Sunday, December 25, 2011

Perk Up! : At Home Coffee Exfoliating Scrub.

Looking for the perfect perk me up in the morning? Look no further than making your own Coffee Exfoliating Scrub! Coffee is fantastic for circulation and tightening let's get moving ladies!

  • In a container, mix 6 tablespoons of coffee grounds with 1/4 cup of Olive Oil. Mix until it looks like a course mud.
  • Take a dollop of the scrub and massage into your skin for one minute, then rinse.
  • Store in the fridge for any time that you need a morning pick up and a touch of glow added to your skin!
Lala xoxo

Friday, December 16, 2011

Lash Stash: The Perfect Mascara.

Finding the perfect mascara for you is like finding your soul mate. What one person loves is not what you might love. Raves and reviews truly mean nothing without a little bit of digging. Each of us have a different lash layout and structure. Some sparse, some thick..some long and some shorter.Mascara is made with different sized and textured polymers that are designed to add length or definition. The size of the molecule used in each formula gives a different desired effect. Here is my easy key of what kind of lash you have and what marketing buzzwords you want to look for in your mascara..I mean, this key is certainly easier than learning all the cross and co-polymers out there!

If you have...
  • Short Lashes: You want to look for a mascara marked as Lengthening. The polymers will be large enough to give you length and in turn give you thickness and volume without clumping. The brushes in the lengthening formula as well tend to be thinner so you can get into the base of the lash. Avoid any mascaras marked as Volumizing or Thickening. Those polymers are too large for your lash style and will clump.
  • Average Lashes: You want to look for a mascara that is a multi-tasker marked as Lengthening and Thickening. Your lashes can handle a molecule that serves many purposes. Avoid mascaras that are marked to only serve on purpose such as just Length or Just Volumizing.
  • Long Lashes: You want to look for a mascara that has the main purpose of Thickening or Volumizing. Your lashes have the frame to hold a larger molecule however the lengthening molecule can make your lashes over separate or look stringy. Avoid any mascaras that are for Lengthening only. If you wear a mascara that is marketed as a multi-tasker,ensure that volumizing is it's main claim to fame and that lengthening is just a side effect. A larger brush for application usually works better on a long lash, distributing product in a more voluptuous fashion rather than over detailing it like a small brush would.
Other side tips..wear black mascara unless it truly is your preference to wear a color. Black frames the eye best, even when you are going for a natural effect. Brown can make the eye look smaller.

If curling your lashes,curl first then apply mascara. Do not curl after your mascara is already applied.

Curling mascara has a polymer that adds more hold so everyone can use it if they desire.

Waterproof formulas are amazing if you smudge. Note that they do have a higher alcohol content in them so conditioning your lashes at night is highly suggested. Your tube will also dry out faster so once you notice it begins to dry, replace the tube with a fresh one to keep your lashes healthy.

Now that you have the key to your perfect fit..bat those lashes ladies!

Lala xoxo

Friday, December 9, 2011

Scentsational: Homemade Fragrance.

The Holiday Season is all about Fragrance. Rich, warm, sexy fragrances. Fragrance symbolizes luxury and romance and is one of the number one ways women pamper themselves and men express adoration through the purchase of a fragrance. Each woman has particular notes that just speak to them..citrus, spices, woods..each woman's preference tells us a hidden part of who she is, her lifestyle and personality. I wanted to share with you all an easy recipe to create your own personalized fragrances at home based upon your favorite scent. This is also a great gifting idea or fun to get together some of your favorite gal  pals and make a girl's night to create fragrances together.

Scentsational Fragrance:

  • Pour approximately 1/2 cup of sweet almond oil into a glass jar, such as one used for canning. You can use a different type of pale, non-fragrant oil such as grape seed or sunflower oil. It is possible to also use an oil with its own scent if you wish that scent to be part of your finished perfume fragrance.
  • Choose flower, fruit or spice parts for the perfume fragrance that you wish to create. Flower parts should include the petals of the flower chopped up and bruised. Cut the fresh herbs up in the same way. Citrus fruits such as orange and lemon can be used for perfume fragrance as well. Use only the peel cut up into small pieces. If spices are used, such as cinnamon or vanilla beans, chop them into chunks. Never use spice powder.
  • Pack two to three cups of chopped up plant parts into the sweet almond oil in the glass jar. Make sure the oil is enough to cover all the plant parts. Screw the lid on the jar securely and shake it for a couple of minutes. This will help the fragrance oils from the flowers or fruit begin to infuse into the oil.
  • Set the glass jar in a warm, dark place such as a kitchen cupboard or closet. For the first week, shake the jar one time every day. You can shake more frequently if you wish. After the first week, let the jar sit in a warm, dark place for an additional two to three weeks. This gives ample time for the fragrance to transfer to the oil in the jar.
  • Place the strainer over the top of the glass jar or bottle where you wish to house your perfume fragrance. Lay the piece of cheesecloth in the strainer so it covers the whole thing. You could also use other type of fine-mesh cotton material.
  • Pour the contents of the glass jar into the cheesecloth covering the strainer. Make sure you get out all the plant or spice parts and all the oil. It should be quite fragrant by now. Allow it to strain into the glass bottle completely. After a while, gather the edges of the fabric and squeeze it gently to get all the perfume fragrance into the bottle. You can now use your perfume fragrance in any bath or beauty product you desire.
Here's to smelling fabulous ladies!

Lala xoxo

    Friday, December 2, 2011

    Naughty Is The New Nice: Holiday Look.

    It's Holiday time and that means Holiday Soiree's and perfect excuses to get your inner glam on. This Holiday red is the major trend flooding the runways and red carpets. This year it is all about simple application and and playing up what is arguably the most sexy feature we all posses..the lip.

    Holiday Red Lip.

    Simple,right? Any girl can unleash her inner siren and rock this look but by simply adding a few extra simple steps you can really make your features pop this Holiday.

    • Liner,baby..using a dark color is all about the lip liner. Making the lip look perfectly defined is the key to the entire lip. A pro trick is to apply your red lipstick first. Apply the lipstick with your mouth only slightly parted and relaxed so that you keep the integrity of the pout. Opening your lips when you apply lip products stretches the shape of the lip making it look smaller. Finally, feather your lip liner around the edge of your lip. Again, hold your lip only parted slightly. Lining the lip last rather than first with a dark color will make the pencil slide easier and your shaping perfect.
    • really pop your lip ensure you have prepped your skin and evened out your complexion whether that be though foundation, concealer or powder. By nature, we all have an uneven skin tone and when you even out your complexion you really set the stage for the red lip to pop your look and not that blemish you are rocking!
    • always want to choose one feature to really be the focal point. In this season's look the lip is center stage so you want to keep the eye more neutral. Adding just a pinch of cream or gold  eyeshadow swept along your entire lid with minimal to no eyeliner will give you the perfect balance and symmetry.
    Voila! Rock this simple and yet completely breathtaking holiday trend ladies!

    Lala xoxo

    Sunday, November 6, 2011

    Oh Pumpkin! : Homemade Pumpkin Enzyme Mask.

    Fall. Everywhere you look there are different variations of the pumpkin around you. From home fragrance to lattes and baked treats. There is no better time to celebrate the Pumpkin in beauty than now!

    Pumpkins are rich in Beta Carotene, Vitamins A, C and E which are strong anti-oxidants that assist in fighting free-radical damage that lead to premature aging. Vitamin A also increases cell turnover and stimulates your skin metabolism, giving you fresh, vibrant, youthful skin. Vitamin C is a natural brightener, lightener and tightener. Supporting even skin tone and increasing collagen production. Vitamin E is a humectant and moisturizer, leaving your skin's PH level balanced and comforted. As if that was not amazing enough, the Pumpkin has one of the most amazing and powerful enzymes. The pumpkin enzyme exfoliates the skin by digesting debris and dead skin cells leaving your skin bright and smooth.

    So here is one of my favorite at home Pumpkin Enzyme Masks...

    Oh Pumpkin! : Homemade Pumpkin Enzyme Mask.

    • 2 Tbsp. of Pureed Pumpkin (or canned)
    • 1 Tbsp. of Plain Yogurt (..of course, being Vegan I suggest Soy Yogurt)
    • 1/2 Tsp. of Oatmeal (Optional for dry skin)
    Mix all of your ingredients together and apply to clean skin, avoiding the eye area. Leave on for 15 minutes then simply rinse. Follow up with your favorite moisturizer.

    Voila! Glow on ladies, glow on...

    Lala xoxo

    Wednesday, October 26, 2011

    Batting For Lashes: Homemade Lash Conditioner.

    Mascara, cleansers, makeup removers, allergies, bad days...our eyelashes are along for the ride! Just like the hair on our heads, our eyelashes are made of keratin and can be prone to split ends, breakage and weakness. Here is a simple conditioner you can apply before bed once to three times a week from an item found right in your kitchen cabinet!

    Homemade Lash Conditioner.

    1. Dab a touch of Olive Oil (you can also use Sweet Almond Oil or Vitamin E oil so long as it it pure and does not have any added fillers or binders) onto a q-tip or small paint brush.

    2. Apply oil along your lash line as if applying eyeliner. Then, paint oil from root to tip as if you are painting on mascara.

    3. Wear the oil through the night and as little as two weeks you will notice thicker, healthier lashes!

    Lala xoxo

    Saturday, October 22, 2011

    All That Glitters: Lip Art Trend.

    Every season, there is an avaunt guard trend in make-up artistry that sparks on the runway, music videos and pop culture that in it's pure form never makes it on the streets of the every day woman however inspires trends that are beautiful and can be infused into every day looks that you can wear anytime.

    The trend this season is Lip Art. Thanks to the innovative artists of a new cosmetic company Violent Lips and their Celebrity Lip Art, this trend is sweeping the entertainment and fashion industry like a fabulous glitter dust storm!

    If you are bold enough to rock a criminally fabulous amount of glitter on your lips, I highly recommend it. However, for the every day girl there is an inspiration to add just a pinch of sparkle to your pout this season. You can find amazing lipsticks that have a metallic base to them, lip glosses that have a touch of glitter and together they will just give you a beautiful lip gives you a special something without overdoing it. Here are the steps..

    Inspired Glitterati Lips.

    1.  Find a lipstick that has a metallic finish to it. You can choose any color of your liking. Right now, there is not so much as a shade that is hot for fall but rather a finish that is hot for Fall. So long as it has a metallic finish or hints of bling, you are set! Apply the metallic shade of your choice all over. I recommend placing the lipstick on with a brush to offer a smoother and more controlled finish.

    2. Taking a lip liner in a shade that is similar to the lipstick, apply your lip liner around the lipstick. Putting the lip liner on after the lipstick will give you the opportunity to create the perfect shape of your lip and make it look clean and precise. I also suggest to leave your mouth just slightly open and relaxed, almost with a dead pan expression when you are shaping your lip with the liner so that it makes your lip look fuller and poutier. Opening your mouth while applying stretches the shape of your mouth out so when you close them the product will make your lip look smaller and shapeless. So shut those cute lips of yours when you apply!

    3. Gloss. Choose a gloss that has some bling in it. As little or as much as you prefer! Place a small..and I mean a very small amount so not to thin out the coverage of the metallic lipstick on the middle of your bottom of your lip with a lip brush. Very lightly touch your top lip to your bottom lip to pick up some of the gloss from your bottom lip to your top lip. This will give a very slight vinyl look to your lips.

    Rock that pucker out ladies!

    Lala xoxo

    Tuesday, September 27, 2011

    Brow Raising: The Perfect Brows.

    One of the most ignored and misunderstood features in beauty is the brow. The power of a well shaped, symmetrical brow can change and entire face. In my career, I have seen an entire face change before my eyes with the stroke of a brow pencil. So here are some tips, best practices and steps to the perfect brow..

    The Perfect Brows:

    Shade Finder: You will first need to find the perfect shade of pencil or powder. If you are blonde, pick two shades darker than your hair color. If you are brunette, pick two shades lighter than your hair color. If you have red or auburn hair, it really is best to use a strawberry blonde color or a brunette. I am not an advocate of the auburn brow pencil for that shade so close to the eye makes it appear tired and brings out dark circles. A common mistake most people make in choosing their shade is that they pick a brow color that matches their hair when truly it is too harsh looking to match it exactly.

    Shape Template: Now that you have your perfect shade, with your pencil or powder you will mark out the template to follow. Take the length of your pencil or brush and run it up the bridge of your nose. Follow the diagram pictured to the left and make a mark where your brow should begin. Mark where your brow should arch (trick:Your arch should begin to the left of your iris). Finally make a mark where your brow should end by angling your pencil or brush barrel from the bottom of your nose and angle over to the side of your eye.

    On average, your brows are not growing in enough towards the bridge of your nose and near the outside they are too sparse and not long enough to meet that marker. If you pencil in and fill your brow starting in closer to the bridge of your nose and extending the tail of your brow out longer, it will make your features look more lifted and open.

    Fill 'Em In: Now that you have a template of where you want your brow to start, arch and can begin filling it in. The best practice is to not draw with one line like an eyeliner but rather to feather your strokes on as if you were creating the appearance of hair. Another best practice is to draw your strokes on backwards, against the grain of your natural hair to give it a more natural back lit look. Once you have one to your liking, move on to the other brow. You do not need to obsess over making each one match perfectly, brows are designed to be sisters..not twins so just get them in the same idea.

    Set: To keep your brows in place, set the hair with a brow gel. I prefer clear unless you are in need of color correction (Covering gray, trying to lighten or darken the appearance of hair that has been dyed).

    There you have it, the perfect brow! Enjoy raising brows ladies..

    Lala xoxo

    Thursday, September 22, 2011

    So Berry White! : At Home Tooth Whitening.

    Coffee, Tea, Soda, Wine..whatever your guilty pleasure is, you should not have to leave evidence on your teeth! Here is a very simple and inexpensive way to maintenance your dazzling smile with stain-free confidence..

    So Berry White!  

    What you will need...

    - One Strawberry: Strawberries Contain Malic Acid which helps to exfoliate enamel discoloration and lift stains.

    - 1/2 tsp. of Baking Soda: To activate the Malic Acid and act as an oxygenating delivery system.

    Mash the strawberries with the baking soda to create a paste. Apply on your teeth with a toothbrush and leave the mixture on for 5 minutes. Then, rinse and brush your teeth with your usual toothpaste.
    You can repeat this whitening routine up to once a week or just occasionally as needed. Enjoy flashing those dazzling pearly whites!

    Lala xoxo

    Tuesday, September 13, 2011

    Oh Sugar! : Homemade Exfoliating Mask

    As we transition from the end of Summer to the beginning of Fall, the metabolism in our bodies and skin is inconsistent. You may notice that where you were oily, you are now dehydrated or where you are dehydrated you are now oily.

    You may notice breakouts or flakiness that are not to your usual skin type. This transition phase is unfortunately very typical for this time of year. A common mistake that many of my clients make is to treat their breakouts with harsh acne ingredients and routines which end up causing inflammation and irritation, which in turn make the acne or flakiness more pronounced.

    Here is a simple mask to assist your skin through this transitional period, clearing out the dried and keritinized skin, calming inflammation and adding a glow back to your skin.

    Oh Sugar!

    You will need..
    • Sugar- a natural exfoliate and humectant to draw moisture to your skin.
    • Water or Olive Oil- To create a slip for the sugar and Olive Oil is a natural replenisher and anti-inflammatory.
    • Strawberries- Naturally contain a mild amount of Salicylic Acid which exfoliates the walls of the pore that the sugar can not reach while preventing and treating breakouts.

    1. Mix 2 tablespoons of sugar and 3 tablespoons of warm water. (Substitute water with Olive or Sweet Almond Oil if your skin is dehydrated)
    2. Once the sugar is diluted (it is important to let it soften and diluted, if sugar is too hard it will tear at your cell membrane causing premature aging and irritation)..apply to skin and exfoliate in circular motions for one minute.
    3. Rinse your exfoliator off and then apply mashed up strawberries to your skin and create a mask. Leave on for 5 minutes. Then rinse.
    Enjoy this mask whenever you feel as though you need a pick me up or are experiencing transitional skin issues. You can apply this mask up to once a week. So get glowing ladies!

    Lala xoxo

    Wednesday, September 7, 2011

    The Perfect Nude.

    The perfect nude lip is a timeless way to perfect your pout. The nude lip can soften your features, bring out a smokey eye and give you a polished and sultry look. Here are the simple steps to maximizing one of your most used features..

    The Perfect Nude.

    1. Pick Your Shade. Determine your undertones. The perfect nude compliments your natural undertones. You will want to pick a nude that is congruent to that. So, here is how to determine your undertones..

     We all have undertones and overtones. Your overtones are the overall appearance of your shade. How fair or deep your pigment is, environmental elements such as sun damage, included in it. This is the actual color of the layer of skin you own. Undertones are the tones that shine from almost within your skin. Blood circulation, etc..also play a large part in how your undertones look.

    So flip your wrist, look at your coloring..what do you see? Do you see mostly yellow and beige or do you see pink and red? Do you see none of the above? If you see mostly yellow or beige you have a warm undertone and want to pick a shade of lipstick that has more brown or beige in it. If you see pink or red, you will want to pick a nude with a soft pink base. If you are in between (Note: 85% of the Caucasian population is a Neutral, meaning that they have equal parts warm and cool in their skin)..if that is you,you will want to treat yourself like you have a warm skin tone and choose a beige shade.

    2. Feather On Your Lip Liner.  With a nude liner, feather on the liner around your lip line. Feathering your application rather than drawing one blunt line gives your lips the appearance of a poutier and fuller look. Once feathered on, take your pinkie and slightly smudge the line. This will soften the line and give you even more of an optical illusion of fullness.

    3. Apply Gloss To The Center Of Your Pout. Apply a small amount of clear gloss to the center of your lip. Applying your gloss prior to your lipstick will allow for a smoother and cleaner application. The texture of the application will look more congruent and sexy. Applying gloss only in the center gives you more control over your product and makes your lips in turn look fuller. The heat of your body temperature will naturally allow the gloss to spread slightly on it's own as well.

    4. Finish The Look With Lipstick. With a lip brush, apply your lipstick over your gloss, blending the texture of the gloss and blending the lip liner.

    Now, go out there and rock your new perfect nude the traffic stop.

    Lala xoxo

    Tuesday, August 30, 2011

    Easy On The Eyes: Fail Proof Eyeliner Application.

    There are many things that can get in the way of a flawless eyeliner application..a steady hand, textured lid or even time. There is an art to applying eyeliner so that it frames and enhances your eye and here is one of my favorite techniques that everyone can use for a fast and flawless eyeliner application.

    Fail proof Eyeliner Application.

  • Holding the skin of your upper lid taut, trace the upper lashes from the inside of the eye with a pencil, or an eyeliner brush dipped in a dark eyeshadow. For a more dramatic look, make the outside line a bit thicker than the inside and extend it just beyond the lash line. Another shape I love is dubbed the "Nike swoosh" -- narrow at inner corners, thicker in the middle and swept up a bit at the outer edge.

  • Once the line is set, trace over it with a liquid liner. Hand unsteady? Keep your elbow on a table. (You can skip this step, but it will hold the eyeliner longer if you include it).

  • Set liner with an eyeshadow. This not only keeps your liner on all day but also adds a softness to a harsh line, smoking and framing your eye.

  • Apply eyeshadow or an eye pencil to lower lashes. I like to use a different color on the bottom lash line. Simply using a black on the top lash line and brown on the bottom can add a soft dimension.  Apply a deep-hued eyeshadow or pencil along the bottom lashes from the outside in. Unless you have wide-set eyes, don't line the entire lower lid. Instead, stop halfway across. If you're using a pencil, smudge the line with your finger so it looks more natural.

  • That's all there is to it..create a line, define, set..get ready to rock those peepers ladies!

    Lala xoxo

    Wednesday, August 24, 2011

    Looks Right Now: Mod Romanace.

    What is old is what's new and what is new is old. My favorite part of fashion and beauty is the constant theory of recycling a hot trend from the past and updating it to fit the lifestyle and vibe of today. This fall it is all about the Mod look getting a softening and romantic feel to it.

    Monochromatic complexions and lips to bring all the attention to big, bold and wide open eyes. This doe-eyes look has always had a sex kitten vibe throughout the years and now, you can work it into your modern look today. Here are some simple steps and tricks to attain the perfect Mod Romance look...

    1. Even Complexion.

    - This is a look that requires a matte and even palette. Foundation, concealer and powder are a must have to attain this look. Refrain from complexion products that offer a glow or shine, this look is all matte ladies!

    -  Add a blush that is light in color and apply a soft amount just under the cheekbones. Finish off with a nude lip color and then set it with a sheer coat of powder to really set your monochromatic matte stage.

    2. All About Eyes.

    - Prep the eye with an eyeshadow primer to keep your look on all day before applying a wash of white eyeshadow all over the entire lid.

    - Using a black eye pencil, line the top and bottom lid along the lash line. To wing the end of your eyeliner to the perfect cat eye, then line directly on the bottom corner of your eye and wing up, following the natural curve and angle of your eye. That will give you a natural template as to how and where you should wing your liner out. Then, connect your top corner and line the top wing, meeting the bottom line you created.

    - Line the inner rim or your eye with a white to open up your eye and give you the doe-eyed effect.

    - Take a liquid liner and paint over the black pencil on the top of your lash line. This will add a crispness and shine to the liner you previously did. Applying pencil first as a template and liquid over as a top coat creates a more controlled technique that looks more precise and cleaner since liquid is generally harder to work with freehand.

    - Wash a little smoke colored shadow over your crease line to create a smokey contour.

    - Lastly, add mascara and don't be conservative. Add multiple coats to both the top and bottom lashes and for extra drama separate the lower lashes into clumps to get that perfect Mod Twiggy effect.

    Have fun showing off your inner Mod Romance look ladies!

    Wednesday, August 10, 2011

    The Art Of Shaving: The Perfect Shave. is the bane of my beauty regimen and yet there is nothing short of buying flannel and moving to Seattle that is going to solve that I need to shave. I know that all of you feel the same way..especially where hair tends to be more coarse like the bikini area. Gentlemen go through this each time they so much as think to shave their beard as well so we all feel the pain of having to shave.

    There, of course are many alternatives to shaving such as waxing, laser and electrolysis however first, here are some simple steps to achieving the perfect shave for Men and Women.

    The Perfect Shave

    1. Prepare. Soften the hair and protect the skin. Always shave after a hot shower. Never before. Always use hot water while shaving. Hot water softens the hair, opens the pores and cleanses the skin. Before shaving, apply a Pre-shave oil in coarse areas such as the beard, the bikini and the underarm.

    2. Lather Up! For a close and comfortable shave. I recommend using a shaving cream that is glycerin based. Glycerin is a natural humectant, attracting moisture to your skin and protecting it from nasty cuts. I also recommend using a cream that is not in canned form. Any shaving cream that comes in a can uses air as a catalyst ingredient, causing the gel or cream to infuse with the air molecules. These air molecules can create skips in the lather for an uneven shave, causing cuts and or texture inconsistencies. Find a cream in a jar or tube instead.

    3. Shave. With a proper technique. Always shave with the grain first, ie: in the direction the hair grows. Shaving against the grain first can cause ingrown hairs and razor burn. For an even closer shave, after shaving with the grain first then re-lather up again and shave then lightly against the grain. This technique of going over the shaved area twice in both directions is perfect also for coarser hair areas such as the beard, bikini and underarms. Note: Your hair pattern and how it grows is individual by person so before shaving, really take a note as to the direction that your hair grows in each area. A common mistake men make is that they shave in the hair pattern on their face the same way they do their neck, when in most cases the hair pattern grows differently on the neck. Women do the same with the bikini area.

    4. Moisturize. To soothe and repair. Use an alcohol-free moisturizer. Most after shave balms contain a high content of alcohol. That dries out the skin and causes inflammation and redness. The rule of thumb is if it burns or stings, that is not the idea product to apply after shaving.

    Here is to the perfect shave Ladies and Gents!

    Lala xoxo

    Thursday, August 4, 2011

    Halo Of Light: Highlightling In A Pinch.

    We know ladies, it is easy to feel drab and lacklustre between being on the go, long days and not getting enough rest. So allow me to introduce you to my little friend.

    Ladies, meet the highlighting pen. The highlighting pen is a brightener that has just a pinch of concealer for coverage as the base and light reflecting molecules added in the finishing process.

    So why is this a good friend to have? Well, to each of our eyes, reality is how our eyes process and see light versus darkness. Human vision is designed to gravitate to light first, processing that information in a split second before processing shadow and darkness. Photographers and artists alike have used this knowledge to produce optical illusions in their work and I, with the help of light reflective pigments that basically soft focus any darkness will teach you some simple highlighting tricks that will make you look so fresh and lifted.

    The first step is getting your highlighting pen. There are many grades and varieties of this product and really, nowadays this particular category of product is available in more than half of cosmetic brands out there. The difference between the lower cost  to the higher cost is simply how high of a grade the light reflecting pigments are and how much of this pigment is in your pen.

    If you have dark circles and feel like you really need an extra lift, it is worth it to spend a couple extra dollars and get the maximum amount of high grade pigment. If you would just like a small pick me up, a less expensive brand will do.

    ..Now that you have this pen, let's put it to work! You can see from the photo pre-blended where ideal spots to place highlighter are. Remember, light brings forward and appears to lift to the eye's view so these spots will make your features look more vibrant and lifted.

    I suggest also having this be the very last step after any concealer (yes, I do not use this on clients as a concealer even though it has some of those properties. I use it as a booster to concealer). I also suggest having it be the last product you use after your foundation before your powder so that you do not cover it up. If you were to place it on before your foundation, the foundation molecules will cover up the light reflecting molecules.

    Lastly, carry this new friend around in your purse. It is perfect for mid-day and after work touch ups. You can touch up in all of the spots you originally started and keep that lift going on throughout the day!

    Lala xoxo

    Thursday, July 28, 2011

    Little Black Rainclouds: Combat Dark Circles.

    Dark Circles..we all get em girls and as much concealer as we like to pack on those bad boys, middle of the day they begin peeking out like little avengers. So let's take a moment to address each issue and give you the tips and understandings so that you can give your concealer a rest and combat those dark circles issues like the beauty ninjas you all are!

    Dark Circles

    In order to know how to combat those little black rain clouds under your eyes, we need to know where they come from and address them each as individuals. There are different causes of dark circles, so let's define which category you fall in and the treatment and ingredients to look for.

    • Capillary Damage (Bruising): This is the most common reason for dark circles. We all have these delicate capillaries under our eyes that assist us in carrying blood circulation through our facial structure. Keeping these capillaries strong and setting the stage for proper circulation is key for keeping your eye looking bright eyed and bushy tailed. What happens is through weakening and damage these capillaries can begin to leak. Common causes for leakage are stress, allergies, lack of sleep of not getting enough vitamin K and hydration in your diet.
    Luckily there is a fix! Now that you know that it is simply a bruise, begin treating it as such. If you had a huge bruise on your knee you would not take a baseball bat to it, right? Well that is what happens when you are sleepy or waking up and you begin to rub the let's make a commitment to stop that trauma on your poor little eyes now.

    Second, strengthen those capillaries. Find eye creams that have either an Ogliopeptide in them (An Amino Acid that strengthens capillaries and the skin around your eyes) or Vitamin K. There are so many creams with cucumber extract and caffeine that are great but do not have the capability to really heal and strengthen your delicate eye area on it's own.

    Third, internally drinking 8 ounces of warm water with lemon when you wake up before you have your morning coffee. Caffeine is a double edge sword for your eye area but by drinking warm water with lemon prior to drinking coffee will detoxify your liver and increase circulation so that your coffee will not dehydrate and add strain to your capillaries.

    • Hyperpigmentation: This is a common cause for dark circles with ethnicity's that have warmer skin tones or olive skin tones. This is not so much an issue of bruising or capillaries but more so that externally your skin cells in those areas are overproducing pigment. There is a hormone that you release called Tyrosine. This hormone sends a signal to your Melonocyte (the cell responsible for producing your pigment) and signals that there is damage and that it must overproduce pigment there to protect you. Luckily there are Tyrosine blocking ingredients that can calm your Melonocyte down and get your skin tone even over time.
    To combat any hyperpigmentation under the eye it takes a cocktail of ingredients and consistently using them. The most effective but also most controversial is Hydroquinone. This ingredient filters through the blood stream and breaks down pigment that has been overproduced. If your dark circles are severe, this is an effective way to break them down. There are warnings that come attached to this ingredient since it is so strong.(Using it in under 1.5% in an eye cream, only using it for 3 months at a time and only using it as a night time treatment, avoiding day exposure with this ingredient. I will be doing an entry on controversial ingredients at a future date but feel free to speak to a professional before deciding if this is the right ingredient for you to use.)

    There are also homeopathic ingredients to look for in your eye cream as well..licorice extract, mulberry and bilberry extracts are also some of my favorites and most active. Avoid spending money on eye creams that are Vitamin C based only for they can not inhibit Tyrosine. Be consistent in your treatments for it takes between 4 weeks and 8 weeks to break up that pigment and get your Melanin back on a regular producing metabolism and cadence.

    So go out there and bat those lashes ladies, free of little black rain clouds under your eyes!

    Lala xoxo

    Tuesday, July 26, 2011

    Pardon My French: At Home French Manicure.

    You look at them every day, you bite them when you are nervous, you tap them when you are anxious and you raise the middle one when you want to tell someone in a universal language where to shove it...that's right, we are talking about your nails ladies!

    We know that every girl can't help but have an extra bounce in her step when she looks down and her nails are manicured but there are things that get in the way between being busy and on a budget. Here are fool proof steps to give yourself a gorgeous french manicure at home, save some money and bypass being talked smack about in Vietnamese by your manicurist!

    Pardon My French: At Home French Manicure

    You will need:
    An orange, nail file, cuticle pusher, scotch tape, white nail polish, sheer peach nail polish and a top coat.

    1. Remove all polish and soak your hands in a small bowl of warm water and lemons. The warm water will soften up your cuticles and nail beds while the lemon will detoxify dirt and oils.

    2. Clip and file your nails before tending to your cuticles. it is not recommended to trim your cuticles at home unless you are well versed and confident you won't turn the manicure into a CSI Crime Scene however if you feel comfortable..go for it, otherwise you can take a cuticle pusher or orange wood stick and gently push back your cuticles since they are softened and flexible.

    3. Create your guide and template for the white paint using Scotch tape, taking the strips of tape and placing it in the middle of your nail bed, leaving the tip of your nail exposed. I suggest starting with your index finger as your starting finger since you have more control on that angle as a practice nail and then can continue as you like. Apply the white nail polish on the exposed tips. Then, follow with a second coat.

    4. Remove the tape carefully and take a cotton swab dipped in, ladies..not any alcohol though I think Jack Daniels would make a fierce manicurist, we need rubbing alcohol for this job! Take the lightly soaked cotton swab and clean up the inner line, shaping it with the natural shape and curvature of your nail bed.

    5. Then simply add a clear top coat if your natural nail bed is of even tone or if your nail tone needs evening out paint a very light opaque neutral peach color over and then add a top coat to dry. The most important note to look for when picking out your peach color is that it is transparent enough that it does not cover up all that snazzy work you just did with your white tip.

    ...Voila! An at home French Manicure without the salon. The best part is if you chip a little bit of your color you can touch it up at home while you are catching up on your favorite trashy reality show! So flash those digits ladies..all ten perfectly manicured digits that is!

    Lala xoxo