You Need SPF All Year Round

Sun protection is a must – all year, at all times. Frankly, I fall short of applying sometimes when I’m in short sleeves, but you better believe my face is covered. I am also getting better about neck and décolletage.

I have a few favorite brands (La Roche Posay takes the #1 and #2 spots), and I actually DO take this topic quite seriously. It isn’t just the ageless and ghostly pallor I’m after, taking care to protect our skin during sun exposure affects our health. BIG time.  

But to add a little fun to the conversation… I came across this photo and couldn’t help but take to the sassy branding. Red, black, and g o t h all over – well played, marketers.

Brilliantly, wonderfully, well played…

Halloween Shoppe…Meow!

It’s that time of year! 😀

No matter the enormity of the selections out there for foundation – whether color, or formulation, mass market, or prestige – I only ever use Meow.  I’m a cat lover, tis true (the fact may indeed be responsible for me finding the Company many years ago). . .but I stick with Meow not because I love the names (marketing can sway a lady easily – you know who you are!)  

No, they are my must-have because they straight up deliver.  Their mineral foundations contain VERY little – something that tends to be like an elusive butterfly these days.  An ingredient list that’s short, to the point, and pronounceable?!  SIGN ME UP!

The formulas last too – as an athlete and Martial Artist it’s fair to say I’ve put these to the test.  Often. And not just any old paces – full on Jiu-Jitsu, ballroom competitions, leg day, HIIT on occasion…those minerals work hard!

With all that activity, why wear any at all? Wouldn’t my pores be clogged?!  I happily – and emphatically – say “NOPE!”

These minerals are skin-loving – it’s almost like doubling up (let’s be honest, with me, quadrupling up!) on skincare.  My skin manages to breathe and stay even with the added benefit – thanks to zinc oxide and titanium oxide – of natural sun defense, and protection from daily aggressors.  These aren’t full of fancy pants ingredients but they don’t have to be – they give me an extra layer of armor, so to speak, over all of my lotions and potions (with which I am equally as discerning!)  It’s nice not to have to peel back a label just to read the rest of the ingredient list.

That aside, the color selection is ASTOUNDING – WELL beyond what most mass or prestige companies will ever offer.  Meow accounts for countless undertones (86 shades with coordinating concealers – read that number again!) I know! What?!?! 

Another major point? The products are non-comedogenic – for someone who’s active, that goes a long way.

Did I mention you also get a TON of minerals for your money (the larger containers are enormous! – don’t count on finding the same generosity at a Sephora or Ulta!) 

Anyway…to my Hallows point!

…Meow is currently offering Halloween Foundations – a nice departure from greasy, pore-clogging face paints of old – so definitely check them out if you have sensitive skin. . .or you don’t want to coat yourself in something ultra-unnatural!

The colors are designed to be opaque, and layerable, so you can achieve whatever level of zombified or goulish that you are aiming for…without clogging your beautiful peau. I mean what’s the point of haunting around if you’re dreading post-Halloween breakouts!? Talk about freaky!

La Roche Posay – Effaclar Duo Unifant

I’m a huge La Roche Posay fan – their products are great quality, and always manage to deliver.  The Effaclar lineup is a hugely popular one, and has been since Effaclar Duo (specifically) launched about two and a half years ago.  As an athlete, taking care of my skin is not only important, but imperative – rolling on sweaty mats means I have to take extra steps to keep my peau clear!

The newest addition (no launch date just yet!), Effaclar Duo Unifant, takes the anti-blemish technology and pairs it with mineral pigments to visibly even your skin tone and reduce redness, while going to work on potential blemishes AND letting your beauty show – nice.

BritishBeautyBlogger image

BritishBeautyBlogger image

The formula boasts a combination of:

  • Niacinamide, an anti-inflammatory form of Vitamin B3
  • LHA. a hydroxy acid (and Effaclar favorite) to aid in cell renewal
  • Piroctone Olamine, which fights off bacteria
  • Procerad helps to calm the kind of inflammation that allows dark spots to form
  • Linoleum Acid, which regulates sebum 
La Roche Posay image

La Roche Posay image

The product comes in only two shades for now – light and medium (my disappointment resides here, as I feel it is important to offer a deep, and ultra fair as well.)  Overall, though, I love this brand, and I LOVE non-masklike products that let the best of your skin show through.  

For more images, check out BritishBeautyBlogger

Yes to Tomato Charcoal Facial Wipes For The Mats

Some of my training partners and I were talking about an issue (several, actually) that comes up a lot in Martial Arts (especially fuller contact ones) – staying clean!

It isn’t pretty, but it’s par for the course, so you just have to be prepared. It’s not only the fact that you are all up in someone’s face (which is a huge part of it), but also about fending off clogged pores, dirt and other offenders.

I ran across these Yes to Tomato Charcoal Facial Wipes recently and was honestly psyched to see them – I’m not crazy about some of the wipes out there because some just don’t feel like they get the job done.  These, though, are formulated with charcoal – a pore-clearing, grime-busting substance that will provide and on-the-go detox when you simply don’t have other options.  They also happen to be black, which my inner goth finds not-so-secretly satisfying.  How badass of you, Yes To!  😉 ) 

The brand has a bunch of other ones too, but I like the idea that these amp up the impurity busting quotient – when you finish a Reflex Development class at Jiu-Jitsu, you WILL be sweating like a farm animal, and you’ll need that extra skin-clearing boost. 

Toss these “LBG”s (cheeky, I like it!) in your gym / dojo bag and keep yourself clean wherever you are, and whenever you need it!

 

Summer 2016 – Estee Lauder Genuine Glow

More glow-getters on the horizon, this time from cosmetic giant, Estee Lauder.  Genuine Glow Summer 2016 Collection includes five super-star, radiance-delivering products:

What I love about these products is that they are ageless – they can work beautifully for someone in their 20’s as much as someone in her 50’s – they are designed to give a natural illumination to the complexion with subtle, flushed color.  

There’s no over-doing here, no mask-like finish, or real ability to be too heavy-handed in the first place.  Hallelujah! 

In my own mind the goal of any color cosmetic (shy of ballroom / skating / theater performance (etc) OR your wedding (mine’s soon! ❤ ) / night out (etc)) is to enhance.  Not hide.  

Chicprofile.com photo

Chicprofile.com photo

Chicprofile.com photo

Chicprofile.com photo

Yes, you ARE gorgeous enough to go without makeup!  But for days when you might need an extra boost – just enough to give your bright eyes the spotlight (as opposed to sleepless undeyes or lackluster skin!) – these hydrating, priming, and brightening products can help.  

Chicprofile shares more details here (haven’t seen all online as yet, but those with links are above. 🙂 ) 

Tarte Rainforest Of The Sea Aquacealer

It goes without saying that we all want clear, even, smooth skin…and some days, our epidermis (apparently on strike) isn’t…AT ALL…in accord.  The market is over-saturated with products, many of which are indeed “HG’s (holy grails.)  You may remember Tarte’s Rainforest Of The Sea water-based fluid foundation from August, 2015…well…

This new Rainforest Of The Sea Aquacealer is a super hydrating, full coverage, anti-aging concealing serum formulated with pigments suspended in a water / conditioning serum hybrid base.  It is “4 times lighter” than like products out there, another lovely benefit for those of us who want clear radiance without heavy weight. I usually opt for a tinted moisturizer designed with athletes in mind, as I want sheer, skin tone evening, and water resistant…but this looks pretty amazing (and it comes with a brush, which is always nice!)

Qvc.com

Qvc.com

Qvc.com

Qvc.com

At $29.50, it doesn’t seem “too much” given that it does rather a lot with just a tiny drop.  There’s a great video to go along with the description here, and worth watching for the before and afters.  

The No Glitter Glow

I am all about glowing, clean skin…  Makeup Artistry is something I loved from childhood not only because of the ingenuity and creativity, but because of the passion and skills behind it.  That said, I am not a really girly girl – I’m athletic, and a little bit edgy…and my preferred look is totally natural.  I don’t want to cover my skin, so much as just not look tired!  So products that are more sheer, natural, double as skincare…those are my favorite ones!

I love that the Perricone MD No Highlighter Highlighter is, according to reviews, lightweight, sheer and shimmerless.  That’s right…SHIMMERLESS!  

Shimmer is great for a party, for dancing, for performing… But I don’t want to catch sunlight with any sparkles beyond those on my nails!  The idea is an ethereal, barely-there glow…that looks like healthy, flushed skin.

allurabeauty.com

allurabeauty.com

I’ve never been crazy about the repetitive names in this collection, but I LOVE the idea of products that are so natural, no one would be the wiser.  For me, that’s the ideal product – it manages to disappear after brightening.

allurabeauty.com

allurabeauty.com

This highlighter boosts radiance with light-reflecting pearlized pigments and a dose of vitamin C, helping to diffuse imperfections and pamper skin.

Sounds like a win-win to me!

Before and After

I love Before & Afters!  It is so important for people to know that the bulk of images we seen in magazines, ads, even on-screen have been retouched.  

And it isn’t only in an age of Insta-filters and photoshoping apps – when I was a kid, photos were being retouched.  So much so that the supermodels in magazines seemed like an alien race, void of marks, clogged pores, greasy hair…

But because technology has enabled the average person (without a stitch of technology in his or her background!) to adjust with total abandon (not to mention ~gasp!~ for FREE!) …it is far more commonplace to see an altered photo than a real one.  

In a largely-virtual social landscape, we are presented with perfection at every turn.  

Seeming perfection, that is…

I love when I see women bare it all.  No, not in the full body sense… I’m talking the visage (vee-z-ah-juh in French.)  Traditionally boasting perfect porcelain or choco skin, smoothly lined lips, batting lashes, glowing cheeks and nary a wrinkle nor blemish to be seen…those faces. 

To see a woman without her “war paint” (an affectionate term from my Ballroom days!) is a lovely reminder for ALL of us.  It isn’t that the image represents something less than perfect, so much as it says that imperfection IS perfect.  

Imperfection is beauty.  

Imperfections always exist…and that’s okay!

You don’t have to hide…

And you ALSO don’t have to worry that you aren’t as “seamless” as what you see…because that isn’t always the reality.

We are still amazing underneath! Our natural lines and curves and colors are BEAUTIFUL.

Bravo to Makeup Artist @kristytheodoremua and ALL participating ladies for her awesome posts.  Way to inspire and bring us all down to Earth. ❤

 

Clear Skin And An Active Life – My Own Remedy

One of the concerns a lot of ladies have about exercising is whether or not it will affect their skin – definitely a fear based in reality!  

With the exception of the last few months (during which I realized I have a milk intolerance…which may also have led to uncommon breakouts) I have pretty clear skin.  I’m a CRAZY person about the products I use…and I use lots of them!  That said, I don’t want to waste my time, or money, on products that don’t work.  Nor, for that matter, would anyone else. 

Screen Shot 2015-10-29 at 2.09.10 PM

As an athlete, I know that I will be sweating – a LOT.  In combination, the friction of tighter fabrics and germy surfaces (gym mat, dojo, dojang, ring etc) can lead to breakouts and infections…not just on one’s face, but really anywhere you might be constricted, exposed, or especially soaked.  

One of THE best remedies I have ever found is one I made myself.  I got so frustrated from trying traditional products (which can help, but didn’t seem to do enough) that I turned to three of my favorite natural ingredients and mixed my potion:

  • H2O
  • Melaleuca Oil (Tea Tree)
  • Clove Oil

That’s it.  Literally.

I took an empty, dark-colored (better to maintain the oils) spray bottle, added 1/2 to 3/4 water, plus tea tree and clove oil.  The clove I used a hair less of, but it’s also antibacterial and an amazing topical solution for breakouts (diluted.)

Screen Shot 2015-10-29 at 2.08.44 PM

It will have a scent to it, but it’s so effective, I just don’t care!  For activities like cycling or spinning this is also great for your clothing…because infections and breakouts are NOT uncommon (whether people talk about it or not!)  

organicfacts.net

organicfacts.net

Both oils are powerhouses on their own, and they will keep germs at bay – with an active Life, you will have plenty of exposure so this can help you fight them off naturally. 🙂