Sunday, August 10, 2008

Edelweiss Extract and Anti Aging Treatments

I hadn't spent much time experimenting with some of the more exotic ingredients until very recently. I heard about Edelweiss first in The Sound of Music, then again a couple of months ago while talking with one of the gang here, about a product that she had tried. Of course, we are trying to figure out which active ingredient we want, and how to get it! Apparently, it is really popular with women who enjoy North European spa treatments. I bet you can find a spa in your area that has anti aging treatments featuring Edelweiss Extract.

Edelweiss extract comes from Edelweiss flowers, which are short lived perennials. Edelweiss is a German word which means noble and white. The Edelweiss flower is found at altitudes which range from 1,700 meters to 2,700 meters, general in areas with light soil, good drainage and southern exposure.

In ancient times the Edelweiss flower was sought after by men who wished to prove their bravery. Because the flower grew at such heights and was often on cliff sides and in dangerous areas many people were known to have been injured, or even killed in pursuit of this flower, which led many men to wear it in the lapel as sort of a badge of honor. Of course, the fact that the Edelweiss flower was the favorite of the Austrian Emperor Franz Joseph and his wife, the Empress Elizabeth also gave it prestige. The flower became so popular among hikers that the governments of Austria, Germany and Switzerland took steps to protect it in certain parts of the Alps. Today Edelweiss is grown on many continents and is no longer in the danger it once was. It became even more popular however the 1960's when a song called Edelweiss in the popular stage play and film The Sound of Music sang its virtues and beauty.

For centuries Edelweiss extract has been believed to have positive health effects. Edelweiss teas have been popular as well as use of Edelweiss extract in hot milk, often sweetened with honey. Diarrhea and dysentery were two ailments that it was believed Edelweiss extract could cure. People also believed that it could help fight ailments such as diphtheria and tuberculosis. Today research by the pharmaceutical industry indicates that there was something to these ancient beliefs. Used in high quality anti aging and anti wrinkle cosmetics.

Edelweiss extract is used in ancient folk remedies, and is enjoying a resurgence in popularity. Modern scientific analysis has revealed the presence of ultra violet light absorbing chemicals, artifacts of its high altitude environment, making it an effective, natural and organic additive for sun block. Pharmaceutical researchers also are interested in the way some chemicals in the plant prevent amplification of oxides, tied to the aging process.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Warm Weather Moisturizing

Your facial is finished, your nails are perfect, and your dress is gorgeous. You step outside and within an hour your face has a shine that only another oil slick would love. Sound familiar?

One of the most daunting tasks is switching from a cool weather moisturizer to one light enough for warm, even hot, weather. As you reevaluate your make up shades, refresh your supply of oil free moisturizers and sunscreens. It is easier than you think, but you have to read labels!

  • Compare ingredients...
Your fall and winter moisturizers probably show several oils in the first few ingredients. Since skin tends to be oilier during warmer months, it is wise to look for products showing oils further down the ingredients list.

My favorite maneuver is to use a moisturizer that has hyaluronic acid. It doesn't create shine the way many moisturizers do. It seals in moisture against the skin and draws moisture from the environment. In fact, I buy hyaluronic acid alone and use it as the main moisturizing ingredient in personal, warm weather blends. My skin has improved dramatically.

This isn't to say that all oils are undesirable during the warmer months. Jojoba oil is very light and has less shine than a safflower or avocado oil. The key is to spread the oil as thin as possible. Place one or two drops in the palm of your hand, rub your palms together, them pat or lightly stroke the oil on a clean, damp face. This might be all that you need before applying your foundation.
  • Do serious moisturizing at night...
Some ladies, and gentlemen for that matter, use night creams as their main moisturizer. You don't have to worry about how it looks with make up, there are no worries about sun exposure, and you look a little better when you wake up! You can also use a heavier moisturizer as part of your home spa regimen. The only warning here is to keep tabs on your skin's behavior during the day as it may become oilier. If this happens, decrease the frequency with which you apply your night cream.

  • Do a test drive...
Before a special event, try wearing your moisturizer with the make up you intend to wear, for a few hours. Look in the mirror after 2 or 3 hours to see how much oil or shine is present. This will let you know if you need to make a few adjustments. Use less moisturizer or add a little water.

Don't add water directly to your container of moisturizer, though! This can encourage the growth of bacteria. Spread your moisturizer on your dampened face or add a couple of drops to moisturizer in the palm of your hand, rub your hands together to mix, then apply the mixture to your face.
  • Avoid the sun...
A hat, a shady spot, or a colorful parasol will serve you well during outdoor events that start during the afternoon hours. Here, perspiration can add to the break down of your make up and moisturizer. Keep your compact handy! Light dusting of loose mineral veil helps control the shine.

A note about "slip".....

Slip is that smooth glide we seek when applying make up. It is easier to create even coverage for foundation and colors are easier to work with when the skin's surface primed and smoothed. Often, some of that slip is lost when we got to a lighter moisturizer. To preserve slip, look for products that have plant silicones as one of the ingredients. Cyclomethicone is lighter than dimethicone, but both will help your make up glide on while adding a moisture preserving barrier.

I start experimenting with lighter blends during the first weeks of spring, but that time investment isn't for everyone. I just love the creative process, and the results! Read your ingredients, think about problems you have had in the past, and think about your warm weather beauty regimen. There is a product or process, that can solve problems and improve your sense of well being!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Want to see what others do?

I always enjoy seeing how other women create the perfect face. There are as many variations as there are colors and desires!

Use the suggestions here, but don't be afraid to build your own arsenal of techniques to create your look for the approaching summer season!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Let's make Body Sprays!

When spring hits I open windows and freshen the whole house. This, of course, starts my never ending search for the perfect new scent to spritz in the drawers and on the curtains to stretch that fresh feeling....sounds like deodorant, eh?

You might be going through some of the same things and drinking from the same well of frustration, especially when it comes to new body sprays and perfumes. Don't you hate spending money for a scent that smells like any other woman who can pay for it? When guy gets that hint of scent, you don't want it to remind him of his ex, you want him to focus on current events, meaning you!

Using fragrance oils is less expensive that upscale perfumes and body sprays!

Try blending your own body sprays and colognes! Most of the time, it is less expensive than buying from the perfume counter, and the scent is all yours. With a fresh spray bottle, some distilled water or inexpensive vodka and a fragrance oil or two, you can blend a scent that makes you stand out without being over bearing.

Body sprays are the easiest to begin with as you are looking for a light scent that doesn't have to carry the burden of top notes and bottom notes. Buy distilled water at your grocery store, and vodka at the liquor store, then choose the fragrance oil you would like to start with. Essential oils can be used also, but unless you are already accustomed to working with them, fragrance oils are best.

Five drops of fragrance oil go into about 1/4 cup vodka, then add distilled water. This blend has a shelf life of several weeks, allowing you time to adjust the intensity of the scent with distilled water. Why distilled water? Because tap water has chlorine, which kills scent!

This is a basic "once over lightly" for a body spray. There are several sources and recipes that can be just as satisfying and more complex, just surf the web.


Monday, March 3, 2008

New Spring Colors: Lips, Cheeks, and Eyes

The end of winter is in sight. I hope you are as happy about this as I am!

Nothing lifts the spirits like planning a new
cosmetic color palette, highlighting the perfectly prepped skin I have worked on all winter. All of those days spent experimenting with facials, peels, and creams have paid off and it is almost time to show off!

I start building my spring
make up "to do" list mid February, which means I start trying mineral make up samples almost daily. Using compatible shades means I can save buying separate colors for each zone of my face.

New eyeliner colors

I have been known to stick with blacks and browns in my eyeliner drawer but found a wonderful deep green that enhances the eyes while bringing out those lower lashes where mascara runs amok. Since my eyelashes are black, the green allows them to show up without creating a ghastly pale line beneath.

Try pairing pencil colors to define, creating depth with subtle highlights.

I took Pencil Me In - Natural Eyeliner for a test drive and am thoroughly impressed with the staying power. Be sure to look at all of the colors...there's no reason to think this pencil can't be used for other special effects. Picture yourself on a warm, late spring evening grabbing the attention of an admirer with those Marilyn Monroe like eye lids. A little pink above the darker line right at the edge of the lid will cast that perfect glamour. No worries about the ingredients as they are all natural. It even has its own sharpener attached!

Versatile loose mineral powders.

Give me a jar of the right mica or oxide and I can make it work almost anywhere on my body, but right now I need to focus on the lips and cheeks. Not the hollows of the cheeks, but the cheekbones themselves. I want a hint of highlight there, very sheer, that works as the echo to of the deeper, almost opaque lip color. A smoldering kiss that glows at the cheek. Blended with a matte powder, it will carry an etheric but sultry glow just under the brow.

I found Paradise Sand Mica works for cheeks and lips!

A violet shadow might be the perfect highlight for afternoon gatherings, dusted with something that sparkles, for evening. I happen to love Rose Sparks Shadow and Hi Light Violet Shadow. They are light enough to stay in place and to layer without creating that caked on look, with Rose Sparks bearing flecks of glittery minerals guaranteed to catch moonlight.

Simplicity = Perfection

I have a feeling that beauty and fashion gurus are cooking up "new" looks that are striking but simple. Using the same colors for lips and cheeks, while adjusting their depth, will make eyes stand out.

Have your new look ready to go when spring settles in....start here!

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Taking One for the Team!

This week I received little package I purchased on Ebay.

The price was spectacularly low for the 30% glycolic acid and there were those oh so tempting added items like the "egg white" facial and the "Free 10 Amazing Healing Serums (60.00 Value). Of course, the first thing I did was unpack the items when they arrived. One brown bottle with a label "30% Glycolic Acid" that looked about standard, but things started going south when I saw the "Amazing Healing Serums".

Ladies, how much would 10 capsules of vitamin E cost?

I left my feedback on Ebay, simply stating that the item did not bear the appearance of what I saw on the seller's page, nothing more, then wrote the seller to ask what was in the capsules. What was this "Amazing Healing Serum"?

I then looked at the instructions for the glycolic acid peel. Ladies, would you put an acid on your face and then not take steps to neutralize it? Well, there was no mention of that step in the directions. In fact, "After the appropriate wait time, rinse with cold water and gently pat the skin" is followed with, "Apply appropriate moisturizer". This sort of omission might be harmless for the experiences user. Most of us have baking soda or neutralizers left over from other home peels. What about the the new user?

Well the seller contacted me, harped on the bad feedback, I guess she didn't appreciate the restraint I showed with the one comment I left, but never explained what was in those capsules of "Amazing Healing Serum". They were in a plastic sample bag with directions on usage, but nothing explains what the serum actually is, and I a sitting here looking at it while I type! Should the FDA be contacted and informed of a violation? Naw, I am not so heartless. Something like that would make it impossible for careful and concerned small skin care and cosmetics businesses to keep filling this wonderful niche, and that is not my goal at all.

The seller had a perfect chance to explain the capsules and the reason there were no instructions about neutralizing the glycolic acid, and I told her I would be writing about this in my next article. She accused me of blackmail...oh well. When a few others - and there really aren't that many at all, have left negative feedback, she accused them of not following the directions. I know that my direction were incomplete, so the likelihood that others are is pretty high.

Ladies...and careful when you find a really good price on any item. Too often, sellers want to take money for less than stellar products and customer service. I have a feeling that the seller I purchased from is selling on borrowed time.

Contact me if you would like to know more.