Archive | October, 2011

Lovely Lashes!

31 Oct

Eyes are the window to the soul, and lashes are the curtains, brows are the valances (sometimes I take analogies too far).  This blog is about how to get the best lashes for your windows ;).

Mascara cost $7-$20

I read a long long time ago in Seventeen Magazine that even if you’re going to be an au natural girl, you should still wear mascara.  It makes a huge difference!  My favorite mascara is Maybelline Great Lash.  The pink tube with the green top.  It doesn’t clump and is about $7.  Other than that, I have no opinion on mascara.  Any suggestions?

Strip Lashes cost $5-$20

I am not going to lie… I love strip lashes!  I have mastered the art of applying the lash.  the secret is to put the glue on the back of your hand (very small amount like the size of a pea) and dip the lash strip in it lightly.  Less glue the better.  Apply lashes to lids as close to the natural lash line as possible.  I’ve found it’s hard to get the ends to keep the glue (might just be because I have HUGE eyes) so I take a bobby pin, unfold it, and dip that in the glue and get the ends of the lashes.  Then apply mascara to blend the fake lashes with your real lashes.  The downside to fake lashes, they pull out the real ones when you take them off.  Not for everyday use!  If you’re going out for a big party, i.e. New Year’s or Halloween, check out the lashes at Sally’s Beauty Supply store.  They have a pair called “starry eyes” they look AMAZING on and are $5.  More expensive event lashes can be found at Sephora.

 
 
 
 
 
 
Lash Growing Mascara cost $50-$120

Lisa, the owner of one of my spa locations, swears by Rapid-Lash.  I have seen a difference in her lashes, and her product retails for $50, as for spending $120 for RevitaLash, I’d rather spend it on Latisse!  …I have a preference for more medical grade products though!  I think these products are good if you would like just a little natural looking extra growth.  Remember it’s personal perception!

Latisse $80-$120

Latisse is a pharmaceutical product and requires a prescription.  I have used this product and I love it.  It takes 8-12 weeks of applying the product to the lash line every night and 16 weeks to see the full effect of the product.  It’s a commitment, and the wands wind up everywhere, but I think it’s the best way to lengthen lashes with a natural look.  Will it turn the color of your eyes?  It’s unlikely.  The product was originally used to treat increased intraoccular pressure, where it was instilled directly into the eye.  To grow your lashes, it is put on the base of the lash, not into the eye.  If you put it in your eye you’re doing it wrong 🙂  **trick of the trade** turn the cap upsidedown and use one drop of Latisse and one brush–this will double the usage of your Latisse! **trick number 2** if you have areas of your eyebrows that won’t grow, you can use Latisse there as well.  I have a lot of patients who have last hair in their brows from cancer treatments, and have had great results with Latisse.

Eyelash Extensions $250-$350 plus $50-$75 for a fill

I personally was just turned back on to these.  Although I love artificial products, I like a natural look, and I was unaware until recently that you could achieve this with extensions.  It took about an hour and a half.  First she taped the bottom lashes to isolate the top ones.  I had to keep my eyes closed the whole time (because surgical glue in the eye leads to a trip to Mass Eye and Ear!).  I couldn’t talk (a very difficult task for me!) because it would loosen the tape.  During the procedure she also did lash dipping (different from lash tinting) to darken my blonder lashes.  I would recommend doing this treatment before the holidays.  You’re suppose to try to keep the lashes dry.  Let’s see if I can keep up with the maintenance!

Hydrating Ingredients in Skin Care Products

30 Oct

It’s getting cold out and like I said ‘Tis the Season for Chemical Peels!  Both of these things necessitate hydrating products for your skin.  Here’s a list of ingredients your cosmeceutical/pharmaceutical skin care products should have in them!

Alpha Lipoic Acid – a powerful antioxidant that destroys free-radicals before they can destroy cells.  Alpha Lipoic Acid also enhances the potency of Vitamin C and E.  It occurs naturally in green, leafy vegetables.

Lactic Acid – A multi-purpose ingredient used as a preservative, exfoliant, and moisturizer, and to provide acidity to a formulation.  In the body, lactic acid is found in the blood and muscle tissue as a product of the metabolism of glucose and glycogen.  It is also a component of the skin’s natural moisturizing factor.  Lactic acid is an alpha hydroxy acid occurring in sour milk and other lesser known sources such as beer, pickles , and other foods made through a process of bacterial fermentation.  Lactic acid has better water intake than glycerin.  Studies indicate an ability to increase the water-holding capacity of the corneum layer is closely related to the absorption of lactic acid; that is, the greater the amount of absorbed lactic acid the more pliable the corneum layer.  However, other research has shown that lactic acid can indeed inhibit melanin production separate from its action as an exfoliant on skin.

Superoxide Dismutase – Used in cosmetic preparations to prevent drying and aging of the skin without causing irritation.

Ubiquinone (Idebenone) – Potent antioxidant with effective anti-aging & anti-wrinkle properties, reinforces collagen & elastin production of connective tissue, potent moisturizer (liposomes penetrate into skin preventing water-loss).

Vitamin C – A well-known anti-oxidant.  Synthetic analogues such as magnesium ascorbic phosphate are among those considered more effective as they tend to be more stable.  When evaluating its ability to fight free-radical damage in light of its synergistic effect with vitamin E, vitamin C shines.  As vitamin E reacts with a free radical, it, in turn, is damaged by the free radical it is fighting.  Vitamin C comes in to repair the free radical damage to vitamin E, allowing E to continue with its free radical scavenging duties.  Past research has indicated that high concentrations of topically applied vitamin C are photo protective, and apparently the vitamin preparation used in these studies resisted soap and water, washing, or rubbing for three days.  More current research has indicated that vitamin C does add protection against UVB damage when combined with UVB sunscreens.  This would lead one to conclude that in combinations with conventional sunscreen chemicals, vitamin C may allow for longer-lasting, broader sun protection.  Again, the synergism between vitamins C and E can yield even better results, as apparently a combination of both provided very good protection from UVB damage.  However, vitamin C appears to be significantly better than E at protecting against UVA damage.  A further conclusion to draw is that the combination of vitamins C, E, and sunscreen offers greater protection than the sum of the protection offered by any of the three ingredients acting alone.  Vitamin C also acts as a collagen biosynthesis regulator.  It is known to control intercellular colloidal substances such as collagen, and when formulated into the proper vehicles, can have a skin-lightening effect.  It is said to be able to help the body to fortify against infectious conditions by strengthening the immune system.

Vitamin E – Considered the most important oil-soluble antioxidant and free radical scavengers.  Studies indicate that vitamin E performs these functions when applied topically.  It is also a photo-protectant, and it helps to protect the cellular membrane from free radical damage.  In addition, vitamin E serves a preservative function due to its ability to protect against oxidation.  This benefits not only the skin, but also the product in terms of longevity.  As a moisturizer, vitamin E is well-absorbed through the skin, demonstrating a strong affinity with small blood vessels.  It is also considered to improve the skin’s water-binding ability.  In addition, vitamin E emulsions have been found to reduce trans-epidermal water loss, thereby improving the appearance of rough, dry, and damaged skin.  This vitamin is also believed to help maintain the connective tissue.  There is also evidence that vitamin E is effective in preventing irritation due to sun exposure.  Many studies show that vitamin E topically applied prior to UV irradiation is protective against epidermal cell damage caused by inflammation.  This indicates possible anti-inflammatory properties.  Lipid per oxidation in tissues may be on cause of skin aging.  Vitamin E, however, appears to counteract decreased functioning of the sebaceous glands and reduces excessive skin pigmentation with is found to increase linearly with age.

Vitis Vinifera – Grape Seed ExtractAnti-Oxidant – Moisturizing, nourishing properties due to high levels of linoleic acid.

Cheek Augmentation with Radiesse: A Personal Experience

28 Oct

“Executive Decision:  I’m getting my cheeks done!”

85 Facebook post responses later…

I know I haven’t written any posts on Botox or Fillers yet.  I wanted to start my education with the basics, which I’m certainly not done talking about yet.  However, I insighted such a riot on my facebook page with my decision I wanted to talk about my experience while the topic was still hot!

First of all, a person’s decision to undergo a procedure, be it botox, breast augmenation, or becoming a blonde, is a personal decision (yes I posted my decision on facebook, because I want to share my experiences with people!).  It doesn’t matter what your best friend thinks, what your husband or boyfriend thinks, or what your mother thinks.  It matters what YOU think.

Did I think I had such bad volume loss I needed my cheeks done?  No, I’m under 30, and I did it as a product trial (and–I won’t lie–I did a client of mine who is a model–age 21–and it looked so good I wanted to try it).

I was so excited the night before I couldn’t sleep!  I woke up at 7:45 (which is an ungodly hour for me).

I was at the office at 10:30 getting my cheeks numbed with topical lidocaine and couldn’t wait to begin.  My colleagues and I do each other’s botox and fillers, and I would like to thank Julie K. for her work.

I sat with the girls for 30 minutes while my topical numbed my cheeks.  Julie

(that would be numbing cream on my face)

cleaned off the topical in the procedure room, and I could feel it was numb.  I have a high tolerance to pain (I think it’s my Russian blood), but for people who don’t, you can request a dental block (like when you go to the dentist).  Julie added xylocaine to the syringe of Radiesse.  This was sufficient for my pain tolerance.  I had ZERO discomfort.

Julie placed product along my zygomatic arch (cheek bone), focusing on the outter rim.  She did not put any product into my central cheek area, because I still have good volume there.  She did place a small amount in the cheek area near my nose where I had lost some volume.

Like I said, I had no pain or discomfort at all.  The numbing agent in the product traveled down the nerve making my lips feel slightly numb for about an hour.  Not like dentist-drooly numb, more like plumping lipgloss numb or that feeling from Icy-Hot (the product for muscle pain).

A few hours after I didn’t have any pain, I couldn’t feel any product, and I had no bruising.  It looks great and I’m very happy with the result!  I want to be clear that this is something I personally do in my office, and I think it’s important to be able to tell people how things feel, I think it’s part of my job.

before

Cheek Augmentation and Lip Augmentation

Make-Up Tips From a Drag Queen

26 Oct

 

 

Pictures Pending!  I just couldn’t wait to post this! 

My friend Eric is here with me today to help give some make-up tips.  Because Drag Queens always have the best make-up (AND it’s Halloween!).  So… here’s Eric.

 

 

 

Step 1: Base

Unless your covering facial hair, you don’t need MAC base.  I use it in drag, because that’s what it’s meant for.  Costume make-up.  Hide blemishes and even out your skin to start.  (Laura likes a tinted moisturizer and a mineral make-up if needed.  Because she has no facial hair).  Tinted moisturizer is a good base on your eyes.  Everywhere. And make sure you blend it in where you stop, because leaving a line is so not cute.

Step 2: Countour and brow

First make sure your brows are filled it, but you you might go back to them later.  You don’t want them to look drawn on.  So you can use a brown eyeshadow and an angle brush to give it a natural look.  Or use your hand lightly in quick strokes with a pencil.

Contour is any of your bronzers.  You want to use them darker in the areas of your cheekbones to make them pop more.  If you hate your nose and you want it to look thinner, use bronzer down the sides, but it needs to be blended.

You can also use bronzer to make your cleavage look bigger.  😉  You put your bra on and draw a martini glass shape starting from your cleavage over your breasts. And make sure you BLEND.

Step 3: Eyes

Never use one color.  In drag world we call that a garage door, and that’s hideous.  For those of you who have NO idea how to use make-up, a highlight is the lightest color you’re going to use on your eyes.  I always start with my highlight (the area under your eyebrow) and put it alllllll the way down on the lid everywhere because it makes it easier to blend everything in the end (thank you Khloe Glamoure for teaching me that).  The darker shade goes on your will go on your lid up to the crease.  Follow the crease of your eye to the highest point, and then stop following and go straight so it kinda makes a wing.  This is really hard to do with out describing and I think we’ll add pictures.  Executive Decision.

Then clean your brush and BLEND with light circular motions into the lighter color.

Step 4: A nice tinted gloss

Do not use lip liner, unless you blend the life out of it.  BLEND BLEND BLEND.  Actually, no, just don’t use it.  Use a nice tinted gloss.  Remember the goal is not to look like your from Jerseylicious.  Because that’s just vomalicious.

**In conclusion, the most important word I can teach you ladies is BLEND.

Thanks, love and kisses,

Bianca K.

Randolf Country Club every Friday Night, show at 11. 

 

‘Tis the Season for Chemical Peels!

25 Oct

When the summer is over, and you will not be out in the sun anymore (which you shouldn’t be doing ANYWAYS) it’s time to have a good chemical peel with your aesthetician.  The reason you don’t want to do this in the summer is that depending on the strength of the peel, the top layer of skin will flake off and left your epidermis unprotected from the sun.

Chemical peels come in different strengths.  You might not necessarily peel, or you might peel–a lot.  Make sure you tell your aesthetician your desired level of peeling.  I wish I had pictures of the peels I’ve had.  I’ve had a few where I didn’t flake at all, and then I’ve had a few where the skin was like peeling dried glue off your fingers.  It only lasts a few days, and personally, I can deal with the look of a bad sunburn and flaking skin.  I get to tell people why I look like a shedding snake, and I LOVE the way my skin looks afterwards.  If you think you can deal with a little peeling, I suggest doing it on a Friday, and you’ll be good for Monday!

Alpha hydroxy acid peels

Alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) are naturally occurring organic carboxylic acids such as glycolic acid, a natural constituent of sugar cane juice and lactic acid, found in sour milk and tomato juice. This is the mildest of the peel formulas and produces light peels for treatment of fine wrinkles, areas of dryness, uneven pigmentation and acne. Alpha hydroxy acids can also be mixed with a facial wash or cream in lesser concentrations as part of a daily skin-care regimen to improve the skin’s texture.

AHA peels are used to:

  • reduce fine wrinkling
  • treat areas of dryness
  • reduce uneven pigmentation
  • aid in the control of acne
  • smooth rough dry skin
  • improve the texture of sun-damaged skin

AHA peels may:

  • cause stinging
  • cause skin redness
  • cause mild skin irritation
  • cause dryness
  • take multiple treatments for desired results

Beta hydroxy acid peels

It is becoming common for the use of beta hydroxy acid (BHA)/salicylic acid peels to be used instead of the stronger Alpha Hyroxy (AHA) peels due to BHA’s ability to get deeper into the pore than AHA. Studies show that BHA peels control oil, acne as well as remove dead skin cells to a certain extent better than AHA’s due to AHA’s only working on the surface of the skin.

Physical Facial Changes That Occur As We Age

24 Oct

Women often ask me to look at their face and tell them what I see as signs of aging.  I love loaded questions!  Many women don’t know what exactly it is that makes them look older, they just know they see age on their faces in the mirror.  Almost 90% of aging is due to sun damage.  So please start wearing sunblock everyday! (It makes a great base for mineral make-up, or if you like make-up free, get a tinted moisturizer with SPF).  Coming blogs will explain what to do about these factors!

These changes are sequential and predictable!

Starting at 25…

Beginning in your mid-twenties, the rate of skin cell renewal actually slows. As this happens, your skin becomes thinner which makes it more prone to damaging environmental elements like the sun, harsh weather conditions, and pollution, which causes it to develop a dull, rough, or uneven texture. In addition, the network of collagen and elastin fibers that is so important to maintaining the skin’s structure and elasticity breaks down and slowly diminishes, resulting in fine lines, wrinkles, and loose, sagging skin. Lastly, lipids that form a barrier against water loss in the stratum corneum break down in response to changing hormone levels. The skin’s moisture barrier becomes leaky, allowing water to escape the skin, which may cause your skin to become drier with age.

When you’re younger you have a triangular shape face, and as you age, it becomes more trapezoidal.

Wrinkles

Wrinkles occur because of the damage the sun inflicts on our skin’s collagen and elastin matrix. The sun breaks down that matrix, leaving skin thinner, saggier, and less able to regain its former, tighter contour.  The skin falls into the crevice of muscle fibers which forms the wrinkle.  Muscle movement does not cause wrinkles, but it does contribute to forming them. 

Nasolabial Folds

Gravity pulls the skin and causes it to sag, creating folds in the face.  First they increase in prominence, then they become deeper.  If you look at your face in the mirror you will see one side has deeper folds than the other.  This is from the gravity that occurs as we sleep.  Because most of us are side sleepers, the deeper side is the one that is opposite the side we sleep on.  Look in the mirror.  Is this true for you?

Mouth Area

The cupid’s bow becomes less defined as the upper lip flattens and lengthens.  The lips become thinner, and the corners start to turn down, making the appearance of a permanent scowl.  This scowl continues to increase in recognizably as marionette (puppet) lines form and a pre-jowl depression becomes more prominent.  Vertical lines begin to form (called rhytids) around the mouth.

Cheek Volume

One sign of aging that women often don’t notice is the loss of volume in their cheeks.  We loose fat in our face (and I think it travels to other fun places).  This also contributes to making naso-labial folds look deeper.  Check out Cheek Augmentation with Radiesse: A Personal Experience.

Eye Area

Gravity.  Fat pads from gravity slide out from the eye area and begin to bulge the skin beneath the eye.  The skin above the eye begins to sag and cover the top lid.

Age Spots

Also known as hyper-pigmentation or photoaging, is caused by over production of melanin in the skin.  This is from sun damaging your cell’s DNA.

Skin Care Product Ingredients for Hyper-Pigmentation

22 Oct

Arbutin – L-Arbutin is a naturally occurring form of hydroquinone that inhibits melanin synthesis by inhibiting tyrosinase activity.  Arbutin has also been clinically proven to lighten existing pigment.

Dipotassium Glycyrrhizinate (Licorice)** – Natural plant lightening agent, tyrosinase inhibitor, more effective than kojic acid and 75 times more effective than ascorbic acid as a lightening agent.

Hydroquinone – A pigment-lightening agent used in bleaching creams.  The FDA allows a maximum of 2 percent concentration in a cosmetic formulation.  Although it occurs naturally, the synthetic version is the one most commonly used in cosmetics.

*Hydroquinone is a very controversial ingredient.  It may be taken off the market due to its “boomerang effect”- when you stop using it, your hyper-pigmentation comes back-with a vengeance*

Kojic Acid – A skin-lightening agent of widespread use in Japan.  Studies are finding it to be a tyrosinase inhibitor, though not as effective as licorice extract.  When combined with allantoin and other proper ingredients in sunscreen preparations, the mixture can inhibit UV-caused erythematic and accelerate wound healing.

Matsuke Singer Enzyme Mushroom Extract – Highly potent mushroom extract from Japan. Studies are showing to be the most potent skin whitening agent.

Rumex – Alpha Arbutin’s manufacturers proclaim that the active, pure substance works on removing “liver spots”, brightening skin color, and inhibiting tanning (even after UV sun exposure) and darkening of the skin BETTER than d-kojic acid and hydroquinone — the medicine dermatologists prescribe and the de facto OTC go-to for ridding of age spots.

Alpha Arbutin as the ALPHA (a-glucosidic ) inhibits the activity of tyrosinase MUCH more effectively than its beta version. The alpha form offers higher stability and efficacy, leading to a skin lightening active that acts faster and more efficiently leading to much more pronounced diminishing of liver spots (age spots), and an obvious reduction in the degree of skin tanning after UV exposure.

The most special version of Alpha Arbutin is perhaps that made by Tyrostat. Tyrostat claims its skin-lightening ingredients, in particular its version of Alpha Arbutin, is derived from plants that are native to the northern Canadian prairie region. The most significant “plant” out of these is the Rumex. Traditionally the plant is used more to stop the sting in nettles (it’s a proven folk remedy for nettle stings and rashes), or as an astringent. However, Tyrostat apparently found a new use, bringing Rumex extract’s high concentration of Alpha Arbutin to the table and promoting its capability in inhibiting the production of the enzyme tyrosinase, leading to clearer complexion and a reduction in skin pigmentation, by limiting both melanin production (tan) and skin reddening (erythema).

***This list was emailed to me from Alexis Robertson, L.M.E., of Image Skin Care, a cosmeceutical line that I use and love.  Check it out at ImageSkinCare.com

Hairdresser Terms You Should Know!

21 Oct

I needed a haircut.  Bad.  Split End City!  Fortunately for me, I have an office in a Salon/Spa in Peabody!  Sitting in a new chair is always scary.  Our hair is very important to us!

I sat down, and said, “do whatever you want.”  She then handed me an article from Women’s Home Journal, October 2011.  I love articles.

Uncertain terms you give your hairdressers:

  1. Layers:  If you’re okay with adding movement but don’t like a choppy look, tell your stylist you’d like to keep the density of your hair.  Ask your stylist where the shortest layers will start and where the longest layers will finish.
  2. Bangs:  They can be anything from a think fringe to just a few strands swept across the forehead.  Specify length, width, weight, and angles.  I was talking into baby bangs once… also referred to as slow bangs… because they take FOREVER to grow back.
  3. Auburn:  Tends to suggest brown undertones to professionals, but many people envision something reddish.  The term “chestnut” causes the pros to think reddish, and the client to think rich brown.  I think Auburn as a purple undertone and chestnut as brown, and red… I would never think of in my hair personally.
  4. Ashy:  Client thinks dull or brassy, pro think subtly whitish.  The pro often adds warm or gold tones, which the client didn’t want.  Being“bleach blonde” for years… I actually did know the difference on this one!
  5. Brassy: most think “not pretty” or “dull”, but it actually refers to a metallic look.  I think of the greenish hue of a bad die job after coming out of the pool.
  6. Trim:  A standard trim gets rid of dead ends.  If you’re good at you’re upkeep (every 6 weeks or so) this could be a centimeter.  If you go every six months… it could be an inch or two.
  7. Lightening:  Anywhere from brightening to bleaching.  If you’re blonde, discuss “golden vs. pale” and dark “warm caramel vs. neutral brown”
  8. Texture:  Has a lot of different meanings.  From a natural wave to a full-on Farrah, this is important to be clear with.
  9. Volume:   A little goes a long way… (but in my opinion a lot is better!).  If you’re looking for a little lift at the root, or all-over volume, you should specify.  Or you could wind up with a mushroom cut.  Ask your stylist to teach you how to tease.  I like to wear my hair “Texas-style,” which to me is big!  (People from Texas do not actually wear their hair like this).
  10. Whatever you think is best:  Granting creative freedom without direction… not a great idea.  Remember, beauty is a personal, cultural, and universal perception.  Stylists are often culturally edgy and trendy (which is what I LOVE about them).  If I had my way, we’d all have huge lips, because personally, I love this look.  But does everyone want to look like a duck?  No.  (Not all lip augmentations results in the duck look either!).

With any beauty professional, make sure you are clear with what YOU think is beautiful.  I love my big Texas hair and Barbie bangs.  Thank you Michelle!

Key Ingredients in Your Anti-Aging Products

20 Oct

What should you be looking for in your cosmeceutical/pharmaceutical products for anti-aging?  Here’s a list.

*Remember over the counter products (anything you don’t need a professional license to buy) cannot penetrate into the dermal layer, so even if they have these ingredients, they aren’t strong enough to work–i.e. they are a WASTE of MONEY*

Step 2: Spend wisely.

*Your skin may not require all of these ingredients.  So please use the following as an aide! Ask your aesthetician what she/he recommends!*

Step 1: See a Professional.

Ingredients to Check For

Alpha Lipoic Acid – a powerful antioxidant that destroys free-radicals before they can destroy cells.  Alpha Lipoic Acid also enhances the potency of Vitamin C and E.  It occurs naturally in green, leafy vegetables.

Black Tea Kombuchka – Anti-oxidant, Kombuchka contains a fermented extract of a mushroom found in Eastern Europe and Russia.  Kombuchka’s effect on the skin has been scientifically studied. Studies are proving that it will become recognized as one of the most powerful anti-aging ingredients.  Kombuchka, which decreases the greenish-gray tone that develops as the skin ages. Restores the skin’s healthy, rosy glow. It also smoothes and “plumps” the skin, reducing the appearance of lines and wrinkles.

Crithmum Maritimum Extract – Coastal Marine FennelAnti-Oxidant Free Radical Scavenger Increases the production of ceramides barrier function and restoration, promotes cell respiration

Emblica – Provides natural antioxidant skin protection against free radicals and cell protection against harmful damage through UV-radiation.  Is also provides Ayurvedic natural care & protection.

Green Tea Extract – A powerful anti-oxidant due to its catechin content.  It is also know to be an anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, and a stimulant.  In clinical studies, green tea has demonstrated an ability to prevent or to at least postpone the onset of such illnesses as cancer and heart disease.  This is attributed to the catechin component’s ability to penetrate into a cell, thereby protecting the cell from free radicals and associated damage.  Because of its anti-oxidant properties, green tea is usually incorporated into anti-aging formulations.  When applied topically, it can also reduce skin swelling.  In addition, it can be found in sunscreens based on its ability to extend the products SPF.

Hyaluronic Acid – Holds 1000-times its weight in water, Hyaluronic Acid is a natural key component of the dermis. It effectively binds water to cells and is responsible for the elasticity and resiliency of the skin.  (It is also a dermal filler that I have in my lips!–learn this ingredient well– there will be more posts on it!)

Palmitoyl Olgopepide- MatrixylPalmitoyl Oligopeptides (also known as palmitoyl pentapeptide Matrixyl , amino-peptide (five amino acids linked together and attached to a fatty acid) Clinical research confirms that palmitolyl oligopeptides, when added to a culture of fibroblasts (key skin cells), stimulates collagen, elastin an glucosaminoglycans production.

Retinol – (SUPER IMPORTANT INGREDIENT!!!) A retinoid considered a skin revitalizer, retinol is reported to enhance skin radiance and treat conditions associated with chronological aging such as wrinkles and fine lines, as well as dermatological disorders including, acne, follicular and lesion papules, actinic keratosis, oily skin, and rosacea.  It is also considered necessary for normal epidermal cell growth and differentiation, for regulating collagen synthesis, and for maintaining a more youthful skin condition.  A weaker retinoid than retinoic acid, retinol converts into retinoic acid once in the skin.  When compared to retinoic acid, retinol has an increased penetration potential and is less irritating, making it an effective anti-aging ingredient.  The anti-aging benefits of topically treating skin with retinal are believed to be based on its penetration ability, which allows it to reach the sites in the skin requiring treatment.

**Personally, I use a Retinol product twice a week.  Retinol’s can be drying and cause redness, so go slow when adding this product to your skin regiment.  If you are over 30, and not on a retinol product, please see an aesthetician ASAP!

Ubiquinone (Idebenone) – Potent antioxidant with effective anti-aging & anti-wrinkle properties, reinforces collagen & elastin production of connective tissue, potent moisturizer (liposomes penetrate into skin preventing water-loss).

Vitamin A – Can act as a keratinization regulator, helping to improve the skin’s texture, firmness and smoothness.  Vitamin A esters, once in the skin, convert to retinoic acid and provide anti-aging benefits.  Vitamin A is believed to be essential for the generation and function of skin cells.  Continued vitamin A deficiency shows a degeneration of dermal tissue, and the skin becomes thick and dry.  Surface application of vitamin A helps prevent skin dryness and flakiness, keeping skin healthy, clear, and infection resistant.  Its skin regeneration properties appear to be enhanced when combined with vitamin E.  Vitamin A is a major constituent of such oils as cod liver, and shark, and many fish and vegetable oils.

These definitions were given to me by an amazing aesthetician, Alexis Robertson, LME, of Image SkinCare.  I’ve been using this product line for 2 years and I love it!

If anyone wants to add to this list of ingredients, please add comments!

I will be posting ingredient lists for acne, hydration, and skin discoloration in future blogs!

The Halo Effect

19 Oct

The idea in psychology/sociology that attractive people are seen as angelic and are therefore stereotyped with having angelic qualities and treated with positive enforcement of these “qualities.”

Studies have shown that attractive people achieve more in life, are generally happier, and have more self-confidence.

Quick Personal Story

About 2 years ago, I was dating this really good looking, smart guy and I really liked him.  And I let him treat me… not so nice.  On July 4th, after not returning multiple phone calls, I was out with my friends downtown, when we ran into each other.  Essentially he broke up with me on a pole outside of Dillon’s (a bar).  With glitter on his face.  Probably from making out with some girl.  His response:  “I was going to break up with you on Monday.”  Devastation.

Fast Forward 9 months.    I run into this boy again.  This time I have just had my lips done.  He kindly bought me drinks all night, and at the end of the night I said thank you, and good bye.

Did he feel bad?  Was it because I was hot?  Who knows, and who cares.  The fact of the matter was, I felt hot.  And confident.  AND best of all, I felt retribution for the way I was treated by this boy less than a year prior.

The Attractiveness Co-Effecient

Did I treat him better because he was good looking?  Probably.  Did he treat me better when I was better looking?  Definitely.  Was there some self-fulfilling prophecy factor involved?  Probably.  But like I said, I feel justified and that’s what counts.  We’re on a semi-friendship level to this day.

Beauty is not always advantageous though.  I have many experience where I’ve been perceived as mean, stupid, materialistic (ok this one is kind of true), and vain.  I have had people question my expertise and my skills in both medicine and business.  It is a difficult experience for me, as I have always excelled academically and am constantly reading and researching topics that inspire me.  I can only take these experience and use them to make me better as a person, and in my field of work.

The Hairdresser Effect

If the Halo Effect is the idea that good looking people are treated differently day to day, I would like to introduce my theory of the Hairdresser Effect.  When you look good, you feel good, and you reflect this confidence to others.  Every woman’s favorite place is the beauty salon.  FACT.  Why?  Because when you leave, you are at the height of feeling attractrive.  My hairdresser is the first person I go to when I’m sad (I would like to credit Lauren Cence, of Sylvestre Franc–thank you for making me the best blonde I can be! … and for all the free therapy sessions).  I aspire to have this effect on people, to bring physical beauty to aide a person to have the confidence to be themselves.  And be HAPPY with who they are.

Bottom Line

The bottom line here, beauty matters.  It effects how we feel about ourselves and how other treat us.  Whether it is self-fulfilling, whether it’s this Halo Effect, whether it’s right or wrong.  It doesn’t matter.  What matters is how YOU feel about yourself.  Striving for physical attractiveness is not a vain endeavor, but an expression of confidence and reflection of inner beauty.  Being attractive will lead you into a happier more successful life.

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