Thursday, January 28, 2016

The Lady in Red - How to Rock Red Lips

1. Match your skin tone.  According to Surratt, true red work best on a pale face, while olive skin calls for brown-reds or mahogany shades.  Also if your teeth are yellow, a red lipstick with blue undertones will make them look whiter.

2. Test on your lips. Most women try out lipstick on their hands, but that's often a different shade than your face. Head to a makeup counter or Sephora to test directly on your lips, scraping a bit of color off with a Q-tip.

3. Trust your instincts. If you're not sure where to start when choosing a red, trust the shades you are first attracted to. Surratt believes we are often drawn to the colors that look best on us. If that fails, he recommends Kevyn Aucoin's Sheer Red as a shade almost anyone can wear.

4. Keep other makeup subtle. While smoky eyes and crimson lips look great for a fancy, nighttime occasion, everyday red lips should be accompanied by a subtle, natual-looking face. Surratt advises this subtle treatment for eyes: Apply mascara, curl lashes and keep brows well-shaped.

5. Give yourself time to get used to it. If red lipstick is a huge departure from your normal look, make an effort to glance at yourself in the mirror as often as you can on the first day of your new look. This will help your eyes adjust to seeing yourself that way. If that fails…

6. Ease into it. Too timid to go for all-out red? Try a more subtle gloss or stain. Surratt suggests Vincent Longo's Liquid Kiss or Tarte's Rhett & Scarlett.

7. Decide on your shine level. Glossy or matte? A moister lip looks more modern (Surratt like Revlon's Moisturous Red Monsoon), but a matte formula stays on your lips longer and won't feather. Experiment to find the right one for you.

8. Use a neutral liner. Although using a lip liner in a different shade than your lipstick sounds counterintuitive, Surratt says it gives you the freedom to fill out thin lips. Choose a shade that matches your natural lip color.

9. Apply it correctly. Surratt advises this method: Line and fill in lips with liner. Apply lipstick from the tube or using a lip brush (which eases color into tiny lip lines) over the liner. Blot once with a tissue, and lightly dust with face powder. Apply one more coat of lipstick, and you're set.

10. Go for more red. Although it may be too bold a look for some, Surratt loves the "eternally chic" look of red lips matched with red nails.

Originally published on

Saturday, January 23, 2016

The Power of a SMILE :-)

This is a fun post about smiling. Why fun? Well let’s face it, when we’re smiling we are normally having a pretty good time!

Smiling is number 2 on the list of the 43 Habits of Absolutely Happy People. If you can turn smiling into a habit, then you can turn happiness into a habit… let’s explore!

1) You’re More Attractive!
Do you want to be more attractive? Simple. Smile! Research has proven that we find others more attractive when they are wearing a smile. This one is a no-brainer, but for the sake of helping it land in your mind, think about someone who you know and think of first when they are down, sad, angry, frustrated, whatever it may be. How attractive are they? Now picture them simply with a smile on their face. What does this do to their attractiveness? If you took the time to do this exercise, I’m sure you would have easily found the smiling version much more attractive, and maybe this even made you feel a happy tingle inside yourself! This leads to my next point.

2) You Can CHANGE THE WORLD! A Smile is Contagious!
Have you ever been in a sour mood and then someone has come along with a huge smile, some laughter or in a really good mood? Perhaps a baby that just looked up at you and smiled? How did this make you feel? When the person you are talking to or the people that surround you are smiling, you won’t be able to help but smile!

A smile has special powers. You can calm fear, insecurity, hurt and anxiety not only in yourself, but in those that are experiencing those feelings. The next time someone is feeling sad, scared, nervous, whatever it may be, smile with them and see how this makes them feel!

Even 2Pac, the rap legend that passed away realised the benefits of smiling, in his lyrics to ‘Power of a Smile’ he raps:
The power of a gun can kill, and the power of fire can burn
The power of wind can chill, and the power of mind can learn
The power of anger, can raise inside until it tears you apart
But the power of a smile, especially yours, can heal a frozen heart

A smile is a contagious thing. Give to the world and the world will give back to you. Smile at the world and the world will smile back at you. You will brighten the days of those around and make a difference in their lives… simply by smiling!

3) Grow Old Sexily!
Wrinkles, wrinkles, wrinkles! Something that we all don’t want to have, however it is something that comes to us all leaving permanent marks of our emotional feelings throughout life. Smiling throughout life will NOT mean you won’t get wrinkles… I wish it did! It WILL however mean that you will have permanent marks of happiness and when you speak with those later in life, you will automatically be smiling!

You also use fewer muscles to smile than you do for frowning. Hopefully you’re smiling now as you read this, but if not, smile now! … Now that you have tried smiling, try and frown. Which one do you think is easier? I would definitely say smiling is the easier of the two, and therefore stretching your muscles and skin less throughout life to grow old sexily!

4) Simply Feel Good!
When you’re smiling, no doubt you’re having a much better time than when you’re not! Smiling simply makes you feel better!

Research has shown that smiling releases serotonin – a neurotransmitter that produces feelings of happiness and wellbeing. It’s like a circle of happiness. Smile and you feel happy, you feel happy and you smile! Even when you’re not feeling great, try smiling, genuinely, and see how you feel!

5) Build Better, Faster Relationships!
Smiling is such a key ingredient for establishing healthy and genuine friendships. When someone is smiling at you it indicates that they like you. When someone likes you what do you think of them? Yep, normally you’re thinking “wow, I like this person!” Smiling also offers encouragement to the person that you are talking to. Think about it, if someone is smiling at you while you are talking to them, you feel as though they are totally into what you are saying, encouraging you to keep going!

Smiling is crucial when it comes to first impressions. Smiling when you first meet someone will indicate to the other person that you are genuinely happy to see them and that you are a positive person. These impressions will be lasting on the other person so definitely not one to miss!

6) Enhance your Business!
Business deals can be made simply through smiling. One of the first things that sales people quickly learn is to smile. Who would you rather buy something from? The sales rep that looks bored, down, angry, frustrated or whatever it may be, or from the sales rep that is simply smiling and happy to see you? The messages that they convey in conversation will link back to how they are feeling. A smiling person would be much more enthusiastic for the product and instill positive feelings in the buyer.

Even telesales have got a hold on this. Now sales reps that are on the other side of the phone are encouraged to smile when they talk as the smile is conveyed in how the person is talking!

Action Plan
1) Smile!
It can’t be that hard, can it?
2) Visualize your happiest moments
A number of people will say that they find it hard to smile due to circumstances in their life. Research has shown that our thoughts and feelings influence our behaviours. As this is the case, I encourage you to close your eyes and think of the moments that have made you laugh and smile. How does this make you feel? These visualization exercises are great for helping you smile.
3) Just do it!
Further research has now flipped the above completely on its head and suggested that our behaviours can actually influence our thoughts and feelings! As this is the case, I encourage you to JUST DO IT! Simply forcing a smile will give you the benefits of the above. Stand up straight, work on your posture, smile to the world and ‘fake it till you make it’! It WILL work!

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Eat Your Way To Healthy Hair

​If your hair has been in a bad condition, restoring your locks may be as easy as a trip to the grocery store. Incorporating new foods into your diet can have a dramatic effect on the look and feel of your hair. If you start treating your body from within, you will notice more shine and elasticity in your hair, skin and nails. So lets take a look at what you need to eat to grow healthier hair.

Dry hair can be due in part to a lack of vitamin A. It is essential to the production of the genes that control and process called Keratinization. It is a part of the cycle of how hair grows. To correct it, load up on foods rich in essential fatty acids and healthy fats. Foods that are high in Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids will provide proper hydration to the hair.

Foods to Eat: flaxseed, walnuts, avocados, eggs, lentils, barley, tuna, salmon and trout.

Brittle hair is more prone to breakage and split ends than healthy hair. To correct it, load up on selenium, sulphur, fatty acids, vitamin A. A deficiency can lead to dry, dull, lifeless hair, and dry skin, which can flake off into dandruff. To repair health of your hair you will need to include vitamin E and essential oils in your diet in order to oxygenate the hair.

Foods to Eat: nuts, grains, green and leafy vegetables like kale, turnip greens, collard greens, spinach and red cabbage.

If your hair is dull, it is because the cuticle is wide open and hair is unable to properly reflect light. When the hair is healthy the cuticle is closed the light bounces off the hair, making it super shiny. Exception to the rule includes anyone born with kinky or very curly- coarse hair. This type of hair naturally has rough open cuticle and hair does not reflect light until you blow dry it straight. For everyone else, if you are not getting enough protein in your diet, the cuticle will open and lift. To repair this, stock up on protein-rich foods, which allow the cuticle to lie flat.

Foods to Eat: meats like poultry and salmon, wheat-grass, pumpkin seeds, almonds, and algae

Thursday, January 14, 2016

The Benefits of Drinking Water for Your Skin

Drinking an adequate amount of water daily is important for overall good health because water aids in digestion, circulation, absorption and even excretion.
But what about drinking large amounts of water for proper skin health? Claims have been made that drinking water gives you a radiant, healthy, younger- looking complexion, while others say it has no effect on skin's appearance whatsoever.
Which is true?
The fact is that skin is an organ, and just like any other part of the body. your skin is made up of cells. And skin cells, like any other cell in the body, are made up of water. Without water, the organs will certainly not function properly or at their best.
If your skin is not getting the sufficient amount of water, the lack of hydration will present itself by turning your skin dry, tight and flaky. Dry skin has less resilience and is more prone to wrinkling.
As water is lost in large quantities every day, you need to replace it somehow. The unfortunate truth about drinking water and skin is that water will reach all the other organs before it reaches the skin. So, it's important to apply water to our skin and keep it there - this will not only show a visible difference in hydration, but it can prevent wrinkles, as well.
So what is the best way to add water to the skin?
Apply a hydrating moisturizer within 2 minutes of leaving the bath or shower. The skin is still porous and is vulnerable to products that are applied following the bath or shower, allowing better absorption.
Apply a product containing hyaluronic acid prior to your moisturizer. Hyaluronic acid holds 1,000 times its own weight in water, thus attracting water to the skin and holding it there.

​Drink more water. Drinking at least 8 glasses a day will help rid the body and skin of toxins. Everyone will not agree that water consumption will improve skin… but it certainly can't hurt. Many people often report that by increasing their water intake, their skin has a more radiant glow. Those who suffer from acne have reported the same results. Nothing will happen overnight, but even a good couple of weeks of increasing water intake should be enough for you to see how hydration affects your own skin.  

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Pearl Power in Skin Care

Pearls have long been valued as a decorative embellishment, but they have also been prized for their ability to condition and perfect the skin. Nutrient-rich powder from ground pearls was used for a facial treatment in Egypt, China and Japan.

SCIENCE- Pearls act as a potent antioxidant, boosting the body's own enzymes and reducing peroxidation. Pearl also contains polysaccharides, 17 amino acids, minerals and proteins, including conchioline, which helps replenish and rebuild the skin’s natural collagen.

HISTORY - Wisdom regarding pearls is far ahead of its time. It describes crushing the pearl into powder to be taken with tea, or mixed with water for a facial treatment. The Ama, female free divers, would dive up to 30 meters to collect the precious gem.

PROVENANCE - Natural pearls are now such a rarity that x-ray examination is required to positively verify those that are not man-made.

DID YOU KNOW? The name “pearl” stems from the Latin perna, meaning leg, after the leg-shaped bivalve from which it originates.
In studies conducted at the Institute of Endocrinology at Zhejing Medical University in China, powdered sea pearl, mother-of-pearl, and freshwater pearl demonstrated systemic anti-aging and tonic actions. Other clinical studies in Japan and France have shown pearl powder to increase bone density and even aid in bone formation.

Although natural pearls were traditionally used in making pearl powder, the lack of supply and the high cost of natural pearls resulted in the need for an alternative. Cultured pearls are not considered to be of the same medicinal quality as natural pearls, so Chinese technicians began to hydrolyze pearls - that is, to break their protein molecules down into their component parts. Users say the resulting amino acids are easier for cells to absorb and therefore more effective.

Modern skin care companies - many of which specialize in herbal remedies - combine hydrolyzed pearl powder with herbal ingredients like green tea, gingko, and other extracts, as well as vitamins A, C, and E. This combination is used in creams and brightening lotions intended to rejuvenate dull, dry skin; reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles; smooth and firm skin; regulate discoloration and scarring; and even reduce blemishes.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Exfoliate Like A Pro

Exfoliation removes dead skin cells, leaving your skin radiant and smooth. Whether it's bikini season or you just want soft, clean skin, exfoliating your skin from head to toe will get you glowing. Many women exfoliate their faces but forget about other body parts. 

How to exfoliate

Gather Exfoliation Products/Supplies:

Exfoliating cleanser  

Body Scrub
Loofah, body brush or exfoliating gloves

Pumice stone

Body lotion


1. Before stepping into the shower, brush your dry skin with your loofah, body brush or exfoliating gloves. This will help remove the loose skin and prepare your skin for the exfoliating process. Begin with the soles of your feet, working your way up your body.

2. Get into the shower and wet your body from head to toe. Don't exfoliate your skin if you are sunburned or have any open cuts or wounds.

3. Use a pumice stone on your feet to eliminate rough spots and calluses. If your feet are extremely rough, soak them in a basin of warm water mixed with a cup of milk for 30 minutes before getting into the shower.

4. Apply your exfoliating cleanser to your loofah or gloves. Begin scrubbing your body in a circular motion starting with the bottoms of your feet and working your way up. When you reach the bikini area, don't scrub too hard because the skin is very sensitive.

5. Use a body brush to exfoliate your back and other hard-to-reach places.

6. Be gentle on your face, particularly around your eyes and mouth. Use an exfoliating product especially formulated for the face, which is gentler than products designed to be used on the body.

7. Don't forget about your hands. You want them to look and feel soft and smooth too!

8. Rinse your body with lukewarm water, and follow with the coldest water you can stand. Apply a shower gel to soften your skin, if you'd like.

9. After stepping out of the shower, apply a moisturizing body lotion all over. Body lotions and facial moisturizers containing alpha or beta hydroxy acids are ideal choices because these acids continue to remove dead skin cells.

10. Use body moisturizer once a day. Exfoliation is drying to the skin, so you must keep your skin hydrated.

Friday, January 1, 2016

Happy New Year! Happy New You!!

1. Keep a Journal: Make a pledge to write down one thing each day that made you happy, that you enjoyed, or even a good deed that you noticed that day. Remembering the positive in your every day can motivate you to keep that positive attitude when things get tough.
2. Go "Naked": Post more "natural" pictures of yourself on your social media. This can mean going makeup free, not worrying about your outfit, or even just leaving the picture unfiltered before you post, and having the confidence to show off your beauty for the world to see!
3. Everything in Moderation: Dieting in the New Year? Instead of denying yourself the things that you love, try limiting your vices and treating yourself every once in a while. Only eat ice cream once a month, have Starbucks only once a week, or limit yourself to only having take out on special occasions. In the end, you're not only going to save your diet, but your wallet is going to thrive as well.
4. You Are Beautiful: Take the time to look at yourself in the mirror once a day, and tell yourself that you are beautiful. This may seem like a small feat, but remembering to love yourself allows you to have the confidence to love those around you with even more strength.
5. Volunteer in the New Year: Promise to volunteer at least once a month, if not more! Giving back isn't just for the Holidays!
6. Put Yourself Out There: At the next social event you attend, introduce yourself to someone you’ve never talked to before. You might just begin a wonderful friendship, and learn that YOU are worth getting to know!
7. New Year, New Closet: Spring Cleaning your resolution? Try to eliminate outfits by finding your favorites, and donating (or passing on to your fashion-forward roommate) the outfits you’re "just not that into” anymore
8. Keep it Positive: Make an effort to minimize and then completely erase any negative body-talk amongst you and your friends. We’ve all heard it; “She really looks awful,” “I hate my arms,” “Everyone wishes they were that skinny,” and the everyday snarking that tear apart your self-esteem and that of those around you.
9. Give 'Em A Grin: Smile at a stranger once a day. You could brighten someone's day with your bright grin and spread the love.
10. Share Your Strength: Be a mentor or a tutor to someone. You have strengths that need to be shared with the world, and mentoring or tutoring someone else is a great way to do that.
11. Treat Yo' Self: If budgeting is in your New Year goals, start a "treat fund" to reward yourself once a month to new shoes, saving up for that new car, or even a nice gourmet dinner for one.
12. Kick Some... : This year, try to find a form of exercise that you really enjoy and become a boss at it. Whether it's yoga, taking a self-defense class, spinning, or dance, master your activity, and find your exercise bliss!
13. Your Hit List: Every day, write down something you love about yourself. It might be a physical attribute, a skill, a goal you've reached, or something amazing you did in the office that day, but take the time to celebrate your strengths.
14. Express that Gratitude: Show everyone from a stranger to the people you love how much they mean through a heartfelt note, a call, a text, a simple thank you, or even holding a door for them.
15. Shy No More: Shy about staying your opinions? Be brave, and have a civilized conversation/debate about politics with someone who disagrees with you. This will help you articulate your opinion and inform you about what the other side thinks.
16. Take a Personal Day: Schedule a spa day for yourself, and go get pampered! It's healthy to have some alone time to re-invigorate and just celebrate yourself (with the help of an expert masseuse or a pedicure, of course).
17. Forgive and Forget: Reconnect with someone you haven’t spoken to in a while, or forgive a grudge that you've been holding over the past year. You're not only going to clear your conscience, you'll pave the way for healthy relationships in the New Year.
18. Surprise Your Taste Buds: Take a chance and try a food that you’ve never dared to try before, or try something you thought you hated before! You change and so do your taste buds, so be adventurous with your food, and it may inspire you to be adventurous in your everyday life!
19. Text them First!: Put your fears aside and make the first move! Make a goal to text the cutie you’ve been crushing on for a while, and show them your confidence is as beautiful as your personality.
20. Get Some Shut- Eye: Make sleep your priority in the New Year. Sleep will make you more energized, positive, and ready for the day ahead, and ready to take on the New Year with no fear!

And last but not least: When all else fails in your New Year quest, remember to stay positive, because you can make 2016 your best year yet!