Tag Archives: anti-aging

Sassy’s Lifesavers (Part Two)

14 May

In a previous post, I wanted to share my skin care routine with my readers and followers. I know that many of us are dazzled by makeup and all the colors and techniques that go with it. Before you can have any glamour look amazing on your face, you need a good canvas. A clean, fresh slate to work your color magic on. When I first got into the skin care and makeup industry, I learned how important it was to have your skin in the best condition possible. Otherwise, your makeup just won’t look its best. I’m often reminded of the story of the farmer that couldn’t understand why his barn always looked old even though he would try to put a fresh coat of paint on it every year. Why did it look sloppy? Because the farmer didn’t “prep” the barn before painting it. He didn’t remove the old paint, sand down the rough spots, wash it thoroughly or treat the wood properly. He just kept slapping on new paint without taking care of the barn first. Your face is the exactly the same way. You need to treat your skin to give you the best base you can before you add any color.

I mentioned before that a morning skin care routine should go as follows:
• Cleanse
• Tone
• Vitamin C & Antioxidant Serums
• Moisturizer/Eye Cream
• (Sunscreen)
• Primer
• Foundation

An evening skin care routine show be:
• Cleanse
• Exfoliate (2-3x a week)
• Mask (1x a week)
• Night Serum
• Moisturizer/Night Cream

Although it sounds simple—and it should be—it can be difficult to get into the routine if you haven’t had one before. You need to take some time to make sure you are getting what your skin needs, with ingredients that are pure and healthy, targeted to do what you need for your skin’s concerns. I am an exception to the rule with my skin being “normal”. I will say, however, that it took MANY years of right’s and wrong’s to get it that way. When you do some research, try some products and get what is right for you, you will notice the change in the way your skin looks and feels very quickly. The clock is going to keep ticking when it comes to your skin… the best we can do is give it what it needs to slow that down as much as possible.

Part One we covered my morning routine. Today let’s talk about the evening:

Before Bed Routine

Cleanse:
Same As The A.M.

You don’t need special products to clean your face in the evening. Your morning cleansers work just as good. Follow the directions and use them just as you would before you put on your daily makeup.

Exfoliate:
This is where things can get a little “sensitive”. Literally. Anyone who has sensitive skin knows that many exfoliators can have ingredients that can be irritating, burning, harsh or down right painful for your face. This may take some different trial products to find the ones you like. I seriously suggest you go to a makeup store (like Ulta or Sephora) to get samples of the ones you may want to try, just to use them a few times before making the final purchase. Another idea may be to sign up for a glamour subscription (like “Ipsy” or “How to be a Redhead”) and try some of their suggestions. The only negative about that is you have no idea what you will get and won’t be able to research ingredients or reviews first. Depending on your skin type or what you want your mask to do, you may just want to do a search of these products and read which ones are fan favorites.

For me, I absolutely love Albertini International’s Warm Love Exfoliating Mask. This came as a sample in my H2BAR’s October subscription box and it was not just great for fall but for any time of the year. It does say “mask” however I tend to just rub it on my face (it will get a little warm and tingly as it stimulates blood flow) and rinse off with cool water. It’s a gentle scrub that doesn’t irritate my skin at all.

Another one of my favorites is BeFine’s Exfoliating Cleanser. When you use this product 2-3 times a week, you can eliminate your cleansing step that day as this does both. This natural gem is filled with brown sugar for a light scrub, ginger root extract for detoxifying, sweet almond oil to keep your skin’s moisture balance, and orange oil to help heal skin imperfections. This non-irritating healthy cleansing scrub clears away dull damaged skin that can accumulate after a couple of days. Your skin will feel soft and will instantly brighten your face.

Mask: Well, that depends…
Masks are essential in your weekly beauty routine because they get “down and dirty” to target problems with your skin. Because of the different brands, formulas and types of masks that target specific issues, giving your skin a treatment mask will help you ultra-nourish your skin with a weekly dose of goodness. They tend to have more precise/stronger ingredients than daily products do. That is why you really only need them once a week.

There are times when I can feel the buildup of environmental “ick”. I think you know what I mean. This is when I use my newest find. Last year, I posted about a new body cream by a company called Rad which I love. A few weeks ago, while killing time at a local mall, I actually saw Rad’s flagship store! I was SOOO excited to go in and meet the owner to rave about how much I loved her products. We chatted and talked for a while, as she remembered me writing about her products. She knew I had sensitive skin (from the article) and insisted I try this face mask that she thought I would like. She was right! Rad’s Skin Psyche Detox Face Mask is incredible. Enriched with ingredients such as Marshmallow Root, Coffee Bean and Jojoba, this mask is blended with essential oils to detoxify the skin by opening pores and drawing out accumulated toxins. After the first time I used it, I can’t begin to explain how soft and healthy my skin felt. The jar is large and you don’t use a lot. Just apply—avoiding the eye area—let sit for 15 to 20 minutes then rinse.

When I am getting ready for a week of photos and need my skin to feel a little more tight and fresh, I fall back on an old-school style peel-off mask by Labotica called Transforming Liquid Foil Mask. There isn’t much this mask doesn’t do, but my main attraction to it is how well it brightens and firms up your skin. Made with nourishing botanical exracts that calm inflammation, this luxurious pearlescent saint goes on like a creamy liquid and dries to a silvery, shiny, peel off mask. I like to make sure it is doing its job, so I let it set about 30 minutes then peel. Get off as much as you can, being careful around the eye area. Any little specks that you can’t peel off will come off with a cotton ball and water or micellar water. I love how my skin looks and feels after this relaxing treat!

Night Serum: TwinMedix Pro: Essentials A15
I bet by now you are seeing a trend with my love of the TwinMedix products. That’s because they work to keep my skin healthy and young looking—hands down. TwinMedix Pro:Essentials A15 night serum is formulated with 0.15% Retinal (pure Vitamin A) and antioxidants to help improve and diminish the appearance of aging skin by softening the look of existing wrinkles and increasing cell turnover to bring younger skin to the surface. Using a small amount over your clean face before bed will leave you waking up to softer, fresher looking skin.

Moisturizer/Night Cream: Lumene Artic Lumenessence Valo Light Overnight Bright Sleeping Cream
Way back, when I first began writing, I had used several of the Lumene products since they were easy to obtain at my local CVS drug store. After a while, two things happened: 1) CVS began to carry less and less Lumene products and; 2) because my skin was way more sensitive than it had once been, I was concerned that this product may not agree with my skin the way it once had. One day, I received an email from a beauty company that asked me to try a moisturizer and give them my feedback. I got a coupon, and out I went. It was Lumene’s Overnight Cream. Awesome! I went out, grabbed a jar, and took it home to try. The first thing I noticed about it was that it had a great citrus scent to it. It wasn’t heavy but it did feel enriching. The jar is decent sized and the amount you need is very little. Plus the added benefit of it containing Vitamin C helps to even skin tone and brighten my face while I sleep.

So that is how Sassy tends to her skin–keeping it soft, smooth and young looking as I try my hardest to fight the hands of time. For someone my age?…. I think I’m winning. Some of my skin care products are a necessity due to my sensitive skin. Others, however, can be used by anyone. Your skin is the biggest organ of your body. If you would do everything you could to make sure your heart and brain were in tip-top shape, why wouldn’t you do the same for your skin. It doesn’t have to be complicated, it doesn’t have to be expensive. Whatever you choose to buy, just make sure you do your research first. Keep yourself looking your best (and youngest) with natural products and ingredients that will fend off Father Time for as long as possible!

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Sassy’s Skin Savers (Part One)

3 Apr

Hello Sassinistas!
Remember me?

If you don’t, I’d understand. My blog has been slacking for WAY too long now and since I finally have a break in the action today, it’s time to sit down, break out the iPad and write! There are so many things changing, growing, building, etc. My time is a whirlwind right now. In addition to writing my blog, I have also found myself doing some writing for new magazines, going on new adventures to learn about different genres to write about, traveling a bit, hiding in my loft because winter sucks, and stuff like that. Oh…. and I’m modeling! Yeah, this “32 and holding” blogger has had the opportunity to do some photo shoots, be featured in a few magazines, and I am loving every second of it! (I’ll show you all a picture or two at the end.)

So I am hanging out here in the Northeast, coming out of a horrible winter of weird snow storms, cold temperatures and unusually wicked winds. I’ve been near ice jams and flooding, had a tree limb fall on my brand new car after a very heavy 15” snowfall, and winds that have knocked down trees and power lines. The calendar says spring, but we are still working on getting there weather-wise. This means the sweaters are still out, boots aren’t tucked away yet, face moisturizers have gotten a little more intense, hand creams are a necessity in every room, and eye creams are being used constantly. During this nasty winter season, I had to reevaluate my skin care routine just a bit to make it a bit more hydrating since the cold temperatures, slapping winds and dry indoor heat really took a toll on my face. I actually signed up for a continuing ed course that helped me organize my skin care routine to make sure I got exactly what I needed to prevent dry skin and wrinkles and keep my skin hydrated. It was such a help!

I learned that a morning skin care routine should go as follows:

• Cleanse
• Tone
• Vitamin C & Antioxidant Serums
• Moisturizer/Eye Cream
• (Sunscreen)
• Primer
• Foundation

My evening skin care routine should be:

• Cleanse
• Exfoliate (2-3x a week)/ Mask (1x a week)
• Night Serum
• Moisturizer/Night Cream

Sounds simple, right?? Well, it is if you are in the skin care/beauty industry because you know what you are looking for. You know your skin and you can tell from the ingredients on the products if it is right for you. I will say, for the record, that I have what the experts call “normal” skin. I seldom have dry skin on my face (or body) with just the occasional dry patch. There is no oil in the T-Zone and blemishes are few and far between. The only thing I do have is sensitive skin. And that is common for most redheads. I think that ingredients in some products can do more harm to sensitive skin than using the wrong products for a special skin type.

After going through my entire routine today, I thought I would give you a list of the products in my skin care line for my face so you can see what I use. Every item in my program can be used by ANY skin type. There are no harsh chemicals, heavy ingredients, drying agents or dyes. Fragrances in the products are either naturally subtle or non-existent. So if you are looking for some great products to get your skin ready for spring, you may want to consider some of the ones I have on my vanity.

Because the list I have is kind of long–explaining each product and why I use it–I’ll post my MORNING routine first, and next week I will post Part Two which will be the evening routine.

Let’s start with the A.M.:

Cleansing: Derma E Essentials Nourishing Rose Cleansing Oil
Just because the name of this products says “oil” doesn’t mean you will feel greasy instead of clean after its use. This cleanser literally dissolves any type of makeup (even long wearing and waterproof) and impurities while nourishing it with skin conditioning organic oils and subtle rose water. Just apply a dime size amount of the Cleansing Oil onto your fingertips, and massage into your face and neck. Rinse with a cloth and warm water. You can also use a pre-moistened facial cloth like Simple’s Sensitive Skin Cleansing Facial Wipes. This can also be used to loosen hard-to-remove eye makeup by massaging a bit onto your eyelids and lashes before wiping clean. Both products can be found at Ulta stores and Ulta online.

Tone: Andalou Naturals Clementine + C Illuminating Toner
Bring your skin to a healthy balance by using a toner before you start to fight the hands of time. This toner contains Vitamin C, Fruit Stem Cell Complex (to increase cell turnover) and super fruit antioxidants to help with improving the skin’s tone and texture. The added boost of Aloe Vera helps to hydrate and calm skin sensitivity. Just a few spritzers on a cotton ball, wiped all over the face (avoiding the eye area) will balance your skin’s pH factor. Available online at Ulta.

Vitamin C/Antioxidant Serums: Twin Medix Pro/Essentials C10 & E5
There is a reason why I am a brand ambassador for this fabulous company….the products are AMAZING! I discovered them at my first Makeup Show in NYC three years ago. I explained to Michelle Shaffer, one of TwinMedix’s founders, that I was looking for a good skin care line that worked together but had formulas with ingredients that could keep myself looking young (even younger if possible) but wouldn’t irritate my sensitive skin. I was given a set of the TwinMedix line and headed home to try it. Wow, the way my skin looked and felt was noticeable right away. The C10 serum is formulated with 10% ascorbic acid (pure Vitamin C) to counteract the look of hyperpigmentation, reducing the appearance of wrinkles for brighter, more even toned skin. The E5 serum is filled with 5% Tocopherol (pure Vitamin E), a powerful antioxidant to protect your skin from oxidation and free-radical damage by locking in moisture and soothing skin exposed to harsh weather and environmental pollution. This is especially helpful for those with sensitive skin because it puts up a “barrier” locking in the skin’s natural moisture and locking out the damaging elements. Paraben-Free, Fragrance-Free and Cruelty-Free, these little gems can be used alternatively from day to day or worn together for extra protection. Available at TwinMedix.com

Moisturizer: Freedom Naturals Calming Moisturizer
Finding the perfect moisturizer isn’t always easy. It’s even more difficult if you have sensitive skin. Sometimes the weather or environment can give your face a tingling or burning sensation… even after just a calming wash. When I opened my “How To Be A Redhead” subscription box in October, I discovered the best moisturizer for when my skin needs hydration but no irritants. This non-greasy formula gets absorbed into the skin so quickly that there is no time to even say the word “oily”. Containing only natural ingredients such as Organic Aloe Vera, Allentown, Arnica and Beeswax (but free from cortisone, parabens and steroids), your skin is sure to thank you. If you are looking for something a little lighter, give Clinique’s Moisture Surge a try. This extremely lightweight gel-cream is infused with aloe water which actually helps skin create its own moisture to give you a plump, dewy, healthy-looking glow. This oil-free moisture magnet continues to generate hydrated skin for up to 72 hours, even after you wash your face. Allergy tested, 100% fragrance free and Paraben free for all skin types. Freedom Naturals Moisturizer can be found at FreedomNaturals.com and Clinique’s Moisture Surge can be found at most cosmetic counters as well as Ulta and Sephora.

Your eyes are a different entity altogether. The skin around your eyes is very, very thin. It’s often referred to as crepe-ish. Because of this, it’s easy for the eye area to get dry which causes wrinkles. Squinting, tugging and aggressive washing can all contribute to wrinkles occurring. Eye creams are specially formulated for that area to give it the hydration it desperately needs. Like other skin products, formula is everything, so test some if you can. If you can’t, check it’s the store to see about their sample or return policy. I have found two eye creams that don’t irritate my skin or eyes and give me noticeable results. Ole Henriksen’s Uplifting Transformation Eye Gel and Benefit Cosmetics It’s Potent Eye Cream. I find that the Ole Henriksen’s Eye Gel is PERFECT for mornings–it helps to reduce the puffiness with its cool gel formula. I like to use Benefit’s Potent Eye Cream since it helps to fade dark circles and restore elasticity and firmness around the eyes while providing much needed moisture. Ole Henriksen’s Eye Gel can be found at Sephora stores and online; Benefit Cosmetics It’s Potent Eye Cream can be found in Ulta stores as well as Ulta.com

Sunscreen: A MUST-HAVE!
I can’t stress enough how important it is to apply sunscreen to your face EVERY SINGLE DAY. Your face is exposed to the sun’s damaging rays even if you aren’t going to the beach for some tanning (which isn’t great either!) The sun’s rays will find you just about anywhere—through your car windshield, through your living room window, coming into your office windows, walking out to get the mail. Face it… even when the sun isn’t out? It’s rays still get through. Some people find that adding this step to your beauty routine just adds another step which can become tedious. That is when it would be better to make sure you can find some SPF in another beauty product that you would normally use every day anyways. I find it easiest to get a healthy dose of facial sunscreen in a product I already have to use. Skincancer.org recommends a broad spectrum (protecting you from harmful UVA & UVB rays) of at least SPF 15 or higher. Some ways you can get this important protection without adding another step to your routine is to find it in a moisturizer, a primer or even a foundation.

Primer: NARS Smooth & Protect Primer SPF 50
Although this product can be optional for some people, I find that a primer is a great way to prep my skin for foundation and makeup, giving me a soft, smooth canvas to “paint” on. Not only do I love this primer for how it makes my skin look and feel, but it also has that high SPF to give my skin the protection it needs. This skin-smoothing formula blurs my skin’s imperfections, prolongs and enhances the look of my makeup, and fights against the sun’s cancer-causing rays. In addition, it contains antioxidants to fight off pollution and environmental aggressors to support healthy skin. Available at Ulta and Sephora, in store and online.

Foundation: Make Up For Ever Water Blend Face & Body Foundation
I have to thank my Makeup Show guru, James Vincent for this fabulous recommendation years ago. Yes, I will admit this is an odd name for a foundation, but it does just that—it provides a sheer yet buildable coverage with a natural-looking, dewy glow and flawless finish. Formulated with 80% water and enriched with pro-vitamin B5, this foundation actually hydrates and improves your skin’s elasticity. With an array of 20 different shades to match all skin tones, this foundation can be used not just on the face but anywhere you want to hide “imperfections”. The formula has a water-gel texture and applies easily, then sets quickly to ensure a transfer-resistant look that will last all day. You may think the cost is a little pricey, but I can tell you that I bought my first bottle—that was not tiny—over two years ago and I JUST ran out. A little goes a long way for a perfect finish.

You are now off to a perfect start for your day–keeping your skin smoother, softer, hydrated and looking younger with a good skin care routine. Remember, don’t hesitate to ask for samples, write down product ingredients, keep track of your favorite products then begin to assemble your daytime skin routine. You may have a few items already that work perfectly for you. That’s awesome! Find where your favorites fit into your routine then go from there. Before you know it, you will have a skin care regimen to help stop the signs of aging, and even reverse some of those tell-tale signs of time.

Stay tuned next week for Part 2–Sassy’s PM routine!!

Foundation Fundamentals From A Pro!

30 Jan

Last year, I had the opportunity to attend The Makeup Show (www.themakeupshow.com) in NYC. I had gone the year before and it literally changed my life. I learned about makeup, skin care, glamour applications, and so much more. I was privileged to be invited back to learn what new products were out, what new makeup techniques were being used and to learn more about the artistry side of the makeup industry. As a sensitive skinned redhead, one of the most challenging things for me to find is the right foundation. Over the years, I have found that MANY individuals are faced with the challenge of finding the perfect foundation. Some have skin that is easily irritated, skin tones that are hard to match and past foundation experiences that do not make us smile. Ugh. The horrors. When I asked the PR director for The Makeup Show who would be the best person or organization to get information about foundation, she immediately said I should talk to Sebastien Tardif, co-founder of Veil Cosmetics (www.veilcosmetics.com). After reading about him more, I knew he would have tips and tricks to help me as well as followers & readers.

Talking to Sebastien was fabulous…he was a plethora of information! He has been working in the skin care and makeup industry for over 15 years. Originally from Canada, he started his career with a well-known brand in the industry overseeing top-tier education for artistry managers oversees. In addition, he was also a key makeup artist and brand ambassador for New York’s Fashion Week. In 2011, he launched Veil Cosmetics and, to date, oversees all aspects of the brand: brand activities, marketing strategies, sales and business development as well as developing the products themselves. He even mentioned that he had worked with many sensitive skinned redheads over the years. In fact, he himself has sensitive skin and understood the problems when it came to foundations and our skin:

Sassy: What made you want to get into the product end of the makeup industry?
Sebastian: “I have always loved makeup and skincare, but wanted to see them integrated a little more. I, too, have very sensitive skin. I knew I could develop products that could do more for the skin than what was out there. That’s basically how Veil Cosmetics came to be. I was inspired by my passion for skin and a fresh, new take on weightless, complexion solutions. My mission has always been to modernize the traditional approach to makeup by revealing gorgeous skin not masking it.”

Sassy: It is very difficult for many to find a perfect shade of foundation. Sometimes it is too dark, too light, too orange, too pink…just not right. What is the best way for people to find the one we need?
Sebastien: “The best way to find the right foundation is to test them! Foundations are mostly based on three hues: pink, neutral and gold. Find a few shades of a foundation brand you like that seem to match your skin tone. Swipe a small, thin swatch of your choices from your jawline towards your cheek–make sure you have no makeup on already! Remember which ones you are wearing then go outside! You want completely natural light around you when you choose your foundation shade. With a mirror, see if the ones you have applied look natural on your skin. If they seem off, then that is not the right one for you. Natural lighting is always best when choosing shades.”

Side note: You can usually find out which hue you are by holding a white tissue up to your clean face and seeing what ‘tint’ your skin has compared to the tissue. Even though I thought my skin was pinkish, the test actually showed I was a neutral! Just that small discovery changed how my foundation now looks on my skin.

Sassy: How does someone goes about picking out the “right” foundation formula? How do we know if we need something with moisture, something oil absorbing, something organic or something else…?
Sebastien: “Many people think price is a major factor, but it doesn’t have to be. You really need to know what your skin needs and what it doesn’t. If you have oily skin, you are most likely going to want a water based formula of foundation. If your skin is normal or dry, you want ingredients that naturally hydrate or moisturize, but avoid products that contain oils—they can clog pores.”

Side note: Since we need need sun protection more than others, it is important to know about different brands and the ingredients they contain. Researching what is in a foundation is important. Ingredients in a product are listed in descending order of what is the majority ingredient followed by smaller, less portioned down the list. Look for things don’t seem right, and if you aren’t sure what it does, research!

Sassy: Why is Veil Cosmetics foundation different from others?
Sebastien: “It has always been easy to cover your skin with a foundation, but what I wanted to create was a foundation that had skin care in it as well. That way, the foundation doesn’t just sit there…it is actually working with anti-aging ingredients built in to keep your face looking smooth, fresh and young!”

Sassy: So a big question that most people have is what is the best way to apply foundation to your face? Any suggestions?
Sebastien: “For starters, begin by putting just a few drops of the foundation on the back of your hand. If you apply foundation directly to your face and use too much, you can over-apply and end up with a cakey look. Put the foundation on your hand, and use your fingers to dot-dot-dot the foundation into your skin by gently pressing it in slowly and precisely. Apply another thin layer if you want to build it up a bit.”

Side note: If your foundation needs a color adjustment, an oil-mattifier or an SPF, you can add it to the drops on the back of your hand, mix it until blended then apply by dot-dot-dotting. If you want more coverage, keep building until you get the coverage and natural look you want.

The composition of foundations is always changing. Newer formulas are always being developed to help people with a variety of concerns for their skin. Veil Cosmetics is different than many foundations on the market right now. It became a popular item amongst makeup artists for films and television. Infused with ingredients that are perfect for brightening, hydrating and soothing, Veil’s products didn’t just look natural under all those bright lights but also enhanced the skin’s natural beauty. It is important that your foundation works well with your skin care routine to continuously smooth and brighten your skin even while wearing all your makeup.

Veil Cosmetics have two ingredients that are extremely helpful to the health of someone’s skin: White Water Lily Extract and Cinnamon Bark Extract. White Water Lily Extract helps to soothe the skin, reducing redness and inflammation. Cinnamon naturally plumps skin by increasing collagen levels. Both ingredients help to reduce the signs of aging, stimulate healing (like what can occur around wrinkles), smooths & hydrates skin and has antiseptic properties fighting off bacteria. This is very important when keeping the skin smooth and toned to prevent aging. If you have had issues with foundations in the past, it is very important to research, read labels and look for ingredients that actually help keep your skin looking and feeling soft, smooth, toned and young. And not just in skin care either but also in color cosmetics as well!

It was great meeting Sebastien Tardif and picking his brain about what us sensitive skinned glamouristas should be looking for in a great foundation, the correct application and ingredients to look for. I enjoyed our time together and he promised me he would keep me updated if he learned or found out anything that would be of help. I look forward to hearing, talking and working with Sebastien again in the future!

If your are interested in the three great products Veil Cosmetics have (Sunset Skin foundation in 12 shades; Sunset Light Primer Serum and Complexion Fix which also comes in 12 shades), you can find them at VeilCosmetics.com. A huge thank you to Sebastien for his generosity and incredible knowledge, and I looking forward to working with him more closely as he continues to develop products and techniques that everyone can benefit from!

PRODUCT REVIEW: ‘Tis the season for…. Exfoliation & hydration

21 Dec

winter
**Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”**

Oh joy, oh joy—winter is upon us. Don’t bother looking at the calendar. I can tell you first hand… it is winter. It’s cold, I’m layering, I’ve been wearing a heavy coat for weeks, I bought new gloves. Three pair. And I even invested in a mini ceramic heater for my vanity room for extra warmth when I put on my morning makeup. When it comes to winter, if it looks like a duck and sounds like a duck…. then it probably flew south already. Just saying.

When the temperatures get colder, taking care of your skin becomes very important. Not only do you need to moisturize more frequently but you will need to possibly use something a bit heavier. This not only applies to your face but to your whole body–head to toe. I recently was sent some items after a product from a distributor in my hometown was featured in the How to be a Redhead subscription box few months back. It was a salt scrub with a nice, gentle scent. When I asked the distributor if there were other products that she liked herself, she sent me some great items to try. I was quite impressed.

shemenlogoLet’s talk about the company for a little bit. Shemen Amour is a woman-owned company that offers a great line of Certified Organic Israeli Dead Sea products. They carry products for face, body and hair for both men and women which is great because men sometimes forget that skincare is just as important for them too. The ingredients in their products have great healing benefits that naturally occur in the minerals and salts found in the Dead Sea. Every product they carry is 100% cruelty-free—part of the Leaping Bunny Program as well as “Beauty Without Bunnies” program certified by PeTA–and is environmentally conscious with each item they carry. That is something that is very important to me.

The local US Distributor was sweet enough to send me a few face and body products to try. I got them very quickly! My first reaction was WOW!—the packaging is huge. You certainly get a lot for your money! I decided to work my way “up” the line in order to give myself a chance to really try them all and see their benefits. Some results took some time to see, some were immediate. I’ll share about each:

img_2922img_2921FEET: Summer is over and it’s time to get rid of “sandal feet” and get them ready for winter. The first thing I used was the Mineral Foot Peeling Cream. I will admit—this was weird! I have used many foot scrubs over the years, but this one confused me at first because it had nothing “gritty” in it. So I wasn’t really sure how it was going to shed the dead skin off my feet. I put a decent amount of the cream in my hand and began to rub my feet with it. HOLY SMOKES! In a matter of seconds, I saw “beads” of dead skin falling off my feet! At first I was shocked but then realized what was happening: I was giving my feet a “chemical peel”. I rubbed the Peeling Cream into both feet for about a minute each then rinsed them with luke warm water in the tub. I could already feel a difference in how smooth my feet felt. It was amazing. Afterwards, I applied the Mineral Foot Cream. I loved how this moisturizer felt on my tootsies. It absorbed quickly, wasn’t sticky or heavy, and made them feel even smoother than before. Again, you don’t need a lot… just a small dollop was enough to moisturize for a day. The scent was gentle as well. I liked that it kept my feet soft even after a few days. It is a really great formula. If you do like things with a soft scent for your feet, they also offer a foot cream with a lavender scent. I tried that one as well and liked it. It seemed to give my feet a gentle cooling sensation as well which was nice.

img_2919-1img_2918BODY: One of my favorite scents when it comes to body products are fruit scents. They awaken my senses and leave my skin feeling and smelling fresh and sweet. When I saw that I got two body products to try from Shemen Amour in a passion fruit scent, I was psyched! The first item was a VERY large “tub” of Aromatic Body Scrub. Enriched with Dead Sea Salt, herbal extracts and nourishing oils including olive, avocado, jojoba, sesame and sunflower, this body scrub exfoliates AND moisturizes at the same time. I found that before I use it, it is really important to SHAKE THE CONTAINER! It will separate if it sits around, so to get the oils into the salts, mixing is really important. It even contains aloe vera so as it removes the dead skin, it soothes too. After the shower, my skin felt smooth and silky… not dry or irritated at all. That is how you want your skin to feel after a mineral salt scrub. When the shower is over, you want to lock in the benefits of the soft skin you have just achieved, and the best way is with a matching body butter. I was sent a “tub” of Shea and Passion Fruit Body Butter to try with it. Again, the scent was awesome! A nice fruity scent without being overpowering. The body butter is enriched with the Dead Sea Minerals as well as vitamins, oils and fruit extracts. It wasn’t “heavy” but it was super moisturizing. The formula did not irritate my sensitive skin, absorbed quickly and didn’t feel greasy. My skin felt noticeably softer to the touch and eliminated dryness immediately. This product is gentle enough to use on your body daily or when you need a boost of moisture… especially this time of year.

img_2920HANDS: I was also sent a tube of the Mineral Hand and Nails cream. We all know that there are endless hand creams on the market with all kinds of ingredients. The thing I like about this hand cream is it doesn’t just moisturize and condition my hands but it also conditions my nails and cuticles. There are a lot of separate products for your nails and cuticles but this one product does both, saving you time and money. The tube is LARGE and I leave it right next to my couch so I can just give my hands a little bump each day, especially this time of year, to keep my nails from splitting, my cuticles from cracking, and my hands from getting rough and dry. If they need a good exfoliating treatment first, rubbing & washing them with some of the Aromatic Body Scrub helps shed the dead skin first before applying the hand cream. An extra boost for those cold months!

img_2924EYES: One thing I learned early on in my glamour career is that there are three areas of the body that will tell your age better than your driver’s license: your hands, your neck and the skin around your eyes. For that reason, you can imagine how many products I have tried for each of those area just to keep my lie about my age as “realistic” as possible. Because of my sensitive skin, the hands and the neck areas aren’t too bad to keep in check. My eye area, however, has been a challenge. I wear contacts, I have allergies, and random things can make my eyes burn terrible. I find that the more natural a product is, the less problems I have with it. That is why I was eager to try the Shemen Amour Black Mud Eye Cream. This cream was actually designed for the sensitive skin eye area. The Black Mud Eye Cream states that it rejuvenates the skin in the eye area, smooths wrinkles, improves elasticity and increases blood circulation which decreases puffiness and dark circles. A product like this doesn’t show the results immediately. Plus, it is the responsibility of the user to make sure it is used day AND night. Apply it with a gentle tapping of the finger under the eyes and around the edges near the temples. Do not get disappointed when you don’t see results in 24 hours. I had been using it about once a day a couple of weeks and did notice some improvement in the fine lines in my eye area, but it wasn’t until I became truly faithful about using it day AND night that I began noticing a significant difference. My fine lines were very less predominant, the skin was much smoother, the dark circles that were beginning had stopped and even lightened. Concealer was now an option—not a necessity. I like the fact too that it is suitable for all skin types. So in the winter when my skin is dryer, I can give my eye area a double dose at night. In the summer, a light layer is more than enough. The jar that it comes in is VERY large and a little goes a long way, but don’t think you have to be stingy with it. It absorbs quickly and if it absorbs very fast, the skin around your eyes may need more than you think. Don’t be put off by its color in the jar either. Just because it is dark like mud doesn’t mean it stays dark on your skin. Once it is absorbed, the color is gone. I really like the Black Mud Eye Cream. I can already see a difference and my sensitive skin and eyes are very happy with it as well!

I am so glad I had the opportunity to try these products, thanks to the lead from my family at How to be a Redhead. You don’t have to be a redhead to enjoy these great beauty products from Shemen Amour. They are on track with other, more known brands as far as treating you with ingredients that will help you achieve or maintain younger, healthier skin. The state of the art minerals and salts found in the Dead Sea give you the anti-aging benefits without heavy chemicals. Anyone who likes to use natural products which are good for the skin would not be disappointed with the product list from Shemen Amour! I am very happy I was able to give them a try and will add them to the products I have come to love over the years.

You can check out their entire line at www.shemenamourusa.com!

30 Days Of Beauty…Day 7

14 Jul

SkincareI have officially taken “slug” to a new level. My 30 Days of Beauty are so behind, I don’t think Red Bull will help me catch up. I don’t have an excuse, but I do have a reason. Seems my “I don’t like to talk about them” health problems have really kicked my ass. I think it’s the heat. And when it’s not the heat, it’s the rain. And honestly where I live, if it isn’t one, it’s the other. So, basically, till this weather trend breaks or fall gets here, I’m screwed. I’m trying like hell not to let it get me, but after about three hours out of the house, I’m done. If any of my readers have silent pain inflictions or auto immune issues, you get what I mean. Because I’m involved in fashion, beauty and glamour, the “Oh you don’t look sick!” statement is heard at least once a week. I realize they don’t know, I don’t feel like explaining, and it’s just easier to smile and take a Xanax. Feel me people.

So instead of doubling up on my posts, I’ll just post when I can, covering all 30 days when I can. No rush, no pressures, and still a success when I finish. Sound good?. Good. So let’s move on to our next topic–skin care. Oh great. I probably talk about skin care here on my blog about 50% of the time. I have sensitive skin. I also have those medical issues that mess with my skin as well–some things make me itch, some additives make my skin warm an/or red, other ingredients can be too drying, some make me blotchy. It’s frustrating to pay a substantial amount of money for an item that will sit or not get used. I’d return products if I knew right away they weren’t going to be good for me, but sometimes I don’t know for several weeks. What’s worse? When they seem fine for a month then I can use them–or return them–at all. Bah.

Over the years, I have found that if I want to take the time and treat my skin to fresh, natural ingredients, my best best is to make my own skin care. It’s not that difficult. In fact it’s easy peasy. The only problem is you can only make a weeks worth for it to stay fresh, and if you are running late in the morning or are too tired at night, taking the time to whip up a batch can be a nuisance. I love the nighttime moisturizer recipe I created on THIS post and that actually lasts for months. My cleansers, however, are “made to order” depending on specific skin issues, season, problem areas, etc. That’s when I do make a batch of cleanser, I look to THIS post to guide me with the ingredients I need. Fresh is best, and I try to stick with that whenever possible.

But let’s take this week, for example. I haven’t felt good at all. Sometimes getting out of bed is a challenge. What can I keep in the bathroom on semi-good days or even next to the bed on super bad days to keep me skin clean, fresh, treated & moisturized? There are a couple of go-to retail products I have had great success with and will always turn to them when I’m just too tired to make my own. I always have in my possession:

imageNalpure’s Coconut & Honey Aloe Cleanser: I don’t know how I got hooked on this, but I did. The title of the coconut and aloe must have done it, since I know how beneficial they are to keeping skin looking young. This thin-based wash is gentle for every day use, day and night. It hydrates, softens, and restores damaged skin. When I can, I wash my face in the sink with it. When I’m having a bad day, I keep a bottle bedside to wash my face with then gently remove all the gook with a cleansing wipe. Good, easy face pampering!

imageSimple Facial Wipes: Whether I use them alone on non-makeup days, or I just use them to remove my other cleanser, these wipes are perfect. They don’t dry out, are perfect for my sensitive skin, soft and effective. They get my face clean without worriers. They come in other “types” but everyone, including me, seems to find these best for the quick & simple face cleanse without anything funky.

imageOle Henriksen’s Ultimate Lift Eye Gel: This is a product that is everywhere in my beauty ensemble. I can’t make anything that does the job like it does. The price may seem steep, but considering I’ve only bought TWO in the 3+ years since I’ve discovered it, I say it’s well with it. Under my skin care in the morning & under my night cream in the evening, this gem helps to reduce puffiness and lifts & firms skin with peptides and hyaluronic acid to reduce the appearance of wrinkles. I noticed an immediate change below and above my eyes. A huge plus for me.

imageHey Honey’s Good Morning: Honey Silk Facial Serum: Yes, samples sell! A few months ago I got a small sample sized tube of this little gem in my monthly Ipsy bag (a glamoursta’s must-have subscription!!). I didn’t notice a ka-pow result right away but after consistent use, I really liked how it balanced my face. It’s ingredients are natural and must-haves when treating your face. I also love how it gives my face a smooth base if you use a natural mineral foundation. Even if you want, you can add this to your evening routine too. A great add on when just chillaxin at home or have a full day ahead.

imagePerfectly Posh’s Moisturize 911 Caffeinated Face Cream: If my face doesn’t look tired, usually some other part of me is. But when my face is dull and lifeless, I love the light pick me up that Moisturize 911 gives me. Packed with Aloe Vera, Palm Oil Lipids and Vitamin E, this gem has a touch of caffeine that wakes up your skin and gets the blood flowing in your face to bring about a fresh, natural, awake look. It’s not a heavy cream at all so your face stays hydrated and not greasy!

imageNalpure’s Anti Aging Serum with Matrixyl: When it’s bedtime, I’m tired. I know if I don’t take off my makeup or wash my skin, I will pay for it. If it doesn’t cause a pimple or four, cause a rash, make my face blotchy, it will at least add a week onto how young I look or so they say. Nope, I’m not having that. But after the wash, I need to “treat” my face at night to turn those aging cells over, tighten my pores, yadda yadda. You’ve read the articles, I’m sure. So I’m exhausted, my bed is calling my name, and I only have the energy for one more anti aging product before bed. And I found it. In my nightstand is a bottle of this little miracle that does so much with just a few drops. Read the product details Nalpure Information but the long and short of it is it is good for all skin types, moisturizes, combats aging with peptides and cooling & calming extracts to reduce age spots and uneven skin tone. Usually it take several ingredients to do what this one moisturizer does. At this point, simple is best.

imageBurt’s Bees Almond Milk Hand Crème: This is just an extra add on. We know it’s true: hands are in the top three areas that show your REAL age first. After a long day of doing nothing or doing something our hands can get tired and dry. I had a great cooling lotion that a company used to make that really would cool down my feet, toes and hands. Unfortunately they don’t make it anymore. I still needed a good cream for night that would just be rich, moisturizing and hydrating for my hands while I slept. This one works perfect. Great ingredients like sweet almond oil, Vitamin E and natural beeswax moisturize your hands and then lock it in. I think it can be a little heavy for day use, but it’s scent and rich ingredients make it perfect just before bed. An extra treat for me.

So that’s Sassy’s skin care instruction for Day 7. I hope I gave you ideas on products and ingredients that are important to your skin. There are soooo many things out there, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. I suggest you do your research, know your skin, know what you want to change about it, then start researching. Knowledge is power and samples are your friend so don’t be afraid to ask for them and read other people’s reviews and thoughts on a product before you buy or invest. Good luck, have fun and treat your skin with TLC!

Oh! And don’t forget!!: Somehow — in a day serum, moisturizer, primer or foundation –get an SPF on your face! Read the product details and try to get at LEAST an SPF of 15, up to 30 would be best. Sun without sunscreen is asking to age quickly and subject yourself to hazards no one wants to think about.
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My October Fab Finds…..

12 Nov

It is mid November and we are officially in to the full Fall effect. Temperatures are getting cooler, colors are getting warmer, and Old Man Winter is knocking on the door. Before you know it, there will be Christmas and holiday ads on TV and decorations in the stores. Oh wait… that’s already happening. Did I sleep through Halloween or just totally missed it?

October was a good month for me. The cooler weather allowed me to swap out my wardrobe with sweaters and shrugs for tanks and tees. Sandals got packed up and boots were freed from storage. It also meant I had to bump up the moisture in my skin—head to toe—and fight off the dry skin before it was able to sneak in and cause a wrinkle or two. I even picked up a couple of new lipsticks and eye shadows to give my makeup look a seasonal boost.

So what things did I discover in October that added a bit of flash into my Fall fashion and glamour routine? Check out my newest “can’t live without them” items that have made a home in my fashionista ensemble:

L’Oreal Paris Revitalift Triple Power Concentrated Serum – I will say right now: I am a loyal fan of my skin care brand and have been faithful to their products for over a year. I have never had a regimen that really made such a noticeable difference in my skin’s look and texture. Plus the supplements really target what they say they will. BUT, with that being said, there are nights when I am so exhausted that I fall into bed totally forgetting to “take my face off”. It’s because of those times that I have disposable, no-rinse facial wipes to take off my makeup without leaving the comfort of my bed. But what about an age-fighting product I can keep bedside too? That’s where the Revitalift Serum comes into play. This is the first retail anti-aging product that, available at a more than reasonable price, that I have been able to use without any skin irritations or issues. Not to mention?… It works! It’s a do-everything product that can be used after a quick cleansing to keep my skin fresh, hydrated and radiant without having to leave my bed! And the fact that it is under $20 isn’t bad either! Definitely a great fill-in product when I’m too exhausted to do my entire nighttime routine.

No Miss Lip Gloss in “Ferndale Fawn” – I love No Miss cosmetics! They have high quality products, using natural resources to develop non-chemical, non-cancerous products without harming the environment. They do NO animal testing and use healthy ingredients, offering truly NATURAL products that everyone can afford. Their lip glosses feature coconut oil, grape seed oil, and vitamin E to keep your lips soft and moisturized all day with long lasting color. “Ferndale Fawn” is a great goldish nude color which looks great on a fall day either alone or topping your favorite deep lipstick. I love using it when I go with a bold eye look that pops! but want a more low-keyed pucker that still conditions my often dry lips. Although No Miss products are currently available online, keep an eye out for them in your favorite health food stores very soon! Find them at nomiss.com

L’Oreal Paris Voluminous Power Volume 24H Mascara – I know, I know, how many mascaras am I going to find that will make me say, “Oh THIS is the one.” I’ll be honest, I’m not sure if this is THE one, but I will say it is darn good! The formula is the longest-lasting mascara that I have ever used without smudging, smearing or flaking. It stays put. ALL DAY…ALL NIGHT! Plus the brush is large, full and lush, coating every lash to give you dramatic looking lashes. The closest mascara I have ever used that is similar to this cost me over $30. This one is on a retail/drugstore level for under $10. A great find and a better steal!!

Canyon River Blues Moxy Slippers – Okay, I know what you are thinking: “How can the fashionista shoe lover rave about a pair of slippers?” Because I’m a fashionista shoe lover and I know footwear. As Carrie once said in an episode of Sex and the City: “Men I may not know, but shoes?….Shoes I know!” When I have a day of writing planned at home in the comfort of my own home, I’ll be honest—you won’t find me wearing anything runway worthy. I might wear a nice top, maybe even a pair of designer jeans, but that would be dressing up. I like casual workout pants and funny graphic tees for the most part, but in the colder weather I definitely need something warm and fuzzy on my feet. The thing I like best about these slippers is that they have a really solid sole on them so if I need to go outside to get the mail, pick up a delivery or get something from my car, I don’t have to worry about my feet getting cold or wet, or slipping on the grass or ground. EVERYONE needs an “Oh heavens, I am NOT dressing up today” footwear that you can put on and just aaaaaah! in. For me?…these are them. These slippers are available at Sears for a retail price of $29.99…but watch the sales. I actually got TWO pair of these on a Buy One Get One FREE sale! WOOT for a BOGO!

Better Homes & Gardens Scented Wax Cubes in “Tropical Beach Holiday” – I know it might be a little early for Christmas scents, but BH&G gives you some great choices to ease you into the transition. I love their autumn scents, like Spiced Pumpkin Pie and Crisp Fall Leaves. Those rich warm spices just get you in the mood. But I found this “Tropical Beach Holiday” scent a nice surprise! It is like a fresh, ocean-like fragrance with strong background notes of rich pine and holiday cookies. It’s not an overpowering scent but actually throws off a light, calming, holiday smell that fills the room and your senses with the delicate essence of the approaching season. It helps motivate me for the day ahead by putting me in laid-back, holiday mood. Available at Walmart, $2.00 for six cubes.

There you go fashionistas…my fab finds in October. Remember it’s not always about the makeup you wear, the skincare you use, the styles you flash. It’s sometimes—cancel that—it’s ALWAYS about how you feel inside, the poise you wear in a smile. So embrace the things on you and around you to keep yourself feeling your absolute best. Make sure you keep your self-confidence rising even as the leaves and temperatures fall!