New SPF from La Roche Posay Anthelios!

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atheliosWe know and love La Roche Posay for their soothing formulas made with their thermal spring water.  But we really love them for their super-effective sunscreens. The sun protection line is appropriately named Anthelios, meaning, “anti-sun.” The latest product is unlike any of their previous formulations.

The Anthelios Clear Skin Dry Touch Sunscreen SPF 60 is going to be great for those who don’t care for the heaviness of traditional SPF products. With the dry-touch technology, there is no greasy feel to it. This is great news for combination to oily skin types. Also this oil –free formula actually absorbs excess oil, even in humidity!

With a high SPF and an anti-shine finish, this is also great for those who rock a bald head. The broad-spectrum SPF helps prevent Ultra Violet Aging (UVA) and Ultra Violet Burning (UVB) rays from damaging skin. Also, the antioxidants help negate the existing damage done by the sun.

If you want the Gold Standard in SPF we recommend La Roche Pasay Anthelios!

Spot Treat It!

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We all have the occasional pimple that seems to come out at the worst time, like right before an event. The key for me is finding a spot treatment that will dry out the pimple but also bring down the inflammation. Salicylic acid is one of the most common ingredients in over the counter spot treatments. This topical acne treatment is used to treat acne, dandruff, psoriasis, dermatitis of the scalp, corns, and even calluses. Salicylic acid works by dissolving the substance that causes cells to stick together. This makes it easier to shed skin cells. In many cases, acne occurs because the pore is clogged with dead skin cells that need to be exfoliated. Salicylic acid treats the breakout by reducing inflammation, and redness, and unplugging the blocked pore. In the past when I have first started using a salicylic acne treatment, my skin was very dry and a little irritated, but this only occurred at the beginning of use. I simply used less product less often and did not have any more issues going forward.

JB044-blemish-be-goneMy favorite acne spot treatment is the Juice Beauty Blemish Be Gone. This product not only contains Salicylic acid but Vitamin C as well. I love how this product is packaged—perfect for on the go! This is definitely a product you want to keep in your purse so you can catch the first signs of a breakout. This salicylic acid reduces the size of my blemish right away, while the Vitamin C works on evening out the tone and texture of my skin. The aloe, green and white teas help to hydrate and sooth my skin so that over-drying does not occur. This is a must-have for every acne-prone client who needs something fast, easy, and very effective.

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.

A different way to Exfoliate…

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NI010-exfoliating-serumDon’t like the irritation, flakiness or other side effects that some products, such as retinols, may cause? Looking for an alternate nightly exfoliation? Well look no further; this Rapid Exfoliating Serum by NIA24 is exactly that—nightly exfoliation without the dryness and irritation to the skin. This serum contains Pro-Niacin, a patented form of niacin, along with plant-based exfoliants such as Willow Bark and Prickly Pear.  It will help fortify your skin barrier, remove rough, dry patches, and brighten skin tone. The delivery system of this serum however, is what really makes the product wonderful. The Pro-Niacin technology allows niacin to deeply penetrate and work from the base of your skin up to the visible layer.

To get the best results from this serum, use one-to-two pumps and apply to your face and neck after NI003-skin-strength-complexcleansing your skin. It is recommended to use the Strengthening Complex, also by NIA24, however, using any repairing/replenishing moisturizing cream will be a great finishing product after applying this serum. If you’re looking for a more rapid exfoliation, using the serum twice daily for 14 days, and then once daily after that will leave you with a brighter, tighter complexion.  This serum will be perfect for you if you ‘e looking to reduce pigmentation irregularities, remove rough, dry patches that clog pores, brighten skin tone, reduce the appearance of enlarged pores, and improve skin texture.

Estie Focus Product: Beautyblender

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The only sponge you’ll ever need. Many brands have tried to duplicate it, but none compare. Created by aYC021-beautyblender-original-and-mini-blendercleanser-solid Hollywood makeup artist, Beautyblender’s unique egg shape is designed to cover 360 degrees and fit into all the contours of the face. The Beautyblender is latex-free and made from a proprietary hydrophilic sponge material that is made to absorb only water. This means that once the sponge is wet, it won’t absorb whatever cosmetic you’re applying.  Every sponge is handmade and dyed with all natural vegetable dyes.

You can apply everything: moisturizer, sunscreen, primer, foundation, powders, highlighters, bronzers, and even self-tanners. Applying products with a sponge gives a more even, flawless application then you’d get with a brush or your fingers. Be sure to wet the Beautyblender and squeeze out the excess water, (I squeeze it into a paper towel) before each use. I like to apply moisturizer, primer, and foundation to the back of my hand, dip the Beautyblender into the product, and then apply. Apply product in a bouncing or twisting motion to achieve a flawless airbrushed-like effect. I use the Beautyblender daily because I like the convenience of using one sponge to apply several different products. I apply moisturizer, primer, foundation, concealer, and setting powder with the same sponge. I love how easy it is to blend with it, and if you make a mistake or apply to much product you can gently rub away your mishap.

The best way to clean the Beautyblender is with their solid cleanser. I soak the sponge in hot water for a few minutes then rub it in the solid cleanser, lather and rinse thoroughly. The container the original Beautyblender comes in is the perfect size to rest it on to let it dry. Each sponge is meant to last three months with daily use and proper care.


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.

Why Mask?

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Masks have a variety of beneficial functions for the skin. They come in many types, as the do perks. You can find masks for brightening, hydrating, purifying, soothing, exfoliating and/or restoring.  A mask can really boost the effectiveness of your regimen, no matter your skin type.  You’ll get the greatest benefits out of a mask after exfoliation. Twice a week is all it takes to bring your skin into balance and create a youthful radiance!

Sheet masks are a great way to relax after a long day. They are pre-soaked, with cutouts for your eyes, nose and mouth. Simply unfold the sheet, place the cutouts over the appropriate areas and smooth the mask over your face to ensure it is flush with your skin.  If you have time, lie down and soak in all the nutrients.  Typically, the sheet has some extra residue even after you’ve used it. Don’t waste it. Rub it over the back of your hands, neck and decollate for an extra treatment! One of my favorites is the SkinCeuticals Biocellulose Restorative mask.  It will soothe and cool while deeply hydrating.

sommeMud or Clay Masks are great for pulling out impurities from the skin and de-toxifying. If you have congestion such as blackheads or whiteheads this would be your go-to complexion picker-upper! Depending on the formulation, mud and clay are a little richer and a little harder to remove. You can help dissolve this type of mask a little by adding water to it and emulsifying before you remove it.  One of our newest masks is the Peter Thomas Roth Irish Moor Mud mask.  A little warning: it’s dark green like the moor mud so you may just blend in if you are going to the forest.  If you need camo, this is your mask!  But seriously, it’s a great choice and it was surprisingly easy to remove.  Also the Somme Institute Boost Mask warms, exfoliates, purifies, hydrates and soothes, all with a heavenly pumpkin aroma.

Lastly, the most common type of mask—cream, is the best for almost any situation.  Alchimie Forever’s Kantic Brightening Moisture Mask is amazing before an event.  Intensely hydrating and brightening, it truly leaves you with an irresistible glow.  Just smooth over clean skin, leave on for 10 minutes, or as long as time allows, and rinse with a washcloth.

Any formulation you choose will help you maximize the results of your regimen.

Estie Find: My Favorite Acne Masks

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Let’s say you have an entire skin care regimen consisting of a cleanser, toner, moisturizer and SPF, but you’re still struggling with breakouts. You have the complete skin care regimen, right? Actually, there’s something missing from your routine: the mask. Facial masks provide additional or deeper treatments to the skin, but many tend to neglect them.  Masks can be used to moisturize, detoxify, and replenish nutrients. If you find that you are breaking out, a mask could be the answer.  Choose a mask based on your skin type and the issue you’d like to correct. While it’s true that not many of us are looking to add time to our skin care routines, a mask could be one of the most effective steps you’ll take.

PT099-peter-thomas-roth-sulfur-cooling-masqueSulfur masks are to be used in the midst of a breakout to control oil production. Sulfur also accelerates cell turnover by getting rid of dead skin cells and buildup that can clog pores. This ingredient helps dry out existing blemishes and prevents the spread of acne-causing bacteria. My favorite sulfur mask is the Peter Thomas Roth Therapeutic Sulfur Masque.  This highly-effective treatment contains eucalyptus, sulfur and purified clay to exfoliate the skin and treat inflamed acne. After using it only a few times, I noticed my congested skin was looking much clearer. I couldn’t ask for more. When I’m struggling with a bad breakout, I use this mask twice a week for the best results. All I need to do is wait the ten minutes and let the product do the work.

My other recent acne mask discovery is the Erno Laszlo Anti Blemish Purifying Mask. This product contains Kaolin Clay, Willow bark extract, and Salicylic Acid. While the Clay and Willow bark reduce surface oil and shine, the Salicylic acid works at exfoliating the skin. I really love the way this mask reduces redness and soothes inflammation; it’s perfect before an important event. After applying this mask, you’ll feel a cool, tingly sensation, which I really enjoy. I do have to say that when I used this mask twice in one week, I experienced some dryness around my nose, but I simply reduced it to once a week and was fine!

Revive and Revamp!

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AR326-alterna-caviar-repair-rx-transformation-kitAre you tired of endlessly searching for different products in an effort to give your hair some extra oomph? Weary of product claims that fall short? Well look no further, your go-to regimen is here! Alterna Caviar Repair RX Transformation Kit is a naturally-formulated line (meaning no parabens, sulfates or phthalates) that will do exactly what is says—repair your hair! One of my favorite features about the Alterna hair care line is that all of their products are highly concentrated, meaning that you only have to use small amounts. Another nice feature about this kit is that you get a complete hair care regimen for about ¼ of the cost.

This kit includes trial size shampoo, conditioner, a treatment masque and a styling protein cream. It all comes in a cute, convenient travel bag.  The Caviar Repair RX Instant Recovery Shampoo is a thick luxurious shampoo which replenishes moisture, protects color and has strand-building proteins, which help to reconstruct the hair individually. The Caviar Repair RX Instant Recovery Conditioner, much like the shampoo, helps to protect hair color, restore and rebalance moisture and prevent future damage. Within just one week, you’ll notice your hair feeling softer and silkier and overall, HEALTHIER! The Caviar Repair RX Fill and Fix Treatment Masque is a wonderful weekly treatment to give your hair that extra oomph.  This hair masque has strong strand-building proteins which help to restructure, fill in any gaps and smooth the hair cuticle. Using it about once a week will give you the best results. The final product in the kit, Caviar Repair RX Re-Texturizing Protein Cream, is a thick, luscious styling cream that will help transform dry, brittle hair, making it manageable and silky-smooth. This product is best applied when hair is damp, before styling.

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