Plump Up in January!

new england winter
January is the time to plump up.  Please put down the Fries, I’m not talking about your thighs, I’m talking about your skin.  With the colder, darker days upon us (for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere), January is when we need to focus on taking care of our skin.

Winter air is drier because cold air cannot hold as much moistureWater splashing into glass.  Added to this, when you heat your house, regardless of how you heat your house, you’re losing moisture, causing a double whammy.

You may have noticed your skin is itchy, flaky and dry looking.  There are several easy remedies to fix this.  Start with drinking more water, less alcohol and less caffeine.  Next, add a warm air humidifier vicksto your house.  I like to keep one going at night in the bedroom.  El Hub doesn’t like the “swampyness” the humidifer causes so I defuse this with a slow moving fan.  Third, eat more healthy fats.  I’m not talking about eating more french fries, step away from the fries.  The key is healthy fats.  Add foods such as seeds (pumpkin, sunflower), avocados, nuts, eggs and olive oil. french fries

To work on plumping your skin from the outside, you may think all
you need to do is grab a jar of moisturizer and slather it all over your face, arms and legs.  Um…no…not exactly.  In fact, you may not need moisturizer at all.

Skin care is a step-by-step process.  Cleanser, toner, moisturizer, it is all necessary and individual to you and your skin.  If your skin is acne prone or is oily, you may not neemoisturizerd a moisturizer, but you do need to make sure your skincare products have the right ingredients for you.

The ingredients of your products are the key to keeping your skin plump and happy.  You do not ever want to strip your skin, even if you’re acne prone or oily.  Stripped skin is unhappy skin and it will work twice as hard to get back to its normal happy self, causing more oil and more problems.  If you have dry skin and it gets stripped of its natural oils, it may never regain happiness.  Check the ingredients on your cleanser, if you see anything with:  alcohol, peroxide, sulfates, or acids, you should shy away from it.  These ingredients will certainly strip away the natural (good) oil in your skin.  Lonars tonerok for:  glycerol or glycerine, PEG-7 glyceryl cocoate, and chamomile.  You may not see all of these ingredients in your cleanser, but try for one, especially glycerine if you have dry skin.

Toners are used to completely remove the cleanser from your skin,
they help to put a balance in your personal pH levels and can be beneficial to restoring the moisture to your skin.  Nars makes a lovely toner; Multi-Action Hydrating Toner.  This Toner is free of synthetic fragrance, parabens, oil, and alcohol.  Just what you want.

Finally, the moisturizing part.  If you have acne prone skin, or oily skin, you want to stay away from products with petroleum, mineral oil kiehlsor silicones.  You may not need any moisturizer in the summer, but in winter, you should look for something to give your skin an added layer of protection from the elements.  Something oil-free or water based and lightweight.  Kiehl’s Oil-Free Lotion is a nice choice, or look for Burt’s Bees Natural Acne Solutions Daily Moisturizing Lotion (Amazon).  If you have normal or dry skin, checkout Neutrogena Healthy Defense Daily Moisturizer SPF 50.  Yes, you still need SPF in the winter.  This moisturizer is lightweight and doesn’t leave a light cast on your skin, despite the high SPF.  For a basic daytime moisturizer, CeraVe Facial Moisturizing Lotion AM is a nice option.  This product has ceramides and niacinamide which are ingredients you want in your daytime moisturizer.

If your skin is extremely dry, and you live in a northern climate, you can also add a little facial oil to your non-spf moisturizer.  Don’t add abobbi brown facial oil facial oil to your moisturizer if it has spf in it, it will break down the spf.  I like Bobbi Brown’s Facial Oil.  I use it after toning, before moisturizing during the winter months.

Now you should be all set.  You’ve upped your water intake, you have added more healthy fats to your diet, and your skincare regime is set to maintain happy skin.  The only addition to this would be a dose of exercise, something to move the blood along, and perhaps a big smile to complete the look.

smile

Holiday Sparkle and Shine

sephora holiday

The holiday season is here and the next two weeks are the biggest celebration weeks of the year.  Now is the time to escalate your sparkle and shine (my favorite time of the year).  If you’re like me, you may think you just want to throw some glitter on your face  and that is all you need.  Hmm…well…not quite.  On the other hand, if you’re not careful and youglitter fallout don’t use the right products, you may end up with glitter all over your face, and, more than likely, that’s not the look you’re going for.

The eyelids are the most popholiday glitterular spot for maximum glitter and if you’re not careful, you may end up with a lot of fall-out.  Fall-out is when the pigment of the product you’re applying does not stay where you want it.  Instead, it goes all over your face where you don’t want it.  Glitter is exceptionally prone to fall-out, ending up under your eyes and on your cheeks, not on your eyelids.

The best way I have found to keep the glitter or sparkle where you want it mac painterlyis to make it stick.  You can use a sticky eyelid primer such as MAC’s Pro-Longwear Paint Pot.  I use the color “Painterly” most often, it blends with the color of my lids.  I use a lighter color (“Soft Ochre”) when I want to lighten things up, and a darker color (“Blackground”) when I’m going for a more smoky eye look.  Another cream shadow option is bobbi brown cream shadowBobbi Brown’s Long-Wear Cream Shadow, which comes in large selection of nudes and a rainbow of colors.  You can also use a gel liner for the base but a gel liner is more difficult to blend out and it dries faster.  I find it easier to work with a cream shadow or a eye primer.

If you want to use a primer, try Shadow Insurance by Too Faced (which comes in several shade options) or Nars eyelid primer.  I like both of these because they lay evenly, no clumping, and they do not crease.

One word of caution, when doing any type of smoky eye or a party look, I like to do all of my eye makeup first, this way if I need to clean up anything that may have landed in an area that I did not intend for it to land, I can easily clean it up without disrupting my face makeup. Or, you can dust a translucent powder under your eyes for easy cleanup. e552 brush

After you apply your sticky base, take a flat eye brush (one such as a
MAC’s 247 brush or the E55 brush by Sigma).  Lay your brush down onto the glitter and then lightly pat it onto your eyelid.  Do not brush it on.   You can also use a mixing medium to adhere the glitter.  MAC’s Fix + works well for this, just spray MAC Fix itonto your brush and then lay into the glitter. It is important you do not get glitter in your eye, please be careful and do not get glitter in your eyes!

If you want to have some sparkle on your eyes but not the full on effect of glitter, you can use a shimmery eye shadow or you can use a sparkly eye liner.  TSmashbox-Double-Exposure-Palettehe Smashbox Double Exposure is a lovely sparkly palette. Make Up For Ever (MUFE) makes a nice selection of individual glitter and sparkly eye shadows.

stila glitter eyelinerNYX, Stila and Urban Decay make excellent glitter eye liners.  Of these, I prefer Stila.   By using a shimmer eye shadow and a glitter eye liner, you can get a nice amount of sparkle and shine without feeling like a neon light in a room of darkness. glitter liner

But what if you want a matte eye look, but still want a bit of sparkle?  Go for a shimmery highlighter or a sparkly lip gloss.  Dior came out with a beautiful palette
this holiday, the ‘Couture Creations’ Palette.  Along with the four stunning shadows there is a Diorific Face Powder in #001 Rose d’Or.  This is a very sparkly highlighter.  If you’re applying this, use a fan brush – yes, there is a use fordior palette a fan brush!  I recommend this palette for people with light to medium skin tones.  For a less expensive sparkle on the tops of the cheekbones, over the brows and on the cupid bow, I suggest checking out Burberry’s single eye shadows, several work well as a highlighter.  If you’re in the Walnut Creek, California, Nordstrom, ask for Susie Dragoni, she is an expert when it comes to anything Burberry Cosmetics.

becca goldenIf you’re looking for a highlighter that shimmers and glows, instead of the sparkle, check out Becca.  This company makes several gorgeous highlighters which have shimmer, not sparkle.  The Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector in “Golden Opal Pearl” has a cult following. It is that good.

Finally, for just a touch of sparkle, something for a daytime holiday party, look for a sparkly lip gloss.  Bobbi Brown makes my favorite shimmer lip gloss, “Pink Sequin”, bobbi brown shimmer lip gloss“Bellini” and “Pink Tulle” are gorgeous  You can keep the sparkle and shine off the eyes and cheeks, but still have a festive look with a shimmer lip gloss.

Please keep in mind that it is usually best to limit the sparkle to one area on your face.  If you add too much glitter or sparkle, it may clash and cause confusion to your look.

Happy Celebration Time!

Multi Colored Star Confetti