Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Barbie Without Makeup

Growing up, I never quite identified with Barbie. Maybe it's because the pale skinned blonde haired figurine was not very similar to my dark skin and dark haired self. Whatever the reason it may be, Barbie has come under a lot heat over the last few decades for setting a negative example and ideal for young girls.

It's a contentious topic that most people can easily add their two cents to, and many people have looked into how realistic the doll really is. While some have blown up the doll to make it life size (and in turn, make it clear that the doll is not made to human scale), others argue that toys are not meant to be realistic. And after all, a toy is just that: A toy.

Recently, an image of Barbie without makeup has been making rounds across the internet. And surprisingly, this 'makeunder' of the glamorous doll has not been faring well. It's surprising and ironic, given how people wanted a real doll for so long. 

Is the doll realistic? Most argue otherwise. Read the rest of my article over at Latin Times to find out the three reasons why Barbie may need a new look.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Organic Cosmetics: 3 Reasons To Consider Using Them

Over the past few years, organic cosmetics have become more prevalent on the makeup market and in turn, have been more accessible to consumers. But despite all that, there is a hefty price tag that comes with organic makeup which naturally raises the question: Are they worth it? If you're considering switching over to natural and organic products, then consider these five reasons to make the switch:

1. Reduced exposure to parabens.
Truly organic cosmetics won't have any parabens—the controversial preservative that is used in cosmetics and personal care products ranging from your soap and moisturizer to your shaving cream and deodorant. Scientifically speaking, they are a compound of p-hydroxybenzoic acid; the most common ones are ethylparaben, butylparaben, methylparaben, and propylparaben.

While it's great that the chemical increases the shelf life of beauty products, this added benefit does not come without risks. The chemical has become increasingly controversial since it have been linked to immunotoxicity, neurotoxicity, skin irritation, and hormone disruption—which, in turn, causes breast cancer and fertility issues. The chemical can be absorbed by our bodies through the skin, blood, and digestive system.

What's more, a 2004 study by Dr. Philippa Darbre, published in the Journal of Applied Toxicology, found this chemical in breast tumors of 19 out of the 20 women studied. For full disclosure, the FDA's official stance is that this study did not show that the preservative causes cancer.

2. Many traditional cosmetic ingredients are linked to cancer.
Many cosmetics contain nitrosamines and according to The President's Cancer Panel, the ingredient can potentially cause brain cancer and kidney cancer. What's more, many personal care products (e.g. makeup, fragrances, hair products) also contain pthalates, which have been linked to breast cancer and testicular cancer. Other statistics show that roughly 22% of all personal care products contain 1,4-dioxane, which has been linked to cancer.

3. No regulations or safety tests
Unfortunately, there is little to no regulation on the cosmetics. In fact, according to The Story of Cosmetics, a documentary focusing on the dangers of personal care products, less than 20% of all chemicals in cosmetics have been assessed for safety by the industry's safety panel. The documentary shares: "Major loopholes in U.S. federal law allow the $50 billion beauty industry to put unlimited amounts of chemicals into personal care products with no required testing, no monitoring of health effects and inadequate labeling requirements—making cosmetics among the least-regulated consumer products on the market."

Monday, February 18, 2013

Vitamins for Beautiful Hair

If you're looking to take vitamins for the hair, whether it be for hair growth or to simply make sure your hair is healthy from within, then it is important to know what benefits different vitamins offer. Generally speaking, the vitamins that help your hair the most are B Vitamins, Iron, Vitamin C, Omega-3 fatty acids, Vitamin E, and Calcium.

B Vitamins: According to a study from the University of Maryland, Vitamin B5 ensures your scalp has blood supply to produce strong hair. Vitamin B5 can be found in whole grains, kale, and cauliflower. What's more, a deficiency in Vitamin B complex can result in hair loss.

Iron: If you have an iron deficiency (ask your doctor to run tests to find out) then you could be suffering from unnecessary hair loss. How does iron impact your hair? A deficiency in iron results in a low red blood cell count which, in turn, hurts the health of your hair follicles. Some iron-rich foods you can eat to increase your intake are: beef, pork, fish, and beans.

Vitamin C: If you're suffering from hair loss relating to iron deficiency, then consider taking a Vitamin C supplement, as Vitamin C helps your body absorb iron.

Omega-3: Taking a supplement for omega-3 fatty acids can keep your hair moisturized. Or, consider eating foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids such as salmon, oatmeal, walnuts, and pumpkin seeds.

Vitamin E: Rich in antioxidants, Vitamin E gives your hair the shine and luster that many covet. If you'd rather get your Vitamin E through your diet than a pill, then some Vitamin E rich foods include: walnuts, seafood, legumes, soybeans, eggs, carrots, cauliflower, and cabbage.

Calcium: While calcium is more commonly known for bone strength, it also plays a role in keeping your hair strong. Make sure your dairy intake is up to par to ensure your locks are strong and healthy.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Natural Acne Remedies

The market is filled with acne treatments promising to give clear skin and to zap away your pimples and zits, but there are natural acne remedies that give most products a run for their money. The best part is that the natural remedies won't apply harsh chemicals to your skin.

Beware of Your Phone.
Your phone can be a breeding paradise for acne, so be sure to diligently clean your phone to make sure the source of acne is not your phone. Skeptical? According to researchers from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, 82 percent of the subjects' phones had some kind of bacteria on them. Depending on how much you use your phone, and where you store it on a regular basis, you should be cleaning your phone every night.

A good facial clay can cleanse your pores without drying out your skin. Simply add a little water to clay and add a dollop to the zit before going to bed. You can apply clay to your face as a mask or as a spot treatment on your acne.

Ice is a temporary fix to acne, but it's an efficient temporary fix. Rubbing a cube of ice on the zit will cause it to (temporarily) shrink.

This will sound counterintuitive, but oils can help fight acne, as some oils have been found to reduce acne and acne-related scarring. What's more, a gentle cleanser helps preserve your skin's natural oils, which is important for acne-prone skin.

Tea Tree Oil. Studies have shown that tea tree oil work just as effectively as benzoyl peroxide, although it takes a little longer to work. For acne-prone skin, applying tea tree oil can keep acne at bay.

Take Zinc Supplements. Zinc is said to reduce inflammation, which may play a role in reducing acne breakouts.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Jojoba Oil

Jojoba oil is a key ingredient in many personal care products primarily for one reason: The odorless golden-colored oil promises to hydrate and soften your skin and hair. What's more, the oil is said to have been used by Native Americans to treat sores and wounds.

Applying the oil to your hair is a fairly simple endeavor. Simply massage the oil onto your scalp and hair and allow the oil to penetrate your scalp for at least thirty minutes. Then shampoo and condition your hair, as you normally would, making sure that there is no oil residue.

If you're looking to apply jojoba oil to your face, then consider using it as a nighttime moisturizer. Apply a thin layer of oil (or a more generous amount if your skin is dry) onto your clean face before going to bed. This will allow to the oil to moisturize your face while you sleep, as the oil will take the place of your nighttime moisturizer.

Another great way to incorporate the oil into your daily routine is to use it with your foundation. Mixing equal parts oil and foundation will create a more light consistency, and thus, a more sheer coverage when applied. This makes it a great DIY tinted moisturizer, since the foundation will provide pigment and coverage, and the oil will provide moisture and a glowing finish.

Lastly, if you suffer from dry skin, then consider using this oil right after coming out of the shower. Simply pat your skin dry and apply the oil in lieu of your moisturizer for extra hydration. Be sure to emphasize areas of your skin that are more dry (e.g., elbows, knees, etc.).

Friday, February 1, 2013

Coconut Oil for Hair

 Image via Pinterest.

Many people use coconut oil in cooking for its health benefits, but followers of Ayurvedic remedies (which are traditional Indian remedies) use the oil on their scalp and hair claiming it prevents hair loss and hydrates your hair. But is there any substance behind using coconut oil for hair? Yes, there is!

The rich fatty acids found in the oil nourish hair and remove excess dead cells on your scalp. Many bottled conditioners are water-based and thus, do not offer the same deeply concentrated moisture that the oil provides. In fact, studies have found that the chemical structure of coconut oil allows it to penetrate the hair fiber and have a higher moisture retention value. And it's not just deep conditioning: You can keep flyaways at bay by applying a tiny dab of coconut oil.

Read the rest of my article about the benefits of coconut oil at Daily Glow.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Dry Skin Remedies

 Image via Pinterest
Dealing with dry skin is a problem almost everyone has to face at some point in their life. But know that there are daily changes in your routine that can serve as a dry skin treatment if you want soft skin. Here are four easy steps to getting smooth skin.

1. Exfoliate
Exfoliating sloughs off dead, dry skin, leaving a layer of fresh, soft skin exposed. By eliminating the layer of scaly skin cells on top, you can enjoy the supple skin underneath. That said, the supple skin will only stay soft if you take care of it.

2. Moisturize
Moisturizing your skin (especially freshly exfoliated skin) is crucial. If you've exfoliated in the shower, then pat your skin dry and immediately slather on a hydrating oil or a rich emollient. Your pores are dilated after a shower, which makes it an ideal time to rub on a moisturizer since your skin will absorb and retain it better.

Read the rest of my tips at Daily Glow

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Tips: How To Wear Red Lipstick

Image via Pinterest.
Wearing red lipstick during the day or in the evening creates an elegant and timeless look that will inevitably make a statement. However, to effortlessly pull off a red lip, certain steps must be taken. Here are the six steps to a perfect red lip.

Find the Right Color for Your Skin Tone
Different shades of red suit different skin tones, so be sure to identify the undertones that best suit your skin. The general rule of thumb is that people with pale complexions should use true red hues, people with olive complexions should use brown tinted reds or mahogany, and dark skin tones should consider reds with a blue undertone. And if you want your teeth to seem whiter, then opt for a red lip color with a blue undertone.

Prep Your Lips Properly
A perfect application is what makes red lips a success. Make sure your lips are not dry, or have been exfoliated, prior to applying red lipstick.

Prevent "Bleeding" With Concealer
By applying concealer around your mouth, you'll prevent the lipstick from bleeding into your skin.

Read the rest of my tips at Daily Glow

Friday, January 25, 2013

Treating Dry, Cracked Feet

During the winter, it's not uncommon for your feet to be dry and cracked. But know that treating dry, cracked feet can be done in three simple steps.

1. Pumice Stone
Use a pumice stone to exfoliate your feet while you're in the shower. The steam from the shower will soften your skin, making it easier to remove the accumulated dead skin cells and slough away the dry skin. Exfoliate your feet at least once a week, if not more, depending on how dry your feet are.

2. Moisturize
A pumice stone alone will not curb cracked feet. After showering, lock in the moisture by applying a strong emollient, such as an oil, a heavy cream, or Shea butter. If your skin immediately absorbs the emollient (this commonly happens with dry skin), then reapply as needed. How frequently you moisturize your feet depends on the condition of your feet. If your skin is dry, then apply at least twice a day. If your skin is normal, then once a day should suffice.

Read the last tip at Daily Glow.

Image via Pinterest.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

TED Talk: Model Cameron Russell

This brief (ten minutes!) talk by model Cameron Russell is a must watch. I don't want to waste words explaining what she says, so my message is simple: Watch it!

Source: TED via Refinery 29


Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Five Tips for the Perfect Smoky Eye

If you're looking for a go-to evening makeup look, then the classic smoky eye is a look you should master. No matter how casual or how upscale the event, the look can be worn effortlessly with any outfit on a night out. But before you start practicing with dark eyeshadows, remember these basic five tips on how to pull off this look.

Always Prep Your Lids
Use a primer or a base on your lids before attempting your evening look. A good primer will ensure that any excess oil on your eyelids is absorbed and that the shadow sticks to your skin without rubbing off or smearing. Read the rest of my tips at Daily Glow.

Image via Pinterest.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Fishtail Braid

The fishtail braid has been seen on the red-carpet being worn by celebrities of all ages and backgrounds, from Blake Lively to Kim Kardashian.

There are a lot of variations in braid styles , but this unique braid is all the rage right now, and can be sported at upscale events, if a celebrity can wear it on the red carpet, you can wear it to any event, and more casually as well. If you're wearing your braid as an evening look, then make it sleek and have the braid run down your back. If it's a bit more casual, then opt for a messier braid that is placed off the side.

That said, don't hesitate to wear the messy version of the fishtail braid for a more formal event. It may seem counterintuitive to do so, but the messiness of the hairstyle will counterbalance the structured feel of an evening gown or look, creating an overall unique look that works well. Read the rest of my article at Vista Magazine.

Image courtesy of Pinterest.

Monday, January 21, 2013

3 Ways To Exfoliate Your Body

Exfoliating your skin regularly guarantees that you have healthy, glowing skin since the process removes dry, dull skin. Most people exfoliate their faces and feet, but the reality is that you should be exfoliating your entire body, especially if you are prone to dead skin buildup. That said, be careful of overexfoliating as this can irritate your skin and make it dry.

1. Scrub
A sugar or salt scrub is the most common exfoliating method for your body. These scrubs typically have an exfoliating agent (e.g. salt or sugar) that removes dead skin and a moisturizing agent (such as oil) that serves as an emollient. If you want to make a DIY scrub, then mix equal parts sugar and extra virgin olive oil for a homemade body scrub.

Read the rest of my article for two more ways to exfoliate at Daily Glow

Image courtesy of Trilogy Spa via Pinterest.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Facial Cleansing 101: How to properly clean your face

When it comes to cleaning your face, most people focus on the products used instead of technique. Sure, the products you use are important, but how you apply them is just as important. There is a very specific art to facial cleansing that will ensure your products work well and you don't inadvertently damage the delicate skin on your face.

Wash Your Hands
The first step to washing your face is to ensure your hands are clean. After all, isn't it counter-intuitive to cleanse your face with hands that are packed with germs and bacteria?

Remove Eye Makeup
Remove your eye makeup prior to cleaning your face. This is the most efficient process since it allows your cleanser to work on a bare face and eliminates the extra step of removing eye makeup residue after you've cleaned your face. Read the rest of my article on how to properly clean your face at Daily Glow.

Image courtesy of bellasugar via Pinterest.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Natural Beauty Masks

When you're looking for a quick face mask, consider an at home alternative to the store bought ones. The benefits are two-fold: It is cheaper and all-natural, and a great natural beauty treatment for Latina skin. Here are five easy DIY natural beauty masks that you can make with the ingredients in your kitchen.

Egg White Face Mask
This simple mask only requires two ingredients: An egg and a lemon. The egg (specifically, the egg white) will tighten your pores, and the natural acid in lemon juice will even out skin tone. Simply add 1 egg white and a few tablespoons of fresh strained lemon juice into a bowl and beat the ingredients together until they are evenly incorporated. Apply to your face, avoiding the eye area, and leave it on until the mask dries. Once dried, remove the mask by rinsing your face with warm water. Make sure to apply sunscreen, as lemon may make your skin sensitive to the sun and prone to hyperpigmentation. Check out the rest of my article (and recipes for three more face masks) at Vista Magazine.

Image courtesy of Pinterest.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Airbrush Makeup

Airbrush makeup has an intimidating reputation since most people hear about it being used on wedding days and on celebrities. Not to mention, the makeup technique has a very specific application process and expensive tools.

Despite all that, the finish airbrush provides is coveted by many because it offers sheer to full coverage without looking cakey or as if you're wearing a mask. The reason behind this is that the foundation is sprayed on your skin in small particles with an air compressor, which creates a natural finish. What's more, makeup applied by airbrush has a longer staying power since it is water resistant and thus can stay put regardless of sweat and tears. Read the rest of my article at Daily Glow.

Image courtesy of Temptu.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Home Remedies for a Dry Scalp

A dry scalp leads to a variety of problems, including dandruff, hair loss, and other skin conditions. In order to figure out how to combat a dry scalp, you need to understand what causes a dry scalp. Your scalp naturally contains sebum, which naturally moisturizes your hair and scalp, and a dry scalp simply means there is a shortage of sebum. Fortunately, there are many treatments and home remedies for dry scalp that will moisturize your scalp the way sebum does.

Apply Coconut Oil

Massaging coconut oil into your scalp is a foolproof way to moisturize your dry scalp. Studies have found that coconut oil, in comparison to other mineral oils, can penetrate skin and hair the deepest. While any oil will help moisturize a dry scalp, extra virgin coconut oil will be the most effective. Be sure to evenly apply oil to the entire surface area of your scalp. Read the rest of my article to learn about other ways to battle a dry scalp at Daily Glow.

Image courtesy of Pinterest.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Fact or Fiction: Do Prenatal Vitamins Help Hair Growth?

For the longest time, advice has been passed around that prenatal vitamins are great to take if you want hair growth. And it's not just for hair growth; prenatal vitamins allegedly help you grow thicker hair and give more sheen to your hair. But is there really a correlation between prenatal vitamins and hair growth?

Prenatal vitamins include nutrients to help a woman's body prepare for pregnancy and to help the body throughout the pregnancy. When compared to multivitamins, prenatal vitamins contain elevated levels of iron, folic acid, calcium, and biotin. The latter, biotin, is believed to promote healthy hair and nail growth. It is also naturally found in vegetables, legumes, berries, goat and cow's milk, almonds, and eggs. Read the rest of my article at Daily Glow.

Image courtesy of via Pinterest.