Girls are notorious for being finicky with their nails. The shape, size, and length are all aspects of our nails that we keep close tabs on. Though some of our nail maintenance habits and procedures actually may be doing more harm than good.
First off, what are healthy nails suppose to look like? Our nails are composed of layers of keratin, a type of protein. Healthy nails should appear to be smooth without pits or grooves. The color should be uniform without spots or discolorations. It is normal for nails to sometimes develop vertical ridges from the base of the nail to the tip. These tend to become far more prominent with age.
Contrary to popular belief, do NOT cut your cuticles. Cutting cuticles increases the risk of a nail infection as cuticles function to block out bacteria and to protect the nail bed. If you want to make your nails appear longer, try gently pushing them back instead. Also, don’t forget to apply some hand lotion to your nails and cuticles whenever you moisturize your hands to keep them soft. Lastly, keep your hands away from your mouth area. The mouth harbors a ton of bacteria and can cause and unwelcoming infection if there are any cuts or open areas along your hands.
Cracked or hang nails are unsightly and more so annoying. To avoid cracking nails, keep strong chemicals away from your hands, such as dish detergent and harsh nail polish removers. Moisturizing the nail bed area will also help prevent cracking. Hang nails should never be torn off as tempting as it is. Tearing off a hang nail may quite possibly tear the tissue underneath the nail and present a possible area to become infected. The main cause of hang nails is dryness so the bottom line is: keep your nails moisturized along with your hands!
As much work as our hands do, the least we can do is to keep them well maintained. Whether for cosmetic or health reasons, keeping nails trimmed and moisturized most definitely minimizes and future mani headache we may encounter.
Pimples are something we all have gotten and hated. It can be painful as it forms and a dilemma as of how to pop it without leaving a scar. So we’re looking into how to properly pop a pimple…gross yet useful.
The best way to pop a pimple is to first open up the poor with warm water. For white heads, position two fingers on opposite sides of the pimple and pop it. Extract all the fluid until it is clear. For blackheads, try the same method but stop if no progress is made. Afterwards, disinfect the pimple area and apply a lotion with zinc oxide to ensure the pimple dries out. Stubborn blackheads are best removed via a clay mask.
Another method is to just leave the pimple alone. When you feel the onset of a yet-to-surface pimple, there are many over-the-counter acne treatments and products to prevent pimples from emerging in the first place. Medicated products to treat pimples that are not yet mature enough to pop can be applied, but doesn’t always guarantee the pimple will not emerge or mature into a full-blown whitehead. A quick fix for blackheads are pore strips. They easily unclog and clean out pores.
It is commonly known that a healthy diet transfers to a clear and glowing complexion. Although acne may often be due to genetics, a well-balanced diet will minimize the acne you get. Here are some foods that should be in everyone’s diet: grapes, herbs (like thyme, rosemary, and mint), veggies high in water content, oysters (high in zinc), yogurt, dark chocolate, drinking water, and minimizing alcohol consumption.
Regardless of the severity of your acne, there are always ways and methods to alleviate or at least minimize it’s appearance on your face and body. A simple change in hygiene when popping a pimple or a change in diet can make a great difference in the appearance and amount of acne.
Many women prefer waterproof mascaras over regular non-waterproof mascaras, but are there any harms to your lashes for using the waterproof version? Well…kind of.
The benefits of waterproof mascara can be quite obvious. These mascaras have longer staying power and are smudge-proof to prevent you from looking like the woman pictured above during unexpected rains or moments of emotion. Such features are ideal for those living in humid climates. It is also extremely convenient for women on the go. Some have also found it to hold the curl in lashes a lot longer. One application in the morning and they can stay worry-free about their mascara running or smearing and look just as good as when it was applied. Non-waterproof mascaras need reapplication throughout the day to keep up the lashes’ glam factor.
One of the main cons to waterproof mascara is removal. It is much more difficult to remove than the non-waterproof version. The skin around the eyes is much thinner and the rubbing motion it takes to remove the mascara can damage the delicate eye area. The formula of waterproof mascaras can dry out the lashes as well, making them more prone to fallout earlier. The baseline: be gentle with your makeup removal.
For the utmost eyelash glam without falsies, waterproof mascara is your answer. Though be careful and gentle with your eyes. Or better yet, give your lashes a break once and a while and just sport the rest of your usual look.
There seems to be the on-going trend for women of color desiring their skin to be lighter. A whole market of products that “whiten” and “brighten” the skin has been created, but are these products safe to use?
Skin whitening products have received a red flag from the U.S. FDA. Whitening products are said to contain hydroqinone, this compound is known to cause skin diseases like ochronosis, causing irreversible blueish black discoloration of the skin…not a color many people desire. When using whitening products over a prolong period of time, skin decreases its production of melatonin which gives skin its natural pigmentation. This allows UV rays to deeply penetrate the layers of the skin and much more easily cause sun damage and even skin cancer. Countries in the European Union, Australia, and Japan have banned skin whitening products from their markets for these very reasons.
There is now speculation that steroid are also ingredients in skin lightening products. Side effects include skin becoming abnormally thin, visible capillaries, and stubborn acne, These adverse effects from these products are on the rise as more and more women of color are using these skin lightening products from Asian decent to African to Indian. Some say they use the products “to be more accepted in society”. Some of these products may even contain mercury, a poison that directly attacks the body’s nervous system.
Using skin whitening products is a dangerous gamble with the health risks. Now with the internet ever more present in our lives, we are more easily discouraged by what we have and desire what we lack. Prescription strength products can also be easily obtained without a proper prescription via various internet sites. Think twice about whether lighter skin is worth the possible life-long regrets that may or may not follow.
Hair food. Well, not literally, are products that help contribute to shiny and silky hair. But what is in these products that make hair appear so shiny and healthy? Lets see…
Shea butter is a common ingredient in hair conditioning products. The shea nut is high in fatty acids which coat hair strands and prevent the loss of water and moisture, thus keeping hair subble and strong.
Coconut oil when applied to hair as a pre-wash treatment can penetrate deeply into the hair shaft and offer extreme moisture. The oil also prevents water from penetrating hair strands which would cause the hair shaft to rise and become more prone to damage. Coconut oil can not only be used for hair, but also skin and has great benefits internally when consumed as well.
Aloe vera can also be considered a miracle product like coconut oil. Aloe vera is a natural treatment for hair loss and hair growth. Its high vitamin and mineral content that help restore hair strength and beauty make it an ideal ingredient in nourishing shampoos and conditioners. Furthermore, enzymes in aloe vera sooth the scale and reduce dandruff. And like coconut oil, aloe vera is also great for skin and can be consumed internally to improve overall health. What’s not to love?
Jojoba oil is known for its regenerative and moisturizing properties. It moisturizes and protects hair to aid against unwanted hair loss. Also, jojoba oil is very similar to to natural scalp oil known as sebum, making it a very natural conditioner and moisturizer.
Extra virgin olive oil is a top emollient that penetrates deeply into the hair for nourishment and moisture. It is also light weight, which makes it an ideal moisturizer for not just hair, but also skin as well. Its anti-inflammatory properties help nourish the scalp and prevent dandruff buildup. It can also be used on those with sensitive skin.
Castor seed oil helps treat hair breakage and promotes hair growth. It is also tasteless and odorless, perfect for those who are more smell sensitive. The oil can also be used to treat a variety of skin conditions, such as sunburns, skin disorders, cuts, and abrasions.
Honey may not be the first thing one would think to put i his or her hair due to its sticky nature, but when honey is mixed with some of the ingredients mentioned here the results are exponentially rewarding. It can be melted and added to extra virgin olive oil to be a natural conditioner and moisturizer or mixed with store-bought conditioner for an extra kick of nourishment for damaged hair.
Avocados are not only tasty, but they make great natural hair products as well. Avocados are rich in oils which help promote overall hair growth and smooth frizz. They also make great facials masks and tasty guacamole.
Tea tree oil has rich antiseptic, anti-fungal, and antibacterial proporties. It is especially soothing for those that suffer from a dry or itchy scalp. It is not recommended to over-apply this oil as it can cause scalp irritation when over-indulged in.
Natural products are the least harsh on hair as they are free of man-made chemicals. Many of these ingredients can be found in the kitchen pantry and you’re just one step away from even healthier and shinier hair.
After hair is dyed, there is much to be done afterwards to preserve the color’s vibrancy. Many common, and not so common, techniques are used by different people to maintain their new locks. Here are a few.
The first no-brainer is to use color safe shampoo. These shampoos are specifically formulated to preserve colored hair. They are sulfate free. Sulfate in normal shampoos are included as they clean the hair and scalp extremely well, but when used on colored hair it can strip the color from hair strands faster. The shampoos also don’t contain alcohol and have many ingredients that add luster and shine.
Wash your hair with cold water. Using hot water on colored hair opens the cuticle and increases the loss of color faster. If cold water is too cold to handle, lukewarm water is also a great option.
Right after your trip to the salon for color, avoid washing your hair for a few days afterwards, at least 48 hours, to allow the scalp’s natural oils to build. This will prevent any scalp irritation from the chemicals used in hair dye and allow the dye to sit in your hair longer before your first wash.
Minimize your use of heated hair styling tools. Hair coloring is damaging to hair and adding heat and product when unnecessary will increase the damage done. There are also many alternative methods to style hair in ways similar to that of a styling tool. Many tutorials for these non-heat methods can be found on YouTube. Be sure to also regularly condition your hair with deep conditioner to help speed up the your hair’s repair process.
Though it may seem to be much of a hassle to maintain colored hair it is actually quite convenient once a routine is established. Try some colored highlights for starters and for the daring, some colors that really contrast with your natural tone.
Tweezing. Most, if not all women, and even some men, tweeze hair on their face whether it be re-shaping eyebrows or removing unwanted hairs around the mouth area. Are there any risks to this technique of hair removal? Are there easier ways to remove hairs, roots and all? Lets see:
There are no serious complications involved with tweezing, though some people cannot stand the pain of plucking hairs from the roots one by one, though it takes longer for the hairs to grow back leaving you hair free longer. The side effects of tweezing include redness, skin irritation, and ingrown hairs. These side effects are also common with shaving. Minimize these side effects by tweezing after a warm shower when the pores are more open to allow the hairs to be removed more easily. Pull the surrounding skin tightly, grab the hair as close to the roots as possible, and pull in the direction the hair naturally grows.
It must be the worst…ingrown hairs! They occur when tweezed or shaved hairs grows back into the skin an causes inflammation and irritation of the surrounding tissues. They are often visible as bumps under the skin. The best way to remove ingrown hairs is to gently exfoliate the area before hair removal to reveal the sub-dermal hair tip or to use a sterilized needle to lift the ingrained hair tip from under your skin for removed.
An alternative method to hair removal involves this device…and epilator. This machine plucks hairs quickly from the roots. Although it may be painful for first-time users, the stinging fades after continued use. Epilation provides lasting smoothness and is more gentle and efficient than waxing. Many epilators have features to minimize discomfort, including massaging rollers. They are versatile and can be used on the legs, underarms, and other areas as well.
Regardless of your preferred choice of hair removal, there are always undesired side effects. Tweezing/plucking/epilating is a quick and efficient method of removing hairs with long lasting results.
Japanese lotions and skincare products are completely foreign in Western countries. Eastern lotion products have names ranging from water lotions to milky lotions. Lotions in the west are, well, just called lotions, and a one step process to moisturizing the skin after washing. Lets dig more into the different lotions in this market.
Water lotion…what is it? To be honest, it’s more intriguing than strange. The “water” is not actually water and the “lotion” is not actually lotion…confusing right? The product is actually more of a type of toner that functions to soften and moisturize the skin, so it’s more of a toning lotion. They can also contain additional properties such as whitening, brightening, soothing, firming, anti-aging, acne reduction, etc. Although these products usually contain high amounts of alcohol, the hydrating aspects of it prevent the product from drying out the skin. Alcohol helps the product absorb into the skin faster. This is a huge plus as Japan has a tropical climate and any product sitting on the skin too long tends to cause the skin to become sticky, a very undesirable side effect. Apply by pouring a very small amount into your hands and pat into the face until absorbed or apply with a cotton ball all over the face area.
Milky lotion…??? These lotions tend to be rich in moisture but light weight at the same time, preventing the skin from feeling heavy and loaded down with product. The product itself is a bit more on the watery side when compared with Western lotions, but spread easily and, like the water lotion, absorb quickly as well. Milky lotions also contain alcohol, but it aids in the product’s absorption without the side effect of drying out the skin.
Though these products may seem odd and strange to us, there is a huge market for them in Japan and they produce results. Next time you’re feeling adventurous try out these different products. You just may find your new skincare staple product.
Big, volumous hair is a staple for a sexy image. Just look at Victoria’s Secret Angels. Not one of them wears their hair slicked back as they strut the runway and woo the crowd. Now how to achieve such big hair ourselves?
One essential tool the Angels use is rollers. Rollers not only produce longer lasting curls and volume, they are also the least damaging to the hair compared to other options of using heating tools. When using rollers, the size of the roller will determine how curly and voluminous your hair will be. The bigger the roller, the looser the curls and the bigger the volume.
Another way to achieve big hair is by first messaging some volume mousse or another volumizing product to the roots of your hair and blow drying them while tugging them upwards for height. Next, continue to blow dry the rest of your hair using a round brush for a smooth sleek finish. You can also add additional volume by holding the ends of your upwards and blow drying the roots again, holding the hair in place until cool.
Teasing or backcombing hair underneath the crown creates volume, but is extremely damaging to your hair. Combs with the teeth close together are best for teasing. Take a small section of hair and position the comb underneath the section a few inches form the scalp with the teeth facing the underside of the section of hair. Now comb the hair backwards towards the scalp. Repeat this until the desired amount of lift has been created near the roots of the hair. Smooth the upper layer over the teased section for a sleek, voluminous look.
Prior to styling of any sort, wash hair with a volumizing shampoo and condition the ends. Volumizing shampoos are specifically formulated to not weight down hair and make it easier to style hair with volume. Also, light application of hair sprays when styling are a must. Heavy applications hairsprays weigh down hair and kill any volume achieved.
Styling voluminous hair takes practice as with mastering any beauty routine. Incorporate these tips and steps to avoid days of having flat, lifeless hair.
The pet peeve of many girls it having chipped nail polish only after a few days from application. While there is so sure way to prolong a manicure besides not using our hands (which is impractical), there are some tips and methods to help prevent a polish from wearing out too soon.
To prevent chipping, it all starts before the polish is even applied. Before applying nail polish, avoid soaps and lotion with ingredients like aloe vera and vitamin E. Although these ingredients are beneficial to the skin, the oil residue they leave behind will cause polish to separate more easily from the nail and result in chipping. Another tip is to wipe down nails with nail polish before applying nail polish to increase the adhesion between polish and nail.
Clear base coats are important to not skip as they create a smoother surface for the colored polish to adhere to and prevent your nails from turning yellow. Next, apply two to three thin coats of nail polish. Thinner coats decrease the drying time, layers color better, and helps the polish stay put longer.
Nail hardeners, also called nail thickeners, are also another option after applying color. The hardener helps to strengthen the nail to prevent filed nails from weakening and ripping. They also work to seal in the color.
Another method of making manicures last is to dip your hands in a bucket of ice cold water after your layers of nail polish have completely dried. The low temperature of the water will harden the polish and help prevent chipping.
Though there is no sure way to completely 100% maintain a perfect manicure for weeks, pre-polish application steps help maximize the polish’s staying power. Be careful with outdoor activities and chores around the house after a mani.
Primer works by creating a smooth surface for makeup application by filling in fine lines and wrinkles. It becomes a base and creates a layer between your skin and your makeup. Primer helps a woman appear to have flawless skin despite the effects of aging. Also, primer helps foundation and eyeshadows last longer and stay more vibrant. It prevents foundation from flaking and the appearance of streaks. Now you know one of the secrets of models appearing to have perfect skin: it’s partially the works of a quality primer.
Since primer acts as a barrier between your skin and your makeup, be sure to moisturize your face before applying. The best way to apply primer is with your fingers or a makeup sponge. Start in the center of your face and work you way out. Primer does not need to be thick, only a thin layer is needed. Be sure to wait for the product to dry and set before starting to apply your makeup.
Primer is an essential aid in creating a flawless complexion Sometimes makeup on it’s own is not enough as it falls into creases and such. Using a primer that works well with your individual skin tone can dramatically change the longevity of your makeup so consider including one in your makeup routine!
Ombre has been the most popular hot hair trend for some time down and it shows no signs of slowing down. Despite this trend’s popularity, there are aspects of the dying process, professionally or DIY, one should be wary of when considering getting ombre hair.
Although ombre is meant to look like hair color that has grown out it may seem to require lower maintenance when compared to traditional one color hair coloring, but the creative shading of color required for ombre will increase the attention needed in maintaining the brightness of those colors. Another thing to take into consideration before getting ombre is your individual skin tone and your wardrobe choices and whether or not ombre will be a compliment or a conflict with your overall look.
It is highly recommended to get ombre done by a professional hair colorist who would know exactly how to layer different dyes to blend together and look more natural. Many people cannot afford the three figure cost of getting their hair professionally dyed but still want the ombre look can opt to do it themselves. YouTube is an ideal source with many many videos made on dying hair, such as this one: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GXFM5RAgiSE
Ombre is in style and there are many variation of the trend apart from natural hair colors. Try ombre out the next time you’re in the mood for a bold hair change.
Heels make a women feel sexy and adds a certain rhythm and stay in their strut. But did you know that no matter now comfortable the heel may seem, in the long run it may lead to foot and knee pains? In fact, shoes in general can cause a lot of pain. This is an intriguing topic to further explore.
As cute as a pair of heels may be, they are inevitably harmful to your feet in the long run when worn often. It is recommended that heels be worn only 1-2 days of the week if possible, and to remove the heel during times like sitting behind an office desk. In addition to discomfort, heels can also lead to a variety of health problems, including conditions like Morton’s Neuroma, Hammertoes, and calluses. Some resulting pains may even require surgery to relieve and correct. More on the mentioned foot conditions can be read here: http://hitchfit.com/beauty/are-high-heels-bad-for-you/.
Heels can also affect joints and even as high up as the spine. The metatarsal joint is effected the most. It is located at the ball of your foot where the pressure from your weight is the greatest when the foot is elevated by the shoe. Pains in this joint can cause a condition known as metatarsalgia. The cartilage in the knee breaking down, leaving the bones to rub together in the joint results in osteoarthritis in the knee. Also, as heels alter the body’s center of gravity, this can accentuate the forward curve of the spine in he lumbar region, leading to back pain and even muscle weakness as nerves are pinched.
The most obvious con of wearing heels must be the risk of falling flat on your face in front of others. This has happened all too often on the runways of all major fashion designers as models struggle to balance on the designer’s unrealistic footwear. If models, who are professionals at walking in heels, stumble and meet the runway face to face, it is an indicator to the rest of us to know when a high heel is too high to save us the embarrassment of face planting it.
As heels get crazier and crazier they get more dangerous as well, not only for our bodily healthy but mental i.e. face meeting the pavement. Although many girls cannot give up their heels and love the sexy strut their stilettos give them, it is still best to wear them in moderation.
Everyone has heard of facial wash followed by moisturizer as part of most people’s daily morning routine, but how many regularly use toner? We’ll explore what toner is, what it does, and why you should or should not consider including it in your routine.
Toner is a wash that further cleanses the face and minimizes pores. Though toner is not a necessary step for many, it works most effectively for those with oily or acne prone skin. They also work well for those who wear a lot of makeup and need the extra cleansing effect to ensure all product is removed from the face. Many toners come with the added benefit of preventing acne and the emergence of new pimples.
There are two different types of toner: traditional and astringents. Traditional toners typically include moisturizer and oil extracts to help sooth the skin. On the other hand, astringents are often alcohol-based and work to remove oil and tighten the pores. Though a good moisturizer can replace a traditional toner, astringents add an extra kick and layer to preventing the emergence of acne.
All in all, toner is not needed for everyone. Those with oily or acne-prone skin with benefit the most from this skincare product. Nonetheless, for women who want to ensure their face is clear of any makeup or extra sebum from the day, toner is a beneficial extra step to take.
Eyeshadows are an essential part of eye makeup. They brighten, bring out the color of the iris, and add an overall pop of color to your face. Shadows come in many different forms, including liquid, powder, cream, one-step swipe ons, and even stickers.
Liquid eyeshadow is a relatively new version of eyeshadow and slightly different than the other types of shadow in that there is a wait time for the pigmented liquid to dry before proceeding with any and all other eye makeup. The shadow also tends to be sheer and can often be used as a base for other types of shadow. Several layers are often needed to achieve the desired amount color.
Powder eyeshadow is perhaps the most common form eyeshadows come in. They can either be a compacted powder, as shown above, or loose powder. Both types of powder eyeshadows are best applied with an eyeshadow makeup brush, though compact powder shadow can also be applied directly with clean fingers. For loose shadow, it is best to have some sort of base on your lids first whether it’s a primer, foundation, or concealer, something for the shadow to better adhere to your eyelids.
Cream eyeshadows are best applied with either your fingers or a small concealer brush. Don’t apply this type of shadow with an eyeshadow brush as due to it’s consistency the brush won’t be able to pick up much product. Since cream shadows tend to crease easily, it is best to have some short of product already on your lids as a base first, or even use a cream shadow as the base.
One-step swipe on shadows are something new and an interesting idea. It doesn’t work for everyone as each individual has their own preferences on color intensity, but with enough pressure of the applicator in the products and precision this product may just work for you on the go.
Sticker eyeshadows are for women who just don’t have time in the morning to apply makeup. It is applied by first placing the sticker on the lid, use another finger to press the sticker against the eyelid gently in order to transfer the color, and then peel off the sticker.
The different types of eyeshadows each cater to different women with different life styles. Though some may be more innovative and adventurous, others have stayed in the classic powder form.