Saturday, August 31, 2013

Anti Aging Technology Or the Search For Beauty and Eternal Youth

The search for the Fountain of Youth has been an allusive quest for all who have searched it out. To remain eternally young, or at least to look eternally young, is the stuff of myth and legend except, it seems, for those in the cosmetic and health food industries and the celebrities who hawk their products. Most of us remember story about the adventures of the Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de Leon, Puerto Rico's first Governor, who explored present day Florida in 1513 in search of the Fountain of Youth. Juan was not the first to try to find "youth in a bottle", Herodotus mentions a fountain with very special waters somewhere in Ethiopia and thought this is what gave the Ethiopians exceptional longevity. Myths abound about healing waters dating from at least the time of Alexander the Great who, together with his servant, crossed the land of darkness in search of healing waters. Such stories also appear in the Qur'an as well as the New Testament in the Gospel of John when Jesus heals a man using the curative waters from the Pool of Bethesda.

Today youth and beauty have become interchangeable and according to Wikipedia, beauty is a characteristic of a person, animal, place, object, or idea that provides a perceptual experience of pleasure.  As a cultural phenomenon, beauty has been extremely commercialized and to look young is to be beautiful.  However, it has not always been that way.  In Classical Greek times the word for beautiful originates from the Greek word "ripe" or "of its time".  A ripe fruit was considered beautiful, whereas a young woman trying to appear older or an older woman trying to appear younger would not be considered beautiful.  The concept of beauty involves interpreting whether an object, inanimate or animate, is in balance and in harmony with nature.  However, this interpretation is subjective in nature and, as is often said, "Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder".  The general concept of beauty appears to be similar amongst different cultures and genders and may be linked to the concept of symmetry because it suggests the absence of flaws or defects. The Western idea of beauty emerges from the early Greek philosophers before the writings of Socrates.  This pre-Socratic school of thinking saw a strong relationship between mathematics and beauty with the "golden ratio" being the standard.  

The "golden ratio", 1:1.618 was the ratio between the length and width of a rectangle. The more an object exhibited the proportions of this ratio the more beauty it possessed.  Although first applied in architectural terms, this ratio was the standard for Greek buildings and temples like the Parthenon.  Later, Greek sculptors like Dorifor and Policlet used this ratio to create statues of the human form.  The ratio of the height of statue versus the distance from the navel of the sculpture to its feet was in the "perfect" ratio of 1:1.618.   Statues from this period that depicted the human form were produced according to these philosophical tenets of symmetry and became the ideal for beauty re-discovered in Renaissance Europe.  Women whose appearance demonstrated these characteristics were said to possess "classical beauty", a concept that still exists today.  Of course the concept of beauty has more than a purely aesthetic quality.  There are social and psychological factors in play as well when we as individuals or as a culture defines beauty.  One cannot exclude the Inner Beauty, possessed by individuals.  Qualities like grace, charm, personality, honesty, integrity, congeniality, and humor combine with an individual's physical characteristics to mold our opinion as to what is beautiful.

Attempting to define a cosmetic product as a "beauty" product is a virtual impossibility when one considers all the factors that make a person beautiful.  Maybe the ancient Greeks had it right, and trying to equate youth with beauty is a fatal flaw in the way we think about beauty today.  Unfortunately, the consumer has been brainwashed to believe in this false assertion.  This is why there is so much emphasis placed on products claiming to have anti-aging benefits.  We, as formulators of products, are obliged to help dispel this myth when we make claims about the products that we create.  There is no product, whether a cream, serum, or pill that will halt the march of time.  The best that we can hope to achieve is to try to maintain skin health and to slow the effects that the normal aging process.  After all, wrinkles are nothing more than the service stripes of life.  We can reduce them but we cannot eliminate them permanently and their existence does not make a woman any less beautiful.  Our concern should be to provide cosmetic products that do what they say they are going to do and not false hopes and promises.  There are many products on the market that claim to have health benefits, and it is up to the consumer to do a little research to see if these products do all that they claim to do.  

Antioxidants are a case in point.  It is widely reported and accepted by the general public that antioxidants are important in preventing disease and reducing the effects of aging.  One of the most widely used marketing phrases is "clinical studies have shown".  Nevertheless, what does that really mean?  It is important for the public to understand that there are many types of clinical studies.  There are studies done on animals, studies using human subjects, and studies that are just done on cell cultures in a petri dish in the lab. Therefore, not all studies are created equal.  Just because a natural product or drug is shown to be effective in animal models this does not mean that it will be effective in human beings.  We know this from countless animal studies using anti-cancer drugs.  There are many substances that prevent or reduce tumor growth in mice but have no effect on solid tumors in human beings.  When it comes to cosmetics, there are very few clinical human studies that are statistically significant.  However, one natural product, lycopene, has been widely studied and has been shown in human studies to be effective in reducing the damage caused by UV radiation and may help to prevent certain skin cancers when applied topically.  Lycopene, however, when taken in pill form does not seem to build up high enough levels in the skin to have any protective value.   Resveratrol, an antioxidant extracted from grapes, and is widely touted by celebrity physicians on some very popular television programs as well as the internet as being the anti-aging miracle product, has never been shown to be of any benefit in  any human studies when taken orally.  There is a body of evidence that does suggest resveratrol to be of benefit when applied topically to the skin surface.

Biopsy specimens taken from the skin of patients who have undergone cosmetic laser therapy and have applied antioxidants post-operatively to the treated areas, have demonstrated an increase in both collagen and elastin production in the sub-cutaneous dermal layers. The increased production of these two substances is responsible for an increase in skin thickness and tone with an accompanying decrease in fine lines and wrinkles. Patients who received cosmetic laser therapy alone did not show this increase.   These results confirm that the application of skincare products containing these two antioxidants can be of significant benefit in maintaining skin health and appearance.

Another claim that is often made is that the less expensive products are just as good as the more expensive ones.  This may or may not be true.  It all depends on the ingredients and the results that you are looking to obtain.  For the most part, products containing organic and natural ingredients will cost more than mass produced cosmetics made with synthetic ingredients. Products containing parabens may plug pores and lead to skin outbreaks.  Products containing preservatives may cause skin reactions and redness. It is a popular misnomer that products containing sodium laureth sulfate may cause cancer.  In fact, there is not a single clinical study demonstrating this to be the case.  It is up to the consumer to research exactly what ingredients are contained in a particular skincare product, do those ingredients exert a beneficial effect, are there any side effects to any of the ingredients, and  is there a less expensive product that will really do the same thing as the product in question.  In the area of marketing, "a picture is not always worth a thousand words".  When you see before and after results from the use of a particular product it is important to ask yourself if the photos were taken under the same conditions.  Is the "before" photo taken without makeup and "after" photo taken with makeup. Has the "after" photo been re-touched to improve its appearance? This information will certainly make a big difference in the perception a consumer has about a particular product, but perception does not always equate to reality.  

Once the consumer understands what to expect from a product and what questions to ask, the risk that they will be disappointed by that product should be greatly reduced. Manufacturers of cosmetics should, in my opinion, explain to consumers the benefits of each of the ingredients contained in their products and if the results that were obtained are backed by human clinical studies. By the same token, the consumer should not expect un-realistic results from any cosmetic product or aesthetic procedure. They should do their homework and try to research the best that they can to see what product is best suited for their skin needs and what results they can realistically hope to achieve. I do not know if this article will ease the pain of getting older but, hopefully, it will help you to make more informed choices about skincare products, what results you should expect to obtain and most importantly be happy with who you are. Remember, getting older is better than the other alternative. 

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Beauty And The Tummy Tuck, A Tragic Abdominoplasty Love Story

You've probably heard about people having tummy tucks done, but what exactly is it? Basically, it's a major surgical procedure that is also known as Abdominoplasty. The purpose is to reshape and refashion the stomach and also the skin and muscles surrounding it. It's a cosmetic procedure, and is generally undertaken by people who dislike their body shape and want to have a slimmer looking figure.

There are many reasons why a person would consider having a tummy tuck. It's a very popular procedure for people who've lost a great deal of weight. If someone has been very obese and then loses that weight, the abdomen often can't cope with the change and the result is large folds of hanging skin. This can be very disheartening, as the person can still appear fat even after losing so much weight. It may even prompt them to revert back to their old bad eating habits.

Women, too, often have a tummy tuck after they've finished having children. Pregnancy often leaves behind loose and sagging skin on the abdomen, along with stretch marks, which many women feel makes them unattractive. Even women who've had a caesarian section, or people who've had an appendectomy or have scars on their lower abdomen for other reasons may consider a tummy tuck.

It can vary slightly, but mostly a tummy tuck scare will run horizontally across the pubic region, from hip to hip. Many surgeons who perform tummy tucks are actually plastic surgeons, and so they are well aware that their patient will want as little visible scarring as is possible. So the surgeon will try and ensure that the scar is as low as possible, to reduce visibility.

It is important to realize that having a tummy tuck will leave a scar behind. Unfortunately some people mistakenly think that there will only be a very fine scar or even no scar at all, and so are disappointed when they realize there is one. Even though a tummy tuck is classed as a cosmetic procedure, it's still major abdominal surgery, and it's basically impossible to perform such surgery and leave no scar at all.

If you wish, you can also combine liposuction with your tummy tuck. This can help to remove any excess fat, and the combination of the two procedures can enhance the whole abdominal area and give you a completely new and slimmer shape.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

In Pursuit of Beauty

Looking young and beautiful is every woman's dream. Now with the advent of new technology and advanced treatments, attaining and holding onto that dream has never been easier.

In a society that relies heavily on visual stimulus - looks have become the 'Hollywood' yardstick by which we are measured. However, very few of us are gifted with mother natures beauty brush and for those that aren't, there is the ever more popular option of cosmetic surgery.

For some this may seem a little extreme. Yes, a good diet and regular exercise may boost skin tone and promote a youthful glow of health and overall wellbeing and these are powerful weapons in our anti-ageing arsenal but the fact remains that if we want to change our 'gene' structure then cosmetic surgery is the way to go. Lets be realistic, the bump on our nose (inherited from Great Granny Martha) is not going to be magically re-absorbed with positive thinking, sagging breasts are not going to become perky despite the millions of dollars spent on advertising campaigns for latest miracle cream.

In the past, cosmetic surgery was strictly for the rich and famous but now more and more people are opting to go under the knife. Many procedures are now not only more affordable but have a minimal recovery time

However, before undertaking any form of cosmetic surgery, it is important to consider all the facts very carefully. Look at the risks and complications involved. Many procedures are classified as 'non-invasive' and are in fact fairly simple, but certainly there are risk factors which must be considered.

Research your options carefully and ask as many questions as you can. Talk to professionals in the field of cosmetic surgery. Chat to your family GP and check with the local medical association. The quickest and most effective means of checking credentials is to simply ask. Most plastic surgeons will be happy to provide you with information about their background, training and experience.

You may feel more comfortable enlisting the services of a Doctor who is experienced in a particular area of cosmetic surgery. Feel comfortable enough with the knowledge that you have procured to discuss the details of the procedure - be fully informed about the complexities, complications, side effects and risks of the surgery.

The confidence that you have in your chosen Doctor will help you retain a positive and optimistic attitude as you approach the time of your procedure.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Popular Types of Plastic and Cosmetic Surgery

If you have ever thought about getting some plastic surgery done, you need to do a lot of research to be certain you are fully educated before you go under the knife. While there many excellent cosmetic surgery clinics around the country, you should learn the types of surgeries possible and the questions you need to ask.

There are many cosmetic surgery procedures available, but here are some of the most popular:

• Body Lift

A body lift involves removal of excess fat and skin that are sagging, due in part to age, weight loss or other conditions that create poor tissue elasticity. The skin tissue is shaped and toned to improve the overall appearance of the body.

• Breast Augmentation

Also called augmentation mammoplasty, this process inserts a saline or gel insert into the breasts to create a larger volume in the breast. Many women lose breast volume after pregnancy or weight loss and some women simply wish to enhance their natural breast size.

• Brow Lift

A brow lift, or forehead lift, repositions the brow on the forehead by reducing creases on the bridge of the nose or on the forehead.

• Face Lift

Called rhytidectomy, a facelift improves problems such as loss of muscle tone in the lower face, sagging skin in the midface, displaced fat, fatty deposits under the chin or creases along the nose or under the lower eyelids. Sometimes facelifts are done in combination with a brow lift or eyelid surgery.

• Eyelid Surgery

Blepharosplasty can improve bags under the eye, remove excess fat in the upper eyelids, drooping of the lower eyelids or sagging skin on the upper eyelid. This is often done in conjunction with a facelift.

• Liposuction

Liposuction removes excess fatty deposits, typically in the thighs, waist, arms, legs, back or chest. Liposuction may combine together with other cosmetic surgery procedures such as a breast augmentation or a tummy tuck.

• Tummy Tuck

Abdonioplasty, or a tummy tuck, cuts away extra skin or fat to reconnect muscles that are weak or separated. This smoothes the skin on the stomach and makes it look firmed. Often desired after significant weight loss, aging or pregnancy, a tummy tuck often works in conjunction with other processes.

• Nose Surgery

Rhinoplasty, or nose surgery or reshaping, may improve breathing through the nose or to alter nose size, profile, width, tip asymmetry or nostril size.

If you have thought about getting some cosmetic surgery done, call several cosmetic surgery clinics and ask several questions, including whether or not the surgeons are members of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. In addition, the surgeon should have at least two to five years of plastic surgery experience or more, is board certified and works with an accredited medical facility.

Request before and after pictures for your desired surgery process and ask about any potential risks, complications and what you can expect for the recovery process. Always choose a cosmetic surgery clinic with which you feel comfortable. After all, this is your body. Do not take it lightly.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Beauty and Purity - The La Claree Cosmetic Brand

The market share of organic beauty products have increased drastically over the last couple of years. New organic cosmetic brands are entering the market and some established cosmetic brands are starting to launch organic products as part of their offering. Consumers are more informed and they are starting to make decisions based on what is good for their health and the environment.

Deciding on the best organic cosmetic product to buy can be a daunting task and it is important to look at the approach, ethics, vision and background of an organic beauty product brand when comparing products. In this article we will be taking a closer look at the La Claree cosmetic brand.

The Claree River winds it way through an unspoiled and peaceful valley in France with snow capped mountains in the background. The beauty of this valley, with the Cleree river as the central point, is the inspiration behind the popular and well know La Claree brand of organic skin care products. Purity, beauty and ethics form the foundation of the La Claree brand and they have been able to create a range of beautiful skin care products that have become very popular with consumers of organic beauty products. None of the products or ingredients used is tested on animals and all of the suppliers of ingredients that are used in the products have to comply with strict quality standards.

La Claree is a member of the "For the Planet" organization and they contribute 1 percent of their yearly sales to the preservation of the natural environment. All of the products have been certified by Ecocert and are guaranteed to be free from petrochemicals, coloring, synthetic fragrances, GMO and parabens. The materials that are used for the packaging and promotional items are manufactured from recycled or recyclable materials to ensure that any impact on the environment is limited. The wood that is used to manufacture all of the paper required by La Claree is sourced from forests that is managed in a sustainable manner and that carries the Eco-label.

La Claree guarantees the quality and traceability of the raw ingredients used in the manufacturing processes of their range of products. Ingredients are sourced from suppliers that can prove that they employ ethical production methods that are focused on sustainability, bio-diversity and the protection of natural areas.

It is refreshing to find a company that believes in transparency, investing in sustainable agriculture, commitment to the environment and with strong ethics. La Claree is the real deal and their products are certified by Ecocert as safe to use and free of dangerous chemicals. Consumers can purchase any of the organic skin care products that are manufactured by La Claree without having to be concerned about the origins of the ingredients that are used. As consumers we have the ability to vote with our buying power and it is important that we support companies that are committed to creating a better future for humankind.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

About Beauty Clinics

Many beauty clinics these days offer more than just waxing and facials. Non-invasive treatments can remove uneven pigmentation in the skin, spider veins and unwanted hair, or even plump your lips and reduce wrinkles. The key is finding the right clinic for you, and we're here to show you how to do just that.

Types of beauty and cosmetic clinics

There's a big difference between a beauty clinic that offers the usual treatments, such as facials, body wraps and scrubs and hair removal, and cosmetic clinics, which offer more permanent solutions. For one, the therapists are trained differently, and many of the treatments in the traditional beauty clinics, while very enjoyable, offer only fleeting benefits.

Cosmetic clinics, on the other hand, offer a range of permanent treatments that enhance not only health but also beauty. These include laser treatments, so the staff must be fully trained to use the equipment.

Laser treatments are increasingly popular because they offer a safe and cost effective way to enhance beauty in a myriad of ways: spider veins can be permanently removed without surgery and minimal discomfort, freckles and sun spots can be removed, and hair in almost any part of the body can be permanently reduced.

Cosmetic clinics also offer a range of other treatments, including micro dermabrasion, and lip enhancement and wrinkle injections. Again, staff need to be fully trained in order to perform these.

How to choose the right cosmetic clinic

A good cosmetic clinic that performs any of the above procedures will have a staff of registered nurses. They are there to ensure all of the procedures are performed correctly, administer any anaesthetic if needed and assess whether or not you are suitable for the treatments. If they are going to operate a laser, they should also have Laser Safety Officer Accreditation, along with full tertiary qualifications.

Aside from the important credentials, it's also important that the clinic have a team of friendly staff that are on hand to answer any of your questions or concerns. A good clinic will also ensure good follow up.

Information on the services offered by cosmetic clinics

Any clinic that is performing injections, laser therapy and other more complicated procedures should have readily available information on all their services offered. When looking for a clinic, make sure they have a website with up-to-date information. If you don't have access to the Internet, make sure they have brochures that cover all of your questions and staff that are on hand to answer any others you might have.

Lastly, make sure they have information on the accreditation of their staff, and the possible complications that might be associated with each treatment. While many of them are completely safe, it still helps to be informed about all aspects of your treatment.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Short Beauty and Makeup Tips

Charlie Chaplin said "I had no idea of the character. But the moment I was dressed, the clothes and the make-up made me feel the person he was. I began to know him, and by the time I walked onto the stage he was fully born." This quote reflects the importance of beauty and makeup and that it can change the perception of people.

There are certain things that require prior knowledge. These include: foundations, eye shadows, eye liners, concealers, lipsticks and many more. Foundations are flesh-toned cosmetics applied to facial skin for creating an even and uniform complexion. Concealers are used to hide pimples and blemishes. Eye shadows and eyeliners are used to darken the eyelids to make them prominent. And lipsticks are used to make the lips prominent and reflect the beauty of the lips.

There are hundreds of beauty and makeup tips. Some of the more prominent and widely used beauty tips include the proper application of foundation on face, the use of eye shadows and eye liners, the proper use of lipsticks and how to conceal blemishes and pimples. Using foundation is important as it helps in unifying and smoothen the color of the facial skin. Use a foundation-powder of a renowned company which has been tested for any side effects. This will help in preventing allergies.

Apply the foundation-powder on your arm to get a match for your skin. Sometimes the foundation-powder seems to have the same color while there is a difference. Apply the foundation smoothly and gently on your facial skin. As the facial skin is very sensitive, a hard rub can cause skin damage. Don't keep on applying the foundation-powder again and again to match the skin color instead use another one which is a closer for your skin color. Using too much foundation powder can cause skin damage because foundation is a cosmetic made of different elements. Gentle rub and less quantity of foundation-powder is the best way.

In order to portray a darker look of the eyebrows, the eyeliners are used. Be sure to use eyeliner that is well-known and is tested for side effects. Eye is the most delicate and sensitive part of the body, the eyeliner should be appropriately used. Use a sponge applicator for eye lining. Tilt your head and keep your eyes half open so that you can see yourself in the mirror while applying the eyeliner. Using a pencil eyeliner is much easier then the liquid eyeliner although the liquid eyeliner provides a brighter and bolder look to the eye.

One main part of a simple makeup includes the use of lipstick. Choose the lipstick that best matches your skin tone and the color of the cloths you are wearing. Matching a lipstick can be a little hectic. Clean your lips with a tissue paper before applying the lipstick. Apply the lipstick to the lower lip first and then press the lips together to transfer some part of the lipstick to the upper lip. This will help in smoothing the surface of the lip. Now cover the remaining part of the lips and then place a tissue paper in between the lips and press them together. This will help in creating a uniform layer of lipstick. All these tips are for a basic and simple makeup and are very effective.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Beauty Secrets - The Ultimate Guide

We've all experienced a fashion emergency or wished we could improve out beauty regimen with easy, inexpensive adjustments. So here are some quick and easy ways to stave off that unsightly pimple, keep under eye bags at bay and have gorgeous skin all year long.

Pimple Rx

Feel a pimple coming on and can't walk around with chalky white toothpaste on your face? Try dabbing some of your perfume on the blemish a few times throughout the day. The alcohol in the perfume will help dry it out (plus you'll smell great!).

Sleep better

Have trouble falling asleep but you've exhausted your sleep aid prescription? Why not try to catch some Z's the natural way? Lavender is known to promote alpha waves, which are necessary for restful sleep. Try soaking in a bath before bed with Lavender salts or Lavender oil.

Here's another idea: take a Lavender face pillow and pop it in the microwave on low for a couple of minutes, then place inside your pillowcase. Put your arms over your head and clasp hands, then stretch your clasped arms as far to the right as possible (make sure you remain comfortable) and then back over your body to the left. Repeat about five times. Breathe in deeply as you do these stretches, which will get the oxygen flowing.

Perfect that Pout

We can only dream of having lips like Angelina-well naturally anyway. Most of us have at least thought about using a lip plumper, hoping to look in the mirror and see gloriously luscious lips smiling back at us. The key is getting lips ready for lip plumper, so it can penetrate and do its job.
Here's a little trick that won't cost you a dime. Apply a small amount of Vaseline on a soft bristle tooth brush that's been moistioned with warm water. Ever so gently brush lips for about 2 minutes-you might want to do this while watching TV, two minutes can feel like forever. Remove the Vaseline with moistened towelette or soft washcloth and then blot dry. Apply moisturizer, sunscreen and lip plumper. Then go show off your beautifully plumped lips.

p.s. If you don't want to splurge on a store-bought lip plumper, dab a tiny-and we mean tiny-amount of Cayenne pepper on your lips. It'll sting a little, but what's a little pain in the name of looking gorgeous?

Baby Soft Skin

Wonder why some women appear to have plump, hydrated skin even in the middle of winter while yours is so dry it hurts to smile? Chances are those other ladies are doing a few things differently-or else they are genetically perfect and we don't like them anyway.

When it comes to keeping your skin hydrated it only makes sense to drink lots of water. Water keeps the cells in your body quenched, so your skin looks luminous and your appetite is curbed (great skin and a trim figure-it's too for the price of one!). You've heard it before but we'll say it again, get eight 8oz glasses a day. Your skin will thank you.

Here's something you may not have heard before: distilled water is the best for drinking because chlorine and other contaminants are greatly reduced when the water is boiled. To hydrate your skin throughout the day try a purified water mister.

Moisturizing Basics

The best time to moisturize is immediately after bathing when your body is damp and moist. Smooth on Body Butter, Body Cream, or Body Lotion to lock in moisture. And you don't have to spend a lot of money.

Some may think the more expensive a moisturizer is, the more effective it will be against dry skin. But this really is a myth. That's not to say expensive lotions don't make us feel more luxurious (even if it's just because we know how much it cost). But the good news is-especially if you don't have a $200 a month beauty budget-is that you can still yourself to radiant, glowing skin for the cost of your daily Starbucks and muffin, just by visiting your local drugstore. There are lots of great moisurizers that hydrate and condition dry, thirsty skin with natural ingredients like shea butter and vitamin E.

In addition to applying lotion daily, here are some other helpful tips to keep skin smooth during the winter months:

  • Keep your shower times shorter and limit your exposure to hot water. Try turning on the radio and limiting yourself to just 2-3 songs as a guide.
  • Avoid intense scrubbing while showering. Choose a soft soap rather than an exfolient. Here's an idea. The SALUX Beauty Skin Cloth gently exfoliates the skin with a special texture that stimulates blood circulation, while requiring you to use less soap.
  • Don't forget your sunscreen! Sun damage can still happen with clouds in the sky, so it's very important to continue to wear no less than SPF 15 every day.

Frizz-free hair

On the go and forgot your hair pomade? Don't freak out-and certainly don't let your hair freak out. Apply a small dollup of hand lotion in your hands, then gently smooth hands over your hair. This will help to tame unruly hair. You can also use a tiny amount of Vaseline on the ends of your hair.
For future hair emergencies, make sure to pick up one of these great products to keep on hand and in your medicine cabinet: Frederic Fekkai Glossing Cream , Biosilk Silk Therapy, which also doubles as a great skin salve, and Aveda Brilliant Emollient Finishing Gloss.

De-puff eyes

Trust me I've become a pro at de-puffing eyes. Computer strain, too little sleep, too much sleep, stress-you name it and it makes my eyes puff up like a cream cheese wonton. If you're looking for a quick fix that's more effective than cucumbers, try a green tea or black tea bag (it must contain caffeine). Dip it in hot water then toss it in the freezer for 5 minutes. If you have some foresight pop an anti-histamine like Benedryl the night before and you'll wake up bag-free. Supplements can help with puffiness too. MSM with Glucosamine, Flax Oil and Evening Primrose Oil seem to help alleviate puffiness.

Fake tan streaks

With all the publicity about skin cancer you feel guilty getting a tan the old fashioned way. So you tried a self-tanner or maybe you opted for the Mystic Tan booth. Unfortunately you ended up with the telltale streaks on your arms, legs, feet ... okay everywhere. Don't worry, you don't have to wear a turtleneck and pants until it fades. Hop in the shower right away (some will inevitably come off anyway) and generously rub down with an exfoliating body scrub followed by a rigorous scrubbing with a loofah. For really bad cases around the ankles, feet, elbows and hands (usually the driest parts of your body), you can use a callous file to eliminate unsightly streaks. We don't recommend incorporating these measures into your regular routine but if you've got a hot date or a big event you can't exactly show up looking like you got in a fight with a can of orange spray paint either.

Better yet--avoid rubbing your skin raw with St. Tropez Self-Tan Remover. Like magic it removes unsightly stains from your palms and other body parts if you mess up (the only caveat: it only works up to 4 hours after you apply self tanner). Find it at Sephora, Bath and Body Works, Victoria's Secret and Red Door Salons.

For a more even self-tanner application, try Tan Airbrush in a Can. We love it!

Beauty Improvs

When you don't have ...

  • Hair gel USE ... Lotion
  • Mascara USE ... Vaseline (it works! Just go light, you don't want to have gloppy lashes)
  • Zit cream USE ... Perfume for on-the-go/White toothepaste for at-home use only.
  • Lip gloss USE ... Vaseline
  • Neosporan USE ... Honey
  • Lip plumper USE ... Cayenne pepper
  • Eye gel USE ... Frozen tea bags