Monday, May 27, 2013

puffy-eye solutions

Probably the second most common skincare concern that clients come to me with is puffy eyes (sun damage/hyperpigmentation is the first).  A lot of times it's puffy eyes and dark circles but because I believe there is very little you can do for dark circles I am just going to focus on the puffiness.

So, eye bags...... there are two causes.  One is fluid retention which you can treat with a number of different products or at-home methods, and the other is fat deposits which you can't do anything about other than surgery.  If you try a few of the following solutions and do not notice a speck of difference, then you probably have fat deposits, but if in doubt consult your dermatologist.

There are a slew of home remedies for draining puffy eyes (soaked warm black tea bags applied over the eyes for 10 mins is my fave) but I am all about the products so I recommend you try one of these instant fixes:

For years Clarins Eye Revive Beauty Flash has been my favorite de-puffing, eye-brightening solution.  It's like the hang-over cure for stressed out eyes, and although the results are only temporary they are so sensational that it is worth keeping in your arsenal to whip out when drastic measures are called for - "revive" being the key word here.

Also a temporary solution but well worth it is Boscia Super Cool De-puffing Eye Balm.  Women of all ages adore this minty, soothing, refreshing de-puffer.  I rely on it heavily:  I've got one for my travel bag, one in my bathroom at home, and one in my locker at work.  It is a quick and easy and indispensable solution.  Also of note:  it is all-natural, cruelty-free, and animal-product-free.  Nice.

While those two are strictly de-puffers, there are some eye treatments that are all-in-one de-puffer/anti-agers. They cost a whole lot more but they do a whole lot more too.  My personal fave is Dr. Dennis Gross Ferulic + Retinol Triple Correction Eye Serum.  This stuff is hardcore.  It firms up loss of skin tone, softens wrinkles, and helps repair sun damage as well as seriously draining any fluid retention.  Dr. Gross is a clinical brand that offers clinical help.

La Prairie Essence Of Skin Caviar Eye Complex is an eye gel that eradicates bags, wrinkles, and crepyness.  This luxury brand from Switzerland specializes in anti-aging skincare so you know you are getting the very best.  Tired, over-taxed peepers will love this stuff, and it also makes the perfect base for eye makeup.  I have noticed this to be a particular hit with beauty editors.
With the exception of the Clarins, I suggest using these products at night to prevent puffiness AND in the morning to reduce any residual puffiness.

Friday, May 10, 2013

birthday bonanza

I don't know if you've noticed this but there seem to be an awful lot of springtime birthdays.  Everyone is having a birthday lately and it forces me to stretch my imagination for inventive 'must have' birthday gifts.  The perfect gift is something that the receiver would secretly covet yet not dare buy for herself.  It should be luxurious, pampering, whimsical, and inspiring.  Here are a few gems that fit the bill:

Bliss Softening Socks and Foot Patrol Set is like a spa treatment at home.  First of all, the Foot Patrol foot cream is my all time favorite foot cream.  It is cooling, soothing, super hydrating, and gently exfoliating to give you the silkiest feet imaginable.  And the smoothing socks contain a hydrating nourishing gel on the inside so if you apply the Foot Patrol before putting on the Softening Socks it amps up the treatment factor for the ultimate in tender soft feet.

Sephora Favorites Bottled Dreams Fragrance Sampler For Her is a great solution if you are dithering about what to get.  Fragrances are always fun, but it can be difficult to know which one would suit the recipient, however this sampler solves the problem.  It contains six adorable mini bottles of fragrance (and in my book this is Sephora's best selection of samples yet) for your loved one to try.  Then there is a coupon for her to redeem for a FREE full sized bottle of her favorite fragrance in the kit.  It's a no brainer!

Fornasetti Candles are the ultimate in luxury, sophistication, and aesthetics.  The ornamental containers are to die for and would add an artful note to any room in the house.  The scents are harmonious and one of a kind.  Yes, they are outrageously expensive but that's what makes them a cherished gift.  Think of it as buying a little work of art for the person who truly embodies a flair for style.

Cowshed products are playful and unique.  They are a British brand of bath, body, skincare, and home goodies that are plant-based, and pretty much only available on line.  The prices are in pounds but believe me your credit card will work, and the shipping is fast and easy.  The names of the bath and candle lines are mischievously called things like 'grumpy cow', lazy cow',  'horny cow'.  There is even a sampler of their best sellers.  You can be sure no one else will be giving your friend something like this!

Saturday, May 4, 2013

lighten up - moisturizers for warm weather

It's time to lighten up.  Finally!  Spring and Summer can never come soon enough in my book but when they inevitably get here you'll want to change your skincare regimen from the weighty winter products to something that is less likely to make you sweat.

This is also the time of year when people get more conscientious about using products with sunscreen, and while that is not a bad thing per se, it can be misleading. First of all, forget your makeup has any sunscreen in it, it won't make a bit of difference.  And while it is noble of you to want to use a moisturizer with sunscreen in it, just keep in mind that the spf will only be protecting you for the first couple hours after application.  Do not make the mistake of thinking you can moisturize in the morning and be covered for the whole day.  I am tempted to say don't even bother with a spf moisturizer and just be diligent with a separate sunscreen, however I am willing to concede that a little spf is better than none at all.

That said I will make some recommendations for super summer moisturizers including those with spf in them - just because I know you want it.  These guys provide wonderful hydration and vitamins without clogging your pores or sliding off your face:

Bliss Fabulous Face Lotion With SPF 15 is a cult favorite.  In fact it is so cult-like a lot of people don't even know about it, but those who do are very happy indeed.  It is creamy without being heavy because its main hydrating ingredient is glycerin, while oils are low on the list.  It is packed with vitamins (including the very hydrating B5), anti-oxidants, and anti-aging omegas, so you can rest assured you are doing something good for your skin.

Peter Thomas Roth Clini-Matte All Day Oil-Control SPF 20 is a moisturizer, mattifier and sunscreen all in one. Absolutely perfect to control oil in humid climates or for naturally oily skin! Furthermore, PTR is a superb clinical brand that is going to give you plenty of skincare benefits.  Men particularly love this stuff because of the no-frills, packaging, scent, and texture.  I've even had bald clients use it on the top of their head.

Amore Pacific Moisture Bound Refreshing Hydra-Gel Oil Free is the one to get if you are concerned with early signs of aging.  Notice no spf, because if you are truly concerned with anti-aging you will apply a separate sunscreen every two hours throughout the day.  Amore Pacific is a luxury brand from Korea and their products are all made with bamboo sap which is extra nourishing and anti-defying.  This gel moisturizer hydrates with hyaluronic acid - a great, non-greasy, way to go.

Skinceuticals Face Cream makes the ideal Summer weight moisturizer for those with dry mature skin.  Skinceuticals is a much beloved spa brand that excels in all areas of skincare,  but particularly anti-aging.  This cream does wonders for the skin and better than its humble name 'Face Cream' it should be called 'Fantastically Firming Smoothing Tightening Glowing Face Cream'.