Thursday, September 29, 2011

Beauty Tips for the Ladies

I know I'm always interested in hearing the beauty rituals and secrets of others, so I decided I would share some of my own for those that are interested.

Washing and restyling your hair daily should be a crime. I don't care how oily you think your hair is and how badly you think it needs a daily shampooing, you're wrong. I have very oily skin and hair. By washing your hair daily, you're forcing your scalp to work overtime producing and replenishing the natural oils that you strip out. Your hair may be too oily because you wash it too much. Is it oily at the scalp but frazzled toward the ends? Then yes, you need to ease up on the washing. Dry shampoo works wonders. I personally prefer salon brands, but many of them can be purchased at CVS at lower prices. And if you don't want to spend that much, go for Tressemme Fresh Start. It gets the job done. If you're one that prefers styled hair daily, pile your hair into a loose bun or scarf before bed to help preserve the style. In the morning use dry shampoo if needed and do a quick touchup with the flat or curling iron. All that shampooing and blow drying does irreparable damage to the cuticle. I only wash my hair three times a week, and I use dry shampoo or a ponytail the rest of the time. So shoot me. My hair loves me for it.

Nail Care:
I always had incredibly thin and flimsy nails. They grew super fast, but broke before they got to real lengths. I used to get acrylic overlays to keep them strong, but that required so much money and upkeep, and it damaged my natural nails. If you have the same issues, go to Sally's and get Nail Magic. I've been using it as directed for a year, and I am convinced that it really is magic. You have to use it according to the directions so I suggest getting the larger bottle. Stick to it! Eventually you won't have to use it as often. My nails are long and stronger, and they're healthy and natural. Manicures are a heck of a lot cheaper than full sets, overlays, and fill-ins.

Hands give away our age when not properly cared for, and proper care is easy. No nail biting, no picking, and use hand cream often. You choose the hand cream, just use it. Simple.

Eyelashes get thinner and shorter with age. It just happens. False eyelashes are always an option, and I'll admit I indulge on occasion. Once again, however, I've always felt that natural is better. There are prescriptions available now, but insurance doesn't cover costs of the product, and often not the doctor visit either. I've been using drugstore brand L'oreal Lash Boosting Serum for a few months. I won't say the results have been drastic, but I have noticed a positive difference. Before I began using it my eyelashes could rarely be seen when I had on liquid eyeliner and eyeshadow for a night out, which is why I resorted to using falsies. Now, however, they still stand out when I've got a full eyelid of makeup. They're noticeably longer and slightly thicker. The real gain is when I'm not wearing heavy eye makeup. They look great because they stand out so much more with just a quick coat of mascara.

Stop overtweezing and overwaxing, ladies. The more you abuse them now, the less you'll have when you're older. If you keep plucking those hairs, they will eventually pull a permanent disappearing act. I can't speak for women that have naturally thin or short brows. I'm too busy trying to turn my one brow into two. But I am so thankful for my thick brows. They give me freedom to shape them how I want. Too many women (and salons) overshape their brows. So you saw a girl in a magazine and liked the shape of her brows. That doesn't mean it works for you. Your brows should follow the shape of your natural browbone. Super high arches and sharp angles are so unflattering, even if you don't think so. And your brows should begin at least even with the inner corner of your eye, and they should extend past the outer corner. This obviously may not be the case for those that have naturally tiny brows. Lightly penciling in thinner areas isn't a crime, it's a must. Don't be embarrassed, everyone does it! Just don't overdo it. It should look like a natural eyebrow, not a drawn cartoon one.

Exfoliation is so important. It keeps your skin brighter and smoother, and it makes hair removal more successful. The brand or type of exfoliant that you use is not important, just as long as you use it. Not everyday, of course. You don't want to walk around looking and feeling red and irritated. Two times a week for serious exfoliation. When it comes to moisturizing, less is really more. Our skin is equipped with the mechanisms it needs to stay hydrated with natural oils. By slathering on loads of lotions and creams everyday, you're teaching your skin that it doesn't need to produce any oil to stay hydrated. Instead of tricking your skin, allow it to do its job. Our skin loses a lot of moisture during a hot shower. The hot water draws out the moisture, and a lot of it evaporates with the water and is whisked away with the towel. When you're still wet in the shower, apply a body oil to seal in the natural moisture. Don't overuse it like you would lotion. It isn't really a moisturizer, and you only need a small amount to lightly coat your skin and seal in all the goodness. Then gently pat dry with a towel or just throw on a robe and air dry. I prefer the baby oil gels. One thing to remember when using body oil is to use care when you plan to wear satin, silk, or like fabrics. It will stain them!

Our faces are so important because they also truly reveal our age if not properly cared for. Washing off makeup before bed is a must. Adequate water intake is a must. A (at least somewhat) healthy diet and adequate sleep are essential. Because we all have different skin types and skin issues it's difficult to recommend products that work for everyone, but there are a couple that everyone should use. Eye cream. SO important. The skin around our eyes tends to age more quickly than the rest of our face. More prone to wrinkles, dull skin, puffiness, etc. I personally have hereditary dark circles as well. I use Olay Total Effect Eye Transforming Cream. Pick the one you like best, BUT USE IT TWICE A DAY EVERYDAY. Be gentle when applying it. The skin is sensitive. Gently pat it on with your weakest fingertip (generally the ring finger of your lesser used hand) until it is absorbed. Another important area that many women ignore is the throat. Have you ever seen an older woman whose face looked great for her age, but her neck gave it away at first glance? Use a sculpting cream, or at least a heavy moisturizer, daily on your throat and jawline. You'll thank yourself for it later in life. I use Olay Regenerist Micro-Sculpting Cream.

Kick your chapstick addiction! Our lips are just like our skin. They become dependent on chapstick if overused. Keep them protected in cold months and out in the sun, but wean yourself off the chapstick/lip gloss dependency. In my experience the plumpers and whatnot never made much of a long term difference, so I stay au naturale aside from lip gloss or red lipstick when getting dolled up.

There is a time and a place for being completely dolled up, but it isn't all the time and everywhere. Your skin isn't happy being painted everyday. I only use a very light translucent mineral powder on a daily basis. I had to start taking better care of my skin in order to get away with this, as I had previously worn foundation everyday. If you constantly make your skin up, it won't impress you when you don't. Give it some credit and let it shine through. It may surprise you after awhile. When I do get dolled up for special occasions I prefer Estée Lauder Double Wear foundation. I love it. It's expensive, but worth it since I don't use it often. When it comes to eye makeup, blush, etc, I've found that brands aren't all that important. They basically all do what you want them to do, and it's up to the discretion of the one who has to apply and wear it.

So, that's my spill. If you attempt to change your routine and follow any of my tips, I advise you not to expect immediate results. Much like a woman, our bodies occasionally do not know how to react to being treated well after years of mistreatment. They need some time to adjust. Stick to it for a few weeks or a month, and then make a decision. Good luck! :)

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