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The Power Of Red Lipstick: What To Consider When Choosing The Perfect Red Lip For Your Complexion.

In beauty, makeup on May 31, 2018 at 2:30 pm

A red lipstick is like an LBD.  Every woman should own at least one.

Remember the first time you wore a red lipstick?  I remember my first time.  I was a young teenager, perhaps 14 or so.  I don’t remember the color but I do remember purchasing it from the local beauty supply store and excitedly hurrying home to try it on.  I ripped open the packaging and remember just slapping it on my lips.  No prep and prime.  No liner.  No technique.  Honestly it wasn’t even really that red.  It was more of a berry color because I didn’t think that with my deep complexion I could pull off such a color so I played it safe.  Whatever the case, I was still excited and felt like I looked perfectly fine.

And then there were the stigmas.  The negative thoughts about women who wore red lipstick.  Whore.  Harlot.  Slut.  Jezebel – Jezzy for short.  Only immoral women and women of the night wore red.  And oh no- you didn’t dare wear red lipstick (or red anything) to the workplace or church.  Yes the ancient Egyptians wore it and even our favorite screen sirens but that was for them.  Not you.

Fast forward to today.  The negative mindset around wearing red lipstick has relaxed for the most part and many more woman are wearing it on a regular basis.  You see, women with cajones wear red lipstick.  And they wear it wherever and whenever they like.  Red is bold.  Sexy.  Iconic.  It commands attention and it is powerful.  Red lips are also the quickest way to look pulled together, like you have your entire life together- even if you really don’t.  Not for the faint at heart, red lips announce “I AM HERE”.

But what do you do if you aren’t comfortable with wearing a red lipstick or you haven’t had success in selecting a shade that actually looks nice on you?  You see your friends and favorite celebrities rocking a red pout but you aren’t sure about your ability to pull it off.  Or maybe you tried to actually wear a red lip outside of the house but you felt more like a clown instead of a sophisticated grown woman.  Whatever the case, if you are just exploring the possibility of wearing a red lipstick, there are options for you.  For example, if you are just starting out, you might opt for a sheer lip stain, balm or gloss.  Liner and balm is always an option to help you test the waters of wearing various shades and tones until you are more comfortable with the look.

As you journey through figuring out what looks good on you, here are some things to consider:

  • Formulation and finish.  There are many formulations and finishes of lip product that can influence the way a color looks on you.  Do you prefer a formulation that is an actual lipstick or more of a balm, gloss, stain or a hybrid like a liquid lipstick?  Would you prefer a glossy finish as opposed to matte (usually wears the longest), frost (shimmery with a pearl finish), satin (opaque without the dryness), or metallic?  Formulation sometimes determines finish (like a gloss) and taking both of these factors into consideration helps when you are deciding how you want the product to wear and what you want it to look like when creating certain looks and focuses for make up design.
  • Time of day.  The time of day, the occasion, or the setting can determine what color/finish you wear on your lips altogether.  Is it day or night?  Is this something you are going to wear on a daily basis or occasionally?  Do you work in a conservative environment where a sheer lip stain might be the only acceptable lip look? Are you going on a job interview at a law firm vs a trendy creative job?  These are just some of the factors to consider when shopping for a red lip (or any lip color for that matter).
  • Subtle or bold.  Are you going for a subtle or bold look?  What will your focus be – eyes, lips or complexion?  The answers to these questions can be used to determine the intensity of the red.  If you have a more dramatic eye, you might choose a more subdued red vs wearing a more bold/brighter lip.  If the latter is the case, leave the eye more neutral with liner and lots of lash and add blush for a neutral but not naked face.

What’s Your Undertone?

What exactly is an undertone?  It is the tone that is just under the first (or top) layer of your skin.  This information is used to determine what tone of lip color would look best on you.  How does one determine their undertone?  Two common ways to make that determination are jewelry and veins:

  • Jewelry Test.  If you feel you look better in silver jewelry, you most likely have cool (pink/red) undertones.  If you feel you look better in gold jewelry, you most likely have warm (yellow/golden) undertones and if you feel that you look good in both silver or gold, you most likely have neutral undertones which can be considered to be equal parts cool and warm undertones or the absence of both, depending on how you look at it.
  • Veins Test.  If you have blue veins, you are most likely a cool undertone.  If your veins are green, you are most likely a warm undertone.  If your veins are blue/green, you would most likely have neutral undertones.

Keep in mind that when it comes to finding the right red, you also have to consider more than complexion, although that is usually the main determining factor.  It’s also hair color and what you are wearing as well.  Ever notice that when you change your hair color, you may not be able to wear the same colors and tones that you did before you changed your hair color?  With undertones, you can complement and illuminate the complexion or create a beautiful contrast in skin tone and therefore should be used as a guide and not law that will keep you confined to a particular beauty box.

Once you have determined what undertone you are:

Keep in mind there may be overlap in regard to which undertone can wear what, as well as personal preference so again use this as merely suggestions and not law.

Ultimately, when choosing to wearing a red lip, wear what you are comfortable with.  The boldness of red lip is something you have to commit to and wear with confidence.

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Follow These Simple Wardrobe And Beauty Tips To Stay Flawless When You Are Busy And On The Go.

In beauty, fashion, makeup on May 9, 2018 at 12:00 pm

It is no secret that being busy has become a normal part of life.  Between working the proverbial 9-5, building a business, going to school, maintaining relationships and the like, you have a lot on your plate which can cause distraction.  This distraction can sometimes lead to a sacrifice of self care and grooming/personal style but it doesn’t have to be that way.  Neglecting basic self care and grooming, can cause other things to suffer.

Looking good is feeling good.  When you look good, you feel good and when you feel good, you operate differently – from a place of confidence.  You might be thinking to yourself that you don’t have the time, knowledge or expertise to pull together your look (wardrobe, makeup, hair, etc.) but the success actually comes with planning and strategy.  By not making excuses and creating good habits such as planning out your week, getting up earlier or being more organized, you can put your best foot forward.  Below are some basic tips in the areas of wardrobe, makeup and hair to help you remain flawless and polished on the go…

Plan Your Wardrobe In Advance

Just like you would plan your upcoming week which may include tons of meetings, events, appointments and the like, take time to plan out your wardrobe in the same manner.  Pull all items together, including accessories, shoes, and proper undergarments to avoid the frenzy of trying to get ready in the morning.  Doing so helps to ensure you are able to get dressed and go instead of discovering at the last minute that your clothes need to be cleaned, pressed, or hemmed when instead you should already be ten minutes into your commute.  In addition, planning your wardrobe for the week, allows you to decide and schedule when your garments need laundering, repair or even disposal.  If you want to avoid the extra fuss and energy with coordinating all of the elements of an extensive wardrobe, you can create a uniform of sorts.  This may consist of several pieces (shirts, blouses, pants, skirts, etc.) of the same or similar pieces in colors such as black and white that you can wear repeatedly so you still look sharp and polished.  Keeping your color scheme neutral with strategic pops of colors makes it easier to mix and match your separates.  You can also explore the option of creating a capsule wardrobe.

Keep Makeup And Hair Simple

If you wear makeup, plan that out as well or at least have a well organized makeup bag and/or drawer and an idea of the look you are going for.  In all seriousness, if you want to try a new look, practice in your free time so you can nail the look and avoid having to clean up the mess you’ve created and starting over when you should have already left the house. You can always keep your look basic yet flawless with a good brow, mascara, gloss and radiant skin.  Remember that a good skincare routine cuts down on the need to put on tons of makeup.  If you want to do a little more than those basics but still not do too much, you can create a palette of frequently used eye shadows and blushes or use multi use products that you can use for more than one feature or purpose.

There are many options when it comes to hair and since hair doesn’t take care of itself, you will need to figure out how to care for and maintain it, even if you have a stylist that you go to.  This may mean consistently scheduling your appointments as well as figuring out how to do a great chignon or top knot, doing twist outs consistently, or keeping your hair cut on a regular basis.  Whatever the case, figure it out.  The same thought process goes for nails and brows as well.

Master The Day To Evening Look.

Many people have jobs that require a more conservative look but after work activities may require something less conservative.  Going home to change may not be an option so this is where creativity and planning is required.  Keep (or bring) items such as an extra pair of shoes, clutch and other accessories to switch into.  For your makeup, you might add a little more liner, blush and change your lip color before you head out.  If your hair is in a chignon, you might let your hair out or vice versa.  You can even add a hair accessory or put on some different hair altogether.  The options are endless.

Keep In Touch

To keep your look in tact be sure to touch up throughout the day.  Sure you may think that because you are super busy, you cant take 60 seconds to make sure everything is in place.  You have to use the bathroom at some point, right?  Hopefully?  Honor yourself enough to re-center yourself, take a few cleansing breaths, brush your teeth or at least gargle after that tuna fish sandwich.  Keep a small pouch in your desk or purse with travel items such as:

  • Toothpaste/toothbrush/mouthwash
  • Deodorant
  • Wipes
  • Tissue
  • Feminine care
  • Basic makeup items to reapply as well as a refreshing face mist.

To reiterate, being on point in the various areas of life, including your physical presentation, it takes planning, focus and consistency.  Take those few extra moments in the beginning of your week to ensure your days go as smoothly as possible and that you stay on top of your game.

What are some of the ways you stay flawless when you are busy and on the go?

Your Beauty Products Have A Shelf Life – Learn When To Toss These Items To Ensure Your Safety.

In beauty, makeup, skincare on May 7, 2018 at 12:00 pm

There is a big chance that the makeup you used this morning has expired.

Lets face it – most of us are beauty product hoarders.  We hold onto lipsticks and eye shadows forever because we don’t want to let them go.  It’s also cool to collect and hoard product just to say we have something.

And, even though we hoard makeup, we also love new beauty products as well.  The thrill you get when you open a new tube of lipstick or blush and apply that first swipe is like no other.  It’s kind of like exhaling.

Whether said beauty product is something we’ve purchased ourselves, received as a gift or won in some type of social media give away, we all pride ourselves with having the latest and greatest.  And let’s not even talk about an order that is coming in the mail:  we stalk the delivery guy, staring out of the window, making sure the doorbell is still working and incessantly check the tracking status to see where our package of hopes and dreams are- even though we literally just placed the order.  Not to mention, when our favorite makeup artist, beauty guru or celebrity launches a new product, no moment or cost is spared to purchase the newest palette, highlighter or foundation.

But what happens after the initial joy of our new makeup wears off?  Like the older, once beloved products,  it gets tossed to the side, stored away in a drawer somewhere until we decide to wear a particular product again.  If your makeup falls into the latter category, proceed with caution before you bring that product back into circulation:  chances are that product has expired.

What is a makeup shelf life?

Makeup can be stored away for a long period (up to 3 years) of time before it actually reaches you.  These products will eventually go bad but it will take longer because they are not opened and are usually stored in a cool dark place, preserving the shelf life.  For the purpose of this discussion however, we will discuss the shortened shelf life of product after purchase, when it is opened and exposed to various conditions.

All makeup has a PAO – period after opening, which is marked by an expiration date.  This expiration date is usually on the back of packaging with a small jar with a number in it.  This number indicates the life span of that product after opening.  Since most people don’t keep the original packaging their product comes in, it’s a good idea to write the date you opened the product or keep a log.  This is extra work but makeup that has gone bad is a breeding ground for bacteria and can cause a host issues such as irritation, swelling, breakouts and infection that may require medical attention.

Having said all of that, how do you know when to throw your makeup and other beauty products away?  When there is a change in color, texture, consistency, odor or performance. If your product is preservative free, you will definitely need to be mindful of the shelf life.  Keep the following guidelines in mind when purchasing and storing product:

  • Control the temperature your makeup is stored in.  If possible, dont keep your makeup in the bathroom where the temperatures fluctuate consistently and definitely do not leave your makeup in your car.
  • Don’t share your makeup and replace eye makeup after an eye infection.
  • Wash your hands before using your product.
  • Avoid jars when possible.  Every time you open a jar and stick your fingers in your product, it becomes contaminated.  Use a spatula or cotton swab instead.
  • Use a makeup sanitizer spray.  Also use a tissue to wipe off layer of uncertainty and make sure you clean your brushes.
  • Although it can be more economically sound to purchase the larger size of something, consider how often you will use the product.
  • If you find that you need to dispose of a product, do so by putting it in the garbage instead of pouring down the drain to avoid clogging the drain and contributing to contaminated water ways.

Below is a list of the estimated shelf life after opening for frequently used products (give or take):

Foundation

  • Oil free – 12 months
  • Cream and liquid – 18 months to 2 years

Concealer

  • Sticks – up to 18 months
  • Liquid and cream – up to 6 months

Powders

  • Most powder products, whether they are foundation, eye shadow, blush, bronzer or highlighter, can last up to 2 years.

Eyeliners

  • Pencils can last up to 2 years.  By sharpening the pencil before use, you will shave off some of the layer of uncertainty.
  • Liquid and gel – 3 months

Cream Eye shadow – up to 6 months.

Mascara – up to 3 months.

Brushes 2-5 years, sometimes longer with proper cleaning, conditioning, and storage.

Lipstick/liner – up to 12 months and gloss up to 2 years.

Cleanser/toner – up to 12 months.

Eye Cream – 6 months to 2 years

Serum/Treatment – 6 months to 2 years

Face/body moisturizer – up to two years.

Sunscreen – up to 12 months.

Nail Polish – up to 12 months.

How consistent are you with throwing away older beauty products?  Share your comments below.

The Art Of Wearing Fragrance-Part 3. How Concentration Affects Fragrance Longevity

In beauty, fragrance, lifestyle on May 4, 2018 at 12:00 pm


How many times have you applied your favorite fragrance before leaving the house only to have it fade away rather quickly?  You find yourself re-applying throughout the day but still don’t get the satisfaction of your fragrance lasting more than an hour.

You are not alone.  With the amount of money you spend on your fragrance, you would want it to stick around for a bit and radiate off of your smooth, silky skin.  You want to be excited about what you smell like and perhaps impress or excite those around you.  However, before you reach for that bottle to have yet another spritz, make sure you understand the composition of what you are spraying.  This will give you some insight regarding scent longevity.

Any time you shop for fragrance, you have the option of choosing from various formulations which include parfum, eau de parfum, and eau de toilette.  Every fragrance formulation is made up of varying concentrations of perfume oil which is the base of any fragrance and is what makes the actual smell.  This smell is usually unpleasant by itself and needs to be paired with or diluted by something else like alcohol (ethanol) and water to create various concentrations.  These concentrations are what gives fragrance their staying power.  There are many fragrance concentrations but here we will discuss the five most common:

  • Perfume (or parfum) is the most concentrated of all forms of fragrance.  Created with a perfume essence of 20-30% concentration, it is usually thicker and oilier and lasts the longest (up to 24 hours).  It is the most expensive and is usually sold in bottles with stoppers for the least amount of evaporation.  The best way to wear parfum is to dab in a few key areas such as behind the ears and/or the wrists so as not to overwhelm your nose or the nose of others.
  • Eau de Parfum (EDP) has less perfume essence (15-20%) and is diluted with alcohol and water.  It can last up to 8 hours and can come in a bottle or spray.  Although it is lighter than parfum, it can still be strong.  You can be a bit more liberal in your application, applying lightly during the day and and more for the evening.
  • Eau de toilette (EDT) is a perfume essence of 5-15% which is dissolved in an alcohol and water base.  It usually lasts up to 3 hours, and can be a better option for work, interviews and even first dates because it is lighter.
  • Eau de cologne which is usually reserved for masculine scents, only has 2-4% perfume oil concentration and lasts up to two hours.
  • Eau fraiche is the most diluted form of fragrance.  Almost like a body splash, eau fraiche has only up to 3% of fragrance oil and lasts up to an hour.

In addition to understanding scent concentration as it relates to longevity, there are some other things to consider when wearing and storing fragrance to make it last longer, such as:

  1. Spray your pulse points:  inner elbows, back of knees, ankles, back of ears, chest/decolletage, and inner wrist.  These places are warmer and will help emit the fragrance better.  When applying, be sure not to rub as that breaks down the fragrance.
  2. Use a combination of ancillary products.  These are the accompanying products such as shower gels, body lotions and powders in the same scent as your fragrance that you will layer to help that help to carry the scent and make it last longer.  These are usually purchased separately and can also be found in gift sets.
  3. Consider using a hair perfume or same fragrance in your hair.
  4. Moisturize your skin.  Fragrance evaporates more quickly on dry, flaky skin.  Try exfoliating first and following up with a rich body butter or oil (preferably light in fragrance or no fragrance at all if not using ancillary products) then layer your fragrance on top.
  5. Store your fragrance in a cool dark place.  Fragrance can go bad (discoloration and rancidity) so be sure to keep your fragrance in the original packaging, keep the top on and keep it away from heat and humidity.

The Art Of Wearing Fragrance-Part 1. Understanding The Power Of Storytelling Through Your Fragrance

In beauty, fragrance on March 14, 2018 at 11:26 am

“A woman who doesn’t wear perfume has no future.” – Coco Chanel

Do you remember the first fragrance you ever wore?  How old were you?  Where did it come from?  How did it make you feel?

Fragrance is a form of self expression and can be considered the ultimate accessory.  It can “linger – in rooms, clothes, your fingertips” and has the ability to seduce, boost confidence and evoke memories.  Scent can connect a person to a specific moment in time, a geographical location or even a person.  If applied correctly, fragrance makes you smell incredible, leaving wonderful lasting impression.

Signature vs Fragrance Wardrobe

There are two schools of thought when it comes to purchasing and wearing a fragrance.  There are those who believe in having a signature scent they are known by.  Those who prefer a signature scent might find it advantageous to do so because they want to be known by a specific scent.  It might be that it holds sentimental value because it was presented as a gift from a loved one or was worn for a particular moment in time. It may be for no other reason than it is a favorite, a go-to, eliminating the need to find the “right” fragrance.

On the other hand, there are those who take great pleasure in building a fragrance wardrobe (or closet) with a collection of fragrances.  A fragrance wardrobe can be like a photo book of snapshots relating to various moments in one’s life.  They can be worn in the same way as accessories – like shoes and jewelry- to complement various looks, moods and occasions.  In addition, many take great pleasure in collecting fragrance bottles, which look beautiful on one’s vanity.  With their beautiful design, every bottle, as well as the actual fragrance is created with a perfumers inspiration.  Knowing a perfumer’s back story can lead to a deeper appreciation of a fragrance (in both instances).

Whatever your preference, fragrance is personal and, in that regard, there is no right or wrong way to select and wear a particular scent.

Tell A Story

Because it is the ultimate accessory,  fragrance can be worn in different ways.  It can be seasonal, worn during specific times of the year. For instance, lighter, clean, fresh fragrances are usually worn in the spring/summer as well as the earlier part of the day vs deeper, richer, more full bodied fragrances which are reserved for the fall/winter as well evening.

Other factors to consider when wearing a fragrance include details such as fabric/material of clothing, venue and mood.  What comes to mind when you think of soft, crushed red velvet, smooth to the touch or a romantic, candle lit evening at your favorite hideaway?  Perhaps Dior J’adore or Tom Ford Black Orchid.  What comes to mind when you think of a gentle breeze and white linen or silk on a bright, warm sunny day at a beach resort?  Perhaps Nest Citrine or Tory Burch Bel Azur.  Are you feeling bold, playful or confident?  When in close proximity to other people, will your scent be appreciated or a nuisance?  Whatever the case, however you choose to wear your fragrance will tell your unique story to others.

How To Approach Selecting A Fragrance

With hundreds of fragrances to choose from, how do you choose what smells good on you?  Like finding the perfect pair of jeans, hairstyle or skin care, choosing a fragrance is trial and error – a journey if you will.  And, just because a fragrance is new, popular or your favorite celebrity wears (or creates) a fragrance doesn’t mean it will smell good on you.  Here are a few fun facts and simple tips to help you understand fragrance and discover what you like.

  1. Ever wonder why the fragrance that smells amazing on your BFF smells like hot garbage on you?  It’s because body chemistry/pH level affects the way a fragrance develops and smells on a person and therefore does not smell the same on everyone.  Spray one fragrance on 5 different people and you will get 5 different smells – some good.  Others not so good.
  2. The juice (concentration of oils in a fragrance) smells different inside the bottle, the nozzle, what is actually sprayed in the air as well as what is sprayed on a fragrance strip.  Yes, you can form an initial impression or idea by spraying it in this manner but it is best to begin judging a fragrance based on the way it develops on your skin.  Fragrance evolves over a period of time and has a dry down period.  This dry down period can be anywhere between 30 minutes (top note) and an hour and a half (bottom note).  The bottom note is where you will get the lasting impression of a scent and is where you will be able to make an informed decision about how a particular fragrance smells on you.
  3. When starting your fragrance journey, stick to smelling three fragrances per visit.  Smelling more than that leads to olfactory fatigue where your sense of smell becomes overwhelmed and you have difficulty distinguishing between the fragrances you are smelling.
  4. No coffee beans please.  Those shopping for fragrance have been trained to ask for coffee beans to reset their nose.  Coffee is another strong scent that can actually affect the way you perceive fragrance.  Instead, sniff the inside of your elbow that doesn’t have fragrance so you reset your nose with your natural scent.
  5. Get a sample of the three fragrances you are considering.  Spray the sample on an area of your body that won’t be disturbed.  Check in every 20 minutes or so to see how it is developing on you.  Another way to test a fragrance is to put it on a few hours before you retire for the evening (after your bath or shower).  This way you will able to experience the evolution process of the fragrance, thus allowing you to make a more informed decision.
  6. Enlist the help a trusted source.  Sure the ultimate decision is yours to make but because your fragrance will be experienced by many, getting a second opinion can be a good thing.  You want don’t want to be THAT person wearing that stank a$$ scent by which people will harshly judge you.

 

Clean Up Your Act With Farmacy Green Clean Make Up Melt Away Cleansing Balm

In beauty, makeup, skincare on February 26, 2018 at 12:00 pm

When I first started hearing about the benefits of using facial oils as a moisturizer, I was not the least bit interested.  For someone who is very oily, somewhat of an Exxon Valdez oil spill to be exact, I wasn’t trying to hear it. Yeah, yeah, oil cuts oil but whatever.  Long story short, I eventually started using facial oils as moisturizer for my skin and discovered a world of difference.  By using oils, my skin became more balanced, less oily and had never looked better.

Now about those oil cleansers – that was another thing.  Yes I understood the benefits of oil cleansers but I just never felt they cleansed my skin the way I was accustomed to.  All I felt was residue on my skin that made it feel like my skin wasn’t clean.  My skin just felt slick which then made me have to double cleanse anyway.  So pointless.  As someone who is an avid makeup wearer (and make up artist), I need to be sure that whatever makeup and pollution is on my face is gone and that my face is squeaky clean.  That’s just me.  And those cleansing balms didn’t seem to be any better.  It just felt like I was swishing Crisco around on my face.

Then One day curiosity got the best of me after getting a demo on a new product from Farmacy  – Green Clean Make Up Melt Away Cleansing Balm.  Although I was impressed with the demo, I still wasn’t sure.  I was given the product to take home but I didn’t use it right away.  It actually sat on my bathroom counter.  I stared at it.  It stared back at me.  This went on for two weeks.  Then one evening I decided to use it.

I had on a face full of makeup so I figured this would be a great time to put Green Clean to the test.  I scooped out a small amount and apprehensively applied to my face – eyes and lips included and hopped in the shower to continue my evening beautification rituals.  I rinsed the Green Clean off my face which was, at this point, a colorful mixture.  My face actually did not feel slick and greasy.  It actually felt clean. Hmmmph.  Ok.  Interesting.  I still decided to use my regular cleanser and Clarisonic cause I’m looking for a reason to discredit Green Clean (remember, I’m a skeptic and a double cleanser anyway).  When I rinsed my face off, THE. WATER. WAS. CLEAR.  I was done.  I had been won over.  Super amazed, I told everyone I knew about green clean.

So what makes Green Clean so good?  Made with green echineacea evny, Farmacy’s own proprietary blend, Green Clean is great for all skin types.  It is a balm made from all natural ingredients that literally melts pollution, debris, and All makeup away, including the smokiest of smoky eyes.  This product also is not animal tested, and doesn’t contain unfriendly ingredients such as formaldehyde or artificial coloring.  What I also like about Green Clean is that it doesn’t drip all over the place when you apply it to the face nor does it irritate my eyes.  Just scoop out a small amount with the included spatula and apply to your face.  When it makes contact with water it turns milky and rinses away clean.

As I have said before, I am a double cleanser and always will be however I will now always include this cleansing balm as part of my beauty line up. Not only am I fascinated with the fact that I have found a balm that I actually love, it will also help me conserve my regular facial cleanser as well.

Winter Skincare Tips

In beauty, skincare on February 24, 2018 at 7:16 am

Protect your skin from the harsh, cold, disrespectful weather with these helpful tips.

There is always something about the freezing cold winter weather that sends emotional and literal chills up one’s spine.  You know – the thought of walking from the house to the train station.  Walking your pet in the dark, cold early hours of the morning.  Warming up your car while scraping off thick, heavy, icy snow.  Add to that the fact that you have to spend the extra time layering on pounds of clothing so you don’t freeze to death and you’ve created a whole new way of living.  With all the adjustments you make to your wardrobe (and life in general) to survive the cold weather, it’s a good idea to re-evaluate the effectiveness of and make adjustments to your winter skincare routine.

We all know the cold winter months are particularly harsh on the skin.  There is less humidity in the air so between the cold air outdoors, dry heat from indoor/car heat and super hot showers which deplete moisture, skin can become more sensitive, dry, and flaky.  Your skin is also more likely to show fine lines and wrinkles when it usually doesn’t.  So, since your regular skincare routine wont suffice…

Consider Your Cleanser

This time of year, you may actually need to use a different cleanser to help break down makeup and dirt.  An oil cleanser such as Amore Pacific Treatment Cleansing Oil Face & Eyes or balm cleanser like Farmacy Green Clean Makeup Meltaway Cleansing Balm tends to be gentle yet highly effective on the skin.  Even more oily skin types can experience dryness and dehydration during the winter months and could benefit from a more gentle cleanser that lathers such as Fresh Soy Face Cleanser or Tatcha The Deep Cleanse.  If you are sensitive or extremely dry, consider a milk cleanser like Caudalie Gentle Cleansing Milk.

For the body, Aveeno Daily Moisturizing Body Wash which includes soothing emollients and colloidal oatmeal can do wonders for dry itchy skin.  To seal in moisture, when drying off, be sure to pat your skin dry with your towel and follow up with a rich moisturizer like Nivea Essentially Enriched Body Lotion with Almond Oil.

Amp Up Your Moisturizer

Adding oils to your moisturizer and using overnight sleeping masks can be the key to added moisture, keeping skin soft and supple during cold weather months.  While face oils alone may not hydrate, they are great for adding to moisturizers and foundations for an added boost in efficacy and skincare benefits.  The Ordinary 100% Cold Pressed Rose Hip Seed Oil and Sunday Riley Juno Hydroactive Cellular Face Oil are great because they help restore the skin’s moisture barrier and give skin radiance and luminosity, both of which tend to fade away during the cold months.  Sleeping masks like Laneige Water Sleeping Mask work overnight to recharge and deeply hydrate the skin.  This is a great time for skincare products because they do the work while your skin is in repair mode.

During this time of year, you may also need to switch your eye cream.  It Cosmetics Bye Bye Under Eye not only adds moisture to the under eye area but it also brightens and depuffs, helping the under eye area look smooth, making it a great prep for under eye concealer.  Fresh Lotus Youth Preserve Eye Cream helps to illuminate the under eye while delivering intense hydration.  If you need a quick boost, apply eye patches like Peter Thomas Roth Water Drench Hyaluronic Cloud Hydra-Gel Eye Patches.  Used in addition to your eye cream, these patches will give additional vitality and boost of hydration to the under eye area.

Lips also suffer tremendously during this time of the year.  From eating and drinking (which can remove lip product you apply), to using products like matte liquid lip stains, lips will get dry and flaky.  Using products that are rich in emollient butters will help to repair and protect the lips.  Bite Beauty Agave Lip Balm restores lips with shea butter and jojoba oil.  If you need a product that does deeper repair, Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask is an overnight treatment that heals with vitamin C and antioxidants, leaving your lips nice and soft in the morning.

Remember not to neglect the skin on the rest of the body and pay particular attention to feet, knees and elbows with a moisturizer that will replenish oils and nutrients to the skin.  Nivea Essentially Enriched Body Lotion with Almond Oil  not only relieves dry, itchy skin but also gives skin a glow.  Hands and cuticles also suffer because of activities like extra hand washing to help prevent winter sickness.  deborah lippman rich girl handcream (SPF 25) and Caudalie Hand and Nail Cream both contain avocado and shea butter to heal and replenish dry, cracked hands and cuticles.

Exfoliate

Gently exfoliating 1-2 times a week does wonders for the skin but don’t overdo it.  Over-exfoliation does more harm than good by disrupting the moister barrier, leaving it prone to irritation and even breakouts.  Other than that, by removing dead, flaky skin, all other skin products will absorb and work better.  For face, Fresh Lotus Youth Preserve Rescue Mask Seaweed Radiance Facial is a two in one facial, great for all skin types, that smooths and restores radiance.  If you are a Clarisonic lover, although you can use it twice a day, consider using it only in the evening or every other day if you find that your skin feels drier and tighter after you have made other adjustments in your skin care routine.  For the rest of your body, SW Basics Cream Scrub, a moisturizer and gentle scrub in one, will make skin soft and smooth in one step.  And for those who are minimalists when it comes to ingredients, this one is for you as it is made in small batches with only four organic ingredients:  sugar, shea butter, coconut oil and olive oil.

Monitor your heat sources

Yes, you are cold to your core and yes, all you want to do is thaw out but putting your central heating and your bath/shower water on hell will make matters worse.  Home heaters, whether they are space heaters or central heating is dry air and will dehydrate your skin.  When heating your home, have the heat come up intermittently and consider getting a humidifier to add moisture into the air.  When showering or bathing, keep both activities short and the water tepid.

You Are What You Eat

Sounds so cliche but making sure you have balanced eating habits is always a good idea.  Things like added sugars, caffeine and other processed foods can exacerbate dry skin concerns.  Refined sugars lead to inflammation which robs skin of nutrients making it dry, flaky, irritated and can even aggravate acne problems.  You don’t have to vilify and completely stop consuming these foods however moderation is always a good practice.  Also, it goes without saying to increase your water intake.  In addition, make sure your eating plan includes foods that are nutrient dense as well as with fatty acids and have a higher water content.

When changing your skincare routine, remember that consistency is key.  You can always seek advice from a quality beauty professional and if serious concerns/issues arise with your skin, seek a health professional.

What are your favorite winter skincare tips?