When Hairy Met Sally

25 Jan

Work. School. Bills. Chores. Appointments. Driving. Date Night.

What? With everything else I was supposed to do this week, shaving my legs was one of those things?

It is a common complaint women have. Shaving takes time. Time we don’t have. As a busy (and sometimes prickly) woman, I now have shaving down to an art. Try these tips for “I wish it was June!” legs.

Pick a razor: When it comes to razors, the more blades the better. I use a man’s razor because they are designed for the sensitive skin on a face, creating a gentle and close shave. Try Gillette Fusion ProGlide Shaving Razor. It has four blades and a comb that guides stubborn hair for an extra close shave.

Hop in the shower: Or sit on the edge of the bathtub. Legs need to be wet when shaving to avoid razor burn. If you have time, I recommend exfoliating your legs with a scrub, like Dove Gentle Exfoliating body wash.

Lather up: Instead of shaving cream use baby oil, that way you don’t have to apply lotion. Oil and water don’t mix, so the oil won’t completely rinse off in the shower. Rub the oil all over your legs and starting from the ankle, gently pull up. Shave the same direction as hair growth.  To save even more time, only shave the bottom half of your leg. The hairs on the top of your leg are thinner and lighter.

Wear jeans: If you really don’t have time, pull on your favorite pair of jeans. Regardless of if you shaved this morning, last week, or last month, everyone looks beautiful in a good pair of structured denim.

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Flawless brows

25 Jan

I admire Audrey Hepburn’s eyebrows just as much as I admire her acting and philanthropic work. They were dark, thick and expressive. They were beautiful. In an age of waxing everything, this is a look we should all try.

Tweeze: get rid of any hairs that fall below the natural arch of your brow. Don’t re-shape your eyebrows, instead work with the natural shape that is already there. This will prevent over plucking.

Fill in: Using a brown eyebrow pencil, lightly shade the area of your brow to fill them out. You aren’t drawing on eyebrows, but filling in blank spaces. Over-d0ing it will create cartoonish results.

Hold: Use hairspray or clear eyebrow gel to hold your brows in place. Stray hairs will take away from the beautiful shape you have created.

Maintain: Consider having your eyebrows waxed every 4 to 6 weeks. A professional stylist will provide a shape you can work with and maintain. Stylists also get rid of hard to see hairs, like the ones between the brows.

Bangin’

25 Jan

Bangs are in. Knowing how to trim your own bangs? Thrifty and in. All you will need is a pair of pointed scissors that are no more than 5 inches long to have a haircut you will love.

1. Always start with dry hair. Wet hair will shrink and become shorter after it dries, leaving your bangs shorter than you anticipated. Make sure your hair is completely dry before you let those scissors anywhere near your head.

2. Section off the hair you want to cut. Pin back the rest of your hair or pull it into a ponytail.

3. Split the section in half. Take one half of your bangs and comb them straight down with a fine tooth comb. Make sure the hair is pulled straight down and the back of the comb is resting against your brow bone (leaving the tooth side facing out).

4. Start snipping. Start ‘point cutting’ (snipping the hair at a 45 degree angle). The angle is important because it is impossible to cut bangs in a completely straight line.  Take your time. It is better to spend 30 minutes cutting your bangs than 30 days waiting for them to grow out. Once you have finished one half, pin them to the side and start over on the other side.

Note: if you are looking for shaggy, face-framing bangs, try using a single-blade razor rather than scissors. To razor cut, pull bangs taut with your middle & index fingers. Slide fingers all the way down to end of hair and then cut the hair with the razor just above your fingers.

That’s it. Take those bangs out to dinner! Not happy? Put the scissors down. Trimming away just means that more hair will disappear, leaving you even more upset. Just visit your stylist. They can fix anything. Well…almost.

How to-smoky eye

23 Jan

The smoky eye is beautiful and simple. Follow these steps for a flawless face, all night long.

Prep your lids

Eyelids tend to get greasy as the day goes on, so prep them with an eyeshadow primer, like Urban Decay’s Primer Potion. I like to put a layer of translucent powder on my lids     before I start. Try Maybelline’s powder: it works well and is affordable.

Pick a light base color

Sweep a light color over the entire base of the eye. I like to use a cream eyeshadow for the base, such as Benefit’s Creaseless Cream Eyeshadow in Birthday Suit. If you are using an eyeshadow kit that comes with more than one color, use the one in the middle of the palette.

Pick a darker color

The color you choose should complement your base color. If your base is a light brown or gold, use dark brown. If your base is grey you can use a charcoal or black. Using an eyeshadow brush blend from the lash line up to the crease. Load your brush up again and rub it back and forth in the crease. This will push the darker color into your eyelid crease, causing the eyes to look bigger. A great line of brushes are EcoTools. They are eye and earth friendly.

Line your eyes

Line your top eyelid with a black or dark brown eyeliner. I like cream eyeliner because they create thick lines. My favorite is M.A.C. Fluidline. Sweep the eyeliner just outside your eye to create a cat eye look.

Finish with mascara

Coat your lashes with two layers of a thickening mascara, like L’ Oreal Paris Extra-Volume Collagen mascara.

You’re done! The trick to making this look work is to not over-do the rest of your make up. Stick with a nude lip and light rose blush.

The best kind of beauty

19 Jan

Internal beauty matters, but I’m not writing to give you the warm fuzzies. Women need to know what’s going on under their skin as well as on top of it. Throughout this blog I would like to highlight things all women should know how to do to stay healthy and happy. First up–how to give yourself an at home breast exam.

Know your body

Women need to know their body so they can note any changes. Get comfortable with the  size and shape of your breasts by looking at them in a mirror. Know what your breasts feel like. Don’t be concerned if each individual breast looks or feels different, as long as those differences stay consistent throughout the months. Confused? Here is a link to a step-by-step image. Some doctors even provide laminated versions to hang in your shower.

Check yourself

It is best to check your breasts monthly, right after your period.  Put your arm above your head and with the opposite arm, press your fingers into your breasts. Look and feel for dimples, lumps, flattening, discharge, redness–anything out of the ordinary. Be sure you check your entire breast, including the space between your breast and armpit and the armpit itself. Do this on both breasts. If you have time, lay down and repeat this test on your back. Be thorough.

Call the doc

If something feels off, don’t panic. Just call your doctor and make and appointment as soon as possible. The most important thing you can do is be active in your own health so that as soon as any problems arise they can be fixed. At your appointment describe to your doctor exactly what you felt and saw.

The most important thing you can do for your body is to know it, inside and out. So go cop a feel!

Eat this, not that

19 Jan

The foods you load onto your plate every night for dinner not only make an effect your weight, they effect your face too. This can be good or bad news, depending on if your grocery money is spent in the produce section or on late night Taco Bell runs.

“Everything you eat becomes a part of not only your inner being, but the outer fabric of your body as well. The healthier the foods are that you consume, the better your skin will look,” says Samantha Heller, MS, RD.

You don’t have to cut everything you enjoy from your diet to make a difference. Try a few of these foods for a glowing, radiant complexion.

Berries

Foods rich in antioxidants protect your skin from free radicals, like sun exposure. Blueberries as well as strawberries, blackberries and plums will keep the appearance of skin young and fresh. Try mixing any of these fruits into oatmeal or yogurt in the morning.

Salmon

Salmon and other fishes are high in fatty acids (i.e. the good fat) and therefore great for your face. Cell membranes take waste in and out of the cells, allowing you to thoroughly flush your body. The cell membrane also holds in water, so the more you have, the more moisture you have in your skin. Try Trident Seafood’s Wild Alaskan Salmon Patties found at Costco. They are yummy, full of protein, and high in omega 3s.

Whole wheat anything

Whole grains are full of selenium, a mineral that protects skin from things like sun damage. Choosing whole wheat also eliminates white flour foods which cause inflamation and break outs. Try trading your regular spaghetti noodles or sliced bread for the whole wheat variety.

Green tea

If you take one tip from this article let it be this one: drink green tea every day. Benefits include a healthy skin membrane, anti-inflammatory properties, it can even lower your risk for skin cancer. I love Celestial Seasoning’s Antioxidant Supplement Green Tea.

The Right Red

13 Jan

Red lipstick is like trying a dish at an Indian restaurant. It looks beautiful, but will it make me want to stay home for a week with my head under the covers after I try it? I have a friend who has the red lip down to a science. She has paired it with anything from a party dress to a heather gray v-neck with skinny jeans. Tempted, I tried it. And LOVED it! I now own three different tubes as well as a red lip tint. Don’t believe me? Put your fears aside and follow these tips for a retro (and Valentine’s day appropriate) look you’ll love.

Prepare your mouth

Simple things like brushing and whitening your teeth will make a world of difference. Red lipstick will play up your mouth in a gorgeous way, but it will also showcase coffee-stained teeth. Look for a toothpaste that protects your teeth against tarter, but also contains a whitening agent. Crest 3D Whitening toothpaste removes surface stains, as well as protecting teeth from future stains. My favorite is Aquafresh Extreme Clean Whitening Action toothpaste; my breath feels fresh for hours. Whitening strips work, but they are expensive. I recommend a whitening mouthwash that you can use every night before you go to bed, like Listerine Whitening pre brush rinse.

Buff your lips

Lips tend to be dry in the winter, and wearing a heavy balm under lipstick will make the color fade faster. Sloughing away those dead skin cells will make your lips look flawless. Try C.O. Bigelow’s Lip Buffer, or make your own by applying a bit of sugar and water to your ring finger, and rub in a circular motion.

Pick the perfect shade

“If I had to teach someone just one thing about lip color it would be this: Find a lipstick that looks good on your face when you are wearing absolutely no makeup.” I don’t think I could say it better than wonder woman and make up artist extraordinaire Bobbi Brown does in her book, Beauty. For a trial and error tactic, go to your favorite make up counter (mine are Benefit and M.A.C.) Wear minimal make up to the store, so you can see exactly what the lipstick does with your skin tone. And don’t be afraid to ask the person working the counter. That is why they are there! An outside opinion will make you feel better about your choice.

A drugstore make up gal can try this trick: pull out your lip and look at what color the inside of it is. A color that contains similar pigments will look beautiful on your face. As a general rule, pink skinned women should wear cherry reds, medium skinned girls look great in fire engine reds. Dark skinned women look wonderful in dark red and burgundies. My favorite drugstore lipstick is Maybelline’s Color Sensational line. It is extremely creamy and comes in 48 shades.

Not quite ready? Opt for a lip tint. The color won’t be as bright and or require as much upkeep. My absolute favorite tint is Tarte’s Lipsurgance natural lip stain in Envy. The deep berry color makes my lips look like I just came in from a cold walk. Plus, it’s vegan!

Apply it

Starting at the center of your lip, swipe the color across your bottom lip. Then rub your bottom and top lip together. Finally, fill in spots your might have missed like the corners or edges. To ensure that lipstick doesn’t get on your teeth, stick your index finger in your mouth and then pull it out. If you’re going out, make sure to pack your lipstick so you can touch up as needed.

Kiss someone

Or something!  A mirror, letter, window, anything to show off your bold new look. Just don’t forget to re-apply.