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The best beauty products from around the globe

Monthly Archives : May 2016

Best Hair Products For Curly Hair

products for curly hair care

I have always had thick, curly hair. Growing up in New York City in the 90s when stick straight hair was en vogue, I always felt like the odd woman out.

Strong anti-curly cues

Many women of the curly persuasion seem to feel societal pressure to straighten their hair or even worse, pull it back in an effort to hide it. It’s as if a message has been communicated that straight hair is preferable. Is curly hair not good enough? I have observed this phenomenon in all types of woman: Caucasian, Afro-Caribbean, Asian, Hispanic…the list goes on. This message is so strong that demand has created not only straightening balms, industrial strength blow dryers and flat irons, but also more permanent solutions, like hair straightening processes – some taking 6-7 hours.

Today, on the precipice of 40

I have learned to appreciate my curly situation. Every day is a little different and even if you have the best products – you’ll always have a day where a little frizz infiltrates the system. That said, there is very little maintenance involved. I never have to blow out my hair; just wash, scrunch and go. Make no mistake, when dealing with thick, curly hair, curating the right product selection is a process and finding a hair care expert that is intimately familiar with cutting curls and how they behave is an imperative. At the end of the day my curls are never a surprise.

Let your hair be

The best way to care for any type of hair is to let it do what it does naturally – if you are forever straightening your hair, it will never look as good straight as it would if you let it do its thing. Commit to who you are naturally and let your hair be. As soon as you start going with the flow of your hair texture, working with it instead of against it, your hair will look superb. Finding the right products is a huge piece of the puzzle, especially as we move into summer.

It’s all about the products

Finding the right products for curls can be akin to a science experiment. You have to be patient and willing to try different combinations of products to see how they work together with your hair. I have tried so many different products in so many different categories. To some extent, I tweak my regimen depending on the weather or season and recently due to new product finds.

I’ve just revamped my regimen and wanted to share.

Shampoo daily

I typically use Caretrico’s Type H Shampoo. Give your scalp most of the attention in this step. Do let the shampoo run down the length of your hair though and give your scalp a 5 second massage. Twice a week I alternate with Christophe Robin’s Cleansing Mask with Lemon. This line has been around for years. Christophe Robin is a world renowned, Paris based, hair colorist to the stars. His client roster includes Natalie Portman, Catherine Deneuve, Tilda Swinton, Kylie Minogue, Kristin Scott Thomas and my mother. I stumbled upon this particular product last month while in St. Barths. I have not changed any part of my hair regimen in 7 years – so this is a monumental occasion. I leave this in for at least 15 minutes before I get into the shower and use it as a shampoo. Once in the shower, apply a little bit of water and mush it around your scalp and hair. Carry on with your shower routine and then add a little more water to the hair, scrub it around and rinse. This product leaves hair silky and smooth, which any curly cue will tell you, is an oxymoron.

Use a leave-in conditioner or leave your conditioner in

Du-Boa Scalp MassagerThis particular step is one that many hair care professionals will not advise. But if this is wrong, I don’t want to be right. My favorite absolutely can’t live without hair product is Caretrico Privy Treatment Slim Through. If your hair is on the medium to finer side, try Caretrico Treatment Moist Sleek. Ishi introduced this line to me. It is meant to be used as a conditioner or 10-20 minute hair treatment. Since there is not enough moisture for my hair, I leave it in, and once applied, run a Du-Boa Scalp Massager through my hair to distribute the product and rid my scalp of any excess product residue that may have built up.

Priming products

Start with a quick spritz of Vine’s Care Water. This boosts the efficacy of all the styling products that you use subsequently. It also adds moisture, defrizzes and adds volume to fine hair! If it’s good enough for NASA, it’s good enough for me! Next I apply 3 – 4 pumps of Caretrico After Treatment Enrich Milk. This is a leave in conditioner that is light enough for even fine hair. It contains hyaluronic acid and infuses the extra dose of moisture that dry, curly, bleached hair needs. This can be used as a styling product for men or those with short hair.

Styling products

Another Christophe Robin must have for thick and/or curly hair is the Intense Regenerating Balm with with Rare Prickly Pear Oil. It’s magic! It is almost the texture of a thick facial cleansing balm with a little more of a pomade feel yet not so vaseliney. It is all natural and is meant to be used as a hair, body, cuticle, feet and lip balm. I use it as a styling and moisturizing product. Take a quarter size dollop (use less if if your hair is medium thick), warm it up between your hands and scrunch it in your hair while standing upright and then repeat with your head flipped. I follow this with a nickel size of Ouidad Climate Control Heat and Humidity Drops. Just scrunch that on right on top.

Believe it or not, this is the paired down version – I’ve cut out a number of steps.

By: Alyssa Barrie Weiss, Twitter @AlyssaBarrie

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Turn Your Layover Into a Makeover

beauty spa services recommendations airport

I’m sure I’m not alone when admitting that sometimes there simply aren’t enough hours in the day to fit in time for personal grooming – but is pre-flight pampering possible when you’ve got hours to kill at the airport?

When I think of airport indulgences, I think of the long overdue and much needed airport wine. However, a couple of glasses will dehydrate your skin and make you feel not so beautiful – so, a spa is the way go to.

Or is it?

Airports are vying to be our go-to beauty destinations and besides beauty vending machines airport spas are the place to go to get a little pampering.

Here is a list of time-starved services that are springing up at airports nationwide. Let’s explore which options are truly viable.

Manicures and Pedicures (YES)

This could be the safest and best – as long as you have enough time to let your polish dry! To make this bet even safer, skip the manicure part and just go for a polish change. That way you don’t have to worry about when the tools were last cleaned, etc.

Facials (NO)

Facials at the airport could easily be a hit or miss. Having oily skin I look for pros that can empty out my pores like no one else. Great aestheticians have years of experience and training, plus a set of expert tools to make your skin glow. I don’t think airports can provide this experience, although Anne Bauso, contributor for Allure, had a facial at the airport and shared her amazing experience.

Blowouts (YES)

I am talking about a basic blowout – no cut, colour or up-do. This service would be best done when you get off the plane – nothing is worse than disheveled airplane hair! I recently wrote a handy list of airports that have blowout services for VANE Airport. It’s definitely safe to try a blowout at the airport at least once.

Waxing (NO)

Best to say no to avoid getting burned or a rash. Can you imagine sitting on a plane for 6 hours with a wax rash?! Plane seats are uncomfortable enough as it is… Bustle recommends “…go(ing) to a professional technician that only waxes.” You want someone who specializes in waxing and knows what they’re doing!

Massage (YES)

Massages are the best option if you’re looking for a little relaxation at the airport. Before and after your flight – this pampering option works anytime. There are also a few varieties of massage available at the airport:

  • Chair Massage: We are familiar with this service already offered at almost every nail salon in New York City. However, airport chair massages are usually done in the front of the store, are very public and not as relaxing because of all the airport distractions.
  • Table Massage:  I have done it before and didn’t regret it but I can’t be sure that others will experience the same treatment. Table massages and facials at the airport are slightly more expensive compared to spas outside the terminals but hey, so is everything else at the airport.
  • Coin-operated Massage Chairs: Although lacking in human touch, many airports offer chairs around their airports. If you have time to kill and are not wild about making more of a commitment, why not?

I am all about personalized services and prefer to go to my regular beauty teams who know my skin, hair and preferences but when you really need something done at the airport, there’s not much you can do. Having said that, a manicure, blowout and massage are low risk beauty services that I have experienced with success.

The pros of pre-flight pampering

These beauty services accept walk-ins (though reservations are welcome) and most places do have a separate treatment area in back for table massages and pedicures.

The cons

We may never know what we are going to get and most places are a little too noisy to be relaxing – which can be expected at an airport.

Maybe one glass of wine paired with a 20 minute chair massage is all I need to take off into bliss mode!

Cristina Alcivar is the Founder of Vane Airport, Twitter: @CrisAlcivar

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Best Hair Lengths for Different Hair Types

best hair length for your hair type

Deciding on the right hair length is something that many of us struggle with. Sometimes we need to turn to a professional to help us settle on the right length for us. We are all different and factors such as hair texture, face shape and personal style all play roles in determining what works best for each of us. Ishi, of Salon Ishi, doles out some expert advice on the topic.

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The texture of your hair determines the best length for your hair, while your face and body proportions are still the most important factors in getting a style that helps you look your best. Though having long hair may be a style choice, you have to let the quality of your hair rule.

Fine Hair

If you have baby fine, thin hair letting it grow long only draws attention to its quality. The ends get even thinner looking because the volume of space you are filling with your hair is greater. Shorter hair brings out the best quality in fine hair. Many people are disappointed with this type of hair, but from the hairdresser’s perspective it’s great hair to work with. You can do all sorts of things with it that thicker hair just doesn’t allow: It styles easily, and you can get it to move in the style direction you desire. A little holding product is all you will need to keep that style. The finer the hair the shorter the length is a good rule of thumb. Caretrico Treatment Moist Sleek is a great conditioner for fine hair.

Medium Hair

If you have medium texture hair, curly or straight, body proportion and of course your face determine the length that’s best for you. Your hair needs to be trimmed regularly to keep it looking healthy. Just a slight trim to remove dead ends helps in the growing process. And like all textures, your overall hair condition determines the length you can grow your hair.

Thick & Curly

For thick curly hair, longer length adds weight to your hair. The length keeps it from puffing up and makes it more manageable. You need to add styling products to keep the curl in control. Let it dry naturally. Don’t brush or comb through it, as this disturbs the curl pattern and makes it get bigger. Curly hair is the most delicate. It breaks easily so getting to a longer length takes commitment. Proper conditioning is absolutely essential. Caretrico Treatment Slim Through  works wonders on thick curly hair.

The longer you grow your hair the more you have to condition it. Exposure to the elements over time depletes hair’s moisture, making it dry and fly away. The texture of your hair could make it dry and brittle. The more you shampoo the more damage you could do. Rinse, rinse, rinse and conditioning in most cases is the best way to keep your hair in its best condition. Let’s face it, long hair is older hair. If you don’t keep the condition good, you’ll need to trim to get rid of the hair that is not in good condition. Sometimes this will be a dramatic trim, but long, healthy smooth and shiny hair is the only long hair to have.

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The Scoop on Anti-aging Photofacials and Laser Skin Tightening

anti-aging photofacials laser skin tightening Robert Mazurek

Having been an aesthetician and spa owner, I am well-versed in various anti-aging treatments like microdermabrasion, photo facials, etc. I have achieved great results for both myself and my clients with these treatments, but they can only take you so far. As a makeup artist, I always teach my clients tricks for smoother-looking skin: The right moisturizers, exfoliators, primers and foundations. Still, some clients remain unhappy about the signs of aging, such as sagging jowls and neck, age spots, wrinkles, enlarged pores and uneven coloration…all of which need more help than superficial concealing makeup can provide.

I have had the unique opportunity to observe a wide array of anti-aging treatment modalities offered by the many medi-spas that carry my M.B. YORK products. Even with my extensive knowledge, I am often confused by all this technology, and secretly wish someone could offer a simple explanation of what devices and treatments could achieve profound anti-aging results. As much time as I have spent in these environments, I remain frustrated, still not clear about exactly what to do to receive the results my clients and I am looking for.

One of my makeup clients has flawless skin. When I asked her secret, she told me about Robert Mazurek, owner of Rx Skin Clinic, so I decided to check it out. When I went to his office, he examined my skin with a Wood’s lamp, which reveals the extent of sun damage. He provided a full consultation, explaining how my main concerns with aging (reversing sagging, sun damage, and wrinkles) all need to be treated in different ways. He advised photofacials for my sun damage, skin tightening laser for the sagging, and Pixel laser for smoothing wrinkles and enlarged pores. He noticed the spots on my hands and offered to include two photo facial hand treatments to be added at no charge if I were to purchase the package of 6 face & neck treatments sessions. As a makeup artist, I’ve long been self-conscious of my sun damaged hands, since they are always front and center, often closeup on camera to capture my makeup technique.

While I was nervous about how much this would cost, I was also excited as I looked over his compelling before and after photos. He informed me that he has performed over 30,000 laser treatments, and the way he expertly explained everything made me trust him immediately.

My first treatment consisted of a photofacial and skin tightening laser treatment for face & neck. I was worried about the pain as he didn’t numb my skin first— but it wasn’t bad. It felt like the snap of a rubber band on the skin. For sensitive clients, topical numbing cream is available. The treatments took about 20 minutes and there was zero downtime! My skin looked a little red— which was gone in an hour—yet vibrant and stimulated. I couldn’t wait for my second treatment.

A month later I went in for my second skin tightening treatment, followed by my first Pixel laser treatment. The latter required some topical numbing cream to be applied afterward to soothe the sunburn-like sensation. I felt some heat, but no pain at all. Once again, the two treatments were completed in about 20 minutes. My face looked more red than the first treatment, so I was given some topical healing ointment to apply every 4 hours for the next day. I couldn’t wear makeup for 24 hours, since all of the pores were temporarily exposed from the penetration of the laser. Though I felt self conscious, no one could tell a thing unless I pointed out how my skin was redder than usual. My skin also felt like sandpaper as it developed microscopic rough dots where the laser made “Pixel” perforations. You really couldn’t see them, though—I only felt them if I touched my face. After a week, all this “rough” skin fell away and underneath was brand new baby skin. My moisturizers worked better, delivering deeper hydration than before, and my fine lines were disappearing! I also had my first hand photofacial, the results of which Robert said are the equivalent of 2 face photo facials. Any freckles or sunspots became temporarily darker, but not scabby or different in texture. He explained that it would take longer than the face (almost three weeks rather than one) for the spots to completely fall away. I am about two thirds of the way there and my hands are looking at least 10 years younger!

Robert explained that this series of treatments can potentially take 20 years off your skin, and I am already seeing huge progress! I’m excited to see improvements with each session, and of course the final results after finishing the series. And it doesn’t stop there: The improvements continue for five months after the final session as new collagen continues to regenerate and grow. It is like real life photoshopping!

Robert and I are excited to collaborate on a special offer that combines his laser and light-based treatments with my expert makeup applications. All laser packages purchased at Rx Skin Clinic in Scottsdale, AZ will now include a complimentary makeup consultation with me ($150 value). You will look younger, yet incredibly natural. No pulled skin from a face lift—just a younger, fresher, more polished you.

I have asked Robert to offer special pricing to my clients, so if you mention M.B. YORK he is temporarily extending his holiday special exclusively to my clients. I will also include my complimentary makeup application tutorial.

2016 is your year to do something incredible for your skin. Call now and schedule your complimentary skin evaluation with Robert at Rx Skin Clinic: 480-483-8902

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The Best Exfoliating Scrubs Without Microbeads

natural face and body exfoliating scrubs without microbeads

My skin & body care product obsession started at a young age. By middle school I was doing my own independent reading about – and purchasing of – beauty products. One of the first products I fell in love with (that I could afford to buy for myself) was St. Ives Apricot Face Scrub. This product has achieved cult status over the years, and for good reason – it left skin super-soft and glowy. I was thus distraught a few years later when one of the big beauty books said that my scrub with natural exfoliating particles should be shunned, as these irregular shaped bits can cause tiny tears in the skin. YIKES. Never fear, they said – swap in a scrub with manmade perfectly spherical plastic “microbeads”! No more mini-tears; totally skin safe.

This was all years before the green beauty movement took off, so no one really followed this thinking through to the obvious end…where we find ourselves today. These tiny plastic beads, which have become ubiquitous in thousands of products ranging from body scrubs to toothpastes, do not dissolve (DUH) and therefore pose a major threat to the environment.

In fact, a recent study reported that more than 8 trillion microbeads enter the country’s aquatic habitats daily. These seemingly innocuous microbeads have contributed to an increase in microplastic polluting the planet’s oceans and lakes, and pose a threat to aquatic life. These little plastic perpetrators have since been banned by public policy. However, if your favorite exfoliators contain these microbeads, you might be reeling over the ramifications on your skin.

What to use now? What works?

I’m proud to say that here at Travel Beauty, we’ve only carried scrubs with natural exfoliating particles. By virtue of them populating our virtual shelves, you know they get our stamp of approval as an all-around excellent and effective product. So if you’re on the search for a plastics-free scrub, look no further. Here is our list of the best of the best.

FOR FACE

Lavido Gentle Exfoliator Peeling Cream: This exfoliator/mask is suitable for even the most sensitive skin. It contains Oyster Shell Powder and Pomegranate Peel Grains to provide a subtle scrubbing action, sloughing away dead cells and buildup. Scrub-a-dub for 20 seconds then leave on skin for another minute et viola! Glowy skin is yours.

FOR BODY

Sasawashi Mesh Body Scrub Towel: If you want to forgo scrubs altogether, or want to boost your scrub with extra exfoliating action, this towel is perfect. Can be used in shower in lieu of a loofah or you can put your favorite scrub on the towel. You can also use it for dry brushing skin, if you find a skin brush too harsh.

Juara Invigorating Coffee Scrub: A much stronger choice of body scrub than the two mentioned above – this is not OK for use on the face! This invigorating body treatment is made with Indonesian Sumatran Coffee Beans, finely crushed walnut shells and gentle, sulfate-free cleansing agents. This scrub will *wake you up* as it stimulates circulation, exfoliates, cleanses and helps to firm, tone and brighten skin. Coffee has been clinically proven to provide powerful antioxidant and tightening benefits for skin – hence the proliferation of coffee scrubs. Juara’s scrub was one of the first and is still the best in my book. This unique scrub also features Vitamin E-rich Rice Bran Oil, which provides additional hydration and helps maintain skin’s elasticity, leaving skin supple, soft and smooth. Many people have cured their pesky keratosis pilaris with it. A true therapeutic body ritual in a jar.

FOR FACE & BODY

Yu-Be Foaming Skin Polish: I find myself writing about and recommending this face & body scrub often. Here’s why: At $18 (for an almost 7 oz) tube, it’s one of the best bargains in beauty. Because it contains fine grains of Rice Bran and Bamboo as well as gentle cleansing (no sulfates!) agents, this polish not only effectively exfoliates, but also works into a luxurious foam as you scrub, so no additional cleaning step is needed (just like the Juara scrub!). Skin is left totally clean and ready to soak up your skin care products like a sponge. It also has Ginger Root, Ginseng Green Tea, Geranium Oil and Camphor – all benefit skin in different ways and give this polish it’s refreshing and invigorating scent.

Mio Skincare’s Double Buff Dual Action Enzyme Exfoliator: Another scrub that’s safe for face and body, you can easily buff away dull, lackluster skin with Mio’s Double Buff. This non-abrasive scrub is dedicated to revealing brighter, smoother, more even toned skin. In place of harmful buffing fragments, this omega-rich exfoliator utilizes perfectly spherical particles of pumice, lava and bamboo to gently but effectively slough away dead skin cells. Extract of fig and organic shea butter hydrate and moisturize whilst organic sweet almond oil can soothe sensitive skin. The results? Smooth and supple looking skin with renewed clarity and radiance.

Not only helping skin to look smoother and more even, its formula is packed with essential nutrients which work to maintain elasticity so skin looks and feels younger, firmer and extra dewy. Use on a damp face or on a dry body, pre-shower. Like all Mio Skincare products, Double Buff is free from parabens, petrolatum, synthetic fragrance and colorants, xenoestrogens, PEGs, glycols and phthalates.

By: Claire McCormack, Twitter & Instagram

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