Thursday, May 30, 2019

Lotion, Cream, Ointment - Which do I choose?

Fighting dry skin can seem like a losing battle, especially when you’ve tried every body moisturizer  to no avail.  But are lotions truly the way to go if you want to effectively moisturize your skin? Or should you think about using a cream or ointment?   There is a difference – in both how they work and their effectiveness.   

Ointments are mostly oil and are very greasy. They are thick, so they prevent your skin from losing water and don’t have to be reapplied very often because aren’t absorbed quickly. They are sticky and hard to spread on your skin, especially on hairy areas.

Ointments are very moisturizing and are the best emollients for very dry or thick skin. They can stain your clothes and are messy, so many people prefer to use them only at night while they sleep. Most ointments don’t have any preservatives, so your skin is less likely to have a bad reaction to it.

Creams have a balance of oil and water. This makes them easy to spread on your skin, but they are less moisturizing than an ointment. They have enough oil to trap the water in your skin, but they are less greasy and messy. They are lighter and easier to apply than ointments, which makes them good to use during the daytime. They are also heavier and more moisturizing than lotions, which makes them good for nighttime use, too. Your skin absorbs a cream emollient relatively quickly, so you need to reapply it more often than ointments.

Lotions are mostly water with only a small amount of oil. They’re the least moisturizing of the three types of emollients. Since they’re a liquid, they’re easy to spread on your scalp and other areas of your body that are hairy.

Lotion is good for daytime use because they’re thin and easy to apply. But you have to reapply lotions more frequently because your skin absorbs them quickly. Most lotions have preservatives in them, so it’s more likely your skin will have a bad reaction to them. Before you use a new lotion, test it on a small patch of skin to make sure you do not have an adverse reaction.

Wednesday, May 29, 2019


When deciding on a skin care moisturizer, an emollient is the third in the trifecta of skin care ingredients - along with occlusives & humectants. Each of these ingredient types has a different action when it comes to moisturizing your skin. Most skin care products use a combination of them to create a synergistic effect.

An emollient softens dry, rough, flakey skin, making it look and feel better. When the top layer of your skin doesn’t contain enough water, it dries out. This causes skin to crack and flake off, leaving open spaces between the cells in your skin. Emollients fill those spaces with fatty substances, called lipids, which make your skin smoother and softer.

Emollients help soothe dry skin and work well on individuals with skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis. Oil-based emollients are heavier in texture and leave a slightly greasy sheen on skin, which makes them ideal for very dry skin. Water-based emollients don’t leave a greasy residue, making them more suitable for normal to oily skin types.

Examples of emollients:
  • Aloe vera 
  • Shea butter 
  • Lauric acid 
  • Linoleic acid 
  • Oleic acid 
  • Stearic acid 
  • Cetyl alcohol 
  • Triethylhexanoin 
  • Ceramides.

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Those pesky blackheads!

Blackheads are like ants at a picnic; first one or two appear and the suddenly you've got a whole colony! Every time you squeeze one of them away, you find dozens more to tackle. As satisfying as that squeeze may be in the moment, they just keep coming back - grrrrrrrrrr!  So, maybe we need a better solution that squeezing.

What exactly are blackheads?
Before you go about trying to rid your skin of blackheads, it helps to first understand what they actually are. Blackheads are just an oxidized mix of oil and dead skin cells that are sitting in pores; ] the exposure to air is what causes them to oxidize and turn black.

The technical name for a blackhead is an open comedone (and comedone is the scientific term for an acne lesion). There are two different types of comedones: Open (blackheads) and closed (whiteheads). A dilated opening of a hair follicle (your pore), caused by a build-up of sebum, which is oil, P. Acnes bacteria, is the primary bacteria responsible for causing acne, and inflammation.
In other words: A blackhead is essentially a hair follicle that's so blocked up with dead skin cells, oil, and bacteria that it becomes a wide opening at the surface of the skin. When all of this gunk hits the open air (because of the wide opening), it oxidizes and turns the color black.

Despite their off-putting color, blackheads have nothing to do with dirt. Having blackheads is not a sign that you're too dirty.  The bad news, for some, is that there is a genetic component to blackheads, meaning that certain people are more prone to developing them, although the underlying reason for this isn't yet fully understood.

How do you treat blackheads?
When it comes to getting rid of blackheads, or any type of acne for that matter, there are two ways you can go: You can DIY at home, or, for more severe or persistent cases of acne, you can see a dermatologist. The best plan of action for you will depend on a lot of different factors, of course, but here are the best over-the-counter and prescription treatments.

For mild blackheads, try a salicylic acid scrub. If you have blackheads, your go-to ingredient should be salicylic acid.  This beta hydroxy acid helps remove excess oil and exfoliate the cells from the surface of the skin.  The best way to use salicylic acid? Try a gentle face scrub, which acts as a sort of one-two punch for combatting blackheads, providing double the exfoliation powers. The combination of physical exfoliation from the scrub, along with chemical exfoliation from the salicylic acid, can help keep the pores clear. However, you won't want to exfoliate with a scrub every day. The general rule of thumb is three times per week for oily or combination skin, and just once weekly for sensitive skin. On the days you don't use a scrub, use a gentle salicylic acid-containing cleanser.

Try a skin care brush
Electronic skin-care devices, aren't just hype — they really do cleanse your skin much more thoroughly than your fingers alone. Just be sure not to overdo it because irritation from the cleansing brush can flare up other acne. One or two times a week should be sufficient.

For more stubborn blackheads, go with a retinoid cream.  Retinoids can help treat blackheads and clogged pores by reducing the stickiness of the cells that clog pores, as well as speeding up the rate at which the skin turns over and regenerates. If they are especially persistent, you may need a  prescription retinoid cream, such as tretinoin, Retin A micro, or Tazorac.   Pro tip, especially for those with sensitive skin: If a retinoid cream is too drying, try applying it over moisturizer (or even between layers of moisturizer). 

For severe cases, oral acne medication may be necessary.  When all else fails, your dermatologist might prescribe an oral medication to help clear things up. 

Lastly, don't forget to moisturize.  Moisturizing is a crucial step in any skin-care routine — even if you've got acne-prone skin. Why, you ask? All of these methods may strip oils from the skin and be drying. It's important to maintain the right balance in the skin, and moisturizing will allow you to continue using exfoliating products without any issues.  Always use non-comedogenic moisturizers, which are formulated specifically to not clog your pores.

Sunday, May 26, 2019

WHAT'S NEW this week?

Zoya nail colors  (Hint: sort by clicking on NEW)

Are you ready for Summer? We are! 👣☀
Introducing BAREFOOT featuring a range of bright uplifting shades, shimmering neutrals, and an exciting new topper!


Style Sign Creative Texture Dry Boost Spray 
Give your hairstyle a cool, new texture with this dry boost. A dry texture spray that gives your hair tousled movement and definition. Adds light texture, soft grip and refreshed volume. Great for creating those rough and disheveled looks.

Give your curls and waves a beautiful twist with this surf oil. Gives your hair amazing body and texture for big bouncy curls and waves. Protects hair from frizz and flyaways and leaves the hair defined. 


Knot Anymore Super Detangler

Don't let knots and tangles ruin your day! This multi-benefit detangling spray is made with botanical additives lavender and rosemary to gently detangle the hair while providing protection to the hair and scalp from lice and nits. Infused with sunscreens to extend color longevity, making it color-safe! Does not leave behind any residue and is free of sulfates, phlalates and parabens. Can be used on extensions as well.

Saturday, May 25, 2019

What about my hair down there?

Beauty Care Choices has the best in hair care, skin care, cosmetics and nail care.  But did you know we also have a product for the "hair down there?"   Betty Beauty hair down there color dyes have 1-2+ applications in each kit (depending on how much betty you have). Cover grey with brown, black, blonde, auburn. Go a little wild with red, lilac or hot pink.  Betty Beauty products are specially formulated, drip-less color dyes.  We also have "Bare Betty" - safe hair removal cream for your betty.

Take a look.  Betty Beauty as featured on The Doctors television show.

Friday, May 24, 2019


Since the beginning, Sebastian has enabled stylists and the stylish with new products, tools and techniques. Their styles work in the spotlight, in the salon and on the street. Their innovations simplify, and put self-expression in your hands.

Every decade heralds a new lineup of icons that test the limits of hair creation. Cellophanes was the first hair color that came with choice. Shaper was the world’s first any-which-way spray. Potion 9 created the canvas for limitless style, and Eruptek injected hair with expansive clouds of texture.  Their newest line...Seb care, styling and grooming products for men who refused to be categorized.

In addition to shampoos and conditioners that strengthen hair and build a foundation. Sebastian electrifies and defines with its creative styling products.  Their motto:  Form it, Flaunt it or Let it Flow!

LA Stylists Geri Cusenza and John Sebastian started the company in 1972 with a plan to take a generation from flower power to fearless hair fashion.  The company continues the innovation and fearless game-changing hair care today.

While working on Barbara Streisand's Butterfly album cover, Geri crafted a crimped look for her hair with a tool that would soon become an industry game changer.  Inspired by textile crimpers, the then revolutionary Crimping Iron turned out to be a big hit, selling millions on only 2 days.

Whether you want to look Done yet Undone, Grungy but Gorgeous or Perfectly Imperfect, our 30 seconds effortless routine is made for you!  First wash your hair with Reset Shampoo, then use Preset Conditioner. Finally apply ShaperID hairspray for your perfect millennial effortless look.

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Are you addicted to Lip Balm?

Humectants may be the reason why your lips become “addicted” to lip balm because of their ability to dehydrate the skin when used on their own,. When you apply humectants (moisture) without occlusives (seals in moisture) to your lips, you could be making them drier than they were before you applied the lip balm. Thus, your lips feel very dry and you try to combat this by using more lip balm, which continues this ongoing cycle.  While humectants can provide a temporary plumping, smoothing, and hydrating effect, they are unable to repair damage to your skin’s protective barrier, which is the root cause of excessive dryness and flaking. 

To avoid this problem, only use lip balms that contain both humectants and occlusives. A few examples of occlusives are:
  • Argan oil
  • Beeswax
  • Borage seed oil
  • Olive oil
  • Jojoba oil
  • Safflower oil
Shiny lips can attract UV rays to your and cause dryness and increase your risk of skin cancer, so also use a lip balm with an SPF of 15 or higher.

Wednesday, May 22, 2019


Occlusives are one of the three pillars of moisturizers. They work alongside humectants and emollients to keep skin feeling soft, hydrated, and glowing. Occlusive substances work by helping to form a physical barrier or seal on the outer layer of the skin, to prevent trans-epidermal water loss; keep moisture locked in.  Although they don’t increase the moisture levels of the skin, they can help prevent water reserves from being drained by external sources like wind, a dry environment, or injury.

Occlusives can come from plant sources, like candelilla wax, carnauba wax, palm kernel and heavy oils like macadamia, castor, and cocoa butter. Others, like mineral oil, petrolatum, paraffin come from refining crude oil. Some are nature-identical like allantoin, a compound found in many natural sources, but is often produced in a lab to cost and sustainability reasons.

You are already familiar with products high in occlusive agents without even knowing it. o get an idea of what they feel like think of barrier creams, foot creams, and good old Vaseline, which is made from 100% petrolatum — an ingredient derived from crude oil.

Occlusive ingredients can feel heavy and greasy on the skin — therefore it’s best to include them along with lighter-feeling ingredients when creating moisturizing skin care products.

Natural occlusives:

  • Beeswax is composed of monoesters, diesters, and triesters, as well as hydrocarbons, hydroxypolyesters, and free fatty acids. Because of the nature of beeswax, including the moisturizing and soothing qualities, it is very frequently used in moisturizers.
  • Vegetable waxes - for those that don’t like using animal products, there are some great vegetable waxes that are a great substitute for beeswax. Carnauba wax, also called Brazil wax and palm wax, and Candelilla wax, and Palm kernel oil are great choices, 
  • Plant oils and butters high in Oleic Acid.  In general, most plant oils are considered emollients, but some oils, particularly those high in oleic acid, also work also have occlusive properties. These oils often have a thicker, greasier feel and include olive, avocado, rice bran, macadamia, castor, and soybean oil and shea and cocoa butter.
  • Lecithin is a fat that is essential in the cells of the body. It can be found in many foods, including soybeans, chickpeas, and egg yolks. It is a multi-purpose ingredient that helps pump up the skin’s barrier function and also be used as an emulsifier for oil in water emulsions. It can also help with serious dryness and eczema. It can be derived from many plant sources including sunflower and soy.
  • Cocoa Butter is an amazing occlusive. It has properties of all the moisturizing components and is a go-to for the skin. One of the benefits of cocoa butter is the high tocopherol content. This is a cluster of compounds that together contain a lot of Vitamin E, and is sometimes referred to as a form of that key vitamin. Tocopherol is a friend of the skin due to its antioxidant properties. These protect the skin from UV rays, and ultimately make it look firm and healthy. By boosting collagen, Vitamin E also keeps your face free of nagging little spots and lines and wrinkles that may come from age.4
  • Allantoin - While allantoin occurs naturally in botanical extracts of the comfrey plant, it is generally chemically synthesized to be nature-identical for sustainability reasons. When formulating, allantoin will come in the form of a white powder that is dissolved in the water phase. Allantoin helps to create a barrier over the skin while healing and promoting cellular regeneration.

Non-Natural/Synthetic/Petroleum-based Occlusive agents
There are many great plant-based or natural occlusives, but some of the occlusives ingredients most popular with dermatologists and professional formulators are derived from petroleum products or made with some synthetic ingredients. Regardless of whether you use choose to use all-natural ingredients or synthetics, it’s important to understand the what options are available. 

  • Petrolatum, or petroleum jelly and mineral oil.  These are the two most popular occlusive ingredients because they are both inexpensive to produce and are effective occlusive ingredients. It’s generally believed, when properly refined, petrolatum has no known health concerns and is safe to use. Another concern is regarding the impact to the environment because both are derived from crude oil, a renewable resource.
  • Dimethicone is one of the best and most popular synthetic occlusive ingredients because it is inexpensive and easy to produce and it excels at forming a nice moisture barrier over the skin. Another reason for dimethicone’s popularity is that is it is the only ingredient listed that has a greasy feeling when applied to the skin.
There is a wide variety of ingredients—many of them all-natural—that can provide the occlusive component of your moisturizer. As mentioned above, some of them have emollient or humectant properties as well. This gives you a great chance to mix various emollient, humectant, and occlusive agents for a great moisturizer that works for your skin’s unique needs.

This is the second of three BEAUTY SCIENCE articles on types of ingredients in moisturizers.  Click here if you missed Humectants.  Next week we will discuss Emollients.

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Easy Highlighting!

Sometimes, a thick layer of blusher is not something you need, especially on warm summer days. A slight touch of the brush or a little liquid blusher will be more than enough. It’s not necessary to contour your face completely — you can simply highlight your nose lines, cheeks, and the areas around your brows and lips.  Quick, simple and beautiful!

Monday, May 20, 2019

Trending - Healthy!

As consumers become more aware of the ingredients they eat, drink or use for beauty purposes, interest in natural and food-based ingredients is rising. Using natural food ingredients that are rich in antioxidants to help protect hair and lessen damage caused by pollution

The link between food and beauty has a long history. Recently, formulating haircare with food ingredients has appealed to persons looking for more natural, often organic-certified beauty products.
Younger buyers are demanding more transparency on what’s in their beauty products, and many of these same persons also link what they eat to their appearance. Many brands are strengthening this perception by highlighting the use of trending food ingredients that are linked to better hair and skin, and championing their specific benefits.

Using botanical/herbal extracts in anti-pollution haircare.

Anti-pollution has been a growing theme in beauty care product for a number of years, with haircare following in the footsteps of skincare.  Many brands are now providing protective and restorative products to deal with the stresses of everyday life. Skincare and haircare brands are now creating anti-pollution products that help remove and repel pollutants more effectively.

While the exact ingredients used for this purpose vary, antioxidant-rich botanicals are the most common. What are some of the recent trending ingredients?
  • Moringa is a purifying extract that is commonly used to remove pollutants and counteract free radical damage caused by pollution. 
  • Indian Lotus Flower, which is known for its ability to resist dust and humidity is often used to create a barrier on the hair, locking out both city grime and frizz-inducing humidity.
  • Kakadu plum, which is native to Australia. It is also known as the richest source of vitamin C, and is often used in skincare and pharmaceuticals because of its antioxidant and antiseptic properties.
  • Turmeric is another trending food ingredient that can help cleanse the scalp and hair of toxins caused by pollution exposure and its antibiotic properties make it a natural exfoliator. Turmeric hair products soothe the scalp, moisturize and remove dead cells regularly to protect the skin layers. It will remove unwanted material from the skin, so it can help regulate scalp condition by treating excessively dry or oily skin.  Turmeric can also be used to help prevent hair loss, as it keeps the scalp healthier and helps to prevent hair fall thanks to its active chemical curcumin.
  • Pink salt, which has become popular on dining tables around the world, is a useful scalp exfoliator to help combat dandruff, while also giving hair texture and absorbing excess oil.
All of these are trending, but are they really effective at combating pollution effects on the hair?  The answer is a cautionary yes.  While pollution is one factor in hair damage, UV Rays, chemicals, improper brushing and even the foods we eat are larger factors in damage.  Remember, the hair you see is "dead". The live part of the hair is the follicle deep within the scalp, so washing your hair thoroughly, and with sufficient frequency for your hair type, is key to curbing the scalp inflammation that contributes to hair follicle health.   To protect your hair, look for leave-ins with concentrated doses of antioxidants to neutralize free radicals, and strand-coating silicones, proteins, and polymers, which “provide a physical barrier, walling off hair from pollutants.

Sunday, May 19, 2019

WHAT'S NEW this week?

Purifi Facial Cleansers & Serums 

Whether your face needs extra care for Acne, Eczema or is very Sensitive, Malibu C can take care of them all with the power of Vitamin C and other nature identical ingredients. Each formula delivers just what you need to resolve problem skin issues.

Malibu C offers products to benefit and sustain the wellness of your hair, your skin and the Earth
Buy now. ________________________________________________________________________________

      Summer Getaway Kits

ColorProof is formulated with the finest, next generation, super luxury ingredients to deliver superior product performance that dramatically improves hair condition while maximizing color retention.  There are three new kits will keep your hair brilliant while you enjoy your favorite destination!  Each kit also has a Summer Travel Bag included!

  • Summer Getaway SuperRich comes with the Moisture shampoo, conditioner and color protect working hairspray to wash, condition and style the hair to perfection. Provides both heat and color protection while injecting lightweight moisture into the hair. Vegan and is great for everyday use!
  • Summer Getaway SuperPlump Comes with the Volume shampoo, conditioner and blow dry spray to give incredible volume to your hair. Provides full color protection to keep your hair color vibrant an shining. Will not weigh the hair down, has heat protection and is great for every day use.
  • Summer Getaway Crazy Smooth contains the anti-Frizz shampoo, conditioner and leave-in smooth to tame frizz and smooth out hair. Washes and conditions the hair for a soft and shiny appearance. Provides excellent color and heat protection while keeping the hair full of moisture. Great for those with unruly and hard to manage hair. 

"Endless Summer"

Hair Care

Macadamia Professional has new Endless Summer products - shampoo, conditioner, UV hair protection and an after-sun leave-in.  We all know what sun, swim & surf can do to our hair.  Protect & repair it with products designed specifically to care for outdoor hair no matter how endless your summer!

About the brand:
Macadamia oil's unique composition gives it an uncanny similarity and compatibility to your body's own natural oils. This allows for unbelievable absorption and rapid penetration into both the hair and skin. 
  • Macadamia Oil: Very rich in essential fatty acids, macadamia oil has the distinctive feature of resembling sebum. This replication of the natural oils our scalp produces for protection make it an ideal enriching & replenishing agent with rapid absorption.
  • Argan Oil: The oil is rich in Omega 9, Linoleic, Oleic, and unsaturated fatty acids - shown to be very beneficial in improving hair strength and health.

Saturday, May 18, 2019

How to: Color Correcting Concealers

Sorme Cosmetics has a great palette that corrects and conceals flaws, Optical Illusion. Watch what colors to use to cancel out discolorations or any other minor imperfection you want to hide.  So helpful!

Friday, May 17, 2019

BRAND PROFILE: Original Sprout

Original Sprout makes safe and effective products that parents can count on. Formulated without any irritants such as parabens and phthalates, Original Sprout also does not include ingredients such as lavender and tea-tree oil, which have been linked to hormone disruption in children. Our vegan and cruelty-free products are formulated with nourishing extracts from fruits, vegetables and flowers.

Original Sprout products include shampoos, conditioners, creams, sunscreens and bath products that are completely safe for babies and children.  They are so gentle, but effective, that many adults, especially those with sensitive skin & scalp also use them.

Perhaps their best known and most beloved product is the Miracle Detangler. The champion of detanglers, Original Sprout's Miracle Detangler quick release formula makes tough tangles history. Combing is fast, painless & safe without formaldehyde (Hydantoin DMDM) found in most children's detanglers. Use on dry or wet hair any time for a freshly washed feeling. Soy Free, Gluten Free, Cruelty Free, Biodegradable, 100% Vegetarian & Vegan, E.U. Cosmetic Directive Compliant. It also has ingredients to help repel lice.

Original Sprout was founded as a true labor of love by Inga Tritt, a top hairstylist in Santa Barbara, when she was a new mom. She sought to make products with ingredients that were safe to use on the sensitive skin of her daughter, and that other mothers and fathers could trust. Inga was also inspired by the needs of many parents who were asking her for detangling and styling advice. Original Sprout was created in California in 2003 and has grown into a complete collection of soothing shampoos, conditioners, styling and body care products for the entire family that is made in the USA.  

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Gorgeous Curls in No time - see how!

A powerful surround heat system that will provide beautifully precise curls each time. This amazing steam iron has a Nano Titanium chamber which the hair glides through effortlessly creating a shiny and silky finished look. You will have curls that are loose, soft, defined and just simply a stunning runway look! The iron heats up instantly to 450 degrees to create a flawless look each time.

BaByliss Pro hair styling products are elite, high performance, long lasting tools that help you effortlessly create your style.

Wednesday, May 15, 2019


Humectants are substances that have the ability to draw in moisture from their surrounding environment as opposed to a desiccant which dries things out. Your skin naturally contains humectants such as hyaluronic acid, which is responsible for giving your complexion its plump, youthful appearance. For this same reason, hyaluronic acid is a popular ingredient in many dermal fillers used to plump your skin and lips and to temporarily smooth away lines and wrinkles. Humectants are frequently used in cosmetics as a way of increasing and maintaining moisture in the skin and hair, in products including shampoo, conditioner, frizz serum, lotions, creams, lip treatments, cleansers, after-sun lotion, and some soaps or body lotions.

Humectants are also essential for healthy skin hydration, but you do have to be careful about which ones you choose and how you use them in your daily skin care regimen.

How Does a Humectant Work?
Humectants attract moisture from their environment, which can be the outside air or the underlying layers of your skin. If you are in a humid environment, humectant ingredients will pull in moisture from the air and therefore help your skin to stay hydrated. If you are in a dry climate, on the other hand, humectants can cause your skin to become dehydrated by pulling moisture up from deeper layers and onto the surface, where they can evaporate into the air. For this reason, it is best to combine humectant ingredients with an occlusive. (Occlusive ingredients are oily, waxy or silicone based ingredients that form a “seal” on your skin to prevent water from escaping.)

What Ingredients are Humectants?
There are many different ingredients that have humectant properties, and some act as both a humectant and an occlusive. Some of the most common humectants are:

  • Hyaluronic acid
  • Heparan sulfate analog 
  • Aloe 
  • Honey 
  • Glycerin 
  • Urea 
  • Propylene glycol 
  • Alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) 
  • Glycolic acid 
  • Lactic acid 
  • Phytic acid
  • Gluconolactone 
Both humectants and occlusives can provide nearly instant results in terms of increasing skin hydration and providing a temporary plumping and smoothing effect, but neither addresses the underlying cause of dry skin.  If your skin is very dry or if you struggle to control eczema or other similar conditions, try a barrier repair moisturizer that treats the underlying cause of skin dryness rather than just treating the symptoms. Look for these terms near the beginning of the ingredient list on the bottle:
  • Fatty acids
  • Ceramides
  • Cholesterol
  • Myristoyl/palmitoyl oxostearamide/arachamide mea
  • MLE technology
These ingredients help to repair your skin’s damaged protective barrier, which is the underlying reason why excess water is able to escape into the air and irritants and pathogens are easily able to enter.

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

8 tips to healthier nails

Well-manicured nails are an important part of a neat, pulled-together appearance.  Unfortunately, experts say many fall prey to myths and old wives' tales about how to care for nails.

To help set the record straight -- and get you on the road to beautiful nails -- here are eight tips for achieving healthy, well groomed, elegant nails.

Don't cut or manipulate cuticles.
Whether you have your nails professionally groomed or do them yourself, the No. 1 recommendation is leave your cuticles alone. The cuticle is the natural barrier to fungus and bacteria -- and once you breach that, protection is lost. This will not only make cuticles look worse -- red, swollen, and ragged -- but may also land you a nasty infection that harms the nail bed and leads to permanent nail damage. And while cutting cuticles holds the most potential for harm, pushing them back can cause problems as well.

Use nail hardeners sparingly -- or not at all.
The take-home message here is that a lot of them do more damage than good. Unless nails are exceptionally weak and fragile, she says, most people don't benefit from a nail hardener.
Healthy nails are flexible nails, so to keep yours from breaking, avoid anything that makes them more brittle.

Moisturize the nail bed and the cuticle.
While there is little in the way of medical data showing that moisturizing the nail bed will help nails grow, it can make cuticles look better and help protect nails from breaking due to a lack of moisture. If your nails are prone to breakage, it could mean they need moisture -- and putting oil around the cuticle helps moisturize the entire nail, which will reduce the incidence of chipping, cracking, and splitting.

Consider a  biotin supplement.
In several studies, researchers found that supplements of biotin (a member of the vitamin B family) increased nail thickness and prevented splitting and breaking. In a respected German study that evaluated 45 people with severe nail problems, 2.5 milligrams of biotin daily for several months benefited everyone -- with 91% of the 45 citing significant improvement.

Avoid acetone-based polish removers.
The one product that all dermatologists agree you should avoid if you have brittle nails is acetone nail polish remover. It has been documented time and again that it strips the nails, causing them to become brittle.

Avoid rough emery boards.
Those old-fashioned orange emery boards are too harsh for nails, causing small fissures and cracks that lead to breakage and tears,  Instead, she says, file nails with a smooth, fine file and don't saw back and forth. File in one direction only, and do it slowly and evenly to reduce risk of breakage.

You might need to Change shampoos.
While most women know when a shampoo doesn't agree with their hair, many don't realize it may not agree with their nails -- even if their hair looks great. This, say experts, is particularly true of detergent shampoos, or those for oily hair, which are designed to strip lipids and other natural oils from the scalp. If your nails are very dry and you are using any soap product that strips the oils, there is the potential to dry the nails.

Choose nail tips over full extensions.
In general, nail extensions are bad news for nails, frequently leading to fungal or even bacterial infections -- and, sometimes to permanent damage. If you must wear nail extensions, opt for just tips. While they can still cause problems, the potential for damage is less since the surface area covered is smaller.

Important warning: 
The use of a liquid acrylic nail compound known as MMA (methyl methacrylate) has been banned in many states and has been the subject of an FDA hazard warning, due mostly to high allergic sensitivity and serious nail damage. However, because it is an inexpensive ingredient, there are reports some salons are still using it, sometimes in the form of black market products. How can you tell for sure? According to the American Academy of Dermatology, if your nail products have a strong, noxious odor; if nail enhancements are difficult to file; or they don't soak off easily, they could contain MMA. Report any suspicions to your state health board.   (Beauty Care Choices does not sell any nail products containing MMA)

Monday, May 13, 2019

The facts about those Trendy Face Mists

 It seems like there’s a mist for everything ― hydrating, calming, soothing, moisturizing ―and many dismiss them as gimmicky bottles of fancy, (sometimes) scented water.

Then there are the prices, which can range anywhere from $4 to $90. However,  a more expensive product doesn’t always equal a better product. So how do you know if they’re actually worth it? We have some answers.

What is the point of a face mist?
There are different face mists for different skin care goals. Oftentimes, though, they’re advertised as being moisture-boosting or hydrating.  Some people use facial sprays and mists to refresh their skin throughout the day, some use them in place of toner, and others use them as setting sprays on top of makeup.  Plus, they make your skin feel better on a hot summer day or on a dry-air airplane or in the office.

Plenty of mists on the market have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and hydrating properties that are similar to topical creams and gels. A cream or gel tends to provide a more robust layer than a ‘mist’ from a spray, so it is likely to work better. The nice thing about mists is that they are generally good for applying an even layer of product to the skin as they typically don’t have to be rubbed in.

Do you really need them in your skin care routine?
Technically, no. But that doesn’t mean you can’t or shouldn’t use them. Facial mists are essentially just spray versions of other products, which means they aren’t necessary but can have some benefits.
For example, if you are misting on a moisturizer, then yes, it can be helpful. Although not necessary, facial mists can add beneficial effects to your skin care regimen. Depending on the ingredients in the mist, benefits can include added hydration, improved absorption of moisturizer, smoother application of makeup, leading to more radiant skin.

What should you look for in a face mist?
As with any skin care product, mist ingredients and formulas are meant to target different issues.

If you’re looking to add some extra moisture to your skin with a mist, look for one with hyaluronic acid, which is known for its ability to hold 1,000 times its weight in water.

You can also find face oils, which are good moisturizers, in mist form. Facial oils have natural antioxidants and fatty acids that can help with anti-aging as well.

Rosewater ― another popular facial mist ingredient ― has anti-inflammatory properties that can calm irritated skin and target redness. Aloe is another great ingredient for soothing skin.

What about water mists?
You know how licking your lips when they’re chapped actually makes them even drier? That same logic applies to facial mists that are purely water, like Evian’s mineral water mist: If you’re spraying dry skin with water without doing anything else, you’re not really getting any moisturizing benefits.
Repetitive wetting and drying the skin can lead to dryness and further irritation.


Saturday, May 11, 2019

Long Hair: Loose Waves or Tighter Curls

Sometimes you want that long hair to flow, other times it's fun to have some glorious curls.  Here, Redken and beauty blogger Maskcara show you how with just a 1" curling iron and the type of products you need to keep the hair perfect all day long!

Friday, May 10, 2019

BRAND PROFILE: Paul Mitchell

Whether you have curly, coarse, color treated or damaged hair; whether you need a light hold or strong wax; whether you need a product for kids, men or teens, Paul Mitchell has the right products to give you great style and care for your hair.

Paul Mitchell (John Paul Mitchell Systems) is leading the industry with the highest quality professional hair care available today. High-performance ingredients, innovation and a commitment to remaining cruelty-free, these are the top priorities in Paul Mitchell's product research and development of new products. Offering numerous products to achieve gorgeous hair including: Awapuhi Wild Ginger, Marula Oil, Mitch for Men, Neon, Neuro Style, Original PM, Pro Tools, Tea Tree and, of course, even a pet line, JP Pet.

Awapuhi Wild Ginger products are the gateway to sophisticated looks and proven performance that delivers consistent results every time. Moisturizing Lather Shampoo®, Keratin Cream Rinse®, Styling Treatment Oil® and HydroMist Blow-Out Spray® are just a few hair options that allow you to wash, hydrate and style while also protecting and repairing for smooth, elegant and sophisticated strands.

Marula Oil - All Oils Are Not Created Equal.  Transform lifeless, damaged and dry hair with MarulaOil shampoos, conditioners and intensive oil treatments. Formulated with pure, cold-pressed marula oil, this hydrating hair care line leaves your hair looking and feeling luxurious. Protective antioxidants repair damaged hair, restoring it back to its natural luster. See for yourself what these luxury hair care products can do.

Mitch for Men has product ranging from moderate to maximum hold and ultra-matte to high shine.  Mitch tailors to every guy's personal style.  Mitch cleansing products feature high-performing ingredients and a clean scent.

Neon - why blend in? Neon is style that stands out. It's hair care that lets you be the boss. Infused with natural sugars, it's a little sassy, a little sweet. Made just for teens, neon's focus is to give you individual styling power.  Neon also radiate a message of positivity with their stand against bullying.

Neuro Style - heat protection, styling tools and gorgeous hair.  These products are heat-activated, scientifically proven blends that help protect against damage cause by styling, blow drying and smoothing.

Tea Tree - Calm & Quench, Refresh & Renew, Awaken, Thicken.  Tea Tree products have hair care formulas to fit every hair need by harnessing the natural powers of Tea Tree.  There's even special care for co-washing curly hair.

and, of course:
The very best for your pet! Paul Mitchell's John Paul Pet understands your pets are part of your family. John Paul Pet products will keep your special furry friends clean with specialized formulas designed for a healthy, glossy coat. Keep them always looking their best with John Paul Pet! Keep your pet's skin moisturized and their fur clean with these pet shampoos and conditioning sprays. There are even pet wipes for quick clean-ups of ears, eyes and paws that treat your pet gently!

Shop Paul Mitchell Products

Paul Mitchell gives back.  They have created a Culture of Giving
Our culture of giving is helping to change the world. When you choose John Paul Mitchell Systems®, you get more than just high-performing products. You’re supporting a brand that believes in giving back. Over the years, John Paul Mitchell Systems® and Paul Mitchell Schools have donated millions of dollars to hundreds of philanthropic causes: from environmental protection to children’s charities and human rights. But we don’t just give with our checkbook—we mobilize our entire John Paul Mitchell Systems® community to get involved and lend a hand. You get to be part of a culture that’s helping to change the world, one good deed at a time.

Thursday, May 9, 2019

Exfoliate before sunless tanning

What's the first instruction on most sunless tanning products.  Exfoliate first. Before using a sunless tanning product, wash your skin to remove excess dead skin cells. Spend a little extra time exfoliating areas with thick skin, such as your knees, elbows and ankles.


Exfoliation is the process of sloughing off dead skin cells from the surface of your skin. But it’s not as simple as that. There are actually two kinds of exfoliation: mechanical and chemical. Mechanical exfoliation involves physically scrubbing your skin’s surface with a scrub, dry brush, or another exfoliating skin care tool. Chemical exfoliation, on the other hand, involves the use of salicylic acid, alpha hydroxy acids (like glycolic acid), or enzymes to chemically break down surface buildup. 


Whether you implement mechanical or chemical exfoliation into your skin care routine, the main purpose of exfoliating is to slough off the buildup of dead skin cells from skin’s surface. And that’s important since your skin’s natural ability to shed dead skin cells slows down as you age, which can lead to duller-looking skin. What’s more, regularly exfoliating can also help to make your other products work better since they won’t be sitting on top of lots of build-up.  When applying a sunless tanner, this is especially true and allows for the product to tan you evenly.  Shop Body Scrubs.

  • Begin with dry skin. Before you even hop in the shower, put on a pair of exfoliating gloves or grab your loofah and gently rub your skin in circular motions to begin the dead skin cell shedding process.
  • Get in the shower.  After you’ve scrubbed your dry skin from head to toe, let the water run down your body to start the next step of exfoliation goodness.
  • Use an exfoliating cleanser.  There are a number of exfoliation products for the body, but we’re partial to body scrubs and exfoliating body washes as they can easily be worked into your shower routine. Just like you did with your dry skin, you’ll want to exfoliate in circular motions with whichever body exfoliation product you choose.
  • Give your elbows, feet, and knees extra TLC.  Be sure to pay more attention to these areas because they’re especially prone to dryness.
  • Don’t skip your back.  Although you can’t reach it easily, make sure not to neglect your back. Instead, grab a back brush to exfoliate hard-to-reach places.
  • Rinse.  After you’ve exfoliated like a pro, rinse off with lukewarm water. 
You are ready to get a perfect sunless tan.  Whether you want just a touch of bronze or a deep dark tan, a good tanning product is essential.  Buy one now.

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

BEAUTY SCIENCE: Tea Tree Oil (Melaleuca alternifolia)

Tea tree oil is derived from the leaves of the tea tree "Melaleuca". The tea tree was named by eighteenth century sailors, who made tea that smelled like nutmeg from the leaves of the tree growing on the swampy southeast Australian coast. Do not confuse the tea tree with the unrelated common tea plant that is used to make black and green teas.

Melaleuca is a member of the myrtle family of plants. There are well over 200 species, most of which are endemic to Australia. Depending on the species, they grow as shrubs or trees from between 2 and 80 feet tall. The leaves are evergreen. The bark is often flaky and exfoliate (hence the name ‘paper-bark’ for some species of Melaleuca). The flowers, which vary from white thorough yellow or even greenish to pink and red, are produced in dense clusters along the stem with fine, small petals and a tight bundle of stamens which mature to produce a small woody cup-shaped capsule, 2 – 3 mm in diameter, which is packed with tiny seeds (up to 60 000 per gram). Tea trees are named either from the brown coloration of many watercourses caused by the leaching of tannins from the leaves of this and similar species, or alternatively it has been said that Captain James Cook named the tea tree because he observed the indigenous Bundjalung people of eastern Australia use the leaves to prepare a healing tea.

When used topically, tea tree oil is believed to be antibacterial. Tea tree oil is commonly used to treat acne, athlete's foot, lice, nail fungus and insect bites.

Tea tree oil is available as an oil and in many over-the-counter skin products, including soaps and lotions. However, tea tree oil should not be taken orally. If swallowed, it can cause serious symptoms.

How does it work?

The chemicals in tea tree oil may kill bacteria and fungus, and reduce allergic skin reactions.

Results might vary because there are no standardized methods for harvesting tea tree oil or creating products containing the oil, however, current research on tea tree oil use for specific conditions shows:
  • Acne. Research suggests that a treatment gel containing tea tree oil might be effective at relieving acne.
  • Dandruff. A tea tree oil shampoo used for four weeks has been shown to be effective at treating dandruff.
  • Athlete's foot. A tea tree oil cream, applied twice daily for one month, has been shown to be effective in relieving symptoms of athlete's foot.
  • Lice. When used in combination with lavender oil, tea tree oil has been shown to be effective at treating lice eggs.
  • Nail fungus. Research hasn't shown tea tree oil used in its pure form or in combination with other antifungal therapies to be effective in treating toenail fungus.
Most people can use tea tree oil topically with no problems. However, tea tree oil can cause:
  • Skin irritation
  • Allergic skin rash (dermatitis)
  • Itching
  • Stinging
  • Burning
  • Scaling
  • Redness
  • Dryness
Don't use tea tree oil if you have eczema.  Tea tree oil is toxic when swallowed. Serious side effects can occur, including:
  • Confusion
  • A lack of muscle control or coordination of voluntary movements (ataxia)
  • Decreasing levels of consciousness
  • One study suggests that repeated exposure to lavender oil and tea tree oil might have led to the swelling of the breast tissue (gynecomastia) in young boys.