Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Sweat Box

After I workout, the first thing I want to do is rinse off all the sweat. Pretty natural, right? I thought so, but lately I’ve been noticing that when some of the regulars at my gym get off the treadmill, they hit the sauna, not the showers. Since I couldn't fathom why anyone would want to get more sweaty post-workout, I decided to see what the hype over this hot box is all about. What happens to your body during a sauna is pretty simple: metabolism and pulse rates increase, blood vessels get more flexible, and circulation improves. Sauna junkies say they feel a psychological peace and physical rejuvenation. Others claim the sauna relieves symptoms of minor colds, revives muscles after a tough sweat fest, and clears up pesky pimples all by releasing toxins through your sweat. Saunas are supposed to leave you with heightened senses and a feeling of being very much alive.
Dr. Oz says that in an infrared sauna, you can burn as much as 700 calories in an hour without lifting a finger! To take a sauna, shower, enter the sauna...don't stay in for more than 15 minutes to start, cool down, and then shower again to rinse away the toxins your body has just released. All these benefits from relaxing in a warm box? I’ve talked myself into it. Definitely making a sauna stop after my next workout!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Get Fabulash!

Maybe she’s born with it…um, maybe not! Ever jealous over those ultra long lashes that models and stars flaunt? Chances are…they’re falsies. False eye lashes are no longer for the celebrity A-list. With a couple of practice rounds you too can have long, thick lashes for your night on the town. Just follow these simple steps:
Step 1: Set your falsies on your eyelid to get a preview. If you’re using a full strip, you may need to trim them to fit your eye, using tiny scissors.
Step 2: Apply a thin line of adhesive to the base of the false eyelash. White glue will dry clear. Wait 15-30 seconds to allow the adhesive to become tacky.
Step 3: Holding the lash hairs (away from the lashband and glue), apply the false lashes as close to the natural lash line as possible. Some people prefer to hold the lashes with a pair of tweezers as they apply.
Tip: Start at the outer corner of the eye and move inwards.
Step 4: Once the outside corner is down, work inward, pressing false lashes into the lashline until the entire band is in place.
Tip: Leave eyelid shut until the lash glue has dried. Wait approximately 1 minute if possible.
Step 5: Once you’re sure your lashes have completely dried, very gently use your eye lash curler and give your new lashes a small curl.
Tip: To help blend in your new lashes apply a small layer of black liquid liner to the base of your real and false eyelashes, as well as a coat of black mascara over the two lash layers.

If you’ve never applied false eyelashes, give yourself a couple of practice rounds before you try it out for a real event. We’d hate for you to be a gluey mess in public. For more believable (and easier to apply!) lashes, try applying a half strip to the outer corners of your lashes. Short on time? Apply several, single false eye lashes through out your lash line for a subtle addition to your own lashes.

Shape Up!

One of my favorite things about working at It Cosmetics is helping women to draw out their natural and unique beauty. Beauty comes in all shapes, ages, and sizes. It also comes in a range of face shapes. My Sculpted Face allows you to hide a double chin, create cheekbones, or narrow your nose, but it also allows you to perfectly define God’s masterpiece…your face!
Square: Square faces have a broader jaw line and forehead. To soften up the angularity of a square face, apply a matte contouring shade (1 to 2 shades darker than your skin tone) to all four corners of your face. Then, highlight the center of your forehead, on top of the cheekbones, and your chin, using a white matte or shimmer highlighter. Add a pop of blush to the apples of your cheeks and you’ve just softened up your square! Square-faced stars include Calista Flockheart and Demi Moore.
Round: The good news about a round face…they are typically associated with youth! You have a circle face if your measurements are the same for the length and width and your face has a circle look to it (think Kate Winslet and Drew Barrymore). The distance between the forehead and the chin is shorter, creating full cheeks. To define your cheek bones, brush your contouring shade directly underneath your cheek (to make it simple, make a fish face and contour along the line of definition you’ve created). Then place your highlighting powder above the cheekbone.
Heart: Heart shaped faces are wide at the forehead and narrow down to the chin…just like a heart! Famous sweetheart faces include Lisa Kudrow and Jennifer Love Hewitt. To create a more proportional face, apply your contouring shade to the edge of the forehead, near your hair line, and along the temples.
Oval: The length of your face is longer than the width of your face, typically one and a half times longer. Your face is shaped like: Julia Roberts, Tyra Banks, or Jessica Alba. Because you have a perfectly proportioned face (lucky!) you don’t need any contouring, except to slim your nose, hide a double chin, or sculpt more defined cheekbones.

Whether you’re square, round, heart, or oval, embrace your shape…it’s beautiful on you.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Get Happy, Be Grateful!

Are you happy? We seem to be on a never-ending quest to attain happiness. Whether it’s finally saving up enough for those Jimmy Choos, dreaming about having a baby, or planning for a big vacation to Hawaii. Happiness always seems to be in the near future. But we at It Cosmetics have found what helps us most to be happy today is to remember what we’re grateful for. No, it’s not always easy to be Pollyanna, but keeping a gratitude list has been scientifically proven to increase happiness! Check out these results from a study of those who kept a “thankful for” list:

-Those who kept gratitude journals on a weekly basis ended up exercising more regularly, reporting fewer sicknesses, and feeling better about their lives as a whole.
-People who kept a gratitude list were also more optimistic about the upcoming week compared to others who wrote about hassles or neutral life events.
-Participants who kept gratitude lists were more likely to have made progress toward important personal goals (academic, interpersonal and health-based).
-People who practiced daily gratitude were morel likely to have helped someone with a personal problem or to have given emotional support to another.

Moral of the study is: Count your blessings...it'll put a smile on your face!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Addicted to Beauty

I love beauty products. I love trying new ones, discussing old favorites, and swapping beauty tips with friends. But when does a passion for makeup and skincare go from an interest, to an obsession? The BBC’s new show, Super Botox Me, demonstrates this tipping point. Cameras follow 40-year-old Kate Spicer on her extreme quest for beauty. Watch as she tries everything from a bull semen hair treatment in London to a hefty dose of Botox, Restylane, Fraxel, and more in the U.S. The show premieres on March 26th, 9 p.m. ET on BBC America, but check out this preview: Ouch! A must-see for anyone considering going to painful extremes for the sake of beauty. Here at It Cosmetics we believe that beauty isn't pain!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Be Your Own Personal (face) Chef!

Bad economy affecting your beauty budget? Don’t despair. You may not be able to visit a luxe spa for your favorite facial, but you can certainly pamper your skin in the comfort of your own home. Whip up each of these easy and inexpensive mask mixtures in your kitchen, most with ingredients you have around the house.

Milk Me Beautiful-- Oily Acne Prone Skin
Milk of Magnesia absorbs impurities and disinfects even better than clay. Paula Begoun made this simple mask popular in her book, ‘The Beauty Bible.’

-1 bottle Milk of Magnesia

Apply Milk of Magnesia to face.
After letting set for 10-15 minutes, wash with cool washcloth.

Honey Banana Beauty—Oily Skin
A soothing mask to reduce redness, tighten pores, and minimize shine.

1 ripe banana
1 tbsp. of honey
An orange or a lemon

Mix banana and honey, add several drops of fresh squeezed orange or lemon juice.
Apply to face for 15 minutes, then rinse with a steaming warm washcloth.

Indian Goddess Brightener—For Brighter Skin
1 tablespoon of turmeric powder
1 cup of plain yogurt

Mix the turmeric and yogurt and spread on face. Leave for 5-10 minutes, then rinse off.

Dairy Soft—To Soften Dry Skin
1 tsp. powdered milk
1 tbsp. runny honey
1 tsp. aloe vera gel
2 drops essential oil

Mix ingredients well, apply to face for 15 minutes, then wash off with warm water.

Kitty Litter—For the Beauty Daredevil
I’ll admit this one scares me just a little bit. Cat litter? On your face? Beauty junkies swear by it; cat litter is made of the same ingredients as special clays found in $100 spa facials.
1 bag cat litter (must be marked 100 percent natural clay)
Drops of your favorite essential oil

Mix 2 tbsp. of cat litter with water and oil, apply mask to face, wash off after 15 minutes.

Multiply the ingredients in these masks and enjoy a Thrifty Beauty Girls Night In for under $10!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

News Anchors...Makeup Tricks of the Trade

Imagine waking up at 2:30 in the morning and going to work. Sound awful? Maybe some of you do it already. Now, imagine waking up at 2:30 in the morning, going to work, and having to look absolutely flawless. And we mean camera ready flawless: the whole deal... hair, makeup, jewelry, nails done, suit on. Welcome to the life of TV news anchors! Fortunately these morning news personalities have an arsenal of makeup tricks up their suit sleeves, and since the Creator and CEO of It Cosmetics, Jamie Kern Lima, is a former morning anchor herself, we’ve got a few for you right here:

Good morning bright eyes!
Whose eyes really look awake (wait whose eyes even looks alive) at 2:30 am? Not many. But if you place a gold or pearl colored shimmer eye shadow in the corner of your eyes and below the eye brow (#1 and #2 in diagram), your eyes will instantly look like you’ve had a full night of sleep!

Wide awake!
Another great way to open up your sleepy eyes is to line the inner rim of your bottom lid (#5 in diagram) with white liner. The light reflects off the white line, making you look like you’ve slept like a baby for a full 8 hours! To finish off your fabulous eyes in a snap, use a neautral color all over the lid. Then, use a darker contour shade with lots of gold or copper flecks (#3), across the entire crease. Use the same color to line underneath your lower lash line (#4). A rich coppery or golden shade will bring out the flecks in your eyes, and are universally flattering on any eye color.

Bye bye double chin.
Now here’s an issue that no amount of beauty sleep is going to change…a double chin. Fortunately, news anchors know that the face shape they were born with isn’t the face shape they need to show the world. By placing contouring powders, one to two shades darker than your natural skin tone, underneath your chin (right over the “double” your trying to hide), you can turn your two chins into just one.

Coffee-Stain Busters!
Newsrooms are notorious for the insane amounts of coffee they go through. Since newsies work around the clock, coffee is a must. And, coffee stains are quick to follow. Try Go Smile’s Touch Up Mini On-The-Go Smile Refreshers. And follow the cardinal rule of smile conscious news anchors…ONLY wear blue based lip shades. Orange based shades make teeth appear even more yellow.

Whether you're a news anchor, a party gal, a career woman, or a busy mom, put these trips to use next time you need to fake your beauty sleep!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Sweet Thang

We all heard it during our teenage years… “Don’t eat too much chocolate or you’ll get pimples!” But did that really stop you from diving into the M& M bowl at your Friday night slumber party? Yeah right.
Post-slumber party years, the great debate has turned from the connection between acne and chocolate (unless you’re eating the WHOLE one pound bag of M&M’s don’t worry about this) to a possible link between sugar and wrinkles. Turns out, you are what you eat. Why? Blame it on a process called “glycation.” The more sugar you eat, the more glycation takes place and the more your skin’s collagen and elastin become dry and brittle. And that means…wrinkles and sagging.
It’s never too late to turn back the clock. Here are 5 quick tips to keep you sugar and wrinkle free!
1. Say “no” to Skittles.
It’s nearly impossible to cut out the sweet stuff entirely. After all, even whole grains and veggies turn into sugar when digested. But experts say to keep sugar to no more than 10% of your total calories, so for your average woman, that means slashing 160 sugary calories…you could do that by nixing one can of cola or six Hershey’s Kisses from your day.
2. Vitamin B1, B6, Be Beautiful!!
Supplement your diet with at least 1 mg of vitamins B1 and B6 a day. They prevent the wrinkle-forming glycation process from happening.
3. Run from sun.
Okay don’t run, just hide that pretty skin of yours. Wear a broad-spectrum SPF-30 sunscreen everyday.
4. Say I love you to antioxidants!
Meet your new best friends. These free-radical fighters keep sugar from destroying your skin. So load up on fruits, nuts, and veggies, especially cranberries, walnuts, and red bell peppers.
5. Protect your skin from sugar
Use skincare with topical antioxidants such as green tea and vitamins C and E. These are the best way to ensure nutrients reach the dermal layer of skin where collagen and elastin are located.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Pretty Pills

I am on a quest. An impossible quest for perfect skin. So it’s no wonder that when I was strolling through the grocery store last week and saw pills that claimed to clear up your zits, I did a double take. Nature’s Cure Two-Part Acne System. One part is your standard Benzoyl Peroxide, but part two is an internal homeopathic acne tablet. It claims to stimulate your body’s natural defenses to correct imbalances caused by diet, stress, and hormonal changes. The pills contain things like walnut, wild rosemary, and Echinacea. But can you really improve your skin from within? “There is a lot of important new research showing tremendous power of antioxidants in general, and in some specific nutrients in particular that can make an important difference in the way your skin looks and feels,” says nutritional supplement expert Mary Sullivan, RN, co-founder of Olympian Labs. So what vitamins can you take that will help your skin look its best?
Check out this list:
Vitamin B: The most important B vitamin is biotin, a nutrient that forms the basis of skin, nail, and hair cells. You can get plenty through diet alone if you include bananas, eggs, oatmeal, and rice.
Vitamin A: Necessary for the maintenance and repair of skin tissues, fruits and vegetables are full of this vitamin. Make sure you get enough or your complexion will get dry and flaky.
Vitamin C and Vitamin E: Crucial for preventing consequences of sun exposure. You can take supplements, but also focus on citrus fruits and veggies like peppers, broccoli, and leafy greens. For E, eat vegetable oils, nuts, seeds, and olives. Stay with 400 international units if you choose to take a supplement.
Here's to clearer skin!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Pretty Girlhood Hair Grows Up

I say French braid. You think…third grade? Me too. Although I haven’t rocked the French braid since elementary school, Jennifer Aniston’s Oscar look made me want to bring it back to life. Follow these steps to get your own braided headband. Great for a glam night out or a keep the hair outta your face style for a busy day.

Step One
Tilt your head to one side, and brush all the hair back away from the ear you will be starting on. The ear you are starting on should be facing the ceiling, all the rest of the hair aiming down.
Step Two
Looking in the mirror and using a comb, draw a line from the top of starting ear, up across and over to the top of the finishing ear, combing all the hair forward from the line into your face. Brush the remaining hair in back of the line into a ponytail and secure it with a rubber band.
Step Three
Face your starting ear toward the ceiling again and comb the free hair from in front of the line across your scalp, making a smooth hair path where the headband is going to go.
Step Four
Use your fingers to section of the first strands right at the base of the front of your ear and braid tightly.
Step Five
Continue to add hair from the line and the forehead side of your head as you begin your French braid down across the headband section of your head. The hardest part will be keeping the braid flat and tight without getting a crick in your neck. It's sometimes best to not look in the mirror, but do it by feel.
Step Six
When you reach your other ear, finish the braid off with a regular braid, using a rubber band at the end. This will be a long extra piece of braid if you have long hair.
Step Seven
Let your ponytail loose from the back, and fluff your hair to its regular style. You will need a bobby pin to tuck the long piece of braid behind your ear and keep it hidden. You may also want to bobby pin any puffy pieces of your braid headband. Also, if you have bangs, use your comb to pull tiny bits of bang pieces out of your headband braid to give you some forehead coverage.

Ta da! It may take some practice, but now you’ve got an all-grown-up version of your favorite girlish’ look!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Designer Duds on a Shoestring Budget Part 2

Earlier this week we showed you a few great places to get your high end threads for a pretty price. But what about your handbags, jewelry, and watches? There’s no way you’re going to rock your designer accessories and maintain anything close to a budget. Or is there….(insert suspenseful music)….
Meet “Bag Borrow or Steal” the website that allows you to rent designer accessories. And if you fall in love, you have the option to buy it (but we’re talking saving money girls, so pretend that option doesn’t exist!)
Here’s how it works.
-If you choose to borrow a handbag, jewelry, or pair of sunglasses, just click on the item you love and select “borrow.”
-Your borrowed item will be shipped to you in like-new condition.
-Choose to rent the little slice of heaven for a week, month, or as long as you’d like.
-When you’re ready to return it, print out a pre-paid return label, re-box your item, and drop it off at any UPS drop-off location.
-The price is right. Coach bags, for example, start at $15/week. So if you need a bag for a first-date, special party, or just a little pick me up, and you’ve got a budget to stick to, consider borrowing, rather than buying!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Bachelor Blues

Jason. You can say that name out loud nearly anywhere in the nation and you’ll most likely hear at least twelve women (and maybe a few unashamed men) go off on that “Bachelor jerk.” Why? Well for those of you who haven’t been following (and I commend you for doing something more productive with your life than watching very unrealistic reality TV) Jason the most recent Bachelor proposed to Melissa and then on live TV, broke off his engagement with Melissa and told Molly she was the one. Really, Jason? I understand (sort of) him changing his mind about who he wants to spend his life with, but going on national television with your fiancĂ© and dumping her? I don’t know. Maybe a little heads up, “Hey honey, I’m about to betray you live on TV.” Not to be a completely jaded Bachelor fan, but I’m not all that surprised it didn’t work out between Jason and Melissa. And who is going to be completely shocked if it doesn’t work out with Jason and Molly? Not me. Let’s review the Bachelor/Bachelorette history books:

Season 1: Alex and Amanda-Not together
Season 2: Aaron and Helene-Split
Season 3: Andrew and Jenn—He’s married. But not to Jenn.
Season 4: Bob and Estella—He’s married too! But not to Estella.
Season 5: Jesse and Jessica-Not so much.
Season 6: Byron and Mary—Together!
Season 7: Charlie and Sarah—Split up, but they’re dating again.
Season 8: Travis and Sarah—He dumped her.
Season 9:Prince Lorenzo and Jennifer—Their love ended.
Season 10: Andy and Tessa—Didn’t last.
Season 11: Brad and ???—Oh that’s right. Brad reject BOTH women at the finale.
Season 12: Matt and Shayne—Split.
Season 1: Trista and Ryan-Married with baby! (picture on left)
Season 2: Meredith and Ian: Nope.
Season 3: Jen and Joe: Over.
So based on past Bachelor experience…Jason and Molly have about a 7% chance of getting married. Good luck! The Bahcelor…Is it a cheesy, overly romanticized show on which almost none of the relationships last past the “finals rose?” Maybe. Will I watch next season when Jillian Harris becomes the Bachelorette? You betcha!