Monday, August 20, 2007

Pat says Now!

In continuation of great products from the NY Internationals Gift Fair (and my diversion from skin care for awhile):


Pat Says Now!

"Who's Pat? And what does he want me to do now??" Those were my first thoughts when I saw this company name. And at first, I thought these products were cell phone covers (which would have been fun), but instead they are even more fun (& innovative) mice... and not the cute little grey furry type...although their velvet Heart might qualify as furry, and it's certainly cute! Perhaps Pat should have said "Click here now!"






I'm not sure how ergonomic these mice are, but they will certainly add alot of fun to your day! Imagine the Duck brightening your day after the meeting from hell or around 3 pm when you are hitting the afternoon slump.



Speaking of afternoon slump (or morning hangovers), if you need a Brain (or additional brain power), Pat's got one for you.


Gentleman, does your woman want diamonds & flowers? Kill 2 birds with 1 stone & give her the Diamond Flower . (Hurry though, it's a limited edition)





I might be a little prudish, but the Body seems almost x-rated.... it's a curvy woman's body & the left & right breasts are the click buttons . Men, just make sure that when you are with an actual woman you aren't fantasizing about your mouse. Perhaps Save the Tatas should partner with Pat for a Save the tatas body mouse! As a moderate feminist who hates discrimination, I think that if there's a female body, there should be an upside down male body where the left & right click buttons are testicles..it could be called "For the Ex-Girlfriend/Wife".


And for my friend, Alpi, and all of his readers who read my blog, they've even got an Austria version.

Every funeral home employ needs the Ghost.





I personally wish they had made one covered 100% in clear or pink crystals. They could call it "I wish these were really Diamonds!" or "My day is so dull I need to brighten it up".



I'm also surprised they haven't made any in beer mugs, wine or alcohol bottles. They're also missing a monkey...wouldn't a monkey mouse brighten your day??

Pat, take heed of my suggestions: hire me for product development, I've got tons of ideas for you...





(all photos property & courtesy of www.pat-says-now.com)

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Save the Tatas

This being my 2nd post about the NYIGF show, I am writing about the 2nd most memorable product I found there (after this, posts will be in no particular order):




Save the Tatas

T-shirts...for everyone!


This company, founded to help benefit breast cancer research helps raise breast cancer awareness with brassy comedy & gets a great reaction from everyone. I even saw conservative looking older women buying them for their store, as they had lost a friend to breast cancer.



The company gives 5% of all sales to breast cancer research.



The awesome phrases on the t-shirts, tanks & other goodies include such sayings as:



For All

*Save the tatas



For Her

*My tatas could beat up your tatas

*I love my little tatas

*Caught you looking at my tatas

*If you can read this step away from my tatas (written in very small print)



For Him

*I support the tatas

*My wife has great tatas

*So many tatas so little time

*If loving tatas is wrong, I don't want to be right




For Baby

*Gimme your tatas and no one gets hurt



These are great way to provide lots of smiles, laughs & a cure!


Oh, and for you Mario Lopez fans (I can't resist those dimples!), there's a pic of Mario (and pics of many others) with a 'Save the tatas' t-shirt in the 'Show us your tatas!' section.

Folks, seriously, let's save the tatas!

2, 4, 6, 8. Who do we appreciate? Tatas! Tatas! Goooooooo tatas!!

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Pee & Poo

I've spent the last 6 days at the New York International Gift Fair. This is possibly the largest trade show in the country. It takes up all of the Jacob Javitz Center, Piers 88 & 94, & 3 floors in the Metropolitan Pavilion. Needless to say, I'm on Gift Fair overload.

So, over the next couple of weeks I will be blogging about some of the wonderful products & people I was introduced to at the show... I will be diverting into some 'non-personal care' products as well; however, I think you'll appreciate my diversions.

Today I'm decompressing after the show, so I'm going with my boldest memory of the show...

Ladies & Gentlemen, introducing Pee & Poo . I'm hoping you've already met them years ago, but now they've been immortalized as stuffed toys (I just can't bring myself to say 'animals'), keychains, underwear (adults & children's), t-shirts & tatoos! Yes, you read correctly, tatoos! Pee & Poo tatoos! (I'm wondering where, exactly, are you supposed to put them?).

Pee & Poo get my award for 'Cheekiest Product' at the entire fair (for those of you who don't speak British English that means "Ballsiest Product"...and I have to say, everyone was talking about it.

Just hope that Pee or Poo doesn't become the stuffed toy your child can't live or sleep without. Imagine: "Mommy! Mommy! I can't sleep until we find Pee!" Or when you have to explain to complete strangers when Poo has been misplaced & your child is screaming wildly: "I'm sorry, but little Joey just can't live without his Poo!"

You can also send your friends Pee & Poo e-cards. Make someone happy & send them some Pee & Poo. You can even download Pee & Poo wallpaper for your computer. There's even a memory game.

What do you give the man or woman who has everything? Some Pee & Poo..'cause as much pee & poo as they've had in their lives, they've never had 'em in this form before, that's for sure!

Who else but the Scandanavians could get away with this? You just have to love the Scandavians!

Maybe I should apply for the rights to the book... The Adventures of Pee & Pooh....I mean Poo.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Cutivate a Cure...for Dermatitis

Cutivate is a new prescription lotion for atopic dermatitis (eczema)...relieves skin pain, redness & itching. I know so many people with eczema that I had to post this here.

Click here for a $20 coupon off your next prescription filled.

Anyone who tries it let me know how it works.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

I love New York..and so does Bond

Are these not the pretties collection of bottles you've ever seen? And Bond No. 9's new fragrance collection is an ode to the city where I've resided for the past 21 years... the great New York City.

Fragrances are named after landmarks such as

*Bleecker (much of my college night life was spent on Bleecker Street)

*Bryant Park (I can remember when it was overrun by drug pushers, now it's a yuppie park where I love to spend my lunch hours),

*Chelsea (lived there when I first moved here..in the middle of garment factories. Now it's one of the cutest neighborhoods in the city)

*Chinatown (why do I expect this one to smell of greasy wontons?)

*Coney Island (still never been there)

*Hamptons (who doesn't love the Hamptons?)

*Noho (No who? ;-) )

*West Side (lived there after Chelsea.. where are Astoria & Forest Hills scents?)

and the one most needed here in NYC: "The Scent of Peace".


All are available at Beauty Sack $120 - $195

(photo property & courtesy of Beauty Sack)

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Products that Multi-task

Check it out...

This is truly the most outrageous list of uses for items from your kitchen, medicine cabinet or laundry room.

Maple syrup in your hair! Peanut Butter as shaving cream (do you think Soy Butter with Honey works the same?) !?! Jello or Milk of Magnesia for curls?!?

As for Downy in my hair, well, Downy comes in some heavenly scents these days...that would eliminate the need for perfume as well ;).

While you are in this website, they have a great list of uses for vinegar in your home.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

From The Land Down Under

Sephora has introduced the newest line to their stores: Napoleon Perdis, a makeup line by the Australian makeup artist by the same name. Unlike other makeup artists that keep their tips secret, Napoleon gives his pro tips on his packaging. There are also 'how-to' videos on Sephora's website.

The 3 products that intrigue me the most are:

1) Light Patrol Luminizer Palette ($60), a selection of 6 shades of highlighter..great for changing up your highlighter depending on what your mood or color scheme is.








2) Correct & Conceal Pro Palette ($40)... a selection of green, lavender & beige cremes for correcting & evening out skintone..Great to have all 3 colors in 1 compact instead of having to buy all 3 separately.

3) I also found a makeup tip I've never seen before... Napoleon offers Auto Pilot Pre-Foundation Primer (loaded with good things like chamomile, yarrow, & vitamin E) , . Apply this before your foundation. Then apply foundation only to your cheeks & spread downwards toward jaw line... he says you don't need to apply foundation to your forehead, that Auto Pilot is enough. Hmmm..must check this out at Sephora, as I've never heard of not applying foundation to your forehead.

Don't you just love an Australian accent? And check out Napoleon...isn't he a hottie?







(Photos all courtesey & property of Sephora)




Friday, July 20, 2007

Green Lipstick!

..and, no, I don't mean the kind that conjures up memories of the Wicked Witch of the West.






My (green) thumb goes up to Cargo who leads the beauty industry into new shades of green with their PlantLove Botanical Lipstick!

This revolutionary, eco-friendly lipstick is fabulous for so many various reasons:

1) The formula is botanically based & is environmentally friendly. It doesn’t use petroleum derivatives (I.e. mineral oil, etc). It is enriched with castor oil, beeswax, jojoba & shea butter and infused with trademarked Orchid Complex(fights free-radicals & reduces fine lines) & meadowfoam seed oil (silky texture, provides fatty acids your skin needs & rejuvenates).

By the way, for those of you that don’t know, Cargo makes award-winning lipgloss that’s super moisturizing (a little goopy but great colors & very moisturizing)…so, I would expect no less of their lipstick.

2) 5 of the colors were designed by celebs who find this as brilliant as we do:
-Evangeline: Evangeline Lily-Lindsay: Lindsay Lohan-Maria: Maria Menounos-Mariska: Mariska Hargitay-Sarah: Sarah Chalke

3) The tube is made of a corn derivative. Corn is the new black, by the way. Or at least it’s the new plastic J. For those of you that don’t realize, corn packaging is biodegradable , research shows that plastic does not biodegrade…every piece of plastic which has ever been made is still on this earth…unless it’s been recycled into polar fleece & the like.

4) The box the lipstick comes in has seeds imbedded in it. You can rip the box up, plant it in pot or in your flower bed and grow a variety of wildflowers.

5) And as if all that wasn’t enough, Cargo is donating $2.00 from the sale of every PlantLove lipstick to the St. Jude’s Research Hospital. This line is not only eco-friendly, but philanthropical as well, investing in our children as well as our environment.


6) You can also visit their website, http://www.cargoplantlove.com/, and plant a virtual flower yourself. For every virtual flower planted, Cargo will make a donation to Conservation International (http://www.conservation.org/). You can also attach your name & location to your virtual flower (I planted mine in honor/name of a friend).

With all the benefits to yourself, others, the planet, & the future is there any reason that you aren't on your way out the door to Sephora (or clicking on their webiste, http://www.sephora.com/browse/product.jhtml;jsessionid=5Q00SLBSESOU1LAUCJABXCQ?id=P172734&categoryId=C11630http://www.sephora.com/) to buy at least 1 (or 2 or 5)
PlantLove lipstick(s)?
(pictures courtesy & property of Cargo & Sephora)

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Nivea Visage Q10 Night Creme (free sample)

For a free sample of Nivea's latest anti-aging product, Nivea Visage Q10 Advanced Wrinkle Reducer Night Creme, & more 'wrinkle saving' facial exercises, check out: http://www.realsimplerewards.com/rsn/offerings/nivea/index.html


(be sure to pay attention to the exercises, folks, and don't just get blind-sighted by the freebie)

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Baby, it's hot out there!

Both sides of this country are in the midst of heat waves. Here in New York, most of us do not have central a/c. I, for one, only have a/c in my bedroom. Most of us also usually walk or use public transport ation to get ourselves from point A to point B.

So, as the ‘real feel’ temp soared to 105 F or above yesterday with approx. 80% humidity (felt like 110%) and subway stations probably a minimum of 10 degrees warmer, none of us could move far without massively shvitzing.

It made me remember a product I’d once heard of… lotion which dries to powder. I definitely need powder everywhere right now, and I absolutely hate the mess that powder makes both in my bathroom & on my clothes.

So, in honor of summer’s high temps & our desire to be cool & dry, here’s a list of liquid to powder products:


1) Banana Boat Sport Dri-Block Advanced AvoTriplex UVA/UVB Sunblock SPF30: http://www.gransremedy.co.nz/11/id2.htm. This is great, as we all need the sunblock as well in this heat..even when just walking down the street or in the car. They also make a Dri-Block Kids formula: http://www.bananaboat.com/products/10944.aspx?cat=6&curBrowseBy=SPF

2) Bodywares Silky Smooth Liquid Powder: http://www.bodywares.com/solutions/body/bath/bp02.htm (This is an all natural, cruelty-free, and environmentally ‘sound’ company from their claims on their homepage. They also claim they will refill their containers at a discount…but I’m confused how this is done if they are an online business.)

3) Epoch Baby Babassu Liquid Powder: http://www.nuskin.com/corp/product/epoch/babypowder.shtml (this is a product of NuSkin. I sold their products when I was a teen & they have a good reputation). The whole family can use this one.

4) Baby Silk’s Silky Liquid Powder: http://www.whatshebuys.com/sil-2002.html (This one is formulated by MD Mothers…moms who are also pediatricians ). Again, there’s nothing to stop the whole family from using this.

5) Zeasorb–AF Lotion Powder: www.aaaskindoctor.com/zeasorbliquid.html . This one contains medicated powder, but is good for anti-fungal issues.

6) For Feet: Gran’s Remedy Foot Lotion for Smelly Feet: http://www.gransremedy.co.nz/11/id4.htm now couldn’t we all use some of that?? They also have cooling foot powder , http://www.gransremedy.co.nz/11/id2.htm, which I could use right about now. (Remember, the hands & feet are the temperature controls of the body). Drawback: they are in New Zealand. Here’s one a little closer, but it’s in the UK http://www.dooyoo.co.uk/skin-care/the-sanctuary-liquid-foot-powder/

7) Carita Powder Lotion: http://www.carita.com/prod/prod.php?ref=3271000 This one is for the face only & is good for normal to oily skin. Umm…they’re in France too, but who knows, some of you might be escaping to the EU this summer.

8) Huggies makes Liquid Powder which you can buy many places online. However, I’m wondering if it has been discontinued, as I cannot find it on their website.

9) Ladies for those feminine bits that are affected by the heat, there's Monistat Soothing Care Chafing Relief Powder-Gel to help: http://www.monistat.com/soothingcare/products_chafing_gel.htm


Stay cool & dry out there folks!!

The Science of Getting Clean

How does soap clean?

Science has never been my forte. I took college chemistry during summer school so I wouldn’t have to take the full semester course. So, it befuddles me that my lackluster for the sciences is coming back to bite me where it counts most.

The more I sell (wholesale) different handmade bath lines, the more I get to know about making soap, and the more I realize this is a scientific process, not just fun & games or arts & crafts.

Soaps are always so much fun to look at, feel & sniff in the store, purchase, and use at home. I figured making them was just as easy as combining a few ingredients. But, like everything else, it’s not always as easy as it looks.

I recently received a newsletter from The Handcrafted Soap Makers Guild, www.soapguild.org, (a great organization by the way) with all kinds of scientific information I just can’t seem to absorb. I completely appreciate this education, but for some reason, I can’t wrap my little brain around it. So, I’ve decided to let the rest of the world make my soaps…I’ll just be content to sell it… no mad scientist soap lab for me. (You serious soap makers out there will be happy to know I’m not one of those that thinks that because I think I can use melt & pour that I think I’m a soap maker. I know better than to insult you like that.)

However, for those of you science buffs, check out this great article explaining how soap cleans..and then, can someone please translate it to English for me ??

http://chemistry.about.com/library/weekly/aa081301a.htm

Maybe they should teach soap making at MIT. In fact, I think you cold & hot press soap makers should call yourselves Soap Engineers, not soapers or soap maker.

Who knew that how our skin gets clean is a very scientific process. I always just thought it was a matter of soap & water.

Monday, July 9, 2007

Anthony, my new hero!

So, I usually consult women on how to care for their skin; however, a male friend has asked me to put together a regime for him. In doing so, I’m finding that men’s products (& the philosophies behind them) are completely different from women’s lines.

1) Lines seem more image oriented over performance.
2) Anti-aging eye cream for men is next to impossible to find
3) Almost all products, including night time serums relate back to shaving
4) Active ingredients are not stressed in marketing
5) Prices are much lower than women’s products of same quality level.



I visited 3 men’s lines counters at Bloomingdales the other day. I asked each sales associate, “So, what makes this men's line special?” (I was trying to find each line’s niche). Each time I received a generic reply of, “They're good. Men like them, and they seem to work.” There were no performance claims as in, “ these are loaded with anti-oxidants & have AHA’s & salycilic acid to help them exfoliate & prevent ingrown hairs”, “they are anti-aging & use peptides” or “the line is designed for men with sensitive skin”…none of it. They were just ‘good’ & men like them. Men must be an easy sell ;). I am not so easy, however…ever ;-).


So, I popped over to Sephora. I was taken to Anthony Logistics for Men (known as Anthony) , http://www.anthony.com/ where the SA (short for Sales Associate) stated it was her favorite. When I asked why, she stated that these products were made of high-quality, mostly natural ingredients & that her son & boyfriend love this line. She also said that even women come in and buy it for themselves, because the of the quality of the products (is this the reverse of men wanting to use our Secret deodorant, ladies?) .



I have to say, as I have researched this line & checked out the ingredients of Anthony’s products, compared with the men’s lines of some of the department store lines, I felt that these products were really suited towards the serious needs/ concerns of men, as opposed to the other lines just trying to cash in on a general ‘mens’ niche.

Anthony seems to be ‘real’ skin care for men.



It is one of the only lines I found which actually puts an SPF (15) in their moisturizer (why would other lines put SPF in their women’s moisturizers & not in their men’s I’m wondering?). This line uses proven ingredients such as glycolic acid, sea algae, anti-oxidants, green tea, shea butter, caffeine (by the way, in an article I read somewhere..can’t remember where…it stated that caffeine has been proven to improve men’s skin while it does nothing for women), aloe, etc.





Anthony also has anti-aging products in their line, which are almost impossible to find in men’s skin care. I still can’t understand this, as most men I know are just as concerned about wrinkles as the women I know. In fact, Anthony has one of the only anti-aging men’s eye creams I could find. Half of men’s lines don’t even have an eye cream , & most men’s eye creams on the market only address puffiness & dark circles. Are all you men out there not sleeping at night? And why aren’t you insisting on ingredients which help prevent (more) wrinkles from showing up? Grey hair is one thing, but wrinkles are the same on men and women…they just make us look older, not more sophisticated.





All Anthony products scored less than a 4 on the Skin Deep (see my post from 7/4/07) ‘danger’ scale as well. Bravo!

Oh, and did I mention that the company donates a portion of their profits to charity to help fight against prostrate cancer? Great work, Anthony! Even more incentive to purchase from companies that give back, folks!



And check out his Little Men product so that little boys can be just like Dad: http://www.anthony.com/index.cfm/a/catalog.prodshow/vid/341/catid/195 . I'd love to see him add some kind of non-harmful, good for little boys' skin, shaving cream with a plastic, dull edge 'razor' so that little boys could 'shave' with Dad too :). Wouldn't that be a great father's day gift...a kit that had shave creams, razors , and after shave balm for both?? :-) ...maybe even a cleanser too, but I don't want to push anything ;).


Any of you men out there need more advice? I'm becoming a bonafied, self-proclaimed expert on the men's skin care industry as well..at least all of the knowledgable sales associates at Sephora & Barneys think so. As for the SAs at Bloomies, well.... they didn't seem to like it when I showed to have more men's skin care knowledge than they did.


Anthony, I salute you for addressing the real skin needs of men! And, dude, I don't know how old you are, but in your picture on your website, http://www.anthony.com/index.cfm/a/article.show/artid/4, you look like you are 20. If you are anywhere near 40, I'll start using your products myself ;-).

Saturday, July 7, 2007

The Paraben Dilemma

Parabens

There’s a big fuss in natural products about being ‘paraben free’. In fact, I understand from a very lovely perfumist I met yesterday at Barney's that parabens have just been banned in Europe. Most people wonder what 'paraben free' means, exactly...and I have to admit that I represent a line of products that are all natural & being 'paraben-free' is a selling point. I realized that I wasn't entirely sure why that was such a great thing. So, I did a little homework. Now we all can know.

Parabens are synthetic preservatives. They are also the most widely used preservative used in skincare products, according to the FDA. Preservatives are used in products to prevent microbial bacterial growth in products.. protecting consumers & maintaining what is known as ‘product integrity’. Basically, without parabens or some other form of preservative, your lotions, shower gels, etc would mold. Just imagine, you've taken a nice long shower; you've cleansed and scrubbed and now you feel squeeky clean & can't wait to put on your favorite yummy smelling body cream....only to open up the jar & find it molded. Yuck! And imagine how much money we would throw away. So, that should make us all pro-paraben, right?

Well, parabens have been accused of disrupting hormones & have been suggested to be linked to breast cancer & other estrogen related diseases…although testing is still inconclusive. It seems that parabens act similiarly to estrogen, but have a weaker effect than estrogen. Let me re-iterate, as there are different sources out there… parabens mimic estrogen, they are not estrogen. Estrogenic activity is linked to certain forms of breast cancer, fetal defects, & parabens have been blamed in many cases.

However, on their website (www.mayoclinic.com), the Mayo Clinic states that the link between parabens in anti-perspirants & deodorants & cancer (remember all the scary emails that every friend who cared about you sent around a few years ago?) is a myth…that there is no proven link that parabens cause or increase risk of breast cancer.

I’m no doctor or health expert, but if there were a history of breast cancer in my family, I might want to avoid parabens just to be on the safe side. Even if there is no family history of breast cancer, some people are choosing to avoid potential issues by avoiding parabens. This is up to you to decide.

The Fat Problem, www.thefatproblem.com, also claims that since estrogen helps regulate the fat cells in your body, and parabens mimic estrogen, yes, your shampoo could be making you fat! That’s all the motivation I need to stay away from parabens. They also claim (probably correctly) that when parabens are washed down our bath/shower drain they then infiltrate our drinking water. But they don’t stop there… they go as far to say that the water gets into soil & then gets into animals & causes defects in them. Wow! Who knew that washing my hair was going to cause defects in animals? This sounds like pretty serious stuff.

There are many paraben free products out there. Some use this as a marketing claim on their packaging, some do not (i.e. the couple’s line I represent, www.cmcouples.com, is paraben free, and is part of the marketing to retailers, but is not listed anywhere on the packaging other than you will not find any parabens in the list of ingredients) ..so always be sure to read the ingredients to check.

Also, never trust a sales associate to know the truth. I have to say I was at a very fancy deparment store recently & was told a line was natural 'based'. I asked if the line was paraben free & was told it was. When I was shown the packaged product, the ingredient list on the box showed 5 types of parabens in one product. I don't think anyone was trying to deceive me, I just think that some sales associates don't have all of the product knowledge they need.

So, how do you avoid parabens? Here’s what to look for in a list of ingredients: methylparaben, propylparaben, butylparaben, or benzylparaben . If you are looking to avoid parabens, you want to keep an eye out for & avoid all of the above.

Just so you know, parabens are also used as preservatives in the food & drug industries as well…be sure to read your labels or ask your pharmacist if you are avoiding parabens. Be warned…they will turn up in the most unexpected places.

As for me, I've decided to keep an eye on them...for now, I won't 'not buy a product' because it has parabens, but I will keep an eye on where they appear in the ingredient list (preferably at the bottle of the list), & I'll try to have some paraben-free products as well. I'd like there to be a bit of balance in my products. Too much of anything can't be a good thing...unless it's chocolate.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Toner--the Misunderstood Skin Care Product

We all know that a cleanser cleanses the skin. A moisturizer, well, moisturizes the skin (amongst other things). But what does a toner do? Provide sleek defined muscle lines to your face? It seems many people don't know or have misconstrued thoughts on the function of a toner.

While searching for something else today, I came across a Q&A on a Yahoo message board that was totally inaccurate. As one dedicated to empowering people to take better care of their skin, I felt obliged to clear this matter up immediately…

*quote*


Q: What does a toner do?

A: It improves the skin’s firmness…or so the beauty industry says.


*unquote*


This is completely incorrect.

First, let me clarify that we are not talking the black powder that fills your printer, we are talking the liquid that is applied to your face after cleansing.

While certain toners may include ingredients which they claim will help firm your skin (debatable), the real/main function of a toner is to restore the pH balance of your skin after cleansing.

Skin averages a pH balance of 4.5 - 5.5 in order to protect from outside elements (bacteria, toxins, dirt, pollution, allergies, etc.). For those of you that know your pH scale, this means that skin is a little on the acidic side (water is pH 7.0 and is considered pH neutral).

Your skin usually maintains it’s pH balance naturally through perspiration, sebum (fatty secretions), & hormones.

Most soaps (with average pH of 9.5 – 10) & water off-set the pH balance of your skin by wiping off what is known as your skin’s natural ‘acidic shield’. If you use a washcloth, the majority of laundry detergents have a pH balance of 10 – 12, which is not fully eliminated in the rinse cycle & leaves alkaline residue behind…which affects your skin as well. After cleansing, skin can take between 2 hours (for the fastest) up to 36 hours (for sensitive skin) to naturally restore its pH balance. During this time, your skin can be more vulnerable to the damaging elements previously listed above.

Another benefit of toner is that it also picks up any dirt & grime that your cleanser didn’t get. This is sometimes how I know if a new cleanser really works or not (i.e. how much dirt is on my cotton pad after I tone).


Restoring pH balance also helps your skin accept all serums & moisturizers better, meaning that they will perform better too.

This, my friends, is the job description of a skin toner. Any questions?

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

The Skin Care Police

Check out this product safety website, Skin Deep, which I stumbled upon yesterday. It rates skincare products, including makeup, by their level of safety.

Skin Deep: http://www.cosmeticsdatabase.com/

Skin Deep is a non-profit which operates independently from the FDA (which 'regulates' all products which touch the skin) & has nothing to do with the government. They have evaluated almost 25,000 products based on toxicity & regulatory issues. I’m sure their site has some of your favorites, check it out. You might just find that your treasured Lancome anti-aging sunscreen could potentially have adverse effects on your nervous system (who would have thought about this?).

I was shocked while searching for ‘mango butter’ when I stumbled upon a listing for The Body Shop’s Mango Body Butter (this used to be one of my all time favorite body butters in the winter) which rated the product as an 7 (10 being the most dangerous, 0 being not harmful at all). Check it out:
http://skindeep.ewg.org/product.php?prod_id=80219&refurl=%2Fwordsearch.php%3Fquery%3Dmango+butter%26

The site also gives my precious Olay Regenerist Regenerating Collection (www.olay.com) a big, fat 10!

One of my other favorite lines, Avon Anew, www.avon.com (yes, folks, Avon makes some great anti-aging products) rates mostly 3-7 with 1 product even rating a 10.
Jane Iredale’s mineral cosmetics (www.janeiredale.com) mostly ranged from 0 to 4, most with ratings of 1-3. Her pressed powders rated an impressive 0, while a very few of her eye & lip products earned 4’s.

Skin Deep gave my beloved Bare Escentuals (www.bareescentuals.com) ratings from 2-4. A few blushes scored 2’s while the rest of the line mostly earned 3’s , including all of BE’s lip products. Many BE eye products rated 4.

Check & see what your favorite products could be doing to your body: http://www.cosmeticsdatabase.com/

By the way, the site also has a link on their homepage to a full summary of sunscreens...what works & what's safe! I suggest taking a look over it for the sake of your skin.

Well, while I appreciate the ratings, and think it’s important that we all are aware of what we are putting in & on our bodies, I’m not sure I’ll be giving up Regenerist (by the way, not all the products scored 10, but the “collection” did) or Anew (or any others for that matter). I still eat French fries, & I’ll still use my Regenerist..but at least I know now the potential downfalls of both; and at least I’ll still be lookin’ good when I keel over from my coronary ;).

Happy 4th of July to all my American readers! Celebrate your freedom to choose what's right for your skin!

Also, a huge thank you to those who risk their lives every day so that we can all sit back, sip a beer (or a margarita), watch the 4th of July fireworks, & participate in the daily freedoms which most of us take for granted! Bless you..today & always!

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Great Info on Sunscreens

Check out this clip on U.S. News for some general info on choosing a sunscreen:

http://usnews.feedroom.com/?fr_story=8ae767de9da7e696c84938fda6a2a4f73b4e78ee&fr_chl=c7e190546871ef6b81ea2c264782f93c03a69fd7&s_cid=et:=0703

I especially like the trick of remembering UVA & UVB:

UVA are the rays that age you...think UVA - Aging

UVB are the rays that burn you ... think UVB - Burn

Kitchen Aid

Is your skin feeling a bit dry after too much sun? Reach into your cupboard and grab the bottle of Safflower oil. Yes, safflower oil. No, we aren’t going to make salad dressing, we are going to give your skin back moisture by applying it directly to our skin (sans vinegar & seasonings).

Safflower oil is high in linoleic acid which our bodies usually produce on their own to keep our skin moisturized. However, as with everything else, production slows as we get older.

Safflower oil is odorless (unless you’ve kept it in the cupboard too long & it’s gone rancid…don’t use it in this case), colorless, and best of all, cheap!

It’s great for the whole body, use it anywhere you need some moisture. Just be sure that you don’t need to rush off in a New York minute after you’ve applied, as it does take a little longer to absorb into your skin (it is an oil after all). You can even apply it (lightly) to your face (avoiding your eye area) if you feel the need for some extra moisture. Apply after cleansing, toning & serums, but before your moisturizer.

Olive oil is also high in linoleic acid, but last time I checked, most folks are not attracted to people who smell like salad. Be kind to your neighbors (& yourself) & go with safflower oil.
By the way, this works wonders in winter too when skin is in need of relief from dry, aching, flakiness…and much cheaper than all those expensive lotions.

Oh, and don’t forget to add sun protection before you go out the door... you know what oil does in the frying pan…

Friday, June 29, 2007

The Newest Anti-Aging Miracle


The Fountain of Youth? Miracle in a bottle?
Or the wonders of modern technology??



Well, whether it’s skin science or hype, the English are getting in line to find out. Retailers in the U.K. can’t keep Boots No.7 Protect & Perfect Beauty Serum in stock. It claims to produce younger looking skin in 4 weeks. 4 weeks to younger skin? I’m in!

The product was featured on the BBC’s Horizon science program (or at the English say, programme) as having been “scientifically proved that it repairs photo-aged skin and improves the fine wrinkles associated with photo-ageing.” (http://www.boots.com/) Photo-aged skin, for those of you that don’t know means (mostly) sun damage (the leading cause of wrinkles/ aging in the majority of the population of humankind).

Can you imagine? Every British woman over 20 who watched that episode of Horizon must have been in line at the Boots Pharmacy 20 minutes later. I wonder if there are any statistics for traffic following such revelations.

According to an article I found at http://www.earthtimes.org/ Boots sold 160,000 bottles of the new ‘potion’ in one weekend, and has had to limit customers to 1 bottle per person. They even handed out tickets to women in line to reserve product. I’m picturing mobs like for the Nintendo Wii release.

The No.7 serum claims to do what all it's competition does…smoothes lines & wrinkles, as well as reducing appearance of pores using all the usual…anti-oxidants, pro-retinol, etc. What makes it different? I can’t really seem to figure it out... except that it's been scientifically proven.
Anyone have any further news? Any speculations?
Did I mention that it’s less than $40? Approx $33 to be exact (I know, oxymoron… but we are talking fluctuating rates here, friends). Who knew the fountain of youth was going to be so cheap?

The only problem seems to be that the company can only manufacture 20,000 bottles/week. With demand so great in the UK, when oh when will we see it here in the U.S.? So, I’m currently taking donations for a flight to London ;)…I’ll even bring you back one too.

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Lancome special


For those of you who love Lancome, www.lancome-usa.com is having a promo right now...free shipping & a free 5 pc. travel set with a $50 purchase (just one skin care product will usually do the trick...try their Renergie products which I blogged about a couple of days ago as being the 2nd most effective). There are 2 different travel sets to choose from, so pick your coupon code based on which set you would like here: http://www.lancome-usa.com/landing/TRAVEL7.aspx?cm_mmc=SendTec-_-CPA-_-Banner468x60-_-TRAVEL71 . Both look great to me! I'd probably go with the one with the High Resolution products in it though. Oh, and Juicy Tubes (lipgloss) are great no matter what color you've got. They are sometimes a little sticky, but Lancome makes the best colors, and they are pocket/purse/travel friendly!

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Calling All Ministers...

Yes, I'm sure I have a huge percentage of ministers reading my blog...not. But just in case, O Holy Clergy check out this blog I found when I searched Google for for "Extremely Wrinkled Face Photo": www.beautytipsforministers.com . Now I know there is a website for everything out there!

I love their byline: "Because you are in the public eye & God knows you need to look good."

Here's my question though...does Beauty Tips for Ministers not conflict with the vanity commandment? ;) (please note I realize that my blog is about beauty tips/vanity also, but I'm, thankfully, not a minister ). Or do ministers need to look good to reflect the beauty of God?

Food for thought...and prayer ;).

Scrub, Baby, Scrub

I love sugar & salt scrubs but am very particular on which ones I love. I hate the type of sugar scrub that leaves a ring of grease in my tub. I want the oils on my body, not the tub (my tub does not need moisturizing 1/2 as much as I do).



I came across this formula for a Homemade Scrub. I can't wait to make it (once my 24 other scrubs are used up). However, I thought I'd spare you the waiting for me to use up all my scrubs before I shared the recipe. It sounds absolutely delightful! (and, of course, if anyone makes it and feels obliged to send me some, you'll have my eternal gratitude).



BODY SCRUB

½ cup brown sugar

½ cup white sugar

½ cup coarse salt

2 tablespoons of avocado oil

¼ cup of your favorite liquid soap

Any ONE of the following:

- Juice from ½ of a grapefruit

- Juice from a lemon

- Grated peel from a lemon or lime

- ½ cup of chopped cranberries

- ¼ cup of rose salt

- 2 tablespoons from of an essential oil (Lavender is the author's favorite)



(Nancy's note: I personally want to add cranberries & grapefruit w/ a little bit of lime & lavender...yes, as always, I want it all. I also suggest Dead Sea Salts for the required salt, but regular salt will do just fine. I just bought some fine grain European Spa salts at Wholesale Supplies Plus, www.WholesaleSuppliesPlus.com , which I plan to substitute in to my scrub when I make it. )



Mix together in a bowl. When in the shower, rub all over from head to toes. Rinse with cold water – as cold as you can stand it. Use once a week.


I found this recipe at http://www.robinmcgraw.com/. Check out this website for more skincare recipes. (I'll be posting more homemade recipes from time to time as well.)



Bon apetite..umm, I mean Happy Scrubbing!

Monday, May 28, 2007

The #1 Product for Anti-Aging...

Sunscreen!
Yes, sunscreen is the #1 product for anti-aging.
Last week my step-father had some minor surgery. While Mom & I were in the waiting room, I picked up a copy of WebMD Magazine. Lo & behold, there was an article on my favorite topic...anti-aging.
The article was based on a Consumer Reports study (you know they always have all the answers). They tested all of the anti-aging products out there & found, as I've always known, that price has nothing to do with the effectiveness of anti-aging products. They determined that most of those anti-aging products have little to no effect on reversing signs of aging. However, the line that showed the best performance was none other than Olay's Regenerist. Yes, folks, the drugstore line wins... more proof that you don't need to spend $250 on the proclaimed Creme de la Creme to have the best skin you possibly can. I've noticed over the last few months that Regenerist has won several awards (SAGA Best Moisturizer, NACDS for best facial peel & best night moisturizer, Fashion Magazine, Shape, Allure Reader's Choice Awards, Beauty Awards, etc etc...even their most recent eye derma-pods, which are very cool & I just bought last week, have won packaging awards) now I understand why. My mother, who's used everything from the cheapest to the most expensive skin care lines, even pointed out Regenerist eye serum when we were recently at Sam's Club. She exclaimed, "if you ever need a great eye product, you should use that stuff!" Mom is apparently unaware that I'm always in search of the perfect eye cream/serum. Thanks, Mom!

For those of you interested in trying Regenerist, you can go to www.olay.com/samplesandoffers to sign up for a couple of free samples. You can also find more product info on Regenerist at www.olay.com .

According to the Consumer Reports report, Regenerist is followed by Lancome Renergie & Roc Retin Ox in terms of effectiveness.

However, despite these being the best, Sandra Ronnif of Consumer Reports states it like it is, saying that there is no such thing as a face lift in a jar. The best way to prevent wrinkles is to stay out of the sun.
If you can't do that (which many of us that need to walk down the street cannot) please make sure you use sunscreen. I suggest using no less than SPF30..and remember, if your moisturizer has SPF15 & your foundation has SPF25, your maximum SPF protection is 25, not 40. Also, in facial moisturizers & foundations, you don't really get the full SPF coverage it advertises (I'll get in to why this is on another day), so using a sunscreen product made for faces is really the best way to protect your face.
Shiseido makes a great facial & body sunscreens with SPF55 which protects against both UVA & UVB rays & are sweat resistant & very water resistant. These are the products I took to Ghana when I knew I'd be spending hours in the sun building homes, and they actually worked. Neutrogena & Skinceuticals also make great sunscreen products. If you want to spend alot of money, I particularly love Natura Bisse's suncare line, but Neutrogena is my cheaper fill in ;). Oh, and as a reminder, please don't use sunscreen meant for your body on your face..the molecules for body lotion are bigger than your facial skin cells & they will not be absorbed properly & can also clog your skin. They also sometimes have ingredients you don't really want to put on your face.




Oh, and please don't forget to eyecream..there are eye creams with SPF in them as well..actual sunscreen products. Shiseido also makes one of these w/ an SPF32. Please please use a sun protection product on your eyes... you know this is the most fragile skin on your body & it has no moisture glands...therefore, the sun can do more damage in this area. Just be careful not to get this in your eyes.



For those of you who love to soak up the sun & love that bronzed tan look, I wish I could show you photos of my mother's body. She probably spent years out of her life in the sun. At 74, she is gorgeous, but her body (& face) is covered with sun spots, and she's had more 'spots' removed than I can count on hands & feet. While I love the sun, I've learned from my mom...it's just not worth it. I plan to live a long time & I plan to look like I'm 80 when I'm 100.. shouldn't we all?

Well, as the summer "season" arrived this past weekend with the advent of Memorial Day, I'll leave you reminding you to take your hats & umbrellas to the beach...and your SPF70 sunscreen... or be prepared bear the deeply lined consequences (in about 5-20 years from now).

(By the way, Regenerist plans on expanding their product line this summer. Could they possibly be launching a sunscreen line as well?)

Regenerist pictures courtesy & property of www.Olay.com . Shiseido pictures courtesy & property of www.shop.nordstrom.com





















Sweaty Palms & Feet? A solution just in time for Summer!



I don't know about you, but I dread the hot days of summer. I live in NYC, and get everywhere I go by either subway or walking. Therefore, I find myself a bit 'wet' during most of the summer. Not to mention that NYC heat is heavy, hot air. The bends of my arms & knees get sweaty, as do my palm, feet, and so on.

I just found out about a product (thanks, Rachel Ray) called Moisture AbSorb by By142 (http://www.by142.com/ For those of you who live near a Nordstrom, it is available there also).
This baby has molecules which absorb 110 times their own weight, keeping you (& me) nice & dry. They say it leaves you smooth & not sticky. It's $30.00 for 1.7 fl. oz, which is quite a bit more than the usual baby powder many of us use for the same purpose. However, I'd willing trade in my baby powder for AbSorb as I'm a bit messy with powder & somehow more of it seems to end up on my bathroom floor or on my clothes (although black & white is very hot this season ;-) ).

Here's to a hot, dry summer!!

Bizarre skin treatment

First of all, I must apologize for not blogging for the last 6 weeks or so. I've been so concentrated on getting my new business (http://www.wholesaleproductrep.com/) up and running, I've not had time for much else. It is still that way, but I realize I have other responsibilities as well.

So, without further ado, let me tell you about the 2 wildest skin/hair treatments I've ever heard of...

Hari's Salon in London (http://www.harissalon.com/) offers Bull Semen Hair Treatment. According to Daily Candy (http://www.dailycandy.com/), " A new, intense conditioning treatment at Hari’s uses organic pedigree Angus bull semen, fresh from Brooklet Farm in Cheshire. The substance’s pure protein, combined with katera, a protein-rich plant root, penetrates each shaft and deeply nourishes the hair." Apparently hair is super soft, silky, thick & bouncy. I couldn't find this on Hari's menu to find out how much it is....probably uber expensive. Anyone know? I just keep wondering how they get the bull semen.

So, last week Daily Candy emailed me (and thousands of others) that Hari's also now offers a Nightingale Poo Facial. Yes, bird poop. I know that in Chinese culture, bird spit soup is a delicacy which is hundreds of dollars per bowl (I always picture little Chinese men climbing trees to wipe birds tongues with a cotton swab for this), but I had no idea that bird feces was now being used to beautify our faces. Does this mean it qualifies as a 'green' product?
Daily Candy reports, "Due to the enzyme guanine (in the bird poop), an amino acid which purports to heal and bleach the skin, the substance has been used for millennia in Japan by geishas and Kabuki actors to remove make-up and by monks to polish their shaved heads.
The biggies aren’t scraped off any old windscreen; they’re completely purified before going anywhere near your face. And when they do — alongside gold leaf soap, adzuki bean scrub and green tea shea butter — they soften and brighten the skin." They say it's a deeply nourishing facial. Question...don't all of us (animals & humans) usually excrete toxins, not the stuff that that's good for us? And purified bird poop? What's left after it's purified?

So, to my friends & readers in London (or those visiting), I challenge you to one of these treatments. We all want to hear all about it! I want to know if these are worth it, or are just a bunch of, well, crap. I do have to say I'm intrigued, but not sure I could stomach the treatments.
Anyone else have any bizarre skincare treatments for us? Please do tell...

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Got (Organic) Milk?

My daily tip from www.idealbite.com (which I highly recommend for anyone that wants tips on how to be more eco-smart/friendly) arrived this morning with a skincare tip I hadn't realized ...

Most folks know that organic milk is obtained from cows which have not been given hormones or antibiotics, but did you know that organic milk has higher levels of vitamins A & E & antioxidants that regular milk, which give your skin a 'beauty boost' ?

In addition, your body benefits from organic milk too. Organic milk from pasture fed cows can decrease risk of heart disease & diabetes due to organic milk from pasture fed cows has higher levels of conjugated linoleic acids (CLAs)

I'm assuming this carries over to organic cheese & ice cream also... yummm! Just think, next time you indulge in that pint of organic triple chocolate cherry chunk ice cream, it's not about what it will do to your hips, it's about the added glow it will add to your complexion.

Now for you lactose intolerant folks, I'll be back soon with the benefits of soy...

Massage? Who said massage?



One of my favorite parts of a professional facial is the massage. I always believe it is an integral part of what leaves my skin glowing & feeling so 'alive'. It also helps 'push' products in by massaging them deeper into the tissue.

I like to try to mimic this at home, but I've never quite been successful at this. So, I decided to do a little research so we could all benefit from a little home facial massage a few minutes a day.

While facial massage, like any massage, relieves tension, it can also promote lymphatic drainage to rid cells of toxins which accumulate due to regular cellular metabolism, stress & pollution (we New Yorkers can relate to the pollution factor in our skin). It can also promote younger, firmer skin by increasing blood circulation.

Before starting, I want to say that facial tissue is very delicate, and eye tissue is even more delicate. Any pressure should be done with gentle, controlled movements so as to stimulate cells/blood flow, not dragging/stretching skin (which will counteract the result we are aiming for). A "light, feathery touch" is a good way to describe how fingers should feel on the skin.


Massage should be done with clean hands & preferably after cleansing/toning/& moisturizing so as to 1) lubricate the skin during massage 2) send the moisturizer deeper into the skin cells

1. First relax & focus on your breath...(think meditation ;) )

2. Take chin between thumb & forefinger of each hand and then work your way along jawline to the ears. fingers may glide along using gentle pressure, or you may gently pinch & walk fingers along jawline to ears.

3. Place middle 3 fingers of each hand on each side of nose. Walk fingers outward toward ears along cheekbones or directly below (again, gently pressing & gliding or gently pinching & 'walking').

4. Temples ---place 3 middle fingers of each hand at the temple area. Forefinger should be at hairline; ring finger should be at the corner of the eye, and the middle finger should be directly over the temple. Gently press fingers in small circular motions.

5. Inner corner of eyes---place one finger (i suggest ring finger, because this has the lightest pressure, and eye tissue is thinner/more fragile than the rest of the skin on your face). Gently apply pressure & release 5 times

6. Eyebrows--starting at the bottom edge & inner corner of each eyebrow, gently walk fingers to outeredge while gently applying pressure. Some methods suggest gently pinching & walking fingers out..this would be pinching the eyebrown between thumb & forefinger & including a little of the eyelid skin below the eyebrow into the massage as well.

7. Forehead-- there are 2 methods here: 1) place both thumbs at base of forehead between your eyebrows, apply gentle pressure & slide fingers upwards into hairline. 2) using middle 3 fingers of each hand, apply pressure & slide fingers from one side of forehead to the other. Alternate hands.

8. I like to end my massage with a gentle allover massage using middle 3 fingers of each hand, Start at chin/jawline & work upward in small upward/outward circles. move from cheeks to nose, up to forehead and then across & down at the temples. circle eyes in this motion 3-5 times.(Some may choose to start their massage this way as well).

9. Inhale deeply, look in the mirror & realize the glory & beauty that is you!


Follow above routine daily, or as often as desired (or, if you are like me, as often as you can remember ;) ).


For those of you who can tolerate watching this video, this guy offers some excellent massage techniques..some which are listed above, some which are not: http://www.videojug.com/film/how-to-give-yourself-an-energizing-facial-massage (The one thing i will say 'not' to follow is that you should never do any massage across the front of the throat..sides are ok, but not across the throat. i don't suggest following anything he does across the front of the throat.).


Well, relax, enjoy & reap the benefits of healthier, firmer, younger looking skin...just don't let anyone see you when you do these techniques...they might just think you've lost your mind ;).

Resources:
1) http://www.iparenting.com/resources/articles/homefacial.htm
2) http://www.womenfitness.net/beauty/skin/facial1.htm (great pictures & methods for trouble areas/concerns i.e. lip wrinkles, double chin, crows' feet, etc)
3) Spa Magazine March/April 2007 issue "Daily Uplift" pg. 66 (spamagazine.com)

Credits: Photo Courtesy & Property of http://www.indotreks.com

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Eyes, how shall I line thee?

Everyone has their preference for what type of eyeliner they use.

For many years I used pencil liners because they were easier than liquid. With shaky hands, the long brush applicators of liquid eyeliners were much too intimidating…a 3 year old could probably draw a straighter line than me. However, pencils always smudged on me. I tried them all - from the drugstore stuff to fancy department store lines. All of them ended up in rings under my eyes. Can you say, “raccoon eyes”? Plus let’s not forget the frustration of losing ½ my pencil to that dratted sharpener where the creamy part would always stick or fall out after sharpening.

One glorious day, I discovered Lancôme’s Artliner liquid liner with a felt tip applicator. I could actually do this. Success with liquid liner at last! I found a couple other lines that offered the same/similar applicator type and used them happily for awhile. However, this method soon had 2 drawbacks: 1) limited color choices (I have Cosmetic A.D.D., meaning that I get bored easily & need to change my colors often), & 2) colors would either fade or flake off by the end of the day (admittedly, while my passion is skincare & cosmetics, I apply makeup only once per day …unless I’m meeting George Clooney for dinner, of course).




Then I discovered 2 new revolutionary types of eyeliner products:

1. Liquid ‘converters’ --- Clear liquids that, when 1 drop is combined with loose powder eye shadow, become liquid liner which is applied with your own eyeliner brush. My favorites are: Bare Escentuals’ i.d. weather everything liner sealer & Paula Dorf’s Transformer. With these, you either mix a drop with loose eye powder (or minerals), or place a drop on the back of your hand & dip your liner brush into it then ‘rub’ brush into pressed eye powder to make a liquid liner.

The advantages of this method are: 1) ‘Unlimited’ choice of colors. Any color you find in a powder shadow can be made into a Iiner. 2) These products dry to a flake/smudge/water/sweat-proof, long lasting liner. Yes, eventually I find rings under my eyes, but it’s usually the morning after I haven’t removed my makeup. 3) You can use any eyeliner brush you choose, giving you more control. I find Laura Geller’s slanted liner brush to give the finest, smoothest line of any brush I’ve ever tried. I am also partial to ‘push brushes’ which are easy to control and do not require a long straight line to be drawn in 1 motion.

(Note: A drop of water can be used to achieve the same as the effect except it will not be flake/smudge/water/sweat-proof. If you line your eyes at the inside base of your eyelashes, you should always used water & not a ‘converter’ type product. )



2. Crème eyeliners --- Smashbox makes the best I’ve found in this type of liner. It dries to a powder within 60 seconds. If you make a mistake, you have 60 seconds to correct it. After that, it’s not moving anywhere. This liner goes on easily & stays put. For those of you on the go, or those like me, who need variety, Smashbox makes a credit card shape/size compact which contains a 10 color palette & includes a mini push brush too.

Well, if you can’t decide which method to use, or still worry about not being able to make straight lines in the morning before coffee & without glasses, you could always have your eyeliner permanently ‘tattooed’ on your eyelids. Just make sure the ‘tattoo artist’ has a steady hand.

Pictures courtesy of & property of Lancome, Sephora, Paula Dorf, & QVC respectively

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Beauty Tips

These are some of the best beauty tips I think we could all benefit from:

Beauty tips (according to Audrey Hepburn):

1. For attractive lips, speak words of kindness.

2. For lovely eyes, seek out the good in people.

3. For a slim figure, share your food with the hungry.

4. For beautiful hair, let a child run his or her fingers through it once a day.

5. For poise, walk with the knowledge you'll never walk alone.

6. People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed, and redeemed; never throw out anybody. Remember, if you ever need a helping hand, you'll find one at the end of your arm. As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands, one for helping yourself, the other for helping others.

7. The beauty of a woman is not in the clothes she wears, the figure that she carries, or the way she combs her hair. The beauty of a woman is seen in her eyes, because that is the doorway to her heart, the place where love resides. True beauty in a woman is reflected in her soul. It is the caring that she lovingly gives, the passion that she shows. And the beauty of a woman only grows with passing years

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Sleep Wrinkles

Ok, maybe some of you know about this, but I learned a new one this week. I’ve always learned that our skin healed itself during our sleep. I had no idea that the way we sleep can add wrinkles to our skin--- permanently!

It seems that one day those pillow wrinkles that those of us who sleep on our sides wake up with will eventually become permanent (is that really a sentence? 18 years in the importing business leaves me at a lack of proper English sometimes ;) ). Now, I don’t know about you, but I’ve seen some friends with some very funny pillow lines on their face in the morning.. I’m having a good laugh imagining those permanently etched on their face ;).

The way this pillow wrinkle issue happens is similar to how the repetitiveness of facial movements eventually becomes permanent in crows feet & forehead wrinkles. After years of sleeping in the same position (on your side) every night, you will wake up one day & the pillow wrinkles won’t fade away. Yikes! I always sleep on my side!

These wrinkles tend to show up mostly on the cheeks & chin on women…and let’s not forget our cleavage (guiltily I’ll admit I’ve already started noticing that one L ). Apparently, you men tend to press your faces into the pillow, as men primarily get pillow wrinkles on their foreheads.

So, how do we try to evade this problem? I’m not sure I can get used to sleeping on my back, but perhaps we should all give it a try…although we may all need nose strips for snoring then; but , hey, it’s better than wrinkles, right?

The choice in your pillowcase can make a difference also. It seems that cotton pillowcases cause this problem more than a silk or satin pillowcase. I can see how the slippery surface of a satin pillowcase would work. My mother has slept on satin pillowcases all of her life (she takes one everywhere she goes & even slips it on over hotel pillowcases) to protect her hair (oh how I remember the days of her hair wrapped in toilet paper too ;) ). Maybe this (partially) explains why my mother looks so gorgeous at 73! While intending to save her hair, she's also saved her skin.

I gotta ‘borrow’ one of those pillowcases when I go home next time!

Apparently there are now 'Sleep Bras' available for women to keep our breasts apart during sleeptime...helping to eliminate cleavage wrinkling. The best site I found was www.sleepbra.com . This pillow has a breast pillow inside the bra. Who knew that my breasts needed pillows to sleep on also?? I was always told that they made good pillows, not needed pillows :P. Anybody own a sleep bra & feel it works (and want to share with us)?

Of course, we could all just start sleeping less too ;).

Dove Pro-Age

I'd like to salute Dove for their new Pro-Age anti-aging video..showing that women are beautiful at all ages!! Check it out!

www.doveproage.com/default.asp?source=oprah_a

and check out their video of the reactions to it as well (evidently it had to be pulled from television advertising as it showed 'too much skin'):

www.doveproage.com/ads_reaction.asp


I have no idea how these products work, but I love their approach.

By the way, you can order a free sample of their new Pro-Age line at
www.doveproage.com/samples_reg.asp

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Correction

Yesterday I accidentally said that my favorite sales associate at the Bloomies' Chanel counter is Roxanna. I don't know what planet I was on when I said that. My all time favorite SA at Bloomies (at the Chanel counter) is Sultana!! (I have no idea who Roxanna is ;)).

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Makeup Trend for Fall

Ok, I have to admit that I’m a lipgloss girl. I love my lipgloss, I even have to wear it over lipstick (I think it makes lipstick look better).


So, I was disappointed last week when I read the trend for fall will be a return to lipstick. Women’s Wear Daily announced that makeup is returning toward a more “mature, independent woman”.

I wanna know since when is lipgloss immature?? I mean I use Chanel, Bare Escentuals, Lip Fusion, Lancome, etc…since when were these not ‘mature’? It’s not like we ladies are using Bonne Bell Lip Smackers or anything. (Ok, ok,I admit I have a melon flavored Lip Smacker around here somewhere). I think lipgloss is feminine (& gives lips ‘kiss appeal’ too)…since when is femininity not mature? I think I can be feminine, mature, & independent all at the same time.


So, are u a lipgloss girl too? I know I’ve enabled many of you to my favorite lipgloss after you have complimented me on it. For anyone that hasn’t tried them yet, my favorite lipgloss is Chanel Glossimers. My favorite color is Twinkle. It’s fabulous on it’s own or over almost every shade of lipstick, and is great on almost every skin tone. (Photo property of & courtesy of Chanel)

Other Glossimer colors I love include Jaipur, Soda, Blizzard, Magic, Force, & Electric (this one is great for summer as it’s both reddish & coralish with a gold iridescence),

Yes, Glossimers will put you out about $26 or so, but they last a very long time too… and they are long wearing as well. Although here's a warning...once you own 1, you will want a whole wardrobe of them.

Oh, and if you decide to follow the lipstick trend, Chanel makes some of the best colors in lipsticks as well (although I don’t buy them, as I prefer more ‘affordable’ lipsticks, such as Bare Escentuals, MAC, or Loreal with an occasional splurge on Nars, Trish McEvoy or Lancome who all make wonderful lipsticks in great colors & qualities)

If you shop the NYC Chanel counter at Bloomingdales, ask for my favorite sales person, Sultana…she’s a sweetheart & never puts pressure on customers to buy, unlike some of the others. However,I recommend the Bloomies’ Chanel counter over the Bergdorf Goodman counter, as the sales associates are less snobby & they give more/better samples as well. They also tend to have more/better events imho.

Oh, and as for upcoming trends, WWD also showed Miu Miu’s line from Paris week about 3 weeks ago..Miu Miu Fall ’07 line showed pantyhose pulled up 2-4” over your waistband & tops tucked into them. I could be wrong, but I’m not so sure I’ll be following that trend either.

Friday, March 23, 2007

I.C.E.

I'd like to digress today for public service announcement ;-).

Do you have an I.C.E. (In Case of Emergency) number programmed into your cell phone? Paramedics & ER's have begun regularly checking people's cell phones for Emergency Contacts. This can save your life in some cases. I recently read that not enough people have added I.C.E contact information into their cell phones ,& the emergency services highly recommend everyone to do this. I've added ICE contacts to my cell, & I strongly urge you to do the same. I even added 2 numbers... my doctor as 1 ICE, and my mom as the other. (If you are reading this from a country other than the U.S., I bet there's an acronym that you can follow in your language as well).

I hope no one will never need to use this number, but please be prepared just in case.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

You are never too young to start!

Yesterday I sent the link to this blog to a large number of friends & family. I learned that a dear old friend of mine in Vienna, who is 30 years old, mentioned me in his blog yesterday (http://www.alpi.firat.at/) . He wrote,

Skincare for everyone
19. March 2007
Skin Wench is a page of a very good friend of mine, who started a weblog about some kind of skincare consulting. Maybe even I’ll need her advises one day ”

Well, the 1st part of his blog was right…skin care IS for everyone!

However, it’s the last sentence that bothered me. See, this “waiting until one day” is one of the most common of misunderstandings about skin care, especially amongst men.

It is never too early to start taking care of your skin!

Skin care should be proactive, NOT reactive.

We should all be working to prevent skin problems such as wrinkles, sagging, & even acne, not minimize them once they are there. Once they are there, nothing short of a face lift (or a miracle) is going to make them disappear completely. Of course, yes, wrinkles & sagging are inevitably going to show up, but we can keep them at bay for as long as possible through taking proper steps.

I’d say a healthy skin care regime should be started in a person’s early teens & carried out for a lifetime. If you are one of those people who says, “oh, I’ll worry about that later..,” well, you might just be too late. I know many people in their early 20’s feel they have a lifetime to worry about their skin. Did you know what you do to your skin early in your teens & 20’s will be reflected in your later years (the care & prevention you take, the sun rays you absorb, etc).

Think of skin care as a long term investment. What you put in to it today will keep you looking younger years from now!

So, no matter what your age, whether you are 15 or 75, if you aren’t currently taking care of your skin on a regular basis, please, please don’t go one day longer. Please go out and buy 4 basic essentials: a good cleanser, toner (some cleansers also act as toners, so u might only need 3 products), moisturizer, & an eye cream! Ok, well don’t just buy them, USE them :) . Please don’t wait until “one day”.

You have only a few dollars & a few minutes a day to lose & better, younger looking skin to gain (forever)! Aren't you worth the investment? I think you are!

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Natura Bisse

Natura Bisse (www.naturabisse.com) is my all time favorite skincare line! It’s expensive, but not quite at the price level of LaMer. It’s also worth every penny! This & the Kanebo line are the only lines that I’ve ever seen results on my skin w/ a week's worth of samples (admittedly, I’ve never tried LaMer).

The company is from Spain. It was 1st a research lab which researched new ingredients for the cosmetic industry. One day they realized that their workers’ hands had not aged & were very soft etc. So, they developed this skincare line around the ingredients their employees had been working with 40 hrs/week: collagen, keratin & elastin. This was before these 3 ingredients became ‘buzz words’ in the industry.
The line started as a professional line, used only in spas. Over the last few years they have expanded to retail.
This is a very exclusive line, found only in top retail locations..i.e. Bergdorf Goodman’s, Neiman Marcus, etc. I found them at Bergdorf’s. They have a lovely sales staff there & the sales manager is wonderful! They’ve also had a full time facial room there for about 2 years now. They actually do a full, professional 60-minute facial free with the purchase of 2 products (you can purchase 2 products and schedule your facial for a later date, or just make an appointment for a facial & buy your products then). Their estheticians are top quality also. I have to say the best facials I’ve ever received have been in the Natura Bisse facial room at Bergdorfs. So, while the cost of the products is a bit on the high side, anyone can get a facial here for approximately the cost of a very good facial anywhere else and walk out with products as well. That doesn’t happen at the spa…getting to walk out with full size products for about the same price, I mean).
By the way, after my 1st Natura facial, I walked out & exclaimed (to anyone who would listen..aka the sales people), “Why do I wear makeup??!! I have GORGEOUS skin!!!” All night I couldn’t stop looking at my skin in the mirror.

If I could, I would use their whole line…but my budget doesn’t permit that. In fact, I usually buy their serums & they give me ample samples of the rest (they understand my budget limitations)
They have some serums that are different from the rest of the world’s:


O2 Oxygen Complex:
NB has a whole line that revolves around oxygen. Oxygen is as important to skin cell renewal as it the rest of our body functions. The Oxygen line is based on Hydrogen Peroxide which when applied to the skin “is broken down into oxygen and water, reviving the circulatory function of the skin to restore vitality, decongest, & purify.” It also has a “bleaching effect to clarify, while progressively lightening hyperpigmentation”. I use this product because I have congestion (I’m not too acne prone, but I do have a lot of congestion…blackheads, etc. Fyi, my skin type is “dry with congestion” kind of like T-zone. I also have sensitive skin ). They say that the hydrogen peroxide goes in, breaks into the oxygen & water, and the oxygen forces out whatever is congesting my skin..brings it to the surface. I do find that I find little white heads at first when using this, as it’s bringing up the toxins to the surface. NB suggests this product for all skin types, especially for dehydrated, congested, hyperpigmented skin, lakcing vitality, or for smokers”. I believe this product sells for $110 or so
(Their O2 mask, based on the same premise, works wonders & sells for about $40-45)


Essential Shock Complex + Isoflavones:
This is an intensive anti-aging & firming treatment. I’ve been told that my main aging concerns will be sagging, not wrinkles. Why must everything sag ?? Anyway, that’s a whole ‘nother story. Back to ESC… this is a repair treatment (I use it as preventative though) to restore firmness & elasticity to mature skin. Collagen is used in products to keep skin firm, and this product has plenty of it. It’s combined with Elastin Amino Acids & Isoflavones (soy proteins). I love this serum and have never found anything else like it. It sells for about $165 or so
Hand Silk Cream :
Simply the BEST hand cream I’ve ever found (and believe me, I’m always on the quest for finding the perfect hand cream. This is the best I’ve ever found so far!). This has SPF15 & claims to be waterproof. I do feel it still on my hands after washing. I keep tubes of this in my purse, my bathroom, & on my living room table…oh, and my bed side table too! If only I was better about remembering to put it on. It sells for about $28 -$30 (admittedly, I actually buy mine from an ebay supplier for approx $12.00/ea)

Over the next few days I’ll continue with some of my other favorite Natura Bisse products, and then I’ll move on to some “more affordable” products.

Bottom line, though, is that if you can afford Natura Bisse, I highly suggest you try it!! This is my all-time favorite skin care line. By the way, if you are one of those on a limited budget (as so many of us are), the sales people are never pushy. They help you decide what is best for you (what can’t you get from another( less expensive) line, etc) and provide you with samples of other goodies.

Also, 3 times a year, Bergdorfs does a $25 gift card event in their Beauty Floor. You receive $25.00 off on any purchase of $100 or more. This is a great way to try their products also. They also do little free gift incentives for ‘phone in pre-orders’. If anyone is interested, please let me know, and I can provide you with the NB counter phone # , etc.
(Photos property of & courtesy of Natura Bisse)