→ No disclosures ←
SKIN NEEDLING ROLLER
Looking like an unsophisticated prehistoric torture device, skin needling roller rapidly gains popularity. Why? Because supposedly, by penetrating the topmost layer of your skin with micro punctures, skin needling activates the natural wound healing process that boosts the production of collagen and elastin. The alleged result – rejuvenated, poreless, younger looking, happier you. Unfortunately there’s no consistent data available on this topic – some swear that the claim is legit, others insist it’s too good to be true.
First off, skin needling is considered to be a medical procedure, not cosmetic, even though you can easily purchase the spiky roller for at-home sessions. The roller typically has about 200 steel micro needles attached to it. It’s applied directly to the skin with the objective to pierce the top layers and draw blood and lymph. It’s advised to apply a topical retinol or peptide serum right on top of micro wounds to help it penetrate deeper into the skin for better results. Skin needling can be done on any area of the body, including the face, to improve the appearance of wrinkles, scars and stretch marks. But you need to proceed with causion, because if done incorrectly, skin needling can cause a very unpleasant complications like bacterial skin infections, inflammation, post inflammatory hyperpigmentation and premature aging. This sure doesn’t sound like a lot of fun.
What’s interesting is that the FDA has neither approved nor established any standards for micro needling yet. Furthermore, all medical micro rollers are required to be registered with the FDA. This means that all the needling rollers that are available online have to be verified for certification. And the “best” part is that you, as a consumer, have to do all the work, because nobody is required to do the inspection to guarantee the quality of the product.
What you need to know if you are considering to try skin needling:
→ Only natural, acceptable for internal consumption products (lotions, moisturizers, serums) are safe to use during the procedure.
→ Skin rollers need to be professionally sterilized, which may not be the case with those available online.
→ Stainless steel is considered the best and safest material for the needles, not titanium.
→ FDA hasn’t approved any skin needling rollers as of today.
→ The results of skin needling may not benefit everybody equally.
→ Skin needling is safer when it’s done under medical supervision; also sometimes pre- and post-treatments may be necessary to ensure better outcome.
→ No disclosures ←
It’s hot and humid here in the South, and makeup meltdowns happen fast and often. We fight steamy weather every which way we can. The easiest move to solve melting makeup problem is to either wear less of it or none at all. But if you are like me, and would prefer to put at least some color on your face, there are little changes that you can make in your summer beauty routine that will help you look presentable in any heat. I’m not a big fan of anything waterproof, so I have to be thoughtful about what to put on my face to avoid streaks and smudges. Here’s what I do to help my makeup stay put all day:
1. I apply primer on my t-zone only ( my go-to one is La Base Pro by Lancome), then slather a little tinted moisturizer on top of it and blend with my fingers.
2. Next step – using concealer on dark circles and other imperfections. Finish with a light dusting of face powder.
3. Then I dip an eye shadow brush in the face powder and apply it all over my lids. Powder works better than primer for me, it prevents sliding and prolongs staying power of any eye shadow or liner.
4. To make an eyeliner last, I usually layer 2 textures on top of each other: draw a line with a pencil first, followed by another layer, applied with a wet eyeliner brush dipped in the same color eye shadow. Works every time.
5. I usually don’t like to change my mascara formula for summer, and the one I’m committed to lately is Diorshow Extase. It volumizes and fans out lashes, and doesn’t flake or smudge on me in any weather.
6. To make eye shadow last, layering matching cream and powder formulas (cream first, powder on top of it) is the best solution.
7. It doesn’t bother me much if my blush disappears from my cheeks at any point; I simply let it go if it happens. But you can also layer powder blush on top of a cream one in the same shade when you need it to stay on for the whole day.
8. As for the lips, it’s easy – lip stain is the perfect substitute for lipstick in the summer. Or you can go for an even better and more hydrating option – gloss and stain in one. My personal favorite is YSL Vernis a Levres Glossy Stain. Although some of it wears off during meals, it always leaves a nice stain on your lips that you can simply top off with a lip balm instead of reapplying.
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It’s amazing how far beauty industry is willing to go with inventing anti-aging treatments to get us all interested. Every year millions of dollars are spent on fish pedicures, snakes massages and face-slapping for beauty sake, to name a few, and now there’s a new thing in town – snail slime facial to fight aging. Rumor has it that snail slime’s anti-aging properties were discovered by Chilean farmers who noticed that their hands were getting smoother after picking up snails from crops. There’s a speculation that snail mucin extract restores, hydrates damaged skin and fights inflammations with a blend of glycolic acids, proteins and elastin. But there are no scientific studies available today to prove this claim.
Snail treatment is available in some spas as a facial, meaning that you get snails crawling over your face depositing their slime. Snail slime, aside from its yuckiness, is claimed to reduce wrinkles, regenerate skin and diminish scars. Don’t know how you feel about it, but this treatment makes me think of dangerous infections and parasites snails often carry that will end up on your face together with their mucus.
If you are not mentally prepared for snail facial, but still believe in the anti-aging benefits of snail slime, there is a cream version for you with snail extract, a.k.a. mixture of their slime and guts. You can try one of these: Dr. Jart+ Premium Time Returning Serum ($54), Labcconte Premium Nourishing Snail Cream for Ladies ($64.99).
NARS Pierre Hardy Blush Palette ($41)
Inspired by his 2013 shoe collection, Pierre Hardy’s blush looks like an ultramodern work of art. It has a fine, silky texture that creates a natural, healthy flush on your cheeks. The powder is very light, soft and blendable – a real breeze to apply. Once the gold overlay wears off, you are left with a very bright matte shade. It’s highly pigmented, you need only a tiny bit to give your cheeks enough color, which makes it a good value for the money spent.
Pierre Hardy Blush Palette comes in 2 colors: Boys Don’t Cry (coral or salmon) for lighter skin tones, and Rotonde (tiger lily) for darker complexions. My personal preference is Boys Don’t Cry, a pretty coral with pink undertones, great summer color for my medium skin. It goes with most of my lipsticks and glosses, eliminating the need for matching lip product.
Pierre Hardy Palette costs more than the usual NARS blush ($29), but the palette is almost 3 times bigger in size: 0.45 oz versus 0.16 oz of regular blush. My guess is that it will easily last for several summers in a row.
→ I got samples ←
Moroccanoil Treatment Light for Fine or Light Colored Hair ($43)
I usually try to avoid various hair treatments, especially those containing oil, because they often weigh my fine hair down and make it look greasy. So when I was offered samples of Moroccanoil Treatment Light at my hair salon, together with a 100% guarantee that I’d be back for more, I was skeptical, but decided to give it a chance anyway.
What it does: hydrates and fortifies fine hair with argan oil (for conditioning) and linseed extract (for shine); heals week and brittle hair; fights frizz and eliminates flyaways.
The treatment feels very lightweight and non-greasy. My hair never gets frizzy, but I get flyaways and sometimes dry ends, especially in colder months. Using Moroccanoil Light every other day eliminates both problems for me. I apply a small amount of product mostly on the ends, then style my hair as usual. As a result, my hair looks smooth, shiny and healthy, feels soft to the touch, smells divine, and holds style better. Straightening it with a flat-iron enhances shine even more. I definitely did not expect to like the product as much as I do.
Moroccanoil Light is not cheap, but you need just a tiny bit to make it work for you. And it is equally effective when applied on dry or wet hair. I tried both ways and didn’t see any difference. I also noticed that I get better results with this treatment when the weather is cooler and humidity is not very high. My hair tends to get greasy faster when I apply it on hot and humid days. For that reason I’m thinking of delaying the purchase of a full size bottle until mid-fall.
There’s one thing I’d like you to know about me: I don’t tan. Ever. And that includes all kinds of tanning: spray tan, self tan, sun tan and tanning beds. My skin is pretty light, but it doesn’t bother me a bit. And what genius came up with the idea that all pale skin tones look unhealthy anyway? I smell marketing trick here. So when I get an occasional comment on my pale skin, I usually encourage the person who made it to feel free to look away.
I did try self-tanners for reviews, but it turned out to be a bigger commitment than I was able to handle. Tanning is a matter of personal choice, and I choose to hate doing it. Here’s why:
1) I look older with a tan, like ‘been there, done that’ kind of older. Say all you want about ‘sun-kissed’, luminous skin and pretty glow, but I have a set of eyes and a mirror that help me stay realistic. And that reflection in the mirror kept screaming right in my face “Stop this nonsense!”
2) Tanning is a hassle. No really, how do you keep up your tan looking nice and even with taking two showers a day, once in the morning and then in the evening, after a workout? Because doing a tan upkeep after the shower and then wait for it to settle seems like a waste of time for me.
3) Almost all self-tanners stink, which means that I’m going to stink too. No thank you.
I think self-tanners are very impractical products that don’t do much for my skin, except for giving it a darker shade. That’s why I gave up on them completely. And I have no regrets about it.