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Treat Yourself to a Mom Makeover

Beautiful woman in blue floral dress resting on the sofa

At one time, having a child changed things. Surely, you couldn’t be a proper role model for a child if you couldn’t let go of your own youth. Motherhood wasn’t a time to celebrate your self, it was a time to focus on your child, and let go of silly vanities- to keep your figure hidden, your makeup minimal, your hair plain, and what did this amount to? A lot of miserable mothers who modeled low self esteem to their children. If motherhood has left you feeling like an old hat, you probably owe it to yourself and your family to change things up a bit. Here are some ways to do that.

New Bra

Underwear is often cited as a crucial element of fashion. Blogger Laura Coronado says, ” I recommend going to a department store where associates are trained to perform a proper bra fitting.”

She believes that,”once  a woman knows her correct bra size and carries her bust in the proper area of her body, she will discover a new, sexy figure she may not have been aware she had, including a smaller waistline than she originally thought.”

Mani and Pedi

Having no time to go to the spa is no excuse to skip out on a good manicure and pedicure. Just use some white sugar combined with a few drops of lemon juice as an exfoliator for the hands, feet, and cuticles and finish with a bright coat of polish.

Teeth Whitening

You know one of your best fashion accessories is your smile, and today, that doesn’t even necessitate a visit to the dentist. Pick up a home teeth whitening kit the next time you’re at our local drug store. You’ll find its an easy fix, that doesn’t require much time or effort.

The Mommy Makeover

Within the past few years, you may have heard the term “mommy makeover” used to describe the package deal surgeries which usually include breast augmentation, liposuction, and a tummy tuck. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, 62% of mothers would consider a mommy makeover if it weren’t for the cost. Here are a few things you may want to know if you are in that 62%.

Surgery is not a substitute for healthy living. Although plastic surgery may seem to be a quick fix for shedding extra baby weight, it is really meant to correct imperfections that exercise can’t. According to ASPS president Debra Johnson, the best results of plastic surgery are most likely seen in those who are fit and healthy. Johnson stresses that the point of surgery is to increase breast volume, get rid of excess skin, or repair the abdominal wall. Eating well and exercising should both come before the eventuality of plastic surgery.

Make sure you’re not planning to have any more children. Breast implants via areola incision or breast lifts can make breast  feeding difficult because of excess scar tissue. In addition, tummies that have been tightened can stretch out again, although mothers who have had tummy tucks tend to carry high.

Recovery is Painful. One of the pros of the mommy makeover is that it is cost effective in that it allows for multiple surgeries to  be done at the same time. However, it is important to note that what is saved in money may be sacrificed in comfort. Most patients can expect to have someone assisting them constantly for at least three days following surgery and should have someone to care for their children for at least a week following the procedure.

What do you think? Would you do the Mommy makeover? Let us know!

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The Anti-Aging Secrets of British Beauties

Beautiful and well-dressed blonde woman

The 1960’s. Oh, how the world longed to be the bell-bottomed blue-jeaned girls of the British invasion! It was a generation that redefined fashion and beauty. It should seem right that the ladies that taught style to the rest of the world should have some of the best advice on how to hold on to it. Here are some of the top tips on staying young from the women who set the standards.

The Research

A comprehensive study of 2000 British women was conducted by UK beauty experts “Simple” in order to determine different approaches to beauty products and tips and reactions to the latest innovations.

One characteristic of, although likely not exclusive to, British women was the willingness to experiment.  The study revealed that one in 10 British women would be willing to try any bizarre tips if it made them look younger. A spokeswoman for simple explained. “The bizarre list of beauty tips and tricks just shows the length some of these women will go to look beautiful and how confusing some of these tips are.” However, it wasn’t all about the extremes when it came down to it.

More conventional remedies to aging included drinking lots of water, cranberry juice and milk. Less conventional remedies entailed the rubbing of strawberries on the face to reduce the appearance of dark spot and using a combination of soap and sugar to exfoliate.

Also, according to the study, British bedroom investigations would reveal a lot of women sleeping on their backs on silk pillowcases in hopes of avoiding wrinkles.

As for British attitude toward plastic surgery? One in five described those who succumb to the knife to stay young looking were “vain and self absorbed,” and nearly a third claimed to have “more money sense.”

The Key To Staying Young

Apparently, British women are somewhat divided on what it comes down to on what it takes to stay young, but the majority (three-quarters) contributed youthful appearance to a healthy diet. Two-thirds thought drinking water was a big component, while 57% thought genetics were key. One-third opined that staying young was the simply the result of a proper daily beauty regimen, while fourteen percent said they stayed young by eating certain foods. Of that percentage most professed that broccoli was their food of choice, with oily fish a close second.

Expert Advice

According to a Simple spokeswoman, “Many women are prepared to go to extreme length to fight the aging process and that is their choice. But our advice would be to follow a healthy lifestyle instead of being pressured to try the latest fads or any invasive surgery.”

Do you know any anti-aging secrets? British or not, we want to hear them! Let us know what you do to stay so wonderfully young!

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Fabulous and Fashionable After Forty

Smiling middle-age blonde woman outside a cafe

It seems just a few years ago, the words “forty-year-old woman” conjured images of demure wardrobes, generic make up, and outdated hairdos. Now the term is more likely to conjure up a supermodel in a bikini surrounded by her young children and handsome husband. More and more frequently, women are realizing that life doesn’t end at 30, rather it starts at 40, and that the word ‘style’ is still very much a part of an older woman’s vocabulary.

Choose the Right Colors

Turning 40 does not consign you to colorless neutrals. Rather, the right colors will enhance your coloring and make you look healthier and younger. This goes for hair as well as clothing. If you’re considering a change in hair color, reevaluate your skin tones to find the colors that suit you best. Then go shopping for some clothes in your new color scheme.

Pay Attention to Fit and Style

You can still dress in the latest styles, but you can’t skimp on quality, even when it comes to your undergarments. Schedule a professional consultation to find out your exact underwear size and which clothing best suits your body shape and proportions. You will find that tailored pieces can emphasize your best features, whereas shapeless clothing will hide your strong points, as well as your unflattering ones. Your primary aim should be maintaining the look of a well-proportioned figure.

Mix and Match

The last decade has shown a huge shift in the propriety of office wear for older women. Separates replace full suits, which offers more freedom to mix things up. Ditch the boxy blazers and padded shoulders in favor of tailored jackets, pencil skirts, trousers, and jeans. Wardrobe essentials include a leather jacket, a crisp, white shirt, a knee-length pencil skirt, a trench coat, and low-heeled pumps.

Jeans

You can rock a great pair of jeans at any age, just avoid the mom jeans. Experiment with different styles and sizes until you find the ones most flattering to your figure.Look for something between a low rise and high rise, and try to avoid embellishments, holes, and colorful embroidery. Stick with cotton denim with 2 to 3% lycra for a comfortable give and a sleeker silhouette. Once you’ve found the perfect pair, you may want to purchase a few to wear with a classic white shirt or blouse.

Hair and Makeup

Hair can hide a multitude of sins. Bangs, angles, layers, highlights and lowlights can be a woman’s best friend in drawing attention from unwanted lines and wrinkles. Also, keep in mind that grey hair does not automatically mean old age and many women are comfortable capitalizing on their silver highlights.

Don’t overdo your makeup. Heavy layers of blush and foundation can weigh down your face and make you look older. Keep makeup soft and subtle. Accentuate the eyes, use a natural blush on your cheeks and a pale lipstick.

Are you fierce and over forty? How do you do it? Let us know.

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How to Look Fresh and Flawless This Spring

Pretty young woman with flower garland in her hair

Spring has sprung and the weather is not the only thing that’s getting hot. It’s time to strip down, let loose, and step up, and that calls for a makeup routine that’s up to the challenge. If you want to look sun-kissed and effortless this spring, here are some tips and tricks you may want to try.

Cover Up

Beautiful skin starts with a good foundation. Since it’s spring, you probably want to go for something with a light gel-like texture, especially in the daytime. Use your fingers to apply; this will help to warm up the product so it glides over the skin easily. A correcting concealer can help cover up any spots that need extra coverage. It is best to dab, rather than rub or blend, for a more polished tone.

Glow

You need to be glowing in the spring, so it’s essential to have a liquid highlighter or highlighting pen to make sure you do just that. Trail the pen under your eyes, down your nose, under your brow bone, on your forehead, on your chin and right above your Cupid’s bow. The aim is to apply the highlighter to the places where light would hit naturally. Blend with fingertips or blending sponge.

Eyes

Your eyes are your prize this spring. You’re aiming for a minimal look, so the goal is to even out skin tone and brighten the eye area. Start by prepping with a primer or cream with a little shimmer. Next, open up the eyes by adding white eyeliner to the waterline of your eye for a brighter, more alert appearance. Apply a kohl pencil in and ivory hue with a light coat of mascara, using the dark and light contrast to achieve a doe-eyed effect.

Bronzer

Give your cheeks some spring sunshine with a creamy bronzer. Apply with fingers, using circular motions to blend.

Lips

While you could just add a touch of Vaseline to your lips for a glossy natural look, you might prefer to add a bit of color.  Peachy and pink shades work best in spring.  If you want a slightly worn in, stained effect, try rubbing the color in lightly with your finger.

Finish

Give yourself a light spritz of finishing spray to hold makeup in place and to lend skin a dewy sheen. Arm yourself with a mister at all times for an instant boost of moisture and freshness.

You’re looking hot this spring! What are your secrets? How do you get that gorgeous springtime glow?  Let us know!

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Put a Stop to Makeup Contamination

Spraying water on makeup brush

You may be familiar with the rules of good cosmetic hygiene.  Don’t share your makeup, keep brushes and applicators clean, throw out old makeup, don’t double dip your brush; the list goes on. But what can you do if your makeup is contaminated with mold or bacteria before you even buy it? Find out what you need to know to protect yourself against this beauty nightmare.

How Is This Possible?

While drugs, biologics, and medical devices are all subject to FDA scrutiny, the agency’s legal authority is somewhat different when it comes to cosmetics. In the case of beauty products, the responsibility for the testing and insurance of the safety of the products and ingredients are left to the makeup companies. If there is a problem, the FDA is notified by reports from health care, experts, product surveys and consumers after it occurs.

What Can Be Done?

Currently, most cosmetics have preservatives, such as paragons and formaldehyde donor preservatives that kill spores and bacteria cells in cosmetics. However, as chemical chemist Perry Romanowski explains, “The trick is to use these compounds at levels that are not high enough to cause harm to human cells.”

Often, the cause of contaminants in makeup is caused by improper storage. Bacteria growth can be avoided by keeping beauty products out of hot humid places, like your bathroom, and holding on to products for an extensive amount of time can also increase contamination potential.

Stacya Silverman, Seattle esthetian, says that anything that goes near or on your eyes, such as creams and liquids, should be tossed out about every three months.  She also advises buying skin care products that come in a pump, rather than a jar, which is an easier target for contamination.

Romanowski adds, “the key is to never share personal care products with other people, and especially don’t share ones which require you to touch the product directly in the package.”

The FDA will be addressing concerns of testing cosmetics for contamination, the efficiency of preservatives and how packaging can affect the harboring of bacteria in a public meeting. Spokeswoman Stephanie Yao assures that the meeting is not being held due to an increase in reports of contamination in makeup, but rather to “start the conversation about microbiological safety issues in cosmetics.”

Have you had a run in with makeup contamination? We’d love to hear your stories.

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Diminish Fine Lines with Skin Care and Makeup

Makeup artist's hand applying eyeshadow to woman's eyes

There is nothing you can do to completely stop the aging process, but there are things you can do to slow it down or to reduce the appearance of aging. Visible signs of aging like fine lines and wrinkles can be a major source of frustration, but with the proper skin care and makeup tools and techniques, you can seriously diminish the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Keep reading to find out what products, ingredients and steps you should be including in your effort to diminish the appearance of fine lines.

Skin Care

  • Exfoliate Regularly – Exfoliating is an important part of an anti-aging skin care routine, because it removes the dead skin cells that clog up the surface layer of your skin. When these dead skin cells accumulate, your skin looks tired and dull, which emphasizes any fine lines and wrinkles you have. Alpha-hydroxy acids, like glycolic or lactic acids, are an excellent way to gently slough away the buildup of dead skin cells and other debris. Aim to exfoliate once or twice a week to keep your skin looking healthy and radiant, which will go a long way in reducing the appearance of fine lines.

  • Use Retinol – Retinol is an anti-aging superstar and it is frequently endorsed by dermatologists for its ability to diminish the look of fine lines and wrinkles. In addition to helping reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, retinol also helps your skin look more even and it helps reduce the appearance of hyperpigmentation. Uneven skin tone in conjunction with hyperpigmentation and fine lines result in an old-looking face, and retinol can help to turn back time and give your skin a more even, firm and glowing appearance.

  • Moisturize – Your skin needs moisture and the older you get, the more moisture it needs. Be sure to apply moisturizer twice a day and look for one with hyaluronic acid. Hyaluronic acid draws moisture out of the surrounding air and pulls it into your skin. When this happens, your fine lines are “plumped” up and are far less significant looking than before using a moisturizer. Moisturizing is also an absolute must before you move on to your makeup routine. Properly moisturizing your face helps your makeup to glide onto your skin smoothly and to eradicate dry, rough patches of skin that your makeup may cling to.

Makeup

  • Use a Primer – If you think primers are just marketing hype, you will want to reconsider this notion. Effective primers help  your makeup apply evenly, blur fine lines, wrinkles and pores and help you achieve a more flawless makeup look. As you age your makeup tends to settle into fine lines or pores which result in exaggeration of your signs of aging. Primers add an extra layer of protection between your face and your makeup and essentially “fill in” your fine lines. To further reduce the appearance of fine lines, look for a primer that has light reflecting particles to add a natural radiance to your skin.

  • Skip Powder – Powders are ubiquitous in the makeup world, but as you age you may want to start phasing powders out of your routine. A very lightweight translucent powder is still great for setting your foundation and a powder that contains light reflecting particles can have a brightening effect, but proceed with caution. Powder foundations and pressed powders have a tendency to settle into your fine lines, so if you continue to use a powder, use it very lightly and only on areas where you absolutely need it, like your T-zone.

  • Pick Foundation Carefully – In addition to getting rid of your powder foundations, you want to look carefully at the liquid formulas you use as well. It can be tempting to reach for maximum coverage if you want to hide your age, but doing so can end up backfiring. Less really is more as you age, and you might want to swap your full coverage foundation for something lighter. Tinted moisturizers, BB and CC creams are all great options for aging skin because they provide coverage, but also soothe and moisturize aging skin.

The proper skin care routine and makeup products can significantly impact the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Use these ingredients, products and tips to help reduce signs of aging and to achieve a more radiant and youthful-looking face.

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Is Your Nail Salon Safe?

Nail care experience at the salon

Seemingly endless nail polish color options, plenty of magazines and comfortable, cozy chairs: What’s not to love about heading for a professional manicure/ pedicure once in awhile? If you’ve ever heard a salon horror story, you know that you risk more than just the appearance of your manicure by heading to an unsanitary salon. From chemical fume-induced headaches to serious infections, there certainly are potential dangers lurking in unsanitary salons. Want to enjoy your next manicure/ pedicure in peace? Check out this guide on what to look for when determining whether your nail salon is safe.

Check the Surroundings

Experts recommend that you arrive at the salon about 15 minutes before your scheduled appointment so that you can take a look around the salon. If you don’t have a ton of time to look around, celebrity nail artist Deborah Lippmann says to be sure and check the corners of salons and the bathrooms. Says Lippmann, “if they’re clean, it’s usually a sign of higher standards.” Take a look at the foot baths used for pedicures, and make sure that employees are properly cleaning and disinfecting them after use. You should also take a peek at the shelves, countertops and trash cans. If you notice dust, dirt or overflowing trash, you definitely don’t want to trust the tools and polishes the salon uses.

Scan the Sterilization Methods

As you check out the general cleanliness of the salon, be sure to scan for sterilization devices. If you head into a salon that uses UV sterilizers – those machines that resemble toaster ovens – you want to look for a different salon. While these machines may look impressive and they do clean tools, they don’t actually remove any bacteria which means that infection can spread easily. Autoclave machines – those that use steam to kill germs – or hospital-grade soaking solutions are a far better option, but it can be difficult to know whether or not the tools are being sanitized for a long enough period of time. Additionally, there are certain tools that should never be reused like nail files or buffing blocks. To play it safe, Lippmann recommends bringing in your own tools to avoid problems that range from a gross fungal infection to a serious staph infection.

Bring Your Own Polish

Tools aren’t the only things at a nail salon that can get polluted and infected. Lippmann advises clients that nail polishes can easily get contaminated if a client has a fungal infection or an open sore near the nail bed. However, Lippmann does note that this is a total “worst-case scenario” and may not be incredibly common, bringing your own polish is still the safest bet. Bringing your own nail polish can also help extend the life of your mani because Lippmann says, “I constantly see salons adding remover to the polishes so they last longer.”

Getting a professional mani/ pedi shouldn’t be a frightening experience, but you do want to be sure your salon is safe before you sit in the chair. When you go to get your next professional manicure or pedicure, do a quick sweep of the salon and check out the cleanliness of your surroundings. A reputable salon will be clean in all areas, and should have no qualms about answering any questions you may have regarding tools or their sanitization methods. Like Lippmann suggests, bringing your own tools and polish can also help you ensure that your professional manicure or pedicure is not only relaxing, pampering and gorgeous, but that it is also safe for your hands and feet.

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Vine Vera Examines How Makeup Affects Your Confidence

Young woman applying blush to cheeks

Vine Vera knows that irrespective of what you think about makeup and how you feel about it, there is no one who is indifferent to the image that they see in the mirror. In between the moment you get out of bed and the moment you step out of your bedroom, your eyes eventually fall upon a mirror to see how you look. One of the main reasons for this is that grooming is considered to be a basic ritual and one of the most basic necessities of life. According to Erving Goffman, a popular sociologist, grooming is quite similar to backstage preparations in the theater. It is a way of getting ready, a way of inspiring confidence, a way of preparing for the journey ahead.

However, makeup isn’t always about offering a confidence boost. For example, if you find makeup to be an important part of your daily routine, you’re likely to see it as a major confidence boost. However, if you find makeup to be a major obligation, it is not likely to inspire a sense of confidence in you.

A study conducted by Nancy Etcoff (the author of a book called “Survival of the Prettiest: The Science of Beauty” and an assistant clinical professor at the Harvard Medical School) and her colleagues tried to examine the impact that makeup made on viewers. The group asked people to rate several photographs of women with makeup as well as women without makeup.

The results of the study showed that in the short run, women with makeup were more than likely to seem more likeable, competent and attractive to the viewers than the women who didn’t have any makeup on. However, as viewers studied these photos for a long period of time, the responses became much more varied. In this case, women who sported natural makeup were favored and women who used makeup dramatically were found to be less trustworthy.

This study simply goes on to show that makeup is an extremely powerful tool. However, the impacts of makeup on a person’s psyche have hardly been studied or researched upon. The few studies that are there clearly indicate that makeup can have a significant impact on a woman’s public perception and appearance; thereby playing a major role in increasing or decreasing her confidence.

Talking about how makeup makes the wearer feel, psychologists have also tried to distinguish between a sense of stable confidence versus a major boost in confidence. These studies have shown that the right kind of grooming and makeup can offer a temporary, but attractive, confidence boost. In fact, a study was also conducted on the importance of grooming products for men. This study tried to understand the impact of spraying scented products on men. The authors of the study asked women to judge between men who used scented products and men who used unscented products. The study found that men who used scented products like body sprays were deemed to be more attractive by women. This played a major role in increasing their confidence, thereby further increasing their attractiveness quotient.

Ultimately, the effects of makeup is all in the mind. It is what you want it to be. Makeup can give you a major confidence boost and it may also have nothing to offer. It all depends on how you perceive yourself with and without makeup and whether you feel more confident after applying makeup or not.