Saturday, August 31, 2019


You really can't just grow a beard. Like the hair on your head, beards require maintenance: washing, trimming, conditioning, and yes, even brushing. To keep your beard looking (and smelling) good, you're going to have to put in some work. 

A new study suggests a man’s beard contains more germs than a dog’s fur. Professors with Switzerland’s Hirslanden Clinic took swab samples from the whiskers of 18 men and compared them with samples from the necks of 30 dogs of varying breeds.  They found all of the bearded men, aged from 18 to 76, showed high microbial counts, but only 23 out of 30 dogs had high counts
So to prepare you for that impressive beard you've been itching—possibly literally—to grow out, here's everything you need to know about keeping it in tip-top shape. 
  • Plain soap can dry out the beard hair. Fortunately, there are plenty of great beard-specific shampoos out there that use special botanicals to help soften the hair and keep it from getting dried out. Just make sure that whatever you, use you like the smell of, since it's right there under your nose.
  • Keeping your beard soft is the key to not wanting to shave it all off. A dry scratchy beard will be unbearable, and the way to avoid that is to use a beard conditioner. A good conditioner will moisturize your beard, and it will keep it healthy—two important factors in maintaining face comfort. A conditioner also has the added benefit of working almost like a styling gel, so you can keep that thing tame and not look like you just rolled in from eight years of living alone in the woods.
  • Oil it. While a conditioner does soften your beard, a good beard oil will soften it even further, plus has the added advantage of warding off the dreaded beard dandruff. 
  • Beards can get pretty gross—all that food, sweating, sneezing, etc. So while washing it is essential, a good added measure is an antibacterial beard balm. Something that further helps soften, but also kills all of the little microscopic critters that might be lurking there.
  • Keep your beard from getting tangled and unruly by brushing it everyday with a beard brush. It'll also help spread the beard oil you're using (as well as your natural face oils) to keep your beard as healthy as possible.
  • You need to occasionally trim it. Beard hair doesn't always grow evenly, plus, as it grows out, you're going to want to give it a little bit of shape. This is best done with a quality beard trimmer—one with a selection of attachments that you can use to keep from accidentally carving out giant bald spots if (or when) your hand slips.
Need any beard products. Beauty Care Choices has the best brands and products. 

Friday, August 30, 2019


Discover sustainable beauty that will bring health and well-being to all it touches! -Renewable, beneficial, plant-based, colour safe ingredients -Certified Organic Extracts -90% post consumer recycled bottles -100% certified wind power -100% recycled fiber containers -Vegan -PETA approved -No animal testing.

Because everything matters to NEUMA, their pledge is to bring the consumer hair care products that are genuinely created with a true passion for our environment..."We refuse to formulate with 13 different classes of ingredients that are known or suspected skin sensitizers, endocrine disruptors, carcinogenic, damage the environment, contribute to climate change or otherwise compromise your hair health or the planet."

Neuma brand lines include:

neuControl - Both aerosol and non-aerosol hair sprays.
neuMoisture - Puts the bounce, body, and shine back into dry hair and curls.
neuRepair - strengthens and restores damaged hair.
neuSmooth - for a frizz free style with lots of shine
neuVolume - to add fullness to thin hair
reNeu - a deep weekly cleanse to remove residue from styling products & hard water.

Thursday, August 29, 2019

Dangerous Knock-Off Beauty Products

The market is becoming flooded with fake alternatives to name-brand makeup.  Without close inspection, they may look the same and be selling at fraction of the price of the genuine brand.  It's tempting...but be very wary!  U.S. Customs and Border Protection is now cracking down on the supply of counterfeit products in an effort to save the public from potential health hazards, specifically with merchant shipments from China. Last year, the agency seized a record number of knockoffs worth nearly $1.4 billion. With their prevalence and availability, fake makeup products have been hard to track.

Some knock off versions of products appear remarkably similar to their original counterparts yet are being sold for half the price. Vendors of imitation products ensure customers that they perform just as well as the real thing, or may even try to pass the counterfeit off as the original. While an eyeshadow palette or lipstick may look similar to the original and be wrapped in near identical packaging, the formula in these palettes and tubes is often a far cry from the authentic product.  What's worse, when tested, many of these knock-off cosmetics were discovered to have dangerous chemicals like aluminum, mercury, arsenic, cyanide and even human urine and rat droppings.

Consumers are reporting to the FDA a number of symptoms from using counterfeit makeup, including eye infections, allergic reactions, skin rashes, swollen lips and chemical burns. In worst cases, the toxic ingredients in many fake makeup products have caused long-term health problems such as high blood pressure and infertility. However, most customers are unaware of the harmful side effects until it’s too late.

So, How do you spot Counterfeit Makeup?
First, any and all beauty and skin care products should only be purchased from authorized vendors. Bear in mind that genuine name brand products usually have a higher price point for better, higher quality and safer ingredients. Here are a few other ways to identify counterfeit beauty products:
  • Reduced Pricing: If the price is too good to be true, then it probably is. Knockoffs are often sold in bulk, so beware of buying name brand makeup at rock-bottom prices. Most genuine retailers of cosmetics will rarely discount more than 20%-30%.
  • Check the label:  Look for for misprints, misspelled words, uneven fonts, inconsistent patterns and incorrect terms of the labels. Cross-check your label with the one found on the manufacturer’s website.
  • Cheap Packaging: While not always true, many knockoffs are in low quality plastic or metal containers with sponge applicators rather than quality brushes.  If the product doesn’t quite fit into its box, you might have picked up a counterfeit. Keep in mind that many fake products have vastly improved their packaging to mimic the real thing.
  • Check the Product: Lower quality makeup uses a cheaper formula. Fake powders, eye shadows, blushes and lipsticks tend to have a chalkier or thinner consistency than the real thing. For an even closer inspection, smell the product for chemical or medicinal scents that might designate a fake product.
  • Do a Skin Patch Test: Lastly, if you’ve already purchased a product and suspect it may be counterfeit, do a skin test before using it on the face or other parts of the body. Swipe a small amount or swatch of the product onto the underside of your forearm and wait 24 hours before washing it. If you notice signs of a reaction or the skin appears irritated, do not use the product. Certain products may also pass a skin patch test but irritate the face. 

Wednesday, August 28, 2019


Soy-derived ingredients are most often found in skin care products, usually as genistein, a soy isoflavone. There are good reasons why some moisturizers and night creams include soy isoflavones: they brighten the skin, decrease redness, boost collagen production and improve skin tone. These soy isoflavones are weak phytoestrogens and anti-oxidants.

Soybean Oil is the extracted or expressed oil from the soybean, Glycine Soja. It consists primarily of triglycerides of oleic, linoleic and linolenic, saturated acids and Vitamin E. These ingredients are often listed this way and, if you are allergic to soy, you may have to do some research to find out if these acids are obtained from soy rather than another source.

Vitamin-rich soybean oil has a small molecular structure which enables it to penetrate the epidermis – the top layer of your skin. Soy can actually nestle into the cellular structure and stimulate the synthesis of collagen, elastin, and other proteins. Its properties are important for cell growth and regeneration by reversing abnormal cell formations.

Soy compounds prevent melanin pigments from adhering to skin cells, which is why genistein is used in skin-brightening creams and lotions. It seems to be most effective with hyperpigmentation caused by sun damage. Genistein does not work for melasma, though, because melasma is fueled by estrogen, and genistein is a phytoestrogen.

Soy is not the only anti-oxidant and collagen booster around, though, which is fortunate, since some people are violently allergic to it and should not use anything containing a soy–derived ingredient. For these people, products containing retinols or growth factors may be a better option.

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Argyle Nails - perfect for fall

The weather may still be warm, but fall is just around the corner.  Essie gives you a jump start on nail art perfect for fall.  Although this tutorial uses red, black and white, think how fun it would be if you matched the colors to your favorite argyle sweater or socks!

Monday, August 26, 2019

Applying Eye Shadow when your eyes aren't perfect!

Applying shadows “on/within your crease” is fine if you have very defined, even, thick lid folds. But if you have hooded eyes, mono-lids, or smaller lids where the crease is either not visible or not high enough, many eye-shadow looks can be very unflattering or they simply disappear when you open your eyes.
What to do? Simply replace the word “crease” with “socket line”  in your routine. If you have mono-lids and hooded lids, it’s important to blend your shadows up to your socket line at least. That not only defines your natural contours but also widens the eye.

  • Your socket line is where your eyeball dips into your orbital bone. Close your eyes and feel for it.
  • Flattering eye shadow looks are all about creating shadow and light in the right places. Even if your eye contours aren’t very defined naturally, placing a bit of deeper color along your socket line and a pale shade in the center of your lid will create the illusion of more pronounced contours without making you look too dramatic.
  • Don't create a fake socket line higher or lower than your natural one. Unless you are a pro, it's never going to look right.
  • Use a brush appropriate to your eye size/lid size.  If you have small lids or eyes, a smaller, round-ferrule pencil brush can make life a lot easier. Go for the flatter, wider brushes if you have a bigger lid space to work with. 
  • Line your eye with a brighter color than just a black or brown as close to the last line as possible.  Try Mystikol.  This will bring focus to the color, rather than to the "hood".
  • Try using an eye gloss, like Eye Gloss by Jane Iredale, instead of flat, matte shades to add a bit more brightness in the areas you need it.

Sunday, August 25, 2019

WHAT'S NEW this week

Lip Service Gift Set

Get your lips in check with this lip gift set. Comes with all the lip essentials you need to plump them up and make them stand out. Remember that lips without lipstick is like cake without frosting! All products are paraben-free, gluten-free and cruelty-free.  Includes:
  • Mini Lip Definer Pencil in Spunky
  • Plump + Condition Lip Mask
  • Mini Luxe Advanced Formula Lip Gloss in Angelic
  • Mini Lipstick in Mulberry Mocha
  • Cosmetic Bag


Specifics Essential White Daily Bright & Peel Solution

Keep your skin free from dark spots with this exfoliating fluid. Formulated with a triple-acid synergy of dermatological acids to keep your complexion free from dark spots. Infused with prickly pear extract to boost the skin's ability to dissolve lifeless skin cells. The skins deeper cells are soothed and hydrated with natural sugars and the pigmentation process is controlled to correct tone irregularities. Skin is left smooth and renewed with a brightening look!

Saturday, August 24, 2019

Contouring for a thinner looking nose.

Everyone seems to have some feature they want to camouflage - even if no one sees the problem but them.  For those of you who think their nose is too big, use these steps to make your nose look thinner

Start by putting on your foundation. Before you contour your nose, you'll need to apple your normal foundation. Apply your foundation as your regularly would, including your nose. You'll contour your nose on top of the foundation. This will help your makeup look more natural once you blend everything together.

Apply a highlighter to the bridge of your nose. Apply a thin line of highlighting concealer down the center of the bridge of your nose. Start at eye-level, and stop about half an inch before the end of your nose. This will create the illusion of a smaller nose. You can use your finger or a small, angled brush to apply the concealer

Add a darker makeup to the sides of your nose. Use your contouring pencil or take a thin, angled brush to draw lines down the sides of your nose. Start near the inner corner of each eye, and shade straight down to the end of your nose. The closer you put your lines to the center of your nose, the thinner your nose will appear. Practice until you find your desired width of your contoured nose.

Blend, blend, blend!
Once you've applied your foundation, highlighter, and darker contour, it's time to blend everything together! The beauty of contouring is that it creates an illusion, so your makeup should look as seamless and smooth as possible. Take your blending brush or beauty blender and gently blend your makeup. Use circular, outward motions to blend the lines of your contouring together

TIP: Darkness pushes back and light brings forward. If you feel like your nose is small or flat, you should highlight the bridge of your nose to pull it outward to the viewer. If you feel like your nose is large or too long, you should shade the bridge of your nose to push it back. Want your nose to look shorter - darken the tip.

Friday, August 23, 2019

BRAND PROFILE: Dirt Bag Beauty

Skin Care from the Earth
Dirt Bag Beauty Products are:

  • FREE of toxins, fillers, parabens, synthetics, phthalates, artificial chemicals and fragrance.
  • Use only active, Non-GMO, sustainable, food-grade, mostly vegan and organic ingredients. 
  • Are cruelty-free, Eco-friendly & made in the USA.

You’ll get up to 24 Face Masks in each jar and over 100 uses with their facial cleansers!

Their skincare products provide antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, all known for slowing down the aging process, and keeping your skin healthy and vibrant! 

A percentage of all Dirt Bag Beauty proceeds are donated to Domestic Violence shelters in Los Angeles, CA

The Dirt Bag Story
The statistics are mind boggling. Every nine seconds in the United States a women is assaulted or beaten. Domestic violence is the leading cause of injury to women—more than car accidents, muggings, and rapes combined.

As a 100% female owned business, taken a pledge to help build awareness of Domestic Violence and sharing our story to help encourage others to seek out help. In addition, a percentage of Dirt Bag proceeds are donated to battered women's shelters in Los Angeles, CA.

The owner: "I am Survivor of Domestic Violence. With the help from good Samaritans, I was able to flee an abusive environment hoping to start a new life."

Healing from trauma takes time. During this period, Dirt Bag® was created. My daughters suggested we have a spa night and proposed we use a face mask to feel rejuvenated and look fresh. We went searching to find the perfect mask, but were unhappy with all the chemicals, fillers, and toxins in the masks we found. In response, decided to create a pure, natural skincare brand centered on face masks made with all active ingredients that contain no fillers, no preservatives, and no artificial chemicals.

As a result, named our new company Dirt Bag® because not only did it suit the product, which uses a dry blend of ingredients analogous to dirt, but also as a reminder that good things can come out of some very bad circumstance

Thursday, August 22, 2019

Easy Nail Art

Have some fun with your OPI nail colors.  This video shows you how to do easy nail art using tape, with some tips and tricks that make your nails look perfect.  As always, while this art creates a symbolic Scottish flag, you could use any two colors to create your own style!

Wednesday, August 21, 2019


What is Gluten
Gluten is a storage protein found in wheat, barley and rye. It is a mixture of hundreds of distinct proteins within the same family, although it is primarily made up of two different classes of proteins: gliadin, which gives bread the ability to rise during baking, and glutenin, which is responsible for dough's elasticity. Gluten is found in the endosperm (a type of tissue produced in seeds that are ground to make flour) and nourishes plant embryos during germination.

Not all grains contain gluten. Some examples of gluten-free grains are sorghum, millet, brown rice, buckwheat, wild rice, amaranth, quinoa, corn (polenta) and teff. Oats are also gluten-free, but can be contaminated during processing.

Why should you be concerned about beauty products that contain gluten?

Many people who suffer from celiac disease, or are gluten intolerant, choose to avoid gluten in all products.

If you suffer from celiac disease it means ingesting gluten can damage the lining of the small intestine which causes problems with the digestive system. Those who are gluten intolerant also experience digestive system symptoms. The only way to manage these conditions is to follow a gluten-free diet. 

Some people develop a form of celiac disease called dermatitis herpetiformis which causes an itchy, blistering rash. Although the reaction involves the skin, it is actually triggered by gluten ingestion, not from using products that contain gluten on the skin. 

There is relatively little risk to using personal care products containing gluten unless the product gets into the mouth or an open sore. Concerns may arise from the use of toothpastes, mouthwashes, lipsticks and lip balms that come in contact with the mouth. Creams, lotions, make-up, sunscreens, and hairspray can get into the mouth when applying or can be transferred by hands and fingers to mouth or food.  If you’re not celiac or seriously allergic to wheat, barley, rye, or oats, then  topical product would be safe as there’s no reason to worry about getting gluten through the skin unless you have a skin lesion.  The gluten molecule is just too large to cross the skin barrier

If you want gluten-free beauty products, these are the ingredients you need to avoid:

 Avoid ingredients with wheat, gluten or triticum (Latin for wheat) in the name including:
  • AMP-isostearoyl hydrolzyed wheat protein
  • hydrolyzed wheat protein (HWP)
  • hydrolyzed wheat gluten
  • triticum lipids
  • triticum vulgare
  • wheat bran extract
  • wheat germ extract
  • wheat germ glyceride
 Avoid ingredients with barley, malt or hordeum vulgare (Latin for barley) in the name such as:
  • barley extract
  • hordeum vulgare extract
  • malt extract
Avoid ingredients with rye or secale cereal (Latin for rye) in the name.
  • sodium lauroyl oat amino acid
  • avena sativa extract 

REMINDER:  Cosmetic manufacturers can change formulas and ingredient suppliers without notice. It is important to read the label before using any personal care product.

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

The right oil for your hair.

There has been an explosion in recent years of oils for your hair.  This proliferation of different botanical oils can be with oils, a little goes a long way!  Oils provide extra moisture, shine and help detangle.

Applying the oil correctly will avoid a greasy look.  The best way is to put a few drops in the palm of your hand, then rub you hands together to spread the oil.  Run your oiled hands down the length of the hair starting at the mid-shaft and, focusing on the ends, work the oil through this part of your hair.

Below is a list of some of the more popular oils and what they are used for.
  • Coconut Oil - thinning hair, strengthening hair.
  • Argan Oil - Moisturizing, Anti-aging, Nourishing
  • Tamanu Oil - Curly hair, anti-frizz, detangling
  • Apricot Oil - Moisturizing, protecting as it seals in moisture
  • Camelina Oil - Protective, Restorative

Goldwell Elixir Versatile Oil Treatment is a combination of argan and tamanu oils. It is very effective as a regenerative and moisturizing treatment.

Macadamia Professional Weightless Moisture Dry Oil Micro Mist is ultra-lightweight. It is perfect for thin or damaged hair that needs an extra dose of oil each day to keep it looking great. So is Kuene So Pure Moroccan Argan Oil Light, which uses both Argan Oil and Apricot Oil to strengthen hair.

Scruples Renewal Hair Therapy Polish using argan oil in an alcohol free formula that give you an incredible shine and eliminates frizz. This works great on any type hair, but especially on medium to thick hair.

Matrix Oil Wonders is perfect for color treated hair. It uses Egyptian Hibiscus oil, adapted from the ingredient used to protect hair from the harsh Egyptian climate.

Redken Diamond Oil Shatterproof Shine Intense is for coarse hair. It is a super-rich oil, silicone free, that uses a combination of coconut, apricot, camelina and coriander oils to really strengthen hair.

Kenra Platinum Revive Oil is a weightless treatment. Hair will be strengthened and fortified improving overall health as it helps prevent signs of damage while sealing the cuticle.

Monday, August 19, 2019

A fun nail art for summer!

Cool and soothing colors give this Essie design an beautiful summery feeling. can re-imagine the square in bold neons or deep hues.  So easy and so fun!

Sunday, August 18, 2019

WHAT'S NEW this week

Detoxify your body with this Body Polish. Made with Himalayan and French Grey sea salts to scrub your body to increase circulation and assist in the rejuvenation of your cells. Revives the skin with hydration. Skin, mind, body and spirit are left refreshed and renewed.

Mildly exfoliate your skin with this Face and Body mask. Its kaolin clay works to pull toxins out of the skin while the purple Brazilian clay prevents your skin from absorbing environmental contaminants and impurities. Infused with argan and avocado oil to protect the skin from sun damage and reduce the signs of aging. Great for those with dry or sensitive skin.

Protect your nails with this Cuticle Oil. A cuticle oil designed to keep the nails moisturized and healthy while preventing nail fungus and other infections. Leaves nails healthier, stronger and shinier than before. Protects nails from the damage of environmental free radicals.
  • Coconut oil and shea butter protect nails with anti-fungal properties
  • Grapeseed oil moisturizes and strengthens nails while reducing brittleness
  • Evening primrose is rich in essential amino acids for protein synthesis and healthy skin and nails
  • Omega 3 and 6, fatty acids and vitamins A, C and E work together to protect the nail bed and cuticle

Scalp Care Anti-Thinning Collection Kit

Get everything you need to achieve fuller, thicker hair with this kit. Comes with the scalp care anti-thinning shampoo, conditioner, tonic and root lift foam to work together to add volume and body to your hair. Results in fuller, thicker, volumized hair liked never before!
Step 1 in a three step process Scalp Care Anti-Thinning Shampoo gently removes impurities to prime the scalp for stronger, thicker looking hair. Help add volume by thickening each strand.
Step 2 in a three step process - Anti-Thinning Conditioner helps expand the follicle and strengthens the hair shaft. The lightweight conditioner detangles fine, fragile hair. 
Step 3 of the 3 step process Scalp Care Anti-Thinning Tonic is a leave-on scalp stimulator. Our exclusive botanical blend helps extend the growth and rest phase of the hair cycle and shorten the cycle of hair fall, resulting in fuller, thicker hair. 
Step 4 lifts from the root for a healthy boost of volume and texture that locks in moisture for fuller, thicker-looking hair. Includes exclusive RegeniplexĂ‚® blend containing Kakadu plum, pea peptides, clover ower, turmeric and ginseng.


Smart Spa Strawberry Cranberry Sugar Scrub

Famous exfoliating sugar scrub formula that will never clog drains or whirlpool jets or leave a residue. Gentle formula that won't dry or irritate sensitive skin. Bonus- It's an all-over body scrub too!

You can also choose from Exotic Mango, Vanilla Wild Plum, Guava Passion.

Saturday, August 17, 2019

A Mermaid Braid

Braids are everywhere and it's always fun to learn a new one.  Here Matrix shows you how to create a beautifully fun Mermaid Braid.  Take a look!

Friday, August 16, 2019

BRAND PROFILE: Truth Treatment Systems

100% active and functional ingredients!  

Welcome the truth with Truth Treatment Systems. Created by Benjamin Knight Fuchs who had a goal to formulate products that would provide topical nourishment for the skin that met the strictest performance standards. All products are made with 100 percent active and functional ingredients that will make a difference on your skin. No fillers, preservatives, waxes, emulsifiers, oils or fragrances.

All of their topical treatments work with the biochemistry of the skin. Products augment and enable dermal processes at the skin cell (not surface) level. Ingredients activate fibroblasts, normalize keratinocytes, stimulate proteins and enhance the production of extracellular lipids. And that’s the secret. Truth Treatment Systems™ products and regimens don’t change skin chemistry -- they support skin chemistry!

Apply a pea size amount of Balm and notice the soft and supple feeling. Work in a small dose of Omega 6 Healing Cream and notice the radiance. Use Retinol Gel once or twice a week before you go to bed and notice the subtle lifting of your skin and watch how fine lines and blemishes begin to disappear.

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Glam Waves

Love those long glamourous waves in your hair.  Goldwell stylist, Daniel Martin, shows you a technique using elastic and a rope braid.  He also shows you the types of products you need to get the fabulous salon look.

Wednesday, August 14, 2019


If it shimmers, it's likely to contain mica. Everything from cosmetics to car paint to asphalt roof shingles contain mica.

The word mica, from the Latin micare—to shine, flash, or glitter—actually refers to a group of 37 crystalline silicate minerals found in different types of rock. Mica often occurs as flakes, scraps, or sheets, and has been used by humans since prehistoric times.

Because Mica comes from the earth it may contain trace amounts of heavy metals. The levels of heavy metals in Mica are regulated by the FDA, and the small amounts that may eventually be in cosmetic or personal care products do not pose a risk to human health. 

Mica is one of the most important mineral ingredients in cosmetics, used widely to add shimmer and sparkle. Micas use light reflection, refraction, and transmission to exhibit their effects much like a prism creates various colors as light passes through it. Wet-ground mica, which retains the brilliance, is used . in the cosmetics industry. Its reflective and refractive properties make mica an important ingredient in blushes, eye liner, eye shadow, foundation, hair and body glitter, lipstick, lip gloss, mascara, moisturizing lotions, and nail polish. Some brands of toothpaste include powdered white mica. This acts as a mild abrasive to aid polishing of the tooth surface, and also adds a cosmetically pleasing, glittery shimmer to the paste.

Until the 19th century, large crystals of mica were quite rare and expensive as a result of the limited supply in Europe. However, their price dramatically dropped when large reserves were found and mined in Africa and South America during the early 19th century. The largest documented single crystal of mica was found in Lacey Mine, Ontario, Canada

The British Geological Survey reported that as of 2005, Koderma district in Jharkhand state in India had the largest deposits of mica in the world. China was the top producer of mica with almost a third of the global share, closely followed by the US, South Korea and Canada. 

The down side of MICA
According to a March 2018 report from the Switzerland-based nongovernmental organization Terre des Hommes (TDH), an estimated 22,000 children work in mica mines in India, where about a quarter of the world's supply is extracted.  

Claire van Bekkum, who heads the mica team for TDH, which produced those television spots, has visited the Indian states of Bihar and Jharkhand, the country's so-called mica belt. "You arrive in some remote villages and everything is sparkling—the ground, the hair of the children," she says. She's watched kids flee into the forest, leaving small tools scattered on the ground next to baskets of flaked shards. While Indian law prohibits children under 18 from working in hazardous industries, 70 percent of India's mica mines are operated illegally, by a mafia of sorts whose members have no qualms about using child labor—and don't take kindly to inquisitive outsiders.  Interviews with workers and local communities discovered children were not only risking their health by working in abandoned "ghost" mines off official radars, but they were dying in the unregulated, crumbling mines, with 20 documented mica-related deaths in a single month.

Though it uses only 18 percent of the mica mined globally each year, the beauty industry is leading the charge to clean things up.

Many companies have begun replacing the natural mica in its products with a lab-made version called synthetic fluorphlogopite. The ingredient, created by extracting silicate crystals from other minerals processed at high temperatures, exhibit a superior lustrous sparkling effect and high color purity.
Super smooth with pleasant slip and excellent payoff, they provide high compressibility and superior binding performance.  Synthetic Micas comply with global cosmetic regulations and are also extremely popular for industrial applications such as auto paint and nail lacquers. 

What can you do?
Contact your product manufacturer and request that they disclose the source of their mica.

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Fade those darn age spots!

Age spots — also called liver spots and solar lentigines — are flat tan, brown or black spots on your skin. They vary in size and usually appear on the face, hands, shoulders and arms. Age spots - hyperpigmentation, technically know as solar lentigines  -  are caused primarily by years of exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light from the sun. The use of commercial tanning lamps and tanning beds can also contribute to the development of age spots. The pigment in the upper layer of skin (epidermis) that gives your skin its normal color is called melanin. UV light accelerates the production of melanin, creating a tan that helps protect deeper layers of skin from UV rays.

True age spots are harmless, however, if you are unsure about a spot on your skin, have it checked by your doctor. In the meantime, if you want to fade these spots, there are products that will help. Just be sure you have patience. You didn't develop these spots overnight (although it may seem so) and even a good fade cream will take 4-6 weeks to be effective.

Many fade creams and lotions for lightening age spots are available. These may improve the appearance of age spots, depending on how dark the spots are and how often you apply the cream.
Choose a fade cream that contains hydroquinone, glycolic acid or kojic acid. Those that contain hydroquinone, may cause skin irritation.

You may also speak with your doctor about prescription products.  Prescription bleaching creams (hydroquinone) used alone or with retinoids (tretinoin) and a mild steroid may gradually fade the spots over several months. Use of a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 30 is strongly advised if you use medication treatments. The treatments may result in temporary itching, redness, burning or dryness.

Monday, August 12, 2019

Glasses - choosing the right look!

If you're just finding out you have to wear glasses...don't panic!  Glasses can be very flattering if you choose the right style.  Even if you've been wearing glasses for a long time, these tips will help you when you need to choose a new pair.
  • The top of your glasses frame should follow the line of your eyebrows. Avoid having too much eyebrow above or below the frames (Sunglasses should always cover your eyebrows, or risk looking cartoonish.)
  • Eyes should sit at the center of each frame.
  • Don’t follow guidelines solely based on the shape of your face. You may have an oblong visage, but if you have a big nose, for instance, then that will be the feature you need to focus on. 
  • Your eyewear should highlight your eye color, such as green frames for green eyes or similar.
  • The shape of the frame should contrast the shape of your face. 
  • The size of the frame should be in scale with the size of your face.
Glasses for round faces
Avoid round frames and instead choose angular shapes that will lend your face definition.
Cat’s eyes can look great.

Glasses for oval faces
Most styles work well on a long, thin face, so focus on frames that enhance your features. Avoid thin frames that will elongate your face further.

Glasses for heart-shaped faces
Balance a pointed chin with frames that are thicker on the bottom, to add an appearance of width. Retro pin details are also good to draw attention to the eyes.

Glasses for big noses
Select frames with a low bridge or a wide key hole to minimize the pinching effect.

Glasses for receding hair lines
Choose a dark frame with a strong, horizontal line. Avoid clear frames that will elongate your forehead further.

Glasses for close set eyes
Avoid a light-colored frame with a dark nose piece – it will draw attention to the center of the face. Instead, opt for larger frames, or ones with details on the arms.

  • Push your glasses to the end of your nose and position a mirror beneath you, so that you are looking down through your glasses to apply your make-up.
  • Eyeliner is crucial in stopping your eyes getting lost behind frames. Go one shade darker than your natural eye color to make them stand out. 
  • Glass lenses magnify any darkness under the eyes and highlight discoloration, so make sure you apply concealer under the eye. 
  • Don’t forget to define your eyebrows so that your glasses don’t overpower your face.- If you have strong frames, you can get aay with stronger make-up.

    Sunday, August 11, 2019

    WHAT'S NEW this week?

    Give your nails a gleaming gel look effect with this top coat! A plumping top coat designed with a gel-like shine that features the quick and easy removal of traditional polish. Great for giving your nails a gel look that will shine like the star you are!

    Buy now!


    Give your style dramatic results with this Instantly Ageless finishing spray. Formulated from 100% natural resources to give your hair the finishing touch it needs. Penetrates, repairs and nourishes the hair from root to tip and scalp to pores for a healthy, clean feeling. All natural and contains no alcohol.

    Give yourself a fuller, thicker look with these Instantly Ageless hair building fibers. Made with new technology that sets them apart from the rest. Slimmer, longer fibers wrap around your hair for a fuller effect, making it difficult to distinguish from your natural hair. All fibers are the same length and will not clog your pores to leave you with a natural, fuller look.

    Simply wash and dry hair. Shake, or spray with the Instantly Ageless Fiber Pump Applicator, fibers to hairline,  hair part, and all other thinning areas. Lock fibers on with the Instantly Ageless Fiber Finishing Spray.
    Select from 10 colors.

    Saturday, August 10, 2019

    Hot Rollers

    When you think of hot rollers, do you think of big, puffy hair and other stuff like perfume atomizers, handheld mirrors and those big movie star powder puffs. They seemed dated in the age of texture spray and blowout bars dedicated to messing up your hair. But then, like with all trends, everything old becomes new again.  So what's the middle ground between looking like we'd primped for hours at our vanity in a silk robe and looking like we'd just rolled out of bed. Hot rollers!  

    Hot rollers can be time savers too.  Instead of a curling iron, where you hold each curl, you can roll hair quickly and complete your make-up, get dressed, even eat breakfast while the rollers cool!

    • Start with smooth, dry hair.
    • Create texture & volume by applying mousse from roots to ends.
    • Apply a heat-protectant to the ends.  
    • Section hair evenly around the head using clips.
    • Hold the roller vertically and place it in the center to each section.  Then wrap the hair around it to the right.  Secure with a clip.  NOTE:  Rolling from the end up gives you a huge, heavy curl at the bottom.  Wrap hair around roller from top of section, if you don't want ends that are tight.
    • Let the rollers set until cool.
    • Remove the clip and gently slide the roller out of the coiled curl rather than pulling it down.
    • Lightly brush hair.
    • Skip the hairspray and mist a dry texturiziing spray throughout the hair.  Waves will be more modern, less sleek and perfect.

    Friday, August 9, 2019

    BRAND PROFILE: Keratin Complex

    Whether you've had a keratin chemical straitening at the salon or just want to keep your hair smooth and frizz free, Keratin Complex provides the Shampoos & Conditioners, Blow Dry Aids, Deep Conditioners & Masques, as well as the perfect styling and finishing products to keep hair looking healthy and strong.

    Keratin Complex® revolutionized the beauty industry in 2007 when a group of industry innovators discovered a new way to care for your hair by merging proven keratin science with cutting-edge technology. They created Natural Keratin Smoothing Treatment, a first-of-its-kind smoothing treatment that pioneered the way to healthy, smooth, frizz-free hair and winner of the Favorite Smoothing Treatment by Behind the Chair Stylist Choice Award for 8 years in a row. Since then, they have continued to push boundaries and remain the leaders in smoothing with a full collection of customizable keratin treatments for every hair type.

    The Science of Keratin
    Keratin is a protein and the major component in hair, skin and nails; in fact, hair is mainly comprised of keratin-associated proteins. Keratin acts both as an external protective protein in the cuticle (the outer layers of a hair strand) and as an internal structural protein in the cortex (the inner core of the hair that helps determine its strength).

    Keratin depletes when hair is damaged physically, chemically and/or from environmental factors, such as the sun. This keratin loss exposes the hair’s cortex, making it susceptible to additional damage, and causes porous spots to develop—like potholes in a road. Replenishing lost keratin helps correct porosity and smooth the hair’s surface. It restores strength and elasticity—giving the hair a more youthful, healthy appearance.

    What is unique about Keratin Complex Smoothing Treatments?
    The innovative technology in their revolutionary keratin treatments binds keratin to the hair. This helps prevent humidity from penetrating the hair, thus locking out frizz. In addition, Keratin Complex Color incorporates this signature keratin technology into the hair-coloring process, which helps make the hair stronger and smoother as it undergoes a color transformation.

    July 8, 2019
    Allure Names Keratin Obsessed a “Best New Hair Product”!
    Keratin Obsessed Multi-Benefit Treatment Spray got its name because pretty much everyone who tested it out said they were ​‘obsessed’ with it. And it’s easy to see why.” The pink bottle is bursting with keratin and packed with 30 nourishing benefits that deliver healthier hair instantly!
    See for yourself why  Allure gives this multi-benefit treatment spray its stamp of approval.

    • Eliminates frizz
    • Strengthens and repairs damaged hair
    • Formulated with keratin, hydrolyzed silk amino acids, and coconut oil to nourish and moisturize
    • Softens and leaves the hair feeling like silk
    • Increases manageability and dramatically decreases blow-dry time
    • Intensifies color vibrancy
    • Lightweight results
    • Paraben-free and safe for color-treated hair
    • Available in TSA-approved 1.7-oz travel size bottles

    Thursday, August 8, 2019

    Summer Melt-Proof Make-up

    Applying make-up in the summer months can be risky business if you have to spend time in the outdoor heat during the day.  Nothing can ruin your beautiful face like raccoon eyes or streaky foundation.  Blotting papers in the purse are essential to say the least!  We've got a few tips for you to keep your make-up from melting in the summer sun. 

    • Always apply a primer as your first step.  It will keep your make-up fresh and enhance your complexion.  Apply with a sponge puff instead of your hands for a light, even touch.
    • Foundation will last longer if you choose a silicone-based one and, again, use a sponge puff to apply.
    • Use a cream eye shadow and cream blush during the summer will not only create a more natural look, but it doesn't cake as easily.
    • Waterproof products are your best friend.  If you don't have them, it's time to do a little shopping.  Water-proof mascara and eye liner are essential.  Don't forget to get a water-proof concealer if you use one.  You don't want the dark circles or blemish spots to suddenly reappear during the day!
    • Use a lip liner for your lips first to form the silhouette, then apply your lipstick.  Then powder your lips with your powder puff and apply lipstick again. 
    • Always, always apply SPF when you go out!  You want to keep your skin in good condition and protected as it faces the intense summer sun.

    Wednesday, August 7, 2019


    We've all heard of it...most of us have probably used it...some of us even grow it. It's aloe vera (also known as aloe, burn plant, lily of the desert, elephant’s gall). It's actual botanical name is Aloe Barbadensis. But, exactly what is aloe vera.

    It's a succulent plant species of the genus Aloe. Aloe vera is considered to be native only to the south-west Arabian Peninsula. However, it has been widely cultivated around the world, and has become naturalized in North Africa, as well as Sudan and neighboring countries, along with the Canary Islands, Cape Verde, and Madeira Islands. It is also naturalized in wild areas across southern Spain, especially in the region of Murcia, being the only place in Europe where it has been found naturalized.

    Aloe Vera’s use can be traced back 6,000 years to early Egypt, where the plant was depicted on stone carvings. Known as the “plant of immortality,” aloe was presented as a funeral gift to pharaohs.

    Historically, aloe vera has been used for a variety of purposes, including treatment of wounds, hair loss, and hemorrhoids; it has also been used as a laxative.

    It is found in many consumer products including beverages, skin lotion, cosmetics, or ointments for minor burns and sunburns. There is little scientific evidence for the effectiveness or safety of Aloe vera extract as a cosmetic or medicine.

    Two substances from aloe vera, the clear gel and the yellow latex, are used in health products today. Aloe gel is primarily used topically (applied to the skin) as a remedy for skin conditions such as burns, frostbite, psoriasis, and cold sores, but it may also be taken orally (by mouth) for conditions including osteoarthritis, bowel diseases, and fever. Aloe latex is taken orally, usually for constipation.

    There’s not enough evidence to show whether aloe vera is helpful for most of the purposes for which people use it, especially when taken orally. There is some concern about the topical application of aloe - with little research to prove it's actual benefits.

    Non-decolorized, whole leaf aloe extract contains a chemical called Aloin, a bitter, yellow-brown colored compound. It is present in what is commonly referred to as the aloe latex. It has been shown to cause cancer in rats. It has been listed by California Prop 65 state law as an ingredient linked to cancer. This has NOT impacted the beauty industry which generally does NOT use non-decolorized aloe for topical products.

    The 2-year National Toxicology Program study on oral consumption of non-decolorized whole leaf extract of aloe vera found clear evidence of carcinogenic activity in male and female rats, based on tumors of the large intestine. Another study in rats showed that decolorized whole leaf aloe vera did not cause harmful effects. This suggests that a component called aloin, most of which is removed by the decolorization process, may be responsible for the tumors seen in rats fed non-decolorized whole leaf aloe vera. More information, including what products are actually in the marketplace and how individuals use different types of aloe vera products, is needed to determine the potential risks to humans. Abdominal cramps and diarrhea have been reported with oral use of aloe latex. Also, because aloe latex is a laxative, it may reduce the absorption and therefore the effectiveness of some drugs that are taken orally.