Beauty Tips and Tricks
I cannot live without coconut oil. Aside from Apple Cider Vinegar, it is my go to miracle product for everything from dry skin to brittle hair.
I have recently been eliminating products from my personal beauty routine that contain unnecessary chemicals. Unfortunately this has not left me with much to work with, especially in terms of lotions and shampoo/conditioners. Luckily, I had a large bottle of coconut oil in my kitchen which has been my lifesaver!
There are so many uses for coconut oil, it would be impossible to cover them all. Here are the top ways to incorporate this amazing product in your beauty routine:
Before bed, apply a quarter size scoop of coconut oil in damp hair and brush it through. Roll your hair into a bun and put on a shower cap, or protect your pillow with an old towel. In the morning, shampoo as normal. Coconut oil helps aid in preventing protein loss and nourishes dry, damaged hair like a charm.
You can apply coconut oil just as you would any other lotion. It works best on slightly damp skin, so applying after your shower is ideal. Massage it into your skin day or night. Many also use it to treat psoriasis, eczema and dermatitis.
I recently got home from a trip to Peru, where the climate was extremely humid. Aside from horrible hair days, the humidity was awesome for my skin, I didn’t put lotion on once! Since I’ve returned, my skin has been twice as dry as it normally is..so dry that it’s actually flaking. It’s gross. Every morning when I get out of the shower, when my skin is still wet, I apply coconut oil on my entire body. It’s not only extremely moisturizing but it leaves skin with a really nice glow that lasts for hours. It has completely healed my dry skin.
Coconut oil has anti-microbial and anti-bacterial properties, and works great as a night-time moisturizer. I combine it with several other oils and let it soak in as I sleep. If you’re prone to acne, test a little bit on a small part of your face before you go all out and slather yourself down. It does not make me break out at all, in fact I feel like it helps clear up my skin. However, it’s always best to test it on yourself since everyone is different.
Coconut oil has even more benefits when you ingest it! Use it when you cook, or even just eat a tablespoon of it to capitalize on the benefits. You will also start to notice it working from the inside out in terms of shinier hair and smooth skin!
It is an oil so naturally it contains fat, but it’s packed with good fats! Dr. Oz recently ran a two episode special on his show, called Coconut Oil Superpowers. He listed the benefits as cholesterol reducing, thyroid balancing, blood sugar controlling, and immune enhancing. It also helps with digestion, prevents heart disease and high blood pressure, supports kidney and gall bladder functions and even aids in weight loss.
Coconut Oil has recently been in the spotlight for it’s miraculous progress in reversing Alzheimer’s. Read about that on the Alliance for Natural Health’s website here
And if you don’t believe me…
Victoria’s Secret models swear by it
Miranda Kerr has been a long time advocate for coconut oil. She’s been taking it since she was 14 years old and has been quoted to say, “I will not go a day without coconut oil. I personally take four tablespoons per day, either on my salads, in my cooking or in my cups of green tea.”
Candice Swanepoel tweeted a photo of coconut oil with the caption “My no1 beauty secret :)”
Doutzen Kroes told Modelina, “I put coconut oil in my hair, it keeps it soft and shiny. Put a bit in before you go to sleep at night and wash it out in the morning.”
Giselle Bundchen has her own line of organic skin care whose main ingredient is Coconut oil. She has also said, “use coconut oil on your body at night. it will help sooth and hydrate the skin if you’ve stayed in the sun too long”
What should I look for in my coconut oil?
When purchasing Coconut Oil it’s important to buy Cold Pressed, Extra Virgin Coconut Oil. If you have the choice always pick the organic, GMO (Genetically Modified) free kind to ensure your coconut oil is in it’s purest form. You can buy coconut oil at any health food store (Whole Foods, Sprouts, Mother’s etc) or Amazon has great prices. Considering how much you receive in a tub, it’s super economical!
If my coconut oil turns to liquid, is it still good?
Coconut oil does not need to be refrigerated. However, it warm temperatures it will melt and turn to liquid. It’s still perfectly good and will go back to solid form when the weather cools down.
Do you use coconut oil? What is your favorite way to incorporate it in your life?
I have been doing some volunteer work in the Amazon rainforest this past month and came across a beautiful tree with heart-shaped, red spiky fruits. My Peruvian host told me that it’s an Annatto, or more commonly known as the “lipstick tree!”
He ripped off a fruit, broke it in half and then rubbed the tiny red seeds between his fingers. The seeds produced the most vibrant red, creamy paint-like substance which immediately started to stain his skin. The lipstick tree has many uses for the locals, it is used as face paint, dye, lipstick and even to repel mosquitoes.
The color lasts for hours. I wish it came in other shades..
Do you suffer from acne? Did you know that your makeup might be the culprit? In today’s guest post, Steven Barker from AcneTreatmentOne.com is here to fill you in what makeup induced acne is and how you can treat it!
What Makeup Ingredients Can Cause Acne?
Certain types of makeup contains ingredients that can clog pores, cause allergic reactions, and even skin problems like dermatitis. Although serious skin reactions are rare, acne caused by cosmetics is very common. The name acne cosmetica is used when referring to breakouts that are a direct result of acne. Certain ingredients are more likely to cause blemishes than others, check out this guide that can help you avoid any problems and keep your skin clear from whiteheads and blackheads here.
What Causes Acne Cosmetica?
The main cause of this mild type of acne, is the clogging of pores by certain chemicals in makeup. The worst offenders are oily petroleum based products that settle in the pores and prevent them from expelling sebum and dead skin cells. Once a pore is clogged, acne bacteria can grow and cause inflammation from inside.
Ingredients to Avoid if You are Suffering from Acne Cosmetica:
There are 100′s of different chemicals that are used to manufacture makeup. Some ingredients are much more likely to contribute to breakouts that others. The worst offenders that are known to clog pores are the following:
Wheat Germ Oil, Algae Extract, Carrageenans, Red Algae, Potassium Chloride, Sodium Chloride, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Isopropyl Myristate, Hexadecyl Alcohol, and Laureth 4.
There are many more ingredients that are known as Comedogenic or “pore cloggers” but the ingredients in the list above were rated 5 out of 5 in their ability to cause acne.
Treatments for Makeup Induced Acne
Makeup induced breakouts can be easily treated with a few adjustments to the type of makeup you use and how it is applied. The first thing you should do, to get rid of acne cosmetica, is to switch to a non-comedogenic brand. Some people find complete relief from their skin problems, just by switching to a different brand.
Another thing that is very important is to use applicators that are clean and bacteria free. A main cause of inflammatory acne is the p. acnes bacteria that lives on the face, and on your makeup applicators! Using applicators that have not been cleaned with alcohol or antibiotic soap can allow this bacteria to flourish and be spread around when you apply makeup.
Keeping makeup on your face longer than you need to makes it more likely to settle in your pores. You should never go to sleep before you’ve washed you face. As this give it time to migrate from the skins surface and settle deep within your pores.
Powdered makeup is also another option if you notice that liquid based makeups are causing you problems. Liquid makeups can be oily and cause breakout for people that are already dealing with oily skin.
Acne resulting from the use of cosmetics is a fairly common occurrence. These type of breakouts are usually mild, but if they are causing more than a slight inconvenience, you can easily make some changes to stop it. If you think a particular brand is causing issues, switching to a non-comedogenic brand may do the trick on its own. If not, make sure you use clean or disposable applicators. A visit to the dermatologist can also help, as they can prescribe medications that can wipe out most types of acne. If you need more advice on natural or prescription treatments for acne, visit Acne Treatment One.
Can you believe Marilyn Monroe would have been 85 today?! In honor of one of the most famous beauty icons of the 20th century, check out some of Marilyn’s beauty secrets (although we can’t say that they’ll actually work).
1. Marilyn’s first husband Jim Dougherty recalls that she used to wash her face with Shu Uemura cleansing oil and then rinsed 15 times with cold water.
2. Monroe used either Elizabeth Arden’s Pat-A-Creme foundation or Erno Laszlo foundation. She also used Erno Laszlo Duo-Phase Face Powder.
3. She would take ice baths (with a little bit of Chanel No. 5 added in) to keep her skin tight and cellulite free.
4. She always used Nivea Skin Moisturizing lotion.
5. Marilyn layered five different red lipsticks, strategically placed, to contour and highlight her lips and give depth and fullness.
6. She always wore false eyelashes but would cut them in half and only apply the outer half.
Happy Birthday Marilyn Monroe!
Paul Gooch is a celebrity hairstylist and makeup artist whose clients include Reese Witherspoon, Emily Blunt and Liv Tyler. Last month, he was the recipient of a BAFTA (British Academy of Film and Television Arts) award for his fantastic work on Tim Burton’s, Alice and Wonderland! On the heels of award season, Paul is here to give us some hair tips so that you too can look red carpet ready, everyday!
1. Elegant High Chignon
“To achieve an elegant high chignon, brush towel dried hair with your head tipped upside down, then secure it into a high ponytail with an elastic band. Smooth over any stray hairs with Umberto Gianni’s Sleek and Chic Seriously Straight Gloss Serum to catch any stray, flyaway hairs. Next, twist the remaining ponytail around the covered elastic to create the stylish chignon. Pin into place.”
2. Classic Waves
“Create classic waves using a medium sized curling tong taking hair section by section (Umberto Gianni’s Smoothy Curling Tong is a favorite of Paul’s). Push the tonged hair into soft waves and smooth any stray hairs with Curl Friends Silky Curls Smoothing Balm. Loosely gather the ends of your hair into a nape chignon and secure with pins or a hair decoration. Once you have the desired effect, spray with hairspray to keep it in shape.”
3. Beautifully Blonde
“Enhance and maintain your pure blonde hair by using Umberto Gianni’s Beautifully Blonde Enhancing Shampoo. This color enhancing formula gently cleanses away the dullness of the day to reveal blonde tones and highlight so you will dazzle as if you were on the red carpet.”
All product recommendations are personal preference of the artist, they do not reflect the views of Last Looks, nor has Last Looks received compensation of any kind to mention these products.
1. Wash Your Face at Night, Every Night
Yes, it’s annoying and obviously you want to climb into bed as soon as you can, especially after a night out, but washing your face needs to be a consistent step in your beauty routine!
As you sleep, your skin works to repair itself. If you don’t wash your face, not only are preventing your skin from breathing, but you are letting all of the dirt, oil, and debris from the day soak into your skin and clog your pores!
Don’t Believe Me?
Squeeze some toner to a cotton pad and apply it to your face at the end of the day. Now, look at the cotton pad. Most likely, the cotton pad will be dirty and disgusting. This is what sits on your face for hours while you sleep!!
At the very least, keep a pack of cleansing wipes on your bedside table to do a quick rub down before you pass out. Your skin will thank you in the morning.
2. Splurge on Foundation
I’m a huge fan of scouring the drugstore beauty aisles in search of amazing steals, but there is one item (okay, maybe not just one:)) that I will not skimp on. Foundation!
While you can definitely find a few gems in the drugstore, (I love Revlon Colorstay and Black Opal foundations), nothing really compares to higher end, professional foundations.
You have a greater chance of finding your perfect shade, the quality is better and you’ll have more options when it comes to the type of finish you desire, be it dewy, matte, satin, natural etc..
Perfect your canvas and you’ll find that the rest of your makeup will just look better.
3. Stop Smoking Now
You know it’s bad for you, so why haven’t you quit?
Aside from the fact that you are 10-20 times more likely to get lung cancer than a non smoker, you are aging yourself with every puff!
With each inhale, more than a trillion free radicals are produced in your lungs. Free radicals speed up the aging process immensely. Smoking also depletes the collagen in your skin, which in turn, gives you premature wrinkles. Collagen fibers are protein fibers which work with elastin to give your body tissue firmness and strength.
Aside from aging you at a much faster rate, smoking also:
-Causes dark circles
-Gives you ugly lip lines
-Turns your teeth yellow
-Makes your hair brittle and dull
Stay beautiful, stop smoking!
4. Learn How to Apply False Eyelashes
Applying false eyelashes is on the majority of women’s “wtf, how do I do this” list. Despite the frustrations they cause, false lashes are a great way to jazz up your makeup and add a little extra drama to your eyes on special occasions. This year, face your fear of the false lash and learn to apply them once and for all!
-Use a handheld or vanity mirror and position it on the counter so you are looking down (with your eyes) into it. This will put your eyes at the perfect angle and you will still be able to see what you are doing.
-One of the biggest mistakes people make is trying to apply the lash before the glue is tacky! This is so important! Wait longer than you think you should and it will be so much easier to get the lash to adhere. If you apply before the glue has a chance to get sticky, it will make a huge mess as the lash flutters around, unattached to your eyelid.
-Cut the lash in half and apply each half separately! The smaller strip will be easier to manipulate until you get the hang of it.
5. Clean Out Your Makeup Bag
Alright, tell the truth, how old is that lipstick in the bottom of your makeup bag?
Many women are unaware that their makeup actually has a shelf life. This year, freshen up your makeup collection by trashing any item that has been lingering around for longer than you’d like to admit.
The Shelf Life of Your Makeup
Check out my post on how to tell if your makeup is expired: HERE
What are Your Beauty Resolutions This Year??
Metallics don’t have to be scary when you do them correctly! Try applying a metallic eyeshadow or pigment to your eyelids and along the inner corners of your eyes, to make them pop without being too overpowering. Blend a darker, matte color into your crease and smudge it along your lower lashline to finish up the look. I looovvee Lily Donaldson’s makeup (above). With this look, you’ll be ready to party anywhere from New York to Vegas!
A pop of metallic color on the inner corners of your eyes is the perfect way to transform a regular smokey eye into perfect New Year’s Eve party makeup.
For a different look, use a metallic eyeliner pencil to rim your eyes. Since metallic colors are so intense, I recommend applying several coats of mascara or even a strip of false lashes to give your eyes the definition they’ll need.
Left to Right: Mehron’s Metallic Powder, Makeup Forever’s Metal Powder, Red Cherry Lashes.
New Year’s Eve is fun because you can go a little bit darker with your smokey eye and get away with it!! I love the messy, rocker chic makeup look; it’s effortlessly cool and you don’t have to worry too much about touching up throughout the night! If it starts to crease, you will only look that much cooler, haha.
Extend your eyeshadow a little past your eyes and go a tad “smudgier” than you’re used to on your bottom lashline. It’s not supposed to look perfect so don’t stress about making sure everything is flawlessly blended.
Remember to keep the rest of your face nude. The eyes are way too dramatic to compete with bright cheeks or lips.
Left to Right: Nars Eyeshadow in Night Fever, Night Breed, Night Flight and MAC’s Eye Kohl in Smolder.
Adding color to your New Year’s Eve makeup is the perfect way to jazz things up a bit and feel extra festive when the ball drops.
If you aren’t used to wearing much color, it’s important to build the intensity up slowly. You can experiment with just a swipe of color on your eyelids like Magdalena Frackowiak (left) or go super dramatic like Lily Donaldson (right). Have fun with it!
If you’re a little hesitant to go all out with the color, opt for a bright eyeliner instead! You will still get that extra “New Year’s Eve oomph” without feeling like a $2 hooker
Left to Right: Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics Loose Color Concentrate in Cherry Bomb, Urban Decay’s 24/7 Liners, Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics Loose Color Concentrate in Chlorophyll.
If you’re not used to wearing much makeup or, if you’re attending a classier event, more subdued makeup may be more appropriate.
You cannot go wrong with perfect, glowing skin! Apply a highlighter to your cheekbones and down the bridge of your nose to look like you are glowing from within!
I generally do not recommend wearing bright lipstick on New Year’s Eve since you will most likely be sipping on champagne, eating, and of course, mackin’ down at midnight but red lips can be very classy. If you must, opt for a long wearing formula and keep a mirror in your clutch for touch-ups.
Apply a bright blush to the apples of your cheeks along with several coats of volumizing mascara for a pretty, yet sophisticated look. For a little added glamour, tap an iridescent eyeshadow onto the center of your eyelids to make your eyes pop.
For a different variation of the above looks, apply black eyeliner to your upper eyeliner and wing it out into a sharp point at the outer corner of your eye. Use pointy q-tips and makeup remover (I use moisturizer) to help you achieve the sharpest point possible
Left to Right: Smashbox Artifical Light in Flash, Bobbi Brown Gel Liner, NARS Lipstick in Jungle Red
What are Your New Year’s Eve Plans?
Summer is officially here and whether you’re looking to compliment your tan, or fake it till you make it, bronzer is an excellent way to achieve that golden summer glow. With so many options on the market, choosing the right bronzer can be overwhelming. Check out my top 5 favorite bronzers!
Top 5 Bronzers for Summer
Cargo Be-You-Tiful Bronzer
I love Cargos Be-You-Tiful Bronzer because it comes in three shades, Light, Medium and Dark! This is amazing because many of the bronzers out there are either too light or too dark for certain skin tones. With this bronzer, it’s easy to find the perfect shade every time! It does have a bit of shimmer in it, but they do offer a matte medium color which looks very natural and pretty.
NARS Bronzing Powder
NARS Bronzers are some of my all time favorite because the color is unlike soo many other bronzers!! It has a true brown/tan tone that is not orangey at all! The result? a natural looking glow that makes you look like you just got back from vacay in the Bahamas, not the Mystic Tan booth down the street.
NARS has three shades, Casino (dark brown with golden shimmer) and Laguna (brown with gold shimmer) their brand new one, Irresistiblement (golden terracota). I use Laguna.
Lorac’s TANtalizer is a baked bronzer which gives off a gorgeous rosy bronze, summer glow. It layers beautifully which aids in controlling the amount of color that gets applied. I have used this on light, medium and dark skin with gorgeous results! You can also choose between the shimmer version, or opt for basic matte. I like the one with shimmer because it adds highlight to your face which only accentuates the golden glow it provides.
Geurlain Terracotta Bronzer
Geurlain’s Terracotta Bronzer has been around since 1980 and is still a popular choice for many women today! I love it because it gives off a natural, glowy bronze – not orange. It has a slight sheen but is not shimmery, and it goes on super smooth. Bonus: On top of everything else, it moisturizes your skin too!
NYC Smooth Skin Bronzer
NYC Smooth Skin Bronzer is my favorite drugstore steal!! At only $3, your really can’t go wrong! The color is very natural (I love that it’s matte) and it goes on pretty smoothly. This bronzer is perfect for light/medium skin but probably would not give off enough color to tan/darker skintones.
What is Your Favorite Bronzer??
The Spring/Summer 2010 runway was packed with orange pouts from Prada, to Twinkle by Wenlan, to Giambattista Valli, and everywhere in between! There is no denying orange as the must have color for lips this Summer!
Vogue Australia (top and bottom) features one of my favorite models rocking a neon orange lip and pink tips! To get the exact lip look that Abbey is wearing on the cover, mix MAC’s Lipmix in Orange, and their lipstick in CB96!
**The Orange Lipmix is the same color Pradas makeup artists used for their S/S 2010 show too! **
Even celebs are falling in love with orange lips! From left to right: Chloe Sevigny, Rihanna, and Selena Gomez.
The ad that started it all… Prada’s Spring/Summer ads feature models wearing bright orange, glossy lips. To get the look Pat McGrath used Makeup For Ever’s lacquered lipstick in 204, mixed with CoverGirl’s Shineblast in orange.
HOW TO PULL OFF ORANGE LIPS:
Orange is definitely an intimidating color for many but it is surprisingly wearable! Check out these 5 tips on how to make orange work for you!
1. Keep the Rest of Your Face Clean
The key to making a bold lip work is by keeping it the focal point of your look. With too much going on, you’ll look overdone and silly. Add a shimmery champagne eyeshadow, several coats of mascara and some bronzer and you’ll be good to go!
2. Mix It!
I love mixing lip colors!! You can make any lipstick work for you by mixing it in other colors. Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics Lip Tars are PERFECT for this!! Try their Safety Orange with a drop of red or pink and you’ll be surprised how easy it is to find a shade of orange that works for you!
Obsessive Compulsive Lip Tar in Safety Orange
3. Start with Coral
Coral is universally flattering and it is still technically orange, just a lot more subdued and less intimidating. Check out my post on how to wear coral (here)!
5. Consider your Skintone
Fair Skin: If you have fair skin, go for a sheer formula or a gloss. Peach tones also look great on pale complexions.
Medium/Olive Skin: Medium and Olive Skintones can pull off a sheer gloss as well as vibrant color-packed orange. It’s all about what you feel more comfortable in.
Dark Skin: I love a bright orange lip on darker skintones! It pops really well and you can go really bold. Generally, warmer shades of orange look best.
5. Go for Gloss
An orangey gloss is much less vibrant and a lot more wearable than a heavily pigmented lipstick. You’ll still get a hint of color and it looks amazing with a Summer tan!
Accessorizing with Today’s Hottest Colors
Red: Going out tonight? NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Dragon Girl is the perfect product to make a Fourth of July face stand out!
White: Make your cheeks glow when the light from the fireworks hits them with Smashbox’s Artificial Light in Diffuse!
Blue: BBQing at the beach and don’t want to wear a ton of makeup? Opt for royal blue nails which can keep your look festive but your face clean. Try OPI’s Blue My Mind.
Stay Safe and Wear Sunscreen