3 Food Types That Can Cause Acne

If you’re struggling with acne, you’ve probably researched skincare and beauty products to soothe your symptoms without addressing the core causes of your condition. If you’re fighting your mirror at the same time you’re running around with work, school, or kids, you may be compromising on your diet to save time. That may be your problem. There’s a demonstrable connection between diet and acne because the food we eat goes right to our skin. The nutrients (or lack of them) can create the conditions that cause acne. These include increased sebum, out of control bacteria and hormones, and inflammation. Read on to learn about the main foods that cause acne. Acknowledging this diet connection may be your first step to clearer skin.   1.   Refined Foods Refinement sounds like a good thing, but in modern food production it refers to many nutrient-poor processes. Refined carbs and sugars that have been processed make up a lot of our diet. These foods include store-bought bread, pasta, rice, and cereal as well as soda and artificially sweetened desserts. All these foods hit your bloodstream quickly, raising your blood sugar levels more than natural ingredients would. These blood sugar spikes can cause acne as your system fights to get the sugar out of your blood and to other parts of your body. This affects your hormones, sebum production, and cell growth. All three can cause acne.   2.   Fatty Foods There are several kinds of fatty foods that can cause inflammation and lead to acne. We all know fast food is bad for us, but here’s another reason. Those greasy burgers, fries, hotdogs, and yes, even the chicken, can also increase your risk for acne. The milkshakes and sodas contribute to your refined sugars tally too. We don’t even know exactly why fast-food causes acne. We think it has something to do with hormones, but we need more studies to confirm it. Regardless, you already have plenty of reasons to avoid fast food and this is another one. I mentioned that there are multiple kinds of fat you need to avoid. The other one is Omega-6 fatty acids. These fats mostly come from corn and soy cooking oils. Eating them in excess causes, you guessed it, more inflammation. So, if you know these cooking oils come into your life (or if you have to eat fast-food sometimes to save time), be sure to supplement yourself with Omega-3, either from pills or fatty fish and nuts. It may not get you completely back on track, but it might at least push the balance in your favor away from inflammation and acne.   3.   Dairy Products Dairy products like milk and ice cream have been shown to increase people’s risk of acne. Again, since acne is such a widespread symptom in our bodies, we haven’t figured out exactly why. The leading theories suggest that it may have to do with insulin levels or alterations to liver activity. Either way, we have [...]

2020-12-18T09:53:11-08:00By |

The Best Tips to Help with Dark Under-Eye Circles

Blame lack of sleep, genetics, or aging, but no matter the cause, under-eye circles are unwelcome. The dark bags are bothersome, to say the least, leaving us wondering what to do to make them go away, or hopefully less noticeable. I’ve been there - staring at my reflection wishing those circles would vanish into thin air. But no amount of hoping helps. Thankfully, there are some more practical methods than prayer to get those under-eye circles under control. Here are a few that work, so stash away your dark sunglasses and show off those bright, beautiful eyes.   Drink Up Dehydration can make your skin look sunken, dry, and anything but supple. The thin skin under the eyes shows signs of dehydration more readily than other areas of the body, leading to those dark circles that are screaming for some water. Be sure to get your 8 glasses per day, more if you can. You’ll see the difference it makes quickly, and you’ll also feel better from head to toe thanks to the liquid lift.   Catch Some Zzzs When you don’t get enough sleep, you may be able to function just fine for a while, but it’ll show on your face, specifically in the form of unsightly under-eye circles. Over time, the appearance seems to stay put, especially if you make a habit out of late nights and short sleep cycles. Once you catch up on your sweet dreams, you’ll notice those dark circles start to fade fast. The extra time under the covers far beats an extra coat of concealer!   Soothe and Soak Oftentimes, under-eye circles are accompanied by puffiness. This is far from a winning combo, and people may think you’re feeling sick or suffering from allergies. Get rid of this less-than lovely look by depuffing and hydrating with some slices of cool cucumber placed over your closed eyelids, chilled wet tea bags, or just a damp washcloth that has been sitting on ice. This mini DIY spa treatment not only feels fabulous,  but the process depuffs and makes dilated blood vessels below the eyes shrink, which is one of the culprits behind the dark circles to begin with.   The Magic of Makeup If you’re in a bind, a bit of foundation or some lightweight concealer will hide those dark circles for the time being. Don’t go overboard, but find a shade that’s a bit lighter than your skin tone to even out and brighten. Less is more, as when makeup is applied to this area, it can tend to settle into your fine lines. Another trick is to draw attention elsewhere, such as by sporting a bold lip color. Open your eyes with lots of mascara and a shimmery shadow to offset the under-eye circles.   What Else? If your under-eye circles won’t fade, you may want to see your dermatologist. If it’s not due to allergies, there are treatments such as laser surgery, fillers, and resurfacing. Before you [...]

2021-01-05T15:43:42-08:00By |

How to Properly Wash Your Face

As simple as it seems, washing your face isn’t something to skimp on. The delicate skin gets a harsh dose of reality when exposed to nature’s elements, the effects of aging, and the makeup routines we have been practicing since our teens. We wax, pluck, squeeze, and pull. From sweating to sobbing, our faces truly go through the ringer. That’s why washing properly is so essential. Here are my tips for taking care of your face, specific to washing well. It is not time consuming or confusing, but perhaps a different approach than what you have been doing. A few simple changes can save your skin, leaving you with a killer complexion.   Go Gentle No matter how dirty your face may get or how much makeup you’re wearing, a rough wash won’t do you any favors. It’s important to treat your skin tenderly, so wash your face with this in mind. Invest in a super soft washcloth, non-irritating/chemical-free products, such as a mild facial wash foam, and use your fingertips lightly. Take your time to reach every nook and cranny, remove all traces of dirt and makeup, and do that final rinse when you’ve completed the cycle. You can also consider using facial cleansing wipes, but be sure they are as natural as possible, with no heavy perfumes or crazy chemicals. Additionally, I’m loving this konjac sponge with activated charcoal. It exfoliates lightly, leaving my skin feeling baby soft. The charcoal detoxifies, and the texture of the sponge stimulates blood flow. For less than $10.00, it’s a beauty must that makes sense. Keep in mind, refrain from using your average body soap or shampoo in the shower on your face. It can be drying, as convenient as it may be.   Twice Is Nice Wash your face in the morning and at night before bed, no matter how tired you are. Sleeping with anything on your face will clog pores and potentially cause breakouts. Plus, it would benefit your skin to apply a lightweight moisturizer after washing, to keep the skin hydrated and ward off fine lines and wrinkles. If you wash your face more frequently than this, you run the risk of stripping the skin of its natural oils. Unless it’s a must-do, stick to the twice-per-day routine.   Keep It Cool Washing with piping hot water may feel fabulous, but it’s not the best for your skin. Run the water cool or lukewarm for the best temperature your face can tolerate. While the steam from the hot running water is great for opening and unclogging pores, the harsh hot temp will do a number on your skin, perhaps even irritating it when applied directly.   Pat It Down After cleansing your face, use a clean hand towel to dry, but do not rub or get rough. Pat the excess water from your skin, just enough so it’s not dripping. The less friction you create, the better, so be delicate and deliberate.   [...]

2021-01-05T14:11:53-08:00By |

The Anti-Aging Benefits of Retinol

You have probably seen ads or TV commercials featuring beauty products which contain retinol. Perhaps you’ve spotted some intriguing items on the shelves at the pharmacy too. Retinol is all the rage, and for good reason. Skincare brands aboard the retinol bandwagon are raking it in, thanks to the repair, improvement, and overall uplifting elements retinol boasts, bringing a new life to skin that truly shines. Of course, there is no “magic potion” that will give you the same supple skin you had in your teens and twenties, but retinol is a close second. I have happily used a number of products containing retinol, and it really does do wonders. The tone and texture of my skin is noticeably smoother, silkier, and I feel more self-confident and sexier. What could be better?   What to Know So, what is retinol exactly? It is part of the Vitamin A “family,” and when added to skincare products, it helps with collagen creation. Collagen gives skin a plumper appearance, a youthful glow, and a more even skin tone. Retinol also speeds up cell turnover, renewing the skin more effectively, thus ridding you of those dull, dead layers, revealing the fresh face beneath the surface.   Test Before Success When you first begin use of a product containing retinol, you may want to try it before bedtime, as it can cause skin to get dry and flaky for some people. But once your skin acclimates to the product, you should be fine. Plus, if you find that you have an adverse effect, you’re better off at home than out and about. Not to mention, it can make skin sun-sensitive, so be careful when you are outdoors – wear SPF always.  I’ve personally never had any issues with retinol products, but you would be best off consulting with your dermatologist before use.   Reap the Rewards I use retinol products nearly daily, and I have seen the hands of time go in reverse. My fine lines are even finer – in fact, some are suddenly gone altogether. I have that “bounce” to my cheeks, a rosy hue, smaller pores, and a dewy complexion that is less saggy and more supple. Mind you, this remarkable transformation won’t happen overnight. Expect to see some improvement in about 6-12 weeks. Stick with it…the best things come to those who wait!   Where’s the Retinol? You will find retinol in a variety of undereye creams, face creams, lotions, serums, and related products. Do your research online before grabbing just anything; look for reviews, ask friends, and again, get a recommendation from your dermatologist. Note, these products are generally pricier than your average skin cream, but the results are worth the indulgence, plus you only need a little bit with each use – no slathering here! For anti-aging benefits, retinol is easy to find and won’t cost a fortune, at least compared to the more aggressive measures many women take to turn back the clock. [...]

2021-01-05T14:04:46-08:00By |

Do Waist Trainers Really Work?

Working off those excess holiday pounds can seem daunting when you’re already balancing a busy work and family schedule. We’re all looking for shortcuts around exercise and dieting to get our perfect figure. This includes using a waist trainer to try and nudge our figures into a more feminine shape. Even men sometimes turn to these devices to try and get their abs back. The question at the bottom line of this article is: do waist trainers work? The short answer is, not really. Compared to diet and exercise, a waist trainer cannot help you see tangible results in reshaping your figure and shedding Christmas cookie weight. However, lots of people enjoy trying them and they do have some limited benefits, so long as you use them correctly. Read on to learn what waist trainers can do for you, as well as what they can’t. I’ll also go over how to wear them safely so your weight loss shortcut doesn’t turn into an injury.   What is a Waist Trainer? A waist trainer is a contoured piece of fabric that you wear around your tummy under your clothes. Different brands tighten and cinch differently – some have hooks or laces – but the function is the same. It’s kind of like a girdle but whereas girdles are simply for appearance, waist trainers are cinched up much tighter. They’re trying to “squeeze” you into a different shape, after all. When you see a waist trainer, you’ll probably think it looks a lot like a corset. You’d be right! Waist trainers are basically corsets being resold with a name that makes them sound like weight loss tools. Like corsets, they’ll give you that coveted hourglass shape that accentuates your chest and hips and “shrinks” your waist. However, corsets fell out of fashion for one reason: they’re extremely uncomfortable to wear. Unfortunately, your experience with a waist trainer will probably be similar.   What Does a Waist Trainer Do? Knowing that waist trainers tighten around your tummy to produce that hourglass shape, what do they do for you in the long run? The answer is, not much. Some people report weight loss after wearing one of these for a while, but this is likely due to two factors, neither of which is a tangible loss of weight due to the trainer’s technology. More likely, they’re experiencing a loss of water weight due to sweating in a tight corset and eating less due to a lower appetite. Wearing a waist trainer can constrict your organs and make it harder to eat, resulting in a lower appetite. That may sound kind of nice, but this is not a healthy way to lose weight. The problems with your eating habits will just come back once you’ve taken off the waist trainer. There’s a reason why devices like this suggest that healthy exercise and a good diet are part of their product’s weight loss plan. That’s the whole weight loss plan. So, [...]

2021-01-25T13:10:46-08:00By |

Four Tips to Help With “Maskne” Breakouts

The pandemic brought its fair share of problems, one of which could be lurking on your face. “Maskne” may sound cute, but the breakouts due to mask-wearing are far from funny. We have to protect ourselves and others, so wearing a mask is a must, but the pimples popping up are a problem we weren’t quite expecting. If you have been noticing that your skin has been suffering since COVID-19 struck, you are not alone. Maskne is part of this “new normal,” and while it’s peanuts compared to what some people are dealing with, it still sucks. Here’s how you can banish these bothersome breakouts and reveal nice-looking skin underneath your shield.   Keep It Clean                                                        If you have the type of mask meant for repeated use, be sure to clean it daily. Follow the instructions, use a mild, chemical-free cleanser, and allow it to dry completely before putting it on again. If you keep wearing the mask without cleaning it, not only are you putting yourself at risk COVID-wise, but you are doing your skin a disservice. Oils, dirt, makeup, etc. begin to build up on the fabric, and as this comes into contact with your skin, it can irritate, clog your pores, and so on. A clean mask may not be foolproof, but it’s far better than wearing a mask that’s filthy or full of germs. Use a disposable one to save time. Along with cleaning your mask, keep your skin fresh and clean too. Before putting on your mask, clean your face with a gentle cleanser, and after you remove it, wash up again. Don’t overdo it, as too much washing can be drying, but be sure to make it a habit to maintain good hygiene.   Minimal Makeup If you wear makeup regularly, now’s the time to keep it light, or avoid makeup altogether, specifically on the skin that’s beneath the mask. Play up your eyes if you can’t go without makeup entirely, but lay off the foundation, concealer, bronzer, etc. on your skin. You want your skin to breathe, and your mask is already preventing the normal airflow to hit your skin. Makeup only adds another layer to the mix. Embrace your natural beauty and you’ll have a better chance of avoiding breakouts.   Take A Break…Safely Whenever you can do so safely, remove your mask to allow your skin to breathe. Be sure to only do this when you are not around others. Some of us must wear a mask all day for work or due to lifestyle, but there is always an opportunity to take a breather and remove the mask, at least for a few minutes. Use this time to splash some water on your face, or use a face wipe to refresh the skin. Burt’s Bees Facial Cleansing Towelettes with cucumber and sage extracts are especially invigorating, and they are gentle on the skin.   See A Dermatologist If your maskne breakouts are particularly problematic, your [...]

2021-01-05T13:25:15-08:00By |

The Best Way to Hydrate Dry Lips

What could be worse than cracked peeling lips that are as dry as sandpaper and feel like they’re on fire? Not only are dry lips uncomfortable, but they are obviously unattractive. I never let my lips get dry, thanks to my regular routine which keeps my pout perfectly pretty. It is so easy to maintain, mess-free, and one of the most important steps of my beauty regimen. Here is how I keep my lips well-hydrated, even in the dead of winter when cold temps can have their way with them. If you are dealing with dry lips, don’t frown – it is simple to solve the problem and get those luscious lips you have been longing for.   Don’t Lick If your lips feel dry, you may have the inclination to lick them to add moisture. This works temporarily, but the common habit actually leads to even more dryness. Break the cycle and apply a lip balm instead. I look for balms made of natural/organic ingredients, like Honest or Burt’s Bees. Burt’s Bees’ Vanilla Bean Lip Balm is amazing. Just don’t be tempted to taste it! Natural ingredients such as cocoa butter, shea butter, aloe vera, and coconut oil are terrific for hydrating, so keep your eyes open for these elements when you’re selecting a lip balm. Applying hydrating balms as an overnight routine is one of the best ways to maintain your lips, as you have hours for your lips to absorb the treatment products and repair. Don’t skip this evening routine, and by morning, your lips will be luscious. Without interruptions like eating/drinking, talking, kissing, etc., your lips get the biggest benefit as you drift off into your sweet dreams.   Drink Up Your dry lips could be a reflection of your body’s overall hydration situation, or lack thereof. Be sure to stay well-hydrated – drink at least eight glasses of water per day. When you don’t get enough fluid, your skin…including the skin on your lips will get dry. The flaking is no fun, so get your generous gulps in pronto. This inside-out treatment is beneficial in more ways than one.   Exfoliate A lip scrub will slough off the dry and peeling skin that is making your lips look less-than lovely. You need to be extra-gentle, and once your lips are silky smooth, use the aforementioned balm to keep them that way. Again, Burt’s Bees is winning the lip game with their Conditioning Lip Scrub. Made with honey, it is super soothing and smells sweet. You can also whip up your own DIY batch at home using some honey, granulated sugar, and a little olive oil. Mix together and use your fingertips to gingerly rub away those nasty flakes, adding much-needed nourishment to your lips along the way.   SPF Just like the rest of your skin, your lips need to be carefully protected from the sun’s harmful UV rays. Be sure to apply a lip-safe sunscreen before heading out, especially [...]

2021-01-05T12:54:57-08:00By |

Tricks to Help with Eye Bags

The only bags I want come with a designer label. All kidding aside, undereye bags are anything but glamorous. The puffiness, sagging, discoloration, and so forth put a damper on my look and have me hiding under dark sunglasses. If you’re anything like me, you don’t want your eye bags front and center, drawing attention away from your otherwise fabulous face. They make us appear worn out, weary, and older than we feel. So, what to do? Luckily, there are ways to prevent and get rid of those annoying bags and look refreshed and rejuvenated. Thank goodness for these gems, otherwise, I would be hiding under a wide-brimmed hat half the time!   Catch Some Zzzs Lack of sleep is one of the most common causes of eye bags. When you are overtired and out of whack, it shows up uninvited on your face. Since the skin underneath the eyes is so thin, signs of sleepiness come through easily. Just like pesky dark undereye circles, eye bags are exasperating, telling the world you’ve been awake ‘till two in the morning. Those puffy pouches are longing for pillows! Get around seven to eight hours of sleep per night, and those bags won’t bother you before breakfast.   Skip the Salt Too much salt in your diet can cause water retention, leading to allover bloating, even on your face. The undereye region is delicate, and the excess fluid can gather there too. Check nutrition labels for sodium and choose foods that are within the daily recommended allowance for salt intake. Refrain from adding table salt to your meals as a matter of habit or preference. Instead, choose herbs and spices to liven up your dishes. They’ll be healthier and taste even better. Be sure to stay well-hydrated too, allowing your system to function at its peak, flushing out excess salt in the process.   Chill Out and Cover Up If you wake up with bags the size of balloons, you can count on a cold compress to help them simmer down. Use a cold damp washcloth, refrigerated wet tea bags, specifically lavender, fennel, rooibos, or chamomile, which have anti-inflammatory properties, chilled teaspoons, or slices of cool cucumber over your closed eyes for some relief, and after about 10-15 minutes, you should see some noticeable improvement. While this method may not make the bags completely disappear, they won’t be nearly as obvious. You can camouflage what’s left with some undereye concealer, preferably in a shade lighter than your skin tone. Dab lightly, as too much makeup could draw attention to the bags. Think about using a de-puffing cream as well, which can be useful as part of your beauty routine. Olay makes an amazing eye cream designed to reduce puffy eyes, dark circles, and wrinkles. It contains vitamins and peptides, so it nourishes at it works wonders. See Your Doctor Your eye bags could be a sign of allergies. Get yourself checked out to rule this out or [...]

2021-01-04T19:09:22-08:00By |

Three Tricks to Get That Gorgeous and Natural “No Makeup” Look

A full face of makeup has its time and place, and the “glam” look is always gorgeous. That said, for the everyday, an overdone makeup job is just too much for grocery shopping and picking up the kids from soccer practice. Even a day at the office doesn’t require too much effort in the makeup department, especially when you look fresh and fabulous letting your natural beauty shine through. I’m all for a major makeup makeover every so often and a professional application when I’m doing photo shoots or for a special occasion. But I am just as happy with a no-frills face, which takes far less time and is much easier to manage. With the right care and techniques, a “no makeup” look is lovely. Here are my tips to getting it right, and no, you won’t feel “naked!”   Save Your Skin Your skin is your “canvas,” so you have to keep it smooth and supple. We can’t control aging or even an occasional breakout, but if you care for your skin daily, you’re sure to maintain a youthful and dewy complexion. Use a mild cleanser, exfoliate gently, and use all-natural, organic products that won’t irritate the skin. Don’t rub or tug, never squeeze, and moisturize morning and night. Be sure to wear sunscreen when you’ll be outdoors and invest in a luxe facial mask for big events or just when the mood strikes. When your skin looks sublime, you don’t need much makeup to look like a million bucks.   Behold the Brows Your eyebrows play a big role in the overall balance of your face, framing your features as a focal point. If you overpluck or happen to be less-than blessed in the brow department, fill them in with pencil, powders, or try serums designed to grow your brows faster. A bold brow is powerful and pretty, and don’t get too concerned if they’re a tad bushy or big. You can always tame them with brow gel or get them professionally shaped. When your brows are even and shaped well, they truly stand out. They will make your eyes pop without the need for a ton of eye makeup. Plus, thick brows give off a youthful appearance, and we all want to look bright-eyed and vibrant.   Enhance Without Much Effort The “no makeup” look isn’t meant to be literal. Some makeup helps enhance our features and brings out our beauty in the best way possible. Rather than rummaging through your makeup bag for heavy concealers and bright colors, take things down a notch and use highlighters and bronzers to give a sun-kissed glow that’s subtle and simple. You can use bronzer all over your face – as eyeshadow, blush, and even for a bit of contouring. Dab some highlighter on your cheekbones, over the bridge of your nose, and wherever else you want to give some “oomph” without working too hard. Finish off with some nude lip gloss and you’re [...]

2020-12-23T18:56:13-08:00By |

Three Tips to Get Great Looking Lashes

Nearly any celeb you check out on social media seems to be blessed with luxurious lashes. Sure, they could be due to some photo enhancing apps, but many of these gals (and some guys) don’t need a filter for their lashes to be front and center. Are they blessed by nature? Perhaps some of these famous faces hit the gene pool jackpot, but the rest of the influencers and idols either go for false lashes or grow theirs to the max with some help from the pharmacy. For those who use false lashes, extensions, etc., wouldn’t it be nice to say you “woke up like this?” I’m all for faking it for photo shoots and appearances, but when they’re all mine, it’s even better. These three tips to getting great looking lashes are simple, yet the results can be outstanding. Don’t expect an overnight miracle, but with some patience and perhaps a few prayers, you’ll see your lashes grow right before your very eyes (literally!)   Castor Oil Go for an all-natural lash-growth remedy with the perks of castor oil. It may sound strange, but the beauty industry swears by this oil’s many fine qualities, including the way it can get lashes to look longer, thicker, and more abundant. The “trick” is the ricinoleic acid in the castor oil, which has been studied to reverse hair loss. Apply pure castor oil to your lashes at nighttime, preferably with a Q-tip for precision. A little goes a long way, especially since you don’t want the castor oil to get in your eyes. For obvious reasons, doing this during the daytime wouldn’t be ideal. Try this out for a few weeks and see if it works for you. Naturally, if you experience any irritation, discontinue this process, and try another technique.   Supplements I’m a big believer in taking daily supplements, not just for lash growth, but to benefit my entire body from the inside out. Certain vitamins, minerals, and the like aren’t always abundant or sufficient in our diets, so getting all we need may have to come in pill form. Even those who eat super healthfully could be missing out on the essentials. As for lashes, certain supplements are stronger than others. Go for iron and Omega-3s, to transport oxygen to the hair follicles, Vitamin B to ward off brittleness, and Vitamin H for maximum growth potential. Generally speaking, maintain a healthy diet; don’t rely on supplements solely. This daily routine can jumpstart lash growth and strength, and you’ll probably feel healthier and more vibrant as a “side effect.”   Lash Serums Lash serum sales are soaring, mostly because they’re easy to use and many do yield impressive results. I, for one, tried Latisse, and it was a glam game-changer. Since it is FDA-approved and highly reviewed, the product is safe and effective. Latisse promises to deliver full effects by 16 weeks, so apply as directed, and count down the days. Hopefully, you will enjoy [...]

2020-12-23T16:29:08-08:00By |

4 Great Tricks to Getting a “Salon Look” with a DIY Dye Job

Let’s face it: collectively, our hair(s) is having a tough moment. Salons, if they’re still open, have long waiting lists for appointments and have to be vetted for safety measures. You wouldn’t think --- at least I didn’t back in March--- that this would be a huge issue. After all, with a global pandemic happening, we haven’t really been going anywhere but to our Zoom meetings and the supermarket. The economy is forcing us to tighten our belts and make certain sacrifices, some of which are easier to swallow than others. (I don’t know about you but eating at restaurants suddenly seems like an unnecessary luxury to me. Going to the movies is another story, but …) When everything started, I figured a few things: One, I’d have gray roots and split ends for maybe a month or two, tops. When two months turned into four, and four turned into six, I realized I had to take matters into my own hands and do some research. Everyone knows that box dye and box dyed hair is anathema to stylists, but these are unprecedented times, and as we are all learning so well, those call for unprecedented measures. Besides, not all box dyes are alike. There are some high-end versions that have extras like keratin or online shade matching services. Below are a few tricks to getting that prized ‘salon look’ via a DIY dye job right from your very own home.   1. Get Real Let’s talk color. I’ll start with the bad news: now is not, I repeat NOT, the time to make a drastic change to your hair color, and by drastic, I mean going from black to anything or going from anything but blonde --- to blonde. In other words, if you want to go lighter safely and without risk, make that appointment with a professional. However, if we’re just talking root coverage or a half shade adjustment color refresh, there’s no reason why you can’t DIY it up. Take it from a woman whose grays started saying hello when her age began with a ‘2’ and ended with a ‘6’. Gotta love genetics.   2. Build your perfect DIY toolkit So, what are the essential ingredients when it comes to a successful, salon-worthy home dye job? Well, that depends on what you’re looking to do. If you want to cover up those gray roots, check out dpHue’s Root Touch Up Kit, which is super gentle and simple to use. It even comes with its own bowl, gloves, and brush. If you want longer-term coverage, go with a traditional box dye like Nice n’ Easy by Clairol or Revlon Colorsilk. This InStyle article includes a detailed list of customized box color offerings depending on hair type. The main decision rests in how long you’d like the color to last. Demi-permanent hair color is ammonia free and does not penetrate the strand, generally washing out gradually. Permanent color is less forgiving, but lasts [...]

2020-09-28T12:49:59-07:00By |

How to Feel Good In Your Skin: 7 Powerful Lessons on Beauty

“Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” ~Proverb   I struggled with body image for years while I was living in Europe because I have a very fair complexion, oily skin, and thin hair. During my childhood, people would look at me and comment on how pale I looked and ask my mother if I was anemic. Later on, as I was growing up, people who met me would ask if I was ill, or they would say that I look exhausted, tired, and weak. It was most difficult during the summers, when there was always a social pressure to get a tan, as I heard a lot of negative comments then. I didn’t perceive myself as beautiful, nor did I think I would ever, until I came to India for the first time. In India, bright skin is synonymous with beauty (beautiful means fair!), and everyone complimented me there, telling me how beautiful I am, that I am “bright like the moon.” They also admired my silky, smooth hair and oily skin—in India, they call it “glowing skin” and appreciate it because skin can get very dry, with the hot weather. Indian women would ask me over and over to share the secret behind my glowing skin, and they wouldn’t believe that it was naturally so oily; they’d think that it must be some cosmetic product from Europe that I didn’t want to tell them about. Suddenly I realized why all my Indian friends, who lived in my hometown back in Europe, would not leave the house without the sunscreen, why they’d always tell me that I’d be considered very pretty in India, and why they’d joke that I’d get married quickly there! I was shocked when I realized how much money people, both men and women, spend in India for fairness beauty products. Some women even bleach their skin with hydrogen peroxide-based cosmetics. Yet, in Western countries, people spend a ton of money on tanning products and solariums to get darker skin. I realized in India how beauty is socially constructed and started feeling beautiful in my own (fair) skin for the first time in my entire life. Or, I should say, I discovered how beautiful I am, with all my Western “imperfections.” For last two and a half years, since I’ve been living in India, people who knew me for a long time comment on how I look much more beautiful now and ask me to share my secret. I don’t deny that Indian vegetarian food and the abundance of tropical fruits, together with natural beauty products with neem, heena, herbal oils and sandalwood, are part of the equation. But I believe the major reason is that I started feeling beautiful and good in my own skin. Here are seven things I learned that can help us all feel better in our skin, with all of our “imperfections.” 1. Beauty is socially constructed. This was one of the biggest aha moments [...]

2020-10-02T10:31:59-07:00By |