Category Archives: Beauty Tips

We all get stuck in a beauty rut from time to time. Whenever you’re feeling bored or too set in your routine, think about trying out a few new beauty tips. You often learn tips and tricks that can help you improve your existing beauty regimen. It’s also a great idea to mix things up a little bit from time to time, just to add some variety to your looks. You’ll also want to stay up-to-date on current beauty trends and new beauty products that are launched each coming season.

For instance, it’s good to switch up your hair care products every so often to minimize build up and keep your hair from becoming dull. With skincare, you’ll want to be a little more cautious with new products in order to avoid extra stress to your skin. Be sure to find a solid review of a new product you’re considering. Find out if it has worked for others with a skin type similar to your own. Finally, consider the impact your health has on how you look. Make it a point to be aware of healthy habits you should incorporate into your life.

Whether it’s beauty product reviews, health and beauty tips, home beauty solutions or general beauty advice, you’ll find it all here!

How to Fall Asleep: Tips and Advice

Besides just simply resting, your body actually heals and repairs itself as you sleep. Getting the recommended 7 1/2 to 9 hours of sleep each night is one of the least expensive and most effective beauty treatments you can do for yourself. By getting enough sleep you can avoid beauty catastrophes like ugly under-eye circles, dull, tired skin, pale complexion, and puffy or bloodshot eyes. There are dozens of benefits to making your beauty sleep a priority.

However, even if you understand the importance of getting your sleep, it doesn’t mean that falling asleep is a piece of cake. If you one of the millions who have trouble falling asleep from time to time, here are a few tips to help you fall asleep a little more quickly and easily:

  • Exercise every day. Ideally, you should try to fit in at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise each day. However, Even fifteen or twenty minutes of easy exercise like walking can help. Exercise helps to keep your stress hormones in check so that they don’t interfere with your sleep. Exercise at night however, can actually keep you awake, so be sure to do your exercise in the morning or afternoon.
  • Avoid caffeine, nicotine or other stimulants within four hours of bedtime. If you’re extra sensitive to these types of things, you may want to consume less during the day, eliminate them entirely, or try avoiding them earlier in the day (try 6-8 hours before bedtime instead of four).
  • Make sure your room isn’t too hot or too cold. Sleep experts recommend keeping it slightly cooler at night than during the day.
  • Eliminate abrupt noises that can disrupt you as you are falling asleep. White noise or soft background noise can be soothing for some people, but things that stop and start, like the washing machine, should be turned off so you can effortlessly drift off.
  • Avoid large meals right before your bedtime. As your body digests your food, it can actually end up disrupting your ability to sleep soundly.
  • Get a comfortable mattress! If your mattress if old, sagging, or has lumps, you simply might need a new one. Check warehouses for discounts – you can usually find one for a good deal. Trust us, it’s worth the money. You spend quite a bit of your life sleeping! Experts also recommend using good quality cotton sheets and pillowcases.
  • If light tends to keep you up, do whatever you need to so that your room is dark and calm. You may need to invest in some darker shades or curtains, or to move any nightlights or electronics that create light. Try placing them in another room.
  • Sleep experts recommend using your bed only for sleep. Reading, watching TV, or using your computer in bed can actually contribute to sleep problems. You can use books or TV to help yourself wind down before you get in bed, but if you dedicate your bed to sleep, your body will begin to associate it with sleep and you’ll find that over time, you have an easier time getting sleepy once you lie down.
  • Finally, many experts recommend that you create a bedtime routine. If you want to learn how to fall asleep easily, your routine could include taking a relaxing bath, drinking some warm milk, applying night time skin care products (they’re most effective at night anyway!), brushing and flossing, brushing your hair, changing into comfortable sleepwear or listening to music. Even yoga, stretching, deep breathing, muscle relaxation or other relaxation techniques are excellent things to incorporate. Your routine should be anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour. Doing the same routine over a period of time helps your body to learn “when” to get sleepy. Make sure you are relaxed and give yourself time to wind down. Focusing on the day’s positive events can help you relax and get your mind off the stress of the day, which is key in understanding how to fall asleep quickly.

Learning how to fall asleep can help you enjoy the relaxation, stress relief, healthy glow and rest that all of us so desperately need. No beauty treatment, facial, or makeup product can take the place of a good night’s sleep. You’ll look more relaxed and have a fresh, vibrant look that just can’t be duplicated.

How to Grow Long Hair

Have you been wanting to grow long hair, but feeling short on the patience it requires? I’ve sure been there – I want long hair like nobody’s business, but waiting for my hair to grow feels like waiting in an endless line at Disneyland.

It’s like this: you want the gorgeous long locks that you see on other girls, but it seems almost impossible to get. Will it ever happen? Below, we’ve included a few important things to know as well as some helpful tips to help you learn how to grow long, healthy hair more quickly.

First of all, you need to understand that when it comes to growing long hair, every person has an actual genetically determined lifespan for their hair. This means that your body lets each strand of hair grow for a certain number of years. At the end of the lifespan, an individual strand will then simply fall out by shedding naturally or simply falling out during a shampoo or while the hair is being brushed.

In addition to the lifespan of a person’s hair, each person’s hair grows at a different rate. So, both things will influence your individual potential for getting long hair (along with a few additional factors we’ll discuss below). For instance, girls who have an easy time maintaining waist-length locks genetically have a longer lifespan for their hair, and may also naturally have hair that grows faster than girls who struggle to get it past their shoulders.

Finally, maintaining healthy hair (which depends on the care and overall treatment you give your hair) has a huge impact on your ability to grow long hair.

Creative Commons License photo credit: nsaplayer

Just like our bodies, we start off with what we have been given genetically. After that, it’s up to how we treat our bodies that determines how we will look overall. If you want to know how to get long hair, understand that each of us may have an easier or harder time getting our hair to grow long due to genetics, but there are definitely things we can do to make the most of what we’ve got:

How to Make Your Hair Grow Longer:

1. Be gentle with your hair. Treat it as if it were delicate tissue paper. This will result in far less breakage than if you pull, twist and mess with it. Some of you are going to hate me, but this includes not twirling your hair! I, for one, have a horrible habit of twirling my hair non-stop. I’ve tried to quit. Guess I’ve just got to try harder. Playing with your hair is one of the worst things you can do.. your hair breaks off at an alarming rate when you regularly twirl it.

2. Don’t tease your hair. When you tease your hair, you actually comb against the cuticle, roughing it up which makes the hair appear dull. When the cuticle is sealed and remains flat and straight, it reflects light and appears shinier. In addition to diminished shine, teasing your hair also weakens the strand and makes it extra vulnerable to breakage.

3. When brushing or combing your hair, start from the ends first. This minimizes tangles. Be gentle as you begin brushing and any tangles you do come across will come out much easier. If your hair is wet, be extra gentle since your hair can stretch and break when it’s wet. The best thing to use on wet hair is a wide tooth comb instead of a brush.

4. Use a deep conditioner. This is a hair care essential. For most people with normal to dry hair, we recommend deep conditioning once a week or so. But if you have very dry or color-treated hair, and you’re trying to grow it out, you will probably want to use a deep conditioner every time you wash your hair, or at least every few days.

5. Don’t use heat when styling your hair. Yes, this one may be practically impossible for most of you, but experts agree that heat styling (drying, curling or straightening) causes your hair to be much more dry and brittle. If you absolutely must use heated styling tools, use a high quality heat protectant product before styling.

6. De-Stress! Stress inhibits hair growth, causing it to thin. The hair that does grow is typically delicate and brittle, resulting in easy breakage.

7. Eat healthy. This is probably one of the most important things you can do. Good nutrition is the foundation for growing healthy hair. Protein, essential fatty acids (like omega 3) and other nutrients will help tremendously in giving you strong, healthy, shiny hair. Taking a high quality multi-vitamin can really help as well. The stronger and healthier your hair, the more easily and quickly it will grow.

8. Trim your ends regularly. Many people claim that trimming your ends makes your hair grow faster. It doesn’t actually make it grow more quickly because it grows from the root, not the tip. However, regular trims keep the ends even and healthy. When they are irregular, dry and straggly, they break much more easily. Keeping them nicely trimmed will actually help you get the length you want more quickly simply because it will eliminate much of the breakage you would otherwise have. Plus, since growing hair long does take time, your hair will look much better along the way.

Travel Beauty Tips: Looking Great on the Go

Dreaming of escaping to warmer weather this winter? Or just feeling the need to get away after the stressful holiday season? It’s cruise season – the perfect time for a warm weather getaway.

However, airport security has gotten so stringent these days that many of us are tempted to not take anything with us and just shop for whatever we need when we get there. But there’s one thing that is going with us, like it or not: our makeup! Who wants to get on a plane for several hours knowing they’re never going to be able to refresh their lipstick? Forget about it.

Here are some great travel beauty tips for your next jet setting adventure:

Keep It Small and Keep it Few

Airline regulations allow you to carry one personal item onboard a plane, plus one quart-sized clear Ziploc bag with liquids inside. Don’t think you’re going to get that giant bottle of hairspray in that bag – the airline rules out anything larger than 3.4 ounces.

Anything larger than this is going to have to be packed with your suitcase and you know what that means. You’re not going to be fixing your hair or make-up until you land and (hopefully) reclaim your luggage.

Creative Commons License photo credit: pic fix

Keep your solid items in your purse. Things like lipstick, facial powder and blush will do just fine. Buy travel-sized bottles of liquid make-up and perfume, but here’s a tip: hold off on using that perfume until you land. Airplanes are small and crammed with people. Three hundred different perfumes at high altitude is liable to make everyone sick.

Travel-sized bottles of hairspray are widely available, too. Lotions and creams, even acne cleanser, are going to have to follow the airport rules and regulations. If they don’t fit in the suitcase they’ll get the boot.

Keep It Simple

When you’re traveling, take the opportunity to go a little light on make-up. Stick with a nice lip gloss, blush and a few coats of mascara. Wash your hair and style it simply. Forget about teasing or curling. The thinner atmosphere often plays havoc with hairstyles anyway. Leave it free and flowing, or tie a colorful scarf around it. If you’re flying coach, forget the ponytail. It will drive you mad rubbing up against the back of the seat.

Airlines will let you break the liquid rule only if you have a medical condition to do so, and since no one has ever died from not being able to apply concealer (that we know of) you’ll just have to be patient. Wear a pretty pair of shaded glasses to give your cleaner look a little more color and indulge in some bright earrings. You’ll be landing soon… and looking fabulous doing it.

Laser Skin Treatments – An Overview

Laser skin treatments can produce some truly amazing results. During these various types of treatments, a skilled professional applies laser light to the skin to produce various results and benefits to the skin. Laser light has become an increasingly popular method of treating a variety of skin conditions and providing benefits ranging from scar removal to skin regeneration. A laser skin treatment can provide excellent results with less bleeding, bruising and post-operative pain than any other treatment method available. Depending upon the desired results, there is a laser skin treatment whose procedures can provide an effective remedy.

Laser skin treatments are very effective when it comes to correcting scars, blemishes and other skin problems. These include scarring from acne, brown discoloration from aging, and skin conditions such as rosacea. Laser treatment works over a number of visits to break down the discoloration and help to regenerate new skin growth.

CO2 and ERYag lasers are two types of lasers used in the treatment of acne scarring or other scars appearing on the skin caused by inflammation. Both ERYag and CO2 laser skin treatments are known to be effective. Laser skin treatment to remove scarring is performed under general anesthesia as well as local anesthesia on an outpatient basis, depending upon the extent of damage that needs to be corrected.

Medical HDR
Creative Commons License photo credit: Matías Garabedian

The laser skin resurfacing treatment is another very popular laser skin procedure for skin. This procedure is mainly used to help eliminate the wrinkles, scarring and discoloration of the skin that often occurs due to the aging process. Ablative lasers used in this procedure actually vaporize the top layer of the skin in order to promote the eventual appearance of a new fresher looking skin layer. Treatments using this type of laser require a period of conditioning the skin prior to treatment, as well as a certain amount of downtime while healing takes place. Laser skin resurfacing can also be achieved using no-ablative lasers which rather than vaporize the skin, penetrate to the dermis underneath to stimulate the production of collagen in order to tighten the skin into a more youthful appearance. Side effects for any resurfacing procedures can include swelling, redness and discomfort which can be aided by over the counter pain relief medication and topical medications. By using light from lasers, laser skin resurfacing reaches much deeper layers of your skin than microdermabrasion. The procedure tends to be more comfortable and the results tend to be much longer lasting than other types of skin resurfacing treatments.

Many patients seek out laser skin treatments in order to remove a tattoo from their skin which may now be discolored or no longer wanted for a variety of social or personal reasons. In this treatment, laser pulses are applied in order to break down the ink pigments which are eventually absorbed back into the body. Tattoo removal via laser skin treatment occurs over a period of time, with short sessions held every few weeks as the tattoo’s colors become lighter and less apparent with each treatment.

Permanent hair removal using laser treatment is another effective therapy which offers excellent results but usually takes more than one session to complete. Avoiding direct sunlight and treating the area with antibiotic ointment are just a few of the post-procedure steps which must be taken.

No laser skin treatment is a spur of the moment decision. And all laser skin treatments require an initial consultation with a specialist skilled in laser procedures as most require a period of preparation as well as downtime and post-procedure aftercare to avoid any unpleasant side effects such as infection.

How to Minimize Large Facial Pores

Large pores are no fun. They can age and tire your appearance drastically. They are one of the top skin problems that people want to change or eliminate. Thankfully, there are a few techniques and products you can use to help reduce the appearance of any unsightly pores.

First, be sure you’re aware of how larger pores develop in the first place. When your face pores become clogged and/or infected, the irritation causes them to expand. The dirt and oil can also make the pores appear darker which makes them more noticeable and can make them look larger than they really are. Blackheads are especially problematic because such a significant amount of dirt and oil collects and drastically magnifies the diameter of the pore. Preventing blackheads is an essential part of preventing enlarged pores from developing.

You should also be aware that large skin pores do depend a lot on age and genetics. People with thicker skin, or normal to oily skin tend to have larger pores than people with thin, normal to dry skin. Also, as people get older, sun damage and age start to take their toll and the elasticity of the skin begins to give way. Regardless of what kind of skin you were born with, you can still take steps to minimize the size of your facial pores in order to enhance your complexion as much as possible.

There are many techniques and pore treatment products you can use to reduce pores and make them less noticeable:

Kir Royal
Creative Commons License photo credit: savor_soaps

One way to reduce pore size and visibility is to begin a solid, consistent skin care regimen. You should cleanse your skin thoroughly morning and night. By cleaning your pores of the debris and oil settling on your face, your pores will appear tight, well kept and less noticeable. Not only will you reduce large pores and their appearance, but you’ll also prevent big pores from developing in the future. Over time, you’ll see an improvement if you stick to a good skin care routine. Depending on your skin type and acne needs, a quality pore minimizing skin cleanser will work best. Most skin care brands carry a product especially formulated to minimize pores, and if you’re on a budget, you can usually find a variety of economical yet effective over-the-counter pore cleansers.

You’ll also want to invest in a toner. If you’re serious about minimizing your pores, a pore tightening toner is an essential part of getting and maintaining smaller pores. Use a cotton swab to apply the toner to your problem areas right after you wash your face. The toner will tighten pores so it’s best to do it right after they’ve been deep cleaned.

Finally, apply a light moisturizer. Stay away from super heavy creams as they can potentially clog the skin pore. When purchasing your skin care products, look for products containing retinol and Vitamin C. Salycylic acid also helps unclog and maintain clear pores.

Another way to combat large facial pores is exfoliation. This can be accomplished by using an at-home facial scrub or you can pamper yourself and visit a spa or dermatologist for a little microdermabrasion or a customized facial. If you exfoliate at home with a mild product, you can add the step to your daily skin care routine. If you buy a more intense exfoliating product, you may want to start by using the scrub twice a week.

Another economical and quick way to fight enlarged facial pores is through the wonders of cosmetics. Start with a skin primer. Primers are miracle workers when it comes to lessening the appearance of pores. and follow with a cream or cream to powder foundation which will cover the pores more easily. Top with a nice brushing of translucent powder and those large pores will be kept at bay.

There are a few products on the market that concentrate on helping to shrink pores. Pure Minerals and Murad both offer good pore minimizers. Biore and Aveeno have also proven to be effective in minimizing pores. If you are short on cash, here are a couple of home remedies: Make your own sugar scrub using a tablespoon of sugar, olive oil and honey. Mix well. Rub on your face in a circular motion and rinse with water. The sugar acts as an exfoliating ingredient. Another great home recipe is a nice egg white mask. Egg whites help tighten the skin, and you can add lemon to the mixture for an additional exfoliation benefit.

Reducing the appearance of pores is painless and very doable. The hardest part for anyone is simply learning how to minimize pores by finding the method, product or treatment for large pores that works best with your individual skin type, time constraints and budget. You may need to try a few products and methods in order to find out which ones provide the best results for you and your skin.

Clear Skin Tips

When it comes to skin, no amount of cosmetics or concealer can really take the place of healthy, clear skin. Some of the most beautiful makeup looks incorporate fresh, glowing skin and lighter or translucent foundation. Such looks aren’t really an option without clear skin underneath. Heavier makeup can be great for a photo shoot or a special event, but no one wants to be forced to cake on that much makeup every single day.

If you struggle with problem skin, or if you simply want to maintain clear skin consistently, you can begin to clear up any problems by incorporating proper clear skin tips into your daily skin care regimen.

Essential steps to clear skin:

Close up...
Creative Commons License photo credit: _HAAF_

1. As part of your clear skin routine, cleanse twice daily using a gentle but effective facial cleanser. Don’t use regular body bar soap, since they actually tend to lead to more problems (dryness, tightness and signs of aging). Also, don’t wash your face too frequently – dryness and irritation will result, leading to more problems. Simply cleanse your skin using an acne-preventative cleanser for the face. After washing your face, use a high quality facial toner. As the final step in your routine, use an oil-free facial moisturizer. Brands such as Dove, Cetaphil and Neutrogena are just a few brands that have affordable skin care lines with quality products. Be gentle and try a few different brands until you find the right one for you. When trying a new brand, allow several days to a week to see if you notice improvement, before giving up and switching to a new one.

2. Try acne treatments with key ingredients, until you find the one that works best on your skin. Use the product all over your face if appropriate – don’t just “spot treat.” If one works, don’t just use it until your skin is clear. Use of the product should continue as a preventative measure, or your acne will most likely return. Look for some of these common effective ingredients in your product:

– Salicylic Acid: slows abnormal skin cell shedding (that clogs pores and creates pimples) and unclogs pores
– Alcohol combined with Acetone: the acetone degreases and the alcohol kills bacteria
– Benzoyl Peroxide: reduces the bacteria in acne and removes excess dead skin cells that clog pores
– Resorcinol: often combined with sulfur (has a strong and distinct odor), controls acne lesions

3. Keep your hair clean and out of your face, and also try not to touch your face too often. Both your hair and hands carry oils and bacteria that can add to current skin problems and also cause new ones.

Remember, the right kind of skin care regimen is the answer to treating and preventing problem skin. With attention and discipline, most people can obtain beautifully clear, creamy skin. Since healthy clear skin is one of the most desired beauty essentials, your efforts will be more than worth it.

If your breakouts do not improve or go away by following upon these tips for clear skin, you may need to get an appointment with your dermatologist or family doctor for a clear skin solution. They may be able to give you further help or medications designed for more serious acne issues.

Getting Your Beauty Sleep!

Attention beauties: Never underestimate the importance of getting enough sleep! Getting adequate sleep plays a crucial role in not just your mental functions, but in your physical appearance as well. The amount of sleep you are typically getting is displayed in your general appearance, your weight, your skin and also your stress levels. Don’t write off the phrase “beauty sleep” as a simple cliche. It holds far more truth than most people know.


Sleeping gives your body a chance to repair itself on the cellular level. As you sleep, extra protein molecules are produced to rid your skin of pollutants and infections while they simultaneously rebuild the cells that allow you to wake up refreshed with radiant skin. Think of the days you don’t get enough sleep. You pull yourself up with puffy, bloodshot eyes surrounded by dark circles. You don’t get the necessary sleep to allow the molecules to repair yesterday’s damage. Getting the right amount of sleep is the proven “anti aging” miracle we all dream of.


Now you can stop feeling guilty when you go to bed early and skip your daily workout because proper sleeping habits can help control your body weight. When you sleep, the hormones that regulate your appetite are placed back in control, possibly ridding your thoughts of those nasty cravings. When you deprive your body of sleep, your body naturally craves sugar and carbohydrates as a defense mechanism to jolt you awake. For those of you who can’t seem to shed those last five pounds, try hitting the hay an hour early.


Of course, the best way to feel beautiful is to not feel stressed. Stress hormones are released during the day as a result of today’s fast paced lifestyle. These hormones have physical effects on the body as well. Excessive stress is a common cause of the degeneration of internal organs as well as the aging of your skin (aka: wrinkles!). Sleep helps to reverse many of these effects as it maintains a state of relaxation.


The average adult needs 7 to 9 hours of sleep per night, but it varies depending on the individual. Not getting enough sleep results in a whole bunch of problems, but too much sleep also makes it more difficult for your body to enter back into its functioning mode.

How much an individual needs is dependent on many factors. Here are some things to keep in mind: Women often require an extra hour in the week before they begin menstruating and during pregnancy. Genetics also play a part in determining your specific needs. The amount of time it takes your body to reach the phase of deep sleep where the benefits are received is often hereditary.

The best way to find out what works best for you is to take into consideration your individual situation based on the criteria above. And then, experiment. If you often feel groggy, try going to bed earlier. If you habitually go to sleep early, sleep late, and still wake up unrested, try staying up an hour later. While “beauty sleep” is often used in regards to women’s needs, it is vital for everyone. Get your sleep and you will wake up energized, beautiful, and healthier.

Nine Days to Less Stress, Gorgeous Skin, and a Whole New You

We just adore Dr. Amy Wechsler’s book, The Mind-Beauty Connection: 9 Days to Less Stress, Gorgeous Skin, and a Whole New You. As a dermatologist AND psychiatrist, Dr. Wechsler understands the connection between our stress levels and our skin. Her book shows you how to minimize stress, simplify your life and look younger. Excessive stress literally causes you to age more quickly. It has an immediate effect on the condition of your skin and over time, will actually cause you to look older than other women your age.

In her book, Dr. Wechsler discusses how to reverse stress aging. She explains the importance of managing and reducing cortisol, a substance in your body that breaks down collagen and causes wrinkles. She shows you a simple nine-step plan: Simplify (simplifying your skin care regimen and other parts of your life), Relax, Go Green (the cortisol reducing benefits of nature), Eat Clean (eliminating some of the junk), Make a Move (exercise), Foster Friendships (the importance of emotional care and healing), Pamper Yourself (my favorite), Sleep In Beauty (getting your beauty sleep and letting your wrinkles heal), and Reflection (a before and after skin age test). She discusses why each step is important, helps you to understand the benefits, and explains the parameters of each (how much sleep or exercise you need, etc). She also shows you the different ways you can incorporate each one into your busy life. Here’s to better skin and less stress!!

Here is a clip of The Today Show’s feature of Dr. Wechsler and The Mind-Body Connection:

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Tired of Skin Care Hype? Anti-Aging Ingredients Explained

We all know how confusing anti-aging skin care products can be. Every company promises that their product is the solution. And honestly, who really has the time or money to purchase and try every single product on the market? Not me! Some of them don’t work at all, and the ones that do can take weeks or months to make a visible difference. On top of that, they’re pretty expensive too!

The solution to this dilemma is to take a close look at the actual ingredients contained in each anti-aging product. Instead of making a decision based on marketing hype, choose to trust only those products that actually contain key anti-aging ingredients.

We all want smoother, firmer skin and a more youthful glow. Choosing the right skin care products is the best place to start.

Here are some key ingredients to look for:

Retinol (Vitamin A) is one of the most effective anti aging ingredients used in skin creams and lotions. The acid form of retinol is tretinoin. Retinol is extremely effective in reducing lines and wrinkles and improving skin texture. Be sure to protect your skin from sunlight with a daily SPF product, as retinol can increase your skin’s sensitivity to sunlight.

Niacin (Vitamin B3) has recently been shown to activate sirtuins, a chemical in our body that has anti-aging properties.

Vitamin C or Ascorbic acid is another commonly used anti-aging ingredient in skin care. Vitamin C is proven to reduce wrinkles and activate skin’s natural collagen, making it much more elastic.

Vitamin E has been called the “ultimate anti-aging ingredient” by many people. It has been used for years to improve skin’s texture and to prevent wrinkles.

Licorice Extract helps to reduce and prevent age spots. It is proven to improve skin tone and evenness.

Omega Acids, including Omega 3 (fish oil) and Omega 6, are powerful anti aging skin care ingredients as they are extremely effective in moisturizing the skin. Not only are omega acids effective in reducing wrinkles and lines, but they can be used early on to prevent them and keep skin looking younger, longer.

Kir Royal
Creative Commons License photo credit: savor_soaps

Alpha-Hydroxy Acids (AHAs) are wonderfully effective exfoliants that slough away dead cells on the skin’s surface to expose younger, healthier looking skin. Of all the ingredients in anti-aging products, this is a great one for cell turnover and skin renewal.

Beta-Hydroxy Acids (more commonly known as salicylic acids) are a peeling agent. These too are effective in exposing healthier skin below the surface by removing old, dead skin cells. Both alpha- and beta-hydroxy acids are also quite effective in the treatment of acne and discoloration.

Jojoba oil is wonderful for women with sensitive skin and is effective in reducing find lines and wrinkles as well as making the skin much more soft and supple. Don’t let the word “oil” scare you off – it is actually a wax and does not promote acne or clog pores.

Grapeseed oil is a moisturizing ingredient that contains many antioxidants which help promote skin’s firmness and elasticity.

Always, always remember that anti-aging cream ingredients are much more important than any advertisement or marketing scheme. Looking back, you’ll be glad you didn’t waste your money on an inferior product.

Nail Care Essentials for Perfectly Polished Nails

If you want healthier nails or are simply looking for the perfect pedicure or a manicure, here are some must-follow tips: :)

1. Massage Vaseline into your cuticles once a week. This helps feed the new nail and encourages nail growth. A great time to do this is right before bedtime.

2. Buff your nails! This also helps your nails to grow because it improves circulation. It also helps keep the nail bed smooth. Just don’t go overboard..! Buffing too much can weaken the nail.

3. Stick to one direction when filing your nails. Filing in a back and forth manner places stress on the structure of your nail plate and will actually cause nail breakage down the road. Always carefully file in one direction.

Creative Commons License photo credit: Jacklyn DL

4. To get a few extra applications out of your favorite nail polish, try adding a tiny bit of nail polish remover to the bottle. Make sure the polish and remover are mixed well before applying. You won’t want to try this until that bottle of nail color is almost ready to throw out.

5. Instead of shaking your bottle of nail polish to even out the color, gently roll it back and forth across a table or in the palm of your hand. This prevents air bubbles from forming inside the bottle – and prevents them from ending up on your nails. You want your nail polish to go on smoothly.

6. When it comes to application, you should always apply the following: a base coat, two coats of color and a final top coat. The base coat protects your nail and helps the polish to last longer. It also prevents your nail from yellowing. Two coats ensures even coverage and the top coat adds shine and helps your manicure or pedicure to last as long as possible.

7. Finally, you should always let your nails dry for about an hour before wearing shoes. The polish may be dry to the touch after just 5 minutes or so, but make sure to only wear sandals or flip flops for the first hour to prevent marks and scuffs in your new polish.

Seven Tips for Kissable Lips

With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, here are a few tips to get ultra soft, smooth, kissable lips:

  • Apply Vaseline to your lips each night before bedtime. You may have another lip balm product you will want to use instead, but if not, good old Vaseline works wonders.
  • Keep an extra toothbrush handy and use it to lightly brush the surface of your lips each day to remove dead or dry skin. You will want to do this just as your Vaseline or other moisturizer is wearing off so that the dry skin comes off smoothly and easily. If you wait until your lips are already dry, it won’t do much good!
  • Always use a water-resistant lip balm with SPF protection (yes, even in the winter… and especially while skiing or snowboarding). The skin on your lips is ultra thin and delicate. Since you don’t need to “tan” your lips, too much sun exposure will cause your lips to burn, chap, or worse. This can make applying any type of lip color a nightmare. A protective lip balm will prevent damage and soften your lips all at the same time.
  • Use a lip liner that is close to your natural lip color. You don’t want to use one that’s too dark – your lip liner is there to help keep your lip color in place and make it last longer, not to create a distracting line around your mouth.
  • v2.351 and 45/366: February 14th (Happy Valentine's Day!)
    Creative Commons License photo credit: Phoney Nickle
  • When applying lipstick, blot your lipstick with a tissue after applying each layer. This will give your base lip color extra staying power.
  • February is a perfect time to try fun, flirty shades in pink, red or berry. Once you’ve finalized your clothing choices, choose a shade that compliments your coloring and goes well with your outfit.
  • After applying your lipstick, finish off your look with a soft, shiny lipgloss. But be sure not to go overboard on the gloss – too much can take your lips from gorgeous to gooey. Also, by layering and blotting your lipstick as mentioned in the above step, you won’t have to touch up your lipstick during the evening, which usually requires precision – and a mirror. Glosses are lighter and easier to apply, so you can quickly and easily touch up the shine if needed.

These tips will give you a perfect pout and help your lip color last much longer – throughout your entire Valentine’s Day date, perhaps? ;)


Protect Your Lips

We all know the importance of protecting our skin against overexposure to the sun. But did you know that your lips are at a much greater risk of developing skin cancer than the rest of your skin? The skin on your lips is paper thin and extremely delicate, which makes them extra vulnerable to the sun’s harmful rays.

Skin cancer of the lips accounts for 10 percent of all skin cancer cases. Over 3,500 new cases of skin cancer of the lips are diagnosed each year. Whether you’re skiing and snowboarding this winter, laying out next summer, or just cruising around town anytime of year, here are a few things you can do to help you keep your lips protected:

Choose your lipgloss carefully – Because of it’s shiny, reflective nature, some dermatologists claim that applying lipgloss and then going in the sun is the equivalent of taking a magnifying glass and focusing the concentrated sun rays directly on your lips. Wow. I’m a lipgloss junkie and I’ve never realized how harmful some lip products could be. If you’re going to wear lipgloss, choose one that has a high level of SPF included in its formula.

Use a high SPF Chapstick or lip balm – If your absolute favorite lipgloss doesn’t have SPF in it, you MUST find a chapstick or baselayer lip balm that has it so that you can wear the protective product underneath. Look for an SPF level on the label, or for ingredients like titanium dioxide or zinc oxide (sunscreens that will provide the protection your lips need). We would recommend wearing a lip balm with at least SPF 30 underneath all your lip colors at all times. The bonus: these products will keep your lips extra moisturized too!

Opt for a lipstick instead – Since lipsticks have more pigment than lipglosses, using one will provide you with better sun protection. Matte lipsticks especially have an advantage over glosses because they are less reflective and have the most coverage of lipstick formulas.

Fall Makeup Trends

Hello Pretties!

The air is refreshingly crisp and autumn is in full swing. We can’t wait for you to try some of these top fall makeup trends. Deep, dark shades are all the rage for lips, eyes and nails. You will want to make sure and pair them with softer, more natural shades for your face and cheeks. We also recommend playing up just one or the other. Sophisticated, ladylike looks are a must-have this season.


Deep plums, berry shades, dark reds and bright reds are all great shades to rock this autumn. If using a lipstick, you’ll want to keep your lips supple by applying a moisturizing lip balm underneath. You should also use a more neutral lip liner to prevent the color from bleeding and to avoid making your darker lips look too harsh.
Keep in mind, if you have thin lips, you should skip this trend and opt for the darker eye and nail looks by pairing them with a more neutral lip. Dark lip shades will make thin lips look even thinner. Warm beige and light caramel shades are always a flattering fall classic.

Our favorite look: Dark berry shades

Creative Commons License photo credit: mkream


When going dark, remember one thing: keep nails shorter and squared. A clean, shaped look will be the difference between sophisticated and scary. Save long or pointy nails for Halloween weekend. :)

Our favorite look: Chocolate brown shades


Think either matte or metallic shades. Save glittery and shimmery shadows for your upcoming winter holiday parties. Plums, darker purples, and other jewel tones are in, as are classic blacks and dark browns. The smoky eye is always great for fall, or a slightly smudgy look will do the trick too.

Our favorite looks: Deep plum shadow in the crease or a deep, chocolate brown smoky eye


Nothing stands out against dark makeup trends more than fresh, gorgeous skin. Warm, natural, creamy skin is an absolute MUST this season. Skip the pink shimmery summer blushes this time around and use warm, creamy/glowy products.

How to Apply Liquid Foundation

[See the rest of our How to Apply Makeup series for beginners.]

Foundation is the basis of many great makeup looks. Foundation can help your skin tone appear even and help minimize flaws. A good application can make the difference between a picture-perfect finish and a glamour don’t. We have all seen bad foundation applications on women who look like they are wearing an orange mask or whose faces don’t match their necks. But there is no reason to be intimidated. It is actually quite easy to apply foundation. Here’s how:

1. Color selection is the first step in avoiding obvious foundation lines. It is best to buy foundation at a store where you can try the colors because it can be very difficult to judge shades based on the package alone. Bring someone with you who you trust to give you an honest opinion about whether or not a shade is right for you. Also, be sure to step outside of the store to see how the color looks on your skin in the sunlight. Foundation that looks great in the store could look clown-like in natural light.

mac select spf 15 foundation nc20
Creative Commons License photo credit: Idhren

2. Begin with well-hydrated skin for even coverage. Moisturize your face and let it sink in for about five minutes.

3. Pour a very small amount of foundation onto your fingertips and dot onto your cheeks, forehead, nose and chin.

4. Using a damp cosmetic sponge, blend each dot outward until all areas of the face are covered. You can apply a little more if needed. After you are satisfied with the results, take your sponge or brush and blend the line where the foundation ends one more time around the perimeter of your face to ensure that no visible lines remain.

5. Dust with loose powder to help set the foundation in place.

6. Check your face in natural light to make sure everything is blended nicely.

Foundation doesn’t have to be scary to apply or look bad. If you’re not confident in your technique, practice before applying the rest of your makeup so that you can wash it off and start over if you aren’t happy with the results.

A Refreshingly Natural Makeup Look

Happy New Year beauties! ;;)

Start the New Year off fresh! This refreshing tutorial shows you how to create a truly natural, barely-there daytime look. The “no makeup”-makeup look tutorial is by makeup artist Jamie Melbourne. This look is quick, and perfect for everyday activities like work, running errands, working out, or even just hanging out. :)

Tanya, the model in this video is just darling and the natural makeup gives her this amazingly perfect glow. She really does look gorgeous, yet still looks like she isn’t wearing any makeup! It was refreshing just to watch it. Many women are overly “done up” ALL the time. This video was like a breath of fresh air. It reminds us that natural beauty is always in, and that there’s a time and a place for different makeup looks. It’s definitely a tutorial everyone should see.

Some of the products used in this tutoral:

MAC Brow Set
MAC Mascara