Archive for the ‘Tips & Tricks’ Category


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Use Code 25NOW. Now’s the time to try something new or stock up on your favorites. Shop skin and hair care, cosmetics, tools, natural and men’s products. Don’t miss this opportunity to save more than ever! Exclusions apply; see promotion details for more information.

Save 25% Storewide

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Use Code 25NOW. Facebook fans and customers can shop one-day early, some items are sure to run out. This offer will not be shown on‘s website until Wednesday. Now’s the time to try something new or stock up on your favorites. Shop skin and hair care, cosmetics, tools, natural and men’s products. Don’t miss this opportunity to save more than ever!

Melasma and Zinc Oxide

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Dealing with Melasma can be challenging and frustrating.  The bad news is that there’s no cure in the horizon for this common and often chronic disorder, which recent research suggests may have both an epidermal and dermal component as well as a genetic component that is not just based on race or skin type. Estrogen and progesterone seem to play a role in Melasma.  Prescription obagitopical medications with hydroquinone, Tretinoin and a range of acids, and possibly corticosteroids, have long been the main stream way of Melasma treatment. Today, sufferers are receiving a boost from chemical peels and microdermabrasion and, of late, targeted laser therapy using both new and standard devices. This combination appears promising as a new avenue for Melasma treatment.

SK077In addition to those treatments, studies recently have shown that Zinc Oxide has been very successful in the prevention and treatment of Melasma.  Many report great results according to the American Academy of Dermatology.  Zinc Oxide is a common ingredient is sunscreen.  The key is to have the highest percentage of Zinc Oxide in the sunscreen in order to protect, prevent, and heal Melasma.  Will it get rid of all the Melasma?  No.  Remember there is no cure at this time.  However, it has proven to be of great help.

We recommend for those that suffer from Melasma to use physical sunscreens vs chemical sunscreens.  Since chemical sunscreens absorb and disperse the harmful UV rays, this may trigger Melasma vs calming it down.  Physical sunscreens that contain Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide are best suited for those with Melasma since they repel the harmful UV rays. Look for options like the SkinCeuticals Physical Fusion SPF 50 or the Obagi Sunshield Matte Broad Spectrum SPF 50.


Product Feature: L’Occitane Nourishing Shea Butter Discovery Set

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loccIs your skin beginning to feel dry and chapped due to climate changes?  Are you looking for  high end, quality, products that won’t break the bank and will nourish the skin?  Ready for a tremendous value, suited for all skin types, that features Shea Butter as the main ingredient? Why Shea Butter?

Shea Butter contains allantoin, phytosterols, five essential fatty acids, and essential vitamins, A, D, and E. It is beneficial in healing skin irritations, neutralizing free radical damage, and enhancing collagen production. It has exceptional moisturizing capabilities and is used to create ultra-rich lotions, creams, and gels to soften the skin. Shea Butter is included in anti-aging and anti-wrinkling formulas designed to reduce the incidence of premature facial wrinkling, chapped lips, fading scars, and dark spots. Since Shea Butter contains phenolics, an important element of polyphenols, it provides unique anti-aging capabilities that are like those delivered through the use of Green Tea. It is included in shaving formulas to reduce the incidence of bumps and dry skin and in hair formulas to soothe the scalp, eliminate dandruff, and improve hair texture, moisture, and growth. Since Shea Butter is 100 % natural, it is gentle enough for daily use.

Now, and for a limited time, L’Occitane Nourishing Shea Butter Discovery Set is ideal for hot summer days!  This is a 6 piece collection of L’Occitane’s finest products.

Set includes:

Shea Butter Body Lotion, 2.5oz

Shea Milk Soap, 1.7oz

Pure Shea Butter, 0.35oz

Shea Butter Hand Cream, 0.3oz

Shea Butter Foot Cream, 0.3oz

Shea Ultra Rich Lip Balm, 0.1oz

Ultra Rich Comforting Cream, Sample

Moisturize and protect your skin from head-to-toe with this 6 piece collection enriched with Shea Butter, rich in Omega 6 and Karitene to help soothe dry, sensitive skin.

Help Treat Acne with these Lifestyle Tips

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The affliction of acne can be worrisome, painful, and can affect self-esteem.  Acne has physical, psychological, and emotional consequences.  There are many tools that can be utilized to ease the condition.  Acne requires a lifestyle shift in order to aid in getting it in control.  The following are recommendations that will have a positive influence in treatment of acne.

Get more sleep:  According to a study in Sleep, the risk of psychological stress increases by 14% for every hour of sleep you lose a night. So what does this have to do with acne?

“Stress increases glucocorticoid production, which can lead to abnormalities in skin structure and function,” says Sonia Badreshia-Bansal, a dermatologist in Danville, CA. And that can make conditions like acne worse.

To get your beauty sleep, crank your thermostat down to between 65 and 72 degrees Fahrenheit. French researchers found that a cooler body temperature makes it easier to fall asleep after you’ve hit the sack. (WebMD)

Change your diet: Some foods cause your blood sugar to raise quickly, triggering a boost in insulin. Too much insulin in your bloodstream can trigger changes in your body that can lead to the growth of pore-clogging cells. It can also boost action in your oil glands.

acne1So make some changes to your meals. A study in the American Journal of Nutrition suggests you may have fewer breakouts if you add more whole grains, beans, and veggies and cut back on pasta, white rice, white bread, and sugar. (WebMD)

Exercise: Exercise helps cut stress, which may contribute to acne outbreaks.

Physical activity also helps your skin by increasing your blood circulation, which sends more oxygen to your skin cells and carries away cell waste.

But keep in mind that sweat from exercise can also lead to breakouts by irritating your skin. So it’s important to shower right after a workout. (WebMD)

H2O: Increasing the amount of water you drink is a great way to flush out internal toxins and hydrate your skin from the inside out. Although there is no definitive research that shows toxins lead to breakouts.  Researchers at the University of Missouri-Columbia found that having about 2 cups of water significantly boosted blood flow throughout the body and skin. (WebMD)

Sunscreen: You may hesitate to put sunscreen on your face because you’ve noticed that after a day in the sun, your complexion looks clear and breakout-free. But the inflammation from sunburn can make your acne worse or cause more dark spots. Plus, staying out in the sun without sunscreen raises your risk of skin cancer.

Use sunscreen every time you’re in the sun. Read the ingredients list on the back of your sunscreen, and if you’re acne-prone, look for lighter chemical ingredients like avobenzone, oxybenzone, methoxycinnamate, octocylene, and zinc oxide. If you have acne, look for “non-comedogenic” on the label, which means it should not clog your pores. (WebMD)

Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Omega-3s have been shown to control the production of leukotriene B4, a molecule that can increase sebum and cause inflammatory acne.

Omega-3s can be found in supplements or in foods like walnuts, avocados, flaxseed oil, and salmon. (WebMD)

Cleanse 2X a day: The face has more oil-producing glands than any other part of the body, says Carolyn Jacob, MD, a Chicago dermatologist. Top that with a day’s worth of makeup, sweat, smog, dust, and dirt and you’re left with a pore-clogging concoction that, if not washed away regularly, will seep into and fill pores, resulting in blackheads and pimples.

Even if you don’t shower twice a day, it’s important to wash your face thoroughly — and gently — in the morning and at night. Look for cleansers that say “non-comedogenic” on the bottle. (WebMD)

Exfoliate: Sure, overzealous oil glands can lead to breakouts, but so can underperforming oil glands. Dry skin has tiny cracks in which bacteria can breed; plus, excessive flaking can lead to clogged pores.

The fix: Gently exfoliate your skin a few times a week with a scrub designed for the face and follow up with a non-comedogenic moisturizer. (WebMD)

Clean your phone: Several studies have shown that cell phones are breeding ground for germs. Throughout any given day your phone can be exposed to thousands of bacteria, which spread from your fingers (via texting) to your face (via talking) and vice versa.

In addition, the heat produced by your phone can help bacteria to multiply. To keep the germs from landing on your face, wipe the surface of your phone with a little hand sanitizer each day. It’s best to use headphones. (WebMD)




5 Tips to Gorgeous Gams!

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Are you tired of shaving your legs?  Do you suffer from ingrown hair, irritation, and/or razor burn?  The following tips may help you in your journey to the perfect shave.

Exfoliate: Want a seriously close shave? Exfoliate first with a scrub. For your legs, choose a sugar scrub: it’s strong enough to get the job done, leaving skin and body hair ready for a smooth shave.

Soften your follicles: Resist the urge for a super steamy shower: keep water warm, not hot, which dries out skin. Instead of lathering up with hand soap, choose a body wash that will quench skin. Take your time—let your pores open up for a few minutes before breaking out the razor and shaving cream.

Getting a Smooth Shave: You can exfoliate, scrub, and moisturize but it will be of little consequence if you use a bad razor. Using the right razor will make all the difference. Skip the dollar store disposables and choose a razor with at least three blades… and throw it away after a few uses. How do you know it’s time for a new blade? A good razor should glide smoothly and effortlessly along your skin, especially after you’ve exfoliated and applied shaving gel. If you feel like you have to push down to get a smooth shave, it’s time for a new razor.

Prevent Ingrown hairs: Exfoliating before shaving is the first step to preventing ingrown hairs, but it might not get the job done if you’re prone to them. Cortisone cream will help treat irritation and ingrown hair that already exist. If you have sensitive skin, make it a habit to use a product specially formulated to prevent ingrown hairs right after shaving.

Moisturize: The best way to lock in moisture is to lotion up right after the shower while your skin is still damp—it’ll trap and seal in the moisture already on your skin. Next, air dry for a few minutes, letting the lotion sink in. It may feel a little slimy going on, but you’ll notice difference all day: your skin will look healthier and feel softer.

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).



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!

Alchimie Forever Pigment Lightening Serum [GIVEAWAY]

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Alchimie Forever is an effective yet gentle skincare brand. This family owned and operated brand is great for all skin types, but especially wonderful for sensitive skin. All of the products in the brand are hypoallergenic and non-comedogenic, paraben-free, gluten-free, soy-free, dye-free AND safe for Alchimiepregnant and nursing women (except for Brightening Peel)! They have recently added a new product that addresses hyperpigmentation and sun damage, just in time for summer. The Alchimie Forever Pigment Lightening Serum combines blueberry, vitamin C and E to fight off free radical damage and rejuvenate the skin. This serum may be used morning and evening underneath a moisturizer. You will see noticeable improvement in skin tone and redness relief. It will reduce appearance of fine lines, wrinkles and hyperpigmentation. This would be a fabulous addition to any skincare regimen.

Caring for curly hair – taming of the frizz!

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Caring for curly hair does not have to be stressful or complicated….relax, step away from your flat iron and read on! We totally empathize with our readers who tell us they feel as though they are at war with their luscious locks! We say…no more battling the frizz, waging war against humidity, or having hand to hair combat in front of the mirror every morning. Here are a few simple tips 7503410892_deded1338f_zand tricks that we feel every woman with curly hair should know.

Understand why you have curly hair. Chances are you received your curly hair from one of your parents or some other relative…genetics aside, at the root (pun intended) of the curly hair mystery is the hair follicle. The size and shape of your hair follicle determines your hair thickness and whether or not you will have curly or straight hair. Individuals with curly hair will have an oval to nearly flat shaped follicle. An oval follicle produces wavy hair, whereas a flatter follicle produces more coiled hair or tighter curls. On the contrary, individuals with rounded follicles have straight hair.

Nurture your curls through hydration and gentle care. First, washing your hair every day can be very drying. Second, many drug store shampoos can be damaging or harsh to your hair. Solution – because curly hair tends to be damaged easily, consider washing your hair with a shampoo made for curly hair every other day, or even less. Here is a tip – condition your hair daily, but wash no more than 2-3 times per week. At first the new routine may cause what feels like oiliness, but this is just your hair adjusting to a new regimen. Try to stick to the new regimen for two weeks before deciding if this is right for you. The benefits of this change may take a couple of weeks to notice, BUT it will save you time and you will still benefit from that fresh washed feeling everyday.

Condition, condition, condition. Find a hydrating conditioner to use daily. You want something light, but conditioning enough for daily use without ugly build-up, which can weigh your hair down. Find a daily conditioner made for curly hair and deep condition once per week. Leave in conditioners work well. If you are concerned about build-up or product residue, incorporate a clarifying 16782288678_84e157f22e_zapple cider rinse or shampoo that will remove residue without stripping the hair. Tip – if your hair tends to get tangled, comb (not brush) through your hair while conditioning. Avoid combing or brushing dry, unconditioned hair as much as possible. Shower time is a great time to get the tangles out!

Avoid heat. Flat irons, curling irons and blow dryers should be used sparingly. Allow your hair to air dry as much as possible and blow dry only when absolutely necessary. Seriously, when you minimize shampooing and hydrate your curls, you will find that minimizing your blow-dryer time gets easier…it is no longer just a styling tool; rather it becomes a way to get body without achieving the big-poofy over worked look. Instead, try to incorporate a high quality curl enhancing product, which eliminates frizz and defines your curls. Alterna, Oscar Blandi, Phyto and Briogeo all have fantastic products to choose from. Once your curls are managed and under control, your desire to straighten them is lessened and your curling iron and flat iron may not be as appealing for everyday styling.

Finally, it is important for curly haired vixens to find a superb stylist, one who understands curly hair. The right hair cut is crucial! I saved this tip for last because this subject can be sensitive. We have all experienced a bad hair cut…good news is your hair grows back eventually right?! Tip – find a stylist that knows curly hair. Get referrals if you can. In addition to the right cut, regular trips to the salon for a trim can make a huge difference in the appearance of your hair. Regular trims will reduce split ends and will help keep the hair looking healthy.


Looking for product suggestions?

Shampoo’s & Conditioners: Phyto Phytospecific Curl Hydration Shampoo Naturally Curly Hair, Frederic Fekkai Essential Shea Shampoo, Briogeo Curl Charisma Rice Amino and Shea Curl Defining Conditioner

Curl Enhancers: Phyto Phytospecific Moisturizing Styling Cream, Alterna BAMBOO Smooth Curls Anti-Frizz Curl Defining Cream, Briogeo Curl Charisma Rice Amino and Shea Leave-In Defining Cream


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