Friday, December 18, 2009

Easy Ways to Maintain a Holiday matter how tired you are!

... a recent article I was quoted in by Rebecca Giantonio...thanks Rebecca!

It’s mid-December, which means the holiday rush is in full swing, most are struggling to meet end-of-year deadlines at work, and there are holiday parties a plenty. This all translates to long days (and nights), which bring dark circles, dull skin and an abundance of other beauty issues. The good news is you can still look radiant and refreshed with less sleep than usual, thanks to these tips from celebrity makeup artists and beauty experts across the country.

Hydration is key. Drink the requisite eight glasses of water a day and switch to a heavier moisturizer. Dr. Brooke Jackson, a board-certified dermatologist and founder of The Skin Wellness Center of Chicago, suggests minimizing use of products containing retinoids and alpha hydroxy acids as they can be too drying in the winter. She also cautions that drinking red wine while on certain medications can cause skin irritation, so monitor your alcohol intake and changes in your skin.

Removing dead skin cells gives tired, dry skin a glow. Concoct a homemade mask, massage into your skin using a circular motion, and rinse clean. For oily skin, mix lemon juice and a little salt. Be careful with the amount of salt you use; the mask should be grainy, but not too harsh on your skin. If your skin is normal or on the dry side, combine honey and sugar.

If you don’t have time for a mask, grab some leftover gin from the holiday festivities. Narine Nikogosian, one of Los Angeles’ best-known skin care experts (her client list includes Jessica Alba and Charlize Theron) and author of Return to Beauty: Old-World Recipes for Great Radiant Skin (Atria Books, November 2009), suggests this unexpected recipe. Mix two tablespoons of gin with a quarter-cup of tonic water to quickly balance and tone oily skin laden with last night’s makeup.

Illuminate your skin
Brighten skin with products designed to do just that. Celebrity makeup artist Chris Lanston, who has worked with Kristin Davis and Miss USA among many others, suggests mixing a face lotion containing mica with your foundation to make skin glow. Brush on a light dusting of pale peach or pink blush. A little blush goes a long way on a tired, pale face!

As a finishing touch, opt for finishing powder. “Translucent powder can create a cakey-white look. Blot with finishing powder, which will brighten under the eyes, highlight certain areas, absorb oil and minimize fine lines,” says Christopher Drummond, an esthetician and makeup artist who has worked with celebrities including Jennifer Lopez, January Jones and Kimora Lee Simmons.

Try Christopher Drummond Beauty Finale Finishing Powder, part of Drummond’s 100 percent natural, vegan and organic-based beauty line. Another great product that gets the job done: La Prairie Cellular Treatment Illuminating Face Powder, which contains a light-diffusing polymer that gives skin an ethereal appearance.

Enhance eyes
Take just a few minutes to concentrate on your eyes. They're the focal point of your face, so banishing puffiness, hiding circles, and brightening them will make you look much more awake. Reduce puffiness by applying cool green or chamomile tea bags (keep some in the refrigerator) to your eyes when you wake up. Both will soothe, and green tea contains antioxidants that help minimize swelling, says Dr. Jackson. To counteract fluid build-up before bedtime (if you're lucky enough to catch some Zs), prop up your pillows so your head is slightly elevated as you sleep.

Mask dark circles with a lightweight concealer. Patty Bell, film/television makeup artist and owner of On Location Hair and Makeup in Pittsburgh, suggests picking a yellow-based one that will counteract the purple shadows under eyes. Dab a small amount under your eyes and smooth with your finger. Your body temperature will blend the makeup better than a brush.

Bell is a fan of Yves Saint Laurent’s Touche Eclat Radiant Touch. “It’s a staple in my makeup kit,” says Bell. “It highlights and brightens the under eye area without ever looking dry or cakey. One news anchor I use it on calls it her liquid gold!” Lanston swears by Benefit’s thick boi-ing “industrial-strength” concealer. “It’s magic!”
Next, rim the lower inner corners of your eyes with a white eye pencil. It reflects the white of your eyes, making them look brighter. Another option: Celebrity makeup artist Mally Roncal suggests a dab of soft, shimmery white eye shadow on the inner corner of your eyes. Try the Mally Beauty Lightwand Eye Brightener to fake those eight hours of sleep.
Finish with a coat or two of mascara to give the appearance of bigger, more alert eyes. “Brighten the whites of your eyes with navy mascara,” says Bell. “Avoid mascara on the bottom lashes. It may cause shadows under the eyes, only accentuating dark circles. And if you’re going to wear eye shadow, avoid pinks and purples, which make eyes look tired and red.”
Get physical
One of the best beauty tricks around, exercise boosts blood flow and pumps water throughout your system, resulting in a healthy glow. A mere 10 minutes of brisk physical activity will increase your energy level for up to two hours. Take the time to walk around your neighborhood, run up and down your stairs, jump rope, or bicycle, and you'll feel and see the difference.
Only have a couple minutes? Try this yoga trick, taught to acclaimed yoga instructor and Connecticut resident Khadi Madama by her yoga teacher. “This pose instantly revives a complexion,” said Khadi. “It brings the circulation back into the face to give it a nice glow, and my teacher claimed it could even alleviate wrinkles.”

To practice the Standing Cow Pose, slowly bend forward from the waist for 30 seconds to 2 minutes. Let your shoulders, neck and head go limp. Breathe deeply, letting out tension. Slowly stand back up, keeping your knees slightly bent to avert lower back strain.
reprinted from Hartford Womens Style Examiner.