NuFace For a New Face

giphyAging can be super scary, and unfortunately, a lot of people go to the wrong places to try and reverse the signs of their time on earth. Here I review an alternative to needles and scalpels, the NuFace microcurrent device.

If you aren’t familiar, microcurrent devices are like a boot camp for your face muscles, unlike Botox which literally freezes them in place. It sends waves of current through your skin similar to the current already present in our body to wake up collagen and elastin production. The treatment doesn’t hurt at all and does not leave your face red or burning and it’s something you can do for five minutes a day or more. The catch is, you have to keep up with it, they recommend five times a week for the first 60 days and then you can start ramping down, but honestly, with the results I’ve had, I will use it each and every single day for the rest of my life.

giphy2Every morning after washing my face with a non-oil based exfoliator (oil will block the microcurrent!), I apply my eye cream and the NuFace Booster Copper Complex. Then I use my NuFace for five minutes and follow up with the rest of my routine. The NuFace has honestly shocked me with how well it works, I am only 31 years old but I have started to get a few lines on my forehead and smile lines that were bothering me. I’ve been using the NuFace for over a month now and I know that with continued use I can push the hands of time, the lines that have been taunting me are almost completely smoothed out. I’ve also noticed that my cheekbones have been more defined and my skin tone is glowing!

The NuFace also helps with product absorption, so using your favorite serums before a session will amplify them that much more. One caveat is that you need to use a conductive gel while using the NuFace to help the device glide on your skin and to allow the microcurrent to reach your skin. The gel primer that comes with the device has to be rinsed off which doesn’t work if you want to layer your serums underneath. They do have a hydrating leave-on gel primer but it burned a little on my face. I started using an aloe vera gel with vitamin C which does not need to be rinsed off and allows me to layer my serum underneath.

giphy3Adding this simple step to your day can really reverse many signs of aging and make your skin glow. I tried the device on my mother when she was in town and it did wonders for her mature skin in just three days. It does take commitment and a well-rounded beauty routine to get the best results along with continued use. The results were enough to convince me to use it daily so that I don’t have to meet men on my back like Blanche here.

Have you tried a microcurrent device facial? Do you think it’s worth the time, money and effort?

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Winter vs Skin: How to Combat Dry Air

kfalpezWhether you are heating your home with central air or radiators, dry winter skin only gets worse once that heat kicks in. If you are lucky to live in a nice new home with a built-in humidifier then you may not know what I’m talking about, but living in an NYC apartment means I have noisy radiators. There is the bowl of water trick to disperse some humidity in the air with the heat, but mine are all covered up. I had to invest in a good humidifier to make my skin, sinuses and plants happy this winter.

IMB_kL23aq.gifI had a small essential oil diffuser which doubled as a humidifier, but once I got a larger bedroom it wasn’t cutting it anymore. I have since moved the small one to work which my co-workers are very thankful for. I did a lot of research and fell on this warm/cool mist humidifier by VAVA, not only does it look cool but it had all the features I wanted in a humidifier. It has a water filter but if you are concerned about the quality of your water the warm mist feature will take care of most of the impurities for you.

It also has a sleep mode to disable the screen light and sounds and a remote for all the controls. I have it running pretty much 24/7 and I have to refill it once a day. My plants seem to be suffering a little bit less and my lips aren’t as parched every morning. You’ll know it’s overkill if your rugs and carpets are damp or if your windows seem to be fogging up. If your bed is in a large living space, like say a studio, try to keep the humidifier close to your bed and on a higher surface, at least two feet from the ground.

If your face and sinuses seem to be suffering the most, you can also invest in a face steamer for a direct hit. I have this same facial steamer in pink which comes with a sinus attachment as well if you don’t want to smudge your eye make up. It boils water in the metal pan below and gives your face a nice steam facial, you can also add a drop of your favorite essential oil to make it an aromatherapy steam! Eucalyptus would be great for the sinuses while Lavender or Geranium would be lovely for the skin. I like to follow it up with a clay mask since the pores are open. Start with a clean face and use a toner after rinsing the mask to close the pores back up.

What do you do to combat dry air in your home? Any humidifiers or tools that changed your life?

Header Photo by Breather on Unsplash

The Order of Things

giphy5The Koreans have a 10-step beauty regimen that has become more of a lifestyle. Their obsession with perfect skin and the latest products has made the K-Beauty scene very popular, but how early are you willing to wake up to accommodate a sheet mask every morning? Below is a more realistic plan that can maximize the best products that are available to give you your best skin day every day.

Morning

1. Exfoliate

Exfoliate with a scrub to prep your skin for makeup, it is super important to exfoliate in some form every day. Just ask Beyonce’s dermatologist, I’ve been meaning to read his book!

2. Tone

Tone your face with a cotton round and alcohol-free witch hazel. This step makes it feel like my face is really truly clean.

3. Face Mist

Spray with DIY glycerin face mist, let dry. In the Korean 10-step routine, it is also imperative to never let your face dry, the mist is a good way to prevent that.

4. Eye Cream

Apply your favorite eye cream, I sing the gospel of Juice Beauty Smoothing Eye Concentrate, I also put whatever is leftover on my fingers on my laugh lines and forehead lines. They have honestly gotten smoother since I started using this eye serum.

5. Serum

Depending on your skin concerns, find a serum that works for you. I need one for acne, discoloration, hyperpigmentation and scarring like this one by Evologie Intensive Blemish Serum. I’ve been trying a lot of serums out lately from Birchbox and Petit Vour, I am a big advocate of trying as many samples as you can for a fair period of time in order to find what really works for you. There is something for every skin type!

6. Chemical Sunscreen

This only goes before your facial oil if you use a chemical sunscreen. It needs to be able to soak into your skin to be fully effective.

7. Face Oil

Oils seal in everything you layered on to your face and is why this is the last step (unless you use a mineral sunscreen). For day I like to use a face oil that has a natural SPF in it because, why not? Carrot Seed Oil and Red Raspberry Seed Oils both have naturally high SPF factors. This is also a good time to get in a little facial massage while applying and distributing your face oil!

8. Mineral Sunscreen

If you use a mineral sunscreen with zinc oxide for example, this needs to go on last. I would let the face oil absorb for a few minutes before applying. Mineral sunscreens work by physically blocking out the suns rays so it needs to sit on top! I have probably mentioned before, but the Josie Maran Argan Daily Moisturizer SPF 47 with Sunboost ATB is by far my favorite.

Night

1. Double Wash

The double wash is very important if you have makeup and/or sunscreen on. This shouldn’t be an exfoliant since they can push the grime and makeup from the day further into your pores. Take a nice sulfate-free face wash and do one thorough wash, rinse, then wash again! If you have acne concerns find one with salicylic acid, using the acid in a wash is better than in a cream since that can be very drying. This way the salicylic acid has a chance to get into your pores for a brief moment. The Neutrogena Naturals Purifying Facial Cleanser With Salicylic Acid is so gentle and removes makeup while clearing out pores.

2. Remove Eye Makeup

I know most will say to try and remove makeup before washing, but I like to get it wet so that it comes off more easily instead of tugging at my skin and delicate eye area with a face wipe. Once you wash and pat dry, then you can go in with a wipe and remove your eye make up thoroughly. I just focus on the eye makeup with the wipes and make sure the skin is clean in the next step.

3. Toner

Just like in the am, tone your face with a cotton round and alcohol-free witch hazel to make sure that your pores are not going to be bogged down by any dirt overnight under your hydrating serums and creams.

4. Face Mist

giphy15Spray with a face mist, I like to make my own DIY glycerin face mist with lavender and tea tree oil. After cleansing and toning it’s a nice step to start layering the humectants and get the skin hydrated. Let dry.

5. Eye Cream

I use the Juice Beauty Smoothing Eye Concentrate day and night. I like to apply it first before any serums since the eye area is so delicate and shouldn’t really have harsh retinols or serums applied.

6. Serum or Retinol

I alternate between my serum and retinol every other day since the retinol can make my skin pretty dry, especially in the dryer winter months.

7. Moisturizer

Find a nice hydrating moisturizer to work it’s magic overnight. I have a ton of samples I’m always trying to get through, but one of my favs is the Josie Maran Whipped Argan Oil Face Butter.

8. Face Oil

In the evening I opt for a nice thick oil like tamanu or squalane and do an extended face massage that extends down to my neck and chest. This Aura Cacia Organic Tamanu Face Oil Serum with lavender and tea tree oils is so nice to apply before bed. Another wonderfully luxurious option is the Biossance Squalane + Vitamin C Rose Oil.

Shower

I have been plagued by little bumps and pimples on my chest and back and for the longest time and I could not understand why. No amount of tea tree or salicylic acid would help. Turns out the order of things in the shower matters just as much as your routine once you get out.

giphy2If you are like me, you do most of your business in the shower while your conditioner is settling in on your head. This means you are rinsing your head last, and all that comes down from your head then settles on your back, shoulders and face. Conditioners have silicones and panthenol which can clog the pores on your skin. Get ready to have your mind blown.

Wash your face and body last.

Ever since I started doing this the back and chest acne has considerably gotten better. My routine now looks something like this (mind you I shower at night unless it’s after a ClassPass class on the weekend):

1. Wash Face

giphyWash face, shoulders and chest with salicylic acid face wash, I like this one by Neutrogena (the pump is convenient in the shower!). Remember we are double washing since I shower in the evening, second wash comes last. If It’s the weekend I’ll use a face scrub instead like St. Ives Coconut & Coffee Scrub, it’s pretty coarse so it is best used ~ once a week! It does smell like you mashed a slice of tiramisu on your face.

2. Shampoo

Any sulfate-free shampoo for your hair type works! If you are a blonde invest in a good purple or blue shampoo to use every other wash to keep those blonde tones bright.

3. Conditioner

One of my favorite conditioners is S-Factor Smoothing Conditioner, it smells like a green jolly rancher and makes your hair feel amazing.

giphy6Now normally I would have washed my body, washed my face again and fit in any other things like shaving or pumicing my feet, but now I needed to find something else to bide the time while my conditioner did its magic.

4. Body Scrub

I made a glorious DIY Coffee Coconut Body Scrub that I like to use on my thighs and butt, but any body scrub is a good time waster!

5. Miscellaneous

Pumice your feet! I literally do this every day in the shower and my feet look like a newborn’s. It may seem excessive but again it’s just another way to pass the time while your conditioner sits. This is a good time to shave as well (optional, especially in the winter).

7. Rinse Conditioner

Now we can rinse the conditioner and clip up your hair to move on.

8. The Final Wash

Wash your face again and then move on to your body, you want to work top down here to make sure you rinse all residue. Dr. Bronner’s Tea Tree Liquid Castille Soap is my jam, it will make your home smell like a spa and since tea tree is naturally antibacterial it will help with body acne!

9. The Final Rinse

Take hair down and do a full body cold rinse, this is great for the hair and seals your pores.

These all should be pretty self-explanatory but when you really break it down and pay attention it all makes so much more sense. Why spend so much money on all these products if you aren’t going to use them correctly? Any order life-hacks you have to offer? Let me know in the comments!

Header Photo by STIL on Unsplash

No Needle Lip Plumping

giphy24The key to working what you already got is hydration. Shocking right? The key to that youthful glow will always be hydration and preventing dehydration of your skin and lips. Drink plenty of water, stay out of the sun, don’t consume too much salt or alcohol. But there are also topical ways to keep lips plump and youthful.

Fresh Sugar Lip Line

IMB_7sbdmf.GIFI am obsessed with the lemon tart scent of Fresh’s Sugar lip line, they have an array of products that are absolutely worth the money with the way they make your lips look and feel. My all-time favorite is the Lip Treatment with SPF 15 in the color Nude. It has the perfect nude color to get you through the day. The Fresh Sugar Lip Serum Advanced Therapy is meant to be layered under a balm, it feels a little dry on its own. I’ve been using it after I brush my teeth morning and night, then follow it up with the Fresh Sugar Advanced Therapy Lip Treatment in the morning and the Fresh Sugar Lip Polish at night. The serum has really made a difference in how smooth my lips are. If balms aren’t your jam then they also have the Fresh Sugar Cream Lip Treatment that comes in a tube. To me, it has the same smell and consistency as the balms. If you like dipping your finger into a pot, the Fresh Sugar Caramel Hydrating Balm is a dream. There is a Fresh Sugar lip treatment for everyone!

Lip Masks & Exfoliants

These gel collagen lip masks are a nice pampering treat. I’m not too sure if they work, but they look cool and claim to seal in hydration and give a dose of collagen to your lip area. Fresh also has a Sugar Lip Polish that works great as a lip mask and exfoliant duo. As stated before I like to apply it over the Fresh Lip Serum right before bed, no need to rinse. If you wake up with flaky skin in the morning you exfoliate, and it shouldn’t be any different for your lips! You may have heard to take a basic toothbrush to exfoliate your lips, but I think they are too harsh for the delicate skin around your lips. I like to take these simple little silicone scrubbers and gently rub them over my lips after I apply my face oil to wipe away any dead skin. The stimulation also plumps and pinks!

DIY Lip Plumper

Many store-bought lip plumpers are too sticky and make very lofty claims for the price they are selling for. With a few ingredients, you can make one at home and customize for your needs, everything has to be edible since it’s going on your lips. Just grab an empty lip balm pot and follow along.

  • Honey is antibacterial and hydrating, it will also give this balm some consistency. Manuka Honey specifically is said to be a godsend for beauty and hydration though I have not tried it before. Any honey should do.
  • Vegetable glycerin is a great humectant and will make sure the balm lasts
  • Ground cinnamon will act as a bit of an exfoliant while also irritating your lips enough to plump and get all nice and rosy. Do not cinnamon oil since this can be too irritating.
  • Peppermint oil is optional and can be used in small amounts as a breath freshener. The oil will also act as an irritant to plump your lips.
  • Olive oil for moisture
  • Alcohol-Free Witch Hazel or Rose Water for mixing and consistency
  • Vitamin E is very nourishing and also acts as a preservative.

The following instructions are for a lip scrub and treatment. I like to put it on in the bath and let it sit while I soak. This is a little runnier and will set a bit on your lips once you stop scrubbing. You can adjust this recipe to fit your needs, for example, less ground cinnamon will not be as harsh of an exfoliant. Or more honey and less oils/rose water will be more of a balm.

  1. IMB_xucU3h.GIFPut equal parts ground cinnamon, olive oil and rose water or witch hazel in the bottom 1/4 of the pot. Add the optional peppermint essential oil here, but use very little! Mix with a fork.
  2. Fill half the pot with honey so you are at 3/4 of the way up. Mix well.
  3. Top it off with a few drops of vitamin e and vegetable glycerin. Mix a little then put the cap on and shake well before each use.

How do you keep your pout perfect? Any life-changing products I’ve missed?

Header Photo by ian dooley on Unsplash

Sleeping Your Way to Better Skin and Hair

giphy7We all lead busy lives, we do what we can in the way of lotions, potions, habits and diet, but what if you could also utilize those eight hours of shut-eye to prevent aging and repair your skin? I’d give all the money in the world to wear Melisandre’s necklace and be done with it but unfortunately, we have to take other precautions.

Satin Pillowcase

giphy8Bedhead no more, if you hate showering in the morning (or would slip fall and die like I would), then a satin pillowcase will be your best friend. Non-satin fabric will tangle your hair and make it a bird’s nest by morning, but any satin fabric is going to let your hair slip and slide to prevent tangling. Beauty-boosting pillowcases by mē Glow or illuminage have double the benefits because they are also good for your skin (more on that next). But if your hair is your only concern then any satin/silk fabric pillowcase will do.

Copper Oxide Infused Cloth

The copper oxide fabric works by improving elasticity in your skin on contact. Anti-aging gloves, socks, pillowcases, eye masks; can they please also make whole sheet sets and clothing? I don’t feel a need for the socks by illuminage, but I did get the anti-aging gloves because I’m getting a few age spots on the back of my hands. I sleep with them every night and have only occasionally ripped them off somehow. I’ve been using them for a few weeks and the back of my hands have much less hyperpigmentation. The eye mask by mē Glow also ends up slipping off in the middle of the night, but I’ll take whatever fleeting benefits I can. It’s meant to help smooth out wrinkles around the eyes but the way it lays I don’t see how it can reach some areas around the eyes to do its magic. It is probably more effective on the crow’s feet area and the forehead lines. These products may seem silly to a partner you share a bed with, but seeing as I am single I have not yet encountered this issue. In some of the reviews for the gloves women have stated that they wear them at work (???) which is a commitment…

Anti-Aging Pillow

giphy6This crazily shaped pillow by Save My face! will help alleviate wrinkles by not letting you smush your face into the pillow for hours while you sleep. Your face ends up in the cut out so that it floats instead of creasing. This works great if you are a stomach or side sleeper, but it also works for the back sleepers by keeping your head in an optimal position so your double chin doesn’t create neck wrinkles all night. It always ends up on the floor by the time I wake up but at least it helps while it can. I also like to fold it in half and have both crescent ends cup my neck when I am reading or watching something in bed.

All of these items are machine washable, just don’t use fabric softener or dryer sheets, I air dry mine. I think they do specify a limited amount of washes before you should replace them to be effective, but seeing as all of these options come into personal contact with your skin they would probably need to be replaced regularly anyway.

giphy9On a final note, aging is inevitable, even for Melisandre who is some sort of red witch. It’s never too early to start thinking about how your habits and lifestyle will affect your aging and what you can do to slow it down, but embracing the way your body reacts to your time spent on this earth is a privilege!

Do you have any crazy products, tools or techniques you use to stave off aging? Tell me about them in the comments!

Header Photo by Kinga Cichewicz on Unsplash