Friday, July 25, 2008

Red Carpet Tips for Fall

(ARA) - As the leaves change their colors this fall, many people find it is a great time to also change their style. The fall season brings new fashion and a chance for women to peruse style magazines and hit the shops to revive their look. Stylist-to-the-stars Britt Bardo brings good news for this fall’s style seekers -- looking your best does not have to take a lot of time or money.

Prepping celebrities for red carpet appearances and eleventh-hour events is a daily task for Bardo whose clients include Hollywood A-listers, Jessica Simpson, Cameron Diaz and Jennifer Lopez. While she spends much of her time preparing stars for important events, Britt often finds herself providing clients with simple tips to achieve a stylish, yet effortless, look at the last minute.

But in Bardo’s opinion, a new look isn’t always about the clothes and accessories. Her easiest tip is likely the first that people notice. “When my clients have to look good quickly, my new secret weapon is the new touch-up teeth whitening product, Aquafresh White Trays Revive. It revitalizes the effects of previous whitening treatments, improving teeth whiteness in just two days -- it is a life-saver for last minute events.”

This fall, fashion doesn’t have to be complicated -- Bardo finds the most basic items to be wardrobe essentials. “When you are at a loss for what to wear, stick to well-fitting, chic basics,” she says. “A great pair of trousers and a simple t-shirt tucked in are dependable outfit home-runs. Then give the outfit some ammunition with bold accessories.”

Bardo recommends these other tips to turn heads this fall:

* Every woman should have a great-fitting, sexy little white shirt. It is classic and chic and goes with everything.

* Mix up your cosmetics with the new mineral make-ups.

* If you want to try out a trend but are hesitant to spend a lot of money, look for a similar style at a lower price. With high-end designers doing collections for mass retailers it is easy to find something fun and low cost.

Courtesy of ARAcontent

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Buriti Oil: Baby's Amazon Skin Smoother

Buriti Oil may be the nectar of the Gods - at least in Brazil. The Moriche Palm, Mauritia flexuosa, also known as the Buriti tree, is a palm tree that grows in and near swamps and other wet areas in tropical South America. Natives call it "the Tree of Life" which is the literal translation of Buriti. The entire tree has varied uses, and indeed may be a rare gem in the Amazonian jungle.

The Buriti (pronounced bu-REE-chee) palm grows to a towering height of up to 35 meters, with a palm spread that resembles a rounded crown. Beautiful pale yellow blooms adorn the tree from December to April, and an almost artificial-looking ridged fruit grows from December to June. The nearly perfectly shaped fruit has shiny chestnut colored scales, and the edible, yellow, fleshy fruit has a high vitamin C content.

The Buriti palm is suitable for human use in a variety of ways. The sweet fruit is used to make beverages, preserves and ice cream. Buriti oil is high in vitamin A and is cold-pressed from the pulp. Natives use the healing oil to treat burns because of its soothing qualities. The inflorescence buds are eaten as a vegetable, and the sap can be made into a juice or allowed to ferment to make a wine. Threads and cords are locally produced from the tree's fibers.

In the cosmetic world, Buriti oil is highly prized for the essential Fatty Acids and emollients that work overtime at keeping skin smooth. The antioxidant properties of Buriti oil also have skin repairing and protecting properties. In fact, the concentration of carotene in Buriti oil is even higher than that in carrot oil.

Slowly, we're seeing Buriti oil make it's way into the mainstream cosmetic market. Look for major players like The Body Shop to release a new collection of baby care products featuring Buriti oil in Fall, 2008. Dubbed "Buriti Baby", the collection touts skin softening, ultra gentle cleansing and protection for baby's delicate skin. Products range from shampoo to baby body butter, and include accesories made from organic cotton and renewable bamboo.

But Buriti oil isn't just for babies. Countless health food stores are now carrying the oil, the ground nut as an exfoliant, and even the fruit. Americans are just now learning how valuable this miracle fruit can be in terms of meeting so many diverse needs for our health and beauty.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Nature's Minerals: Makeup That's Good For Your Skin?

One of the hottest trends in make-up today is loose-powder mineral cosmetics. With brand names like "naked", "bare" and "pure", one would think that mineral makeup is one of the best products for your skin. To a point that's true. Because many of the traditional additives in cosmetics - fragrance, filler, binders, synthetic dyes and preservatives - are not a part of mineral makeup, these new, "natural" cosmetics are easier on the skin, but don't be fooled. According to WebMD, the major mineral components in this trendy new make-up "have been the basis of most makeup foundations for decades." What's more, many of the ingredients are actually synthetically formulated, which takes "nature" right out of the picture, in a manner of speaking.

Here's the lowdown on the 4 most common "minerals" found in today's hottest cosmetics:

Iron Oxide. More commonly known as rust, certain isotopes of iron oxide have been used since prehistoric times as pigments, paints and dyes. Different chemical configurations create different colors, most often red, brown, yellow and black tones. There is a large concentration of iron oxide on Mars, thus giving it the red hue, and the nickname "the red planet". According to Wikipedia, however: "Iron oxides graded safe for cosmetic use are produced synthetically in order to avoid the inclusion of ferrous or ferric oxides, and impurities normally found in naturally occurring iron oxides."

Nature's own minerals being replicated in a lab? Doesn't sound very "natural" to me!

Titanium Dioxide. From paint, to sunscreen to food coloring, this naturally occurring substance has also been used in cosmetics for decades - primarily as a thickener and, more recently, for the SPF protection that it provides. Most dermatologists would agree, however that no matter the SPF, mineral makeup by itself is not enough sun protection for the skin of your face. Dermatologists recommend a minimum SPF rating of 25 for face protection. And never tuck yourself in at night without washing your face. No makeup is pure enough "to sleep in it". Plus the recent concerns over the recent classification of titanium dioxide as a "group 2B carcinogen" have people reexamining the benefits of the mineral. This classification indicates that the mineral could be potentially carcinogenic to humans, as it has been found to cause cancer in rats that inhaled the particles.

As most mineral makeups are in a loose, powder form, it is unclear at this point if it will pose a future threat to humans. One of the biggest complaints regarding mineral makeup is the loose powder spillage and dispersion in the air during application. According to WebMD, however, the fine particulate matter of the makeup may pose other concerns. "Minerals like zinc and titanium are safe when applied to healthy skin but in a micronized nanoparticle form, there remains a concern, particularly when applied to damaged skin, or when inhaled".

Mica. Though to be derived from an ancient word for "glitter", mica's light diffusing properties have made it a component in eye colors for decades. Highly heat resistant, mica has been prized for centuries and is the predominant component of the sun pyramid just outside of Mexico City. In mineral makeup, mica is used to reflect light, create a shimmering effect or to help disguise fine lines by "bending" light. Mica was extremely rare and prized throughout Europe during the 19th century. Now, mica is easily refined and is one of the truly natural minerals in cosmetics today.

Kaolin/ Kaolinite. This earthy clay hardens to a soft, chalk-like substance. This nearly white mineral is prevalent around the globe, and is another true mineral in mineral cosmetics. Because of the absorbent nature of clay, it adheres more uniformly to the contours of facial skin and holds its position better than most liquid foundations. It is kaolin and other clays like it (some companies are using "Mediterranean" clay, commonly known as illite, which is a cousin to kaolinite) that gives mineral make-up the long lasting coverage for which it is popular.

So if you have to choose, mineral make-up is probably the lesser of all cosmetic evils, and even a great choice for people with acne-prone skin. The clay helps to absorb excess oils, and gives a "flawless" professional finish with even coverage. One mineral to steer clear of, however is bismuth oxychloride. While this element is technically a mineral, it does not occur naturally, and "Bismuth is a byproduct of lead and copper processing" according to the experts at WebMD. It is strongly cautioned that people with sensitive skin, rosacea or chronic acne avoid this ingredient, as it "is considered a skin irritant and can cause itching and rashes and in large amounts it can cause cystic acne."

For normal to oily skin, makeup made from nature's minerals are a blessing, but for dry/sensitive skin, heavy applications of mineral makeup can be too drying on the skin, emphasizing fine lines and "weighing down" the skin's appearance. A simple trick to improve the coverage without applying a second coat? Mist your face to add a bit of moisture before applying the makeup, and consider using a less diffuse applicator brush. The smaller the brush, the heavier and more direct the coverage. As technology and testing catches up with this cosmetic trend, watch for mineral makeup that is actually proven suitable for sensitive skin. It's only a matter of time.
Lisa M. Robbin Young gives "face time" to hundreds of women each month, as a skin care consultant, author and entrepreneur. Sign up for her free newsletter, "Beauty Remarks" and get a free copy of her book, "Saving Face" at

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Spa Parties: Pamper Your Body and Shop at Home All At Once

Spa parties are not a new idea, but the trend is more popular in recent years. As technology improves, companies are offering spa quality products to smooth your skin and pamper your body while you shop at home in a relaxing and fun "party" setting.

The idea is simple, and most are based on the direct selling, party plan model. An independent consultant arrives at your home, sets up her "shop" and presents a short product demo that includes slathering your body's skin with naturally inspired beauty and skin care from a company with a track record for excellence. Women with tired, achy feet are encouraged to soak them in tubs of warm water infused with products called "cooling peppermint foot soak" or "plunge and purify bath soak". Tired tootsies are refreshed and softened - much like the ladies themselves.

Most of the time, the products are far superior to anything you can buy in a retail outlet. Sure, you can get a tub of body butter at your local Wal-Mart, but the consistency and ingredients of the product are generally of a lesser quality than the body products you can shop for at home parties. Plus, many of these companies are using botanicals, natural ingredients and even rare herbs and oils to further bolster the effectiveness of the product. With the green craze in full swing, more consumers are looking for products that are good for their body, with more natural ingredients, and fewer additives, preservatives and chemicals.

In recent years, some of the biggest manufacturers of skin, hair and makeup products have established home party channels from which their clients can continue to shop. In fact, companies like Avon, which started as a direct selling company, have added stores in malls, as well as "in home" type sales presentations to their arsenal in recent years in an effort to "reach customers where they are". With the rising transportation and fuel costs, the in home party plan consultants are actually noting an increase in business, because people would rather "shop from their seat, instead of their feet" saving time, gas, and money in the process. One "shop at home" body care company projects that independent consultant sales will eclipse their retail store sales in the next 3-6 years. The convenience, comfort and value of attending a spa party at home is gaining more mainstream recognition, as women that have attended parties begin to rave about the products, the pampering and the fun with friends.

But the fun is not just for customers. While they can shop in a party-like setting, hostesses get a great deal more than just friends, food and fun. They also have the opportunity to earn additional products for free and half price when their friends shop for body care products at their house.

So just for opening their doors to family and friends, a hostess can walk out of the independent consultant's "shop" with an armload of free bath and body products delivered right to her home. All she has to do is invite her friends, serve light refreshments, and open the box of "goodies" when it arrives.

The best part? Spa parties are free to host. Independent consultants do not charge a fee to set up their "shop" at your home. Most consultants rely on sales from guests to pay for their time and materials at an in-home spa party. Some consultants charge a flat rate per person if no sales will be collected during the event. Hostesses can also get credits for additional products from the consultant's catalog when her guests agree to schedule a show at a later date. This is how an independent spa party consultant generates sales and repeat business. There are usually gifts or incentives for the guests to host a party as well.
Would you like to use this article in your newsletter or e-zine? You can as long as you include this entire credit (including the web links):

Lisa M. Robbin Young is a skin care consultant, author, and entrepreneur. Sign up for her free newsletter, "Beauty ReMarks" and get a free copy of her book, "Saving Face" at

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Fall 2008 Fashion Jewelry Forecast: Deep and Warm is the Trend

Summer's barely here, and the trend setters in the fashion industry are already making forecasts for Fall, 2008. Smooth, rounded shapes pair with matte metallics in the coming season. Personal style takes a warm, rich turn as the holiday season approaches. So before you even retire your favorite summer swimsuit, trendsetters are already talking about softer stylings, coupled with mixed materials and deep, rich colors. Here are 5 of the hottest trend ideas (complete with coloring advice), straight from the leading edge of fashion jewelry:

1. Rounded shaped like discs, rings, and hoops. Like a 3-ring circus, many of Fall's hottest designs are taking a circular shape. Look for designed inspired by retro looks of the 1960's: think British Invasion, West End geometrics. Medallions - the bigger the better - are also a popular look, reminiscent of the love-fest 70's.
2. For warmer tones: Try rich oranges and warm reds like Carnelian, Cinnabar, and Red Aventurine. Olive makes a great secondary color to mix things up. For cooler tones: watery, icy pastels in pink and blue set a relaxed but classy tone, while deep royal purples combined with matte gray add a touch of higher class.
3. Mix it up: Layers, textures and materials are all being interchanged this season. Silk cords with textured metals, suede with wood or metallics.
4. Go Natural: Wood, shell, natural stones are all hot commodities this Fall. The "go green" concept has hit the jewelry world with full force, and mother of pearl (dyed in a rainbow of colors), abalone and freshwater pearls are making a big "splash", as well as turquoise, agate and jade (also in a rainbow of colors).
5. Bold or Understated, the choice is yours: Big, bold dramatic pieces as a fashion focal point are the statement of the season. The peasant styles of the 70's, as well as the dynamic, two-toned geometrics of the 60's are playing nicely this Fall. Black and White (or silver and black) are hot properties. For the understated look, consider smaller crystals with lightweight metallics, pewter or graphite toned, for a great daytime/office look.

Fashion jewelry this fall is full of possibilities for once in a long time. It can be almost anything that you make of it. These 5 tips are a great starting point to put your jewelry wardrobe in high style. With layering continuing to be a trend, consider coupling a few more understated necklaces at various lengths with one larger, "chunky" bracelet, to create a wardrobe worth talking about all season long.

Lisa M. Robbin Young is a beauty and fashion consultant for two of the most recognized brands in the US today. Sign up for her free newsletter, "Beauty ReMarks" and get a free copy of her book, "Saving Face" at

Monday, July 7, 2008

Aging Gracefully Inside and Out

(ARA) - Whether you've noticed the signs of aging in family and friends, or acknowledged how it affects your own mind and body, getting older is an unavoidable part of life. And while Ponce de Leon never found the Fountain of Youth, daily preventative measures can be taken to help you age beautifully both inside and out.

The most frequently recognized signs of aging include extrinsic indicators such as gray hair and wrinkles. But have you ever stopped to think about other factors that influence how young we feel and how young others perceive us to be? Here are some tips on how to take aging in stride and help you look and feel your youngest:

* Heart-felt: Choosing a heart-healthy diet may not only lengthen your lifespan by helping to reduce the risk of heart disease and diabetes, it will also help you age healthier. The FDA recommends eating well-balanced meals low in saturated fat, cholesterol and salt. Additionally, heart-friendly foods, especially those high in fiber, such as salmon, soy protein, oatmeal and spinach, will help you stay "young at heart."

* Smile On: Tooth stains and red gums can age the appearance of your smile and impact its health. In fact, gingivitis, a mild form of gum disease that affects one out of every two adults, can be a major cause behind prematurely aging smiles. "The good news is that it's preventable," says Dr. Jamie Sands, D.D.S. "I recommend using Crest Pro-Health toothpaste, which helps stop gingivitis before it starts and protects all these areas dentists check most -- plaque, cavities, tartar, sensitivity and stains and a power toothbrush, such as Oral-B Vitality Precision Clean, which reduces up to two times more plaque than a manual brush."

* Work It: No one is too old to reap the benefits of exercise. Regular physical activity provides endless advantages -- from reducing the risk of osteoporosis to increased energy and feelings of well-being -- even a brisk 20-minute walk several times a week can improve your overall health.

* Skin Deep: Although genes are a major factor in how skin ages, a great deal of visible aging also stems from environmental factors. Just a few minutes of sun exposure a day can cause noticeable changes to the skin, such as freckles, age spots, spider veins, fine wrinkles, and of course, skin cancer. To maintain your youngest-looking skin, avoid deliberate sun exposure, wear protective clothing such as a wide-brimmed hat, and apply sunscreen, preferably SPF 15 or higher, year-round.

* Thought-provoking: Studies suggests that people who engage in logic-based activities, such as crossword puzzles and games that involve strategy like Scrabble or chess, are less likely to develop memory loss. Not only will these hobbies keep your vision and hand-eye coordination sharp, but such challenges also help to keep your mind active.

Courtesy of ARAcontent

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Summer Sunscreen Mistakes, Myths and Solutions

(ARA) - Spring sun and the approach of summer remind many of us to get diligent about applying sunscreen before heading outdoors. But is that enough to protect your skin this summer? More than 1 million Americans will be diagnosed with skin cancer this year, according to the American Cancer Society.

"Changes in the environment and popular misconceptions make it more important than ever to take steps that will minimize your exposure to cancer-causing UV rays," says Dr. Jessica Wu, resident dermatologist at, the number 2 health destination online, and a clinical instructor in dermatology at USC Medical School. "May is national Skin Cancer Detection and Prevention month and now is a good time to get educated about how to protect your skin from the sun."

Nearly half of all Americans will develop skin cancer by the time they're 65, according to the National Cancer Institute. Here are some common summer sunscreen mistakes and myths . . . and their solutions:

Mistake: Only applying sunscreen at the beach.

There are two types of Ultra-violet (UV) rays: UVBs, which cause sunburns and UVAs, which cause skin cancer. While UVB rays can't pass through glass, UVAs do and they're present year-round during daylight hours. You are exposed through the windshield on your drive to work, through the window in your office or when you go outside for lunch or to run errands.

What you can do: Remember to use sunscreen daily, not just on the weekends.

Make sunscreen a daily habit for your kids as well. "Sun exposure in childhood is closely linked to skin cancer risk," Dr. Wu says. "Research has shown that having more than five blistering sunburns in childhood will double your risk of developing melanoma, the most dangerous type of skin cancer, later in life."

Myth: Believing a higher SPF guarantees a stronger sunscreen.

Actually, a sunscreen with SPF 30 only gives you 4 percent more UVB (sunburn) protection compared to SPF 15.To give you adequate protection, your sunscreen should also provide UVA protection.

What you can do: To protect yourself, learn to read labels. Look for a sunscreen with at least SPF 15, and ingredients like zinc, titanium, or Mexoryl, which protect you from UVA rays. If you know what ingredients to look for, you can find a good sunscreen on any budget.

Mistake: Going to a tanning salon to get a "base tan" thinking it will protect you from sun damage and skin cancer.

The "safe" tanning beds many tanning salons claim to offer use mainly UVA rays, and block out UVB (burning) rays. You won't burn, but you'll be getting a large dose of cancer-causing UVA rays. One study showed that people aged 35 or younger who used tanning beds regularly had eight times the risk of developing melanoma compared to those who never used tanning beds. Another study showed that women who used tanning beds at least once a month were 55 percent more likely to develop melanoma, the most deadly skin cancer.

What you can do: Don't use tanning beds - ever. "There is no such thing as a safe tan, and tanning beds, because of the UVA rays they use, are particularly dangerous," says Dr. Wu.

Despite the risk, more people than ever - of all ages and both sexes - are using tanning beds. In fact, the number of Americans using tanning beds in the past decade has doubled. Some states have legislation to limit tanning bed use among minors.

Mistake: Not reapplying sunscreen.

With summer heat and humidity, sunscreen rubs off and sweats off; if you go in the pool or ocean, it washes off, leaving your skin unprotected.

What you can do: For optimal sun protection, remember to reapply sunscreen when you get out of the water and every three to four hours. If you're not able to wash your face and reapply your makeup in the middle of the day, try touching up with mineral powder (which has zinc, a natural sunscreen) or makeup that contains SPF to boost your sun protection.

Mistake: Forgetting to protect your eyes, ears and lips.

Ears and lips can sunburn quickly and a common sites for skin cancers.

What you can do: Be sure to apply sunscreen to your ears, especially if you have short hair or pull your hair back in a ponytail. Look for lip balm that contains SPF of at least 15. UV rays can cause cataracts, so be sure to wear sunglasses to protect your eyes, especially if you're out on the water, which can reflect up to 80 percent of UV rays.

To learn more about how to protect your skin from the sun this summer, visit

Courtesy of ARAcontent

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Summer Skin Beauty Essentials

(ARA) -- Summer is around the corner, and that means more time outside in the sun. While we are aware of the dangers associated with sun-bathing, many still long for that sun-kissed glow. So how can you achieve the look of a bronzed beauty this summer without risking the health of your skin? Use the right tools to enhance features and protect skin.

Here are six essentials every woman should keep in her make-up kit this summer to keep skin looking healthy, glowing and gorgeous:

1. Foundation that Offers SPF Protection

Do double duty - hide imperfections and be protected from the sun's ultraviolet rays. The Body Shop's Flawless Skin Protecting Foundation with SPF 25 is an innovative cream-to-powder foundation that provides medium to full coverage. A perfect color blend for a healthy-looking, flawless complexion and has a mineral defense shield to protect skin to boot. The unique formula contains Vitamin C to brighten skin and Community Trade marula oil to condition and moisturize.

2. A Bronzing Powder to Mimic that Sun-Kissed Glow

Housed in a retro-style compact, Sun Lustre Bronzer, which is part of The Body Shop's new limited edition Summer Make-Up Collection, comes in two colors: Bronze Gleam which is a natural sun-kissed bronze and Radiant Blush, a pretty, pink illuminating shade.

3. A Water-Proof Mascara

You never know when the mood might hit to take a spontaneous jump in the pool, and you don't want your make-up to suffer. Find a mascara that will survive the water, and also coat lashes with long-lasting color, while helping to condition and protect. The Body Shop's Waterproof Mascara is a great find, and contains Community Trade marula oil.

4. Bright Eyeshadow

Bright, bold, colorful eye shadow helps to enhance the sun-kissed look. The Body Shop's Summer Shimmer Cubes come in Sea Blue which is a deep ocean blue with a hint of silver; Fiery Red which is an intense, vibrant red with softer pink overtones; Green Meadow, a stunning, bright emerald green; and Golden Sun which offers a rich, warm, golden glow.

5. Sparkly, Sheer Lipstick to Brighten Up Face

Dark, heavy lip color is best worn in winter, for the summer months try a sheer color that still adds some color to your look. The Body Shop Sheer Lip Lustre is a pearlescent lip balms with a hint of sparkle. The Lip Lustres are infused with a "White Tea" fragrance for a deliciously summery scent and available in three different shades: Flush pink is a pretty pink with a hot pink sparkle. Golden Rose is a golden pink with a golden sparkle. Rose Shimmer is a rose shade with multi-colored sparkle.

6. Faking It - Self-Tanners Instead of Sun-Bathing

Because you still desire a deep-tanned look but are wary of exposing your skin to the sun's harmful UV rays to achieve it, use a self tanning product. The Cocoa Butter Everyday Summer Body Lotion from The Body Shop helps gradually build that even sun-kissed glow. Start by applying to dry and well cleansed skin, and allow to set in before dressing for your night on the town. The Everyday Summer Body Lotion uses Community Trade cocoa butter from Ghana to soften skin and improve elasticity, so you are helping to improve the texture of skin while also adding that 'fresh from the beach' glow.

Also, to enhance your look even further, smooth on a Body and Leg Shine to your arms, legs and chest before hitting the beach. It's a wash-off product that goes on with minimal blending to give you a slimmer, more toned appearance along with fabulous color. One of the key ingredients is Community Trade aloe vera which is known for its soothing and hydrating effects. There are shades available for fair to medium skin tones, as well as medium to dark skin tones.

Then at the end of the day when you return home from the beach, there's one more essential you don't want to be without -- a tube of The Body Shop's new Peppermint Purifying Foot Mask. Made with Community Trade Peppermint Essential Oil from the U.K that will leave your feet feeling cool, refreshed and fragranced, and Sesame Oil from Guatemala that moisturizes and protects the skin, the mask will deep cleanse and soothe tired, achy feet that have spent the day running across the hot sand.

Courtesy of ARAcontent

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