How to clean your makeup brushes

So you want beautiful skin. Who doesn’t?! You’re willing to pay big money for the best skin care products and beautifying treatments out there, but did you know that the quality of your makeup and the makeup brushes you use play a huge role in how healthy your skin is?

Yes, that’s right! The makeup brushes too! Because with each use, dirt, oils, dead skin, and bacteria get trapped in between the fine bristles, and if we don’t clean them regularly, we apply all of those things on our skin with each makeup application.

Therefore, I will detail here how to cleanse your makeup brushes effortlessly.

First of all, you need to wash your brushes once a week. They take a few hours to dry out, so make sure you have spare ones to use or wash them after you have applied your makeup for the day. You could also use a hair dryer to dry them out quicker.

So you’ll need:

1. Warm running water

2. Baby shampoo or a sulfate/paraben free shampoo

3. Paper towels

You apply a few drops of shampoo in the palm of your hand, run the brush under lukewarm water until it is wet, then swirl the brush in the palm of your hand for a few seconds lathering up the shampoo. Rinse the brush and repeat this procedure until the foam and water in your palm is clear. Shake extra water off your brushes and lay them flat on a bed of paper towels until the next day.

And… Voila! Not hard or time consuming.

Secondly, I’d like to mention that after each use, it is recommended that you spray a disinfectant spray on each brush, and wipe off the residual makeup on a paper towel. I personally use the Color Science disinfectant spray, but you can use any daily brush cleaner you like.

 

Believe me, your skin will thank you!

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Oils for your forever beautiful skin (Part2)

Hello busy moms and dear followers!

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As promised a while ago I am following up with a couple of oils I love and I am using in my beauty routine on a daily basis. These two are in fact my favorite ones. I hope you’ll enjoy them too as they are very accessible and so easy to use.

 

Jojoba Oil

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This oil is not an oil. It’s actually a wax. Its amazing anti-bacterial, anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory and anti-aging properties make it one of the best “oils” for your skin. It has a very long shelf life so we can have it in our bathroom for a couple of years. However I go through a 4 oz bottle every couple of months, so no reason to keep it for so long. Use it! It’s an amazing oil with a lot of attributes that can work wonders when you want to remove your makeup in a natural way, to moisturize your skin (I apply 6-7 drops on my clean skin and dab off the extra with a tissue paper, for a matte finish), and its powerful properties will aid in the treatment of acne, killing the harmful bacteria that causes acne (or make it thrive) in some cases and reducing the inflammation often accompanying the acneic skin. It can help heal warts, Athlete’s foot infections and and nails that suffer with fungus!

These are just a few most important properties of this golden wax. You can massage it on your skin morning or night. When you buy yours make sure it’s a pure Jojoba oil and not a blend.

 

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Moroccan Argan Oil

This oil is indeed a superfood for the skin. It’s so easy to use and it penetrates into the skin so nicely, without leaving any residual oily film on your skin. It has the ability to decongest the pores, while hydrating, nourishing and stimulating the skin’s regeneration. It is very rich in essential fatty acids, Vitamin E and other nutrients which help maintain the skin in great shape, without a huge effort.

You can massage it in your hair, on your scalp, use it on your hands, tips of fingers and on your feet (then put on socks and some gloves for a couple of hours) for a softer, smoother skin.

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The best face mask for Acne and not only!

Turns out that Clay is a miraculous ingredient that’s used a lot in skin care (especially for acneic skin) but also as a teeth whitener and for internal health purposes. Yes, that does mean that some people swear by it and its ability to heal,  or improve internal health. I have been trying to get myself to order some for me to try out, but it’s hard to order things and get them shipped to Mexico, so I’ll wait until my first trip to the U.S., to be able to pick up some.

Meanwhile, if you have access to a Whole Foods store or have the ability to order online, I highly recommend to get yourself some Clay masks. Clay can make an astringent and regenerating mask, which is going to deliver nutrients and minerals to your skin, exercise your capillaries to stimulate blood flow to the surface of your skin,  meanwhile withdrawing impurities and refining the pores and reducing inflammation and bacteria on the surface of your skin. I know! Amazing!

I do one for myself regularly at home, and my skin loves it. It brightens, it delivers key ingredients to the skin, it tightens, cleans my pores….What else should I want!

Here it is how to do it. If you have sensitive or dry and dehydrated skin you mix the Clay powder  with the juice from 1/2 cucumber and you can also add one teaspoon of honey optional. Mix it well until it becomes a paste. With your fingertips or a brush you apply it all over the face and sometimes I also do my neck.

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For more oily/acneic skin types, it’s best if you mix it with the juice from one orange (for the citric astringent properties), and a couple of drops of Tea Tree oil. You can do this procedure once a day for the first 7 days, and then just once per week.

You leave it on your skin until….attention!…it is semi-dry. Never leave a Clay mask on your skin until it’s so dry that it starts flaking off and the skin starts hurting, because at that point the dry clay will start actually withdrawing all the hydration from your skin and your face will hurt and become sensitive after the procedure.

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After about 10 minutes from application, start rinsing it off with room temperature water. Make your whole face damp and start working the clay in circular motions for a couple of minutes. After this, go ahead and rinse off the whole face, until the skin feels squeaky clean. Follow with a hydrating serum and your favorite moisturizer and enjoy your soft, exfoliated and bright happy skin.

In this magnified picture I am showing my results after one application.

clay8 edHere are some of my favorite Clay masks:

Skin Ceuticals-Clarifying Clay Mask – which is already pre mixed with Alpha Hydroxy Acids and it comes in a white paste, ready to apply! I use this one on my acne patients and everyone loves it!

Asla Vital Clay Powder – The one I am using at this moment, and I also use it on my patients.

Aztec Secret- Indian Healing Clay

A. Vogel White Clay 

 

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1,2,3, beautiful skin for the holidays!

I’ve recently perfected an old recipe for a facial exfoliator using simple ingredients all of us have in our kitchen. It’s very easy to make and extremely effective for any skin type, but will provide the most benefits to congested, acneic, pigmented and dull skin types.

Here there are the ingredients you’ll need:

1 lemon or lime, 1 teaspoon honey,  2 teaspoons sugar (any kind),  2 teaspoons baking soda

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Preparation:

  1. Squeeze the juice of one lemon/lime
  2. Add the honey
  3. Add the sugar
  4. Add the baking soda and mix.

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Apply the mixture to the cleaned face, using a bit of friction in the problematic areas (nose, chin, jawline, etc.). Leave on skin for a maximum of 10 minutes and wash off with cold water. Your skin will start glowing instantly!  The acne and hyperpigmentation will start fading from the second use!

Follow with your favorite hydrator and repeat next week.

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Me, immediately after using this exfoliator on my face. Completely makeup free!

 

Enjoy! signature pic monkey ed 1

I’m all about healthy skin…

One of my go to looks I’ve created with the makeup products I wrote about in my previous post. Easy! In 20 minutes I was ready to go! I love makeup and I love it even more when it’s easy to use and it is skin and environmental friendly.

Here are my favorite brands I wrote about, which are not going to damage your skin if you love wearing makeup.

1. Colorscience  2. Physician’s Formula 3. GS/Gerda Spillmann

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My latest makeup favorites

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Heart collage1. Colorscience Bronzing Primer. You’ll never find a better one! It comes in a few shades for different skin types, such as rosacea skin, oily or sensitive skin. My absolute favorite is the Bronzing one because my skin is naturally very pale, so I start building up my sun kissed glow even from the first step in my makeup application. Plus it has an SPF 20!

2. MAC Spice Lip Liner. This is such a creamy easy to use lip liner, true to color (a soft brown) and it lasts pretty much all day. I can combine it with natural, nude lipstick shades or sometimes I even mix in a pale pink lipstick. I don’t think I can use any other lip liners after using this one!

PicMonkey Collage 4.3. L’Oreal Voluminous Original Mascara. Over time I probably have tried 50% of the mascara brands out there. I always seem to come back to L’Oreal though. Easy to use, very accessible price wise, it builds up my lashes’ length, without leaving them looking heavy and clumpy. I also love the Waterproof one, but it’s a bit hard to remove at the end of the day, so I use that one only when needed 😉

4. Lancome L’Absolu Rouge. The most creamy, moisturizing and hydrating lipstick. Besides the fact that it feels really good on the lips and the color is amazing, the ingredients in it are some of the best, likePro-Xylane to enhance and lock in moisture and Vitamin E (one of my favorite most potent anti-oxidants out there), to protect against environmental aggressors.  PicMonkey Collage 2

5 and 6. ColorsciencePressed Mineral Eye Colore. I keep recommending Colorscience to everyone I meet. It’s a very environmental friendly and “healthy” makeup line out there…if there is such thing. These two palettes are all you need if you are like me and like more natural looks.

7. L’Oreal Lineur Intense. I believe that a good eye liner can change your life. There are days, (well majority of my week days) when all I wear is some concealer under my eyes, eyeliner, blush and a lipgloss. Easy! If you want one which gives you a lot of control and an intense black color, you might love this one as much as I do!

8. Benefit Speed BrowI love the easiness of this product. As soon as I apply, it dries out in seconds, giving my eyebrows a bit more of an organized look, since they are a bit unruly naturally 😉

9. Gabriel Concealer. Everyone who knows me, knows that I love Whole Foods. There was a time in Miami where I would eat every lunch there. So pretty much every day I was visiting a store, and pretty much every time I’d discover amazingly healthy options to not only regular food, but sometimes, makeup, house stuff or health supplements. This is how I discovered this super amazing, gluten free concealer that now is my go to concealer every morning.

10. Colorscience Pressed Mineral FoundationLet me tell you. If you don’t like to use powder foundation because it feels heavy and it makes you look older, I am exactly the same. But this powder is completely different. I love applying it with my Kabuky brush in big circles, very gently, so I obtain a natural flawless look in seconds. Again the ingredients in this powder are the best ingredients for your skin you’ll find in any other powder foundation!

11. L’Oreal Brow Stylist SculptorThis is what I sometimes use to shape my eyebrows for a more dramatic look, right before applying the Benefit Speed Brow Gel. Easy Peasy!

12. Physicians Formula Argan Wear BronzerI’ll be honest. Lately I’ve been traveling a lot and on one of my trips to Miami, my old bronzer broke. Went to Walgreens  and purchased pretty much the first one that looked better and to my surprise this is becoming my new favorite bronzer of all times, by far. Smooth, easy to apply, paraben free, gluten free, hypoallergenic, it even feels moisturizing, and the fragrance does not bother me at all. It has a light scent to it, but I love it and it makes my skin look sun kissed with just a few brush strokes.

13. Bio Fond Highlighter Whenever I need more coverage under eyes (because of my genetically inherited dark circles), this is my go to product. It’s more of a professional product I discovered in a skin care/makeup trade show and ever since I’ve been ordering it all the time. It covers all imperfections, while it has this silky/creamy consistency and it allows your skin to breathe. And of course, the ingredient list which obsesses me on every product I buy, is beautiful. Love this concealer/highlighter!

O.K. That’s all for now. Enjoy!

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Have you heard about micro-needling?

Micro-needling or CIT (collagen induction therapy) is a rather new clinical skin care procedure, easy, non-invasive  and very effective in the treatment of acne scarring (and not only), lines and wrinkles, stretch marks, and overall improvement in the texture of your skin. All these conditions are lacking collagen or the collagen in those affected areas has been subsiding.

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The micro-needling procedure helps stimulate collagen production which helps reverse the formation and appearance of scars, wrinkles, and depressions in the skin such as stretch marks.

Micro-needling is almost pain free and it works by creating micro channels through the superficial layer of skin called epidermis, which triggers an intense inflammatory reaction that begins the remodeling of the affected skin, by stimulating the formation of new skin tissue. In a word, it works by stimulating what our bodies already do naturally, the wound healing. Scar-less healing is being promoted by the release of epidermal growth factors (found naturally in our skin), which help produce “healthy collagen”.

Our bodies have a natural ability to heal when they are wounded, by new formation of collagen. It is the most abundant protein in our bodies (mainly found in the skin, bones, muscles and connective tissue), which helps hold our bodies together, like a glue. As we grow older, the naturally produced collagen decreases, which is why we start supplementing, re-stimulating its growth, and replenishing it with the help of oral dietary supplements and also with devices such as ultrasound and/or micro-needling.

microneedling 2There are a few micro-needling devices on the market, for professional and also personal use at home. The one I prefer and work with is called Dermapen. Easy to use, safe and inexpensive, it creates thousands of micro-channels in the epidermis. The healing process after this procedure is only about 1-2 days and even though the collagen is going to be produced over a period of 6 weeks after the treatment, patients report that their skin starts looking healthier and glowing starting with the second day after the procedure.

The results are surprisingly amazing and often compared with laser, chemical peels and surgery results, while it is very cost effective.

microneedlingI recommend a series of 3-4 treatments 6 weeks apart. In between treatments it is OK to do regular facial treatments.

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