Got peach fuzz?

brow-shaping-tool-new-product

 

Stumbled upon something I had to share!  Great for eliminating “peach fuzz” let alone shaping your brows.  Google THE BROW SHAPER and you’ll find plenty of info there.

 

The one thing NEVER to buy online

Gigi and I were recently with world-renowned dermatologist Richard Glogau at UCSF and we were discussing all things healthy and  beautiful when something not so beautiful was brought to our attention.  He told us of a woman who had purchased some kind of filler online and then proceeded to have a friend inject it into her face!  Needless to say . . .  both of our jaws hit the floor.

Apparently this woman knew right away something was wrong as she ended up shortly thereafter with lumps and bumps and fluid buildup. After a biopsy, they found splinters of some type of glass or acrylic (like Plexiglas) in that “filler”.  The face (cheek area) had to be drained and they obviously had to remove what was injected there resulting in scars.  Put aside the cosmetic or superficial aspect . . . there could have been serious injury or even death associated with this episode!  This is why Gigi and I OVER AND OVER AND OVER say to consult with a qualified doctor or aesthetic nurse for any type of procedure, big or small!  And honestly . . . prices vary minimally from a doctor or nurse on fillers themselves so it’s really not worth “shopping it” for the best deal.  What really matters is who is performing the injections and that they are credible as they will obviously use the actual authentic brand of filler or toxin.  Gigi and I do use filler, although minimal, and believe in them.  Still do!

I pulled this photo from the web as it looks similar to what Dr. Glogau had to deal with but no where near as bad.  This is the reality of bad filler and a botched injection.

bad

Dr. Glogau was one of the doctors in an article that appeared last week regarding this subject.  I linked the article here in case you wish to read further . . .

http://www.sfgate.com/health/article/Botched-illegal-cosmetic-fillers-are-on-the-rise-5493390.php?cmpid=email

Is that pretty little jar worth the price tag?

jar1I felt compelled to write this article based on an online post I read from another beauty blog.  I subscribe to several to stay on top of trends but this one threw me over the edge.  It touted several high-end skincare lines, mostly luxury brands, packaged in beautiful jars with a price point well above $200.  It was insulting.

First of all . . . it’s true . . . most people don’t know their ingredients and fall for a good sales pitch along with a beautiful looking product.  Gigi and I aren’t chemists by any stretch, but if we don’t know what something is, we research it to death! And after so many years of doing this . . . you begin to understand how effective the product might be by the ingredient list. Having said that, another educational process is learning why the packaging of a product is SO IMPORTANT.

A great product is one that has active and effective ingredients that are scientifically and clinically proven to do what it should do based on the claims the company is making.  Many beneficial ingredients such as vitamins, antioxidants, peptides, retinols . . . degrade in the presence of air and light.  Oxygen attacks the integrity and chemical stability of a products formulation as does light.  Have you ever noticed how a product containing a good dose of vitamin C turns brown after a few months? That is because it has oxidized.  Vitamin C is an excellent antioxidant but once it turns rancid, the oxidized matter actually causes inflammation.  So now, you are creating problems for yourself let alone using a product that is no longer “positively potent”.  In an airless container, more “natural” products have reduced artificial preservatives in their formulas and this technology actually allows for a longer shelf life let alone greater efficacy.  We constantly follow packaging trends and breakthroughs in the industry and we noticed that our favorite skincare line went through major repackaging a few years ago.  This is an important issue!

The other concern is bacterial contamination.  The skin harbors bacteria no matter how clean you are or how often you wash your hands.  Not only are you polluting and degrading the quality of the product you are using by dipping your fingers into it, but now you are putting in on to your clean skin!  So then you close that little jar and use it again tomorrow.  And then you open it up again, dip those fingers in there adding more bacteria and put it on your face.  And you wonder why your skin doesn’t look any better after plopping down major $$$.  Whatever beneficial ingredients were in that jar is now worthless.

bacteria

If the company claims that this notion of polluting the product is unfounded that’s because they have bombarded it with preservatives.  Many of which are NOT good for the skin or your health.  So, the more preservatives, the worse it is for you and the less effective it will be.  The cleaner it is, it is even more important to look at how it is packaged.  Buyer, please be AWARE.

Don’t forget your hands!

glovesI have been on a serious mission since the beginning of this year to deal with the sun damage on my hands.  If I only knew 20, 30 years ago what I know now! How many of us even thought about our hands until all those lovely little brown spots started showing up?  And THEY DO!  I personally noticed them in my early 40’s and by the time I got around to really thinking about them, it seemed like a huge undertaking.  Well Ladies . . . all is not lost!

Thank goodness there are topicals and technology to deal with this issue. We recommend that you talk to a credible aesthetic nurse or doctor with regards to their professional opinion regarding your skin type.  I recently had an IPL (intense pulsed light) and also started with a good vitamin C serum on my hands and the spots are 50% gone! Yes! I am seeing results.  The next step is to prevent further damage that will undo all the work I just spent a lot of time and money on.

I was in Los Angeles recently and had the pleasure to meet with the beautiful and super smart Mitzi-Jo of SunDriven – Age Defying UV Wear (www.sundriven.com). This line of eco-friendly clothing products are my new obsession . . .  especially the gloves!  We all know that you can tell a woman’s age by her hands (her face is pretty much getting all the attention) and not only is it unsightly with all those “age spots” which is really skin that is damaged from the radiation of the sun, i.e. photo aging, but it is a cause for concern as melanoma is on the rise.

SunDriven uses fabric that is naturally anti-bacterial with zero chemical additives, absorbs moisture, is lightweight and comfortable. The entire line is UPF/SPF 50+ that blocks 99% of UVA/UVB rays . . . and there is no sunscreen that can do that!  This line is dermatologist tested and recommended by the Skin Cancer Foundation.  Check out my video below . . .

Eyebrows!

eyebrowsWe can write about all things beauty, but in the end, THE most important makeup application is to define your eyebrows (if you are one of the few women on this planet that were born with perfect brows, read no further, the other 99.99% of you ladies keep reading).  This is the “frame” for your entire face.  It defines your look, balances your imperfections (we are ALL imperfect!), and completes your face even if you wear no other makeup.

When I say “balances your imperfections” this is what I mean.  If one side of your face is lower than the other (most humans are built this way, again we are not perfect nor symmetrical), you can add just a few strokes of a pencil to the top of the lower brow to even your face out. Likewise on the length, etc. I told a friend awhile ago about this as her overall eyebrow was full indeed, but lacked definition and balance. She mentioned to me the other day how happy she was now that she knew how to do this as she sees a huge difference and even feels prettier!

This photo illustrates perfectly how to shape your brows. These guidelines will work with your own face for a stencil is not the way to go.  And there are companies out there that offer such.  Use your own features to guide you.  Trust me, you will look more natural this way and again, it will complete and balance out your whole face.

As far as brow makeup goes, I have tried just about all of them and much prefer a pencil over a powder product, easier to control while applying.  I did get a light, partial tattoo but they tend to fade out quickly with acidic products so makeup is still necessary.  There are many great long lasting options out there now.  I am loving Sephora’s own brand as it lasts but the brush is marginal (left photo).  I absolutely love Anastasia’s Brow Wiz (right photo) . . . long lasting and good brush.  The smaller the actual pencil, the easier it is to use.  The brush is there to soften your lines after you apply.

pencil1brow3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Your eyebrow should be in perfect proportion to your own facial features.  Very few women, young and old, can pull off a full brow (think Brooke Shields).  And a very thin brow is also hard to pull off. Eyebrows should not be a trend no matter what the fashion magazines are saying.  The shape of your brow (even slightly enhanced by a pencil or tattoo) needs to fit your face and your face alone.

Exquisite Perfume in Paris – Annick Goutal

Annick1Gigi and I were recently in Paris and went a little crazy searching out their skincare, body, and fragrance products. One of the most exquisite fragrance houses, in our opinion, is Annick Goutal.

The story of this “maison de haute parfumerie” is special.  Annick Goutal, the founder, was initially a pianist then became a fashion model. It was during a modeling job in Grasse that she met a perfumer that would change the direction of her life as he realized that she had immense creative talent and a “nose”. After years of training, Annick started with three perfumes, one being Eau d’Hadrien that became her most successful perfume ever. In 1981, Annick opened her first shop on Rue de Bellechasse in Paris where Gigi and I had the pleasure of speaking with long term employee, Alice, and hearing the story from someone who “feels her in the shop every day”. Alice became very emotional when speaking with us and it is something that we connected to deeply as we felt her too. The photograph here with the lineup of perfume is on the original desk Annick used when first starting her business.

Annick died in 1999 at the age of 53 of breast cancer. A genetic link in her family of which all her sisters passed except one.  Annick bequeathed her company to her long time colleague, Isabelle Doyen, and daughter, Camille.

 “Nature and all her wonders guide me . . .  my emotions find expression in scents. Perfume is the music of my dream.”   

Annick Goutal

Fun Fast Facts from friend FDA

It’s the official start of the summer season . . .  remember . . .  SUNSCREEN!

Sun Savvy Skin Care

sunscreenSPF50With summer just around the corner, I thought this might be a good time to remind everyone about the importance of wearing sunscreen and incorporating it into your daily regime. A well formulated sunscreen, is by far the most important product in your skin-care arsenal because it prevents prematurely aged skin… you know, that leathery-looking pigmented skin!

When choosing a daytime moisturizer or lotion, always buy one with an SPF (sun protection factor) of at least 15, packed with skin repairing antioxidants, and one that you feel comfortable applying daily. Follow with a foundation/BB cream or powder mineral makeup , all containing SPF! This layering technique is what I do to ensure more complete sun protection. Daily application of sunscreen is the key, the sun’s damaging rays still penetrate, even on hazy cloudy days. Practice good sun sense everyday, rain or shine!
A good sun protection product should not only protect you from UVB (the sun’s BURNING rays), but also from UVA (the sun’s silent killer rays that cause AGING and wrinkles, as well as skin cancer). Here are the active ingredients to look for in a sun protection product that will give you that broad-spectrum UVA&UVB protection:
1) Zinc Oxide 10% or Titanium Dioxide in combination with zinc oxide….I prefer this natural mineral physical sunblock to the chemical ones because it is non-irritating for sensitive skin.
2) Avobenzone/Parsol
3) Mexoryl SX (ecamsule)
4) Tinosorb

The following are some good choices for daily use:
1) PAULA’S CHOICE MOISTURE BOOST DAILY RESTORING COMPLEX WITH SPF30
2)SKINCEUTICALS PHYSICAL FUSION UV DEFENSE SPF50
3)VANICREAM SUNSREEN SENSITIVE SKIN SPF30
4) COLORSCIENCE SUNFORGETTABLE POWER SPF50 (keep this in my purse for touchups)
5) OLAY REGENERIST DNA SUPERSTRUCTURE UV CREAM SPF30

Makeup choices:
1) PAULA’S CHOICE BARELY THERE SHEER MATTE TINT SPF30
2) LAURA MERCIER ILLUMINATING TINTED MOISTURIZER SPF20
3) JANE IREDALE MINERAL POWDER MAKEUP SPF20
4) TARTE AMAZONIAN CLAY 12 hour FOUNDATION SPF15

TLC for Eyes – Daytime

Colorescience Mineral Eyescreen SPF 30My daytime regimen is basically a serum first, eye cream WITH SUNSCREEN second. Sunscreen is really the only ingredient that differentiates day and night products and around the eyes it can be irritating especially if it’s a synthetic one like Avobenzone. I have always been concerned that we use sunscreen all over our face and bodies and can neglect the eye area if your application of facial sunscreen doesn’t get close enough.  That being said, a product containing a mineral sunscreen (titanium dioxide or zinc oxide) should not irritate and even a light dusting of a loose mineral powder with sunscreen around the eye is good unless you’re super dry then I would recommend a cream. One of our favorite mineral sunscreen brands is Colorescience and they do a formula specifically for the eye area called Sunforgettable Loose Mineral Eyescreen SPF 30 pictured to the left (www.colorescience.com).

On a daily basis, I personally use Murad  Essential-C Eye Cream SPF 15 pictured below.  Yes this Murad eye cream has the sunscreen Avobenzone in it (along with Octisalate and Homosalate) but it also has other good ingredients as well.  I personally don’t find it irritating which is why it’s my go to product for day especially when my makeup needs to be perfect. When I do mix up my eye creams to use or try something different, I tend to go the “dusting” route as I mentioned above.

So the reason I use this Murad product specifically is the texture of it.  I am super picky when it comes to the texture of a daytime eye cream as it can totally “screw up” how your makeup looks, i.e. concealer.  If it’s too thick, the concealer will “float and crease” no matter how it’s formulated.  If it’s to dry, it will “cake and crumble”.  I can remember spending an entire afternoon at Sephora trying EVERY SINGLE eye cream on my wrist to check the consistency until I found the right one.  For me, this Murad eye cream was it. It has the sunscreen protection I was looking for and my makeup lays down beautifully.

As for serums, I tend to use one from Professional Solutions. They have several that I love, loaded with great ingredients, and I do switch them up so it’s not just a specific one (www.go2skin.com).  When applying a serum on freshly washed clean skin, it’s good to use circular motions around the eyes. Using just a little pressure without tugging on the skin, you are actually “heating” up the skin allowing the serum to really penetrate.  You’ve “fed” your skin with a good serum, now moisturize and protect it with a good cream.  There are plenty out there . . .  again try to use products that have good ingredients and if you can, use a sunscreen around your eyes.  They will thank you for it later in life, I promise!day eye cream

TLC for Eyes – Evening

favorite eye creamI am a huge believer in eye creams. Technically, the skin around the eyes doesn’t “need” a specific ingredient/s and whichever moisturizer you use on your face can and should be applied around the eyes.  All this area really needs as we age is serious hydration/moisture.  I personally like to use a specific and separate eye cream.

One of my favorite eye creams to use at night is Vitamin K, DCX & Arnica Eye Cream by Professional Solutions (www.go2skin.com). Loaded with great ingredients (although the packaging needs serious improvement), I wrote about this company in an earlier blog post (click on “All Blog Posts” above and scroll if you wish to read).  The claims are that it reduces puffiness and dark circles, enhances skins firmness, good antioxidant protection and skin hydration among other positives.  For me, I have found these claims to be accurate (the “dark circles” claim is unrealistic, but I believe it has helped a little). The tissue around my eyes is in great shape for someone about to turn 50 and I believe it is because I’ve always used good eye creams and a little secret I’m about to share.

I ALSO layer a second, very moisturizing eye cream.  My secret is Kiehl”s Creamy Eye Treatment with Avocado (packaging again, not great). One of the main ingredients is shea butter which is why this product is so moisturizing. This eye cream won’t penetrate enough to “feed the skin”, but it will sit on the surface which is right where I want it . . . moisturizing the heck out of the skin around my eyes. I use the Professional Solutions eye cream first, then dab the Kiehl’s around the eye until it gets transparent as you will see it’s opaque when first applying . . . pat below the eye, on the corner, and on the brow bone. I don’t breakout from this double application, so in my world, it’s a double whammy! And remember . . .  when layering products, wait for them to absorb before applying the next one.

The skin around the eyes really does show signs of dehydration and aging even early on in years.  I have always been super intuitive to my skin and after “watching” this area of skin while in my 30’s and 40’s, I realized that yes, you do need to feed the skin with great ingredients but once that’s been absorbed, a second step seems almost necessary for that precious eye area.  At least to me.  Now if you are living in a high humidity location, then perhaps not.  Anyhow, these two creams are what I am using at the moment, there are plenty of good ones out there, just make sure the ingredients are good . . .  and that is another blog to look forward to!Kiehl's