Winter Skin & Hair Care

Buffalo is buried under 6 feet of snow (at least, one half of the city is), so I think it’s safe to say Winter has cannon balled itself upon us. With the seasons’ blustery cold and our efforts to keep warm indoors, it’s going to be an uphill battle to keep both our hair and skin from drying out. Here are some tips to help lock in moisture this winter:

http://www.webmd.com/beauty/hair-styling/winterizing-your-hair-care

http://www.webmd.com/beauty/ten-winter-skin-care-tips

Stay warm out there and do you best to keep your skin and hair from getting the winter blues!

GirlinSnow

What’s the Best Bob for You?

The “Bob” is a tried and true hair style that has been popular since the Jazz Age. Whether you’re keeping it soft and casual or edgy and bold this is a versatile and chic style that can work for anyone.  So let’s explore the various incarnations of “The Bob”.

A-Line/Asymmetrical: 

Asymmetrical-Bob Asymmetric-Bob2

This bob tilts the perimeter of the haircut so that the corners or points of the style are longer in either the front or to one side. A true A-Line will not have layers or be stacked in the back. It will also frame the face in the front and curl under the chin. That’s not to say you can’t make it your own and shake it up a bit. If you want even more playfulness try the Asymmetrical Bob. Longer on one side, this style looks fantastic textured or with a few layers. Both of these looks, when kept close to the jaw line, have a slimming affect on the face.

Blunt:

Blunt-Bob "Iron Man" Los Angeles Premiere - Arrivals

Most closely aligned with the iconic imagery of the style, the blunt bob comes to a uniform length all around the perimeter of the cut. Length can vary on this look from resting just below the chin to extending to just above the shoulders (nearing the “Lob” look). If you have a finer hair texture a blunt bob can add an impression of fullness to your hair.

Layered:

Layered-BobLayered-Bob2

The most relaxed styles of the bob, the layered look is casual and softens the features. It can be based in a blunt or asymmetrical bob and is usually kept on the longer side. Just as with the other bobs, this can be styled sleek and straight or tousled; It also offers versatility in its length, allowing for pony-tails or chignons.

Live Healthy – Massage.

Massage. Love it! Seriously, what’s not to like about it? Whether you need knots worked out, an afternoon to de-stress, or simply a caring touch…or hell, all of the above- massage is amazing. Study after study has proven that getting regular massages can be instrumental in improving your over-all health, too.

“But how, Caitlin? How can having another human-being rub me down with oil possibly make me feel better?”, you ask.

Well, this is how.

First, let’s look at the technical side. The tightly wound, stressed out and “oh goodness this hurts!” side. Whether you’re up and moving all day or sitting at a desk, your muscles could probably use some TLC. We build up knots, inflammation, and toxins in our tissue that need to be kneaded out. Massage therapists are trained in detail about anatomy and the various systems of the body, such as circulatory and lymphatic, so they can not only ease tension and pain and help to push those toxins out of your body but also give you valuable knowledge on how to prevent further knotting in your muscles.

And then there’s that whole heavenly relaxation aspect. Dim lighting, soothing aromatherapy, and happy endorphins flooding your system. Yes, please! Besides unwinding your muscles and lowering your heart rate, massage also reduces levels of the hormone cortisol (which is associated with pain and inflammation) and produces an influx of serotonin and dopamine (associated with feeling awesome!). If you’re feeling down, this is a sure fire way to pick yourself up. We’re human- we need touch and to feel sincerely cared for. You’re going to leave feeling happier and lighter than when you walked in.

Don’t continue dealing with or tolerating pain. Don’t let yourself get used to it as “part of the job” or just another ache that you ignore- be it physical or emotional. It’s okay to need and want to feel better. Take the time for yourself and commit to feeling better. Take care of yourself. Get a massage. You’ll love it and you’ll love how you feel.

massage-1

What’s the Shelf Life on That?

Think a second for me- how long have you had your mascara? Eyeliner? Lipstick? These are objects that come in contact with sensitive areas (at least your eyes, anyway) on a daily basis…so what do you suppose the shelf life of these cosmetics is?

The most common risk of holding on to your makeup for too long is the threat of infection. Should you ever have an eye infection and not throw out your mascara or eye liners you could possibly expose yourself to the same contaminate again and again. Any moist product, be it a lipstick, cream blush or eyeshadow, or liner has the potential to harbor bacteria. Ew.

While the FDA does set production regulations for cosmetics, the United States doesn’t have any laws requiring cosmetic manufacturers to include expirations on their packaging. Most information about when to toss your Lash Blast comes from those within the beauty industry.  OSHA and each state’s Board of Cosmetology have strict guidelines for health and safety that these professionals have to adhere to. These include application procedures, how to properly sanitize and store makeup, and also when to discard and renew their stock.

So…how long has that mascara been sitting in your makeup bag then? If it’s been more than three months it’s time to toss it out. Mascara has the shortest lifespan of any makeup you’ll use. Given that the applicator goes from your eye straight back into the tube, the risk of spreading bacteria is higher than any other product. If your mascara starts to dry out before the 90 day mark or starts to smell a little off-throw it away. Not doing so will only increase your chances of an eye infection.

Eye and lip pencils have a much hardier longevity; provide you care for them properly. If you sharpen your pencils after each use (and if you really want to be a stickler for sanitization- spritz with alcohol) they can last up to two years.

Lip gloss and lipstick are less likely to grow bacteria that other liquid or crème based products but should still have an eye kept on them. As clean as we think we are, they are still coming in contact with our mouths and being stored within the same container over and over. Lip gloss can be held onto for around 6 months and lip stick for up to 1 year. Taking a tissue to your lipstick after each use will help increase its life a bit, too.

Shadows, blushes, concealers, or foundations also have more life to them. Liquid/cream variations of these products can survive upwards of 12 months with proper brush care. Powders can last closer to two years. Spraying your brushes with a cleaner or diluted alcohol and gently swirling them on a towel to remove excess product is enough to keep them clean and sanitized. If you’re concerned with drying out your brushes with the alcohol solution, go for a brush cleaner bought from your salon or cosmetic counter.

Where you store your products has an effect on them as well. All products should be closed tightly in between uses, but also kept in a dry, cool place. Think about it- bacteria thrives in warm, moist environments. So don’t leave your makeup bag in the car or your products haphazardly scattered about your bathroom. A sticky, hot car and a steamy bathroom may not be the final curtain on your makeup but it will contribute to its ultimate demise.

Take care of your makeup- you’ve invested a lot of money into purchasing it and time into wearing it! Good sanitation practices will not only protect you, but also keep your makeup alive and kicking longer, too. Be aware of how long you’ve had your products and even if you have to grin and bear it- let it go when it’s time.

makeup-products

The Importance of Beauty Sleep for Our Skin

Come the end of the day, even if all you’re craving is to crawl into your bed, accomplishing as much may not always be the easiest. More errands pop up- dinner, maybe some laundry you forgot to do, the kids need help with homework, etc. Exhaustion compounds and by the time you finally get to lie down and close your eyes you feel as though you’re opening them right back up to the sound of your alarm. Not very restful, is it?

So what kind of toll does this take on your skin? While we sleep our bodies take this time to essentially repair damage; most systems are in a heightened anabolic state, accentuating the growth and rejuvenation of the immune, nervous, skeletal, and muscular systems. Our skin is included in this and it will be the first to portray that you’ve not gotten enough rest. Lack of sleep causes blood vessels to dilate, causing the look of dark circles. You’re body will retain water, causing puffy eyes. During this time though, your skin truly renews itself. New cells develop and replace the old ones. Not allowing your skin the time needed to do this will give your complexion a tired and dull appearance and who wants that?

While you may not always be able to add more time to your unconscious state, you can better prepare yourself for catching those Z’s and give yourself a more restful sleep. Simply crashing onto your bed and pulling the covers over your head is no way to end the day. Ritualizing your sleep regimen can help train both your mind and body to accept that-“Hey, it’s the end of the day, time to relax!” This may feel like just one more thing you have to do before finally getting to sleep, but you’ll really thank yourself in the morning.

1) Start with washing your face. Simple, right? Sometimes it’s easier said than done, but we’re concentrating on your skin health-so do it. You’re removing all of the debris and environmental gunk of the day from your skin, giving it a breath of fresh air (no really, air pollutants are a huge factor in causing dryness, premature aging, dull skin, clogged pores, skin irritation, inflammation, and allergies). Follow with a moisturizer to re-hydrate and protect your skin.

2) Reach for the stars! …or your toes. Stretch and let go of the day’s tension. Are you on your feet all day? Your lower back probably kills you, doesn’t it? Touch your toes and hold for a few breaths. Slowly come back up- arching your back while you do so. This loosens those tight muscles and helps to align vertebrae. How about my office workers? Neck and shoulders, right? Dip your chin down into your chest, hold; roll to the left, hold; roll to the right, hold; repeat until your neck no longer feels like it’s made out of tight rubber bands.

3) Take a few deep breaths now. You’re increasing oxygen flow to your brain and muscles. This reduces anxiety and tension. Take air all the way into your abdomen, not just your chest. For really deep breathing you need to expand your diaphragm as well. Breathing exercises should be deep, slow, rhythmic, and through the nose, not through the mouth. The most important parts of deep breathing are to be regulating your breaths three to four seconds in, and three to four seconds out.

These are easy tasks that can go a long way in improving not just your skin, but your overall health as well. After doing this your work for the day is done! All you have to do is close your eyes and you’ll wake up feeling rejuvenated and with much healthier skin!

sleep

Essential Oils are essential!

Thousands of years ago, both the Chinese and Ancient Egyptian priests and physicians were using essential oils in their daily lives to combat a variety of problems. From anxiety to nausea, to lift emotions and even as an offering to the gods. Scientists today have discovered that essential oils have the ability to inhibit the growth of tumors and kill certain bacteria, like the strand that causes E coli.

When you smell an essential oil, your olfactory bulb fires off signals to the limbic system, which is the part of your brain that controls your emotions. Your physical and emotional reaction is dependent on which oil is used. Here are a few essential oils that you can use in your everyday life for various ailments:

-Peppermint oil to make you feel more alert.

– Lavender to help you sleep better. Studies have shown that lavender increases brain activity associated with relaxation and deep sleep. For women, lavender can help alleviate PMS symptoms and reduce pain.

– Grapefruit to help you reduce your appetite.

– Eucalyptus to stop your runny nose. Hang it in your shower and the eucalyptus in the steam will help clear your stuffy nose and reduce pressure.

– Sweet Orange to reduce your anxiety levels. (other citrus oils have been known to have similar results). You can also try a combination of lavender, neroli and chamomile to help ease your stress levels.

– Ginger to reduce nausea

– Black pepper to help you quit smoking. The scent will help reduce cravings.

– Rosemary to improve concentration.

That’s just the tip of the iceberg. There are still so many many more ways that essential oils can improve your day to day life. Pick up yours today and see the results!