Beauty Determined Scientifically

Oil Me Up!

oil dropMy dear readers- you may have wondered what happened to me or you may not have missed me at all (is anyone even reading this ?!). I apologize for my cyberspace disappearance but I was taken captive by my real (read: paying) job. The good news is that I’m back with renewed energy, refocused priorities, and some exciting news ahead! Stay tuned for developments and the big unveiling of the new Beautyds.

Until then I hope that this post finds you cozy, warm, and enjoying the recent Northeastern snow storm and arctic temps from you the comfort of your own home. But while you are bundled in layers of clothing, protected by indoor heating did you know your skin is being stripped of essential lipids? Think you’re safer outside? Not a chance! There’s nothing more whipping winds and sub-zero temps love more than depleting your skin of moisture. Winter is definitely not your skin’s best friend- the double whammy of indoor heating and environmental elements leaves skin parched and depleted. Add in your normal exfoliating and cell turnover boosting facial treatments and your skin is left barrier-less!

Skin and it’s protective barrier requires a delicate balance of lipids (or oils) and water, when these elements are stripped the skin becomes dry, dehydrated, itchy and red. Luckily facial oils (my fav is Rodin Olio Lusso) can quickly rehabilitate skin back to life! Feeding it with essential oils, these nourishing treatments replenish lost natural lipids, prevent further water loss, and act as a fortress fortifying skin from environmental elements to allow for repair. But before you nix this recommendation for fear that oils will clog your pores, make you look like a grease ball, or stain your pillows use these easy tips to make facial oils your BFF.

How to Use Facial Oils:
1. Always apply on damp skin. A few drops, 3-4 that’s really all that is needed, will lock in moisture and restore skin dewiness. Massage the oils for optimal penetration.
2. For severely parched skin apply a moisturizer on top to seal the oil in skin. This will deeply nourish skin. If you have combo or normal skin
I would only do this once or twice a week. Severely dry skin can tolerate this boosted treatment more frequently.
3. For combo skin or if you’re concerned about over doing it, you can mix a drop or two of the oil with your moisturizer. This is also great to do in the mornings when layering makeup on top of your moisturizer.
4. Facial oils can also enhance skin’s tolerance to exfoliating ingredients. During the Winter skin can often become sensitized to retinoids, exfoliating acids, or aggressive facial treatments. Apply the facial oil underneath these products to increase skin’s tolerance without compromising on efficacy.
5. Use cleansing oils like the Shu Uemura Cleansing oils to prevent harsh stripping of the skin. Many facial cleansers and especially gel cleansers remove all oils from the skin which only exacerbate dryness. An added bonus is that oil cleansers are extremely efficient in removing makeup!

Usage tip: Other body parts can also enjoy the benefits of these facial oils! Tame hair flyaways with a sparse amount of oil. I recommend applying one drop on a toothbrush and then using run the toothbrush through unruly strands. Alternatively these nourishing oils can also replenish damaged hair ends to restore luster and detangle. Apply a few drops on mid-length to ends. Leave on for 30 minutes and then shampoo. And don’t forget about your dry knees and elbows! Apply a few drops to these areas after getting out of the shower for hydrated skin.

The result: Fortified, dewy, healthy skin!


What It All Means

NeutrogenaThe real question is not “to be or not to be”  but rather “sun: friend or foe?.” With one person dying every hour in the US of melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, and with each year there are more new cases of skin cancer than the combined incidence of cancers of the breast, prostate, lung and colon, the proverbial question has become the rhetorical question. But as consumers we are at a total loss in understanding how to practice proper sun safety. The market is saturated with all types of products from clothing to detergents to pills that purport sun protection and the mass confusion is only compounded by the fact that the FDA has issued new labeling guidelines for all sunscreens so your favorite sunscreen may look a bit differently on-shelf or even worse disappear altogether!

In trying to clarify for consumers the level of UVA and UVB protection a sunscreen product truly provides the FDA has issued new testing criteria to evaluate the protective efficacy of products containing UV filters. As a result of these new tests, products containing SPF protection have to abide by a standardized labeling nomenclature so that essentially all product claims become uniform. But what does it all mean, and how do you as consumer know what product is going to provide the best level of protection against UVA and UVB? We’ve decoded all the regulations and here is what you need to be looking for the next time you buy any type of product containing UV protection.

1. Always use at least an SPF 30! The FDA has confirmed that the minimum amount of daily UV protection required must be an SPF 30 or higher. In fact products containing less than SPF 30 protection must include warnings on the package stating that the product does not protect against skin cancer and sun-induced premature aging! My school of thought? SPF 30 is adequate for daily protection, meaning your time outdoors is limited to an hour or less as you commute to and from work, run errands or just casually walk around outside. If you’re outdoors for more than an hour or two opt for a product with at least SPF 50 protection and ideally something higher like SPF 80.

2. Broad spectrum is an absolute must! Prior to these new regulations basically any product containing UV filters “known” to protect against UVA rays could claim broad spectrum protection against both UVA and UVB rays. Now any product claiming “broad spectrum” must pass a test showing protection against UVA rays. If a SPF containing product does provide protection against UVA and UVB, it will clearly say “Broad Spectrum” on the front. If not, expect to see another health warning on the back!

3. All sunscreen textures are not created equally! After further review the FDA has found that certain textures like powders, wipes and hair products do not provide adequate UVA and UVB protection and while these type of products are not completely banned it is advisable to not rely on them to provide any sort of protection. Instead layer a SPF moisturizer (with SPF 30 and broad spectrum protection of course!) under your powder.

Usage tip:  For optimal protection remember to apply your SPF product at least 15 minutes before going outside and reapply diligently every two hours!

The result: Yes 90% of visible aging is caused by sun exposure but now with the right protection you could potentially be ageless!


Spring’s Color of Pale

Chanel FrenzyFashion and beauty have become a landmine of oxymorons. The new black is white?! Floral prints are psychedelic graphics?! And natural makeup looks are made up bold, juicy lips?! So it should come as no surprise that Spring’s hottest nail color is not a bright coral or bold red. Established by the trendsetting Chanel (they are so ahead of the trend that they had originally released it for Fall) this nextgen greige/shroom color actually let’s your nails complement the rest of your Summer attire rather than being the main attraction.

Shown on all the Spring/Summer 2013 runways, these “pale nails” were democratically used by all types of  fashion designers from the sophisticated, classic labels like Chanel and Valentino to the downtown hipster brands like Rag & Bone to new, chic like Stella McCartney and Marc Jacobs. So basically there’s no excuse that you should not be wearing this color…NOW!!! As always I defer to the original, Chanel’s nail polish in Frenzy. The color is a  last coup d’etat from former Chanel Beauty Creative Designer, Peter Phillips, who departed the label he made famous for garnering over $100 per coveted, limited edition nail polish bottle on eBay. The polish is the perfect mix of milky, greige without being too white or too gray. Two coats gives nails a sheer wash of neutral sheen that accentuates nails, three coats gives opaque, full coverage. Either way the color allows the rest of your Summer wardrobe like the bold, psychedelic printed graphic dresses to shine and it supports bright, bold lips, Summer’s other hottest makeup trend. For once your nails are not going to be the headliner but rather the supporting act. They are definitely a more sophisticated and fresh way of doing neutral nails vis-à-vis the pale pinks of the world and the added bonus is the color has an elongating effect making all fingers appear slim and long.

Usage tip: Keep nails short and shaped square with rounded edges.

The result: Glamorous nails!


Spring Switch

Bold lipsI’m always amazed that at the first sign of warmer temps and Spring like conditions we all shed our thick, wooly layers for short, light airy garments… almost a little too quickly! Perhaps we are just desperate to escape the memories of blistering cold winds, puffy jackets and gray days that we feel the immediate closet switch will tell the weather gods that it is finally time to usher in Spring and Summer. And while the weather gods may not always listen (see unprecedented snow storms in Colorado) making frolicking in sandals and bare legs impossible, you can still usher in vibrant Spring in other ways.

Straight from the Spring/Summer runways from New York to Paris to Milan is bold, colorful, juicy lips. A nod to the brighter, lighter days ahead there’s nothing that says sun, beach and warm like fruit inspired color. With options oozing from each brand and different tonal palettes to suit every skintone there’s really no excuse not to paint your lips this Spring/Summer. The first choice you must make is color family- essentially red or pink? Then within those two hues lies a multitude of endless options. Let’s start with red. You can be a traditionalists and stick with cherry red, in which case YSL Rouge Pur Couture lipstick in Blood Red will be your cup of tea. Need something with a bit more of a twist? I covet Nars Red Square that has a hint of tangerine. Floral enthusiasts may like MAC’s Sheen Supreme Lipstick in  Korean Candy which is more of a poppy red. Challenge yourself to step outside of your comfort zone. Bold lip colors lend themselves to exploration and you might be surprised as to what looks good on you. My more olive skin tone readers will find the hints of tangerine and poppy to be quite complementary to their complexions. If pink is more your style then try Stila After Glow Lip Color in Festive Fuchsia for a more traditional look. But Spring is about bold, bright, juicy Fuchsia tones so I encourage you to jump right into Nars Satin Lip Pencil in Yu or Jardin de Plantes. With hints of a blue undertone, both shades look stunning on fair and Mediterranean skintones alike. However, if you prefer a more watermelon pink tone the try MAC’s Sheen Supreme Lipstick in Insanely It which has enough shine to remind you of a juicy, watery watermelon. Of course you can be like me and just try them all. Afterall there’s at least 100 days of Summer so there’s plenty of time to explore!

Usage tip: Stock up on many of these lipsticks at Sephora now and take advantage of their 15% off VIB beauty event with code VIBCHIC until midnight tonight. The key to the bold lip look is to keep the rest of the face very natural. Stick with fleshtone lids, a hint of mascara and a light dusting of bronzer.

The result: Be careful of people trying to take a bit out of you because you will really be that juicy!

 


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