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Monthly Archives : January 2015

Flawless At Home Self-Tanning Tips

self tanning lotion

Always worth revisiting: Our foolproof guide to flawless self-tanning at home. If you’re taking a beach vacation in the dead of winter, pumping up your winter white skin is a no-brainer. But even if you’re staying where the cold winds blow, a subtle self-tanner application can brighten your spirits (and your backside). Here’s our simple recipe for getting a gorgeous glow, even in the snow.

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Ned Stark warned us that winter is coming…could someone please summon his ghost to find out when, exactly, winter is LEAVING?!?!

When you wake up one morning to discover that spring is upon us, will you look like a white walker? Start self-tanning now so you can sport a skirt on the first spring day. Here’s your foolproof plan to get you from ghostly to glowing likety-split.

Keep All Your Supplies in the Shower

We are talking scrub, body oil, body lotion and self-tanner. Apply it in the shower. The result: minimal mess, easy clean up and let’s be honest, you need to be as naked as your name day when slathering on self-tanner.

Don’t Hate…Exfoliate!

I use a body scrub twice a week year round. If you don’t regularly scrub your bod, this is the best time to start! Do it at the beginning of your shower, when skin is damp but not saturated – this helps the scrub to work optimally. If skin isn’t wet enough, the scrub won’t spread across your skin as easily (and can hurt!). If skin is too wet, the granules in the scrub will dissolve before they can really do their best work.

After Your Shower

Remove any excess water from your skin. No need to completely dry off – skin can still be damp. Use a body cream or oil (I use Heaven Skincare Oil for this) to gently cover knees, elbows, hands (especially in between fingers and palms), ankles and feet. The idea is to cover the places where self-tanner tends to collect, causing not-so-cute concentrated dark spots.

Alright Stop…Tanner Time!

The Travel Beauty Team is devoted to Institut Esthederm Sun Sheen Self-tanner because it is truly foolproof: never streaky and always natural looking. If you have pale skin (as I do), you may want to ease yourself into self-tanning season by mixing your tanner with a body cream- at least for the first few applications. This allows for a subtler effect that you can build gradually. The new BB and CC creams for body are tailor-made for this task! They have a hint of hue and are designed to perfect skin tone and mask blemishes. They soften the self-tanner just enough to give a light, flawless application, while also providing the moisture your winter-ravaged skin is still craving.

Make Sure to Cover Everything

The tops of your toes, sides of your feet and every part of your skin leading up to your underarm- and don’t forget the backs of your legs. So many parts of the body can be exposed that you may not think of.

Don’t Get Caught Tan-handed!

If you covered your hands well with oil or cream, you shouldn’t end up with deep-fried looking fingers. Still, it is important to wash hands thoroughly with soap and water immediately after applying self-tanner. Make sure to clean in between fingers and on the inside of wrists- two spots that are easy to overlook, and therefore easy to look over-tanned. You can even give your hands a quick exfoliation with your scrub if you think they need it. Make sure product has fully dried before getting dressed so you don’t rub any tanner off on your clothes.

Follow these steps and you’ll be ready to show some skin as soon as The Winds of Winter stop blowing.

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Bridal Skin Boot Camp: Fresh and Flawless Wedding Day Skin

bridal skin boot camp

Getting married this spring or summer? Believe it or not, NOW is the time to start thinking about your skin. This will likely be the most photographed and filmed day of your life, with lots of close-ups.  If you’re wondering how to get that effortless, fresh-scrubbed look that will carry you through your honeymoon, I’m about to tell you: It takes effort!

Make a Plan

Since you’re working up to your wedding day, and you may have photo shoots or events leading up to the big day, in my opinion, it’s best to have a series of less aggressive treatments that require little or no downtime rather than harsh ones (like deep chemical or deep laser peels) that require significant healing time, and may cause pigment irregularities, or excessive dryness or redness during the healing period. The cost is comparable, and this type of “stacked” plan is less risky, allowing you to achieve the same, or superior results, gradually by stacking the right treatments at the appropriate intervals.

 Start Early

Starting your skin boot camp 3-6 months prior to your wedding also gives you plenty of time to see how your skin reacts to each treatment so that the intensity can be either ramped up or down to produce maximally effective, and perfectly predictable, results for you on your wedding day.  The three basic steps are:

 

  • Target the imperfections beneath the skin: banish brown spots and shrink capillaries with medical IPL (intense pulsed light) treatments that use special filters to erase imperfections below the surface of the skin. Adding a SkinTyte treatment at the end of each session is helpful for those prone to acne, and for shrinking pores. These sessions should be spaced about a month apart.
  • Replace dry, damaged skin cells at the skin surface: Encourage cell turnover on the surface of the skin, and allow your face to make brand new, perfect, skin on its surface with a series of treatments (options include superficial laser peels, topical ViPeel treatments, or MyBody Probiotic Youthboost treatments, depending upon your skin and your particular concerns). We can discuss which of these treatments is right for you, your schedule, and your skin, during consultation. These sessions should also be about a month apart, and staggered with the IPL treatments.
  • Maximize and maintain your results: Perfect skin care and eye care products between treatments are essential. Starting 3-6 months before your wedding means that you have some time to get the absolutely best product regimen in place for your skin, so that you will have predictably gorgeous skin from now until go time. And sunscreen is a MUST. ALWAYS.

On a side note, if you’re thinking about Botox or facial fillers, like Juvederm, Juvederm Voluma, or Belotero, before your big day, definitely do not wait until the last minute.  I recommend these treatments between 4 and 5 weeks before the wedding.

Bridal Skin Boot Camp Regimen

Here’s a sample Bridal Skin Boot camp regimen for a May 30 Wedding for someone with absolutely no downtime for healing between treatments:

  • February 21: First IPL treatment with SkinTyte
  • March 14: First Probiotic Youthboost treatment
  • April 4: 2nd IPL treatment with SkinTyte
  • April 18: 2nd Probiotic Youthboost treatment
  • May 2: Final IPL treatment with SkinTyte
  • May 16: final Probiotic Youthboost treatment
  • May 30: Wedding Day!

To schedule an appointment with Dr. Liotta, please visit: www.FacialPlasticsNYC.com or call 212-288-2222.

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What to Do When You Forget to Pack Your Toothbrush & Toothpaste

toothbrush and toothpaste alternatives

If you traveleven occasionally you’ve likely experienced the dreaded realization that you’ve forgotten to pack your toothbrush and/or toothpaste. Depending on where you are and/or where you’re staying, running out for replacements may be an option – but not always!

What To Do?

As I pride myself on my resourcefulness and, um, creative off-label uses for various beauty products, I have some brush-less and/or paste-less solutions for just such a situation. These solutions are foundwhere else? in your beauty bag! Allow me and my inner-MacGuyver show you how to clean up your dirty mouth – toothbrush or no.

First Things First

Have you started tongue scraping yet? I have been singing the praises of tongue scraping for years now, and have written a blog that is basically an ode to the practice. If you regularly tongue scrape morning and night, I promise your mouth will feel significantly less gnarly over the long term. Also, as a tongue scraping zealot, if I were to forget my toothbrush and/or toothpaste, I would still have yet another mouth cleaning tool in my quiver. (Since a tongue scraper is A LOT harder to purchase in a pinch, I make sure to always pack it, and haven’t forgotten it yet!)

Though nothing replaces that so fresh and so clean clean feeling that a thorough brushing brings, once you scrape all that gunk off your tongue, you won’t feel nearly as bad about your mouth. Tongue scraping is an ancient ayurvedic cleansing ritual that’s so much less nauseating than oil pulling and still incredibly beneficial. Seriously, people get on my level with this.

A Note on Skin Wipes & Travel

Heaven Skincare’s EllaJane Celebrity Skin Wipes are so big, soft and strong that a recent first-time user elatedly exclaimed “you can do an entire whore’s bath with one”! (Not that we know what that is…but it sure sounds impressive.) These wonder wipes have also become the official skin wipe of Travel Beauty expert Dara Liotta M.D.’s practice.

That’s all swell, but did you know you can also CLEAN YOUR TEETH WITH THEM? Yup, these organic wipes can be used to wipe down those chompers anytime, anywhere. They are super soft and “taste” very mild. Infused with taste bud-friendly honey, peppermint and apple pectin, they are almost good enough to eat (but don’t eat them, please.) Just take a wipe and gently wipe along the outside and inside surfaces of your teeth, focusing on the gum line to attack that plaque, and viola! Your mouth and breath will feel totally refreshed in seconds flat.

Wonder Water

One of the most versatile products we carry is Vine Minus Ion Care Water. We’ve shared the myriad reasons to love  and ways to use this miracle water in a previous post that should not be missed! You can (and should) spray Care Water anywhere, at any time: Your face, your skin, your hair, your boo boos…and even your teeth. The negative ions in Care Water give it its superb cleaning abilities. Here’s how to use Care Water as a teeth cleaning tool: You can spray it directly onto your teeth, swish around and then spit it out (be sure not to swallow it!); you can also spray it onto your toothbrush (if you remembered to pack one) and brush with. Now if you want the full-on unconventional Care Water mouth cleaning, you can tie it all together and spray Care Water onto an Ella Jane Wipe and wipe your teeth down. Not ready to buck oral hygiene tradition so thoroughly? Here’s another way to harness the teeth cleaning capabilities of negative ions…

Coming Soon to a Travel Beauty Near You!

We are so excited for this new addition to hit Travel Beauty’s virtual shelves: Binchotan charcoal toothbrushes! Each bristle of these stylish brushes contains active charcoal to deodorize, prevent bad breath and remove plaque. The activated charcoal gives off cleansing negative ions and prevents harmful bacteria from growing within the brush. In a toothpaste-less pinch, using this brush alone definitely beats brushing with any old Oral B. Lookout for the launch of these brushes, as well as several other Binchotan charcoal infused beauty and grooming products.

BY: CLAIRE MCCORMACK Twitter & Instagram: @clairemcmack

 

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Microcurrent Facial Spa for Anti-Aging and Skin Repair

microcurrent facial spa

After recently doing a TV segment on anti-aging secrets of celebrities and sharing the FDA cleared Microcurrent Facial Spa with the audience, I was inundated with calls. There are lots of women looking for alternatives to going under the knife and needle.

Star Skin Secrets

If you watched the Golden Globes on Sunday, you may have noticed that almost every celebrity had radiant skin and looked much younger than their actual age. While most movie stars have resources at their disposal that we can only dream of, there are skin secrets we can steal from the stars.

As your skin gets older, it loses its ability to produce collagen and to exfoliate, so one of the first things you want to do is get your skin turning over more rapidly. I suggest using an electronic skin brush, such as Clarisonic or other brands. For more dramatic results, you can use the brush with an exfoliating wash or scrub. These brushes move 300 times per second, so they deep-cleanse removing makeup and product residue that magnify pores as well as fine lines.

Another strategy stars like Nicole Kidman and Brad Pitt use to get red carpet-ready is the Microcurrent FDA-cleared Facial Spa device. It first uses a negative current that pulls out impurities in the skin with a cleansing gel. Then the age-loc gel is pushed into the skin with the positive current penetrating the dermis. It’s kind of like a workout for the muscles of the face and neck. It softens crow’s feet, lifts the brow and smooths lines. You can see results after just one treatment, but the more you do it, the better results you will see.

Microcurrent Facial Treatment

Without exception every woman who came to me for the Microcurrent Facial treatment purchased the machine for home use. They were beyond excited about the immediate results and extremely optimistic about the long-term benefits. Having used it myself for close to 5 years, my clients can also see how it keeps my skin looking hydrated, lifted, firm and smooth. People tell me that I look better now than I did 5 or 10 years ago. I attribute it to the MicroSpa and my regular use of Red Light Therapy. Red Light Therapy stimulates collagen production, repairs damaged cells and can reduce cellulite and wrinkles.

Combat Anti-aging with the Right Makeup

The anti-aging benefits of the right makeup is something you see immediately. After doing the Microcurrent Facial Spa, I then do my client’s makeup, and the change is immediate – they look 10 years younger. My clients hug me with excitement as they leave and then call after to tell me how many compliments they are getting. Most say that their husband noticed the minute they walked in the door. I love watching their confidence soar after they had poured their hearts out about how they avoid looking in the mirror and feel so distressed about the aging process. I feel so great that I can provide an instant non-surgical solution and work hard with follow-up appointments teaching them how to expertly apply their makeup in under 10 minutes so they can confidently go about their day focusing on what they love knowing they look as great as they feel.

For more information on these treatments, or to book an appointment with Mary Beth York, if you’re in the Scottsdale, AZ area, call 480-209-0898 or visit mbyork.com.

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Interview with Brenda Christian, Part 2

brenda christian eye brow interview

This is part 2 of our interview with inspiring female beauty entrepreneur, Brenda Christian. (Be sure to read part 1.) Here, Brenda shares some of her best brow tips that she’s learned in her 30+ year career as a makeup artist and brow specialist.

What are the biggest mistakes people make with their eyebrow makeup?

  • Drawing on the eyebrows with soft brow pencils or brush-on brow product, trying to color in the empty space. Brow hairs should always be stroked into the brow line in tiny short strokes, working in the direction from which the brow hair would grow naturally, in order to closely simulate real hair.
  • Another mistake is starting the eyebrows too far from the center of the face. Placement of the eyebrow is the most important cosmetic decision you will make for your face. (Read Brenda’s comprehensive shaping guide below.) Sometimes this requires patience for natural hair re-growth. During this time, filling in with Universal Brow Definer® and Perfect Brow® is ideal.
  • Third is trying to lift the eyes by drawing a circular style to the brow instead of gently framing the eye itself in its natural shape.

What step should eyebrow shaping be in your makeup routine? Middle? Last?

BC: Major brow clean-up, such as major tweezing or waxing, should be done prior to applying any makeup, so you are working on clean skin. But for your daily routine, eyebrows should be applied in the middle, after the application of skin treatment, foundation, concealers, and eye primer. Then brush the brows upward, clean up any stray hairs with a good pair of tweezers, sharpen and apply Universal Brow Definer® and set by pressing on Perfect Brow Gel®.

What are your tips for achieving the best brow shape?

It always concerns me when I see a professional makeup artist tell someone that there is an absolute rule for applying eyebrows, because the truth is there is not. There are so many variables which must be taken into account, such as ethnicity, natural and/or enhanced hair color, size of the eyes, both horizontally and vertically, amount of lid above the eye and skin in the brow bone area, width of the nose and the nostrils and overall bone structure of the client. The two most important considerations are balancing the face and framing the eyes. The eyebrow is like a frame on a fine painting in your living room. One must take into account the color of the wall, the amount of space around the frame and the size of the piece of art. The overall goal is to add beauty to the room by framing the art. A beautiful room (the face) is the primary objective, and the art (the eyes) should enhance the room. If the wall is large and the art is small and a heavy, ornate frame is chosen, then the focus becomes the frame…not the room, not the art. So it is with eyebrow design.

Framing The Eyes

The goal is to create the most beautiful face, drawing attention to the eyes by softly and specifically framing the eyes, keeping in mind the balance of the face so that a brow appears to be almost non-existent, youthful, and above all, natural. This isn’t to say that fashion trends do not play a part in the eyebrow design dynamic. Today’s brow is fuller, soft in relation to the hair color of the client, and carefully stroked with a precision wedge or point simulating real eyebrow hairs.

Always work with a very sharp pencil, never a soft, crayon like pencil. The texture of the pencil is very important because it must allow you to create the width of an actual hair. Apply the Universal Brow Definer in short, firm strokes, always in the direction the hair would grow naturally. This automatically gives a wider look to the root area of the brow stroke, narrowing toward the end of the hair, just as natural eyebrow hairs appear. The natural texture of the brow is achieved by applying Perfect Brow Gel® in short, pressing strokes, releasing a matte gel over the pencil strokes to set and enhance the brow application.

Brow Color

As far as color is concerned, very rarely should eyebrow hair be darker than a client’s natural hair. Even if a blond has dramatically lightened the hair, the natural hair color will be a deeper, ash or golden blond color and that color eyebrow will appear most natural. Likewise, a red head will rarely have a bright red eyebrow. Look at the eyebrows on a naturally auburn haired child and you will see a reddened softened brown or blonde brow, rarely a bright red tone. A brunette should apply the tone of brown or black closest to his or her natural hair color but a slight shade lighter and then layer the strokes of the hairs to increase density for a more natural look, never appearing hard. On most people, the Universal Brow Definer and Perfect Brow Gel will provide the most natural eyebrow appearance possible. Sometimes, I will variegate in a distinct color like an auburn red, or deep black very, very sparingly to enhance the tone of the Universal Brow Definer application, but this is the exception and not the rule.

Step-by-Step Eyebrow Shaping Guide

As far as shaping is concerned, the most general guidance I can suggest is that the brow should begin above the inner tear duct and arch above the outer iris, then gently taper outward at about a 15-20 degree downward angle to about 1/4 to 1/2 inch outside the outer eye including the eyelash extension length. Be careful not to dip down on the edges of the eyebrow causing a semi-circular clown like appearance. Don’t use the nose as a guide, because nose widths vary both between the eyes and at the nostrils, so to use the nose can throw the entire eyebrow shaping out of proper alignment with the eye. An important tool is a good magnification mirror, but a full sized mirror should be used to check shaping during the process so that the overall appearance is natural. As far as the density and width of the brow are concerned, that is where the amount of eyelid above the eye comes into play, as well as the overall facial bone structure, whether it is small, medium, or large. This is where artistry comes into play. My best advice is to consult a professional makeup artist with a specialty in eyebrow design and enjoy a professional design that you can maintain on your own. Personally, one of my greatest joys is a private eyebrow consultation. My fee is $125.00 per client and includes a take home brow kit to continue the look, a very worthwhile investment in your personal style. If you are in the Jacksonville Beach, Florida area, please feel free to schedule an appointment. Please email: info@brendachristian.com

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