Friday, February 6, 2015

Want Instagram-ready skin? No Photoshopping needed with this stuff :D

Beauty Wonkette might be tempted to  call bareMinerals' new Complexion Rescue the best foundation to touch her face, but that would be a lie. It’s not a foundation. It’s not a BB or CC cream either — it's a light gel-cream hybrid with SPF 30 that combines the best of what foundation, concealer, and BB cream have to offer. So Beauty Wonkette doesn't know exactly what to call it. It’s like an early Valentine’s Day present to your face, and Beauty Wonkette thinks she's in love.

BW tried Complexion Rescue for the first time a month ago. Using the brand's Smoothing Face Brush, I swept the formula over my face, which evened my skin tone, blurred a few dark spots out of focus, and made my face look radiant and soft. The coverage isn’t particularly heavy, but that’s also what makes the cream so special. It hides imperfections while still making your skin look like skin.

Though Beauty Wonkette wouldn’t suggest ditching your morning moisturizer, Complexion Rescue is a light cream that absorbs into skin like water takes to soil. Because she tends to be oily, BW typically steers away from liquid and cream foundations. Complexion Rescue is different, though, because unlike a tinted moisturizer or BB cream, the texture is lighter and less sticky. It moisturizes without turning your face into a greasy mess, which is particularly helpful when you need to pull a long workday. Between the coverage, hydration, and overall airbrushed effect, Complexion Rescue is the best new foundation on the market. Or perhaps it’s BB cream. Whatever it is, it’s brilliant.

Complexion Rescue, $29 at Sephora.

Everything You Need to Know About Face Acids

Hello my lovelies.  Beauty Wonkette rarely does the cut and past routine, but sometimes somebody else says it as well as it can be said.  Kathleen Hou did as fine a job as Beauty Wonkette would have and it's stuff you really should know.  Soooo

Acids are totally groovy. Just ask your aunt with the ankle flower tattoo or, as it turns out, any dermatologist. If you have anti-aging, anti-acne, or anti-dry-skin concerns — or, in other words, are human — acids can drastically help you deal with your face. (And, no, using them doesn't feel like a chemical peel.) They work by helping you get new skin quicker through a process dermatologists call “turnover.” New skin is shiny and bright, and looks better than old skin. As Dr. Julie Russak explains, “Dead cells absorb light rather than reflect it, resulting in dull-looking skin.” Below, our non-painful everything guide to getting to know your essential face acids.

Glycolic acid is a good starter acid. If acids were a boy band, glycolic acid (a type of alpha-hydroxy acid) would be your Justin Timberlake. It's the one most recommended by dermatologists to acid virgins because it's gentle and has proven anti-aging properties. Compared to other acids, glycolic has the smallest molecules and thus penetrates the skin most easily for dramatic results. Dr. O’Brien of Tribeca Park Dermatology explains: “Glycolic acid stimulates collagen, which helps with fine lines, wrinkles, and the general tone of the skin." Dr. Lancer, dermatologist to BeyoncĂ© and Kim Kardashian, suggests trying a 6 to 10 percent glycolic- or fruit-acid-based cream twice a week for two weeks for results. (Try Lancer Skincare’s Retexturizing Cream, which has 10 percent glycolic acid.) Or, if you've used face acids before, and are up for something a little bit stronger, Skinceuticals Retexturizing Activator Replenishing Serum with 20 percent glycolic acid, is a good bet.

Acids can help you get fewer pimples. If you've ever blindly grabbed at a drugstore acne product in a zit-related panic, you've probably already tried salicylic acid. A type of beta-hydroxy acid, salicylic is the second most common acid because of its ubiquity in acne products. As its molecules are larger than glycolic, its treatment percentages are lower. Reach for a product with salicylic acid when you want to get rid of pimples — its anti-inflammatory properties will help dissolve dead-skin buildup. Try Neutrogena's Rapid Clear Acne Eliminating Gel.

Acids can also help you moisturize. If you have dry-skin concerns, try hyaluronic acids. It's not like the others in that it doesn't dissolve dead skin. It's a natural carbohydrate (unlike cupcakes) found in the human body that cushions and lubricates skin. Babies are born with a high amount of hyaluronic acid and the amount in our bodies decreases as we age. It can be found in moisturizers and even be used as an injectable, with Juvederm and Restylane. If you want to ease into it, try CeraVe Facial Moisturizing Lotion PM or Philosophy's Take a Deep Breath Oxygen Gel Moisturizer, two moisturizers that contain hyaluronic acid.

If you're scared of acids, try a wash. If you haven’t used any acids before and are nervous, try incorporating one into your routine with a wash. Dr. O’Brien says, “With a wash you can limit the amount of contact time with the skin and avoid over-drying.” Try Peter Thomas Roth's Glycolic Acid 3 Percent Face Wash or Mario Badescu's Glycolic Foaming Cleanser.

Don't try an acid peel at home. Acids are not necessarily going to hurt. If you’re using a moisturizer or face wash with an acid, it might slightly tingle for a brief amount of time. If you are getting a professional chemical peel, it will tingle for a longer length of time. But if you are Amazon-ing DIY acid peels late at night, it will hurt. Half the reviews for acid peels on Amazon vacillate between "This was amazing~!~" and "This gave me a chemical burn so bad that I couldn't leave my house for two weeks." You are not the exception. You are the rule; you will get burned. Unsurprisingly, Dr. Lancer cautions against attempting your own medical-grade peel at home: “You risk extremely serious burns, scarring, and permanent damage to the skin."

You can only tell if acids are working over time. Dr. Lancer explains how you can tell whether your acids are working: “Acids should noticeably brighten and even out the skin; you will notice pigmentation, freckling, and unevenness lessen over time. You will not necessarily 'feel' anything, but skin should be smoother to the touch after a period of regular use. It is also quite easy to notice when you have overused acids: Your skin will appear red, irritated, itchy, and dry. If this occurs, stop the use of the product for a few days and amp up your moisture application.”

Don’t go smearing a pineapple on your face. Sure, you could smush a bunch of oranges and pineapples on your face and hope that you're giving yourself a fruit peel, but, unsurprisingly, all the dermatologists we interviewed don’t suggest that. Not even with organic fruit. Dr. Lancer simply says, “It is possible, but not advisable.”

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Winter Has Arriived....And so has dry, itchy skin

Beauty Wonkette is a child of the Mediterranean.  Translation:  Beauty Wonkette has pretty oily skin.  But, even with a humidifier running, the dry air that heats both her home and office makes for itchy, sometimes downright ashy, (body) skin.  Beauty Wonkette cannot walk around scratching like a monkey.  Nope.  BW refuses to live with winter itchiness.

“A body conditioner works just like a hair conditioner, but on your body,” reads the label on Lush’s body conditioner, African Paradise. Translation: This is the product you need if you cannot live with skin dryness. It's heavy-duty stuff. 
BW approached African Paradise as if it were a hair conditioner and rubbed on a handful after a shower. It smelled nutty, like melted chocolate — a result of the cocoa and shea butter rounding out the ingredients list. Other oils, including almond, moringa, and baobab, make the conditioner into a moisturizing magnet. I let it sit on my skin for about a minute (the directions don’t indicate how long you should wait), and then rinsed. It left a residue on my skin that eventually disappeared to make way for softer, smoother skin.
African Paradise won’t replace a body cream (it's not as moisturizing by itself, due to the required rinse), but it's a helpful intermediary step that enhances a lotion or cream and makes it last longer. It's safe to say that this moisturizing mini-step just earned a permanent position in BW's skin-care routine.

A Bargain Shampoo That Cleanses Like a Pro

     Hello hello hello.  It's good to be back in the U.S. (mostly...hehe).  As Beauty Wonkette resumes posting, in order to keep things fresh, we occasionally use friends, family, and people we kidnap as LAB RATS.  It keeps things fresh.

     In this case, BW was assisted by her able VERY CURLY HEADED assistant to test this new shampoo.  BW could have used her own head, but BW wanted to try it on somebody who used ALOT of hair product for reasons that will soon be apparent.  She fit the bill better than BW.  So fellow Wonkettes.....

Here's the rub with curly, dry, or chemically treated hair: While moisturizers, masks, and oils keep dull and dehydrated hair at bay, they also leave a nasty coating of buildup on the scalp. This buildup, which often resembles greasy gray yogurt (fun!), inhibits hair growth, triggers flakes, and cramps any decent style. Hair Food's Root Cleansing Shampoo claims to wash away cakey buildup without drying hair. Seeing as how my Lab Rat's scalp has seen better (and clearer) days, Beauty Wonkette asked her to put the new shampoo to the test.
The root-cleansing shampoo has a gel texture and smells like a Kiwi-Strawberry Snapple. One pump and the shampoo grew into a mild lather that she used to scrape away a week's worth of products on her scalp. Considering that she says she usually needs to dump half a handful of shampoo on her head to cut through the curls, grease, and scalp scum, one small pump that lathered all over was a promising start. Where the shampoo really had an effect, however, was in the rinse. After washing the suds out , she reported that her hair felt clean, but not stripped. It takes a special kind of shampoo to remove excess residue without leaving hair feeling like it belongs on the backside of a horse. You could say that we were impressed.
In addition to removing buildup, the bottle of Hair Food's Root Cleansing Shampoo offers quite a few remarkable claims. For one, the shampoo is free of parabens, mineral oil, and silicone. The first two are believed to be linked to serious medical conditions, while the latter ingredient is said to damage hair over time. Silicone also impedes the cleansing abilities of shampoos. 

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Skin-Care Secrets From Around The World: FRANCE

France: Natural Beauty?

     Beauty Wonkette knows that it’s not news that French women are ahead of the curve in the realm of aesthetics — beauty being no exception. But, their beauty “secret” might shock most American women, because the way French women stay beautiful is not necessarily a secret — it’s more a state of mind.
     “French women understand that perfection is not possible and accept the good and the bad. They prefer the look of bare skin, to have a healthy glow, and be proud of it,” says Isabelle Bellis, a French-born epidermologist and holistic nutritionist. “French women are more concerned with keeping their skin soft, glowing, and clean rather than treating wrinkles and dark spots.” 
     And, while Bellis admits that wrinkles and anti-aging are issues, she notes that women in France will focus more on the overall feel and texture of the skin as opposed to erasing the effects of time. “They’re more obsessed with the softness of the skin,” she says, adding that they balance out a “bon vivant” lifestyle with the right products. “French women use a lot of moisturizers in order to offset the moisture-robbing effects of drinking wine and coffee and smoking cigarettes (BW wonders if French women still partake in this disgusting habit?).”
     According to Bellis, the French skin-care regimen is a fairly simple, daily three steps: a milk cleanser to wash the face; a lotion (or toner) to further cleanse the face, oxygenate the tissue of the skin, and allow for better penetration of active ingredients; and finally a moisturizer or serum.
     Sylvie Chantecaille, CEO and president ofChantecaille BeautĂ©, adds that skin care is as much a part of French culture as the baguette. “They’re innately more proactive when it comes to skin care and buy into a routine — one that’s passed down by their mothers and grandmothers — early on,” she says, also noting that milk cleansers, such as ChantecailleFlower Infused Cleansing Milk, are popular with French women. “They have a very simple and tailored routine with little fuss,” she says.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Skin-Care Secrets From Around The World: U.K.

     Beauty Wonkette's series on international beauty secrets continues.  Let's check out what's happening across the pond in the U.K.

U.K.: Ahead Of The Curve

     Our sisters in the U.K. are often the first to catch on to many trends, be it the latest reality show or the next boy band. AND Beauty Wonkettes in the UD can also teach us a thing or two about beauty, says Jane Cunningham, editor of blogs British Beauty Blogger and The Beauty +. 
     While American women are accustomed to cutting-edge beauty services being as accessible as a cup of Starbucks coffee, our British counterparts have become far more industrious — and knowledgeable — about beauty. “There isn’t a nail bar on every corner, even in London,” says Cunningham. “And, there isn’t a waxing salon on every high street, which means we’re more likely to tackle those things at home. It makes us very adept at waxing our own legs and doing our own manicures and blowouts.”

     Which is not to say the Brits are missing out in any way. In fact, simple geography means they’re privy to a host of interesting European trends way before they're even a blip on our radar. Cunningham sites the recent popularity of micellar waters, a gentle French cleansing method that uses tiny micelle particles (instead of soap and alcohol) to remove makeup, sebum, and impurities from the skin. “Our makeup artists started using Bioderma Crealine micellar water during Paris Fashion Week, and now the line is stocked in the U.K.,” says Cunningham. “A few years ago, you couldn’t buy it here at all!”
     London-based dermatologist Dr. Eric Toni adds that U.K. women face a variety of unique weather conditions, adding to their hardier approach to beauty. “In areas like Scotland and Northern Ireland, it’s often wetter and windier for more of the year, so women there complain of a lack of radiance and dry skin,” says Dr. Toni. “And, while the U.K. isn’t really known for being sunny, women are surprised to find that they need help with brown spots and patches that may have built up over time due to lack of sunscreen use and holidays abroad.”
     Toni favors antioxidant products from theSkinceuticals line to protect against daily environmental damage as well as peels and IPL to target pigmentation issues. “Antioxidants are a key element of daily skin care,” he says. “And, sunscreens are a must, daily, no matter where.”

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Skin-Care Secrets From Around The World: CHINA

     Okay, my sister Beauty Wonkettes, our global tour continues.  Today, let's take a look at China.

China: Light Bright

     Bottom line: Chinese women are way ahead of their American counterparts in terms of protecting their skin from the elements. Dr. Yuanhong Li, professor and vice chairman of the department of dermatology at China Medical University, says Chinese women are typically more concerned with achieving whiter, brighter skin as opposed to combating wrinkles, which she says is a result of careful planning (and a bit of genetic luck).

     “Thanks to the inborn yellow color in Chinese skin, which acts as a natural barrier to photo-aging, Chinese women typically don’t worry about fine lines and wrinkles until their 40s,” she notes. She adds that, unlike American women, Chinese women are taught from a very early age to worship the sunscreen, not the sun. “They’ll wear a thick layer of sunscreen, a wide-brimmed hat, and even an umbrella in the sun,” says Dr. Li.
     Indeed, the Chinese ideal described by Dr. Li — a porcelain doll — is far different from a sun-kissed model strolling along a Malibu beach. “Chinese women love snow-white skin,” she says. “As the Chinese proverb says, 'The whiter, the prettier.'” To help patients achieve this luminous effect, Dr. Li prescribes whitening agents such as hydroquinone cream as well as vitamin C serums and chemical peels, laser toning, and resurfacing. 
     For targeting enlarged pores, Li recommends cleansers with glycolic acid, to be used with a motorized cleansing brush like the Clarisonic model. Other methods like fractional lasers and IPL are also popular in China for boosting collagen production.
     Judit Galambosi, lead therapist of The Institute Erno Laszlo in New York, who sees many clients traveling from Hong Kong, notes that pollution is another chief concern for Chinese women. “Their skin is exposed to more pollution than in the U.S., and they’re willing to take the time to invest in their skin,” she says. To combat the effects of environmental stressors, Galambosi starts with a thorough cleansing and microdermabrasion to take away any accumulation of dry and dulling skin cells. Then, she recommends the client use a hydrating mask like Erno Laszlo’s Hydra-Therapy Skin Vitality Treatment at least twice a week to maintain hydration and radiance.