Truth and Beauty

Americans spend more than $60 billion dollars a year on skincare and cosmetics. This Includes products to wash our faces, clear up our skin, slow down aging, smooth out our complexions, add color to our lips, sculpt our cheeks, enhance our eyes, and extend our lashes. Of course some of our yearly purchases also go towards fragrances, body products and hair products. However, skin care and makeup tend to be bigger ticket items which account for most of the spending within our beauty budgets. A department store daytime moisturizer can cost between $35 – $275 a jar. You’ll most likely also need a night time product to use with your moisturizer and these products are much more costly. A 21-day supply of La Mer’s product called “the Essence” can be yours for $2,600 although it’s available by invitation only! Don’t forget another cream for the more sensitive eye area. And of course you should properly cleanse the face before using these creams, which more than likely takes three additional products (eye makeup remover, cleanser and toner). This all leads to a considerable investment in our face.

How can I cover up my dark under eye circles without looking cakey and obvious?

To cover the dark circles, you need two things: a soft synthetic bristle brush and a moist concealer in a specific shade. To find the right one, you need to determine the actual color that the discoloration appears to be. It’s simple color theory from there. (Remember making the color wheel in High School Art class?) Opposite colors will cancel each other out when applied on top of each other.

Most commonly, under eye circles have a slightly bluish look which means an orange toned concealer will hide the blue. Some under eye circles have more of a purple cast to them which needs a yellow toned concealer. Red-violet under eye circles should use olive (yellow-green). If you have a blue-violet discoloration, use peach (yellow-orange). In addition to knowing the right color concealer to look for, make sure to choose one that is close to the level of lightness or darkness of your overall skin tone. In other words, if you need an olive concealer, don’t use a dark olive if you have fair skin! Try Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage.

I also recommend that you invest in a good daytime eye cream like Chantecallie’s Stress Repair Concentrate. The more hydrated the skin around the eye area becomes, the less your vein and muscle tissue (the real culprit to your dark circles) will show through the thin skin. Additionally, as an even better bonus, it will keep your delicate eye area firm and moist to prevent it from aging at the rate it would otherwise. An eye cream should be invested in and used daily by the age of 18 or so.

I recently noticed some small wrinkles around my eyes. Help! I’m horrified. What can I do?

All women experience this day at some point in their life. It’s a fact that the eye area ages faster than the rest of the face due to several reasons. The skin around the eyes is about 7 times thinner than the rest of the skin on our face so it’s extremely delicate. We also have pores that secrete oil all over the face except in our eye area, so it is also much drier. Additionally, we tend to abuse it a lot with rubbing of the eyes, pulling and tugging to apply/remove makeup, etc.

If you had been using a good eye cream each day, you could have postponed those fine lines around the eyes for years. Soadd it to your shopping list to keep the skin as firm as possible and prevent it from getting worse at the rate it is currently aging. Try Chantecallie’s Stress Repair Concentrate. However, if you already have some visible lines, it’s time to also add a night eye cream to your skin care regimen. The a.m. eye cream penetrates to slow down aging and prevent loss of elasticity whereas the night eye cream had a rich, Vaseline type consistency which topically lubricates to soften existing lines and give a smoother appearance. Not all companies make a p.m. eye cream. Try Kiehl’s Imperiale Repairateur Moisturizing Eye Cream for night.

It takes just a tiny dot warmed between the ring fingers and tapped around the eye sockets where you can feel a bone underneath. (The creams will travel to your eyelid from body heat so don’t start on eyelids or it will travel right into your eyeball!) Start at the nose bridge and circle down and outwards to avoid and reduce puffiness. Nearly all eye creams come in a one half ounce jar. This should last nearly a year for a p.m. eye cream and about 6-9 months for the a.m. eye cream. I also suggest that you invest in a gentle eye makeup remover to slow down abuse to the delicate eye area. I love the Clarins Instant Eye Make-Up Remover.

Taking care of your skin is definitely an investment. Think of it this way, that last outfit you bought will be hanging in a thrift store in the near future and will be replaced by many other outfits in your lifetime. You’ve only got one face so take care of it!

What are the little white bumps around my eyes?  

The small white bumps are called Millia Bumps. They often appear when products such as moisturizers, night creams and eye creams are used in excess. The thin skin around the eyes can only absorb so much moisture and the excess product clusters under the skin and can not be released since there are no pores in the eye area. The first thing to do is to prevent it from getting worse by stopping use of all products near the eyes that is not meant for the eye area and by using the right amount of products in the right places. The size of a pea for a facial moisturizer or night cream is all that is necessary. Warm the cream between tour fingertips and evenly pat a thin coat over the face avoiding the circular eye area from eyebrows to top of cheekbone. An eye cream should be applied sparingly once a day in a tapping motion starting at inner eye and tapping outwards towards the ears along the bone, not in the eye socket. The heat from rapid eye movement (blinking) will allow the eye cream to travel as it penetrates. Applying creams too close to the lash line will cause the product to travel into the eyeball causing blurriness and irritation. Getting rid of millia bumps is takes longer than it did to create them. Speeding up exfoliation of the skin is the best to smooth out the skin. Peels from a Dermatologist or Nurse Practitioner will get results faster than the milder version from an Esthetician. Use of an eye cream with alpha hydroxyl acids may also be beneficial.

Do cellulite creams really work?

Yes and no. The truth is that cellulite is a cluster of hardened fat cells visible under the skin. The thicker your skin is the less visible the cellulite; the same way that tight pants made from thin fabric will show cellulite and thicker fabric makes it less obvious. The more moisture (water) that the skin absorbs the thicker the skin becomes making the bumpiness less visible. All cellulite creams tell you to massage the area in a vigorous manner. The heat from the vigorous rubbing of the cream is mostly responsible for the breakdown of cellulite.

If you look at vintage photographs of women (before digital touching up was common) you will notice that almost no one had cellulite. Did you know that Marilyn Monroe was a size 13? What goes on in today’s society that causes cellulite in even a skinny size 2 female? A multitude of things have changed but we have to look at what we take into our bodies that is different. The body is a natural organ. It works with and receives nutrients from natural things. Water, milk, fruits, vegetables, meat, poultry, fish, etc. Somewhere along the line, man invented man-made products. We started with natural ingredients and somehow progressed to adding chemicals. Americans ingest over 8 lbs. of pesticides per year alone. Once we discovered the importance of calories in the ‘70s, we became obsessed with cutting calories. Fake sugars were invented with lower calories and sweet or bitter taste. Artificial colorings, Aspartame, Caffeine, Monosodium Glutamate (MSG), Nitrate, Olestra and sulfates are man-made chemicals and can be absorbed by the body but not released. Studies show that these chemicals harden the fat cell which causes the cellulite cluster appearance.

In the 80’s when the aerobic fitness craze started, women noticed that their cellulite disappeared when slapping their thighs while doing jumping jacks. Who would have thought that requesting a spanking would become a beauty treatment?

Love and Wisdom