Thursday, September 19, 2013

Dry Brushing

Besides telling all you pretty kitties about makeup products that I love, I also love to tell you about skin care, not only for your face but for your body as well. Not only do I like to share product information with you, I love to share tips and tricks that you can do in the privacy of your own home so you can get the most out of your skin. 
It is here that I will share with you the secret of
dry brushing!
This is one of the simplest things you can do for your skin.
Why should you do it? 
There are 3 major benefits to dry brushing your skin:
  • Exfoliation-Removing dead skin from your body only results in 1 thing! Younger, smoother skin! Yay!
  • Increases Blood Flow-You know what lack of blood circulation causes? Cellulite! You know what happens when you increase blood circulation? Buh Bye cellulite! (maybe not completely but it will reduce it)
  • Stimulates the lymphatic system-This aides in overall health as it will help remove toxins from your system. 
So it's simple. The goal is to dry brush once a day. I will admit that I don't do this as much as I would like because I'm a muppet and sometimes remember while in the shower and my skin is already damp.You want to start with dry skin so the best time to do this is right before showering (or whenever you remember but your skin, and the brush, must be dry). Using a natural bristle brush, brush the skin upwards towards your heart. Brush in sections, for example, start with your calves, work your way up to your thighs, your booty, your belly-you get the picture. I have read that you only need to brush an area once or twice-I probably brush around 10 times then jump in the shower. Your skin has now been exfoliated, which means you're getting rid of the old skin cells and bringing on the newer and healthier ones. This is also the perfect time to add products with nutrients and antioxidants because exfoliation aids in the absorption of whatever products you will now apply. You can also add an anti-cellulite treatment for a double whammy against cellulite! 
Take that cellulite! 

If you are going to dry brush before showering, I would advise against any additional exfoliation in the shower. You don't want to irritate the skin!

Until next time,
it's smooth skin sailing!

Monday, September 16, 2013

Montagne Jeunesse Face Masque

As part of my new skincare regimen (that I still haven't told you about besides the retin a), I have decided to add some face mask's  to the mix. I love doing my yogurt mask but stopped that when I started using RetinA because I didn't want too much exfoliation going on.

During the sticky, humid summer, I decided I needed an clay mask to suck the sweat and oil out of my pores. Sounds sexy right?
I decided to try Deep Cleansing Clean-Up Mud with Aloe Juice for Blemish Prone Skin by Montagne Jeunesse. Sounds very fancy doesn't it? I found this in Stop&Shop. It cost $1.59 for .7 oz. I got about 4 uses out of it. I decided to try it because the ingredients were natural without anything that I wasn't familiar with.

Aqua (purified water), Kaolin (natural clay), Hamamelis Virginiana (distilled witch hazel), Glycerin (plant origin), Illite (mediterranean clay), Bentonite (natural clay), Magnesium Aluminum Silicate (natural clay), Sea Salt (dead sea salt), Salix Nigra (willow)Bark Extract, Glucose (sugar), Romarinus officinalis (rosemary) Leaf Oil, Xanthan Gum (natural thickener), Allantoin, Aloe Barbadenis (aloe vera) Leaf Juice, Camellia Sinensis (green tea) Leaf Extract, Panax Ginseng, Root Extract, Oenothera Biennis (evening primrose) Flower Extract, Citric Acid, Lactoperoxidase (milk origin), Glucose Oxidase (sugar origin), Limonene.

I really liked it a lot-it made my skin super smooth and I did not breakout which is always a big plus!

I liked the clay masque so much, I decided to try a few more. I purchased Fruit Smoothie Deep Pore Cleansing Masque, also A Very Berry Ultra Moisturizing and Cleansing Masque. I have not tried them yet, however I did not read the ingredients list until I got home and unlike the Clay Masque, these two have fragrance and some colorants such as Red Lake added, so I'm not too sure about these two. I'm not particularly pleased and based on that info alone, I don't know if I would re-purchase. 

I am all for purchasing the higher end products and I believe everyone needs a good quality clay or charcoal mask as they draw out the impurities in your pores, however if your pocket can't handle the more expensive ones, then the Montagne Jeunesse Clean Up Mud is a really great buy. The jury is still out on the other two products. 

These products are manufactured in the UK and they have the Leaping Bunny symbol on them which means they do not test on animals. They are also approved by the Vegetarian Society, if that matters to any of you and they are also Green Approved. 

If you want to learn more about Montagne Jeunesse

Until next time, 

Retin A and Beautiful Skin

Oh hello there!
Time for our lesson on Retin A.

So Retin A is basically a topical form of vitamin A that helps the skin renew itself. It works by increasing skin cell turnover promoting the extrusion of the plugged material in the follicle. It also prevents the formation of new comedones. 

Retin A was introduced over 30 years ago to help people who suffered from acne. However there were some side effects. Besides clear skin, people were also reporting more youthful plump skin, even skin tone and disappearing wrinkles! Say whaaa? I think I hear butterflies and fairies singing...

Retin A is an exfoliate, which means it will gently dislodge dead skin cells, cleaning  pores and bringing pimples and blackheads to the surface to be obliterated forever (or until you stop using it). It also stimulates collagen, giving you that plump, healthy skin you had in your 20's. 

Prior to starting my Retin A regimen, I researched it and was a bit scared of what I found. So before you get all this beautiful, youthful skin back, you have to go through hell first. Apparently, you will have the worst skin of your life before you have the best skin of your life. You reportedly, have horrendous breakouts. If a pore is clogged, the only way for it to be cleared is for it to come out. Usually in the form of a pimple. In addition to the worst breakouts, you will also have dry, flaky, peeling, irritated skin. Sounds like a blast.

As someone who was going to be using Retin A for an adult (teenage) acne problem, this sounded terrifying. I asked my derm about this and she said I shouldn't have a problem with it and anyone who has these issues, goes in too fast and doesn't follow the rules.

So there are some rules with Retin A that need to be followed. 

First-You know how they suggest you apply your moisturizer to damp skin, such as right after you wash your face or get out of the shower?
The suggestion is to wait 15-30 minutes after washing your face. I wait about 30-60 minutes after just to be safe. This rule is probably good to follow with any strong exfoliate such as AHA/BHA. 

Second-You MUST use sun protection. You should always use some form of sun protection, however it is an absolute must when using Retin A (or any exfoliate). Your skin is much more sensitive to the harsh rays of the sun. So slather it on! And use nothing less than a 30 SPF!

I decided to ease in and just dip my toe before jumping in. The first week I used it once ever 2 nights, then I started using it every other night for the next 3 weeks. Then I was using it 2 nights on/one night off. I did that for a month. Finally, 3 nights on/1 night off for 2 weeks and now I am using it every night except for Saturday night. Saturday night is my night off. I don't know why but it has always been that way. I just wash my face and crawl into bed. No products. I suspect it has something to do with drunken Saturday nights in my mid 20's. 

OK, back to the subject~

So 3 months in and so far I love it! I did not experience any of the dreaded breakouts or peeling skin (except for one little area on my nose). 

Any existing acne that I've had is clearing up and I have not had any active breakouts in weeks, which is like a lifetime when you suffer from it. I am really excited to see what my skin will look like 3-5 months from now since they say you won't see the full effects until 6-8 months. 

So for anyone suffering from acne or if you're just looking to give your aging skin a boost, I highly suggest trying Retin A. Remember, you need a prescription for this so get a good dermatologist.
Ease into it and please follow the rules. Also, be sure to invest in a really good moisturizer because you may need it if you start to peel. 

Until next time

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Airbrush Foundation

I am a foundation whore!
And a restaurant whore but that is another post. 

The one product that I am constantly searching for my holy grail is foundation. I switch and sample different foundations constantly! I have tried, in the past few months alone:

  • Eve Pearl-very heavy coverage, texture bordering on oily and clung to any dryness which is not good while you are using Retin-A. 
  • Paula's Choice-very good product, full of good skin stuff but I never got around to ordering online. 
  • Kevyn Aucoin- I love this line but I really disliked this product. The Skin Enhancing Foundation is definitely not for me and the main ingredient is mineral oil, which will break you out in a blink. 
  • RCMA-Fabulous product and in my opinion, the best professional foundation there is. RCMA is made using vegetable oils and waxes with nearly 50 percent pigment, which means high coverage while using less product. RCMA foundations contain no perfumes, animal extracts, mineral oils or lanolin.  
  • Makeup Forever- My go to foundation but still not Holy Grail status, still, highly recommended. I also love their Face and Body Foundation, however it is so heavily perfumed, I refuse to wear it on my face. 
  • L'Oreal-another really good product, especially for a drugstore brand. It is very reasonable so you can purchase a few different shades to mix and match. This is also a fall back foundation for me. 
I am constantly searching online and then going to Sephora to get samples to try before I buy. It is the one product that if I find and love it, I will stick with it for years. But I have to love it. 

Foundation, unlike color products, have 1 main function: to make your skin look the absolute best it can possibly look by evening it out and covering imperfections. With color cosmetics, you tend to switch colors according to your mood and the occasion. You can purchase a bunch of different color lipsticks, eye shadows, blush etc and they can all look fabulous on you but with foundation, you have to match it perfectly to your skin tone so usually, you are choosing only one-maybe two if you are adventurous with your contouring and blending. Plus, it is the foundation of your look, so it has to be the right texture with the right amount of coverage.

*Quick Tip* You should have a foundation that you use in the spring/summer months and one you use in the fall/winter months, due to changes in skin and weather. 

So after seeing a few makeup artist use airbrush makeup without an airbrush machine, I decided to try it for myself. Now I know that some of you airbrush aficionados are probably freaking out but I am a rebel like that and there are no makeup police here. At least not today.

Airbrush makeup has a completely different texture than regular foundations. It is really thin with a very watery consistency. The way airbrush makeup works is instead of applying foundation with a brush or a sponge and blending it into your skin, the makeup passes through a machine creating a very fine mist, hence the watery consistency, and evenly sits on your skin creating that flawless, airbrushed look that everyone is always chasing. You can control the pressure of the mist with the airbrush dial. 

So applying airbrush makeup without a machine took a few tries for me to figure out what worked best. Two different techniques worked well for me so I combined them together. First is with my very clean fingers. I apply 1 drop to the back of my hand and apply to the skin. This stuff dries pretty much on contact so you have to work fast. I work in sections and use 1 drop per section. 1 drop for cheeks, 1 drop for chin, nose and forehead. It should take around 2-3drops to cover the whole face. The second is putting a drop on a flat foundation brush and again working in sections, patting it onto the skin. I do both, first applying with my fingers and then taking a drop on the brush and patting wherever needs more blending or more coverage. I wouldn't even attempt using a sponge, the foundation would just be sucked up into the sponge and wasted. 

The makeup that I used is Dinair and I must say, Dinair's customer service is fantastic! You can send them a photo of yourself and they will match your skin to the proper foundation color. They then keep you informed every step of the way so you know exactly where your product is from packaging to delivery. This product works well for me because of the formulation. It is not heavy at all, therefore it does not settle into fine lines or pores. It just looks like skin. I know all foundation should just look like skin but I feel like this gives you a better version of your own skin. Foundations in general, should even out your skin tone, cover imperfections and create a smooth texture to your skin, however sometimes it can make your skin look older by magnifying wrinkles and pores. This just does not do that at all. If it looks this good with applying it in an unconventional way, I could just imagine what it would look like if I applied it properly. So this has made me really consider investing in an airbrush machine or at the very least one of those spray foundations in a can.

I give Dinair and applying airbrush makeup without a machine 2 thumbs up! 
Try it out and tell me what you think! 
Until next time kitty cats!