Positively Beautiful

Positively Beautiful

by DailyMakeover

The Must-Have Treatment for Younger Looking Skin

The laser treatment people can't stop talking about.

The laser treatment people can’t stop talking about.

Truth be told, I love a laser. I have suffered with melasma for years, and I believe that lasers are truly the best way to go when it comes to erasing the messy brown pigmentation many women suffer from. The added bonus of lasers is that they also combat the signs of aging. Unfortunately, most lasers require a downtime of a week or more—a luxury many of us cannot afford. That is where the Clear + Brilliant laser comes in. I had the chance to visit Dr. Brooke Studley for a test run of this new laser and discuss the ins and outs of undergoing a treatment.

Who is the perfect candidate for Clear + Brilliant?
Dr. Studley: The perfect candidate(s) for Clear + Brilliant are women (and men) who want to treat their skin with minimal downtime but exceptional results. The Clear + Brilliant laser is perfect for patients who have already undergone a Fraxel procedure and want to maintain their results. Alternatively, the Clear + Brilliant laser is ideal for patients who want the results achieved by laser therapy (which is more powerful than facials or chemical peels), but aren’t ready for the downtime involved with the typical Fraxel laser. The Clear + Brilliant laser bridges the gap for those patients looking for noticeable results without undergoing any downtime.

How does it work?
The Clear + Brilliant laser works the same way as the Fraxel but at a lower power to minimize downtime. It penetrates into the dermis (the deep layer of skin) without damaging the epidermis (outer layer of skin) to stimulate your own body’s natural collagen production. Because it does not damage the top layer of skin and uses a lower power than the Fraxel, it is truly the best laser for getting results without any real downtime (patients are typically red for a couple hours after the treatment, but that dissipates in one day and can be covered with makeup if the patient needs to).

How often can you get one?
You can get a Clear + Brilliant performed on your face or body as often as every three to four weeks to maintain your results.

Does it hurt?
It is not painful, especially if you have a topical numbing cream applied to your face or body for approximately 30 minutes. After the procedure, your face or body may feel hot, like after too much time in the sun, but with five minutes of ice application and post-procedure creams, most patients are back to normal activities within minutes.

What products are best to use with it to keep skin looking great?
The laser was studied in conjunction with the Skinceuticals CE Ferulic Acid. The Clear + Brilliant allowed the CE Ferulic Acid to penetrate the skin more effectively and to decrease hyperpigmentation, uneven skin tone, and improve the skin’s overall texture. Using products with retinols can also maintain the results. Retinols are ideal for anti-aging and minimizing fine lines and wrinkles, and they work better on the skin after undergoing the Clear + Brilliant laser.

Is it an anti-aging must?
I would absolutely say that it is an anti-aging must! Using creams and lotions that have anti-aging properties work well alone, but they are tremendously more effective after undergoing the Clear + Brilliant laser. Patients who get Botox and/or fillers love their results, but they often mention that the texture of their skin is not optimal or their sun damage is bothersome. The Clear + Brilliant laser works to correct those problems to really complete the family of minimally invasive therapies currently available. Patients can come on their lunch break and leave looking and feeling refreshed, more youthful and with brighter skin without looking like they had anything done.

Read more: 4 Glowing Skin Treatments That Really Work

Cold Weather Product Swaps to Make Now

This 2-for-1 hand cream set is perfect for winter.

This 2-for-1 hand cream set is perfect for winter.

Each year, I switch up my skin care and makeup routine a bit to adjust for the colder weather. My skin is dry no matter what season it is, but it really gets parched in the fall and winter months. Even oily gals can suffer from chapped skin in certain areas and may want to change things up to ensure a pretty complexion all year long.

The first thing I swap out is my cleanser. I switch from a gel formula to a creamy one. I’m currently coveting the milky texture of the Osea Ocean Cleanser ($42, oseamalibu.com), which gives me a wonderful clean skin feeling without leaving behind that slippery residue that many creamy cleansers do. It’s packed with red sea algae, which nourishes my skin while hydrating it and re-mineralizing it at the same time.

Moisturizing face and eye creams are better than lotions and gels when it’s cold outside, so my favorite is the luxe Creme De La Mer ($285, cremedelamer.com), which pulls double duty as a face moisturizer and an eye cream to replenish lost moisture. By using this product as a two-in-one, you can offset the big-ticket price a little (I’m all about justifying my overspending).

Keep lip balm in every conceivable place in your life like your nightstand, purse, kitchen drawer, gym bag, car console, bathroom cabinet and even next to the couch. My favorite is the Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment ($22.50, sephora.com).

I also like to change up my powdery eye shadows and highlighters to more moisturizing cream formulas. My top picks that stay in place all day are the Maybelline Color Tattoo ($6.99, maybelline.com) or Benefit Creaseless Cream Eyeshadows ($19, benefitcosmetics.com). Cream blush is another thing you should switch to for extra dewiness, so swirl on a rich formula like Elizabeth Arden’s Ceramide Cream Blush ($24, elizabetharden.com), which contains vitamins A,C and E for nourished glowing cheeks.

Don’t forget your hands, which always seem to get older looking in the chilly weather. Keep them supple with Bliss Winter Wonder-’Hands’ ($12, blissworld.com) — a restorative cream combo offering one for deep hydration and the other for yummy smelling skin.

These Wine-Infused Beauty Products Are a Treat for Your Skin

304-412On a recent trip to Napa Valley in California, I discovered a few amazing beauty products all containing the coveted, antioxidant-rich grape seed extract.

While visiting Michael Mondavi’s beautiful family estate vineyard, I learned how his beautiful sister-in-law Lydia Mondavi created a company called 29 Cosmetics, which is an age-protecting skin care and cosmetics line that contains the wonderful grape seed extract. This extract is one of the most concentrated forms of antioxidants, which helps the skin by fighting against free radicals and pollutants. It also keeps skin looking younger longer. My favorite products in this line are the cleansing formulas. The 29 Preserves Grape Seed Exfoliating Crush ($40, 29cosmetics.com) contains 100% finely milled grape seeds taken directly from the family’s vineyards.

Another yummy grape seed line is Olivina by Napa Valley Apothecary, which is a natural line that doesn’t contain parabens, synthetic dyes, fragrances, or phthalates (all nasty things). The Milk & Honey Body Butter ($21, olivina.com) was almost gone in two days, because it smelled so amazing and felt so good on my skin in the dry California air that I couldn’t stop applying it. By far one of my most favorite body treats around.

Wine Country Organics offers a collection of Lip Balms ($4.50, winecountryorganics.com) and Lip Tints ($7, winecountryorganics.com), each inspired by the wonderful wines found in the region, like Pinot, Merlot, Syrah, Rose and Zin. Packed with grape seed oil and vitamin E, these light lip tints makes lips feel smooth and supple.

Read more: This New Mascara is Mind-Blowing

The Best Anti-Aging Serums for Every Skin Concern

SkinMedica-TNS-Recovery-Complex-FaceAs we get older, our basic skin care routine might need an extra boost to stop the clock and keep our skin looking fresh and radiant. Even if you switch to age-fighting cleansers, toners and richer moisturizers, adding a serum step can really give your skin a rejuvenating boost.

An anti-aging serum should always be applied after your toner and before your moisturizer and sunscreen, so it can sink into clean skin. Choosing a serum can be tricky, as there are so many on the market and all have different ingredients for different skin needs.

For Sun-Damaged Skin
If your skin has become blotchy and sun damaged with age, you can lighten and brighten it with fading or lightening serums. Look for ones that contain hydroquinone or hexapeptide-2, which will aid in the fading of sun spots, melasma and age spots. Just make sure when using this type of serum that you are diligent with your high SPF as the spots can return if you don’t stay protected. I’ve found that Murad Rapid Age Spot and Pigment Lightening Serum ($60, sephora.com) works wonders, and I saw a big difference in the melasma on my jawline in about two weeks.

For Rough Texture
If aging skin texture is your big concern, you may want to put a retinol or glycolic acid in the mix. Skinceuticals Tri-Retinol Complex ($55, skinceuticals.com) or Olay Regenerist Night Resurfacing Elixir ($25, 99, olay.com) will slowly and safely exfoliate dead skin layers on the surface, leaving behind a much smoother and softer texture. Understand you may get a bit flaky for the first few days because it’s working to shed that skin, so you may need to up your moisturizer a bit.

For Overall Aging
For overall aging skin, finding a skin elixir filled with major antioxidants and growth factors is definitely the way to go. My top pick for serums is the SkinMedica TNS Recovery Complex ($165, skinmedica.com). My derm Dr. Rosemarie Ingleton got me hooked on this product. It contains the highest level of growth factors, enhancing the skin’s texture, tone, and firmness, improving fine lines and wrinkles and minimizing age spots. It’s the perfect anti-aging skin cocktail.

Soothe Your Skin With These Kitchen Staples

oatmealIt’s scorching hot out there, and no matter how diligent you are with your sunscreen and skin care, your complexion might suffer a few summer snafus. You won’t need an appointment with a dermo or expensive products to ease the blazing hot issues. All you need is a trip to your kitchen to get the job done.

Problem: You fell asleep at the beach and woke up with a nasty sunburn.
Solution: Good old-fashioned oatmeal or baking soda will be your best friend. Run a cool bath and add a few heaping tablespoons of baking soda or a cup of oatmeal and soak in it for about 20 minutes. When you emerge, you will feel so much better. Just remember to let yourself air dry, because drying off with a towel might irritate the sensitive skin.

Problem: You’ve been boating on the open seas and the wind has your face, body and lips feeling a bit chapped and dry.
Solution: Grab a cup of sugar and head to the shower. Lather up your face and body with a cleanser, then use the sugar to scrub and exfoliate the skin in circular motions. This will get rid of the dry dead skin, stimulate blood flow and leave you feeling polished to perfection. On the lips, you can take a wet Q-tip and dip it into the sugar then buff them smooth. Remember to moisturize your face and body and apply lip balm afterward to rehydrate.

Problem: Your skin is oily from the heat and humidity.
Solution: Mix up a paste of cornstarch and water, then apply it to any greasy areas on the face. It will soak the oil right up. If you have a bit more time, try this oil-controlling facial: Mix ½ a cup of mashed apples, ½ a cup of cooked oatmeal, 2 egg whites and 1 tablespoon of lemon juice into a paste, apply it to the skin for 15 minutes and then wash off with cool water.

For all around overheated summer skin, create an anti-oxidant cucumber face-freshening tonic. Get a little plastic spray bottle and fill it with distilled water, juice of a cucumber and a little cold green tea. Stick it in the refrigerator to keep the concoction cool, then spritz the cold mist onto the face whenever you need a little skin pick-me-up.

This Organic Line Is A Savior For Dry Skin

absolutionIt’s rare that I get so excited by an entire brand, but when I started using the Absolution skin care line from France, I was completely hooked. This eco-conscious all-organic line feeds the skin and nourishes it for a smooth and healthy complexion. The packaging alone is beyond chic. Each product features a different black and white graphic, so it feels like a little gift.

The Addiction L’Huile Visage Face Oil ($80, dermstore.com), which contains a blend of 27 natural oils and plant extracts, is my new nightly ritual. I warm up three drops of this oil in the palms of my hands and then smooth it over my face and neck, inhaling deeply as the scent is calming and beautiful. The Le Baume ($20, dermstore.com) is an all-over balm filled with calendula extract and perilla and marula oils that repairs dry skin on lips, backs of feet, hands or anywhere you tend to be seriously dry. The La Crème Du Jour ($80, beautyhabit.com) and the La Crème Du Soir ($72, dermstore.com) are the perfect day and night creams to richly hydrate the skin, using blends of organic and natural extracts and oils like neroli, sesame, cucumber, argan and marshmallow. The Le Soin Regard ($43, dermstore.com) is an organic anti-aging eye booster that uses natural caffeine, blue lotus stem cells and tourmaline to tighten, whiten and brighten the eyes. It also contains Chlorella Vulgaris, a river microalgae that acts on collagen, restructuring and redensifying the connective tissue. Exactly the kind of good-for-you ingredients we want around our eyes.

What brand excites you?

Read more: How To Control Oily Skin This Summer

The One Product You Need For Gorgeous, Glowing Skin

Skin serums are the shortcut to a glowing complexion.

Skin serums are the shortcut to a glowing complexion.
Photo: Luca Cannonieri/GoRunway.com

Serums have been a big hit in the skin care industry for a while now, and for women getting a bit older, serums are a must-have in your skincare anti-aging routine. The secret to beautiful and youthful skin is hidden in this extra silky step each day and night.

Applying a serum on clean skin has all kinds of benefits like restoring radiance, rejuvenating collagen production, eliminating sun damage and even fighting free radicals. My favorite skin serum is from SkinMedica, and it is the award-winning TNS Essential Serum ($260, skinmedica.com), which is unparalleled among treatments on the market today. This serum contains a potent antioxidant combo called TNS Recovery Complex. It has seven antioxidants to fight free radicals, alpha-arbutin to brighten the skin and peptides to improve texture, tone and the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. I smooth on this serum every morning and every evening before applying my moisturizer, and my skin remains glowing and smooth even as I move forward in my 40s. Although pricey, I find it very much worth it as an all-over age fighter, and it’s much cheaper than going to the dermatologist for expensive treatments.

Skin serums

Another top pick serum at a lower price point is the L’Oréal Paris Youth Code Serum Intense ($24.99, lorealparisusa.com). This anti-aging magic potion contains anti-wrinkle and rejuvenatting compounds that smooth out the skin’s texture, creating a youthfully luminous glow.

To target more problematic skin, try a serum designed for your specific issue. Obagi-C Rx C-Clarifying Serum ($98, lovelyskin.com) contains 4% hydroquinone and vitamin C to combat melasma and to lighten pigmentation caused by sun damage. Bliss No Zit Sherlock Correcting Serum ($35, lovelyskin.com) contains salicylic acid to dry up those pesky spots that still may crop up as we mature. So find the serum that is right for your specific issue and begin using them as religiously as brushing your teeth — you will begin to see your skin troubles disappear and will reveal a more youthful, even-looking complexion.

Cold Weather Cures For Dry Skin

Cold weather cures for dry skin

Follow this advice to get glowing skin, even in the winter.
Photo: Luca Cannonieri/GoRunway.com

Brrrr! It’s getting cold out there, and as the weather starts to turn and the air gets chillier, it’s time to change up your beauty routine to keep your skin hydrated and fresh looking.

Between the frigid air and the dryness from all the heaters and hot showers, your complexion can become extremely parched. It doesn’t hurt to add a little moisture to the air when you sleep, so buy a humidifier to keep a little steamy goodness in your atmosphere at night.

Rid your face and body from dry flaky patches by exfoliating a few times each week. Use warm, not hot, water in the shower and lather up with a good creamy body wash like Organix Hydrating Moroccan Argan Oil Creamy Oil Body Wash ($7.99, ulta.com). On the face, try Skinceuticals Cleansing Cream ($30, dermstore.com). Next, take a handful of white sugar and buff and scrub your skin in circular motions to rid yourself of scaliness. When you dry off, your skin you will be super smooth, so now is the time to lock in moisture with oil like Ligne St. Barth Coconut Dry Oil ($45, newlondonpharmacy.com). I smooth this one on, and then apply a rich body lotion like Korres Guava Body Butter ($29, sephora.com) on top and the combo of coconut and guava makes my skin smell so yummy.

On your face, switch from light lotions to heavier creams to up the hydration factor. I’m never without my Crème De La Mer ($150, bloomingdales.com) for extra richness in the winter.

If you want smooth and supple lips in the winter, you need to stay away from long wearing lipsticks and crayons and forgo the stains and pencils, which will only lead to more hydration loss. Instead go for sheer, moist lipsticks and tinted balms, and strategically place them all over your life: your purse, nightstand, car console and even your office drawer. I’m addicted to the Fresh Sugar Lip Treatments ($22.50, fresh.com) in every shade.

Use cream blushes, shadows and highlighters when doing your makeup instead of powder formulas, as your skin will appear more glowy and silky with the creams. Powders will just make you look chalky and drier during the drier winter months. I’m loving the Maybelline EyeStudio Color Tattoo 24 HR Cream Gel Shadow ($6.99, maybelline.com) for eyes because the colors are incredible and the crease-free staying power for a cream is off the charts.

What are you winter fixes for dry skin?

What’s Your Desert Island Product?

Creme de la Mer

Carmindy’s favorite beauty product, Creme De La Mer.

As a beauty expert, I have a bunch of my must-have products with me at all times, but often I’m asked, “Carmindy, what is the one product you simply cannot live without?” My answer is always Crème De La Mer ($150, cremedelamer.com). My skin is as dry as the desert so this product, although expensive, is the must-have splurge item that keeps my skin supple.

If there were just one makeup product I had to choose, it would definitely be foundation. As I’m getting older, I’m noticing more melasma, broken capillaries and all the other fun stuff that comes with aging — so a foundation like my Sally Hansen Natural Beauty Inspired By Carmindy Airbrush Spray Makeup ($13.95, drugstore.com) would definitely be my pick!

If you only had to choose one makeup product, which would you choose? Let me help guide you into knowing what one single product is the perfect fix for you. It all boils down to which facial feature is your best asset, or which asset you would like to enhance a bit more. For me, enhancing my complexion is key, but for you, another area might be your focus.

If your eyes are amazing, then mascara should be your one and only. Revlon Grow Luscious Plumping Mascara ($7.99, drugstore.com) is my current hot pick of the moment.

If your skin is lovely, then Carmindizing it with a cream highlighter like Fresh Satin Luster Palette ($45, fresh.com) is the way to go.

If your lips are luscious, then a hot lip color like Nars Dragon Girl Velvet Matte Lip Pencil ($24, narscosmetics.com) should be your desert island fave!

Maybe you have wow brows. If so, brush them with Anastasia Tinted Brow Gel ($21, sephora.com) for more definition.

If you suffer from dark under-eyes, then a brightening concealer like Yves. St. Laurent Touche Éclat ($40, nordstrom.com) is your personal must have.

If oil slicks constantly get you down then OC Eight Professional Mattifying Gel ($36.90, dermstore.com) is the one product you would not be caught dead without.

Beachy Body Moisturizers

girl at beachThe only thing I like better than going to the beach is to smell like the beach—that way I feel like I’m always carrying it with me. When it comes to keeping the skin on my body soft in the hotter months, I stick with a few go-to moisturizers that always give off a scent of the summer.

It’s important to keep your skin soft and supple when it’s hot outside and to restore some of the moisture that can be lost due to self-tanners, saltwater, chlorine and even dry air conditioners. We are also showing off a lot more skin, so keeping the glow going is essential to looking sexy in your best summer dress.

My all-time favorite moisturizer is the Pure Coconut Oil by Ligne St. Barth. I have used this for years and always rub it into my skin while I’m still wet and just out of the shower. It leaves a light, fresh scent of coconut and makes me dream of far away exotic locations, plus the amazing sheen it leaves behind makes my body look nice and glowy. Just be careful not to throw on a silk dress on top of this oil (which can leave a stain)—I tend to apply it when wearing cotton.

If I am wearing silk, I slather on Korres Guava Body Butter, which is a rich formula that sinks into the skin without leaving a greasy residue and smells tropically divine. You almost want to eat it. Yummy!

A great moisturizer to smooth on after the sun is Skin Trip Coconut Mountain Ocean Moisturizer, which can be found at most health food stores. This light formula with aloe and pure coconut oil is made in small batches ensuring its high quality and freshness.

Now, if you don’t want to smell like the beach but still want all the benefits of the ocean, try La Mer The Body Lotion, which is packed with rich sea algae that will nourish your skin with the sea’s secret bounty.

What’s your favorite scented moisturizer to slather on this summer?

Homemade Summer Skin Soothers

This summer I had the fortunate pleasure of sharing a beach house with my good friend Soa Davies, owner of Salt Hospitality. She is a food/restaurant consultant and an amazing chef in her own right, so we definitely ate like queens! We decided to pool our resources to address things like sunburns, surfboard scrapes, cold sores, chapped lips and all other kinds of nasties that popped up over the summer and create homemade, food-based remedies for our skin. Here are some of our favorite creations:

Bad Sunburns
A cool bath with oatmeal, baking soda and a sprinkling of fresh mint will soothe angry red skin and leave you feeling cool and fresh.

Scabs
A surfboard mishap left my chin scraped and scabbed one weekend, and with a BBQ coming up, I had to heal it quickly. Soa whipped up a paste blending shredded fresh cucumber, whole fat yogurt, olive oil and a dollop of aloe vera for a quick-fix heal that eliminated the scab in two days.

Cold Sores
A nasty cold sore on the lip is no match for a crazy mix of milk, aloe, crushed Lysine tablets and oatmeal. In fact, the sore never got bigger then a freckle!

Chapped Skin
After a few deep sea fishing trips, wind, salt water and heat left my lips chapped and dry, so a blend of olive oil, beeswax, honey, vitamin E oil (squeezed from a capsule), and a chunk of my favorite red lipstick made the perfect rose tinted lip balm. We put this mixture in little tins and played with various organic fragrant oils and lip colors for some lip-tastic fun.

Will you be trying any of these recipes?

The Acupuncture Face Lift

Sleeping_Chick (400x600)

So I was getting my very first session of acupuncture the other day in New York City for a herniated disk in my neck when Master Kim, my Korean acupuncturist, began inserting needles all over my face telling me he was giving me an acupuncture face lift. Before I could even resist, I had these little pins sticking out of my temples, the sides of my nose nose, jaw, cheeks and forehead and was feeling a bit like a human pincushion.

Celebrity Skin Care Secrets

He explained to me that the treatment works by allowing the flow of the Qi (or energy) to the face, which would promote collagen production, increased blood flow and would also eliminate wrinkles and puffiness. He told me it was very good for women over 40 as we need a little more chi flowing to our faces.

As I listened to him, it began to make total sense. I began to relax, imagining my face all Qi’d up and radiant as can be. He placed some of the pins where I tend to furrow and frown, and I could feel those muscles relax instantly.

After the treatment I left his office, and for the rest of the day I received many compliments on my skin. One friend even commented on how happy I appeared to be. So now I’m sold on stickin those buggers in my face whenever I go in to see Master Kim. For any woman considering shooting their faces up with a different kind of needle, give this a go first and see if you get your Chi!

Skin Care At Every Age

As an established makeup artist, many beauty brands send me samples of their latest products for consideration. I only write about the items that I truly love and I always abide by Daily Makeover’s Editorial Ethics Pledge in each of my Positively Beautiful posts.

Eliminate Dry Itchy Skin

woman_applying_moisturizer (300x450)

Many women ask me how they can deal with their bouts of eczema as it can be hard to get rid of—and embarrassing to some. The first thing I suggest is to make an appointment with your dermatologist to really get the hard facts on this condition and the correct treatment you can use at home to conquer the issue. If you can’t get in to see a doctor right away, there are a few inexpensive products out there that can ease the symptoms of eczema by soothing the skin and restoring hydration.

I suggest getting the Cetaphil Restoraderm Skin Restoring Body Wash and Skin Restoring Moisturizer. Formulated for atopic skin, this cleansing body wash and non-greasy moisturizer will enhance the skin’s ability to retain major moisture and calms the itch.

If you have patches of eczema on your face and would like to hide the redness, start off by applying a rich moisturizer on your face and then apply Sally Hansen Natural Beauty Inspired By Carmindy Your Skin Makeup on the area. This moisturizing foundation contains antioxidants and natural botanicals that will help in rejuvenating the skin. It’s also fragrance free and hypoallergenic so it won’t irritate the problem area. Apply it by stippling or pushing the foundation lightly on the face using a non-latex sponge and then skip powder in the areas that are dry and scaly. This will allow the area to stay moist and not increase in flakiness, so nobody will notice the atopic area.

Draw attention to another feature like your eyes by using an opposite eyeliner shade then your eye color to make them stand out. If you have brown eyes use a navy blue, if you have hazel eyes go for a forest green liner. Blue eyes look amazing with a bronzy brown liner, and for green eyes sweep on a deep plum. Apply black mascara and everyone will notice just how beautiful your eyes are.

Try_It_On_endofarticle.gif

Try on eyeliner in the Makeover Studio!

As an established makeup artist, many beauty brands send me samples of their latest products for consideration. I only write about the items that I truly love and I always abide by Daily Makeover’s Editorial Ethics Pledge in each of my Positively Beautiful posts.

Carmindy’s Cleanser Awards

Getting squeaky clean skin with no slimy residue can be a tricky, but I have taken my own cleanser challenge to bring to you my top cleanser picks in every category for truly clean healthy skin. And the awards go to…

The best inexpensive cleanser award goes to Cetaphil Daily Facial Skin Cleanser for normal to oily skin. This simple yet effective cleanser erases dirt and makeup in a flash, and for around $7.99, you can’t beat the price. It’s also recommended by most dermatologists and works on any type of skin even if you’re dry.

The best natural cleanser award goes to Alba Botanica Sea Mineral Cleansing Gel. Your skin will feel fresher than ever after a good wash with this cleanser, which is packed with a fabulous marine complex, aloe and antioxidants.

Rodial.jpg

The best makeup remover cleanser award goes to Rodial A-List Cleanser. This cleanser literally melts the most stubborn makeup off in a second without having to scrub yourself silly. It’s great to use on waterproof eyeliner and mascara and never irritates the skin.

The best multi-benefit cleanser award goes to the brand-new Kiehl’s Photo-Age Deep Action Exfoliating Cleanser. I’m currently obsessed with this perfect cleanser that uses sylic acid and scrubbing grains to eliminate dead skin cells and help promote cell turnover. It also contains different natural extracts that help to diminish the appearance of pigment discolorations (the bane of my existence) and vitamin C that neutralizes free radicals involved in the aging process.

The best cleansing wipe award goes to Ponds Original All Day Clean Wet Cleansing Towlette. No other wipe gently removes dirt, oil and makeup without water. It’s perfect if you are super lazy some days and can’t be bothered washing your face!

As an established makeup artist, many beauty brands send me samples of their latest products for consideration. I only write about the items that I truly love and I always abide by Daily Makeover’s Editorial Ethics Pledge in each of my Positively Beautiful posts.

Sanitation Department

One thing I have learned looking through women’s makeup bags over the eight years I have been on What Not To Wear is we all have one thing in common. We are messy! None of us seem to keep our makeup free of germs and bacteria or our makeup bags and drawers clean. And when we try on makeup at department or drugstores just how sanitary are we?

Now there is a great solution with the fabulous new line called Beauty So Clean that is like Purell for your beauty routine. This cosmetic sanitizer is just what we need to help prevent the infections, allergic reactions and even acne that dirty makeup can cause. There is a fast-drying Conditioning Brush Cleaner that will keep the filth off your brushes each day, allowing for perfect color application and even blending.

Spray the Cosmetic Sanitizer Mist directly onto your compact face powders, blushes, bronzers and eye shadows for germ-free powder formulas in 10 seconds. The Cosmetic Sanitizer Wipes are perfect to throw into your bag to wipe off eyeliners and lipsticks before trying on new shades when you go makeup shopping. These are also great for for women that are prone to cold sores. You can still wear your lipstick or gloss without re-infecting yourself or spreading the infection over and over again. So now there is absolutely no excuse for being a dirty girl, keep it fresh and clean and you will stay pretty and pristine.

As an established makeup artist, many beauty brands send me samples of their latest products for consideration. I only write about the items that I truly love and I always abide by Daily Makeover’s Editorial Ethics Pledge in each of my Positively Beautiful posts.

The World’s Best Natural Exfoliant

On a recent adventure to The Great Barrier Reef in Australia, I heard a myth about the sand on legendary Whitehaven Beach. Local women have been using this powdery white sand for years as the most luxuriant, natural exfoliant to soften wrinkles and eliminate dull skin. Made up of 98% pure silica, which gives it its pure white color, it has been brought to these shores over millions of years by sea currents as the local rocks do not contain silica.

Whitehaven.jpg

As a lover of body and face scrubs, I just had to try this magical sand and report back to you lovely ladies if the rumors where true. I decided to charter a helicopter and get dropped off on this perfect and pristine beach. Whitehaven Beach is honestly one of the most beautiful beaches I have ever seen in my life. The sand is so pure and light that even in direct heat it feels cool on the toes. The water is so lovely that immersing yourself in it is like getting a liquid hug. I was lucky enough to experience this awesome beach all by myself slathered in my favorite sunscreen SkinCeutical Sport UV Defense SPF 45 and shielded by a vintage white Panama hat and gold polarized Ray Bans.

I applied sand all over my face and body and began scrubbing away, amazed at how light the sand felt on my skin. When I jumped in the ocean, it took awhile to wash all the fine grains off, but when I did, my skin was polished to perfection and the silkiest it has ever been. So yes, the rumors about Whitehaven Beach are very true, and I recommend choosing vacations that offer special beauty bonuses like this for an unforgettable girly getaway!

As an established makeup artist, many beauty brands send me samples of their latest products for consideration. I only write about the items that I truly love and I always abide by Daily Makeover’s Editorial Ethics Pledge in each of my Positively Beautiful posts.

Natural Beauty Down Under

This is my second year in a row kicking off the New Year in Sydney, Australia for my winter vacation. I’m always just blown away by how amazing the women are here — we Americans can really learn a thing or two from these beautiful women. They love to hike, kayak, run, surf and swim to stay in shape. They moisturize daily and are diligent about sunscreen, as the Australian sun is the most powerful in the world.

They wear minimal makeup, adding just enough to play up their features in a natural way. A little foundation, highlighter, eyeliner, mascara, blush and lippie (as they call gloss or lipstick) and they are ready to roll. They are comfortable in their own skin and like looking unique and different from one another. Never do you hear these women obsess over weight or age or compare themselves to other women. They smile all the time without worrying about crow’s feet and eat and drink heartily without worrying about every calorie that goes into their body.

I have yet to see an army of plastic surgery addicts like we see in our U.S. cities, or any young girls trying to emulate fake-looking reality show stars who are over-tanned, lips over-plumped and hair, nails and makeup overdone. In a nutshell these Aussie lasses are all about life’s perfect balance. They are happy and healthy and oh so beautiful. So let’s start the new year off like our sisters from down under and embrace our confident selves as it’s never too late to change the way you treat yourself!

Beat The Pale Winter Pallor

The holidays are here, but our skin might not look like so festive. Pale, dull and pasty winter skin can really get us down. With all the fun party makeup to play with, we want our skin to look alive, warm and glowing. There are a few simple steps to get the color and radiance back to your complexion, so whether you slick on a red lipstick or put on a fun set of falsies you will look absolutely stunning.

DiorShimmer.jpg

Exfoliating is very important to eliminate dry and dead skin. Your first step is to use a handful of white sugar in the shower when you wash your face to buff away any dullness. Next, a great self-tanner will instantly bring back that vacation glow and help bronze up your face and body to eliminate the dark days of winter. You want to choose a buildable formula this time of year because a deep, dark, savage tan will look wrong in the colder months. Subtlety is key, so go for a tanner that only deepens you one shade at a time so you can control it. I like the new Jane Iredale tanner called Tantasia that contains natural ingredients to deliver an even tan you can build over three days.

After you warm up your face and body, it’s time to restore luminosity. Blend on Natural Beauty Inspired By Carmindy Luminizing Face Primer, which contains wonderful light-reflecting pigments that help eliminate the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and creates a natural glow.

Next, even out your skin tone by using a sheer foundation one shade deeper than normal that will match the tanner new you. My Natural Beauty Inspired By Carmindy Airbrush Spray Makeup has a sheerness that mimics your skin’s natural texture but covers imperfections to create a truly perfect finish. You don’t want to use a separate bronzer — this would be overkill — so your last step is to apply a soft swirl of shimmering blush like Diorskin Shimmer Star on the apples of your cheeks for a spark of brilliance on the face. Now your skin is alive and ready to party!

As an established makeup artist, many beauty brands send me samples of their latest products for consideration. I only write about the items that I truly love and I always abide by Daily Makeover’s Editorial Ethics Pledge in each of my Positively Beautiful posts.

Winter Skin Woes

During the cold, blustery days and nights of winter, the extra-dry air can leave our skin dry and parched. The chapping, redness and tight feeling associated with this can look aging on the skin and make wrinkles more noticeable if you are not careful. Luckily, there are a few easy ways to make sure that moisture stays locked into your skin and your complexion stays radiant.

The first thing to do is to step up your moisturizing routine. Switch from face and body lotions to richer, denser creams and start using extra-rich eye balm every night. I to use love La Mer’s Eye Balm Intense for deep hydration around the eyes while I sleep.

FreshSugar.jpg

Keep quenching your lips everywhere you go by placing lip balms in strategic areas like your purse, your nightstand, your car and your office desk so you are always covered. My top three lip balm picks are Nude Skin Care Nude Lips, Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment with SPF 15 and Burt’s Bees Honey Lip Balm.

While you are out and about holiday shopping, use makeup that will fight off dehydration. Choose cream blushes instead of powders for more suppleness like Natural Beauty Inspired By Carmindy Sheerest Cream Blush. Opt for cream highlighter to “Carmindize” the face, which is my technique for getting glowy, dewy skin even in the freezing cold. I like to use Fresh Satin Luster Palette and place it in three key places. Tap it on under the brows, on the inner corners of the eyes and on top of the cheekbones for moist looking radiance. Use less powder than you would in other seasons so this skin never gets chalky and if you do get shiny try blotting papers in place of adding more powder. You may want to think about investing in a humidifier to put in your bedroom if you really suffer in the dry air, as this will keep you hydrated even when the furnace is kicked into high gear.

As an established makeup artist, many beauty brands send me samples of their latest products for consideration. I only write about the items that I truly love and I always abide by Daily Makeover’s Editorial Ethics Pledge in each of my Positively Beautiful posts.

Lighten Up!

Melasma, skin discoloration, sunspots, age spots – on and on it goes. These pigment issues can plague women as we get older no matter how diligent you have been about wearing your sunscreen. The discoloration is usually caused by sun exposure, hormones, and scarring from bad blemishes, but there is hope, and you don’t need to spend a fortune on expensive laser peels to solve the issue. With all the skin care products on the market, though, it’s hard to know which ones actually work and which ones are just hype.

The main ingredient to look for that will lighten these problems is hydroquinone. This is usually prescribed by your dermatologist and applied twice a day morning and night to gradually erase spots. Growing up in Southern California I had a lot of sun exposure, so as I age I battle discoloration with a hydroquinone product called EpiQuin Micro by SkinMedica prescribed by my dermatologist Dr. Rosemarie Ingleton in NYC. It works quickly to fade the dark areas. Remember, you need to stay out of the sun and wear sunscreen even in the winter so the issue does not return.

Another ingredient that works to help erase sun spots is fruit acid, and the IS Clinical White Lightening Complex is an innovative new product that lightens and brightens the complexion with a mix of antioxidants and fruit acids. There is an entire system of IS Clinical products made to help clear up the skin’s pigment problems. In the mean time If you want to fake a lighter brighter look with makeup start off by using Natural Beauty Inspired By Carmindy Luminizing Face Primer. Applying this after your sunscreen in the morning makes your skin look radiant and bright by using light reflecting particles to brighten the skin and antioxidants to improve it.

To brighten up the area under the eyes, use the Natural Beauty Inspired By Carmindy All Over Brightener Fast Fix Concealer which erases darkness and gives you a well rested look.

As an established makeup artist, many beauty brands send me samples of their latest products for consideration. I only write about the items that I truly love and I always abide by Daily Makeover’s Editorial Ethics Pledge in each of my Positively Beautiful posts.