Five tips you should start today if you want to look younger

Google “tips to look younger” and you’ll see a million different tips and tricks. 75% of them will follow the same mantra – drink water, use SPF, get sleep, don’t smoke, don’t sunbathe…the list goes on and on.  Those are absolutely things that you should be doing that will certainly aid in at least preserving what you have.  I’ll take it a step further to talk about some other ideas you might not have thought of.

  1. Take 3 minutes to look at the sky (or ceiling) per day.

A weird little suggestion, eh?  No, it’s nothing philosophical although taking a break throughout the day can have it’s benefits.  Too often we are sitting staring down at things – our computer, phones and tablets. There is actually a thing called “smartphone face” or “tech-neck.” Doctors and experts (which I am not!) are saying that due to our constant frowning, looking down and faces stern with concentration, we are giving ourselves wrinkles and a sagging lower face faster than ever before.

Try it for yourself.  Put your finger under your chin and look at your phone.  You’re smashing your face and chin by constantly looking down.  You’re also causing your neck muscles and ligaments to shorten, which can pull your lower cheeks and neck down and loosen elasticity at an accelerated rate.  Scary?  Absolutely.  The fix? Make sure you take a break and stretch your neck muscles throughout the day.  Taking a break will also pull you away from constantly squinting of frowning at your computer.

2. Invest in a good razor….for your face

The secret, unspoken “s” word.  Shaving your face. I may have just ruined the mental image for men everywhere who believe that women are born like a hairless cat in all the places we choose to be.  Not the case. Call it dermaplaning or whatever fancy name you want so as to not let on that you are, infact, shaving your face, but it can do wonders for your skin.

A professional dermatologist or esthetician will take a little scalpel-like razor to your whole face to remove dead skin cells.  In the process, it also removes peach fuzz and leaves a bright, glowing and smooth canvas.  I say to save your money and talk to a guy friend who won’t spill your secret (or just check out reviews) and invest in a run-of-the-mill razor.  By regularly shaving your face, you remove the top layer of dead skin and encourage skin cell turnover while removing any peach fuzz that can impede on a great foundation finish.

As we age, hormones change which can create more of those whiskers than we care to admit, and our skin gets drier while shedding itself less.  This type of exfoliation will help give you a smooth, bright complexion and will help your skincare products get deeper into the dermis. Make sure to use a base so that you aren’t tugging or causing irritation to your skin, and follow up with a good BHA to get into the pore to keep from ingrown hairs or infections.

3. Ditch the eyeliner under your eyes

As we age, we develop fine lines around our eyes and a general lacking of elasticity in our skin.  The skin around the eye is one of the most delicate of the body, and generally is the first area to see the signs of aging.  This also means that eyelids can start to become hooded when once we had big, round, youthful eyes. Knowing this, we can use optical illusions to help stave off the look of aging as much as we can.  Lining your eyes underneath draws the visual down, and especially if you’re also lining at the top, closes in your eyes emphasizing sagging, circles or puffiness.

The goal is to make the eyes feel lifted and wide.  If you like to line your eyes, stick to the top with a sultry smudge at the outter corners to give some dimension or a cute flick of a winged cat eye. If you absolutely can’t forego it, try a light eye shadow that gives you some lining capability but is soft and reflects light.  Be careful to choose a neutral color with light relecting properties but steer clear of metallics or glitter which can have the opposite effect. Applying these products to the top-only also applies to mascara.  Unless you’re going for a specific dramatic look, adding mascara to your bottom lashes creates the opportunity for black smudges throughout the day which make you look tired and can settle into fine lines.  Using a white pencil to tight line your eyes can also help brighten the whites of your eyes and make them look more open, awake and youthful.

4. Invest in a good hair stylist

I love people watching at the airport because I see some of the most stylish women roll through.  Two things I notice about a really well put-together woman of any age is a trendy yet age-appropriate hair style and clothes that reflect a classic style with a flavor of trendiness – meaning that it’s not trying too hard .

There are so many amazing choices these days with color and products and my favorite…the tools. It’s worth spending the $10-20 more for a hair cut or color for someone who really knows what they’re doing and for your type of hair.  If someone doesn’t break out a pair of thinning shears on me, I wonder how they graduated hair school.  I’m still paying for an ill-fated cut from 8 months ago. You just cannot cut my hair properly without them. Someone who can give you texture and a playfulness that fits your personality, while looking refined just has that extra set of confident polish to them.

Don’t underestimate a good stylist.  They are not all created equal, NOR do they cut all types of hair with the same expertise.  If you like someone’s hair that is like yours, snatch ’em up.

5. Lotion & lip balm are like American Express.  Don’t leave home without it

This one is where I should listen to my own advice.  I cannot stress how important lotion is and yet I despise the whole process so much it’s laughable. As we grow older our weight tends to fluctuate.  Our skin stops shedding and rejuvenating itself. All of our past sins are starting to show themselves.  This is when fine lines around the lips reveal their evil ways all of a sudden when your lipstick bleeds for the first time, or you ate too much turkey on Thanksgiving and your love handle starts to itch.  It’s because…it’s dry skin…stretching.  Which can cause stretch marks and skin that’s just flat out tired of bouncing back.  You can read about my rubber band analogy here.

This is where the ounce of prevention quote comes into play.  Ladies and gents in your late teens and 20s?  Fall in love with moisturizing your whole body.  Hands, feet, lips, you name it.  A good workout routine, some leafy greens and fruits, and a healthy obsession with your favorite moisturizer and you’ll maintain beautiful skin well past your peers.

Find something that was interesting or have a tip of your own? Drop us a line in the comments.

Product Review: Urban Decay Brow Box

As you would have read in my earlier blog post touting that eyebrows are the new LBD, the eyebrow industry has exploded not only because if the increased attention to a perfectly arched brow, but also capitalizing on those poor souls growing up in the 90’s when pencil thin brows were in – and just never filled back in.

There are a ton of great products out there, but where I find a common denominator that separates the winners from the losers is color.  Many fall either too ashy or too red (and that’s coming from a redhead!).  Smashbox discontinued my fav brow shadow, so off to find a new BFF (brow friend forever) I went.

About Urban Decay’s Brow Box

Urban Decay is well known for their primers and shadows, and while on the hunt saw a bunch of high ratings which landed this in my beauty basket.  They have this alt-rock glam/grunge thing going on, targeting those who are into beauty and associate with the fringe, apparent with palettes called “Naked,” photography more goth than glam and bright, bold colors. As a rocker at heart, I enjoy the demo they are going after.  I also happen to love them because Gwen Stefani is a spokesperson and she’s my all-time fav. I digress.

Packaging:

They have done a great job of putting this brow kit into a beautiful and functional design. The outer shell is a textured black and deep purple metallic plastic with that although small, has some weight to it.

Their Brow Box kit is one of, if not the best, value as far as handy tools and an all-in-one you’ll come across. The top lid opens up to reveal the brow powders, and then sort of opens like one of those Caboodles from back in the day to present you with some tiny yet helpful tools.

For those who travel a lot, have limited space for beauty tools, or are type A and like everything packaged nicely, you’ll really enjoy this one.  You get your choice of three brow powder color options to choose from, and each has an accompanying color to give you some blendable variations.

Here’s what comes in one box:

  • 2x colors of brow powder
  • Brow wax
  • Mini tweezers
  • Mini angled brush & spoolie
  • Mirror

Isn’t that awesome? The tweezers and brushes won’t replace a higher end version, but they are fantastic when you have that one hair you just need to get and don’t want to go digging, are new to the brow game, or if you’re attempting to pack light.

Application:

Even though I’m a redhead, my brows pull more to a brown. I also deepen my root so I sometimes go a little darker on my brows. I use the color “Brunette Beauty” and mix the lighter color in my inner brow closer to my nose, and then go darker.  I’ve had mine for about two years at least, so it’s lasted me a lonnnnng time and I’d say that if I wasn’t running out of wax, it could still go on for another year.

These are also best used for a defined and filled-in brow look. For those who like a more natural tamed look, or just want to fill in a spot here or there, this may be too dramatic for you.  Finding a good middle ground between filled in and drawn on, it’s more typical of your Insta brow consumer.  Because of that, it also takes some time and care to apply. I do LOVE that it comes with a wax, though. It adds that one extra step of definition and hold.

The down sides are that over time it does become a bit crumbly vs. buttery and the colors don’t blend as well.  This also creates some fall out which is easily brushed away, but annoying.  Those of us oily-skinned gals may also have some trouble on the most humid days.  It certainly isn’t budge-proof.

Overall:

Overall I really like Urban Decay’s Brow Box and would recommend it for the right type of buyer considering the type of look it will give you mentioned above. At $30 for one box, it isn’t the least expensive but certainly approachable for a brow-conscious buyer, and does provide everything you need in one place which is a great selling point.

It isn’t bullet-proof and does have some down sides, so I may venture out to try something else next time.  But, I have a feeling I’ll be coming back to my trusty Urban Decay because it is really that good.

Overall: 4/5

Price: $$$$$

Packaging: 5/5

Have you used the Brow Box? Drop us a line in the comments.

 

 

ReadHead 2 Head: Benefit’s Roller Lash vs. Maybelline’s Lash Sensational

In my earlier (and poor college kid days) mascara was something I so wanted to splurge on – I had friends buying Lancome Dificiles by the cha-ching – but I just couldn’t bring myself to do it.  My mom always bought Lancome and had the little samples that they gave you, so I’d find myself raiding her stash (thanks mom!).  Thoughts of spending $30 or $40 for mascara that you’re supposed to toss (apparently) after 3 months was just unattainable for me. Drugstore whomp whomp it was when my little sample died.

Since then, the drugstore brands have seriously stepped up their game.  There’s a billion out there that are just junk.  And the shouty plastic and neon craziness for tubing causes me migraines, but there are those gems out there that rival the good ones.

Drugstore vs. Luxury?

First of all, many of the drugstore brands are owned by premium brands i.e. L’Oreal owns Lancome and Maybelline (and a host of others).  There are times when you can get a cheaper price and very similar technology.  They’re all coming out of the same plant.  Also, do your research on blogs and understand what the brushes are meant to do – fat teddy bear shapes, vs combs, vs tiny short brushes.  The brush itself is integral to the application.  Lastly, primers can certainly help and don’t think one mascara has to do everything on it’s own.  Find a really good lengthening and a really good volumizing.  Put the lengthening mascara on first, then beef it up with that volumizer for beautiful long, full lashes.

There is a reason though, that luxury brands cost more.  Their packaging is usually better, and the quality of the mascara formulation + the brush tends to be better overall.  I find that they are just enough less clumpy, and just enough better at separating and holding curl (not all, but most).

Benefit Roller Lash vs. Maybelline Lash Sensational

Maybe she’s born with it?  Maybe it’s just really amazing mascara on both counts.

Benefit’s Roller Lash has been my lengthening go-to for a while now.  It comes in an adorable black and pink tube with girly details that are still sophisticated.  The formulation goes on a deep black with a more wet/shiny look that dries down fairly quickly.   It is dark and lengthens considerably, but can still be considered a natural look vs. dramatic falsies.  The comb, which in my opinion makes this amazing, beautifully stretches and fans lashes with no clumping while pushing them up with each stroke for up-to-there lashes.  Recently I’ve stopped curling my lashes except for special occasions to give them a break and this mixed with my Dior primer makes it almost undetectable that they aren’t curled.  It holds the curl all day and gives me an enhanced yet not over the top flirty look.  It also provides good volume when mixed with my primer, but for when I’m going out on the town and kicking my heels up, I coat this with Two Face’s Better Than Sex mascara for some super oomph.

For the price, you’re looking at $24 for the full size at .30 oz or $12 for .14 oz for the travel size.  I purchase the travel size which lasts me a good 3+ months.

Maybelline’s Lash Sensational has been blowing up the beauty blogger-sphere since it’s arrival as a dupe for Roller Lash.  It has a mauve frosty colored plastic tube container synonymous with a drugstore mascara brand.  The wand is slightly fatter, and has the similar comb technology.  I use two coats which comes out thick and black whilst pushing those lashes up and out.  For a tube of this you’re looking at $9 for .32 oz, and there’s almost always sales out there.

Final comparison:

When I put these on side by side from afar they both give me striking lashes.  They are dark, fanned and curled.  The lasting power for both of these did well and I didn’t have any problems with flaking or smudging.

Packaging: Roller Lash wins hands down on the packaging.  But, I care more about the function so I’m willing to give that a pass.  Lash Sensational isn’t garish or obnoxious, and I am a-OK with that.

Brush & Application: Although very similar, Roller Lash’s brush is a bit deeper with the combs and is a bit smaller making it easier to use.  Roller Lash seemed to be a bit more silky and wet, while Lash Sensational was thicker and a dryer lending it to provide more volume out the gate.  However, it does start to get borderline clumpy/spidery on my second pass so if you are a multi-coat person you’ll need to work with it a bit with combs to keep that from happening.

Price: Lash Sensational cannot be beat on the price.  For more product for almost 1/3 of the price, it’s definitely a bargain – especially if you believe in tossing your mascaras after 3 months.  And the formulation for that price is really good.  I’m OK with spending $12 on the trial size for Roller Lash, but $24 for this (or any mascara) would be above what I’m willing to spend.

Overall: Lash Sensational is a very strong contender to Roller Lash.  If price is an issue for you, then I highly recommend you go with this mascara.  It’s easy to get at almost any drugstore (vs. Roller Lash from Sephora) and will give you some voluminous, lengthy lashes.

The one stickler for me is that clumpiness.  At a close enough price point ($12 albeit trave size vs $8 for more than double) I’m going to stick with Roller Lash BUT when I need to save up a few pennies Lash Sensational is where I’m headed.

Have you tried either of these? Drop us a line in the comments.

Summer’s Hottest Makeup Trend In 7 Minutes

In a world of skincare in twelve steps and makeup with five layers, I’m excited about this summer’s hottest makeup trend. My daily messy-bun and sweatpants-self hopes it’s here to stay.

Drum roll: natural yet defined brows, understated eyeshadow, mascara and a swipe or five of bronzer. #Boom.

It makes sense that as the humidity kicks in and the heats starts sizzling, we are spending more time outside which means fun in the sun (and water) and sweat.  But interestingly it’s going a step farther this summer because even the best winged eyeliner is starting to fall back into the [eye]shadows.  Today’s magazine covers have replaced dramatic eyes with muted nude that take a back seat to wispy lashes, and dustings of freckles not covered by foundations make an appearance.  Freckles?! My heart can’t be any happier.

Time to put away the smoky charcoals, eyeliner and glittery get up.

How to get the look.

Eyeshadow: Opt for a versatile nude shade with some slight sheen to give you some brightness.  Add a lighter highlighter color in the corners for some extra pop.  Covergirl makes some great nude options in their Eye Enhancers line and bonus they are easy to find and so inexpensive! Have fun with a swipe of color that matches your favorite summer drink.

Lashes: growth serums are all the rage these days.  You can read my post about how to get those mega lashes on ReadHead which will give you that flirty, beachy vibe.  The trick is to be enhanced yet natural.  Put away the super thick falsie look-a-likes and opt for lengthening and fanning.  Do a quick eyelash curl and put on a coat or two of your favorite mascara. I like Benefit’s Roller Lash which has the best brush for lengthening I’ve come across and hear there’s a dupe from Covergirl called Lash Sensational.  Time to make a trip to the drug store!

Finish it off: Follow up with your favorite SPF, swipe some brow color for definition and hit the high points with your favorite bronzer.  That’s your forehead, bridge of your nose, chin, and cheeks.  Just a neutral swipe though, the goal is to look sun-kissed, not sun-mauled.

You can achieve this look in under 7 minutes and I’ll challenge you to skip the BB cream or foundation ::gasp!::.  It’s a little scary at first but dip your toe in.  I promise you’ll be fine.

Your skin will thank you for its own allotted summer break. You can always hide behind your sunglasses and hat, like me!

Have a favorite summertime routine? Drop us a line in the comments.

 

Brighten & Tighten: Eyes Talking To You

I asked my Facebook network if there was a topic they’d like me to write about and the top answer was addressing dark under-eye circles.  I’ll take it a step further to give ReadHead readers some tips to go from oh gosh to posh in no time.

Under-eye Circles & Puffiness

Under-eye circles and puffiness are caused by many culprits – genetics, fatigue, diet, allergies, age, sun and free radical damage, and trauma to the eye area.  For some, genetics will prove that under eye circles are inevitable, but there are some things you can do to stave off those shadows as long as you can.

Getting more sleep, staying out of the sun + using SPF are no brainers.  Making sure not to tug on your lower eyes when applying eyeliner or over-exfoliating the delicate skin around your eyes which can cause skin to look crepey and bring blood vessels closer to the surface of the skin and more visible are causes not usually top of mind.

The body has a lymphatic system that helps filter toxins and pollutants.  Your face retains water and lymphatic juice (ew, but I can’t think of a better word to describe it) which creates puffiness and can build up, putting pressure on blood vessels in one of the most thinly-skinned areas on the body.  Irritants like allergies or the common cold also cause the lymphatic system to work overtime while trying to flush out the toxins.

Facial massage designed to drain the lymphatic build-up will decrease overall puffiness, increase circulation and help to remove the pollution from your skin.  You may see increased skin elasticity, better skin contour, brighter under-eye area, less acne and an overall anti-aging effect of lesser wrinkles due to muscle relaxation – and increased happiness!  Who doesn’t love a good massage.

This video is long, but when I commit the time to do this routine I find that my skin looks great.  I mean, look at this woman.  Who WOULDN’T want her glowing, amazing skin??

Makeup & Other Tricks of the Trade

When you can’t get rid of those pesky circles, makeup and proper skin care is your best bet.

Quick tips to hide those circles:

  • Invest in a skin or eye cream rich in peptides and antioxidants like vitamin E which is proven to decrease the look of dark circles, and vitamin K, a lesser known vitamin that aids in wound healing including bruising.  Ferulic acid and vitamin c also help to clear malasma or skin discolorations caused by the sun.  My milia-prone under eyes love Dr. Dennis Gross’ Ferulic and Retinol Triple Eye Correction serum.  It’s lightweight, doesn’t clog my skin, and keeps them bright and refined.  Those with dry skin may need a heavier moisturizer.  If you’re on a budget, no need to splurge for an eye cream.  A well-formulated face moisturizer will do the trick!
  • A little Visine and a light tight line to your eyes (this is the skin inside your bottom eyelashes) with white or beige liner with brighten the whites of your eyes and give them an instant pop.  Curling your lashes and some lifting mascara (try a navy for a brighter take on the traditional black) makes them appear bright and wide.
  • Eyeshadow a shade or two lighter than your skin tone swept on your upper lid and in the corners of your eyes (and slightly under your lower lashes right by the tear duct) will reflect light and cut down on dullness.
  • A well-formulated highlighting concealer dotted under your eyes and on your lids can create brightness. My favorite happens to be Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer which doesn’t crease, look cakey or break down however covers exceptionally well.  Look for products that contain mica or silica.  These ingredients help reflect light which can hide and brighten.  Mixing some highlighter with moisturizer can also have a great effect while being economical.

A common misconception is that covering dark eye circles requires a foundation or concealer much lighter than your skin color.  This looks unnatural and can give you raccoon eyes in reverse.  Try finding one that matches your skin tone but is formulated to cover well, while boasting highlighting properties.

Lastly, break out the ole cucumbers, tea bags or spoons in the freezer.  Give yourself a good massage and stick these babies on your peepers for a detoxed and refreshed look.  Make some cucumber water and sit back and relax while you’re at it!

Have a go-to that helps with your under eye circles or puffiness?  Drop us a line in the comments.

 

Eyebrows Are The New LBD

A few years ago I met this naturally gorgeous beauty who was somehow tied up in a group of six degrees of friend-aquaintance with the friend I was waiting for.  While sipping on my Pinot I turned and it was like the heavenly angels started singing when I looked at her face.  “Eyyyyeeeebrowsssss…..”my mind gurgled like Homer Simpson over donuts.  Her eyebrows were so perfectly shaped that I had to stop her, especially since I was having a brow day like this one.

Horse_EyebrowMeme

“I’m sorry to interrupt (but what I’m about to say is important to you), but I just wanted to tell you that you have amazing eyebrows.”

Now, while some (or most) of you may be thinking I am completely ridiculous, the fact that this woman was wearing one step up from sweatpants but had expertly defined eyebrows who’s outcome was more thought out than her entire outward appearance, told me this was as much her craft as Kim Kardashian’s contour game.

Her face lit up with a megawatt smile, told me that is the best compliment anyone can give her and I 100% believe her.

Nice hair! Oh hey thanks.

Lipstick is on fleek! Oh you’re so nice.

You’re looking Victoria Secret model -esque in that little black dress! Thanks but gotta cut down on those cheeseburgers still.

Your brows are uh-mazing OH HAY GIRL YOU ARE THE BEST MWAH MWAH MWAH XOXOXOXO.

Her mantra is that NO MATTER WHAT her brows are done when she leaves the house.

We were instant BFFs with talk of products, threading v. plucking, and the lot.  You might have thought we were talking about pizza. Or solving world hunger. It was merely spitt’n mean brow game.

Seriously.  For those of you looking for a great way to compliment someone that shows you’re really paying attention, forget the shoes and go for the eyebrows (HARD CAVIAT! Novices, you should practice this beforehand with a friend because it could be uber creepy if you don’t sell it the right way).

So, why am I rambling on about this story?  Because it tees up nicely what I’m about to say. If you care about this sort of thing, which you’re reading a beauty blog so I assume you do – your eyebrows deserve some serious respect.

Much like you’d take the time finding the perfect dress and not splurging on the bargain buy for that hot date with the guy who didn’t know your name in high school, the same discerning eye should be given to your eyebrows.  They can do beautiful things for you, but can also be the thing that someone looks at you and can’t put their finger on what doesn’t look right or you are a unapproachable when you might be sweet as pie.

A few tips:

  • Eyebrow grooming/waxing/threading/plucking is an art and is subjective to the person who’s doing the work.  If you see someone’s brows you like, ask them where they get them done.  Do your homework for the best results and don’t assume that walking into any old place will automatically have you coming out looking like Cara Delevigne. <—-learned the hard way
  • Much like getting your hair done, you need to be very clear to the person who is doing your brows what look you’re going for.  Are you looking for a shape up?  Cleaning up what’s there? A new shape? Want to leave some of the random ones because you’re trying to grow them back in?  Time to be specific here.  It takes a long time for brows to grow back (except seemingly the ones I don’t want to ironically) and overgrooming can be….a really bad thing…not to mention incredibly frustrating when you’ve been trying to grow that bald scraggly patch out for 2 years and zip! in one second Zelma rips them out to never be seen again. <—- learned the hard way
  • Much like your eyelashes, take care of your brows to keep them full and healthy.
  • Bring in a picture of your inspiration!
  • If you’re new to the brow game, or want something low maintenance, you don’t have to go all out.  A few hairs plucked here, a few swipes of a comb there and something to hold those squirrely ones in place can make a huge difference by bringing out the shape of your eyes, highlighting your cheekbones and just making you look polished. 

For those new to eyebrow grooming or looking for a new shape, I highly suggest going to see a professional and letting them do the work for you first. We have a tendency to over-pluck when we do it ourselves.  I will allow a small forest to grow on my face between appointments if I need to before I’ll pluck my own brows.  I’m still paying for past sins (reference horse meme above). <—- more learning the hard way

In closing, I read this fun little post about what your eyebrows say about you.  Check it out.

My personality says #1 all the way.  Did I pick the right one for me?  You can see my brows here.

We’d love to hear what brow type you are! Drop us a note in the comments.

 

 

Under the Eyes of the Beholder: Wrinkles, Expression Lines and Wine

For those of us who tend to be at a baseline moderately joyful in our everyday lives, it seems completely unfair that we would be tapped with the sad sight of our happiness etched upon our eyes and cheeks – the dreaded crow’s feet, or laugh lines. Expression lines like those in your forehead can also become part of the package. Lame.

First, let’s talk a little bit about wrinkles.

Think of your skin as a rubber band.  When you get that rubber band out of the package it is taught, has resistance when you stretch it, and snaps right back into shape.  Over time as you keep stretching and keep stretching, it loses it’s elasticity and original shape, or strength to hold the thing it’s wrapped around tightly.  I’m currently eyeing one of my hair ties that looks like a loaf of French bread and the elastic showing.  Sad.

Now, no matter what we do, over time that rubber band will reach the same result.  But, let’s say that we left the rubber band in the elements (sun, cold) and then pulled on it.  That elasticity would break down much faster over time as the rubber dries out and starts to crumble. Or the dirt and debris would hinder it from stretching as it should.

Conversely let’s pretend we continued to yank on that rubber band as a stress reliever, stretching and relaxing it over and over.  You only get so many stretches out of the life of a rubber band.  As they say in Indiana Jones – “choose wisely.”

The same thing happens to our skin as collagen begins to break down. We raise our eyebrows while pleading with our children to stop fighting, smile big at your friend’s inappropriate yet hilarious joke, forget the nighttime moisturizer 362 days out of the year and yet expect a miracle the 3 times you use it, and sleep with our faces smashed in our pillows after a glass or 4 of dehydrating wine (BUT IT HAS ANTIOXIDANTS…!).

Wrinkles are not created equal, nor is the treatment.

If you take my example above, this will give you some insight into the different types of wrinkles, how they are caused, and how to address them. Generally I’d say that preventative measures like diet, proper sun and prescription glasses to reduce squinting, hydrating moisturizers, and sun protection are the basics.  If you won’t commit to those things, it will be really hard to treat or prevent wrinkles. There is no magic potion out there.

Dehydration lines – if I wanted a favorite wrinkle (similar to a favorite patch of cellulite…), this would be it.  That’s because it’s easily treatable. Dehydration lines are thin and light.  You may see that one day you look a bit haggard and tired after a night out, but a weekend of proper hydrating and those lines are gone.  Moisturize both inside and out to prevent those lines becoming permanent.  Moisturizers high in fatty acids, ceramides, humectants and antioxidants are key.  Oils can also be used.  There’s tons on the market.

Expression & Laugh Lines – I have a love/hate relationship with these.  I think that people who smile and are expressive are beautiful and look natural. These are caused by raising your eyebrows, squinting, smiling, etc. Proper hydration with good moisturizers day and night will help (remember that rubber band). Peels to remove hardened skin that has lost elasticity and retinoids to help resurface the skin will soften the look of lines.  Injectables like Botox and Dysport weaken or freeze the muscles, and lasers can help with the look and future creation of wrinkles with resurfacing and building of collagen.  This can be pricey and has health risks (not to mention is a frozen face with no expression better than a few lines?) so make sure to find a reputable doctor and be ready to open the wallet.

Stubborn wrinkles – these come about as we age and become permanent lines on our faces. The above measures will stave off the process, keeping your skin looking fresher and plumper.  If you get to the point where wrinkles are a permanent piece of you, your options may need to be more clinical.  This includes options above like Botox or Dysport, and also fillers like Juvederm to literally fill in those lines.

With all this said, at the end of the day be proud of your experiences in life.  It’s OK that they show a little!  Besides, there are studies that show that women who have sun damage/dark spots but no wrinkles look much older than women of the same age with minimal sun damage and wrinkles – so laugh it up over a glass of wine!

Do you have a favorite that keeps wrinkles at bay?  Drop us a line in the comments.

How to get those mega lashes.

Some consider the eyes the window to the soul.  To me, eyes are my most favorite feature on any living thing I encounter; it also happens to be my favorite feature of my own self.

eyelashesRivaled only by expert brows, eyelashes can enhance your face and, if your eyes are a favorite feature like me, can draw people in. I receive lots of compliments on my eyelashes (that’s me to the right with mascara only, no eyeliner and not much mascara on lower lashes), and lots of skepticism that they’re actually real.  For the record, yes, they’re real and I’ll give you some insight on how to get them yourself. Keep reading to see my lash routine and how I got this look.

Genetics.

First thing’s first, are genetics. I’m sorry, it’s the thing you don’t want to hear if you have barely there eyelashes already.  But. you have to realistic in what your hair and body will produce (much like me with my hair color). The good news for all ReadHead readers is that before I started taking care of my lashes, I’d give them a 5 out of 10.  There’s lots of room to grow.

Taking care of lashes from the inside.

For as much time as I take to talk about taking care of your skin, my diet leaves something to be desired. I did some reading, because that’s what we do here at ReadHead and found a vitamin with impressive ingredients called Alive! Whole Food Supplement that is packed full of just about any leafy green, fruit, vitamin, you name it.  It tastes like dirt, but wow does it work to give me the things my body is missing.  I also supplement this with my favorite beauty vitamin, Nature’s Bounty Optimal Solutions Extra Strength Hair Skin & Nail which focuses on hair’s building blocks of biotin, collagen, vitamins and argan oil.  These two things together gave my body the boost it needed.

Blogger’s Note: I am not a doctor.  Before taking any vitamins consult your doctor and be sure to follow all directions on labels. Vitamins and supplements are not to be taken lightly nor does more mean better. I do not take the recommended dose for these.  I take one pill of each per day vs. the recommended three.  More on vitamins in another post.

Taking care of your lashes on the outside.

Washing your face does more than get the gunk out of your pores.  It also removes drying mascara that can make your lashes hard and brittle.  Lashes are just like the hair on your head – putting them through curling, harsh chemicals and no rest can cause them to be brittle and break. Ever notice how men seem to have the most beautiful lashes us women envy?  It’s because they don’t put them through the ringer.

Tips:

  • Give your lashes a rest from mascara on the weekends or days that you don’t have to get dolled up.
  • Use a lash conditioner at night.  My favorite is Rimmel’s Lash Accelerator.  Although this clear gel says you can wear it under mascara, I don’t recommend it.  It helps lashes grow by conditioning them and protecting from fall-out.  Using a clean mascara wand with a light dip of castor oil also works.
  • Check into lash-growth serums. If your lashes truly aren’t there, Latisse is an option you can get, but it’s pricey without a prescription.  It won’t replace Latisse, but RapidLash is one I’ve used in the past that worked well and was more budget-friendly.
  • Get rid of the really cheap dollar mascaras that are high in alcohol.  You can find great drugstore brands, but skip the off-brands. Waterproof should also go if you don’t have extremely oily lids.  It puts a strain on your lashes during the day and when you’re removing it.
  • Use a conditioning lash primer before your mascara to help protect lashes day in and day out.
  • Different mascaras can give you different looks.  If you don’t mind a few steps, find good lengthening and volumizing mascaras vs. trying to find a great one that does both.
  • Try using a hair dryer on your lash curler for extra curl staying power.  Use your hair dryer for about 10 seconds, test it on your hand first to make sure it’s not too hot, and voila, it’s like a hair curler for your lashes. Make sure to let them cool down to really set that curl before adding mascara.

What I’m wearing: Diorshow Maximizer 3D eyelash primer, two coats of BENEFIT’s Roller Lash mascara, and one coat of Two Faced’s Better Than Sex mascara (and if that name doesn’t intrigue you I’m not sure what does) for ultimate volume.

Have a favorite lash product? Drop us a line in the comments.