October 31, 2008

In It To Win It

Contest Alert!!!!!!

I would love for one of you brides-to-be to win this as I'm a huge fan of Diane's work ...

Check out .: Melissa's Smitten Blog :. for full contest details but to sum up, all you have to do is email info@smitteninvitations.com with your name, email, snail-mail address and wedding date to enter! Contest ends on November 7, 2008. One entry per person per day.

If you aren't able to get the flower you want because it's out of season, what better way to capture it?!

Good luck!!!

Skin Care - Cleansing & Toning

Makeup is only as good as the skin that's underneath. A bold statement yet so true. Whenever a client sits in front of me the first thing I look at is their skin. More often than not, I discover that they aren't caring enough for their skin or aren't using the most beneficial items based on their skin's needs at the time.

There are a multitude of skin care lines and manufacturers on the market today, and a treatment for everything your face can possibly ever encounter. With so much selection, how do you go about choosing what's right for you?

First, start with the basics. Cleansing, toning and moisturizing. Since the skin works on a 28 - 33 day cycle, use this trio for 2 months, twice a day before seeing your maximum result. After that, you can begin to introduce special needs items which are more targeted to your specific concerns.

But that's another issue. Actually, over the next four months, I've broken skin care down into a 4-part series covering:
Cleansing & Toning
Serums & Eye Care
Masks & Scrubs

Although you should cleanse, tone AND moisturize twice a day, this issue begins with just cleansing and toning.

The purpose of the cleanser is to clean the skin. Whether you wear makeup or not, throughout the course of the day, your skin encounters pollutants, irritants, bacteria and whatever else floats in the air. Invisible particles stick to your skin, especially if you are an oily skin or a woman who "flushes in the face".

This has to come off and since water is not enough to clean, pair it with a cleanser formulated for your skin type. Remember that the water should be luke warm, too hot or too cold is a shock to your skin. Whether you're oily, combination, dry or sensitive, the most important tip is avoid soap. It's harsh and strips the skin of it's NMF (Natural Moisture Factor). Opt for a foaming gel or mousse cleanser if your skin is oily and a gentle milky or creamy cleanser if your skin is dry or sensitive. Combination skins can flip either way depending on season and personal preference.

Since the texture of a product is formulated to feel good on the skin it's going on, choose products that feel comfortable. For example, oily skins generally prefer a "squeaky clean" after cleansing so they would not feel comfortable washing their faces with a rich product that leaves a filmy residue behind. They would prefer a foaming or lathering product that cleanses well and rinses thoroughly. Conversley, a dry skin would enjoy a cleanser that leaves the filmy residue behind. It "cushions the skin" and comforts a skin lacking oil. So always remember, texture should be key in selecting your skin care. The more oily you are, think lightweight and more fluid formulas, and the more drier you are, think more rich and creamy formulas.

Now that you've cleaned your skin, your next step is to tone it. A toner will remove any residue left behind, but more importantly, it restores the pH balance back into the skin. The pH refers to the acidity or alkalinity of something. When they are equal, the substance is said to have a pH of 7.0. When the skin is below 7.0, it is acidic and when it's above 7.0 it's alkalinic. The toner restores the skin to a pH of 7.0.

Toners come in liquid form, are applied with a quilted cotton pad, and can be used as a instant freshener anytime. For best results, choose the toner that matches your cleanser as they are formulated to work together as a pair. Avoid toners containing alcohol or benzoyl peroxide. Instead, opt for products that contain more natural, purifying ingredients like camphor, grapefruit and basil extract.

And finally. don't forget your eyes. As far as skin care goes, your eyes are a completely different entity. Treat eyes with specific eye care products only, NOT the products you use on your face. The skin around the eyes is very thin, easily stretched and more sensitive. Eye care products are specifically formulated for this area, being opthamoligically tested, non irritating, and rapidly absorbing.

You will want to cleanse your eyes and remove any eye makeup with a regular or waterproof formula depending on what you're wearing. Eye makeup removers come in liquid, gel or cream formulas and applied with a quilted cotton pad. Or, opt for convenient pre- soaked cotton disks in a jar that not only remove your eyes, but your stubborn lipstick too. Whatever product you choose, the most important thing to remember about the eyes is to be gentle with them. Don't tug, stretch or rub this area....doing so stretches the thinner skin and causes pre-mature wrinkling. And who needs that!