At Home Dermaplaning!

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So by now you may or may not have heard of dermaplaning as the hot new facial service available to the stars…

For those of you who haven’t heard about it, here’s the skinny: dermaplaning is a service that consists of a skilled professional gently scraping a scalpel across the surface layer of the skin to physically exfoliate and also remove baby peach fuzz hairs to produce a super smooth effect and increase the power of skin treatments applied afterwards.

Generally speaking it’s not usually safe to take an unguarded blade to your own skin as it can be difficult to gauge pressure and it would be awful to end up with a scar instead of fresh skin.

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Well, for those of us out here who don’t want to spend a million dollars on facial treatments at a spa, I’m here to offer another option: guarded brow shaping razors for at home dermaplaning.

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These are absolutely amazing in general and I use them for my brow shaping because my skin doesn’t do well with facial waxing. But the real awesome sauce about them is that they have a really sharp blade and they also have a micro guard on them that helps prevent the likelihood of cutting yourself accidentally.

After reading about dermaplaning and doing some research I decided to give it a whirl myself. The major benefit for me has been how much better my skin care products seem to be working. By using a technique like this to physically remove the surface layer of dead cells and make-up residue that seems to never come off fully under usual circumstances it really does promote better absorption of masks and moisturizers.

It’s typically not necessary to do an extreme exfoliation technique like this every day. I suggest trying it once a week, or even once a month if you have sensitive skin. My skin is pretty hardy so I used to do this once a week until my skin got better, sometimes twice a week if I’ve been doing a lot of modeling shoots and classes and been wearing more make-up than I prefer. Now I’m back to once a month. It makes me feel so much cleaner to be able to get my skin under control.

This is a truly fabulous new addition to my skin care routine and I totally suggest it to anyone interested, just be careful not to shave off an eyebrow!

 

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Facial Scrubs for Body Scrubs

While I was at the New York International Beauty Show (#IBSNY2016 if you want to search the Instagram tags), I made several interesting purchases, along with things from my Sephora haul last month.

 

I’ve already got combination skin so I know that heavily moisturizing facial scrubs tend to trigger acne for me. Since I still wanted to try stuff out I decided I’d use them as body scrubs instead. This is actually one of my favorite uses when I buy or receive products that aren’t quite a perfect fit for me.

 

First up was Rebels Refinery Advanced Clear Skin Facial Scrub which was absolutely awesome and comes from a very cool company with the most amazing smelling Moisturizing Beard Oil that I’ve ever smelled. This scrub had a really nice gritty texture and made me feel super clean, but it’s definitely designed for men’s skin and to pair with a lighter moisturizer than what I use (and probably not use make-up with either). I did notice that my skin was super smooth, and when used as a body scrub all over I had no ingrown hair issues, razor burn, or even a need to use body lotion. For someone with dryer skin, or as a body scrub I rate this as one of the best I’ve used, but for my face it’s a waste.

 

Second I tried my luck with Ole Henriksen Walnut Complexion Scrub which had similar issues. Absolutely wonderful as a combination body scrub body wash but not really working for my face. Great texture, and decent lather when mixed with water, nice smell.

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Hopefully the next set of things I get my hands on prove to be a better fit for my skin type as we approach warmer weather again. Get stoked!

 

Got any recommendations you think I should check out? Leave them in the comments section and I’ll be sure to take a look.

Not Always a Win

Not everything I buy to try is a product I’m destined to love forever.

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Recently, in my Sephora haul, I purchased Glam Glow Super Mud to try. My good friend and former assistant, Vanessa who works at the Springfield Town Center Sephora location, assured me I would love it. While I acknowledge it is a beauty junkie favorite, and it did great things for my skin, I just can’t get past the scent.

 

It contains several herbal extracts, like licorice, which give it a distinct smell that ends up being extremely reminiscent of Jagermeister. I just can’t handle it.

 

This is a bit of a loss because my skin does feel incredibly refreshed and clean. The goal of using it tonight was to make up for three days of chain-smoking in my car traveling to teach hair extension classes out of town. It worked amazingly so I’m disappointed a bit, but I’m planning on gifting it to a current staff member who really enjoys Jager.

Recent Sephora Favorites

So I semi-recently got some tax return money and we all know what a beauty junkie is prone to do with unexpected windfalls, so I took that to Sephora to find some new favorites.

The weather these days has been back and forth pretty ridiculously in my area so I’ve been looking for some skin care that would give me a deep clean and no residue on the sweaty days but it needed to be soothing enough to not dry me out on the cooler days either.

There was much searching and poking through every product, and I’m sure a fair amount of employee annoyance at my refusal to accept advice, but seriously I’ve got a cosmetology license there’s nothing you can tell me that I won’t know from reading the labeling. I finally settled on Peter Thomas Roth Pumpkin Enzyme Mask and May Coop Raw Sauce.

I’ve fallen madly in love with them both.

 

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The pumpkin mask has been awesome. It’s designed to be used 2-3 times per week, but I use it every other day so I use it about 4 times a week. I wouldn’t recommend that if you have skin that is sensitive to physical or chemical exfoliants. It’s got a good grainy texture so it works well at giving me a really clean feeling that just doesn’t happen for me with chemical exfoliants alone. It’s also filled with fantastic enzymes and acids from the pumpkin and other natural sources so it really leaves you feeling smooth and soft.

May Coop Raw Sauce, I have to admit it, I mostly bought it because I loved the name of it. It’s pretty much asking to be joked about. Seriously. It came down between this and another “booster style” moisturizer and the name was the deciding factor. I am digging it though because it has a whole bunch of extracts in it that increase the nutrient content but it’s virtually oil free so there’s no gross sebum build up on the warmer days we’ve been having. It’s very light in scent and texture, and it’s got a maple water base which makes it an excellent hydration product.

I’m excited to keep using these until I run out. It’s been a few weeks so far and they’re doing fabulous things for my acne, oily spots, and general brightness.

Seasonal Style Rules

Often as seasons change, my clients ask me what’s trending in with the new weather pattern. While there’s always a fair amount of unexpected fashion, there are also a lot of style rules that don’t really change. Hope these help you stay on point.

 

springSpring.

-Makeup returns to peach tones and colorful pastels, think “playful” and “innocent.”

-Clothing is shorter, of course, as few items as possible, kind of the anti-layering, usually lace or other “open” fabrics.

-Hair gets lighter though don’t go too light too quickly, but more natural sun-kissed, typically on the ash/beige end of the color spectrum.

 

 

 

summerSummer.

-Makeup is typically dewy with soft, brown-rimmed eyes, not black, and nothing too deep for lip colors. Sometimes bright eyeshadows for extreme color trend, but that can be hit or miss.

-Let’s address the clothing trends: Denim! It’s always denim. I don’t know why, it’s a terrible fabric, but summer brings is denim skirts, shorts, vests, oh gosh, everything!

-Hair this season views lots of blondes, golds, caramels for darker hair with beachy, worn-in scrunchy wavy softness.

 

 

AutumnAutumn.

-Lots of natural soft looks with makeup, sometimes just a bit of color to keep it interesting. Since it’s just starting to get cooler people seem to start cutting down their beauty routine. Possibly to spend a few extra minutes in a warm bed each morning?

-Autumnal clothing is pretty well understood by most already. Unlike spring, despite similar temperature ranges, there is almost an obsession with layering as though you aren’t dressed without three outfits at the same time. Also wear lots of brown, since Autumn is the season to celebrate brown everything.

-Personally it’s my favorite hair season because I love all the gold, red and copper. Emulate the local foliage as much as you reasonably can.

 

 

winterWinter.

-Makeup settles in with bold, jewel tones with a soft neutral lip, or goes the other direction with a Snow White look and red lips.

-Clothing gets puffy. As the temperature decreases, the level of mass required by clothing increases exponentially. 40=jacket. 30=puffy jacket. 20=strap on a polar bear and hide it with an even puffier jacket.

-Hair trends darker, more intense, and often straighter, my guess is that since this is the coldest season it’s the only one where the hair is chosen based on ease. If you cannot leave with wet hair, straight is usually the fastest.

My Winter Face – Favorite Things

With the weather all wonky for Winter skin can be dry and lips can feel like they need some extra oomph (technical term, I swear). So today I reached for some of my favorite Winter products to protect and emphasize.

Dermalogica Barrier Repair
Dermalogica Barrier Repair

I’ll start off with Barrier Repair, a calming “moisturizer” for sensitive skin by Dermalogica. Barrier Repair is a water free silicone and natural oil based “moisturizer” designed to instantly form a soothing barrier for your skin. You’ll notice I keep putting moisturizer in quotes. This is because it’s not a moisturizer in the traditional sense. Most moisturizers add lots of oils to your skin to fill it up and keep it feeling supple, what Barrier Repair does is different because it’s not creating moisture so much as it’s protecting it. It’s also full of other vitamins to keep the health of your skin up during these chilly dry months. Think of it as the grown up version of when your parents put Vaseline on your face before you went out to play in the snow. Added benefit: it can be used as a primer before make-up or instead of make-up because the silicone adds a soft focus feeling and reduces the appearance of pores. Really a great multitask product. That’s what we all need right? Fewer things in our bag?

 

 

Du Wop Lip Venom Flash
Du Wop Lip Venom Flash

My other favorite Winter product isn’t as much a multitasker or hugely beneficial, but it always makes me feel like my lips really pop. In the Winter I feel like my lips start to disappear on my face because they get dry and they aren’t shiny so they look thin and, well, blah. Enter Du Wop Lip Venom (I prefer the Gold Flash version for added sparkle). Unlike many other lip plumping products this one stays shiny all day so that long after the effects have worn off it still feels like it’s working. It also has more of a cinnamon “flavor” than mint so I’m quite appreciative of the warmth during Winter instead of just the tingling you would normally get from other products.

So those are my gotta have Winter favorites for my make-up kit. What about you? What Winter product do you always turn to?

Beauty Blog: The Importance of Primer

Primers are one of my favorite things ever so I’ve listed some of my favorites and why I love each of them so much to help you choose a great one for yourself.

Per-fekt Skin Perfection Gel– This is currently my favorite because it is not only a primer, but it also contains topical vitamins to treat skin. Best part, it’s tinted! That means I can just throw it on my face and be done with a little lip balm.

Benefit ‘That Gal’ Brightening Face Primer -Another great choice for outdoor/indoor use on a daily basis because it’s a bit more reflective and can help hide dark circles and uneven tone by itself. I don’t suggest it for flash photography though.

Becca Resurfacing Primer– Anti-aging and super matte. Works really well for skin that is a bit more oily. Makes pores disappear.