Exfoliation for Your Scalp

You know that exfoliating your face is essential to healthy, glowing skin and you exfoliate your body to keep your skin soft and supple, but you’re probably ignoring a major area of your skin that needs exfoliation – your scalp. While you probably don’t care about getting a radiant, glowing scalp, exfoliation of your scalp does so much more than give the skin a glow. Check out why you need to exfoliate your scalp, how often you should do it to get the healthiest scalp and in turn, amazing hair.

Woman getting a massage

Why Exfoliate the Scalp?
It’s widely recognized that shampooing your scalp daily is not in the best interest of healthy hair, so dry shampoo has become an absolute must-have in many bathrooms. Dry shampoos are truly an essential hair product these days; they can be used when you want a little more sleep, after an intense gym session when you don’t have time to shampoo or to add some texture and body to your hair. However, dry shampoo and other styling products do come with some drawbacks: “The delicate acid mantle on your face is identical to your scalp, which is easily disrupted by products like dry shampoos, especially if the scalp and hair is not shampooed after frequent use,” notes Phyto National Educator, Christyn Nawrot.

Dr. Francesca Fusco, Clear Scalp and Hair dermatologist says, “think of it this way:  You’d never skip washing your face and you’d also never replace face cleansing with a wipe or a blot of a powdery sponge. If you scalp pores become clogged, it can contribute to a kind of scalp acne called folliculitis. This folliculitis can be bacterial or yeast in nature and if it goes without treatment can lead to increased shedding (i.e. flakes).”

Anabel Kingsley, a Philip Kingsley trichologist, simplifies why you need to exfoliate your scalp saying, “exfoliating the scalp removes dead skin cells and encourages healthy skin turnover, creating the ideal environment for healthy hair growth.”

How Often to Exfoliate?
Removing the dead skin cells and product buildup on your scalp can strengthen your hair and help you grow longer hair as well. When it comes to the number of times per week or month you should be exfoliating, experts differ in opinion. Some hair experts believe that exfoliating every other week is enough to keep your scalp free from product buildup, while others, like Kingsley, suggest using an exfoliating treatment every week to keep your scalp clear and healthy. If you are a person who skips shampoo for days at a time, you should consider exfoliating your scalp each week to ensure it is clean and healthy.

If you’re wondering what you’re supposed to use to exfoliate your scalp, you can put your facial care products down. You can look for shampoos or leave-in treatments that contain salicylic acid (yes, the same salicylic acid you may use on your face) to gently remove dead skin cells from the scalp. Other treatments, like the Kerastase Chronologiste The Gommage, actually contain incredibly fine micro-scrubbers that you massage into your hair before rinsing. Phyto also offers exfoliating shampoos with two formulas – one for dry hair and one for oily hair. When you exfoliate your scalp, you keep your skin healthy allowing for better hair growth.

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Looking Youthful Through Fashion

Stylish woman.

If you think aging is equivalent to foregoing fashion, think again. Our modern world has thrown the rules of aging out the window and embraced the motto that you are only as old as you feel. You don’t have to lose your personal sense of style just because you are getting older. Below, find our tips on looking youthful through fashion without losing your style.

Find Your Fit
One of the most important rules for dressing at any age is to dress yourself based on your specific body type, but this gets increasingly important as you age. Stylist and television personality Stacy London says, “the biggest mistake women make is wearing clothes that don’t fit the body they have right now. You have to do that in order to figure out what looks good on you.” From classic style icons like Marilyn Monroe and Audrey Hepburn to modern fashion inspirations like Kate Middleton and Lauren Conrad, you will find that the number one thing that dictates their wardrobe is fit. Not only does dressing for your body increase your style factor, it can also make a huge difference in your confidence when you don’t have to constantly tug or pull at your clothes and as Stacy London advises, “…confidence is the best accessory. It can make or break an outfit.”

Woman wearing a stylish dress.

Have a Signature Item
Your signature item, whether it is a piece of actual clothing or an accessory, is all about you and what you want to convey about your style. Your signature item can help you experiment with trends and different fashions while still maintaining your own sense of style. It can be daunting to narrow down your personal style philosophy to just one piece of clothing, a single accessory or a signature look, but doing so allows you to be creative and play with trends, even some younger looking ones, while still retaining a piece that says your style is your own. Also, don’t think you have to have one single accessory or shirt for the rest of your life that is your signature, you can mix it up whenever you feel like it.

It’s All in The Details
When it comes to changing or evolving your style, many believe that the only way to do so is with a massive wardrobe overhaul. There are some major impracticalities to approaching change this way; first, you often end up overwhelmed at the magnitude of work that is cleaning out/replacing your closet and it’s not a financially sound move. You can easily keep your favorite pieces, no matter how old you get, by making some minor tweaks in how you wear them. For instance, cuffed pants, rolled sleeves on your favorite white blouse or merely tucking in your shirt can have a massive impact on your overall look. Aging does not mean that you have to get rid of every item of clothing in favor of something more “age appropriate,” it simply means that now is a good time to be creative with your favorite pieces.

By no means does aging mean you have to sacrifice style and there are no set rules as to what “older” women should wear anymore. If you focus on cultivating your personal style by using a signature item, remembering to pay attention to the details and above all else, to wear clothes that fit properly, you can wear what you want when you want.

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Makeup to Make you Look Younger

You know that great skin is the secret to absolutely flawless looking makeup, but even the most amazing skin can look less than gorgeous if makeup is used incorrectly. As you age, the needs of your skin change and your beauty products should reflect these changes. If you aren’t sure where to start making changes to your beauty routine, the following tips about products and application will help you discover makeup to make you look younger.

Woman applying foundation

Try Yellow-Toned Foundations
Aging skin can look dull and sallow and not all foundations help to solve these problems. In general, a liquid formula is best for aging skin and finding a yellow-toned foundation can instantly bring life back into your face. “Yellow warms up the skin and the warmer your skin looks, the younger it looks. End of story,” says makeup artist Sandy Linter. Keep in mind you aren’t looking for an actual yellow hued foundation, just one that has yellow undertones for a warming, brightening effect. Applying with a dampened sponge is perfect for aging skin and keep in mind that foundation is not meant to conceal or cover every single imperfection on your face, but to even out your skin tone. Piling on too much product results in a heavy, cakey look that only ages your face.

Woman applying concealer

Concealer
It’s time to break up with your favorite cream or stick concealer and pick up a liquid formula instead. “Anything that comes in a pan has a wax base and will look waxy on the skin,” advises makeup artist Sue Devitt. “A click-pen formula covers just as well and doesn’t seep into lines.” When choosing a concealer for the under eye area, look for one that reflects light to brighten under your eyes. Two great light-reflective pen concealers are Yves Saint Laurent Touche Eclat and Clinique Airbrush Concealer.

Woman curling eyelashes

Eyelash Curler
While not a makeup product, this beauty tool is an excellent addition (if you don’t already own one) as you age. As you age, your eyelids naturally begin to droop giving the eyes a tired look but using a high-quality eyelash curler can give the appearance of a more lifted, wide and bright-eyed look. Taylor Chang-Babaian, author of Beauty Rewind, says “the curl almost acts like a cupping. It holds your lashes up…” To keep this wide-eyed look all day, you want to use a drier formula mascara to maintain the curl; wet formulas can be too heavy and cause the lashes to fall. For intense, all day long hold, try a waterproof formula.

Woman using brow pencil

Brow Products
Bold brows are the coveted look right now, but going big and bold may not be the best for aging faces. As you age, your brows naturally thin out and become a bit saggy or droopy at the ends and drawing on Cara Delevingne inspired brows every day might age you. Instead, opt for a brow pencil or powder, and fill in the top line of your brows near the tail for a lifted look. Fill in any other sparse areas but be sure to brush with a spoolie for the most natural look. If you need some extra staying power, a brow gel like the Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Gel in clear.

Highlighter
A bronzer and a blush can give you a warmer looking face and some blushes can give you a bit of a glow to your face, but when you really want to look luminous, use a highlighter. There are both liquid and powder highlights and for the most subtle look, pros suggest using a tiny amount of a liquid highlighter and really sheering it out. Dot a small amount above your cheekbone, then use your finger or a dampened sponge to pat it in and disperse it. “It prevents the flat-face look,” says makeup artist Brigette Reiss-Andersen. “It adds a very subtle, youthful and pretty dimension to your features.”

Makeup is meant to enhance your natural beauty and let your personality shine through. By no means do you have to give up makeup as you age and yes, you can still use shimmery eyeshadow, but knowing what products and techniques are truly great for your skin can make a world of difference. These five products and tips help you understand makeup to make you look younger.

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Why Embrocation Creams Might be Fashion Saviors

Tights and pantyhose are essentials in many wardrobes and they see a lot of action during the cold winter months. Opaque tights can be a great way to express creativity and personality, think of how cute Zooey Deschanel makes them, but they don’t always go with your outfits and when they don’t, sheer pantyhose become the solution. Many cringe at the thought of having nylon cling to their legs from November to March, but what else is a lady to do when she wants to don her favorite dress? Fashion bloggers have come up with a clever solution to wearing pantyhose and tights for those that just don’t like wearing them – embrocation creams. Keep reading to learn what embrocation creams are and why they might be your fashion savior this winter.

Woman applying cream

What is Embrocation Cream?
If you’ve never heard of embrocation creams, you certainly aren’t alone. While these creams and ointments are definitely not new, the attention surrounding them certainly is. Cyclists have been using embrocation creams for years in order to continue cycling during even the coldest months of the year. The creams have formulas that create a lasting feeling of warmth and are meant to be slathered over your legs, allowing you to go bare without the freezing, painful sensations you’d get otherwise.

What is in Embrocation Creams?
There are tons of brands that produce embrocation creams or ointments and while the formulas can be different, there is one ingredient nearly all have in common: capsicum. Embrocation creams are formulated using ingredients that stimulate circulation and create a sensation of warmth. The primary ingredients in embrocation creams and ointments are generally a blend of natural essences like wintergreen, clove, tea tree, menthol, peppermint and camphor that is mixed with a buttery base formed from ingredients like shea butter and lanolin. The active ingredient found in embrocation creams is capsicum, which is an extract from red chili peppers. Capsicum is used widely in cosmetics and other medical products like Salonpas patches for sore muscles. Secondary ingredients in embrocation creams are there primarily to serve as moisturizing agents or to help make the smell of the product less medicinal and more pleasant.

Are Embrocation Creams Safe?
Exercise physiologist Jason Boynton states that “there’s no evidence it’s dangerous. Capsicum works on particular thermal receptors – there’s no actual warmth coming from the creams.” The only thing to note is that capsicum can be irritating to the skin and when paired with other potential irritants like peppermint or tea tree, your legs may be warm but still uncomfortable. Always do a patch test before using the product to determine how your skin will react.

Embrocation creams have been used for years by cyclists and the certainly can help to keep your legs warm in winter weather. However, they can be potentially irritating, particularly if you already have sensitive skin and they may take some getting used to. Wearing embrocation creams daily may not be ideal or practical, but when you just can’t wait for warmer weather to wear your favorite skirt or dress, they are a great way to keep both your style and your comfort.

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Layering Ideas

Layering

The look of layered clothing is a fashion trend with major staying power, but it can be a bit intimidating to try out yourself. Sure, it looks great on ridiculously thin models, but if not done properly, layering can make you look bulky or heavy and that’s definitely not the look you want to achieve. No matter what size you are, you can pull off layering your clothing and looking fabulous, not frumpy. Our layering ideas below help guide you through creating a perfectly layered outfit.

Start Thin
The first step to layering is to select your thinnest pieces and to wear these close to your skin. Beginning with thick pieces then adding more items on top will result in a bulky, awkward look as opposed to the fashionable and intentional looking layers you were hoping to achieve. Start with a basic cotton t-shirt or a button down blouse in a neutral color for the most versatility with your layering.

Limit the Number of Layers
Fashion experts generally suggest creating looks with no more than three layers. They advice piling on more because successful layering is all about fit and proportion, so you want to be strategic about not only what pieces you are layering, but also the number of items you plan on layering.

Use Flattering Silhouettes
When layering your outfit, you want the foundation layer to be as figure flattering as possible. Avoid items that don’t fit well or that are “boxy” in shape because these will make you look like you’re carrying weight where you aren’t when other layers are added in.

Woman wearing a blazer.

Add Structure to the Top Layer
One of the best tips for creating perfectly layered looks is to top the ensemble off with a structured piece. Some great options for your top layers include a fitted blazer, cropped jacket or cardigan, an empire or cinched waist item or a belted cardigan.

Balance the Bottom
Because you’ve added layers to the upper half of your body, you want to be sure to keep the lower half streamlined for balance. A great pair of skinny jeans or your favorite leggings are perfect for creating a long, lean and balanced look.

Add Some Interest
An aspect that makes layering so intriguing and stylish is the contrasts between different colors, cuts and textures. The faux fur vest is a major hit this winter, and these are often more bulky pieces by nature of their material. Layer your vest over thin pieces to create proportion and an interesting contrast between a simple fabric and the faux fur.

Woman wearing stud earrings.

Keep Accessories Simple
You don’t have to completely avoid accessories when you are layering an outfit, but keep them as simple as possible to avoid creating too much distraction from your outfit. Stud earrings, delicate necklaces or lightweight scarves are all accessories that add some interest to your outfit without looking overpowering.

Layering your clothes is a great way to make the most out of the clothes that you own. With some creativity and planning, you can create an endless variety of outfits. Remember that the most important rule of layering is to keep proportions and balance in mind as you plan your ensembles. Have fun experimenting with different cuts, colors, textures and accessories to customize your look.

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The French Woman’s Guide to Style

Woman dressed in white.

Coco Chanel once said that “simplicity is the keynote of all elegance,” and this is a statement that French women seem to have down to a science. The French woman manages to look both impossibly put together yet in an effortless-looking way. You can create your own personal style by learning a few lessons from the French woman’s guide to style.

Your Undergarments Matter
Lingerie brings to mind sensual, feminine and elegant garments, but in France this word simply means ‘undergarments.’ The French woman knows that what she puts on underneath her clothes is just as important as the clothes themselves, so she always makes sure to have undergarments that make her feel sexy, powerful and confident.

Invest in Timeless Classics
This piece of advice is universal, but the French woman knows that there are certain items a well-thought out closet should contain. Some items that you may consider investing in are:

  • Great pair of tailored jeans
  • A blazer
  • Cardigans
  • A well-cut white shirt
  • Black flats and heels
  • Quality handbag
  • You don’t have to blow an entire paycheck on one piece, but as you build your wardrobe consider spending a bit more on classics that will never go out of style.

Stylish woman

Don’t Try Too Hard
The French woman is known for her seemingly effortless elegance, but seemingly is the key word. Many French women do spend a good deal of time into coordinating outfits until they find just the right combination that strikes a balance between completely chic and effortless. The French woman wears clothes that suit her shape and style, but she avoids at all costs looking like she is “trying too hard.”

Mix It Up
Paris is considered to be one of the top four most fashionable cities in the world and it is home to countless haute couture brands, but that doesn’t mean the French woman wears only Chanel or Saint Laurent. The French woman is an expert at mixing haute couture with bargain or vintage finds and in fact, enjoys doing so.

Woman wearing a ring

Accessorize Selectively
“Before you leave the house, look in the mirror and remove one accessory,” advised the incomparable Coco Chanel. The French woman keeps her accessories understated and minimal. Likewise, hair and makeup are often simple with the focus on a gorgeous complexion and hair that is natural looking, yet styled. The ideal hair for a French woman is a style that makes it look like she just rolled out of bed, yet still looks amazing and well-cared for. Nude, red and light pink are all colors that the French woman keeps in her rotation for both lips and nails.

It’s All About Attitude
The French woman doesn’t respect rules or convention when it comes to fashion, the only rules that matter are her own, because she wants to be unique, rather than look like somebody else. French women are experts at discovering and cultivating their personal style and once they find something they know they like, they aren’t afraid to stick to it. The French woman is confident in her clothing selections, has a hint of arrogance about herself and exudes confidence.

The French woman doesn’t take fashion too literally; she knows how to mix the newest trends with the timeless classics and high prices with super inexpensive finds. Her style looks effortless, but it does require time and effort to appear that way. Finding your own style is the first step in following the French woman’s guide to style, and don’t forget that lingerie is key, it adds the je ne sais quoi aura to her style.

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How to Get Flawless Looking Foundation

Some women are born with a naturally even, clear and flawless complexion, while others have to cheat the system just a little, which is why we have foundation. Foundation is probably the most important product in your makeup bag and unfortunately, it’s also the one that can be the trickiest and most confusing to use properly. You can achieve flawless looking foundation, all you need is a little bit of guidance from the experts and the right shade for your skin tone. Below, we’ve got six tips that will help you go from novice to pro when it comes to getting flawless looking foundation.

Woman choosing foundation color.

Pick the Right Color
Without a doubt, the most important trick to getting flawless foundation is picking the color that best matches your skin tone. You can follow every single tip and trick here but still end up looking like a hot mess if you are using a foundation that is either too light or too dark. Perhaps the easiest and most foolproof way to find your shade is by heading to your local beauty counter or Sephora to get matched. When you’re looking for a foundation in the drugstore, chances are that you will have to guess your proper shade since most foundations aren’t available to test in these establishments. If there are testers available, pick three shades you think will match and apply a small swatch to your cheek. Blend each one out a bit and the one that seems to disappear against your natural color is the one you want to grab.

Moisturize and Prime
In order to get a flawless finish from your foundation, you need to begin with the right products. The first step in any foundation routine is to moisturize. When your skin is well hydrated, your foundation will glide on far more easily and evenly, so you won’t have to worry as much about dry patches on your face. Next, use a primer. Lisa Eldridge, makeup artist, YouTube beauty guru and the official global creative director for Lancome, says that creating a base is the key to a flawless finish. It can work wonders for the overall complexion and also help your foundation to smooth more evenly. It also keeps makeup in place for longer.

Woman applying concealer.

Spot Conceal
When you use foundation only on your most troublesome areas and you don’t attempt to cover every spot or dark area on your face, you will be left with the need to conceal these areas. Remember, a foundation is meant to even out your complexion, not to conceal imperfections. It matters when you apply your concealer as well. “I always apply concealer after foundation, simply because once the foundation is on, you can really see the areas you need to highlight or conceal. If you apply before, it’s also likely to rub off when you apply your foundation,” advises Eldridge.

Less is More
One, if not the most, frequent mistakes women make with foundation is to use it as a coverall. Eldridge stresses that foundation is meant to even out the skin tone, not to conceal every tiny imperfection on your face. No matter what type of foundation you use, you want to avoid creating a mask-like effect by loading up too much foundation on your skin. Apply it where you need it most, usually the chin, nose area, mouth area and center of the forehead, and then blend it outward for the most even and natural look.

Blend, Blend and Blend Again
Blending is the secret to creating a flawless foundation look and you can never blend too much. As we stated above, dot foundation in the center of your face or the areas in which you really need it, and then blend outward towards the sides of your face. “If you really focus on these areas and blend out, the foundation will become thinner as it goes towards the hairline, which will help achieve a much more natural finish,” explains Eldridge.

Woman applying foundation.

Set the Foundation
Once you’ve evened everything out, blended to perfection and used concealer on problem areas, you want to be sure that your hard work lasts throughout the day. They most effective way to help your makeup last longer (next to primer) is to use a loose powder. You can find loose powders that are translucent, tinted to your skin tone or that are various colors designed to color correct your entire face, just be sure that you use a light hand when applying powder. If you don’t have very oily skin to begin with, you can probably just apply setting powder on your T-zone and leave the rest of your face as is. Setting sprays can be a great tool to keep makeup in place, but be sure to read the ingredients carefully. Many setting sprays are made using alcohol, which can end up drying your face out during your day.

Flawless looking foundation may seem like a lot of work and it will probably take some trial and error before your get it right, but the end result will be a naturally radiant face. Makeup is about personal expression and enhancing your natural beauty, and picking the right foundation and using the proper application techniques will help give you a natural yet flawless foundation look.

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