Tuesday, September 30, 2014

I'm letting my nails breathe....

 pink nails with flower

This is something I hear from people from time to time: I like to take a break from nail polish so my nails can breath. They need to breathe right?

Well, nails don't breathe. They don't need air. They are made of hard keratin protein like your hair. The nail plate is actually dead tissue that does not breathe so it doesn't matter if nails are covered with polish.

Nails are porous and they do absorb water though. The water evaporates naturally from the nails. Nails are softer and more pliable when wet. They tend to flatten when wet and curl when dry. This constant flattening and curling can weaken the nails and cause peeling. Many people find that wearing polish lessens the amount of flattening and curling helping their nails to be stronger.

There are some people can get dry and flaky nails from wearing polish. It's not because the nails need to breathe. It's because they have become dehydrated from the chemicals in nail polish. You can take a break from wearing polish to help condition and rehydrate them.

How to Condition Dry Nails

Apply oil to bare nails frequently throughout the day. It can be a nail/cuticle oil such as Solar Oil or it can be just plain olive oil.

Also apply hand lotion frequently.

Protect your nails from water and cleaning products by wearing waterproof gloves.

Professional Manicures
Head to the salon to get a hydrating spa manicure and maybe a paraffin dip to moisturize your hands and nails.

Have a Beautiful Day!
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Monday, September 22, 2014

Roasted Pepper Pasta Sauce

roasted red pepper pasta sauce
Roasted Pepper Pasta Sauce
I question whether one of my daughters is allergic to tomatoes, so I make a quick and easy red pasta sauce using roasted peppers. Peppers are loaded with Vitamin C to aid in collagen production to keep our skin looking younger. Make it gluten free by using gluten free pasta. Make it vegan by omitting the cheese. 

12 ounces pasta, gluten free or regular
1 24 ounce jar of roasted red peppers, drained
about 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 
1/4 cup chopped onion
3 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
4-6  basil leaves torn into small pieces
1/4 cup pasta water
1 teaspoon salt
black pepper to taste
1/4 cup sliced black olives
Shredded Parmesan cheese 

Cook pasta according to the package directions. Reserve 1/4 cup of pasta water, then drain pasta. Put it in a large bowl and set aside. 

Set aside a pepper or two from the jar to use later. Puree the remaining peppers in a food processor. 

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add onions and cook 5 minutes stirring occasionally. Add garlic and cook for 2 minutes. Add the pureed peppers, basil leaves, pasta water, salt and black pepper. Stir to mix and cook for 5 minutes. 

Slice olives and slice reserved peppers in strips. Pour pepper sauce over the pasta. Top with olives and sliced peppers. Sprinkle with desired amount of Parmesan cheese, or not.

See how to make it on youtube!
Red Pepper Pasta Sauce Video

Have a Beautiful Day!

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Friday, September 19, 2014

Gel Polish and Gel Nails are different

neutral nail designs
We get calls at the salon all the time for people wanting gel polish but they ask for gel nails on the phone. We don't do gel nails but we do gel polish. Customers are being turned away because of the confusion of using the wrong terminology.

What is the difference between gel polish and gel nails?

Both gel polish and gel nails are light cured applications for nails. They are both cured with either a UV lamp or LED lamp depending on the type of product. There is one big difference between them though. 

Interesting side note: 
Both UV lamps and LED lamps produce UV Radiation. LED lamps produce less UV and cure at a quicker rate so the UV exposure is less. Therefore, LED cured nail products are the safer way to go if you are concerned about the amount UV exposure you receive during light cured nail product application.

Gel Polish 

light cured gel nail polish

Light cured gel polish is also known as soak off polish. It is a nail polish cured by a light designed to last about 14 days and then be removed by soaking it off with acetone.

Gel Nails 

gel nail material
Light cured gel nails are a type of artificial nails also cured with a light to lengthen nails or cover weak nails. They grow out with the natural nails and the nails must be refilled every 2 weeks (just like an acrylic refill) to prevent lifting and keep the natural nails covered.

The gels used to build gel nails can come in colors which may be contribute to the confusion between gel polish and gel nails.

Remember gel nails are the creation of longer artificial nails or are protective nail coverings. 

Gel polish is just polish. It doesn't add any length to your natural nails and is removed after 2 weeks.

I hope that help clear up the confusion or just using the wrong terminology between gel polish and gel nails.

Have a Beautiful Nail Day!
Licensed Cosmetologist, Esthetician, Makeup Artist
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Monday, September 15, 2014

Olive Oil as Eye Makeup Remover

eye makeup remover
Q. Can I use olive oil to take my eye makeup off?

A. Yes. Olive oil will gently and effectively remove eye makeup, even hard to remove waterproof mascara. Coconut oil is also good for makeup removal.

There can be issues with using oil around the eyes, though. Your vision will be temporarily blurry if oil gets in your eyes and oils used around the eyes can cause the delicate skin on the eyelids to get puffy. You can help prevent eyelid puffiness by carefully removing the oil from your eyes. 

I pour some olive oil into a small bottle and keep it in my bathroom so it's handy to use for makeup removal.

Tips on using olive oil as eye makeup remover:

1. Apply olive oil to a cotton pad or tissue.

2. Hold the tissue or cotton pad on your closed eye for a couple minutes to allow the oil can to soften and dissolve your eye makeup. Gently wipe the oiled cotton pad or tissue back and forth to remove your eye makeup.

3. Use a gentle facial cleanser and a warm, wet washcloth to remove oil residue and makeup remnants. Rinse your eyes well with water

4. Use a facial toner. Then, apply eye cream and facial moisturizer.

It's easy and inexpensive

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Thursday, September 11, 2014

Aspirin Allergy and Skin Care Products

salicylic acid
Aspirin. It is Acetylsalicylic acid derived from willow tree bark. If you are allergic to it, you could be allergic to many skin care, personal care and makeup products. Salicylates are chemicals found many fruits, vegetables and are often in skin care products these days. 

It is said that topical application of salicylates is generally well tolerated and that an allergy to topical products is rare. But, I do have a facial client who is allergic to aspirin and does react to skincare products that contain salicylic acid. I'm really careful about which skincare products I use on her or she will end up with swollen eyes. I didn't realize how many products and foods actually contain them until I started looking into it. If you suspect you have a salicylate allergy, an allergist can do a patch test to diagnose the allergy.

Beta hydroxyl acid (BHA), a salicylate, is widely used in makeup and skin care products for its exfoliating, healing and anti inflammatory properties. You will find it in acne products as well as anti aging products.

Sunscreens can have salicylates too. Even toothpaste. It's a great ingredient as long as you're not allergic to it.  Allergic people should always read the ingredient list on the product label for any salicylates before buying.

Here is a list of salicylates:
Acetylsalicylic acid
Amyl salicylate
Benzyl salicylate
Beta Hydroxy acid
Magnesium salicylate
Phenyl salicylate
Phenylethyl salicylate
Salicylic acid
Sodium salicylate
Willow bark extract

Sunscreen ingredients:
Homosalate (Homomenthyl salicylate)
Ethylhexyl salicylate (octyl salicylate/octisalate)
Trolamine salicylate

Some Foods containing salicylic acid:

Kiwi Fruit

Hot peppers

Nuts & Legumes
Pine nuts


There is so much more. Red and yellow food coloring, nitrates, artificial flavorings. It's crazy. I'm glad I'm not allergic to them.

Here are some  helpful links:

Product Guide: http://salicylatesensitivity.com/about/salicylate-free-products/

My Sensitive Skincare: http://www.mysensitiveskincare.com/#axzz3CwvbwUm5

Salicylate Free Products: http://www.cleure.com/Salicylate-Free-Products-s/256.htm

I hope this post helps you avoid aspirin related allergic reactions.

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       Have a Beautiful Day! 

Licensed Cosmetologist, Makeup Artist

 Wedding, special occasion or everyday makeup and skin care services available in the Philadelphia, Pa. area. Visit my makeup page for more information!

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Friday, September 5, 2014

BB Cream

I love, love, love this Physicians Formula Super BB!

physicians formula BB cream
It is a fabulous multi purpose cream. It moisturizes, protects against the sun with a 30 SPF, fights free radicals with antioxidants, contains white willow bark to exfoliate dead cells, helps stimulate collagen production and gives a smooth foundation like coverage. What more could you want?

  • The coverage is great. I have tried other bb creams that really don't give much coverage. This one is thick and foundation like and I have had no breakouts or skin irritations at all. Be sure to shake it before using.                                         
  • physicians formula BB cream swatch
  • There are 3 colors: light, light/medium and medium deep. I am using light/medium. It has a lot of color and gives me a glowy tan look. You can find it at drugstores, Ulta and at physicians formula.com. $14.95. Physicians Formula make a great Organic BB Cream too. I like that one as well. 

  • Shop for Physicians Formula BB Cream

  • Here are the ingredients:
  • Active Ingredients: Titanium Dioxide, Zinc Oxide. Inactive Ingredients: Water, Cyclopentasiloxane, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Neopentyl Glycol Diheptanoate, Dimethicone, Butylene Glycol, Cetyl PEG/PPG-10/1 Dimethicone, Cetearyl Alcohol, C30-45 Alkyl Cetearyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, PEG-10 Dimethicone, Sodium Chloride, Glycerin, Salix Alba (Willow) Bark Extract, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Perilla Ocymoides Seed Oil, Lysolecithin, Polysilicone-11, Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Disodium EDTA, Disteardimonium, Hectorite. Glyceryl Stearate, Laureth-12, Magnesium Silicate, Mica, PEG/PPG-18/18 Dimethicone, Polysorbate 60, Propylene Carbonate, Sodium Hydroxide, Triethoxycaprylylsilane, Xanthan Gum, Caprylyl Glycol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Hexylene Glycol, Phenoxyethanol. May Contain: Iron Oxides, Titanium Dioxide.

  • Read more:
  • What is a BB Cream?

  • What is a CC Cream?

  • Have a Beautiful Day!
  • xo
  • Jill
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  • Wednesday, September 3, 2014

    Nail Polish that Detects Date Rape Drug

    champagne nails
    What a cool idea..... if it works.

    Undercover Colors is a small company made up of a group a four male students from North Carolina State University. They have invented a nail polish that can detect date rape drugs that have been slipped into a drink. The polish changes color when exposed to drugs such as Rohypnol, Xanax and GHB. A polished fingernail could be casually dipped into a drink to detect the presence of date rape drugs.

    Don't rush out to buy it. It is not available yet. It is in the development stages. Undercover Colors is looking for funding to support research and development. Visit their facebook page for more info and a link if you would like to make a donation to this worthwhile cause.

    From what I read, the idea is not new. There have been small companies trying to develop straws, coasters, drinking glasses and lip gloss to detect date rape drugs. Researchers at Tel Aviv University's school of chemistry have developed a drug detecting sensor. It seems that these  products are made by small companies that do not have the funding to get them off the ground. There is also the problem that these devices do not detect all date rape drugs giving a false sense of security. Another issue is they don't seem to work 100% when used by consumers.  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17725882

    A bit of tweaking and more consumer use education could make these products very useful in the future.

    If you would like try out of these types of drug detectors, Drink Safe offers inexpensive coasters and test kits that you can order online.  www.drinksafetech.com 

    Have a Beautiful Day!
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