Tag Archives: care

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!!

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Items In Your Pantry That Are Must Haves For Your Skin…

29 Jun

imageI know it can be an inconvenience to try and make skin and bath items yourself. Drug stores, organic body retail stores and high end department stores are all trying to get your business with up and coming anti aging products and ingredients. Some people insist they are the golden ticket. The magic potion that will stop time. It may be true, but it’s hard to say. I am definitely not the type of person who brags, but I don’t look my age at all. No one knows, and I don’t tell them. What I do tell them is all the fancy advertising and product testimonials can make some very expensive skin care lines seem inviting, but I’ve tried to stick with basic grocery store items and recipes to wash, exfoliate, pamper and moisturize my skin. And from what I’m told? I’m not doing too damn bad!

Being a skincare “mix master” does take time. You need to do a few things first:

  • Know your skin. Is your skin dry, oily, combination? Are your pores large? Do you have fine lines? If so, where? Is your skin tone uneven? Is your skin sensitive–especially to harsh chemicals, dyes and fragrances? What are you using on your skin now? Does it work? You should have an answer for ALL of these things. If you don’t? Look & touch then read & learn.
  • Know what natural ingredients do for your skin? Most people don’t know many of the benefits from certain items in each aisle of the market. Oh, and trust me when I say you can go down aisles and get just about everything you would need to make a simple, easy, inexpensive but targeted skin care routine. Just a little research is all you need to start.
  • Practice. Not every recipe has what you need. And some recipes have too much. The more you know your skin, the easier it will be to take a basic combination and tweak it just a bit to do exactly what you want it to do.

No matter what you are looking to do, there are a few things that you can purchase to keep on hand for when you want to make a skin care routine that will give you smooth, clean, soft, glowing skin. Head to toe. So if you are planning on making a skin care regimen that will give your skin what it needs and leaving out what it doesn’t–and still not feel guilty about a huge price tag–make sure you have these things to start:

  1. Raw honey: Look it up–you will see that honey has been healing cuts and wounds before we were all born. You gotta love those bees! An amazing fact about honey too is that it never spoils. It may get old, thick & concentrated but it will always be good. When wrinkles occur, it happens because the skin is dry (with minor, almost invisible cracks). Honey heals the cracks naturally with its natural healing properties. It is also a great ingredient in facial and body cleansers. It removes dirt and makeup gently and locks in natural moisture. Raw is the best because it is in its most natural form. Raw local honey is the freshest. Check small local markets or produce stands for the best.
  2. Coffee (instant and used grounds): Everyone knows that people turn to coffee for a wake-you-up fix when you need a boost. We can thank the caffeine in coffee’s oils for that. Well, that caffeine can also be useful to give your face a boost in the morning as well. Mix in a bit of instant into your regular cleanser or as an added ingredient to your homemade face wash to stimulate your cells, encourage blood circulation and wake up your skin. If you have used coffee grounds from your morning pot left over (no flavors!), let them dry out on a paper towel and grind them down a bit finer to add to your regular body wash. This awakening scent will help exfoliate you from head to toe while the caffeine gets the blood pumping. A fab waker upper!
  3. Vitamin E Capsules: This oily little vitamin is great for so many things, but at the same time it needs to be used with care. Some people can have allergies to the other chemicals in Vitamin E, so it’s better to use a few drops as an additive in your regular products to give you extra moisture from the oil and block free radicals. Combining it with vitamin C can help that as will a fight sun damage. Vitamin E is also a must have for homemade lip balms, lip scrubs, and body creams.
  4. Unsweetened Lemonade Packets: An odd one, huh? Well it is. But the benefits are worth it. Sometime coating your finger in Vitamin E and dipping it into unsweetened lemonade will lighten up dark circles (go easy on the lemonade around the eyes, though.) Adding to you grand mixture of coconut oil, Shea butter, a bit of honey and a capsule or two of vitamin e will give you your all-over body moisture moisturizing & healing properties with a fresh scent.
  5. Granulated Sugar: Ah, another it’s that might be better on your face than in your beverages! The coarseness of the sugar works as a great exfoliator from head to toe. It’s a must have for lip scrubs mad with a bit of oil, and a bit of Shea butter. Honey is a plus too. In the shower, add a packet of coffee shop sugar to a squirt of your favorite body wash to tone your skin and regenerate cells. Does white sugar seem too harsh? Not a problem–use a light brown sugar instead! You will find it a great asset to use regular sugar to keep skin smooth and fresh.
  6. Coconut Oil: Oh the oil that is changing the glamour industry. Coconut is an oil that melts as soon as I gets above body temperature. So keeping it in the fridge for long time use or in the bathroom when quickly needed is a must. Believe me when I say it is a blessing to all who want to look younger longer. Coconut oil can be used with a drop of peppermint oil to smooth & moisturize feet. It can be used straight out of the jar to remove eye makeup. It can be mixed with a little honey and some instant coffee pellets for a cleansing wake me up. And when whipped up with a little bit of honey, some Shea butter and a bit of citrus (see below) the fresh summer scent will freshen your body. In the fall/winter, replace the lemonade with cinnamon, cloves, a drop of orange extract or just a bit of pumpkin spice. Yummy!
  7. Heavy Cream: Not a common item, but I love it! This is one of my must haves for any face cleanser receive. The extra natural fat in heavy cream replenishes moisture to your skin naturally without chemicals, clogging pores, and added artificial ingredients. The sky is the limit on this. Blend with anything I’ve mentioned before. I like to was my face with heavy cream, honey, a touch of coffee, and a bit of extra fine oatmeal. Gentle, non abrasive and cleans my face gently leaving it soft and its out of my pantry.
  8. There are so many other ingredients out there that are perfect to help your skin. Check into other things like bananas & peaches (I use organic baby food–convenient and already processed!), coconut water, rose water, yogurt, cocoa powder, cinnamon, lemon juice–the options are endless. Just be a smart facial mixologist–read a lot, test everything, tweak the recipes when needed, and if its not right and doesn’t make your face feel and look the way you want…. no big deal. You’ll create your own 5 star “product”‘soon enough!!