Decoding Your Skin Type

15 Apr

Let’s face it. We all know someone who ALWAYS has radiant, beautiful skin. You know that glowly skin that makes they look like they just walked off the set of a Maybelline photo shoot. Not a winkle, age spot, or zit in site.


Well it’s time to finally get to the bottom of our different types of skin and decode what’s really going on with our skin.



Dry Skin-Decoded

Dry skin feels tight, itchy and parched. It also tends to flake, have rough or reddish patches and makeup doesn’t go on smoothly. It can look thin or dull, have fine, crepe-y lines and act sensitive. But there’s some justice: People with dry skin also tend to have small pores, rarely break out and don’t have to worry about looking shiny in photos.

The science: Sebum and sweat create your skin’s natural moisturizer, an acidic mixture of lipids and waxes that protects the stratum corneum, the outermost layer of your skin. The stratum corneum is made up of dead skin cells that lay flat like shingles on a roof and holds water in the skin. When the acid mantle on top of the skin is stripped (often from harsh cleansers or extreme heat or cold), the stratum corneum is damaged and moisture escapes, leading to dry, damaged skin.

Causes: Hormones play a role, since they determine the amount of sebum your skin produces. According to Dr. Leslie Baumann, CEO of the Baumann Cosmetic and Research Institute in Miami, and author of “The Skin Type Solution,” the most likely cause is a damaged protective barrier, often from cold, dry winter air, wind, harsh cleansers and toners. Also dry skin can result from thyroid problems. And while drinking tons of water won’t directly moisturize your skin, your skin can’t function at its best if you’re dehydrated, so fill up on hydrating foods like fruits and vegetables.


  • Drink Water
  • Use face oils and cream lotions
  • Sleep with a humidifier



Oily Skin- Decoded

This skin type is shiny an hour after you wash your face or applypowder, especially on your forehead, nose and cheeks.

The science: The “male” hormone dihydrotesterone (DHT) triggers your sebaceous glands to produce sebum (oil). This mixture of waxes and lipids like squalene and fatty acids protects and conditions your hair and skin. When there’s a spike in testosterone, your DHT levels rise as well and your skin produces too much oil.

Causes: Hormones control how much oil your skin produces, says Dr. Fusco, so anything that throws off their balance can affect sebum levels. During puberty, testosterone levels rise and are metabolized into DHT, which is why teenagers tend to have oily skin. Stress can also send your hormone balance into a tailspin, as can your menstrual cycle, pregnancy, birth control pills (especially when you go off of them),menopause, stress, medications like Lithium and cortisteroids—even smoking and diet.

Oily skin vs. acne-prone skin
While acne-prone skin is usually oily, oily skin does not have to be acne-prone: Pores only get clogged if dead skin cells get trapped with bacteria and sebum, explains Dr. Fusco. People with acne tend to have “sticky” skin cells, meaning they clump together and are more likely to clog pores. If your skin sheds dead cells efficiently, overactive sebaceous glands can simply mean your skin is shiny.


  • Look for products labeled “non-comedogenic”, “non-acnegenic” and “oil-free.”
  • Don’t punish your skin with harsh cleansers—they can irritate your skin but won’t reduce the amount of oil it produces.
  • Use a toner that contains salicylic acid to exfoliate dead skin that can clog pores.



Now that these two types of skin types have been decoded, it’s time to take care of your skin and treat it the right way! Love your skin!


Easter Egg Hunt

7 Apr

From pink to blue and everything in between, trying new makeup tips for Easter makes your beauty routine so much fun. Easter is a lovely time of year to celebrate and enjoy new and exciting beauty finds.  You can do your own thing or follow a few makeup tips for Easter looks you can easily create yourself. Dabble in the beautiful colors of spring or find out the latest additions to your favorite cosmetics brands.




For a lovely look at Easter time or for a simply sweet spring makeover, consider the following makeup tips for Easter shared by professional makeup artists.

Easter Makeup Tips for a Spring Look
Lindsey Caldwell, the makeup artist of Marco Two Union Square in Seattle, suggests lighter makeup and flirty pink glosses and cheeks for spring and especially for your Easter makeup. Now that spring is here, gone are the days of overly dark eyes, Caldwell advises. Instead of a dark and sultry look, she prefers a dewy finish to spring makeup looks.

You can create your own dewy finish for your spring makeup look by adding a small dab of moisturizer to your foundation while also applying a highlighter to your cheekbones. Lindsey Caldwell also recommends a pink cream blush for the perfect “springtime finish.”

“Without going too severe with pastels, light colors within the pink/purple/blue family are always a nice touch,” says makeup artist Erica Maniscalco. “Mac is a good brand to work with because they have a huge range of tones with each color.”

Clean and Colorful Makeup Looks for Spring and Easter
To make the most of your spring and Easter looks, move away from the dark colors and welcome colorful beauty. Try fun spring makeup colors like peach and lilac, pink, and more. Enjoy all the fantastic shades of spring and nature, and try a new look or two for a fresh DIY makeover.

“This season is going to be very romantic,” say the experts at Michael Todd Cosmetics. “Porcelain skin with a matte finish is always the trend for spring. A very clean, but made-up look is what this spring is all about. The eyes will be very simple, yet full of color. Colored mascara will also make a huge comeback. Women are getting edgier and bolder with their makeup so we will definitely be seeing a shift from the sexy, sultry eye to a (way) muted 1970’s look.”


Happy Easter ladies!

The 5 Hottest Spring Nail Colors

30 Mar

A woman is helpless till her nail polish dries. – Unknown.

It’s finally time to pull out those cute flip flops, sandles, and open-toed heels that have been hidden away for those long winter months. While spring is blooming around us, it’s time to update those  nail polish colors, but before rushing off to the salon to get your annual post-winter pedicure, take a look at some of the hottest spring nail colors.

Allure Magazine gives the list of the most current, hottest nail polish colors out this spring:

1. Hot Coral

“Coral is the perfect bright,” says New York City manicurist Sheril Bailey. “It’s pretty on all skin tones and so cheerful.”

Sally Hansen Diamond Strength No Chip Manicure in Heart to Heart

2. Lilac

Lilac is more elegant when it’s high-gloss—matte versions can read as flat and chalky. A word of caution: Gray or lilac tones can make skin look ashy, so be sure to moisturize and add a high-gloss clear top coat on polish once it is dry, of course!

Essie nail polish in To Buy or Not to Buy

3.  Toasted Almond

“This shade is especially beautiful on dark skin,” says Bailey. It elongates fingers the same way nude pumps seem to extend the legs. This shade is extra flattering on those with olive undertones.

OPI Nail Lacquer in Did You 'Ear About Van Gogh?

4.  Muted Teal

The key word here is “muted.” As in gray undertones. As in subtle. As in totally chic and classy.

Estée Lauder in Teal Topaz

5. Creamsicle

“Soft peach is the new pale pink: It works on everyone but is a notch more substantial—and sexy,” says New York City manicurist Jin Soon Choi. Peach also complements a yellow/olive skin tone.

Chanel Le Vernis in June

So ladies, enjoy those pedicures ( but be safe) and try one of these polish colors!

The 10 Commandments of Mascara

30 Mar

There are do-all mascaras that promise thick, defined, mile-long lashes with the single swipe of a wand, but sometimes women need a “guidebook” for choosing their mascaras.

So for all you ladies, here are your 10 Commandments of Mascara:


1. Thou Shalt Be Specific

One tube of mascara will not be able to pump, extend, define, or thicken all at the same time. “If you want a specific effect, look for a specialized type,” says makeup artist Troy Surratt. The resins and waxes in a curling mascara lift and bend stick-straight lashes to help define lashes, while a lengthening formula’s nylon fibers act as extensions on short ones. And the brush matters, too: If it’s big and bushy, that’s how your lashes will look. A brush with spiky plastic bristles separates.


2. Thou Shalt Use Black

Yes, black mascara works for everyone even blondes. “The whole point of mascara is to enhance the shape of the eye and define the lashes, and it should be visible, or you won’t get that effect,” says makeup artist Susan Giordano.  Just because black mascara works for everyone that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t experiment with other colors. A swipe of purple is gorgeous on green, blue, and hazel eyes, while blue and green mascaras offer a gorgeous contrast against brown.


3.  Thou Shalt Save Your Waterproof Mascara

Waterproof formulas are much harsher than normal mascaras and it is too tough to remove everyday. Save it for your best friend’s wedding, the sappy love movie, or when you are actually in water.


4.  Thou Shalt Get the Perfect Curl

Don’t be intimidated by its resemblance to a medieval torture device—an eyelash curler can make eyes appear wider and sexier in seconds. “The key is to use it before applying mascara, because the mascara can stick to the curler, causing some lashes to be pulled out,” Giordano says. Eye lash curlers are an extremely good investment.  Your everyday cup of coffee costs more than an eyelash curler.


5. Thou Shalt Add  Fullness and Drama

For those of you who want red carpet drama and full lashes without the falsies, the commandment is for you.  After curling, apply lengthening mascara to the upper and lower lashes. Then, wiggle the brush of a volumizing mascara against the roots and pull it through. Finally, swish your wand windshield-wiper style across your corner lashes to add even more of a dramatic fullness to them. “These lashes give the eyes an elongated shape,” says makeup artist Romy Soleimani.


6. Thou Shalt Want Length or Definition

Or maybe you want length and definition. Choose your favorite lengthening mascara then start by squeezing the wand in a paper towel. Apply to one eye, then the other, letting the mascara dry completely before your second swipe. Shimmy the brush into your lash line and swiftly pull it through the lashes. “This rapid, wiggle-slick move separates lashes and makes eyes look bigger,” says Soleimani.


7. Thou Shalt Not Forget about Your Lower Lashes

While not clumping mascara onto your lower lashes, mascara on those lashes add an everyday definition or add to the ultimate smoky eye look.


8.  Thou Shalt Not Pump Wand In and Out

This only introduces air into the tube, which will cause your mascara to dry out sooner than it should.


9.  Thou Shalt Remove It All

Leaving mascara on overnight will not only cause you to wake up with the ever classy raccoon eyes but you will have puffy eyes so ladies, remove all traces of mascara before hitting the bed.


10.  Thou Shalt Remove Clumps

Tidy your lashes up by sweeping a clean spooley brush through clumps while the mascara is still wet.

I Adore Hair

29 Feb

“Long, beautiful, gleaming… I adore hair!”  ~James Rado and Gerome Ragni, Hair

Back in January, I posted a quick status update on my Facebook. This little status turned into my blog. Many of my friends started to freak out since we’ve all grown up shampooing and conditioning our hair.

Some of the reasons why ladies refuse to toss out their favorite conditioner was:

  • My hair is too frizzy to live without it
  • My hair gets too tangled
  • Conditioner makes my hair soft
  • It adds shine and moisture

For years and years, I believe all those reasons too, but I decided to throw my hair on the line and toss out my conditioner and decided to take my own advice.

For the first week, I felt like a poodle. My hair was so dry, brittle, and not to mention poofy and frizzy! MEGA FRIZZY! It was awful! (I did have days were I cheated and had to use conditioner..Shh don’t tell)! But I decided during week 2 I needed to really not use conditioner and see how my hair held up.

Fast forward to week 6…I bought new shampoo and hair products. I bought Redken All Soft Shampoo, Matrix Moisture Cure threatment, “It’s a 10” leave-in product,  and Redken All Soft Heavy Cream. I’ve tried so many products to try and heal my hair after all the hair color and decoloring treatments. My hair has been damaged for past year and I’ve tried healing it but nothing ever really worked. These products REALLY work!

Believe it 0r not, my hair without conditioner was so much softer and shiny! I was in total shock! I never believed my hair would feel and look this healthy.

Since I listed of a whole list of products, I figured I’d tell you how and when I use them.

Redken All Soft Shampoo (for dry and brittle hair):

Let me tell you! It lives up to it’s name! My hair has never felt so soft and healthy before! I use this shampoo daily since it doesn’t overdry my hair.

Redken All Soft Heavy Cream Super Treatment: 

 This treatment has avocado oil, olive oil, silk amino acids, and gold camelina which provide the most  intense softness ever. I use this cream about 2-3 times a week! Or everyday if my hair is really dry!

Matrix Moisture Cure:

Instantly revitalizes internal and external hair fiber with long-lasting moisture and nourishment. Lightweight formula  smooths cuticle, leaving hair soft, detangled and shiny. I use this product after I towel dry my hair then add “It’s a 10”.  I use it daily!

“It’s a 1o” Leave-in Product: 

This little blue bottle is amazing! It lives up to it’s name and does 10 things instantly! It repairs dry hair, adds shine, detangles, controls frizz, seals hair color, prevents split ends, stops hair breakage, creates silkiness, enhances natural body, and a thermal protector. I put this one after I towel dry my hair and then comb through hair. This is a daily product for my hair!

I was a believer in my conditioner for the longest time, but after trying no conditioner for 6+ weeks, I’m never going back to it! I found these four products worked best for me, but you might have to try different products to match your hair needs.

Ladies, I encourage you to try a few weeks without conditioner and let me know how things go for you!

7lbs of Lipstick and only 10 Seconds

16 Feb

“We define ourselves by the mirror—the mirror on the wall and the mirror of ourselves with other women,” says Debbie Mandel, author of Addicted to Stress.

Let’s face it ladies, every day we put on clothes and do our hair and makeup in ways that define who we are, our personalities, and our styles. We dress to impress 24/7. “We make an assumption about someone within 10 seconds of being introduced,” says Oregon State social psychologist Frank Bernieri, Ph.D. Have you ever thought that your makeup says about you?

What Your Lip Color Says About You: 

Red lipstick is the choice of cheerful women. The most popular lipstick choice, and there’s a shade to suit all. Demand respect with your show stopping color! While studies have shown that brighter red pouts bring better career prospects. Depending on your skin tone, aim for a red with bluer hues, as this will make your teeth appear whiter.

Pink lipstick is for romantic women. Pale pinks indicate you are happy and scream femininity and youth.

Bright orange lipstick color is for eccentric women who like to be in the spotlight.

Lipstick of pearl shades is an option of careerist.

What Your Eye Shadow Says About You:

Bright Eye Shadows- “Bright eye shadows usually signal a flamboyant personality,” says Adrien Arpel, founder of Adrien Arpel- skin care and beauty products. You definitely need a bold personality to match your bold shade. Colorful eye shadows like simmering teals, hot pinks, and electric purples add that extra eye pop.

The Classic Smoky Eye- Sooty eyes display a sense of mystery and glamour. “The eyes become the unmistakable focal point of the face, but in a very sultry, come-hither sort of way,” says Yvette Redmond, author of Teach Yourself Beauty. Navy blue, smoky gray, forest green, deep purples, and even chocolate brown add a new twist to the classic smoky eye

Barely There- Women who have a less-is-more attitude towards make are essentially self-confident and very comfortable in their own skin. You may like keeping your makeup simple, but you’re religious when it comes to skincare- your glowing complexion speaks for itself. Brown mascaras and eye shadows, peach and light pink blushes, and a supple natural sheen on your lips add to this barely there look.


Interesting Lipstick Facts:

On average we eat 4-7 lbs of lipstick over a lifetime. Pretty gross huh?

75% of women think it’s fine to re-apply lipstick in public. C’mon ladies, be honest, do you do this? Why or why not?

90% of women say they wear lipstick to feel better about themselves, not to attract men. Thoughts?

30% of women would trade a prized possession or daily habit to have their favorite shade of lipstick on hand. Would you do this? I would totally trade anything for that favorite shade of lipstick!

Beauty is only skin deep…or is it?

30 Jan

Every woman wants to have gorgeous, flawless skin no matter the cost.

Take a look at these shocking statistics.

  • The worldwide annual expenditures for cosmetics today is estimated at $19 billion
  • Over 33% of women felt their partner would not have been attracted to them if they hadn’t been wearing makeup when they met
  • The average woman waits 2.5 months before going makeup-less in front of her partner.
  • 14% of women get out of bed early to put on makeup before their partner wakes up.
  • 6 in 10 women will not go to work without makeup

As you can tell, makeup and skin care are extremely important to the female population. Some could say that makeup is our crutch in life because without it, we feel like zombies waiting to tear off someone’s face (trust me ladies, I know how you feel). In reality, we don’t honestly look THAT bad. Here are a few beauty tips to calm the inner zombie within us and allow us to be more confident in the skin we’re in.

Beauty Tip 1: Never Underestimate the Power of a Moisturizer
Your moisturizer should be like your best friend. You never go anywhere without it on. If you are in your 20s or 30s, using a moisturizer will help your skin from prematurely aging. “In your 20s and early 30s, a good moisturizer can take the place of a lot of products,” says Park Avenue plastic surgeon Darrick Antell, MD. (WebMD) Now before you run out to the store, what is a good moisturizer? Dermatologist Charles E. Crutchfield III, MD, describes it this way: “It’s a product that will do anything from gently adding moisture, to sealing in the moisture you’ve achieved, to helping your skin produce more moisture — and which type you choose should be based on your skin’s individual needs.” (WebMD)

For those of you, who have oily skin, still use a moisturizer because oil isn’t moisture. Try a light, oil free moisturizer.

Beauty Tip 2: Sunscreen Is Your Best Anti-aging Product.

Ladies, don’t run to the nearest plastic surgeon with your paycheck in hand. Seriously, don’t do it, just use sunscreen. It’s that simple. The sun impacts the natural collagen in your face, and without that collagen, your face won’t be plump, moist, youthful, or wrinkle-free. Without a sunscreen of SPF 15 or higher, your skin will have more freckles, age spots, and spider veins. Skin itself can look rough and leathery, and I’m pretty sure you don’t want that.

Reapply your sunscreen throughout the day, if exposed to the direct sun.

Beauty Tip 3: Choose Your Cleanser Wisely

If you’re a “soap and water” girl (or guy), this is for you. Dermatologists say to use the gentlest cleanser you can find and to use it sparingly – no more than twice a day. Washing your face too often will damage your natural lipid barrier, the protective mantle of lubrication that keeps skin looking and feeling healthy. Using harsh products like soap will do more harm than good.
So the solution? Wash skin no more than twice a day and choose your cleanser wisely.

Beauty Tip 4: Drink Water

Why drink water? While drinking water not only moisturizes your skin, it is extremely important since your skin is the largest organ on your body, and organs need water in order to function. Drinking waters keeps your skin smooth, clear, and youthful, prevents dehydration, cleans out the body, and helps with the healing process.

It is the cheapest, most effective “beauty” products to use, so take advantage of that.

Enjoy your skin!