Showing posts with label Manic Makeup Monday. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Manic Makeup Monday. Show all posts

Monday, January 28, 2013

How To Repair Damaged Nails

Welcome to another Manic Makeup Monday article lovelies! Over the weekend, The Makeup Examiner received quite a few emails from readers who were asking questions about nail damage and overall nail health. Due to the shear volume, I though it a good idea to address the issue of nail care in the column.

The history of nail care and nail art can be traced back as far as 5000 B.C. India, when both men and women used henna to dye their nails. You’d think after so many years that nail care and healthy nails would be second nature to us. But, with many women having a strong desire to have those oh so pretty nails that can be had via acrylics, our passion wins over our sense for healthy nail care.

The Makeup Examiner has been very guilty of going the acrylic nail route. Aside from aggravation of maintenance, pain of removal, and the great potential for nail fungus; I grew rather concerned about the toxicity of acrylics when it occurred to me that the manicurists were donning facemasks. I can relate to “it hurts to be beautiful,” but I’m not willing to go toxic any longer and this is perhaps where you need to start.

While dry, brittle nails can have hereditary factors, lifestyle is a much greater contributor to unhealthy nails. It’s time to move away from fake nails! So, once you wean yourself off of your weekly visits for fill-ins, you can begin to take steps to get naturally beautiful nails.

Here are a few tips to help prevent and repair nail damage:

Hot Oil Treatment - One of the easiest and most inexpensive treatments can be found in your kitchen. Try an olive oil soak for your nails. Grab a glass bowl, add olive oil, heat in the microwave for 10 seconds and there you have a healthy, hot oil treatment for your nails. Remember to do this to polish free, clean nails.

Re-hydration – A fabulous, inexpensive product is Waxelene. I’m in love with this non-petroleum based stuff. Waxelene has a multitude of uses, one of which is it’s a fantastic nighttime treatment for your nails. Massage Waxelene into and around your nails at bedtime to get hydration back to your nails and cuticles.

Grab the gloves – I used to laugh at my mother for wearing rubber gloves when she did chores, but mom was smart to do so. Water and detergents do an amazing amount of damage to our nails. So, grab the gloves and apply moisturizer to your hands and nails.

Get off of the chemicals – Switch to non-acetone polish remover and try a water-based nail polish. Another absolute favorite product of mine is Acquarella. This water-based, non-toxic nail polish is odorless and since I switched from solvent-based lacquer to Acquarella, my nails are in amazing condition. 

Monday, January 21, 2013

Germ-Proof Your Makeup

Happy Monday lovelies! The Makeup Examiner had a doctor’s appointment last week and uncomfortably shared the waiting area with several flu-stricken individuals. Realizing that the flu season arrived early and the CDC reports that although the number of flu patients is on the decline, the flu is expected to make a return. With this in mind, now is a good time to review do’s and don’ts to help keep the germ fest away from your makeup.

To begin with, how many times have you been in the ladies room and had a friend ask to borrow a lipstick or gloss? You, like most, probably never give a second thought to handing over that tube. Stop! No one likes to appear stingy, but sharing lip products is a fantastic way to share germs. Actually sharing any beauty products or tool is a fantastic way to share germs.

Start fresh. You don’t necessarily have to throw out all of your makeup, but it may be time to cleanup a bit. If your makeup is filled with germs, so too is your makeup bag. Years ago when I began to travel a lot; I got into the habit of having a carry-on with me. I learned rather quickly that a plastic makeup bag helped avoid major makeup mishaps. I also came to realize that a plastic makeup bag is easier to clean. So, beginning with your makeup bag, empty the contents and wash the bag with antibacterial soap. Make sure that the bag is thoroughly dry before replacing the contents.

Speaking of the contents in your makeup bag, when’s the last time you checked them? If an item has changed color it’s time to get rid of it. For specific items, check out the Manic Makeup Monday article, “When to throw away your makeup.” After you've decided what to keep, you need to take care not to bring germs back into that clean makeup bag. Wipe off the top off your lipstick, sharpen your pencils, and clean your makeup brushes, etcetera. As a general rule, sharpening your lip or eye pencil prior to each use helps to keep everything germ-free.

The bottom line of “germ-proofing” your makeup is to keep everything clean, throw away expired makeup, and don’t share. It also doesn’t hurt to get into the habit of using hand sanitizer when you’re out and about. Toss one in your makeup bag; keep a bottle in your car and at your desk.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Winter Skincare Tips For Men

Happy Monday lovelies and welcome the return of Manic Makeup Monday! The Makeup Examiner is yet convinced that men understand the importance (and actual enjoyment) of “luxury” grooming, let alone the basics of skincare. That’s not to stay that men folk are stupid, I believe that it’s a simple issue of not necessarily knowing what to do. My office is fairly well stocked with beauty/grooming products and it’s rather endearing when my “manly-man” brother comes into visit, pokes around and slyly asks what a particular men’s grooming product is for.
As usual, I digress. Winter temperatures and decreased humidity can leave your skin super dry. So, if you don’t currently have a skincare regime, now is as good a time as any to begin one. A skincare regime is seriously simple and you’re going to look and feel better once you begin one.

For starters, resist the temptation to take long, hot showers. Those showers may feel fantastic while you’re in there, but they’re actually hydration stealers. Limit your shower to no more than 15 minutes and keep the temperature warm. After your shower, you need to get moisture back into your skin. Suave puts out a line of excellent, fast-absorbing body moisturizers that run about $5 for a 32-ounce bottle.

Shaving can become an issue during the winter and soap should not be the “shaving cream” of choice ever, but most especially during the cold months. Edge Shave Gel for Sensitive Skin ($2.50 7.0 oz) is great product for you to take a little extra care of that oh-so-handsome face! A little Beauty Insider News just for the guys, Schick Hydro is doing a new product launch Winter 2013! For guys that are already adept at shaving and want to learn about luxury grooming products, check out The Art of Shaving and EVOLUTIONMAN!

You only get one face, so you gotta take care of your skin. Even if the sun isn’t on your mind at the moment, the sun’s UV rays can be substantially stronger in the winter, especially when they’re bouncing off the snow. Take care to use a moisturizer that contains SPF 20, like EVOLUTIONMAN’s Moisture Protect SPF 20 (2.75 oz $25.00). The same goes for that gorgeous pout. I have everyone addicted to Blistex Moisture Melt SPF 15 ($1.90 per tube) and Blistex Deep Lip Renewal SPF 15 ($2.99) for really chapped lips. 

Monday, December 17, 2012

Winter Hair and Nail Care Tips

The weekend is over and Monday has arrived once again. The Makeup Examiner has had a spell with lack of sleep and it is so feeling like a Mondaze, but such is life and you didn’t stop by to read about my quandary with sleep. So without further ado, Happy Monday my lovelies and let’s get to this Monday’s question!

Today’s Manic Makeup Monday question comes from TME reader Tailia W. of Alston, United Kingdom. Tailia ask: “My hair and nails look hideous during the winter. Any tips for my tresses and nails?”

With naturally curly hair that is already prone to frizzes, no matter if I wear it curly or wipe out the flat iron, I won this battle with a few simple steps. Also, I tend to wash my hands often, so keeping my nails looking good throughout the winter months in another battle that I finally won.

Let’s start with a few simple hair care tips. Maintaining moisture is key to gorgeous hair. So start with your shampoo and conditioner. Avoid shampoo that contains sulfates and opt for a conditioner that is specifically deep moisturizing. Using the proper conditioner is essential during the winter, but it’s a balancing act. While many swear by a twice-weekly deep conditioning treatment, this may produce overly conditioned, limp hair. Your hair doesn’t understand time, so conditioning treatments should be done when you need them. The last tip that I have about moisturizing your hair is one that always works for me. The leave-in conditioner! I recommend Sexy Hair Concepts Healthy Sexy Hair Soy Renewal Leave-In Conditioner (4.2 oz $12.50 USD).

Keeping dry heat away from our air is optimal, but not necessarily feasible. We aren’t likely to walk out the front door with our hair sopping wet during the winter. The Makeup Examiner spoke with Aleshia Hawkins, owner of Mane Station and 20 plus year veteran in the beauty industry. Aleshia states, “If you’re using a heat on your hair, such as a blow dryer or flat iron, you must use a heat protectant.” It’s rather logical advice. My flat iron heats up to 450 degrees, so yep, I’m protecting my hair against the heat. Aleshia recommended Paul Mitchell Hot Off The Press Thermal Protection Spray (6.0 oz $20.00 USD).

As I stated above, I wash my hands often, so to keep my hands and nails pretty and free from cracked cuticles, moisturizer is key here as well. Hopefully, your using hand moisturizer throughout the day, but you also need to moisturize your nails and cuticles. A fabulous product that I’ve found is Waxelene (2.0 oz $7.00 USD). It’s a petroleum-free product that not only delivers amazing moisture to your nails and cuticles, it can be used anywhere that petroleum jelly can. So, you get a lot of bang for buck!

If you’re prone to hangnails, winter weather definitely makes them worse. Never pull a hangnail, instead reach for a nail clipper and gently remove the hangnail. Then apply an astringent. At bedtime, reach for a dab of anti-biotic cream like Neosporin. Another amazing nail product that I found to keep nails looking absolutely amazing and nourished is Acquarella Nail Water Color Polish (0.42 oz $16.00 USD). Acquarella polishes are water-based versus lacquer based. The Makeup Examiner has been using their polishes for a few months and I’m not likely to go back to a “conventional” polish.

Monday, December 3, 2012

How To Get Rid of Under-Eye Circles

It’s another Monday readers and with it comes another Manic Makeup Monday question from a Makeup Examiner reader. So Happy Monday my lovelies and let’s get to this Monday’s question!

Today’s Makeup Monday question comes from Makeup Examiner reader Jesse L. of Columbus, Ohio, USA. Jesse asks: “I have dark circles under my eyes and always look tired. Can you recommend anything?”

There are several causes as to why we end up with under-eye circles. Some people naturally have them, but heredity aside; lifestyle can play a major factor. Issues such as illness, stress, lack of sleep, and tobacco and alcohol use can contribute dark circles. However, there are a few tips and tricks to lessen this issue.

1. Get Sleep - We all tend to ignore the eight hours of sleep rule, but it truly does make a difference in the way that we look. Failing to consistently get a good night’s rest causes you to look pale and enhances those dark circles.

2. Eat Well - The importance of a healthy diet cannot be emphasized enough. Aside from physical health, an improper diet shows all over your face.

3. Avoid Tobacco and Alcohol - Smoking is responsible for premature ageing, which is one of the biggest causes of under-eye circles. And excessively partaking in adult beverages dehydrates your body, which in turn cause under-eye circles.

4. Get Circulating – Rev up the blood circulation in your under-eye area by VERY gently massaging your under-eye area by making fluttering motions with your fingertips.

5. Stay Hydrated - Dehydration is one of the biggest causes of dark circles and a lot of other beauty issues. Our bodies are almost 60 percent water and we need water. There is no magic amount to dink each day, but try to replace that can of soda with a glass of water and you’ll see a difference on your face!

6. Avoid The Sun – Well, no one wants to live like a vampire. So you don’t have to wait until nighttime to venture out. But, you do need sunscreen and invest in a pair of sunglasses!

7. Avoid Eye Stress - The Makeup Examiner is constantly in front of a computer or on the cell, but I stick to a strict rule of resting my eyes often. Look away from your computer for 10 minutes, close your eyes if you can (not always feasible in an office), but do what you can throughout the day to give your eyes a rest.

When all else fails, make sure that you have a good concealer!

Monday, November 26, 2012

How To Recognize A Beauty Rut

It’s another Monday readers and with it comes another Manic Makeup Monday question from a TME reader. So Happy Monday my lovelies and let’s get to this Monday’s question!

Today’s Makeup Monday question comes from Makeup Examiner reader Kate M. of Payson, Arizona, USA. Kate asks: “I have done my makeup the same way for a while and I think that I look good, but my friends think that I need to change my routine. How do I know if I’m stuck in a [beauty rut]?”

Friends are a great source for feedback about our fashion or beauty choices, but ultimately the choice is yours. Honestly, there’s nothing wrong with knowing what looks good on you. Looking in the mirror and liking what you see, can be a positive sign of a healthy self-esteem. But, there’s a reason why Kate reached out to me versus taking the advice of friends.

There actually are very clear signs that indicate when you’re in a beauty rut. At the top of The Makeup Examiner’s list is this: Different stages of our lives are the “tell” of change. If you are one year out of university and you’re still sporting the same hairstyle and makeup, you are in a beauty rut! Even worse, if you’re 10 years out of school and still sporting the same hairstyle and makeup, you’re in a beauty emergency! Just yesterday, The Makeup Examiner was poking around at Ulta. The woman who was working the prestige department obviously hadn’t changed her beauty regimen since the 80s. My instinct was to sit her in the chair and give her a makeover!

Moving on … here are a few clear signs that you are stuck in a beauty rut and tips for a change up.

1. You've had the same skincare routine for the past five years.

Tip: Healthy skin is the first rule of beauty. Throughout our lives our skin changes and so too do our skincare needs. You’re not on your own in helping you decide what’s best for your skin. You can go to the cosmetics department at any department store and receive a free skincare consultation. You can also sit at your computer and receive recommendations based upon the information that you provide.

2. You’ve just purchased a “new” eyeshadow, you wear your “new” eyeshadow and no one notices your “new” eyeshadow because your brand new eyeshadow is the same hues that you’ve always worn.

Tip: If you’re in a beauty rut, then changing from your favorite hues of eyeshadow is going to feel scary. Experimenting with different colors is fun and right now for the holiday season, more than a few cosmetic companies are offering a full palette of their eyeshadows so you don’t have to break the bank to find what’s right for you. Aside from that bonus, you’re not alone in learning how to apply your new shadows in a new style. There are a plethora of makeup tutorials available on YouTube and my personal favorite is Lipsi TV channel on YouTube.

3. The only time you experiment with a new lip color is if it comes as a free gift with a purchase.

Tip: Red lip color is your friend. Honest. Not only is red THE color this season, it’s sexy and powerful. Of course, you do have to find the correct hue or you’re going to look like a clown. Did you just get scared? Good. Sometimes you have to jump into the deep end of the pool. Understandably, not everyone is ready to jump into the deep end and that’s okay. You can still get out of that beauty rut without an extreme change. Again, this time of year more than a few cosmetic companies are offering a palette of their lip colors.

4. You wear the same shade of nail lacquer and have a good cache of bottles in the same hue.

Tips: Nail polish is the easiest part of a beauty routine to change and as we head into the holiday party season you’ve just gotten the perfect excuse to try fun shimmery polishes or a beautiful dark mulberry. The only no-no, if you’re over 15 years old, electric blue, neon green and the like, are going to look real silly.

5. You've been debating for the past two years whether or not it’s time to change your hairstyle.

Tip: The Makeup Examiner is infamous for growing my hair long, waking up one day and going for a short style. For me, it’s always about change. Whether I need to make a change in my personal or business life, it always seems to start with my hair. But, I digress. One of the reasons that I’m comfortable with doing this is that I know my hair will grow back and no, I’m not suggesting that anyone go for an extreme change. But, if you’ve been contemplating a change or you’ve been sporting the same do since university, it’s time to consult with a stylist. 

Monday, November 5, 2012

Breaking down beauty terminology

Happy Monday readers! The Makeup Examiner hopes that everyone had a wonderful weekend and comes to you with another Manic Makeup Monday question and answer. So without further ado, my lovelies let’s get to this Monday’s question!

The Makeup Examiner has received massive amounts of emails asking the same question regarding common terminologies used for organic or natural beauty products. The unfortunate truth is that anyone can claim to produce an “organic” or “natural” product. In the United States, we have the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to oversee many, many items. But, cosmetic labels are not one of them. The FDA states “Neither the FD&C Act nor the FPLA requires cosmetic labeling to undergo pre-market approval by FDA. It is the manufacturer's and/or distributor's responsibility to ensure that products are labeled properly. Failure to comply with labeling requirements results in a misbranded product.”

A misbranded product. Wow! So, basically a cosmetic manufacturer can produce a product, slap a label on it, and nuttin’ gonna happen until someone gets hurt. This is where responsibility comes in. Just as we take responsibility in other aspects of our lives, we have to take responsibility to educate ourselves about the cosmetics we use.

Dr. Sarah Villafranco of Osmia Organics gives a fantastic example of this. “Jasmine essential oil and rose essential oil are priced between $250 - $450 USD per ounce. Each bar of soap would need to have almost ¼ ounce of essential oil to scent it effectively, putting the cost of making this soap at $75 to $100 USD per bar. This means that a soap listing rose essential oil or jasmine essential oil as the fragrance ingredient, and not priced at $89.99 USD, is not possible. They are using fragrance oils, which are usually made with propylene glycol, and contain multiple other synthetic ingredients.”

Dear readers, this brings us back to education. Terms like “100% pure,” “natural” or “organic” are the most deceptive. In order for a product to be 100% pure it would have to contain one ingredient and as for natural, well the product would have to be in its original state. So processed is not a bad word, it’s simply how a product is processed that should concern you.

Referencing Merriam-Webster, the definition of organic is: “of, relating to, or derived from living organisms.” Meaning that an organic product can be derived from a plant or an animal. And for those that are vegan, organic can mean that the product you are using contains animal parts. The bottom line here is that if your looking for healthy, organic, eco-friendly and animal-friendly products you have to do your homework and buy from trusted companies.

Monday, October 22, 2012

How To Properly Straighten Your Hair

It’s another Monday readers and with it comes another Manic Makeup Monday question from a Makeup Examiner reader. So Happy Monday my lovelies and let’s get to this Monday’s question!

Today’s Makeup Monday question comes from Makeup Examiner reader Beth K. of Fairmont, Iowa, USA. Beth asks: “I have curly hair that I like to straighten and always end up with frizz when I do. Is there a quick and easy way to straighten my hair without getting the frizzies?”

In short, the answer is no. There is not a quick way to straightening your hair. Sans a chemically straightening, even those with straight hair have to work for the frizz-free, sleek style that we all desire to attain when setting out to straighten our hair. One of the Makeup Examiner’s housemates has straight hair. Usually she’s able to attain the desired style with proper product and a blow dryer, but even she needs to whip out the flat iron to achieve a frizz-free style at times. Of course, with the correct hair care prep, product and straightening tips; anyone can get that gorgeous, sleek style.

Choose the correct flat iron - The difference between a flat iron that you purchase at the drug store and a legit professional iron is the difference between prestige and mass makeup. The Makeup Examiner considers the purchase of a flat iron to be an investment. What I own is a ghd Gold Classic Styler ($190 USD), which at the time that the Makeup Examiner purchased was $100 more than the price listed. But again, this is an investment.

In conjunction with a good flat iron, you need to purchase the correct size. The length and thickness of your hair should determine the size of your iron. Understandably, not everyone can afford to drop $200 on a flat iron and that’s okay, just make sure to look for an iron that has multiple heat settings. Your hair texture and type should determine your heat setting.
  • For fine or damaged hair: 250-300 degrees
  • For medium/average hair: 300-350 degrees
  • For thick or coarse hair: 350-400 degrees
Now that you understand a little about flat irons, let’s move on to proper hair preparation.
First and foremost, NEVER take a flat iron to wet hair! If you’re looking to fry your hair, wet or damp hair plus a 400-degree flat iron equals hair fry! To begin the process, choose the proper product to use with your blow dryer based upon your hair type and always use a diffuser on your blow dryer (this tip is for all hair types).

For fine hair choose a volumizing mousse with heat protection and also blow dry your hair to create volume by lifting it at the roots. Smooth your hair from the mid-shaft to your ends using tension and a natural bristle brush. For thick, curly or coarse hair opt for a cream or serum with heat protection. Blow dry hair with a natural bristle brush and apply tension as you dry hair in order to make it as straight as possible.

Now for the trick to straight, sleek hair: Begin by clipping your into manageable sections and start with the back of your head. Near the nape of your neck, grab a half-an-inch to two-inch section of hair. Starting half-an-inch down from your roots, move the iron at a steady pace, down the hair shaft. When you reach the crown of your head you’re going to change up a little and lift hair off your scalp and get the iron as close to your roots as possible, pressing firmly while drawing the iron straight outward from your head to achieve a flat, smooth finish. Once you’ve achieved the desired straight look, you’ll want to sparingly apply a shine spray and then an anti-humectant holding spray for an all-day style.

Bone straight hair is amazingly gorgeous, but honestly not a look for everyone. Some women should opt for a “voluminous” straight look. To achieve a fuller look you’ll want use the flat iron differently. When you reach the mid-shaft of your hair versus the crown, this is where you’ll begin the technique of lifting your hair off your scalp, straight out to the sides. Again, once you’ve achieved the desired straight look, you’ll want to sparingly apply a shine spray and then an anti-humectant holding spray for an all-day style.

Mistakes you need to avoid. Never drag the iron down your hair. If you find that this is happening check to see if you have a knot in your hair, if your iron is at a hot enough setting or if your iron is dirty. If you have a knot in your hair, gently comb through that specific spot, if you iron isn’t hot enough then be patient and wait, lastly you need to clean your flat iron after each use. 

Monday, October 8, 2012

Autumn Skin Care

The weekend is over and Monday has arrived once again. The Makeup Examiner would boo-hoo along with readers about Mondaze, but with eight columns to write for alone, the only distinction between Monday and the six other days of the week is Manic Makeup Monday, which is a complete blast for me to write and hopefully, informative for Makeup Examiner readers. So without further ado, Happy Monday my lovelies and let’s get to this Monday’s question!

Today’s Makeup Monday question comes from TME reader Bianca S. of Chester Springs, Pennsylvania, USA. Bianca ask: “It’s like the minute the temperature drops, my face, hands and lips get so dry and chapped. I need to winterize my skin like my car. Help!”

The Makeup Examiner completely understands this one. Pennsylvania is located in the Northeast section of the United States. And whereas summer tends to be humid with moisture filled air, autumn tends to bring dry, cool air that turns into dry, cold chap all exposed and unprotected skin, air.

Barring cracked and bleeding skin, which probably necessitates a visit to the doctor, skin care for the cooler months is fairly simple, but you need to be diligent. The first line of defense is to bundle up. The best way to avoid dry, cracked skin is to put a barrier between the air and your skin. Wearing gloves will keep your hands warm and help prevent dry, cracked skin, which is super common in the colder months. Don’t forget to cover the sensitive skin on your ears and neck with a hat and a scarf.

From the second autumn hits, The Makeup Examiner hits the lip balm. In The Makeup Examiner’s beauty arsenal is Blistex Deep Renewal lip balm. Don’t let the “anti-aging” put you off to this product. Several years ago, I discovered this product quite by accident while visiting my mother and now it is part of my skin care routine. The awesome, non-greasy formula makes this particular product a great bedtime treatment and with SPF 15 it protects your lips throughout the day.

For hand care moisturizing is crucial, with frequent hand washing to keep germs at bay, our hands get an extra beating during the cooler months. Throughout the day, a fast-absorbing lotion like L'Occitane Shea Butter Extra-Gentle Lotion for Hands is a good choice and for a great bedtime treatment, L'Occitane Shea Butter Hand Cream seems to really restore moisture.

Keeping the moisture level up in your skin is important all year-round, but it’s an absolute necessity when the dry, cold air of autumn arrives. As for a specific body or facial product, the Makeup Examiner has tried various prestige and mass products…I now mix my own body moisturizer and I’m still searching for a decent facial moisturizer that isn’t greasy. But readers, it’s important that you opt for moisturizer that protects your skin from the dry air and you still need to protect your skin from the sun’s harmful UV rays, so no less than SPF 15.

Don’t forget to nourish your skin from the inside. This can be accomplished by drinking lots of water, eating green leafy veggies and fruits that are high in antioxidants. Essential fatty acids also provide your skin with a lot of the raw materials that it needs to stay healthy and repair damage, so you can opt to add flax or hemp seed oil to your diet.