Vaseline Intensive Care Healing Serum Cures Dry Skin Without the Shiny Mess

Vaseline Intensive Care Healing SerumEach winter my skin gets dry. It feels like I’m always putting on lotion. Sometimes, it cracks. Hopefully, I’m able to catch it before that point and I haul out the tub of Vaseline to apply liberally to affected areas. Then, I try not to let any of my clothes, sheets, towels, or furniture touch the affected area.

Vaseline Intensive Care Healing Serum is the perfect in-between step. From my two-week test of the product I’d estimate that it adds 90% of the moisture of a traditional Vaseline application without the skin coating that rubs off on everything. Leaving a smooth feel, the serum soaks in quickly just like its lotion counterparts.

The smell is a bit on the grandma side of the scent spectrum but for that sort of relief, I was willing to deal. Plus, it wasn’t overpowering.

If you’re looking for a step up moisturizer to get you through the last of the furnace season, give Vaseline Intensive Care Healing Serum a try.

image courtesy of StyleBistro

Guy’s Guide to the Perfect DIY Valentine’s Day Beauty Basket

Valentine's Day Beauty Gifts 2015

Want to get your wife or girlfriend a Valentine’s Day gift but not sure what get her? Skip jewelry from Jared, a Whitman’s Sampler, and the romantic smell of burning risotto as you scramble to make her the perfect meal. Here’s what you do:

Head to the craft store. Go to Michaels, Hobby Lobby, or JoAnn Fabrics and get a basket and some filler. You can usually find a basket for under $10 that will fit everything you want to put in it and for filler, feel free to go as cheap as possible without looking like it’s Easter. Get bonus points by downloading the store apps and using coupons they always have available.

Fill the basket. Sure, you could go to her salon and talk to her stylist about what products she should splurge on but who has time for that?! Here’s what you buy:

  • Drybar – Swing by the blowouts emporium and grab their Texas Tea Volumizing Hair Spray and Southern Belle Volumizing Mousse. The two products are staples of Drybar stylists and worth every penny.
  • Bobbi Brown – The brand’s Foundation Stick is something someone who receives this basket will fall in love with over and over again. The color is build-able meaning she puts on how much or how little she wants. Women love options.
  • Bluemercury – After a long winter, she’ll thank you for adding a pack of M-61 Power Glow Peel facial treatments to her basket. The one-minute, one-step treatments are perfect for a woman on the go.
  • Silhouette by Christian Siriano – Inspired by tulle, this playful but dusty fragrance has notes of  cassis, jasmine, rose and freesia which make it mature while still being fresh and fun.
  • Nars – Women have been screaming the praises of Nars products for years and two of my favorites are perfect for just about any woman – their Orgasm Illuminator (a lightweight versatile liquid that can be used all over the face) and Super Orgasm Lip Gloss (a pink gloss that gives sophisticated shine with just a small punch of color).
  • amika – The company’s Nourishing Mask is one of the highest rated, best-selling products on birchbox.com with good reason- it’s AMAZING! The product will make her hair silky after a winter of dry air and blowdryer abuse without weighing it down, something she’ll appreciate.

Make her a card. Listen to Nick Offerman’s advice here (skip to 3:14 for the advice, watch it all for the laughs). Do as he says, trust me.

5 Things to Love About The Cosmetic Market

The Cosmetic MarketLast week I was invited to experience The Cosmetic Market at Avalon in Alpharetta, Georgia. The friendly and helpful personnel gave me a tour of the store, filled me up with mimosas and shortcake, and showed me why they aim to be a fun space to shop and explore everything beauty. I was instantly hooked. Here’s why:

1.)  It’s locally owned. Not only is The Cosmetic Market a brand born in the South, it’s a female-owned company.

2.)  It’s not just about make-up. Sure, you think “cosmetic” you think lipstick, blush, and eyeshadow. They have those- and plenty of them. But, they also have waxing, spray tanning, and a wide variety of aesthetic services.

3.)  They’ve teamed with Bliss. If you’re in the know about hot spots to get a massage you’ve probably heard of the Bliss chain of beauty and spa products and services to offer the Bliss Wax Bar to locations of The Cosmetic Market. No appointment is necessary to get facial waxing, brow tinting, or lash tinting though appointments can be made in advance of your visit.

4.)  It’s fun, funky, and not intimidating. Even though I write a beauty blog, I’m still intimidated every time I walk into Sephora. The dark tones, black plastic with no smudges on it, and tight quarters make me want to shop online despite the great products they offer. Avalon’s The Cosmetic Market location offers a fun, funky, and open shopping atmosphere with oranges and blues mixed with whites on the walls while stainless steel fixtures and spacious digs invite browsing. Plus, there’s a circle motif that carries from the store’s exterior to interior that’s just awesome.

5.)  There’s a wide variety of products. It’s not all their line of products like you’ll find at a Bare Minerals store or counters of product like you’ll find at a department store. The Cosmetic Market has hundreds of brands to choose from. If you get your make-up done by a store professional like I did, you’ll probably see them pulling from five or six different sections to achieve the perfect look for your skin tone and occasion.

Another thing I loved about The Cosmetic Market? Everyone was SO friendly! The whole experience made me want to shop there again ASAP- and I will!

Product Review: CapriClear Spray On Moisturizer

CapriClear Spray On MoisturizerWhat if moisturizing was as easy as just spraying on coconut oil? That’s exactly what CapriClear asked me to test.

Over the course of the last few weeks I’ve been regularly using CapriClear Spray On Moisturizer, an all-natural, paraben-free, fragrance-free clear liquid that is made with 100% fractionated coconut oil. That’s right- one single ingredient.

To use, I simply sprayed the liquid on my legs and rubbed the oil into the skin post-shave and post-shower. Then, I waited. Not only was my skin glistening from the oil, it was also dewey. Being that it was oil, that was completely expected.

After application, I took my time greeting ready, noticing that the oil wasn’t absorbing like a cream moisturizer normally would though it wasn’t sopping wet.

The moment of truth came 25 minutes later when it was a necessity for me to pull on pants and leave the house for a meeting. With legs that almost looked like they had been buffed to shine, I pulled on my jeans, hoping that whatever the leftover oil on my legs, it wouldn’t ruin them. It didn’t.

Even after several hours, my legs were feeling well-hydrated and the oil had not rubbed off visibly on any clothing.

I’ve repeatedly used CapriClear Spray On Moisturizer throughout the last month, testing it on humid days, hot days, and low humidity days and always got the same result. Yes, my legs were shiny and slick to the touch for 45-60 minutes post-application but the skin was also moisture rich and never begged to have another round of a different moisturizer added to them.

Also of note, everyone in my immediate family tried the spray at least once and no one, not even those with severe eczema experienced any adverse side effects.

Knowing that the CapriClear Spray On Moisturizer won’t rub off on my clothes makes me especially eager to continue using it into the winter months as the dry air really sets in.

Product Review: Caudalié Make-Up Remover Cleansing Water

Caudalie Makeup Remover Cleansing WaterDuring my last visit to Bluemercury, they sent me home with a 1 oz sample of Caudalié Make-Up Remover Cleansing Water. It languished on my counter for a month before I figured I would give it a try. Being that it was “water” I had very little expectation it would be able to do much to my eyeliner or mascara except perhaps make a glorious smudge.

After dabbing a bit of the unscented liquid onto a cotton ball, I was surprised when it worked like a charm- perhaps even better than Neutrogena Extra Gentle Eye Makeup Remover Pads. Unlike the Pads, there was little streaking of the eyeliner in the process to remove it and I felt that it took off the mascara much better on the first swipe.

I was able to do both eyes with one cotton ball and one dab of the liquid which contains grape water, chamomile, and plant extracts.

Several repeated trials over the last few weeks have yielded the same results.

Caudalié Make-Up Remover Cleansing Water sells for $28 for 200 mL on us.caudalie.com or you can choose from the 100 mL or 200 mL size on bluemercury.com for $14 or $28 respectively.

What is Dermoscopy and Why is it Important?

Dermascope It’s almost the end of summer and if you’re, you know, human, you’ve probably done some damage to your skin this summer by enjoying some time out collecting your daily dose of vitamin D.

That also means that it’s time to schedule your annual skin cancer screening at your dermatologist’s office. If you’re lucky enough to go to a dermatologist even half as good as mine, you’ll have dermoscopy included as part of your yearly visit.

What is a dermoscopy? In layman’s terms, it’s the examination of skin with a magnifier (typically x10), a non-polarised light source which allows doctors to examine your skin without any light reflection, giving them an easier and better way of distinguishing benign from malignant lesions.

The non-invasive detection method involves nothing more than a small instrument (dermascope) hovering above your skin for a few moments as a doctor peers through the lens. Many doctors use dermascopes that are attached to iPhones or iPads so they can store the images as part of your patient file, creating a photo history of your skin for future appointment reference.

Not just for lesions, a dermoscopy can be used to diagnose warts, fungal infections, scalp issues, and tumors.

If your dermatologist is not using a dermascope as part of your annual skin cancer screening, ask them to.

image courtesy of geeky-gadgets.com

BELLI Up to the Sink for Remarkable Results

BELLIFinding the right blend of skin care treatments for a child just starting to see the effects of adolescence (namely acne and excess sweating), can be challenging. Add in a family history of frustratingly dry skin and milia, and, let’s be honest, we’re just trying to figure out a way for the process to not traumatize her too much.

Then along came a ring of the doorbell and Dan, our usual UPS delivery man handed me a package from BELLI, a line of skincare products championed by both OB/GYNs and dermatologists. Advertising a solution to the breakout cycle common in early pregnancy, the line also touts that it is missing many of the ingredients discouraged during pregnancy.

Having just reached a new level in the adolescence skin experience with the onset of the hot and humid summertime in Georgia, I asked our tween if she wanted to give the products a shot. Here we are, a month later and not only is she seeing results, she’s also gaining confidence in her skin that she hasn’t had in a while.

The two products- BELLI Anti-Blemish Facial Wash and Fresh Start Pre-Treatment Scrub, can be used together as a skin care system or separately. With an eye toward not overdoing it, we decided on a system of using the scrub on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays while using the Facial Wash each day of the week in both the morning and at night.      Continue reading

The One Product I Wish I’d Never Spent Money On

rare-minerals-rareminerals-renew--reveal-facial-cleanserI was cleaning out underneath my sink over the weekend and came across an ivory bottle. There it was. It’s been four years since I shelled out somewhere in the neighborhood of $25 for BareMinerals RareMinerals Renew & Reveal Facial Cleanser.

I can’t bring myself to throw it away. Every few months I’ll take it out and try to use it, fumbling with the chalky grains of the dry powder as I add water to it to try to make it sudsy all while rubbing it on my face.

Nothing has changed in four years. The product still reacts as it did the first few times I used it. After you’re done cleansing, it still feels like you feel on a hot day when you’re sweaty and walking down a dirt road as a truck rushes by you, throwing dust in the air, covering the sweat and matting it to your face.

I always end up washing my face again, with something else, then having to use a fair amount of moisturizer.

And yet, it sits there, like a beacon warning me about other ill-fated product decisions in my future.

How Repêchage Recharged My Skin for Summer

RepechageIt’s been one week since Lauren Streeter looked at me.
Cocked her head to the side and said, “You’re skin’s dry.”
Five (plus two) days since she educated me.
I got a four layer facial made from seaweed.

Yes, the song is lame but, it’s all completely true. Last week I visited Three-13 Salon, Spa & Boutique in Marietta, Georgia to get a facial from Repêchage National Corporate Educator, Lauren Streeter. When she’s not giving me a Four-Layer Facial, Lauren teaches professionals all over the world in the methods and natural skin care treatments around the world and in over 200 schools.

The Four-Layer Facial is meant to rejuvenate and moisturize skin which is perfect for leaving the dryness of winter behind for once and for all.

  • Layer one consists of a seaweed filtrate, a concentration of freshly-harvested seaweed. According to Repêchage it, “softens lines, adds moisture and helps rebalance and tone skin tissues.”
  • The second layer is, “three-movement facial massage is given with a creamy hydrating formula,” designed to improve circulation and your skin’s elasticity.
  • Layer three is a fresh seaweed mask that feels cool on the skin, reducing your skin’s swelling and refreshing all while hydrating and working to improve your skin’s tone and clarity. (This was my favorite layer!)
  • The fourth layer is a mineral mask that is the grand finale and where you need to lay still while it creates a, “gentle warmth to activate the properties of the seaweed mask beneath it.” While the fourth layer was setting, Lauren gave me a hand and arm massage, further relaxing me while Repêchage’s Eye Rescue Pads sat on my eyes.

The third and fourth layer add weight to the mask which is surprisingly heavy though not overwhelmingly so and when the melded together mask came off at the end of my facial, I felt dewey but not overly moist though the experience will vary person-to-person depending on your skin’s condition going into the experience.

The entire experience took about 90 minutes- some of the most relaxing 90 minutes of 2014. Lauren was amazing explaining what was happening every step of the way, highlighting how each part of the facial was benefitting my skin and telling me about the ingredients that were in each layer part of the facial. An added benefit of the experience is that Lauren refreshed the skin on my neck and décolletage as well as my face.

It’s been one week and my skin still feels properly hydrated and much refreshed. Now my skin ready for summer. Is yours?

photo of Lauren Streeter courtesy of Repêchage

 

5 Tips For Keeping Your Summer Skin In Check

White Salon & SpaThe cold of winter is hopefully gone for good now and the South’s pollen season is (finally) wrapping up which means it’s time for more fun in the sun. Whether you’re boating, gardening, or just enjoying a drink by the pool, it’s important to remember that there is more to great skin than just keeping sunscreen nearby.

To keep my skin in check, I regularly visit an esthetician and last week, one of Atlanta’s most well-rounded estheticians, Pangie Skrine from White Salon & Spa, passed along a few tips for keeping your skin in healthy in the summertime that I just had to share with you:

One ->

Properly caring for your skin during the summer and early fall months actually starts inside! Eating ample fruits and vegetables that are high in antioxidants combats free radicals and promotes a clear, healthy complexion. Staying away from dairy products will also aid in keeping your skin clear, no matter the season!

Two -> 

To still attain that healthy glow that’s desired during the summer, opt for a spray tan rather than exposing your skin to damaging UVA and UVB rays for hours on end. Prior to your spray tanning session, be sure to exfoliate for the best results.

Three -> 

Resist the temptation of using bar soap to cleanse your skin – although it may leave you feeling squeaky-clean, it will also over-dry your skin and lead to more oil production rather than less. Instead, opt for a gentle, natural body wash.

Four -> 

Keeping your makeup brushes and other skincare supplies clean is key to reducing those troublesome summer breakouts. Aim to wash your brushes once a month in mild soap and water. Leave them to dry the overnight, and you’ll be ready to go in the morning!

Five -> 

Always remember that your skin is the largest organ of your body – if you take extra care to nourish your complexion through diligent use of SPF in the summer months, your skin will love you back!