Wednesday, August 25, 2010

SPF's break me out!!

No one can survive a summer in Greece without any sun protection creams. The sun is hot and almost always around, so even when being in the shade one may end up with a sunburn. Moreover, sun is one of the main causes of premature aging.

And now about me…..although I wear sun protection on my face all through the year, I notice that in the summertime I get breakouts. This is mainly because going to the beach means that you get to apply the product over and over, usually without washing off the sea salt, plus in the meantime you may get sweaty. Moreover most SP creams seem to have a thicker texture (although I always use the oil free version) to them -compared to moisturizers- especially if they have an SPF of 25 plus.

I just came back from my vacation –and although I had a great time- my skin is now suffering! I now have to cleanse it at least three times a day, use pore cleansing masks and tone my skin. And trust me, in order to get back to my normal skin, I have to pay a visit to my beautician and get a professional deep cleaning facial.

All through the years, I have tried most of the SPFs available in the market, ranging from the pharmaceutical (Vichy, Avene, Propoline) to the high end brands (Clinique, shiseido, Lancaster, Lancome, Estee Lauder).

BUT, I think I may have discovered the solution to my problem, the new Oil Free Moisturizer SPF30 by Mario Badescu. His products work great for me, especially when my skin is in a bad condition. There are a couple of stores in Athens when I can purchase MB products, but the particular moisturizer was very new, so it was not available in Greece, which means I will have to order it on line.

Why am I so certain it will work for my skin? Well, right before I left for vacation I purchased a couple of products from the MB stand and the lady who worked there gave me two tiny samples, the Hyaluronic moisturizer SPF 15 and the Complex Moisturizer with Vitamin E SPF 20. I am happy to say that none of the two gave me a break out. Unfortunately the first one had a low SPF and the second one was a bit too oily for my skin. Since these products did not make my skin break out, I think that the oil free moisturizer with an SPF of 30 will be ideal. According to Mario Badescu’s official site it is a non-pore clogging, paraben-free formula that provides UVA and UVB protection and the necessary defense against sun damage and acne scarring. Moreover, it is recommended for every day use on combination, sensitive, oily or acne-prone skin.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Eyelash Serums

All women dream of having long and full eyelashes. Beautiful eyelashes frame the eyes in the best possible way and make them look feminine and attractive. And although some women are privileged with such kind of lashes and others are not, cosmetology has made sure that nowadays most women can grow false looking dolly lashes with the help of serums.
There are many products in the market that promise to help grow the existing lashes and create new eyelash growth. Some products have such great results that the women using it had to literally trim their crazy long eyelashes. Amazing, huh?
Now the question is how far would you go to make yourself beautiful? I cant stop wondering whether such products can cause permanent eye damage in the short or in the long run. I mean okay, aren't most things we are using chemical? Yes, this is true but these serums are applied right in your eyelash line, right above your eye. A product that can double your eyelash length in a couple of months, darken your eyelashes and even your natural eye color...must be quite strong,dont you think? And think that, as soon as you stop most of these serums, your eyelashes return back to their original size, and if I judge from some of the photos I have seen I could say that they become even worse. Well, for all these reasons I am not sure. And I am not saying that I would not love the results that these products are claiming to have, but I just cant stop playing the devil's advocate.

Below is a list of the best eyelash growth serums whose prices vary from 20 to 160$ per bottle :
  1. Latisse
  2. Lilash
  3. Revitalash
  4. Loreal Eyelash Serum
  5. Lash Relongé
  6. ActivLash
  7. Jan Marini
  8. Mavala Eye-Lite Double Lash
  9. Talika Eyelash Conditioner
  10. Enormous Lash
  11. MD Lash Factor
  12. IdolLash
I recently started using L'oreal concentrated lash boosting serum which promises thicker fuller lashes in just 4 weeks of daily use without the side effects of other lash serums. I have only been using the product for a week so I cannot see any results apart from the fact that my lashes hardly fall off when I remove my eye makeup, which I guess is a good thing.

Although I enjoy testing most beauty products, I generally believe more in natural products as I feel that our bodies tend to recognize their ingredients much easier and therefore process them in a more efficient way.What |I often use after periods of  intense eyemakeup and therefore eyelash abusing is a mixture of olive and castor oil. I apply the mixture on clean and dry lashes, right before I go to sleep. This oil will not get your lashes super long but it will get them fuller and stronger while it minimizes the lash loss.

PS: I would really love to hear your experiences with lash serums (results, side effects etc)

Sunday, August 8, 2010

STAY ON lipsticks

Dream of a lipstick that will accompany you through out a night? Through out a romantic dinner or a passionate kiss? Of a lipstick that looks pretty no matter how much you dance, sweat or…. Yep, I may have an answer to that……
And although, I am not among these girls that tend to eat their lipsticks away within the first ten minutes (like my sister), I have some tricks to keep it on for hours.

Trick #1
Exfoliate your lips. By exfoliating your lips not only do you get the most out of your lipstick, but you also end up with a smoother surface for your lipstick to adhere to.

Trick #2
Apply a moisturizing lip balm and leave it on for a few minutes.

Trick #3
Apply a light coat of a long wearing foundation to lips as a base. This will act as a primer (and a barrier to licking lipstick) and since you have applied lip balm it won’t dry your lips.

Trick #4
Outline your lips using a lip pencil, but not just any lip pencil. Try using Estee Lauder’s Double Wear Stay-in-Place Lip Pencil which comes in 14 different shades. This amazing lip liner wont dry your lips, and so you can apply it all over your lips.

Trick #5
a. Apply MAC’s Pro Longwear Lipcolour (10 shades) or Pro Longwear Lustre Lipcolour (6shades) for a shinier result. This lipstick is simply LONGWEAR! It wont Smudge, run, transfer, stays on intact for a while, plus it won’t dry your lips.

b. Apply your favourite lipstick and blot lightly. Just be aware that the shinier and more hydrating your lipstick is the less it will last.

Trick #6
Add some gloss. MAC’s Pro Longwear Lipcolours come with their own lipglosses that have a unique thicker formula against melting the lipstick. Try using this lipgloss in the center of your lips and you will have long-term results. You can follow the same procedure over your own lipstick, but I have to warn you it won’t last as long!!!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Best Korres Products

As some of you may know, Korres is a Greek Company that offers a complete skin and hair care range, make-up, sun care products and herbal preparations. It is important to know that Korres products are Dermatologically Tested, Preservative Free, Mineral Oil Free, Silicone Free, Propylene Glycol Free, Ethanolamine Free and enriched with Active Plant Extracts. The company’s products are available in more than 30 countries around the world. In Greece they can be found almost everywhere, in most pharmacies and departments stores.

Here are my very favourite Korres products (and trust me I am a strict judge):

1. Yoghurt cooling gel

This is a truly amazing product!!! It has all the therapeutic properties of yoghurt without having its smell. Greeks have been using yoghurt as a remedy for burns (sun burns or other kinds of burns) for many many years. As soon as you became red from the sun, you immediately applied a thin layer of cool yoghurt and felt relieved right away because it absorbed the extra heat off of your skin! The only problem was its smell, which was becoming annoying as the yoghurt was losing its temperature…and then it reached a point where you REALLY couldnt deal with it. But the Korres Yoghurt cooling gel has all the advantages of the real thing and still smells awesome. Another plus is that it can be worn in both the face and the body. For maximum cooling effect keep it refrigerated. Apply to the face and body after exposure to the sun. Repeat 2-3 times on irritated skin.

Yoghurt, a natural source of lactose, proteins, minerals and vitamins, increases the water content of the top layers of the skin instantly relieving UV-induced redness (erythema) and sensation of burning. Epilobium angustifolium and Fennel extracts demonstrate exceptional anti-inflammatory and anti-irritant properties, promoting the recovery of sun-harassed skin. (Korres official Site)

2. Body Butter in Guava

What can I say about this cream? Thick moisturizing texture and the amazing sweet and tropical scent of Guava. Reminds me of an exotic island… So summer-y. Although this cream was originally made for dry elbows, heels and knees, it is often used as a smoothing and moisturising cream especially for those with dry skin. I personally have normal skin and usually avoid thick creams but during the summer I always use it like an after sun product, it makes my skin super soft and everybody asks me what perfume I am wearing…..

Guava is an important source of vitamin C, which stimulates collagen synthesis. Shea butter and Quince extract have softening, moisturising and restructuring properties. Sunflower, Almond and Avocado oils nourish the skin, thus restoring its elasticity and smoothness. (Korres official Site)

3. Quercetin & Oak normal to combination

Finally, a truly non oily anti-wrinkle cream especially developed for normal to combination skin. When it is first applied it seems thicker but you are soon left with a silky non oily face. I did not notice any difference in my skin wrinkle wise because I don’t have any obvious signs of ageing but I can tell you that my skin felt smooth and less tired plus this cream was great under my makeup.

The Korres R&D Lab in cooperation with the National Hellenic Research Foundation has studied anti ageing at cellular level through the function of proteasome, an essential shield mechanism of cell proteins like collagen and elastin. Highly-effective flavonoid Quercetin activates proteasome to prolong skin cell lifespan and act as a restorer on all ageing signs.(Korres official Site)

4. Walnut and Coconut face and body suntan oil SPF 4

A great vegetable-based suntan oil, which offers a deep and uniform tan. I only use it when I have some tan and not when I am first exposed to the sun. Moreover, avoid using suntan oils with low SPF between 12:00 and 16:00p.m because you may end up getting sunburned. Try using it in the morning and in the afternoon, it still works, but without the harmful effects of the sun.

Rich in cinnamic acid, Walnut oil provides natural pretection from the sun. Chamomile and Corn oils moisturise the skin, while shielding it from the sun-provoked irritations. Jojoba and coconut oil keep the skin soft and Supple. (Korres official Site)

5. Soft Eyeliner Pencil

Eventually, a high quality dermatologically and opthalmologically tested soft pencil that can be used inside the waterline without causing any discomfort. The black pencil is a must have, it is very pigmented so you can achieve a strong result if you wish, while the Jojoba oil and vitamin E moisturise, comfort and protect your eyes. It comes in 6 amazing colors, some of which have a satiny shimmering glow.

6. Sunflower Oil Shimmering Eye Shadow

These eye shadows go on smoothly and are quite pigmented. They have a texture like very few I have ever tried, too silky and soft. They do not come in many colors, but the colours available are very pretty.

7. Lip Butter

A magic trick to always maintain smooth and luscious lips. Although, it combines Shea butter and Rice wax and is supposed to offer deep hydration and softness, I wouldn’t really recommend it (as a treatment) if your lips are too dry and chapped, but rather as a means of not reaching this point and still adding a hint of color to your lips. It comes in 7 pretty shades, but I just love the jasmine, a pinky tone nude colors that complements most lip colors.

8. Mango Butter Lipstick SPF 10
Yes, it is silky, yes it is pigmented, yes it has sun protection....Don’t forget to try the Coral no45 shade if you like bright colors for summer. Simply amazing!