Posts tagged skincare

5 Step DIY Beauty Therapy Treatment

I don’t know about you, but I’m looking forward to a weekend of relaxing at home. I’ll be giving my skin some R&R after many late nights, long car rides and flights over the past few weeks. Below is the beauty routine I tend to follow at home. If you want to become less of a DIY-er and more of an at-home-expert, I recommend you consider beauty therapy courses.

image of DIY Facial Treatment Steps

1. Always start with a clean slate. Wash your face with a gentle facial cleanser, not soap. I begin with a dry face. In a circular motion I rub the cleanser until it becomes a bit dry (about one minute). Then, I get my fingertips wet and continue rubbing in a circular motion for another minute. Next I rinse with warm water, using a wash cloth to make sure all the cleanser residue wipes off.

2. Facial steaming is great for skin, but it’s so boring. Buck up, and do the stem though, you’ll feel the difference! Add green tea, mint or rosemary to a pot of water on the stovetop. Once boiling, decrease the heat and bend over the pot for five minutes. Put a towel over your head to trap more heat int. Steaming is a great way to open pores and remove embedded dirt. It also hydrates skin. Added bonus, facial steaming is great for treating the common cold and bronchitis!

3. The best time to do a mask is after steaming. I usually go for a DIY calming mask, though there are tons of great options out there, how stuff works has a great article on 5 cheap, yet effective DIY masks. Ingredients needs for my calming mask:

  • 1/4 cup plain yogurt
  • 1/2 cup oats
  • 2 tablespoon honey 
  • 1 cucumber

Mix everything in the blender, then leave on your face for 15 minutes.

4. Next, tone your face. Toners are great for removing excess oil, makeup and excess reside. I use this after the mask to make sure the mask has been completely removed. Pick the right toner for your skin-type.

5. Finally, finish the facial off with moisturizer. No matter what skin type you have, you need moisturizer to help improve your skin texture. Choose a moisturizer that is right for your skin type.

Brazilian Peel

The latest advance in the fight against aging is the Brazilian Peel.

Brazilian Peel is the first 30% glycolic acid, medical strength peel for at-home use. 5x stronger than other retail products, this unique new Brazilian style peel is clinically proven to visibly brighten, smooth, firm and tone skin for a more youthful appearance. All the benefits of a professional peel in an easy do-it-yourself treatment.


I had a chance to try it thanks to a sample from Sephora and I was very impressed with it. The treatment consists of four once-a-week applications that come packaged in a small double syringe. The way to use it is by opening the syrenge, dispensing the contents in the palm of your hand and mix it with the fingers, once it feels warm, then it’s time to apply it to face, neck and decollete. Rinse after 10 minutes and pat dry.

Since this is a stronger peel than most of the commercial ones, it does warn against using it on irritated or damaged skin and to avoid long exposure to the sun for at least one week after the treatment. In my case, I’ve used peels for a long time and didn’t feel any discomfort with this one, but I can say I did notice a big difference on my skin afterwards. It was incredibly smooth and that was with only one application. Another thing I’ve noticed is my skin looking slightly shinier, but not oily, in a way more alive.

If you have thought about peels, but maybe hesistant to go for the Brazilian Peel which is strong and costs $78 for the four once-a-week applications, then you can start slow with Avon’s Anew Clinical Advanced Dermabrasion System.

Advanced Dermabrasion, the first 4-level at-home system, is so effective because it starts at a lower dose and gradually works up to a maximum dosage of resurfacing ingredients.



I’ve tried this one and it also works great on the skin, but is much gentler, it starts you at a very low level and each week the dosage increases. In this case I also felt a very big difference from the first applications.

It’s always such a treat to touch your own skin and feel it as smooth as it can be, and even better when people around you notice it as well.

Moisturizers: Sephora and Dior

We all want to maintain a youthful look, right?? Then the best way to prevent premature fine lines is to start moisturizing your skin no matter how young you are and maintain the routine of cleansing, toning and moisturizing on a daily basis. With the exception of those nights one comes back too tipsy to care or remember.

Recently I’ve tried several moisturizing samples and these two have greatly impressed me.

Sephora’s Super Supreme Body Butter

Oh my goodness! The packaging mentions “lusty pleasure” and it is! The texture is very thick and silky and smooth, it gets absorbed by the skin almost immediately and leaves your body feeling and looking hydrated all day. It really is amazing!


Dior’s Skin Perfect Pore Refining Perfecting Moisturizer

I’ll be honest, this is a product I’ll probably not be buying because of the cost ($65 for 1.7 ounces), but it was so good to use the sample. It has a light clean smell, the consistency is silky and it left my face feeling so soft.


Of course, these moisturizers worked incredibly well on my skin, but every skin needs are different always ask for samples and try as many as you can before you select the one that makes your skin feel special!

Oliveology Shave Gel review

I’ve been using a shave gel that I just love, it’s called Oliveology and for now you can only get it online. Among the gel’s ingredients are primarily Olive Oil, as well as aloe vera, sap from the sangre de grado tree, and antioxidant Vitamins A, D and E.




These ingredients are meant to condition, lubricate and moisturize the skin. It helps the razor so slide on smoothly and truly gives a close shave. It has a very slight soapy like smell, so it can be used by men without them feeling like their using a “girl’s product”.


My personal experience with it has been a good one, I have very fine body hair and can be up to a week without shaving my legs and not only is it not noticeable but the hairs don’t threathen to shred my sheets. So in my arms and legs I didn’t notice a big difference.

So here comes the time of a little TMI. I’m the biggest chicken when it comes to getting a wax, I’ve never done it and unless I’m sedated I never will. So instead of getting a bikini wax, I shave, even though I know the result is not the same. Now here comes Oliveology and this shaving gel really does the trick, I love how smooth my skin “there” feels and it works just as well on my arm pits. It’s awesome!

I was lucky to get a 2 fl oz as a sample (I paid for the shipping), so far it’s lasted me several months and at their website this size costs $5 and the 8 oz bottle costs $12. This is a great deal for a very good product.

Another thing about the company is that Oliveology Gives Back, 30% from every purchase goes to the foundation of your choice. The programs you can support are The Brent Shapiro Foundation which helps people in the fight against drug and alcohol dependence and A Chance for Children which works with homeless and disadvantaged youth. As I mentioned, you can only purchase Oliveology online and I wish them the best of luck for their product to eventually be offered in stores as well.

Murad Hydrating Toner

I’m in a tricky part of my skin development, slowly transitioning from combination to dry skin, it’s been hard to find a moisturizes that make my face feel nice. It’s like being in-between sizes, don’t you just hate that?

Anyway, the last few months I’ve been trying everything from Avon Anew to Estee Lauder until I fell in love with Philosophy Hope in a Jar and I’m so happy with it.



I already did a post on Hope in a Jar, so this time I want to talk about another moisturizing product that I recently discovered. It’s Murad’s Hydrating Toner.




This product’s original purpose is to cleanse and tone, to be used after cleansing and before the moisturizer.

Combats hormonal aging and concerns associated with dry imbalaced skin.

Among its ingredients its lecithin which locks in moisture and restores suppleness and it has a very light and clean smell that comes from chamomille and cucumber with a hint of peach, which helps soften the skin.

I like to use natural products on my skin, so mini-spritzer bottle of home-brewed chamomile tea is always on my refrigerator ready to give me a quick refresher. And I’ve been using Witch Hazel as a toner and cleanser for years. But Murad has combined all these ingredients in one bottle and it’s great.

Another tip I got from the gals in Sephora is to spritz lightly after makeup has been applied. It will help it get settled and stay on longer. And I can attest to that.

So to recap: Murad’s Hydrating Toner can be used to:

  • Cleanse and Tone
  • Give the skin a quick moisturizing
  • Set your make-up

This is one multi-tasking toner, a new must in my make-up case.


Facial Cleansers Review

Even though it’s a pleasure to apply makeup using quality products and show your face to the world, once the day is over the makeup must come off. A very important step in the care of your face is cleansing and even though once in a while its OK to sleep with your makeup on, it shouldn’t be a habit. The following are some of the cleansers I’ve used and what I think about them.

My favorite so far is from Avon, this company brings so many great memories from the time my Mom used to be the Avon Lady and it’s still a great thrill when I see that little book, I just can’t help myself. The cleanser I use is Anew Rejuvenate Revitalizing 2 – 1 Gel Cleanser, it’s just amazing, the smell, the feel. It has tiny little beads and my skin feels great after I use it. The only complaint I have with this product is that it’s not great at removing eye makeup, but I use other products for that.

Avon Anew Cleanser

Even though my face is slightly oily, another product I’ve enjoyed is from NARS, its called Makeup Cleansing Oil. This product is meant to be used as the first step in cleansing. It will remove all makeup and in a way prepare your face so whichever other cleanser you use can do a better job. Once or twice I’ve used it by itself and it didn’t leave an oily feeling on my skin, it’s a really great product.

NARS Cleansing OilThe next one is from Murad, and this one I had some mixed feelings about. I used the Renewing Cleansing Cream, and even though it was great taking everything off, I wasn’t too happy with the feeling of my skin afterwards. But the thing about Murad is that offers an extensive line of cleansers for every skin type, so it could be I used one not suited for me. I’ll be trying the rest of them because I was impressed with the cleaning result.

renewing-cleansing-cream_1Finally, this one is a little something I make at home using a recipe from the book Organic Body Care Recipes by Stephanie Tourles, this book contains recipes for creams, cleansers, facial steams, etc. that you can make at home. I’ve made several recipes and one of my favorites is a Cleansing and Rejuvenating Oil (page 122) which contains a base oil, Vitamin E and essential oils. I use it mainly as an eye makeup remover, but it could be used in the whole face, as well as a massage oil and aromatherapy. I’ve already made this formula three times and I love how it moisturizes my delicate eye area.

Organic Recipes Book

So there you have it, if you have a favorite cleanser, it will be much easier for you to stick to the habit of removing your makeup before bed.

Philosophy: Hope in a Jar

One of the best preventive weapons we have against premature aging and fine lines is moisturize the skin, as well as protect it from the sun. For the last couple of weeks I’ve been using a great moisturizer that comes in a plain looking package, but there is nothing plain about the product. It’s called Hope in a Jar by Philosophy with the motto

philosophy: where there is hope there can be faith, where there is faith, miracles can occur.

hope in a jar

The moisturizer is very light weight that provides antioxidant protection, helps improve skin texture and tone, you barely feel it on your skin but at the same time the skin feels great. I am using the original formula for all skin types, but if you go to the Philosophy website, you can take skin care quiz which will suggest which products are best for you depending on your skin concerns.

And I really can’t stress enough how important it is to moisturize with quality products, even if you spend less money on cosmetics. I’m closer to 40 than to 30 and I’m very proud on how my skin still looks youthful. I know I won’t be confused with a 20 year old, but looking at the pictures from my late 20’s and early 30’s, I still look the same without the use of Botox or chemicals. Not that I’m against it, when the time comes, I’ll be getting my injections for sure, but I can wait several years for that. But I digress.
Philosophy has created its own cult following with products such as Amazing Grace a perfurmed hot salt scrub, perfumed hand & body lotions, fragrances, shower gels and so much more. Makes pampering yourself an experience. Each product contains a different motto, like in the hot salt scrub which says:
philosophy: if you only had one day to live, how would you spend it? would you smile or frown? watch the sunrise or watch t.v.? take a walk or take a nap? say i love you or show you don’t care? consider this…you aren’t guaranteed tomorrow, so treasure this day as of it’s not your last but the best day you will ever own

amazing grace salt scrub

You can find Philosophy products at Sephora or directly at the Philosophy website. Hope in a Jar retails from $15.00 to $105.00 depending on size, a true investment in your skin.


As they say in the music game, “put that on repeat”, once you try these beauties – you will repeat application time &; time again…

SCOTT BARNES BODY BLING – famous for giving J Lo her “glow”. Scott Barnes products are OOOOH so flossy! Let’s get real, “every boss loves to floss”. Once you slather this richness on your body you will see why it’s #1 to celeb’s, beauty editors, makeup artist and cosmetic junkies alike. I have this in my arsenal to add a sexy glow to my clients year round – not just summer months. The packaging alone gets their attention, OMigosh… what a beaute, all sleek, metallic-like. Think of this as a tinted moisturizer with a gold pop for your body, hence the name “BODY BLING”. If you have OCD like me, you might be bothered by the residue that’s left on your hands but hey instead of washing it off [waste not want not] rub it on your decollete or where ever you want to see a healthy glow.
image of
Honey, this is a new fave, pick it up to see why!

BLINC – the “it” mascara, period. For many of us, we dwell in the mecca of Silicon Valley if not near it; we all think we’re tech savvy right? Well don’t sleep or better yet “blink” on this tech savvy brand; BLINC cosmetics has a mascara that will get heads turning. Its’ not conventional, no no this baby wraps each lash. Once applied, the tubes bind to your lashes and will not – I repeat – will not run, smudge, clump or flake. It’s a must have for anyone, especially for the “emotional wedding entourage”. Like I said…you will be putting this on repeatedly.
image of BLINC mascara

RMS Beauty “un” cover-up is also worth repeating. You might just faint the first time you dab it, slide it, smooth it …but hey, at least if you faint you’ll look good! We all know how hard it is to find a creamy yet solid concealer that won’t run or breakdown on you in 30-minutes after application. RMS Beauty has figured it out, they give you an organic product that can effectively covers blemishes and camouflage to perfection.
It retails for $36 but remember —–you get what you pay for!!
RMS Beauty un cover-up

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