Monday, March 17th, 2008

Looking for product recommendations? Expect several reviews of self-tanning options from sprays to creams to gradual to intense over the coming weeks!

Maintain It | So you spend all this time and energy on creating the perfect faux tan, but how are you going to keep it looking good? Unfortunately, self-tanning does not give you a tan that will last you months, but you may be able to get a good three days with a few additional days of decent tan if you make sure you take the proper steps.

Moisturize daily! Because self-tanners dye the first layer of skin cells, as they dry and flake off, so will your tan!

Exfoliate sparingly, and when you do, lightly! As mentioned earlier, the self-tanner only affects the top layer of the skin, so body scrubs and exfoliants will cause the tan to flake off faster. It is important to exfoliate every two or three days, though, because it will help the tan to “fade” naturally.

Avoid chlorine and excessive baths/showers, because these can strip the top layer of the skin and limit the effectiveness of your tan and its lasting power.

Gradual self-tanners work really well to help minimize the fading effect of tans, and I have found that they can extend the life of my tan by two to four days, depending on how well moisturize my skin is.

Expect your tan to last a week or less. Most people will find that they will need to re-do their self-tan within a week, and even if you happen to go outside of that, ten days is pushing it. When the time comes to re-do, make sure you go through all the steps of prepartion and application all over again!

Part 1 — Preparation, Part 2 — Application

Feel free to share your tips, horror stories, and advice for self-tanning!

Sunday, March 16th, 2008

CeraVe Moisturizing Cream ($14.99)

Ultra thick and creamy, this Moisturizing Cream is designed to help with the driest, cracked and chapped skin. It includes ceramides, glycerin, water, etc. to help fatty acid esters get deep into the skin. The product claims that you can moisturize once, and you will find yourself moisturized all day. Believe it! This is a great heavy cream for dry spots, cracked elbows, and the like, especially in the winter months. It is a little thick for everyday use for my personal skin, but I know others suffer dry skin year-round (like my sister!), so this is a fab product find for her. You get a 16 ounce tub of this moisturizer for a good price.

You can find CeraVe products at your local drugstore!

Have you tried this cream? Thoughts?

Wednesday, March 12th, 2008

Looking for product recommendations? Expect several reviews of self-tanning options from sprays to creams to gradual to intense over the coming weeks!

Applying Your Tan | After you’ve properly prepared you body to take on a self-tan, you’re eager to get to the tanning part, right? I want to preface this piece with the fact that I am new to self-tanning, I spent the past two weeks learning about self-tanners, application, etc., and for the most part, it’s really not as daunting as it may seem.

  • Wash hands frequently and vigorously with soap. You don’t want dark orange palms, so you can avoid this by washing your hands multiple times during the application to minimize any orange palm effect.
  • Make a mistake? Try toner, acetone, or hydrogen peroxide to help minimize or erase it.
  • Slow and steady wins the race. It is much better to give yourself time to apply the self-tanner and let it dry appropriately rather than hope it will all come together in fifteen minutes.
  • Dry land only for at least eight to twelve hours if you’re able to. Your self-tan should develop within three hours, but it may continue to darken for as long as twelve hours. Avoid sweating, exercising, bathing, etc., as all of these can lead to undesirable effects (streaking, fading, etc.).

1. Get everything you need together. Self-tanning will probably take you at least twenty minutes to apply from head to toe, plus additional drying time. I recommend the following products/items to gather: self-tanner of choice for body, self-tanner of choice for face, moisturizer (lightweight), hair tie, soap, back sponge, fingernail scrub brush, sink, dark towel/dark robe.

2. Extra dry skin? It is probably best for you to moisturize either as you go (diluting your self-tanner in the process) or applying a light amount to extra dry areas like ankles, toes, knees, elbows, etc. I would only recommend this for those who have really, really dry skin. It is better to dilute self-tanner with a moisturizer than applying moisturizer before the self-tanner.

3. Apply from bottom to top. You want to start applying your self-tanner to your feet and legs, being sure to apply sparingly on any dry parts (e.g. ankles) if you have them. If you’re using a lotion, be sure to squeeze it onto your fingers/palms, and then work it into your skin in circular motions. If you merely squeeze it onto your skin, you may end up with visible streaks from where it was squeezed! If you’re using a spray or aerosol tanner, make sure that you follow directions (usually says how far to hold it and not to exceed a certain distance).

4. Dry spots, joints, etc. may require diluted tanner. Judge your skin – if you have dry knees and luscious elbows or you’re like a sahara on both, know about it! You do a half-and-half combo with moisturizer with self-tanner or go a little heavier on the self-tanner, just depends on how dry you’re skin is. Nevertheless, go sparingly over these areas, because they tend to darken more heavily than other parts of the skin.

5. If you’re doing your entire body, some people want tan lines. If this is the case, make sure you’re wearing something that you can put the tanner right up against (e.g. a black bathing suit), as the tanner will stain light clothing. I personally hate tan lines, so self-tanning is totally up my alley and I just stand in the bathroom naked while applying. Back issues? If you can’t reach your back, try investing in a handled sponge to help you get those hard-to-reach areas.

6. Work your way up to your upper chest. Apply your self-tanner for body all over your body (arms, legs, etc.), but you may want to switch to a gradual tanner or your self-tanner for face. The neck tends to tan better and darker than the rest of your body (like the face). Otherwise, dilute your self-tanner with moisturizer when applying to the neck.
7. Switch to a self-tanner for face. I always recommend using a product targeted for the face to avoid getting an ultra dark or orange face. You can, of course, dilute your body self-tanner with moisturizer if you feel confident doing so. Make sure you apply your self-tanner up to your hair line and behind your ears (often missed spots).

8. Let it all hang out! Optimally, you’ve given yourself three hours of time before you need to get dressed. Realistically, you may only have an hour or two–don’t worry, you can probably get away with it. After you’ve done applying the self-tanner, let it dry for at least 15 minutes. If you’re able, walking around the house naked for awhile is a good move. Otherwise, slip on your dark robe or loosely tie a dark towel around your body and busy yourself for the next 45 minutes to an hour.

9. Your tan develops in 3 hours usually. This does mean that waiting three hours before putting on clothes is the best course of action, but waiting simply a half hour or so is usually enough. I like to put on some ratty, loose-fitting clothes after about 30-45 minutes. Even when I put regular clothes on, I opt for dark colors and nothing too tight.

10. Enjoy your new tan! You’ll want to check out part three of this guide, though, which will offer you some tips on making your sunless tan last longer and how to let it fade without looking like a molting bird.

Feel free to share your tips, horror stories, and advice for self-tanning!

Tuesday, March 11th, 2008

First, this guide is not about tanning beds, booths, nor laying out in the sun. This is a guide to self-tanners, which are proven to be much safer and less harmful than the aforementioned areas not covered in this guide. If you must tan, please take all the precautions you can, including use some sort of sunscreen and go out during hours where the sun is not as strong. Now that we are finished with our PSA, let’s get on to SELF-TANNING!

Get Yourself Ready to Tan | It is important that you appropriate prepare your body to undergo the self-tanning process to maximize the desired results and increase the wear-time of the self-tanner. Most self-tanners only dye the first layer of skin, which means that as cell turnover occurs, your tan will slough off after 3-5 days, depending on the product and the care you take in maintaining your self-tan.

1. Exfoliate in advance. It is important to regularly exfoliate both your face and your body (which I’m sure is often forgotten). A good body scrub is great to rid your skin of dead skin cells and allow newer cells to come to the surface. Several days before you’re ready to begin your self-tanning, it is a good idea to exfoliate every other day (or so).

2. Moisturize, moisturize, and moisturize again. Make sure that you are regularly moisturizing all known dry or rough spots on your body–common areas are places like feet, toes, ankles, knees, elbows, etc. Rougher skin means less surface evenness, and this means the self-tanner may get darker in these areas (which is not always a pretty sight). If you make sure that you are taking the time to keep these bits and pieces their softest, you’ll run into less tanning issues later on!

3. Shave. The more even the skin surface is, the better the self-tanner will apply, adhere, and eventually dye. You will minimize streaks and unevenness in your tan if you shave beforehand. I would recommend shaving shortly before you actually apply the self-tanner!

4. Exfoliate right before you apply. However, unlike exfoliating in the days leading up to application, make sure that you opt for a body scrub that is oil-free–just something simple that has jojoba beads or some sort of exfoliant that won’t leave your legs particularly oily or greasy, because it will interfere with the self-tanner.

5. Plan on at least 20 minutes to apply. You need at least twenty minutes to apply self-tanner from head to toe, and it may be more for those who are not as comfortable with self-tanning. It is a good idea to give yourself an hour or two before you have to leave the house, as I definitely recommend sitting around in ratty clothes while the tan develops (which it should be hour three). Some regular self-tanners prefer to do the whole ritual before bed and then wake up golden.

Wednesday, December 5th, 2007

Clinique Risne Off Makeup Remover Review

Pacifica Candles’ Soy Candles ($13.95), Pillar Candles ($15.95), Soaps ($6.95), Perfumes ($19.95), Body Butters ($15.95)

Each Pacifica candle is made by hand, using century-old techniques to ensure the highest quality. We combine our exclusive Pacifica Wax Blends, in your choice of food-grade paraffin or vegetable-based soy, with the highest quality lead-free cotton wicks, essences, and essential oils in order to create the perfect candle. Our fragrance oils and candles are made in small batches, allowing us to test our products regularly to guarantee perfection. We believe that if a candle isn’t burning well, quality ingredients are being wasted. Regardless of the wax, whether it is soy or paraffin, there must be a perfect balance between the wick size and the fragrance to create a safe, healthy, and smokeless candle.

What makes it worth it: This is not an organic line per se, but it definitely has the right feel and attitude about the environment, natural ingredients, and being a responsible member of its community. Pacifica uses soy and food-grade paraffin in its candles, while they make sure to use natural essential oils rather than artificial fragrances. They have excellent employment policies, are working towards becoming a carbon-neutral company, and take inspiration from culture around the globe.

  • Soy Candles: I tried Tibetan Mountain Temple (a spicy, woody scent of Patchouli, ginger, and orange) and Bourbon Island Vanilla (another spicy scent with lots of vanilla). I enjoyed both scents, but my boyfriend adored the latter. I felt like Tibetan Mountain Temple reminded me a lot of the holidays and the cinnamon-y goodness you find in so many holiday baked goods.
  • Pillar Candles: I tried Roman Frankincense (a blend of Frankincense, Myrrh, a touch of mandarin, and I’d swear some lime) and Vietnamese Ylang Ylang French (a lovely blend of ylang ylang, lavendar, and a touch of vanilla). I’m totally reminded of Sprite or 7UP with Roman Frankincense, but I like the scent – pleasing, very masculine. The Vietnamese Ylang Ylang French pillar candle is a much subtler scent, entirely feminine and just lovely.
  • Natural Soaps: I tried Spanish Amber (deeply woody, amber scent) and Wild English Clary Sage (a great clean scent with clary sage notes). Spanish Amber definitely takes me back to a few moments of my childhood; it’s a strong scent, distinctly masculine. Wild English Clary Sage is also a bit masculine in its scent, but it’s such a clean scent that I know it’s a must-have for any family or couple who shares soap.
  • Perfumes: I tried Waikiki Pikake (a blend of jasmine and sandalwood) and Tuscan Blood Orange (sweet orange and mandarin scent with a touch of strawberry). I found both of these scents to be pleasing, and they come in these petite containers. They make great stocking stuffers!
  • Body Butters: I tried Sandalwood (rich Indian sandalwood that’s very woody with top notes of sweet orange) and French Lilac (a delightful spring scent of fresh lilacs and magnolias). Sandalwood is a very rich, heady scent, which reminds me of seduction. I felt like French Lilac makes a great spring scent, because it’s light and airy and utterly floral.

Why you might pass on it: You can’t. They have a wide variety of products, scents, and the prices are perfect for this holiday season. Everything feels a bit luxe and rich, and I really can’t wait to wrap these up and hand them out to my family and friends this year.

Find Pacifica products at www.pacificacandles.com and www.nordstrom.com.

Wednesday, November 7th, 2007

Playboy Beauty capitalizes on the aspirational Playboy lifestyle and its place in American history by extending its brand portfolio with a sensual line of color cosmetics and beauty products.Women are invited to experience Playboy Beauty through fresh colors, textures and finishes. This multi-functional line rouses the five senses with cutting-edge innovation and novel product categories. From girl-next-door sex appeal to modern-day siren, Playboy Beauty allows you to express your every personality!

Now, let me tell you what I thought about Playboy Beauty’s line! Continue reading →