Category Archives: Isles of Beauty

What To Do With All That Old Makeup

First of all – let’s be clear, I am NOT crafty! And I have never tried (and probably never will) to make my own stuff. But, I am a minimalist and hate old makeup (or anything else for that matter), I don’t use anymore, laying around.  So, thanks to Adriana Boyce-Smith, an eHow Contributing Writer, you can try to make your own stuff.

I’ve posted Adriana’s instructions below (let me know how it goes), but before we start, I have a second option for what to do with old makeup: Bring in your old makeup or skincare product and I’ll give you 10% off something brand new! For those out of the area, mention this post and I’ll give you 10% off a mail order. This offer will not expire – so if you’re reading this post two months from now, the offer stands.

Alright. Let’s get back to the DIY makeup…

If you’re like most women, you have a stash of old lipsticks, loose and broken eyeshadow, powdered blush, empty makeup pots, perfume with only a few drops left, and various odds and ends you spent good money on!

Rather than throwing it all away, why not reuse or recycle your old makeup? And how about calling a gal-pal to bring hers for twice the fun? :o)

  1. Spread newspaper over your work area, with plenty of paper towels nearby for mess control. Clean out little containers that you can put your creations in, like old lip-gloss, chap-stick,  and eyeshadow pots.
  2. Create your own cream eyeshadow and lip-gloss. Crush old eyeshadow using the end of a spoon to make a fine powder. In a microwaveable bowl, mix the powder with petroleum jelly and heat for 10 seconds. Use your favorite nude, pink, or brown colors for the lip gloss, and bright colors for the cream eyeshadow.
  3. Create your own lip gloss using old lipstick. In the microwave, melt together the ends of your favorite lipsticks and some petroleum jelly in a microwaveable bowl.  You may come up with colors you love! Bobbi Brown – eat your heart out!
  4. Make a bronzer by combining broken powder compacts or loose face powder with leftover gold or brown eyeshadow. Crush the colors together to a light and powdery finish. If you don’t wear bronzer, adding leftover powder to a facial moisturizer will result in a slightly tinted moisturizer.
  5. Rather than throwing away your old bottles of perfume, mix the last drops with an unscented lotion to make a hydrating perfumed lotion.

See you at the spa!

Beauty and Balance from Within

“Outward beauty is a reflection of inner health. Radiant glowing skin is a sign of vibrant inner health.”
From a professional perspective, I am very interested in the health and beauty of the skin. I also want to provide you with resources that can accomplish this goal.
On a personal note, I am post – menopausal and am always looking for ways to ramp up my skin’s health–and beauty.
So, from the Isles of Beauty, I bring you: Barlean’s Essential Woman. I got mine locally at Grande Foods on Grand Avenue in AG (right next door to me!).
This formulation contains: seeds of botanical flowers such as evening primrose and flax, as well as special plant phytonutirents and essential fatty acids, including alpha linoleic acid (Omega-3) and linolenic acid (Omega-6). These ingredients are  all recognized for their beautifying and balancing qualities.
The company states that the Essential Woman is the first product of it’s kind to combine a full complement of therapeutically beneficial nutrients targeted for the special and changing needs of a woman. If you decide to purchase the Essential Woman, be sure to let me know what you think!
See you at the spa!

What is a Chemical Peel?

Aestheticians sometimes call their use of Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHA’s) when doing facials – chemical peels; but they are not peeling the skin, they are resurfacing. Whats the difference? There are 3 levels or strengths of AHAs available:

1. Cosmetic-you can get these at the drug or department store.

2. Cosmeceuticals-available to licensed skincare specialists.

3. Pharmaceuticals-doctors use these or write a prescription for them.

AHA’s work mainly as  exfoliants. They cause the cells of the skin in the upper layers to become “unglued,” allowing the dead skin cells to slough off and making room for regrowth of new skin deeper down.

AHA’s also stimulate the production of collagen and elastin and improve wrinkling, roughness, and mottled pigmentation or sun damaged skin.

Some examples of AHA’s are: Glycolic – sugarcane, Lactic – sour milk products, Citric – citrus fruits, Malic – apples and pears, Tartaric – grapes.

For home use, I love: Glyco-A Gel by Tu’el

There is also a BHA (beta hydroxy acid) called salicylic. All  the acids have different strengths and purposes. So, what’s the difference between the BHA & AHA’s? Two words: lipid solubility, aka a substance’s ability to dissolve in oil. AHA’s are water soluble, and BHA dissolves in oil. So…oily skin likes BHA and normal to dry skin like AHA’s.

Side Effects of these acids include; irritation, sun sensitivity, redness, and itching.

Rosacea is a skin disease that responds favorably to some forms of resurfacing, but because this condition is often red, irritable and swollen,a patch test on the inside of the arm to check for allergic response or sensitivity is recommended. The capillary walls are near the surface of the skin in this condition (hence the redness and veiny appearance) so the skin needs extra protection. The skin is also thin, so toughening it up and thickening it with AHAs can be helpful.

AHA & BHA products may reverse some of the damage caused by the sun, but at the same time they make the skin more susceptible to sun damage. When using resurfacers use a good sunscreen – see Sunscreen 101 , that contains UVA and UVB protection.

My favorite: Oil Free Essential Protection SPF 30 by Tu’el

See you at the spa!

Mascara Road Test

My #1 Pick – Outrageous Lashes Mineral Lengthening Mascara by Youngblood

Youngblood’s volumizing formula in the color Blackout, is my absolute favorite. And of course, I carry it at Star Brows!

It combines conditioning benefits for perfectly extended, defined lashes. The exclusively designed brush allows for smooth, even application while it lifts and separates each lash from root to tip.

It keeps lashes strong and flexible with amino acids, vitamins and botanicals. It’s long-wearing, non-flaking and smudge-proof.

Here are some good ones if  your shopping in the drug or department stores.

Under $10

  • Best Tinted – Curl up and Dye Lash Curling Mascara by Hard Candy
  • Best Natural Look – Exact Eyelights Mascara by Covergirl
  • Most Volumizing (& Waterproff)  – New York Lash Stiletto by Maybelline
  • Best Lengthener – Extreme Length Mascara by Boots No.7
  • Most Like False Lashes – Extra-Volume Collagen Mascara by L’Oreal Paris

Over $10

  • Best Tinted – Bad Gal Brown by Benefit
  • Best Natural Look – Makeup Perfect Mascara by Shiseido
  • Most Volumizing – Hypnose Drama Mascara by Lancome
  • Best Lengthener – Long Lash Mascara by Laura Mercier
  • Most Like False Lashes – Extase Mascara by DiorShow


See you at the spa!

Beauty Multi-tasker

So many uses for these little reusable spoolies. You can pick them up at Sallys, drug stores, department stores or get them free at the nearest makeup counter!

  • Unclump mascara
  • Separate lashes with the tip
  • Use when you have an eye infection so you don’t contaminate the mascara tube
  • Position your brows so you can trim them
  • Put gel on you brows to keep them in place
  • Brush the brow to eliminate dead skin flakes under the brow hair
  • Clean your diamond ring (use toothpaste too)

Other uses you’ve tried?

See you at the spa!

The Isles of Beauty

In my post Skin Discipline I talk about exfoliation and the use of alpha and beta hydroxy acids. These food based “extracts” or AHA & BHA’s can clear, brighten and make your skin look amazing – now you can do it at home.

I lovingly refer to all the places you can buy “cosmetic level” products (as opposed to cosmecueticals that licensed aesthticians use) as the “Isles of Beauty.” You know, drug stores, department stores, and “MLM party plans”.

OK, snobby, elitist, perfectionistic? Guilty! I have 3 reasons for this bias:

1. Generally, lots of money goes into the marketing of these products (a.k.a the “retail machine”), and not as much $$ into the bottle.

2. There is little to no skincare education or monitoring of results provided to the consumer.

3. All these venues have products that are limited in the strengths, potencies and ingredients the FDA allows them to sell.

That said, I know, dear gentle readers, that some of you have never had a facial or seen an aesthetician.  I also realize that in tough economic times priorities may shift. So as an ode to you, here is a list of stuff you can buy from the “Isles of Beauty”.

Try BHA products like…
Stridex Triple Action Acne Pads with Salicylic Acid
Stridex Essential Care Triple Action Acne Pads with Salicylic Acid, Regular Strength
Clean & Clear Blackhead Clearing Daily Cleansing Pads
L’Oreal Pure Zone Tightening Astringent
Biore Triple Action Astringent
Clinique Mild Clarifying Lotion
Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Stress Control 3-in-1 Hydrating Acne Treatment
And AHA products like…
Alpha Hydrox Oil-Free Formula
Aqua Glycolic Toner
Kiss My Face Peaches & Creme Moisturizer with 8% Alpha Hydroxy Acids
Neutrogena Healthy Skin Face Lotion Night
Aveeno Active Naturals Positively Ageless Firming Night Cream

See you at the spa!