Thursday, February 12, 2015

Eliminate Blackheads! Great Article and So Simple!

End Blackheads With These Genius Skin Tricks

Illustrations by Anna Sudit
You've seen the YouTube tutorials (google "Blackhead Removal SHOCKING Video"—or don’t), the DIY facial-scrub recipes, and yes, even the little black dots all over your nose in your 10x magnifying mirror. Blackheads are exceedingly common. But, why are they so irksome?
"I think it's partly because they feel rough to the surface," says Doris J. Day, MD, a New York City-based dermatologist and author of 100 Questions & Answers About Acne. "There's the idea that blackheads are stuck in your skin—and if you remove them, there's a sense of gratification and relief that they're gone. Blackheads just seem so manageable in that way: You just get them out, and then you're done."
That perception couldn't be further from the truth. Getting rid of blackheads—for good—is a process that requires the right products (hello, salicylic acid), a regular skin-care regimen, and sometimes even the help of pros. Ahead, we spoke to Dr. Day about her most effective tricks.


The first step in treating blackheads is truly understanding them. Basically, a blackhead is a pore that's clogged with a mixture of dead skin cells, oil, and Propionibacterium acnes (P. acnes) — a bacteria that thrives on the protein and oil in your pores and causes breakouts. Unlike a whitehead (a closed comedo), a blackhead is open at the skin's surface (an open comedo). Exposure to air causes this plug of gunk to oxidize and turn black, making it really tempting to mess with.


When it comes to blackhead removal, salicylic acid is your best friend. Commonly found in over-the-counter acne treatments, the ingredient gently helps skin-cell turnover, helping unclog your pores. The best way to use it is by layering it on once or twice a day, in concentrations between .5 and 2%. Start with a face wash like Neutrogena's Oil-Free Acne Wash or Olay Fresh Effects Acne Control Face Wash. (If you’re a lazy, face-wipes kind of lady, try Yes to Tomatoes Blemish Clearing Facial Wipes.) Then, apply a spot treatment, like Clean & Clear Advantage Acne Spot Treatment or a medicated tinted moisturizer, like Aveeno Clear Complexion BB Cream.
The longer this stuff sits on your face, the more time it has to work. Just be careful not to overdo it—vary your concentrations (not every product in your regimen should contain 2% salicylic, the highest OTC percentage), and be mindful of your skin's sensitivity. If your skin becomes overly dry, tight, or irritated, cut back on the concentration, the number of products in your regimen, or the frequency of application. "People can be too aggressive with salicylic acid and irritate their skin," says Dr. Day. "Understand that it takes time for everything to work, so give it a few days to a week in order to really have the full benefit."


If you're thinking of using benzoyl peroxide here, well, just don't. While benzoyl can nuke zits quickly, salicylic is a better blackhead remedy because it helps exfoliate and unclog your pores. Benzoyl is mainly a bactericide that’s used to kill the P. acnes bacteria. This is less of a concern with blackheads, since they’re open at the surface—and contact with air kills the anaerobic bacteria.
Other stuff that doesn't help banish blackheads? "People will put things like hydrogen peroxide or rubbing alcohol on their skin," says Dr. Day. "Those have zero effect on the bacteria that causes acne, and won't help blackheads or whiteheads, but they will dry out your skin. Hydrogen peroxide, if you use it too much, is actually toxic to collagen in skin cells, so it will harm your skin."


Exfoliating regularly is key to keeping blackheads in check, since it scrubs away dead skin cells that could clog pores. Try a gentle face scrub (we like Garnier Clean + Blackhead Eliminating Scrub) or an at-home glycolic-acid peel (Juice Beauty Green Apple Blemish Clearing Peel does the job and also helps eliminate acne scars) once or twice a week—any more than that is overkill—for an extra boost of exfoliation. "It's fine to alternate between manual and chemical exfoliants," says Dr. Day. "The main thing is, don't over-scrub—you don't want to strip your skin. See what your skin likes and what you like. There are so many good choices."


If you needed justification for splurging on a Clarisonic, this is your moment. Washing your face with a mechanical skin brush will help fight the good fight against blackheads—not only because it’s essentially a powered-up way to exfoliate, but also because the deep cleanse allows active ingredients to better penetrate your skin, making them, well, more active. "I think they're fantastic," says Dr. Day. "They're much better than using your hands or a washcloth, both in preventing and treating blackheads."
But, not all brushes are created equal. (Dr. Day swears by the Clarisonic and its Deep Pore Cleansing Brush Heads, and the Olay ProX Microdermabrasion kit.) The more times a second the brush head moves, the less abrasive it will be (which is what you want). P.S. Make sure to keep your brush heads clean, and replace them often.


While one night of passing out with your makeup on won't result in a blackhead invasion, over time, this bad habit will absolutely contribute to gunked-up pores. If you can, wash your face as soon as you walk in the door. If you just can't deal with sudsing up after a long day, cleansing cloths will do, says Dr. Day. Keep a stash of them next to your bed. And, for heaven's sake, stop feeling up your face. Being all touchy-feely can transfer bacteria to your pores and—you guessed it—trigger blackheads and breakouts.


Dry, flaky skin is the enemy here, so moisturizing is non-negotiable. As with all skin-care products, look out for non-comedogenic, non-acnegenic formulas, which have been tested and proven not to clog pores and cause breakouts. (Oil-free is good, too, says Dr. Day, but not as important as those two.) Avoid occlusive products, like petrolatum and silicones, which contain heavy-duty ingredients that create a moisture barrier. By sealing in moisture, they also trap dead skin cells, oil, and bacteria — which will only cause more blackheads.


Over-the-counter retinol products and stronger, prescription retinoids (like Retin-A) are usually associated with anti-aging benefits, but they should also be recognized for their blackhead-busting properties, says Dr. Day. "These products will keep your skin cells turning over efficiently, without over-stripping," she says. "Having good, healthy skin will help you minimize blackheads. It's an ongoing thing." Start with a gentle OTC formula, like RoC Retinol Correxion Sensitive Night Cream, every other night, and stick with it for at least three months to really see results.


Undoubtedly, there’s something weirdly gratifying about yanking all the crap out of your nose with a Bioré strip. While they won't prevent blackheads, these sticky suckers can magically pull out the dirt. Limit usage of these curiosities to once a week, says Dr. Day, who totally gets the odd appeal. "I prefer other methods over pore strips, but it is kind of fun the first time you do it, and you see stuff coming out." Skip the strips if you have a sunburn, breakout, or excessively sensitive skin. Clay, charcoal, and salicylic-acid face masks are a great alternative to strips. (We love the Neutrogena Blackhead Eliminating Cleanser Mask, which you can rinse off and use as a face wash, or leave on as a treatment mask.) Just follow the directions closely, and if anything, keep it on for less, not more, than the recommended time, Dr. Day says.


Tax returns. Highlights. Pizza. Some things—blackhead treatment included—are best left to the professionals. As tempting as it may be to become the Barefoot Contessa of comedones, there are better ways to get rid of blackheads than with your DIY concoction of whatever the Internet has served up. (Likely, a combo of salt, sugar, honey, olive and/or coconut oil, and lemon juice.) Skin-care companies have spent billions researching and developing blackhead remedies, so there's no reason to resort to a recipe you've found on a random blog. Dr. Day agrees: "Honestly, when it comes to blackheads, there are so many really great, inexpensive products in the drugstore that DIY just doesn't make sense. These products have been tested on skin, and will get you so much further for the same price, or less, than the DIY ingredients."


There's something about blackheads that screams, "Squeeze me." Before you do this at home—or pay a facialist good money to do it—and potentially cause inflammation or scarring, consult a dermatologist. Your derm can prescribe retinoids or chemical peels that may boost your results, recommend the best facialists in your city, or, if need be, kick your treatment regimen up a notch with Isolaz, a multi-session, in-office treatment that combines gentle pore suctioning with light therapy. Typically, Isolaz patients need a series of about five sessions, but can see significant results as soon as their first treatment.
Wednesday, February 11, 2015
It's almost here! Hope all dinner reservations are made and the flowers on their way! Now's the time to throw your hints around!!

Wedding Manicure Dos and Don’ts: Rules to Follow!

Picking your wedding day nail polish is only half the battle when it comes to getting a perfect bridal manicure. They’re are going to be a lot of people looking and grabbing your hands to catch a glimpse of that pretty new ring, so do yourself a favor and follow these DOs and DON’Ts to prevent any major blunders. Whether you opt for subtle and pink or bold and glittery—these bridal beauty tips will help you totally nail your wedding day manicure.
Wedding Manicure Dos and Don’ts: Rules to Follow!
DO Test Multiple Shades
You try on more than one dress (most of the time!), so why shouldn’t you try on more than one polish? Certain shades look better on different skin tones; for example, if you have an olive skin tone, you should test drive a poppy-red polish with blue undertones instead of pink.
DO Buy More Than One Bottle
Once you’ve found your perfect shade, stock up. One for the salon, one for your wedding day emergency kit and one to pack in your honeymoon bag. When you need to fix a chipped nail fast, you’ll be happy you spent the extra $16.
DON’T Get a Gel Manicure More Than a Few Days in Advance
Gel manicures were the best thing to happen to bridal nails since Essie Ballet Slipper. Instant dry time and chip-free for weeks — it’s literally a dream come true! But after a few days, gel manicures start to lose their luster. Get them done only one or two days before your wedding to avoid any wear and tear.
DO Maintain Your Nails at Home
Nail technicians are good, but they’re not miracle workers. You can’t come to your appointment with chewed up fingernails and destroyed cuticles and expect Instagram-worthy nails in an hour. If you know you’re an avid nail biter, make a conscious effort to kick the habit in the months leading up to your wedding. Also, avoid peeling broken nails and picking at hangnails — that’s how infections start.
DO Bring Your Own Bottle to the Salon
Even if the color you picked is a salon staple, it’s always good idea to come prepared with your own bottle of polish just in case your color isn’t there or the bottle they have is old.
DON’T Try Nail Art if You’ve Never Tried it Before
We’re all for a fun nail design, but if you’re not a “glitter and appliqué” girl, your wedding day usually isn’t the time to experiment with nail art.
DON’T Forget Hand Cream
It’s amazing what moisturizing your hands can do for your pictures. Massage cream into your cuticles and knuckles before your photographer takes close- ups of your bouquet or ring for instantly younger-looking hands.
DON’T Freak Out Over a Chipped Nail
It’s bound to happen and really isn’t the end of the world. Use the tip of the brush to fill in the hole, then let the polish dry for 30 seconds. Next, brush on a second coat of polish and finish with a thin clear top coat.
Wednesday, January 14, 2015
I love motivational quotes! Everything from silly and funny, inspirational, learning to be thankful and happy to getting off your butt and making something happen! They inspire me, lift me up and so often really make me reflect where I am and what I am accomplishing...or not accomplishing! I hope for all of you your accomplishments soar high and you find peace, success and happiness! I think I'll start posting some quotes just to make each and every day that much better! So here are a few fun quotes for you to enjoy :)


Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Decorating Ideas For Fall That Last All Year

5 Fall Home Finds You Can Leave Out All Year October 27, 2014 by Melissa C

 Don’t let the party stores fool you, there’s plenty of harvest-inspired decor options without going full-on leaf garlands and gourds galore. Subtle selections are our favorite way to go, pieces you can set and forget because while quintessentially autumn, They really work around the clock to dress your nest. Read on to discover five fall home finds that maintain their allure from season to season. 

Fall Home Finds for the Whole Year:  Faux Fur Pillowskennethcolefauxfur Give the family room a rustic cabin makeover with a few pillows in the mix. Then, leave these bad boys out, because, let’s be honest, fur is always fabulous. Copper Mugs classiccoppermug Festive and metallic, these Moscow Mule mugs are beckoning ciders and cocktail recipes, but glam up the bar area for any party. Pom Pom Manhattan Throw This blanket is your favorite fall sweater in lounge form. The cable knit serves up chic texture in the off season and snuggly warmth in the cool months. Monaco Plate Set monacoplateset What more could you want for Thanksgiving? The beige and gold dinnerware dresses up the table for fall fetes and gives a charming bohemian vibe for the rest of the year. Vegan Leather Storage leatherliddedboxset When company comes calling, you need extra storage. And these vegan leather lid boxes couldn’t be more suited. The faux hide is autumn-essential, but neutral enough to keep around all the time.

Beauty Tips On A Budget!

11 Great Budget Beauty Tips August 8, 2014 by MaggieE 11 Great Budget Beauty Tips Budget beauty is essential in this hard economy not only for twenty-somethings, but all of us. Finding what kind of products work just as beautifully on a budget is just as important as finding the clever and often time tested ways to get the same result with much less moolah. In high school, for example, I bought an expensive mascara. Sheathed in a beautiful torpedo and costing three times as much as my regular mascara, I was sure it would make my eyelashes look crazy good. Instead, they looked exactly the same as they did when I used the bright green tube I’d been using since middle school, via the local Save-On. 11 Great Budget Beauty Tips ! 1. To dry your nails super quickly without a nail dryer, spray them with Pam. Works! 2. Body scrub is definitely a product you can make on your own that will work just as well. Add raw sugar with olive oil and lemon and you have a completely effective, sweet body scrub. 3. If your favorite lipstick is blunt, don’t toss it. Scoop out the rest and tap the pigment into a small pot, which you can then apply with a lip brush. 4. Years ago I read in Allure magazine that Cetaphil was a dermatologist secret- extremely cheap and amazingly effective as well as being gentle on all skin types, all of the Cetaphil products are a steal. 5. Apple cider vinegar works great for both skin and hair. For hair, it acts to strip hair of buildup and add shine, perfect for a rinse after product buildup. For skin, it works as a toner. 6. Do a deep conditioning treatment by slathering your hair with conditioner and heading to the rays. If it’s too cold for the sun to work, blow dry the conditioner into your hair on a low heat. 7. Once I read an interview with a model who said her prettiest makeup routine involved mainly lipstick- she picked a favorite shade of red and applied it to her lips, cheeks and took a tiny spot of color mixed with petroleum jelly and rubbed it in the crease of her eye. Curl eyelashes and add mascara, and you have a cheap and beautiful look. 8. At $6 you cannot beat this eye makeup remover—works perfectly and easily to take of stubborn makeup. 9. As a pre-teen I started taking my mom’s vitamin E and popping one open to use the oil on my chapped lips. Works beautifully and gives your lips a sexy glow. 10. I’ve been using L’Oreal true match foundation since it came out and love it. It’s under $10 and actually covers but without that cakey look we all dread. I have light skin with freckles and it works perfectly, but there is a shade for all skin colors. 11. For nails, this budget trick is so fun—use the bulb end of a bobby pin to create polka dots over a base color for a perfect manicured look!
Thursday, October 9, 2014
And So It Begins! Thank you for being with us as we launch our new site! We truly do have "Beautiful Things for Beautiful Ladies!" You'll find many great surprises of unique, high quality and fun items for family, friends, and of course, you! Our site will be an ongoing project, as we stay up to date with all of the newest accessories, handbags, jewelry, inspirational gifts, home decor and more! All feedback is welcome! Let us know how we're doing as we're here to make YOU happy! #loveboutique!

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