Archive for the ‘Quick Tips’ Category

Hot Ingredient: Aloe Vera

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The use of aloe vera dates back to the ancient Egyptians.  They called the plant the “plant of immortality”.  It was presented to dead pharaohs as burial gifts. Stone carvings still exist depicting its uses. The ancient Egyptians utilized the Aloe plant to heal infections, burns, and to clear up the existence of parasites on the body.  Since those times, the use of aloe vera has expanded.  We know it’s a leading therapy for sunburns; however, the additional uses of this magnificent plant may astonish you.  Aloe vera is a cactus plant that belongs to the Liliaceae family. It grows in dry climates such as those found in parts of Africa and India and has been used medicinally for centuries. The plant can grow anywhere from several inches in height to several feet, depending on its growing environment.  Ancient Greeks, Spaniards, and Arabs applied aloe to the body to minimize the occurrence of perspiration and body odor. During the sixteenth century, aloe made its way to the West Indies and shortly thereafter arrived in the Caribbean and America. During the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, American herbalists relied heavily on Aloe Vera for many of their treatments.

Aloe leaves secrete, a clear gel that when broken off from the rest of the plant that can be applied topically to heal wounds and soothe skin.  The leaves of this plant contain a high percentage of water, essential oil, amino acids, minerals, vitamin C, vitamin E, zinc, essential fatty acids, and glycoproteins. Aloe Vera has been credited with the following capabilities: antibacterial (minimizing the presence of bacteria), antimicrobial (minimizing microbes), antifungal (minimizing the existence of fungus), anthelmintic (reduction in number of parasites and worms), anti-inflammatory (easing of swelling), antiviral (destruction of viruses), vulnerary (wound healing), purgative (performance as an aggressive laxative), and emollient (acts to moisturize and soothe).

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Various studies have been conducted to examine the benefits of the aloe vera plant and it was found that aloe vera does in fact have several properties that are effective in treating a variety of skin conditions, from flaky or dry skin, cosmetic ailments, and hair and scalp problems.   Aloe vera has been credited with the ability to promote cell renewal as it soothes the skin. Taken orally, it is used to cleanse and support the digestive system, infuse energy, and support the immune system. Aloe vera juice is taken internally to provide relief from common digestive issues such as irritable bowel syndrome and heartburn. It is also taken orally to treat conditions such as osteoarthritis, epilepsy, asthma, and diabetes. Topical applications revolve primarily around the treatment of sunburn, burns obtained from sources other than the sun, and psoriasis.

As an antibacterial substance, it offers relief from the redness associated with acne while helping to heal breakouts. Enhancing the skin’s natural levels of moisture, aloe vera is particularly helpful to use on sensitive or dry skin. Its moisturizing capabilities have led to its use in anti-dandruff shampoos. A rich source of many vitamins including A, B, and C, it is used to brighten skin tone and minimize minor pigmentation issues.  We hope you add aloe vera to your list of “must try” ingredients!


Anastasia: Dipbrow vs. Brow Wiz

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The days of pencil thin brows are over and full brows are here to stay! Every celebrity has an eyebrow guru to give them the desired natural but styled brow. Anastasia of Beverly Hills has been the Dipbrowfront runner of the eyebrow movement. Anastasia is an actual esthetician and brow technician who still runs her practice at her Beverly Hills salon. If you can’t afford the airfare, don’t fret! You can create a perfectly groomed eyebrow at home with her world famous Dipbrow Pomade or Brow Wiz.

AJ071The question is, which one is for you??

The Dipbrow Pomade is a waterproof, pot of highly pigmented eyebrow crème which comes in twelve shades. This is deal for sculpting existing hair or creating the illusion of hair where it may be lacking. If using a makeup brush isn’t your forte or time is of the essence, you may prefer the Brow Wiz. The Brow Wiz mechanical pencil comes in nine shades. The fine tip to mimic the appearance of small brow hairs and the bottom of the pencil is equipped with a spooley brush to effectively blend the product for a natural look. For optimal results, use short strokes and a light touch to fill in the brow, and extend where needed. Always blend pencil with the spooley for even color distribution.

Both are amazing products and will leave you with Hollywood style brows that will be the envy of all your friends!


Beautiful Brows Revealed

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You can’t deny it; a fabulous set of brows are priceless. Nicely groomed eyebrows, not only polish off a great look, but also act as an instant eye lift. There will be no need to schedule your next waxing appointment when you follow these simple steps.

First and foremost, invest in a quality set of tweezers. Look for a slanted tip, which provides better accuracy and grip when tweezing unruly hairs. My personal favorite is the Tweezerman Slanted tweezersTweezer. FYI for all the divas out there, these tweezers also come in several different colors! How fun- I’m always on the hunt for cute new items to spice up my makeup bag!

5 Steps to perfectly manicured brows:

1. The cardinal rule- Never over pluck! This is probably the hardest of all of the guidelines. We have all been overzealous with the tweezers at one time in our life, leaving your brows sparse and over plucked. But don’t fear – there are helpful tricks to avoid this mishap.

Try filling in your brows with an eyebrow pencil first. This enables you to create your perfect shape, acting as a pattern for you to follow while tweezing. Tip- use soft, feathery strokes when penciling in your brows, this mimics the look of hair. A heavy hand will make your brows look too harsh and drawn on. By diverting attention away from areas that need to grow in, the focus remains on the hairs that need to be plucked. Follow this easy step and you’ll never be left with thin, wimpy eyebrows again!

2. Shaping- Keep in mind everyone has differently shaped brows. Some are more rounded, while others are more squared. Some have high arches and others are straight across. The key is to enhance the shape you were born with.

3. There are three parts to an eyebrow- the head, arch and tail. The head of the brow should start directly above the side of the nose. Tip- Hold a pencil parallel to the side of your nose. The pencil will land where the head of the brow should begin. Tweeze any hairs that land in unibrow territory.

4. Next, holding the pencil at the side of your nose, diagonally angle it so that the pencil crosses the iris of your eye. The pencil will fall on the part of the brow where your arch should be. Pluck hairs one by one to open up and define the arch.

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5. Now, angle the pencil toward the outside corner of your eye. The pencil will land where the tail of the brow should end. Pluck any stray hairs that remain.

6. Lastly, finish off your look by applying a brow gel. I recommend Billion Dollar Brow Gel, it works wonders! The gel sets your hairs, keeping your brows polished and intact from morning until night!

 

 

Tips for Success:

-Try to avoid overarching the brow, which can leave you with a surprised or angry expression.

-Plucking too many hairs at once can leave holes or gaps in the brow. For better precision, pluck one hair at a time.

-Pick a neutral toned eye brow pencil that matches your natural hair color.

 

 


Protect Those Feet!

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ST005Water shoes, aqua socks, flip-flops, whatever you have, you need to protect your feet this summer. This time of year people are running around barefoot and spreading some pretty nasty stuff around. Water Park restrooms, public pools, locker rooms are all breeding grounds for plantar warts and Athlete’s Foot.  Not familiar with these contagious foot issues? Here are some things to look for if you think you may have contracted one of these little gems. A plantar wart is a fungal infection that can be a painful bump. They are most commonly found on the hands and feet. They usually go away on their own but it may take years. If you would like to rid yourself sooner apply a salicylic acid to the infection and keep it covered to avoid it from spreading to others. In about 12 weeks the infection should be cleared. Athlete’s foot is just as easy to get rid of. If your feet are itchy, red and starting to blister, start an over-the-counter athlete foot treatment like the Stiefel Zeasorb Super Absorbent Antifungal Treatment For Athlete’s Foot . Within a few weeks of consistent use the infections should be gone.


Instant Peel

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Does your skin need a little tender love and care?  Can you use a great facial, but don’t have the time to make it happen?  I may have a great solution for you. Instantly peel away dead skin, sebum and impurities to uncover fresh, baby soft skin. Regardless of your skin type, Instant Peel will dramatically improve your skin texture, elasticity, and firmness. The proof is at your fingertips: peeling within seconds of application when used as directed. The gentle action comes from Instant Peel’s unique combination of proteins and enzymes, and is proven safe for even the most sensitive skin. Instant Peel is a natural exfoliator and an effective alternative to facial scrubs, chemical peels, and microdermabrasion. You can’t overuse Instant Peel. Once the dead skin and debris are peeled away, Instant Peel stops working, revealing a youthful glow.

– Free of oils, artificial colorants and detergentsinstant peel

– Hypoallergenic

– Allergy tested

– Non-irritating and gentle

This product is recommended for all skin types and it will help to even skin tone and texture.  You can use this product on your neck and décolleté for an instant pick me up and sheer radiance.  With 28 reviews and a 4.5 star rating, this product has a loyal following and yields amazing results.


Charcoal: An Ancient Secret of Beauty

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What is the first thing that comes to mind when you think of charcoal? Maybe BBQ, water filter, or Santa’s naughty list, it is a whole lot more than that and in this blog I will tell you beauty secrets involving charcoal that may blow you away. It is the latest ingredient to take the beauty industry by storm. Activated charcoal is charcoal that’s been treated to increase its absorbency. The use of charcoal and health goes back hundreds of years. Missionaries used charcoal to treat tetanus, typhoid, cholera, dysphoria, hepatitis, pinkeye, diabetic ulcers, Candida, dysentery, gangrene and other illnesses. It’s been used in emergency rooms at hospitals to treat alcohol poisoning and drug overdoses. Charcoal works great on indigestion, heartburn, flatulence, morning sickness, to fight bacterial and viral infections. It works by attaching to toxins in the stomach and absorbing them before the bloodstream can. The theory behind activated charcoal in beauty products is similar: It acts like a magnet to attract and absorb dirt and oil. And the experts say that theory holds water. “When dirt and oil in your pores come in contact with the carbon, they stick to it and then get washed away when you rinse,” explains cosmetic chemist Ni’Kita Wilson.

So, let’s take a look at what it does for skin. Activated charcoal draws bacteria, poisons, chemicals, dirt and other micro-particles to the surface of skin, helping you to achieve a flawless complexion and fight acne. Charcoal is not metabolized, or absorbed by the body. It can be used to treat some poisonous bites and disinfect some wounds. Activated charcoal powder is proven to adsorb thousands of times its own mass in harmful substances, which makes it a popular ingredient in facial masks. It will help with eczema, psoriasis, and many other skin conditions because of its amazing absorbency and purifying effects. It helps prevent cellular damage. It treats body odor.  This magic ingredient is found in many soap bars, beauty masques, and facial cleansers. Also, you will see this ingredient in many home remedies and recipes.

Activated charcoal can be used to whiten your teeth. The micro-porous charcoal grabs all the plaque and grime on your teeth. It has been used for hundreds of years for this purpose and yields amazing results without sensitivity or the high cost of professional whitening products. In addition, it really helps with bad breath and gingivitis.

It can be used for a total body detox. Charcoal has an impressive and time-tested record as a treatment for a variety of ailments. Current scientific research has confirmed the validity of most ancient uses of charcoal, as well as pioneering new applications. It has been shown that activated charcoal can…

  • Reduce damage caused by high cholesterol, coronary disease and arteriosclerosis.
  • Counteract pathogens.
  • Work as an antidote for virtually all drugs, chemicals and poisons.
  • Relieve intestinal complaints.
  • Extend life and correct common age-related problems.

Activated charcoal has been coined “The Universal Antidote and Detoxifier” and it is used as a recommended protocol for anti-aging and life extension benefits.


Top 15 Concealer Tips

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The best concealers diffuse discoloration, lighten shadowed areas, disguise blemishes, and work in conjunction with foundations to achieve a more even skin tone and hide flaws. However, a poor choice in concealers can make things look worse! They draw attention to problem areas, accentuate fine lines and wrinkles, look cakey, settle into creases, and even disappear as the day comes to an end.

Top 15 Tips and Tricks:

1. Concealers should not, generally, be applied over powder foundation. Doing so tends to cause streaking and the powder may roll or peel. When using powder foundation, apply concealer first.

2. Choose a concealer that is one or two shades lighter than your skin tone to neutralize dark areas without attracting attention by making it look too light.

3. Use liquid concealer; if you have normal, combination, oily, sensitive or blemish-prone skin.

4. Use stick concealer; if you have normal, dry or sensitive skin

5. Use cream concealer; if you have normal, dry, combination or sensitive skin

6. Use cream to powder; if you have normal, slightly dry, combination or sensitive skin

7. Apply concealer under the eye: draw a triangle with the base under your eye and the point toward your cheek instead of straight across the bottom of the eye. This technique covers more, blends better, and last longer.

8. When choosing a color-correcting concealer remember:

Lavender: counteracts sallow or yellowness in the skin

Yellow: counteracts deep purple tones such as dark circles or scarring; pale yellow works well to highlight brows and cheekbones but it must be pale yellow, not gold

Green: neutralizes redness, including diffusing redness from rosacea. Great for covering up acne!

Pink: Neutralizes a blue cast on lighter skin tones

Orange/Salmon: neutralizes blue to deep purple or grayish tones on deeper skin tones

9. To prevent your eye shadow from falling off your lid and settling in the creases, prime your eyelids first with a dab of concealer.

10. Hide puffy eyes with a bit of eye cream, highlighter, and concealer. Mix them together and apply.

11. After applying concealer, blot the area with a thin tissue to prevent the product from settling into creases around your eyes.

12. Make your lipstick pop and prevent the color from bleeding by lining the outside of your lips with a fine-tip brush and a bit of concealer.

13. Make your brows pop by lining them above and below with a concealer that’s one shade lighter than your skin tone.

14. Create a tinted moisturizer by mixing your daily face lotion with a bit of your go-to concealer.

15.  For a smooth application with stick concealer, apply some on the back of your hand and gently rub in a circular motion to warm up the product. This will give you a nice smooth application.

Some of our staff favorite concealers are Amazing Cosmetics Amazing Concealer and Too Faced Absolutely Flawless Concealer. You can find both of them on SkinStore.com.


A Girl’s Best Friend: Makeup Removing Wipes!

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Although cleansing your face thBoots No7 Quick Thinking Wipes- Value Packoroughly with either your hands or a cleansing device is ideal, makeup removing wipes are a convenient way to remove the day’s makeup and grime so that you can properly cleanse your face. Makeup removing wipes shouldn’t be used solely to cleanse the face because they lack any type of cleanser, but are great for removing mascara, eye liner or other long wearing cosmetics. Makeup removing wipes, like the Boots No7 Quick Thinking Wipes – Value Pack are even great for throwing in your gym bag or purse if you want a fresh pick me up midday. You can also cut your make up wipes into smaller more manageable squares and can be used to remove make up goofs like lipstick, eyeliner or mascara from the upper eye lid.


Boost Winter Hydration

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Suffering from dry, dehydrated winter skin? Here’s a tip! Adding concentrated serums to your moisturizers can double the humectant factor.  Here are a few additives that can give your favorites a little boost this winter season. Peter Thomas Roth Oilless Oil Purified Squalane

SkinCeuticals Hydrating B5 Gel can be added to any day or night cream to replenish nutrients in the skin. Added moisture helps diminish fine lines and wrinkles as well as smoother looking skin. B5 Gel is also recommended for use with vitamin C to maximize the benefits.

Peter Thomas Roth Oil Less Oil 100% Purified Squalane can be added to sunscreen, moisturizers or used before your make up application to deeply condition the skin. Squalane is found in the body naturally and this purified version duplicates the lipid barrier found in our skin.

Philosophy Turbo Booster C Powder is a revolutionary powder that can be added to your favorite cream or sunscreen to help fight free radicals, which are still an issue even in the winter! Vitamin C helps lighten and brighten skin as well as reverse the aging process.

 

You can find the products mentioned on SkinStore.com.


Quick Tips for a Holiday Glow!

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Want to look radiant and bright for upcoming holiday parties? Here are a few of our favorite ways to boost your radiance!

Add a few drops of this serum under your moisturizer and foundation and it will make you look like you are always standing in the perfect lighting. We love Orico London Transcend Marine Radiance Serum. It also deeply hydrates the skin and we all need that. Tighter skin and diminished wrinkles are also huge benefits. Orico London is brand new to SkinStore. Certified Organic ingredients and essential oils make this a winner for our naturalists.

An extra 10 minutes is all it takes to brighten dull skin, recover and nourish distressed skin, reduce redness and soften skin. Alchimie Forever Kantic Brightening Moisture Mask is a staple for any pre-event regimen. This staff favorite will not disappoint. You will get a more hydrated, glowing complexion in just 10 minutes. Now that’s what we call quality time!

So we all know that exfoliation helps get that top layer of dull, dead skin off revealing the younger, plumper skin cells right?! Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare Alpha Beta Daily Face Peel /2 Steps is the fastest, easiest way to get holiday ready. If you haven’t “peeled” before, don’t let the word scare you. There won’t be any redness, flaking or down-time with these pre-soaked pads. Just swipe Step 1, the peel, over your face, leave on two minutes and swipe Step 2, the neutralizer, right over the top and viola! You are now ready for a mask and/or serum. These handy wipes are even safe for sensitive skin and those with rosacea. If you have more tolerant skin, they come in an Extra Strength formula as well. If you are using them for this first time, we recommend trying them a week ahead of a big event, just to make sure you have no reaction. You don’t want to be Rudolph at the holiday party!

In review, if you wanted to do all three of these steps, the correct order would be (after cleansing): 1) Peel or exfoliate, 2) Mask, 3) Serum followed with your favorite make-up. Heck, it’s the holidays use a little shimmer and make things bright!

You can find all of these amazing products on SkinStore.com!



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