven up your makeup and take it to the next level without spending too much time in front your job’s community restroom mirror.


When you don’t have the time or space to completely redo your makeup you just get a little creative and do what’s necessary. Carry some face wipes in your makeup bag to swipe on the oilier parts of your face if you time to reapply the foundation there. If you don’t, a dash or two of powder should do just fine but try and use a translucent powder so you can avoid piling too much extra color on top of what you already have going for you. We want to avoid getting cakey at all costs.


During the day you are probably wearing mascara but maybe not a ton of eyeliner. You can create a more dramatic look for the evening by sweeping some on. A liquid liner will create the most distinct look but it can a little trickier if you are say, trying to apply it in your parked car while you balance all of your makeup on your lap. A creamy pencil can be a good choice in this situation since the application does not need to be totally perfect and you can smudge it a bit with your finger to get a smoky look. If your mascara has flaked off anyway, just reapply it in those spots or on the tips of your lashes. For the brows you can quickly switch up your look by filling them in a bit with an eyebrow pencil or shadow, which will instantly make them look bolder. Just be sure and keep some cotton swabs on hand in case something gets too out of line.


One of the biggest changes you can make to differentiate your daytime face from your evening face is to put on some lipstick. If you are not used to going for something really bold, try it out around the house and you’ll realize how fun it can be. A bold lipstick can be the face’s equivalent to a little black dress. If just a pop of color is more your thing switch up the shade to a different hue then you like to rock during the daytime hours, just to switch things up a bit.


If you wore your hair down during the day and it’s a little lifeless by the end, spritz some hairspray at your roots and then turn your head upside down to lift it and create a little volume. If you plan to wear it up and take it down later, try a braid to create some soft waves as opposed to a ponytail which can leave an intense rubber band crease.


Ah yes, going straight from day to night activities often does not include fitting in a shower. Keep a bottle of perfume or body spray in your makeup bag for a refresher, but use sparingly.

Best Drugstore Makeup Items


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day to nightWhen it comes to makeup there are some types that are good to splurge on and some that are better to save on, but that is always a personal decision based on your needs and preferences. If you are on a budget not to worry, there are plenty of lower priced products at your local drugstore that can get you through an awesome makeup application. (And some of it is even better than more expensive brands!)


All mascaras are not created equally. Too dry and they do nothing but flake, too clumpy and you’re overwhelmed with product, and all those different brush types really do different things during application! How to choose? If you are going for length on those lashes of yours, try the Maybelline New York Lash Stiletto Ultimate Length Mascara. If you want to throw a little curve action in there, go for Rimmel London’s Sexy Curves Mascara, which has a brush that aids in the curling process. (Even better if it can stand in for your lash curler.) If you want to avoid the clumps at all costs, try the CoverGirl Clump Crusher Mascara, which will stay smooth and direct. If you are looking for a totally waterproof mascara that won’t dry out and pull out your lashes, try the L’Oreal Paris Voluminous Million Lashes Waterproof Mascara. The ideal waterproof mascara should fight to stay in place until you’re ready to remove it and it then it should yield easily.


While you may only need one or two types of mascara at a time, lipsticks you can stockpile to have a multitude of colors on hand. CoverGirl Lip Perfection Lipcolor has some reasonably priced super bold color options. Rimmel’s Moisture Renew lipstick has a really creamy texture if you are looking to layer on to make a pout with impact. If you want just a tint of color, try Maybelline’s Color Whisper lipstick, or for all day color try their SuperStay14HR lipstick. Your coffee cup doesn’t stand a chance at stripping off that stuff.


When you are shopping for foundation at the drugstore the key is to know what your skin type needs and what sort of coverage this means for you. If you just need some light coverage to get rid of redness and even your tone, try CoverGirl’s NatureLuxe Liquid Silk Foundation which has an SPF of 10 and dries to a translucent finish that blends really easily. For heavy coverage that goes on light, try Maybelline’s New York Dream Nude Airfoam which literally comes out of the pump as foam but turns into a hearty cover when it hits your skin. If you battle with oily skin throughout the day you might want to try Avon Ideal Flawless Matte Mousse Foundation which will keep skin shine free without looking lifeless. Got zits? Neutrogena SkinClearing Liquid Makeup has salicylic acid included in its formula to do double duty as coverage and blemish blaster. Multitasking foundations are great for shortening your morning routine too, because shouldn’t we all use a little extra time in the day?


Trouble Sleeping? Let Herbal Sleep Help!


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I’ve always been an advocate for beauty sleep, but I haven’t always been able to get it. For the longest time, my nights looked something like this:


I would lay down, but it seemed like I just couldn’t get my brain to shut up. It would start with me thinking about what I had accomplished that day, but would quickly morph into me thinking about what I needed to do the next day. From there I would just start thinking more and more in the future, thinking about what goals I wanted to accomplish by the end of the week, then month, then year, until eventually three hours would have passed and I would find myself thinking about things I wanted to do five years down the line.

The next day, I would have to drag myself out of bed. I would feel groggy all day, and I knew my lack of sleep was killing my productivity at work. I wouldn’t necessarily say I had insomnia, but I was definitely on my way there. So I went to the doctor and got myself a prescription to Ambien.

I was only on Ambien for about a month when the sleep eating started. My husband would wake up at 3am and find me in the kitchen chowing down. I ended up gaining almost five pounds!

The sleep eating and weight gain were worrisome, but I figured they were something I could live with if it meant me getting enough sleep. I changed my mind when my husband found me driving back from Starbucks at 5am, still completely asleep! At this point the side effects of the Ambien weren’t just my problem – I was putting innocent people in danger by getting behind the wheel of a car while completely zonked out!

Detoxing from the Ambien was tough, but getting to sleep again after that was even worse. I talked to a few friends and found out that they all had something different that they swear helps them to fall asleep: melatonin, valerian root, chamomile and magnesium.  I wasn’t sure what actually worked so I did some research and found out that while they ALL work individually, using them together is actually the most effective.

Whole Body Research Herbal SleepSo I set out to find an herbal sleep aid that had all of the ingredients my friends swore by. That’s when I found Whole Body Research Herbal Sleep. It had EVERY ingredient my friends were using, plus some other really effective herbs like Skullcap, Hops and Passionflower. Not only was this the only reputable herbal sleep aid I could find that had everything my friends used (and more), but it’s made by a company that doesn’t believe in using chemical fillers and binders. After all of the trouble I had with Ambien, I really didn’t want to be putting any more dangerous chemicals in my body!

After a week of taking Whole Body Research Herbal Sleep, I’m happy to report that I am finally getting the right amount of beauty sleep! In fact, I had such a good experience that every one of my friends dropped their old sleep aids and ordered the same thing! So if you’re struggling with sleep, skip the Ambien and go straight to for a bottle of Herbal Sleep.