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