Archive for the ‘Ask an Esthetician’ Category

STAFF FAVORITE: iS Clinical Pro-Heal Serum Advance Plus

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For those of us concerned with reducing redness, inflammation, and even rosacea, there is a wonderful serum that will bring relief! We‘ve tried other anti-redness products and even medical treatments that simply made things worse. Not to worry with this gem. Cosmeceuticals with quality ingredients tend to be better tolerated by rosacea sufferers, and Is Clinical makes excellent, high-quality cosmeceuticals.

This soothing Vitamin C serum offers so much more than just the amazing collagen-building benefits of isVitamin C. Vitamins A and E provide antioxidant protection which actually fights off harmful environmental pollution that can damage healthy skin cells. It makes your sunscreen more effective by providing photo protection, and also brightens the skin, which is helpful in reducing hyperpigmentation. We know that hyperpigmentation comes from sun damage, so these ingredients really provide a one-two punch to external aging factors. All of that makes for a really awesome product, but it also calms signs of skin irritation and is even effective in managing cystic acne.

But here’s the real deal: you see results! After my first use, I noticed an increased radiance. The first week, my skin was firmer and I also noticed it just felt more comfortable and didn’t sting as it sometimes does. Many times our customers say “I don’t mind spending the money if the product REALLY works”. This serum, and frankly the whole brand, is worth every penny!

Look Polished in a Pinch

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JI323-connection-blushIf, like me, you aren’t a morning person, but you still want to look polished and awake for work, or even just to run a few errands, here are a few products I recommend to look put-together in a pinch.

BB Cream. BB creams actually originated in Germany in the 1960s, and then dominated the Asian markets in the 80s. They just became popular in the U.S. in the past few years. BB stands for blemish balm, or beauty balm. This multi-tasking product is meant to take the place of your serum, primer, moisturizer, foundation, and SPF. I like the Hydroxatone Anti-Aging BB Cream Broad Spectrum SPF 40 because it’s easy to apply and blend, and doesn’t feel greasy.

Cream Blush. I gently dab this on the apples of my cheeks and blend it backward with my fingers. It can also be used on the lips. I like the Jane Iredale in Touch Cream Blush – Connection, as it provides a nice peachy glow.

For days you’d rather not go bold, but get out the door fast, go with a rosy lip stain. Pat it on with your fingers, pair it with just a little liner and mascara, and you’ll quickly look pulled together. I recommend DuWop Pure Venom Pure Berry Lip Stain; it’s the perfect color for every skin stone.

Want to look wide eyed and awake in a pinch? A champagne-colored eyeshadow swept over the lid and under the brow instantly lifts and opens the eyes. Stila Eye Shadow in Oasis is the perfect shade for this, and you can even add a little to the tops of your cheek bones for a quick highlight.

A little Mascara Never Hurts

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JI336-black-ice-mascara2When it comes to mascara, we all find different formulas that we swear by. Mascara is used to thicken, lengthen, darken, and enhance the eyelashes.  The use of a mascara-like product goes back to the Victorian era, when women used to make a form of mascara with a mixture of heated ash and elderberry juice and then apply it to their eyelashes. Even farther back in history, the ancient Egyptians—both women and men—used kohl to line their eyes and apply to their eyelashes.

The product that is the closest to the mascara we use today was not created until the 19th Century, by a chemist named Eugene Rimmel. He used the newly-invented Petroleum jelly to create this product.  If I could only use one cosmetic for the rest of my life, it would be my mascara. With just a few swipes, I look and feel much more put together.

I‘m always into trying new mascaras and finding the ones I can’t live without. One of my go-to mascaras is Jane Iredale Longest Lash Mascara in Black Ice. The brush gives my lashes a well-defined, separated look that really opens up my eyes. The formula is buildable, so I can apply coat after coat until I achieve the volume I want. This mascara is made with sea minerals that condition the lashes so that they remain healthy and are able to grow as long as possible. The brush is considered oversized and really works well at preventing clumps.  The RMS Beauty Defining Mascara is my everyday fave because it gets every lash, especially the small lower ones. The brush is narrow and really is great at getting to the root of the lashes and defining each and every one. The formula is rich and creamy and I never notice any flaking throughout the day. No matter which mascara I use, I stick with this one on my lower lashes. So whether you’re a water proof girl, love the super-glam look, or are into the defined, separated look, there is mascara out there for you!

Must-Have Products under $25

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tweezerTweezerman Slant Tweezers: The best tweezers you’ll ever use. They stay sharp for what seems like forever, and if by chance they don’t, you can send them to Tweezerman to have them sharpened. (You just have to pay the shipping cost). They’re worth every penny of $23, considering how long they last, and how well-made they are.

NUXE Reve de Miel Ultra Nourishing Lip Balm: Unlike any other lip balm I’ve ever tried, it leaves a soft silky finish and dries matte. I use it nightly to maintain baby-soft lips, and even my kids love it.

Soap and Glory Face Soap and Clarity 3-in-1 Daily Detox Vitamin C Facial Wash: This refreshing gel cleansercleanser works great and smells amazing. It keeps skin clear without being overly drying.

Beautyblender: I absolutely love this sponge. (I devoted a whole post to it). Everyone needs one in my opinion. Applying my makeup is so quick and easy since I incorporated it into my daily routine, and my makeup looks flawless.

Archipelago Botanicals Oat Milk Body Lotion: Very moisturizing without being greasy. Smells great and keeps the skin hydrated for hours.

UltraLuxe Drying Potion: Banish blemishes overnight with this soothing, nondrying potion. UltraLuxe uses the purest essential oils to create this potion that works to disinfect the pore and clear blemishes quickly.

h2oH2O plus Hand and Nail Cream: If you’re a frequent hand washer like me, then your hands are probably dry. I love this stuff; I keep one tube in my purse and one by my bed. It absorbs quickly and doesn’t leave hands greasy. It’s a steal at only $5!

Farmhouse Fresh Sundae Best Chocolate Softening Mask: Love chocolate? Does your skin need hydration or radiance? Then this is the mask for you! Its smooth creamy texture leaves skin supple and velvety, and smells good enough to eat.

Klorane Dry Shampoo with Oat Milk – Natural Tint: The best dry shampoo I’ve used. A little goes a long way, it smells fresh, and doesn’t leave a powdery look or feel.

Butter London Nail Polish: Super-shiny and lasts at least a week with no chips. I love these nail polishes, they’re worth the splurge.

Vichy Thermal Spa Water: This water comes from 4,000 meters under the earth in Vichy, France, and is VH010-vichy-thermal-spa-waterrich in skin-soothing minerals and trace elements. I apply it before and after my makeup and carry a travel size in my purse for whenever I feel my skin needs a pick-me-up throughout the day.

butter LONDON Wink Eye Pencil: These pencils are my go-to! They go on creamy, last all day, and are deeply-pigmented.

Alterna BAMBOO Smooth Kendi Oil Dry Mist: I spray a little bit of this dry oil on my hair after I flat iron. It makes my hair shiny and silky smooth without weighing it down or looking oily.


Welcome Kat Burki to SkinStore!

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I am always excited when a new brand is added to SkinStore. Our buyers only bring in brands that have proven results and those they believe are going to be loved by our loyal SkinStore customers. Kat Burki developed a skin care line that contains Cell-Communicating Ingredients that assist in repairing damaged skin cells. Her mission is to create intelligent formulas for maximum beauty. After some research, I realized this is a very innovative brand. Kat Burki incorporated a cold-pressing method into her product production.

Simply put, this is when oils are kept at a constant temperature so they are never degraded, and the ingredients maintain a high antioxidant level. Some skin care formulas require heating to set the ingredients, but all of Kat Burki’s oils and complex ingredients are cold-poured once they are cold-pressed into their base formulas. She believes cold-processing ensures that the product contains its maximum effectiveness to deliver results that are very visible. She does not use binders, fillers, or water to create her base. Every ingredient she uses fights signs of aging.

After reviewing the Kat Burki line, I was instantly drawn to the Rose Hip Intense Recovery Eye Serum. I am all about trying a new eye product! This product promises to reawaken your eyes and given the ingredients it contains, I have some high expectations. This eye serum is powered by the antioxidants rose hip, Vitamin C, DMAE, and Retinol.  This eye serum works to diminish dark circles, uneven skin tone, puffiness, dryness and fine lines. What more could you ask of an eye product? I have read many reviews stating the texture is extremely lightweight and a little goes a long way. This product sounds like the perfect pick-me-up after too little sleep.

UG008-kat-burki-vitamin-c-intensive-face-creamThe second product I have my eye on is the Vitamin C Intensive Face Cream. This luxurious lightweight face cream provides 15% Vitamin C that calms and heals, while delivering protection against free radical damage. This product sounds like a great brightening/anti-aging product that will tackle many skin care concerns. Even customers who have sensitive skin seem to be fine using this product.  These are just two Kat Burki products to get excited about. Come check her line out and experience something new!

Cleanse with a Splash!

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ernoDr. Erno Laszlo was a Hungarian dermatologist who began formulating products to heal Hungarian Princess Stephanie’s acne. Due to his success, he went on to open an institute of scientific cosmetology. Later his clients would include Hollywood’s A-List actresses, including Grace Kelly, Katharine Hepburn, and Marilyn Monroe. In the 1960s his treatments were highly sought after.

Today, you can take part in the regimens that were responsible for the most glamorous complexions.  This line offers several cleansing bars. The most popular is the Sea Mud Deep Cleansing Bar. There is a distinct way to maximize your results with these cleansers. Start by filling your basin with comfortably hot water. Dip the cleansing bar into the hot water and gently massage wet bar over the face, and then repeat. Set bar aside and then massage the face and neck with fingertips. Splash your face 20 times with the water from the basin to cleanse and stimulate the skin. Splash your face again 10 times with comfortably hot running water to rinse the skin. Blot the skin dry. Follow with the Erno Laszlo toners, treatments and moisturizer prescribed specifically for your skin.

Dr.  Laszlo was known to have said, “I taught America’s high society ladies to wash their faces.” Now we know how to as well.

Estie Find: Vichy Idealia BB Cream

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Looking for a quick and easy foundation application? Vichy’s Idealia BB Cream would be the perfect find VH087-vichy-idealia-bb-mediumfor you. This hydrating, illuminating formula helps pores look refined, smooths fine lines and wrinkles and contains an SPF 25. This BB cream is on the thinner side in consistency, and for those with dry skin, I would recommend adding a bit of your favorite moisturizer before application. It does blend nicely however, if you need to use concealer or more foundation coverage.  The BB also has a pearly, rose-gold pigment, so if your complexation has red tones, this may make you look too pink or red. This cream does come in two color options, Light and Medium, however, both color options are on the lighter side of the color spectrum. It does blend nicely with skin tones within 1-2 shades of the cream. My favorite thing about it is that it’s a light-feeling cream, with a wonderful clean smell, that is lightly floral but not overpowering.  I hope you enjoy it as well!

Esti Tip: Use a primer, skin perfector, or hyaluronic acid before the application of your BB cream to give your skin a plumped, moisturized base for this BB cream, if adding a moisturizer would be too rich for your skin tone.

Remove that makeup!

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If you’re a makeup lover like me, you probably dread removing it at the end of the day. But removing makeup and cleansing your skin before bed is very important, because while you sleep, your skin is in repair mode. Failing to cleanse the skin at night can lead to the accumulation of environmental pollutants in the skin, which then leads to free radical damage, which can cause premature aging. There are many different makeup removers and cleansers on the market, and as a makeup lover I have tried them all, from wipes and cream cleansers to micellar waters. Here are a few of my favorites:

cleansing oilUltraLuxe Nourishing Wash. This is an oil-based cleanser that is meant to be used on dry skin. It contains 7 nourishing essential oils that leave the skin comfortably clean and free of all traces of makeup (even waterproof). Don’t be afraid to use an oil cleanser if you have oily skin, as oil actually helps to break down the oils in the skin, so your other products can penetrate better.

Koh Gen Do Cleansing Water Cloth. I love keeping wipes by my bed. Let’s face it, wecleansingcloth all have those days where we’re too tired to stand at the sink and wash our face at the end of the day. Wipes are the most convenient way to remove makeup. These wipes remove even the most stubborn eye makeup and feel like nothing more than water. They are alcohol-, mineral oil-, and fragrance-free and also contain skin-nourishing herbs.

nuxemicellarNUXE Micellar Cleansing Water. Micellar waters are like 3 products in 1. They remove makeup and impurities, cleanse, and tone. I love this one by NUXE because it contains hyaluronic acid and leaves the skin soft and hydrated.

First Aid Beauty Face Cleanser. A gentle cream cleanser that is not only firstaidgreat for dry, sensitive skin, but also effectively removes makeup. A pea size amount is all you need for each use; this cleanser creates a soft lather that leaves skin feeling supple and hydrated.


Don’t leave Home without It!

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LP085-la-roche-posay-anthelios-mineral-ultra-light-sunscreen-fluid-spf-50As an esthetician, I am always preaching to my family and friends about the benefits of wearing   sunscreen every day. As if skin cancer weren’t scary enough, according to the US Environmental Protection Agency, up to 90 percent of preventable aging is caused by UV exposure. Twenty years from now, you will regret not applying sunscreen when comparing your skin to someone who wore it on a daily basis. Why have any regrets? Sunscreen has been proven to decrease the development of skin cancer, it helps prevent skin discolorations, and it slows down the development of premature aging. This sounds like a miracle product to me!

There are chemical sunscreens and physical sunscreens to choose from. Physical sunscreens work by deflecting or blocking the sun’s rays.  Chemical sunscreens work by absorbing the rays, while some chemical filters can scatter the sun rays as well.  Chemical sunscreens can be more irritating to the skin, but offer more protection against UVA and UVB rays depending on the particular active ingredient and its stability. Physical sunscreens contain both titanium dioxide and zinc oxide. The titanium dioxide protects against UVB ways, but not the full spectrum of UVA rays. Zinc oxide protects against both UVA and UVB rays.

Your daily sunscreen should have a minimum SPF of 30, even if you’re sitting in an office all day like me. Sunscreen must be applied every day whether you are indoors or out. Customers ask all the time if they need to apply an SPF if it’s cloudy outside. The answer is, yes. Do not let clouds, cold weather, or shade give you a false sense of security that you’re protected from the sun’s harmful rays. As long as there is light, the UV rays can put your skin at risk for both skin cancer and premature aging. Wearing sunscreen is even crucial when driving, or sitting next to a window, as these reflective surfaces can create more damage to the skin. Sunscreen is really the only way to keep your skin looking healthy, young, and radiant.

Protein for the Hair

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Even though hair is strong, it can also get very brittle at times and need some extra care. We all know our hair is better off when we take it easy with heat-styling, use sulfate-free products, avoid over-washing, and use cool water when we do wash. If you feel as though you are already doing your best but still aren’t seeing any improvement, it could be that your hair is lacking the protein it needs. Staying in good general health is always going to help your hair, but sometimes we need more.

Hair damage is the degradation of the keratin proteins that make up the hair strand; the cuticle, which is the protective outer layer, and the inner core. The cuticle is made up of cells that fit together like scales on a fish, and damage occurs when something causes the scales to lift and separate. The inner core of the hair contains the proteins that give it structure and strength. If the cuticle is compromised, damage can occur on both the inside and outside of the hair shaft. Because the protein (keratin) is damaged, keratin is really the only thing that can repair it.

KF169-kerstin-florian-intensive-hair-repairMy favorite keratin product is the Kerstin Florian Intensive Hair Repair. We know that skin care masking is important, and the same goes for hair! This mask is very easy to apply and remove.  After shampooing, apply the product, concentrating on the ends. Wrap hair in a towel or shower cap for 5-10 minutes. For extra penetration benefits, use a blow dryer to heat the product. Let the mask cool and then rinse. The biggest change I noticed after using this mask was how little breakage I now have. The keratin strengthened my hair, eliminated split ends and smoothed out the texture. This product has allowed me to continue the use of my heated tools and ever-changing hair color without the damage.

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