Monday, November 30, 2015

Christmas Decorating: Prevent an allergic skin reaction from your Christmas Tree

It's time to get the house looking festive for the holidays! 
Cat and Christmas decorations
That means putting lights on trees and bushes and scratching up my hands and arms with the tree branches in the process! 
Scratches from Christmas tree
It happens every time with both real and artificial trees. Especially when only half the pre lit tree is lighting and you have to dig through the branches and find the bad bulb. Uggggh! You would think I would learn after all these years of decorating experience, but I just jump right into the decorating full of creative energy not worrying about the scratches, till later when they start stinging!
Christmas ornaments
To make matters worse, some people are allergic to pine trees and/or the mold, and what have you, that is on the tree. You may not be totally safe from allergies with an artificial tree either. People can be allergic to the dust and dust mites that cling to artificial trees. Allergic people get a rash on their hands and arms along with the scratches.

There is a simple solution to prevent the scratches and rashes.
decorating Christmas tree
Wear gloves and long sleeves when decorating trees. Long sleeves tucked into the gloves give you the best protection.

After Decorating:
Remove the gloves and long sleeve shirt after the decorating and put them in the wash. Wash your hands and arms to remove any allergens. 

If you happened to get scratches and rashes, treat the scratches with an antibiotic ointment to help them heal a little quicker. Use calamine lotion or hydrocortisone cream to soothe an allergic reaction rash.

Artificial tree dust removal tips:

Christmas tree

Wear gloves and long sleeves when cleaning and assembling the tree. 

Unpack Outside
Open the box that stores your artificial tree outside.

Vacuum Away Dust  Vacuum your artificial tree to remove dust. Use the brush attachment on your vacuum to gently go branch by branch from top to bottom if the tree is assembled. It is easier to vacuum before it is assembled. Do it outside if you can, otherwise put a plastic sheet to catch dust under the tree that you can dispose of after cleaning.

Blow Away Dust You can blow the tree off outside with a leaf blower if you have a sturdy tree. A leaf blower is strong. It could damage a delicate artificial tree. I have used a blow dryer on the cool setting to blow dust off of my tree in the past.

Wipe Away Dust Use a damp towel to wipe dust off of artificial trees from top to bottom. You can add a bit of dish washing liquid to a bucket of water. Dip your cleaning rag in and squeeze it out really well. You should not saturate the tree. Do it outside if you can. Let it dry thoroughly before decorating it and plugging in lights. 

Store in Plastic Store the artificial tree in plastic bags or plastic boxes instead of cardboard boxes to reduce dust mites.

Buy a New Tree Or maybe it's time to ditch your old tree full of allergens and start fresh with a new tree. Especially with all the great cyber sales going on at Christmas time!

Shop for a new Christmas tree.

Have a Beautiful, Healthy Day!
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Thursday, November 26, 2015

Aching Feet: pain relieving foot remedies

Aching feet.
Maybe you have been out all day shopping on Black Friday or have been out dancing in heels. All you know is your feet hurt and hurtin' feet make you feel bad all over. You need a quick remedy! 

Before you go shopping:
For your next marathon shopping trip to start by wearing comfortable shoes. We want to look cute while we shop. I know I don't want to wear clunky sneakers. My shoe choice for a lot of walking or traveling is Skechers Go Walk or Skechers Flex. 
skechers flex

I love the slip ons. They are comfortable, light weight, cute and come on lots of colors and styles.

Also, try Dr Scholl's Gel insoles. They make them for all types of shoes including high heels. I find they do help cushion the feet making heel hurt less.
Dr scholl's gel insoles

Here are some quick remedies to soothe and refresh you aching feet:

Peppermint foot soak
Give sore feet a nice peppermint foot soak.  Fill a large bowl
or foot bath with hot water. Add 4 tablespoons of Epsom salt 
or sea salt and mix it until it dissolves. Add 4 peppermint tea 
bags.  Soak your feet and relax for 15-20 minutes.  

Add marbles to the foot bath. Move your feet over the 
marbles to give your feet a massage. Give your feet a quick 
marble massage anytime by putting the marbles on the floor 
and moving your feet over them. You can find marbles in 
craft stores in the floral department.

Moisturize and Massage 

After your foot soak, give your feet a massage with a foot 
cream. I like Burt's Bees Peppermint Foot Lotion. It's cool 
and refreshing.

Raise your Feet
Put your feet up. Recline on the sofa or in bed with pillows 
under your feet up above your heart to help drain fluid from your feet and lower legs reducing swelling.

burt's bees peppermint foot cream

Have a beautiful day!


Watch videos tips on youtube!

Monday, November 23, 2015

Do eye creams work?

The hands of time keep ticking away as we desperately search for that magical cream to make us look young again. Is there such a cream? We are bombarded with ads on TV, magazines and social media that claim their product will perform that magic. I have seen videos on facebook for one cream that is applied to the eyes and within minutes bags, puffiness and wrinkles are gone. Amazing! It tempts me to order it but logic (and reviews that say it doesn't work!!!!) take over and I resist the urge to click that order button.

Can an eye cream really make us look younger? Do we need a special cream for the eye area? Many dermatologists will tell you that any moisturizer will work around the eyes, even Vaseline. But, who wants that thick gloppy stuff around their eyes or anywhere else on their face for that matter? Using a heavy cream or oil on the delicate skin around the eyes can cause puffiness and white bumps under the eyes called milia. I like to remove stubborn mascara with olive oil. It works great, but my eyes will be puffy in the morning if I don't rinse it off well enough.

Read more on milia.

Eye creams are formulated for use around the eyes. They may contain oils but they are light and should not cause puffiness. Eye creams are moisturizing and they can also contain anti aging ingredients such as retinol, hyaluronic acid and antioxidants to treat line and wrinkles. Eye creams can also contain ingredients that stimulate drainage of fluids, such as rosemary, to reduce the puffiness of bags under the eyes. An eye cream may not do major miracles, but it will hydrate, make lines and wrinkles less noticeable and be gentle on the delicate eye area. Most eye creams claim they will reduce the look of dark circles. I have never had a cream reduce my dark circles unfortunately.

There are so many brands of eye cream and they tend to be expensive. The good thing is, you only use a tiny bit for each application so it lasts a long time. It is better to find a cream in a tube or a pump bottle rather than a jar. The tube or pump bottle reduces product exposure to the air keeping the ingredients fresh and potent. The challenge is to find a good eye cream that works for you. I hate to buy an expensive product that I'm not sure I'll like. I have tried many eye creams and will, no doubt, continue to try more! The latest eye cream I tried was Fresh Black Tea Age-Delay Eye Concentrate. It was a sample that was given to me.

Fresh Black Tea Age Delay Eye Concentrate box
Fresh Black Tea Age-Delay Eye Concentrate
Fresh Black Tea Age Delay Eye Concentrate jar
This eye cream contains a variety of anti oxidant ingredients including noni fruit juice, black tea, vitamin E, hyaluronic acid, blackberry leaf extract and lychee seed extract to fight aging free radicals and nourish the skin.  It is packaged in a jar which is not ideal. My jar was a small 3ml/0.1oz size so I went through it quickly.

The review: It has a fruity smell that was okay and I like the ingredients. The cream felt refreshing and soothing. My eye area was nicely hydrated and lines were really less noticeable. The cream caused no puffiness or irritation. My dark circles did not improve at all (I really didn't expect them to anyway) even though the brand claims it is proven to reduce the appearance of dark circles. I liked it, though. A 15ml/0.5oz  jar costs $85.00. A bit pricey for a bargain hunter like me. The thing that disturbs me is I assumed incorrectly that this product was not tested on animals. I recently noticed it was on the Companies that do test on animals list. There are other great eye products that are not tested on animals.

Here are the ingredients:
Water, Glycerin, Butylene Glycol, Squalane, Propylene Glycol Dicaprylate/Dicaprate, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Methyl Methacrylate Crosspolymer, Pentylene Glycol, Steareth-21, Cetyl Alcohol, Stearyl Alcohol, Limnanthes Alba (Meadowfoam) Seed Oil, Saccharomyces Ferment Filtrate, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Avena Sativa (Oat) Kernel Extract, Morinda Citrifolia Fruit Juice, Saccharomyces Cerevisiae Extract, Litchi Chinensis Seed Extract, Rubus Fruticosus (Blackberry) Leaf Extract, Acacia Senegal Gum, Adenosine, Sodium Hyaluronate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Ascorbyl Tetraisopalmitate, Tocopherol, Hydrogenated Palm Kernel Glycerides, Glyceryl Hydroxystearate, Steareth-2, Stearalkonium Hectorite, Sodium Polyacrylate, Fragrance, Dimethicone, Silica, Propylene Carbonate, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Maltodextrin, Tromethamine, Hydrogenated Palm Glycerides, Ci 77891 (Titanium Dioxide), Biosaccharide Gum-2, Caramel, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Algin, Bht, Sodium Citrate, Tin Oxide, Citric Acid, Ethylhexylglycerin, Potassium Sorbate, Serine, Biotin, Linalool, Phenoxyethanol.

Other Eye Creams and Serums to Try


Another eye treatment product to try is a serum for more wrinkle fighting power. A serum is a like a cream but it is a thinner lighter fluid that can be applied before an eye cream. Dr Dennis Gross Ferulic Retinol Eye Cream contains retinol to reduce wrinkles, ferulic acid which is an anti oxidant to fight aging free radicals, licorice root to reduce puffiness and caffeine for firming. It has been rated as the best eye cream on has compiled a list of top performing eye creams to help us in our search for the best eye cream. 

Dr Dennis Gross ferulic and retinol triple correction eye serum
Please note that many of the eye creams on their list are from companies that test on animals. Personally, I like to use products that are not tested on animals. There is no need for an animal suffer so I can make myself look better. No worries, Dr. Dennis Gross, their #1, is cruelty free.

Click here to see the list of the best eye creams.

Here are the ingredients:
Water, Ethoxydiglycol, Propylene Glycol, Centella Asiatica Extract, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract, Ferulic Acid, Retinol, Potassium Azeloyl Diglycinate, Arctostaphylos Uva Ursi Leaf Extract, Arbutin, Morus Alba Leaf Extract, Salix Alba (Willow) Bark Extract, Quercetin, Caffeine, Ubiquinone, Sodium Hyaluronate, Salicylic Acid, Glycolic Acid, Mandelic Acid, Panthenol, Butylene Glycol, Glycerin, Disodium Lauriminodipropionate Tocopheryl Phosphates, Phospholipids, Tetrapeptide-21, Acrylates/Carbamate Copolymer, Disodium EDTA, PVM/MA Decadiene Crosspolymer, Urea, Polysorbate 20, Potassium Hydroxide, Phenoxyethanol, Iron Oxides (CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499).

A little more about serums: Serums are applied to clean fresh skin to allow the product to penetrate into the skin. Apply an eye cream on top of the serum to hydrate the eye area. A serum can be used alone but may not give you enough lasting hydration. Using a serum along with an eye cream gives you a double anti aging treatment.

Read more about retinol eye treatments.

So do eye creams work? It depends on what you expect to happen when you use one. You will see improvement in the hydration of the skin around the eyes and lines will be softened when using an eye cream that contains anti aging ingredients but, if you expect the wrinkles and dark circles to go away, you will be disappointed.

Have a Beautiful Day!
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Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Caribbean Colors

I have returned from another fabulous trip to my favorite vacation spot....Jamaica! It's a beautiful island full of warm wonderful people and lovable characters you meet on the beach like Fireman and his lobsters....
Fireman Negril, Jamaica
and Rasta Ralphie on the Catamaran singing a tune and sailing the sea. 
rasta ralphie negril jamaica
The weather is warm, sometimes a little rainy. Liquid Sunshine.
tropical rain in Jamaica
There are the lovely tropical flowers, the sounds of the tree frogs and that magnificent clear Caribbean water in shades of aqua, cerulean and turquoise that I have been obsessed with forever! Look at it. It's just fabulous!
blue green nail polish
Here is my attempt to capture the Caribbean sea on my toes!
  It's OPI My Dogsled is a Hybrid with Zoya Rayne on top. 
The combination creates a beautiful iridescent light blue green.

pink tropical flowers
Maybe you would like a bright pink like these cute tropical flowers! 
zoya bright pink nail polish
This is Zoya Lola with Zoya Sparkle Gloss on top.
sunset negril jamaica
How about a red orange to match a fiery Jamaican sunset?
Spa Ritual red orange nail polish
Spa Ritual Blend is a beautiful orange red.

The colors in nature are truly amazing. Everywhere you look there is color. I want to look at it. A beautiful color makes me happy.
blue tang jamaica
I guess that's one of the reasons why I love nail colors. It's so easy to create a beautiful look and it's so easy to change it to express your mood and style.

Sometimes you see a polish color you love but you can't find it. Try Amazon. There is a super selection of nail polish color. I can always find great hard to find colors easily there. 

Click here to browse for nail polish.

See you next year my Jamaican friends! Bless!

Have a Beautiful Day!

Watch my videos filmed in Jamaica on youtube

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Leg Waxing Info

It's travel time for lots of people and lots of those traveling people are heading to warm beachy places. For me that means a full leg wax is a must. Showers are quicker since no shaving is needed, there are no stinging legs when you go into salty sea water like you get on freshly shaved legs and there are no dark hairs to show through the skin because the hair is removed by the root. 
waxed legs
Do I have to grow the hair?
Yes. Hairs that are too short cannot become embedded in the wax so the can't be pulled out.

How long does the hair have to be?
The hardest part of waxing is when you first start. The hair must be 1/8"-1/4" long so the wax can adhere to it and pull it out. That's about 10-14 days of growth. Make your waxing appointment early (while the hair is growing) to get a convenient appointment time. 

Is there anything special I have to do to prepare?
Avoid sun exposure (that includes tanning beds) 2 days before waxing. Burnt skin cannot be waxed. Stop using any glycolic of alpha hydroxy skin care products on your legs 3 days before waxing. 

Do a light exfoliation using a body scrub the day before your waxing to remove dead cell build up. This will free up hairs trapped under the dead skin layer so that they can be removed with the wax.
Will it hurt?So now you are ready to be waxed.  Your wax technician will do a patch test to check for sensitivity if you have never been waxed before.  It feels like pulling a bandaid off. It's a quick sting. The hairs become weaker, finer and more sparse with continuous waxing making them easier to pull out. The more you wax, the less it hurts. I actually have clients doze off during their leg waxings. Really. I'm not kidding.

How is the waxing done?

There are different types of wax. Hard wax and soft wax. The process is a little different according to what kind of wax is used.

Here is the process using soft wax: powder may or may not be applied to the area to be waxed (depending on the dryness of the skin), warm wax is applied to the skin in approximately 2"x 5" sections. A cloth strip is placed over the wax and is pressed on to the wax. Then, the strip is pulled off in the opposite direction of hair growth. Your technician may then press on the skin to take away the sting. The process continues on the front and back of the legs taking about 45-60 minutes for a full leg wax and 20-30 minutes for a 1/2 leg wax (from the knee down or from the knee up). A soothing lotion is massaged onto your skin after the waxing is completed. 

Hard wax doesn't require a cloth strip. The wax is melted and applied to the skin in a thick layer. It is allowed to harden slightly and is pulled off. Hard wax sticks less to the skin than soft wax. People with very sensitive skin will have less irritation when hard wax is used for their leg waxing.

What do I need to do after my waxing?
Avoid sun exposure (including tanning beds) for 24 hours after waxing. Wear comfortable clothes, not tight jeans right after waxing. Avoid hot water after waxing, warm water is fine.

If the skin feels irritated or sensitive, apply a soothing cream. Aloe creams are very soothing for just waxed skin.

How long will my leg wax last?
You can expect your legs to stay smooth for about 2 weeks. Then, you will have a few soft strays growing in. By 4-6 weeks, the hair is ready to be waxed again. The hair has to grow to the right length again in order to wax it again but, it is easier to let the hair grow for the next waxing after it's been waxed rather than shaved.

Will the hair grow in darker and thicker? 
No. After your first leg wax, the hair will grow back pretty much the same, but it will feel much softer grow in. There is no course stubble. Continuous waxing helps to weaken the hair. The hair eventually gets finer and more sparse.

Can I shave between waxings?
To achieve maximum hair reduction benefits from waxing, stick to a continuous waxing schedule. Don't decide to go back to shaving for awhile and then wax again.  The hair will not respond in the same way as with constant waxing. It will not become softer, finer and more sparse. My leg waxing clients come in about every 6 weeks for waxing.

 Stick to waxing. You will love the results!

Have a Beautiful Day!

See my bikini waxing video on youtube!

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Your Skin Care Routine: 10 things you should be doing for your skin

skin on the lower back
We all get tired and slack off on our skin care routine. Maybe we go to bed without removing makeup or maybe we are feeling so cold that we need that super steamy hot shower, but there are some important basic things we should be doing everyday to take care of our skin. 

Protect Hands

Wear rubber gloves when cleaning or doing dishes to help prevent hand chapping and help prevent nail damage.

Moisturize Hands
Apply hand lotion repeatedly throughout the day to keep hands from getting dry and help them look younger.

Avoid Hot Water
Take short warm showers instead of long hot showers to help prevent skin dehydration.

Follow the Moisturizer Rule
Apply facial and body moisturizer within 3 minutes after showering. This seals in the water the skin absorbed during your shower. 

Drink more Water
Drinking more water hydrates the body including the skin. The experts say to drink eight 8 ounces glasses of water each day. Drinking more water also helps with weight loss. So many of my friends are doing the Isagenix diet, drinking tons of water and loosing weight. 

Eat Healthy Foods
Eat more fruits and veggies to provide more anti-aging antioxidants and vitamins for your skin.

Use the Right Moisturizer
Apply a facial moisturizer formulated for your skin type morning and evening to get the most out of your moisturizer.

Use products from the Same Line 
You will get the best results by using products from the same line. Skin care companies formulate their products cleansers, toners, serums, moisturizers, spot treatments and masks to work together. For instance, a cleanser may have a low pH and the toner a high pH. The products work together to create a balanced pH for the skin. One of my favorite skin care lines is YonKa. Their products smell wonderful and make the skin look fresh and dewy.

Click here to shop for YonKa products

Clean your Skin at Night 
Remove all makeup every night before bed! The skin rejuvenates itself while we sleep at night. It's the perfect time to work with the natural rejuvenation process by applying an anti aging product to fresh clean skin. 

Use Sunscreen
Apply a sunscreen with and SPF of 15 or higher everyday, rain or shine, to protect the skin from UV damage that causes pigmentation spots, wrinkles and skin cancer.

Have a Beautiful Day!

Watch my beauty tip videos on youtube!

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Pull your Hair to Relieve Tension

Pull your hair. 
pulling hair
Not because your are fed up, but because a gentle tug on the hair stimulates circulation to the scalp and relieves tension. Strange but true.

The object is to lift the skin from the scalp not actually pull hairs out. Use both hands to grab a handfuls of your hair close to the scalp. Get handfuls, not little bits. Pulling little bits of hair may hurt and increase the chance of pulling hair out. Gently pull the hair lifting the skin away from the scalp. Move your hands around your head to stimulate all the whole scalp.

Hair pulling can also helps to relieve tension headaches and migraines. The scull and the muscles of the head are covered with protective and supportive connective tissue called fascia. The fascia is normally soft and pliable but can become hard and dense. A hard dense fascia can cause a tension headache. A good scalp massage or hair pulling helps to loosen up the tight fascia relieving tension.

Have a Tension Free Day!

Get more tips on youtube!

Twiggy Style Eye Makeup

I have always been fascinated with Twiggy, the super model popular from 1966-1970. I guess I'm showing my age. I even had the Twiggy board game at my grandparents house!
twiggy board game
Twiggy was the world's first super model. She was known for her skinny body and that dark 60's style makeup with false lashes, drawn on lower lashes and thick spiky mascara that she worn. She said that she would spend 90 minutes doing her makeup and used 3 sets of false lashes.


Click here to visit her site.

I had to try it for my Halloween Hippie costume. But, I used just 1 set of false lashes. I couldn't bear to wear 3 sets all night!

twiggy eyes in black and white
It's always fun and challenging to create an iconic look. Twiggy wanted to have smokey eyes like the 1930's film stars. She wanted that big, round, dark eyed look. She used black and white colors to create her famous makeup. She used pot of black eye liner and a brush to precisely paint on her eye liner, dark rounded crease and those drawn on lower lashes. Notice that double flick at the outer corners of the eyes, too. As for her lips, she blotted them out with pancake makeup.
twiggy eye makeup
Here are the makeup supplies I used to create my Twiggy eye makeup. I used tweezers too!
eye makeup
Step 1: I started by applying white eye shadow to my eyelid. 

Step 2: I used a soft black eye shadow and a brush to tightline the upper lashes. Tightlining is lining the upper rim of the eye so that the liner is at the roots of the eyelashes.

Step 3: A felt tip eye liner made an easy line for my top lashes with a little flick up at the end.

Step 4: For the crease, I started by drawing an outline for the dark colored area.  I used a brown black eyeliner pencil to draw the bottom crease line on my eyelid, then I drew the top line of the crease area extending it out to create the top little flick.

Step 5: I used a brush to fill in the crease area in with dark brown and soft black eye shadows blended together.

Step 6: Now back to the felt tip liner to define the top flicked liner and connect the flicked lash liner to the crease line to create the bottom flick.

Step 7: I also used the felt tip liner to draw on a few lashes at the outer edges of my lower lashes.

Step 8: I applied strip lashes next and several coats of mascara on the top and bottom lashes. A pair of tweezers worked great to squeeze groups of lashes together to make them look more spiky.

Step 9: I added more liner to the top lash line with the felt tip liner to hide the strip of the lashes.

Step 10: I finished by using a white eyeliner on the lower rim of the eye to create a more open round eyed look.

I can see why Twiggy took so long to do her eyes!!!
Hippie costume

Have a Groovy Day!

Get more makeup tips on youtube!