Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Got (Organic) Milk?

My daily tip from (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: (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 ;).

2) (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 (

Credits: Photo Courtesy & Property of

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