Monday, January 31, 2022

Identifying Your Skin's Undertone.

It took me years to realize that I didn't have the same olive skin my mother had.  When I started looking at foundations, my mother would always nudge me towards the shades she wore because she figured I had the same undertones she had even though her skin tone was darker.   

I finally gave in and went to a place where they help you find the right make up based on skin type and your undertones. This explained why the darker one my mother had me buy, never looked right. 

An undertone is defined as the natural color below the surface of your skin but we look at it more as the shade of your skin tone. There are three types of undertones, warm, cool, and neutral.  The warm shades have golden, yellow, or peachy undertones, cool are blush, pink or red undertones and neutral is a combination of both. Furthermore, your skin tone may change due to a variety of factors but your undertones will remain the same and it is possible for you and your friend to have the same skin tone but different undertones.

It is important to know your undertone so you can select the correct shade of foundation, avoid any harsh makeup lines and to have a more natural look.  When you buy a foundation, you'll find them classified according to skin tone with sub groups based on undertones.  If you use the wrong foundation, the lines between the foundation and skin tone tend to be noticeable but if you blend it all the way down the neck you won't have this problem. Finally, when you know your correct undertone, you'll find it easier to create the natural look.

There are several things you can look at to determine your undertone.  The first thing is to look at your tan.  If you burn easily or tans to a rosy, deep cinnamon, or a reddish tone, then you have a cool undertone but if your skin tans to a peach, golden, caramel, or olive undertone, you have a warm undertone. If you don't tan to any particular shade or you burn or tan equally well, you most likely have a neutral undertone.

A second way of finding your undertone is to hold a piece of white printer paper next to your skin under bright natural light.  If you skin appears pinkish then you have cool undertones but if your skin looks yellowish, then it probably has warm undertones but if you don't see any real color, you have neutral undertones.

The final way is based on your hair and eye color.  If you have lighter hair color with a lighter eye color, you most likely have a cool undertone but if you have darker hair with darker eyes, you most likely have warm undertones.  This last way is more of an educated guess so try the paper or tan test to check your guess of undertones. 

If you aren't sure, talk to someone who specializes in makeup and can look at your skin.  It will help you make better choices.  Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.  Have a great day.

Friday, January 28, 2022

Exercising During The Pandemic

Yes we almost two years into the pandemic and it still is rearing its ugly head.  Many people are so tired of everything and have decided to go back to normal and ignore the consequences but others are still learning their mask, eating take-out, and doing their best to avoid being exposed to the virus.  This article is designed for those of us who are to willing to return to "normal".  In addition, when the weather gets bad, people are less likely to want to head out or to fight the bad roads so one has to exercise at home.

Unfortunately, in these times, it is sometimes hard to regularly work out, especially with weights or other machines.  Since many people have switched to working at home, it is important to workout at least three days a week to take full advantage of exercise. 

One exercise that is easy to do at home is Yoga. Yoga is a great low impact exercise that uses the weight of the body for maximum benefits.  There are lots of yoga videos on YouTube one can view or download for use.  In addition, there are also lots of apps with yoga routines and websites offering online classes.  If you have bandwidth issues, look at purchasing several DVD's with routines.  I love using yoga for balance practice at least twice a week.

In addition, one can pick up a set of weights or resistance bands at Wal-mart, Target, or order off of Amazon to help with muscles strength and preventing bone loss.  If you don't have a chance to get any, grab a couple cans of food to use.  Most 16 ounce cans are just the right size to fit your hands nicely. To get started, there are routines on YouTube you can follow, or look for an exercise app with these routines.  I've found some really nice workouts on DVD's that give me a great workout with weights or resistance bands.  In fact, some routines are "walking" routines that incorporate these into the routine so you work groups of muscles at one time.

If the weather is nice, head outside for a nice long walk or jog or even take a bike ride. Don't forget to avoid groups of people while outside, maintain proper social distancing, and carry a mask incase you need it.  On a bad day, look online for good aerobic type classes. There are "walking", Zumba, or circuit classes for something to get your breathing up and leaving you nice and sweaty.  

If nothing else, focus on exercises that use your own body weight such as lunges, squats, pushups, planks, leg lifts, etc. The easiest way is to perform as many repetitions in one minutes before pausing and repeating it on the other side for lunges, squats, etc. It is possible to create your own circuit by mixing and matching the exercises. 

Another one of my favorites, is to put some good rock and roll music on so I can dance the twist, the pony, and whatever else catches my fancy.  The important thing is to move around but the movement doesn't have to all be done in a 30 minute stretch.  If you want, do body weight based exercising for 10 mins in the morning, dance for 10 minutes in the afternoon and finish the day with 10 minutes of yoga.  Mix and match but get the exercise done.  Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear. Have a great day.


Wednesday, January 26, 2022

When Is The Best Time To Exercise?


When it comes to exercise, most of us squeeze it in when we can.  I usually do my session in the evenings after dinner during the work week and I spread it throughout the day on the weekends.  Some people enjoy a good workout before work while others squeeze it in at lunch but what does science say about the subject?

According to current research, all of us are correct as to the best time of day to exercise.  It is whatever time is best for us.  If the only time you have is first thing in the morning, that is the best.  On the other hand, if you can only do it right before bed, then that is best.

That being said, the absolute best time to exercise is the time you have each day available for exercise consistently. For instance, if you set 20 minutes aside in the morning but keep skipping it, then it is not the best time for you so you should look at changing the time to one that works better.  On the other hand, if you consistently workout right after work everyday, then that is the absolute best time for you.

Research indicates it is when someone exercises constantly that is what causes weight loss and fitness over time.  In addition, research shows that your body adapts to exercising at a specific time when you do it repeatedly however, there are both advantages and disadvantages to exercising in the morning or evening.

There are some advantages to working out in the morning as proven by research.  When you work out in the morning, you tend to be more consistent because you have fewer excuses not to do it since you haven't had all day for excuses to pile up.  In addition, working out in the morning can help you become more alert at that time of day and more tired at night when you go to bed.  Furthermore, it helps you sleep better at night since you are tired. While you sleep, the sleep helps improve muscle growth.

Another advantage is that your body tends to burn more calories when you haven't eaten in a while and are in a "fasting" state. This is because your body is burning your stored fat rather than the food you just ate to fuel your exercising.  There is also research indicating that burning stored fat causes a longer burning of calories.  In addition, morning exercise leaves you with increased energy levels, better alertness, more focus, and better decision making.

On the other hand, if you don't have enough fuel, you'll drag a bit and this is caused when you don't eat enough the night before.  A way around this is to eat a small snack before working out.  You also might interrupt a deep sleep and you'll feel groggy when you get up. In addition, it may take you a while to get warmed up and you may not feel coordinated right away.

When you exercise in the afternoon and evening, many people perform better because they are functioning better later in the day. It has been found that muscle strength, flexibility, endurance, and power output are higher in the evening.  Furthermore, it takes longer for people to to reach the point of exhaustion.  Since your core is warmer later in the day, it is easier for people to get warmed up and into the workout. 

In  addition, when you workout later in the day, the exercise is better at relieving stress. The increased endorphins are great for getting rid of stress and leaving you feeling great for helping you wind down at night.  Exercising in the evening can also replace bad habits such as eating, drinking, or smoking so you are healthier. 

Unfortunately, if you exercise too late, it can interfere with your sleep, making it harder to get a good nights sleep. Furthermore, it can be more difficult to exercise constantly in the evening due to your social life, or because you are just tired after a long day.  Don't be afraid to try different times to see which works best for you.  Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.  Have a great day.

Monday, January 24, 2022

Concealer vs Highlighter


The other day, I talked about contouring versus bronzing and today I'm looking at concealers versus highlighters because both of these are classified as contouring products.  Again, people often thing of concealers and highlighters as being the same type of product when actually they do two different jobs.  My sister never bothered with either so I don't know if she thought they were the same thing.

In general, a concealer is designed to help cover up any skin imperfections while the highlighter brightens certain areas of the face. In other words, the concealer erases imperfections while the highlighter accentuates your best features. When you use the two products correctly, you'll end up with that flawless look so your skin and you look perfect.

As stated earlier, concealers are made to cover up imperfections of the skin such as dark circles, age spots, acne, large pores, or other noticeable skin blemishes.  In addition, concealers can also help correct any color differences in the skin.  Thus they make your skin appear more uniform by working similarly to foundation.

Concealers can be used alone or with a base but whichever, you need to choose a shade that is slightly lighter than your natural skin tone. Concealers are usually more opaque than foundation because it is highly pigmented so it leaves a matte finish.  In addition, concealers that have a yellow undertone are designed to cover dark circles while those with purple undertones can make your sallow skin tone more alive. When you actually apply the concealer, use only a thin layer so it doesn't look artificial or caked.  When you use it to cover the dark circles under your eyes, apply it using an inverted triangle under the eye and blend it in smoothly.

On the other hand, a highlighter brightens your skin by reflecting light and it can make your skin look healthy while enhancing your natural looks.  The light reflecting ability of highlighter can give your skin a look ranging from subtle radiance to a beautiful shimmer.  It causes your features to pop.  Highlighter comes in several forms such as powder, cream, or liquid and may have mica since mica provides a shimmer. If you apply highlighter just below the brow bone and at the crease, it makes your eyes seem wider,   To make your nose seem slimmer, put the highlighter on the bridge of your nose, then apply highlighter that is one or two shades darker to the sides of the nose and blend it in well. 

One other thing, concealer is used before the highlighter so all imperfections are covered before you highlight what you want to accentuate.  Furthermore, your skin type dictates, the type of highlighter you should use. For instance, if you have oily skin, choose a powder based highlighter but if your skin is dry, go for a liquid or cream version but with combination skin, you can use any of the three. 

When applying highlighter, it is recommended you use a sponge blender for cream or liquid highlighters but do not use sweeping motions otherwise you'll end up with a streaky look.  Instead, you should dab or stipple for a more natural look. If you choose a powdered highlighter, use a brush with a swirling motion to apply it to the skin.  If you apply too much highlighter, just brush the extra off if its powder or a clean sponge to take that extra bit off.

So for that flawless look, use both a concealer and highlighter to help contour your face properly. Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.  Have a great day. 

Friday, January 21, 2022

Bronzing Vs Contouring


My sister was the one who always told me that bronzer was used to contour your face and to give it that little bit of color everyone needs, especially in the winter.  Well, since the pandemic started, I've had time to check out certain topics and I just found out that her statement was not quite correct.

Although bronzer can be used as she said, bronzing and contouring products are different and are to be used differently. First of all,  both bronzers and contouring products such as concealer and highlighter come in powder, liquid, and creme but the difference is in the shade and finish.

Bronzers tend to come in warm or neutral tones and may be found in a matte finish or may be sparkly and glowy.  It is designed to make you look as if you have been in the sun.  On the other hand, contouring products come in neutral or cool tones and always have a matte finish because it mimics natural shadows hitting the face.

Bronzer is used to add warmth and color to your face so you look more alive. Since it uses warmer tones, it will have more red, orange, or yellow undertones. Bronzer allows you to look as if you spent the day on the beach with a nice tone.  The contouring products are used to create shadows on your face so the features of your face are more defined and sharper.  The shadowing helps emphasis features of your face and helps hide others so. you are transforming your facial structure without any surgery. Contouring products tend towards the more earth based tones and are often grayish in tone.

When you apply bronzer, you need to apply it to the places on your face where it is normally exposed to the sun.  This would be around your hairline, the sides of your forehead, the tops of your cheeks, and the bridge of your nose. Another way to apply it is in the shape of a "3" from temple, down around the eyes, and around the mouth to the chin on both sides. This looks more natural because it mimics how the sun hits our faces naturally. In addition, add a little around your neckline for a more natural look and don't forget to add bronzer to the neck to complete the look.  Now, if you have oily skin, use a powder bronzer but if you have dry skin choose a cream or liquid formula and if you have normal skin, you can use any of the three.  

I know some people use one product for everything but if you use bronzer as a contouring product the final look doesn't look quite right and if you use a contouring product as a bronzer, the look can seem too heavy.  In addition, since bronzers are warmer, they can look orange on your skin when used to contour your face. 

Now if you are contouring, it requires a different technique. You should look for a contouring shade about two shades darker than your natural skin tone and is a cool shade or has a gray tint because you don't want a sun kissed look. You actually want to apply the contour in areas where shadows naturally fall rather than all over the face. You can apply the contouring product using either a brush or a makeup sponge.

Contouring product is usually applied to your temple, along the sides of your nose, below your cheekbones, along the jaw line, or just beneath your bottom look.  For instance if you want to contour the hallows of your cheeks, cover the small area from the ears to the pupils of your eyes and it will give your bone structure a more sculpted look.  In addition, add some contour to your jaw line to make it appear slimmer, and add contour to the sides of your nose so it looks narrower.  No matter what you do, make sure the contouring product is well blended into the skin otherwise it won't look right.

So bronzer is to recreate the sun kissed look and the contouring product is good for creating that perfect look.  Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.

Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Alternatives To Black Or Brown Eyeliner

 I am rather conservative in the makeup I wear.  I usually go for a muted brown eyeliner so I don't stand out.  If I use black eyeliner, I tend to have a very thin line so it's barely there.  I admit, there are days when I want to break the mold and try something different.

I came across the idea that you should coordinate your eye shadow with your eyes.  When you use black eyeliner, you only define the eyes and create a look but with colored eyeliner, you are adding depth and sparkle. 

For instance, if you have blue eyes, a great neutral eyeliner would be either Taupe or champagne. These colors intensify your look but if you want the blue in your eyes to stand out, look at using gold, copper, or peach. In addition, these metallic tones pick up any gold flecks you have in your eyes adding an interesting dimension. Other possibilities include terracotta and warm browns.

On the other hand, if you have brown eyes, you possess one of the most common eye colors in the world and you can use most any color eyeliner. You might try a navy eyeliner because it looks softer than black and will pick up the gold flecks in your eyes. As a change, look at using a deep midnight blue, cobalt, bright purple, a beautiful emerald green, grey, or charcoal. If you have flecks of green or blue in your eyes, choose a complementary color to bring them out. If you have light brown or amber, you want to stick with a super dark color or a deep purple for the best look.

For green eyes, look at using a golden brown to enhance the flecks in your eyes while brightening the eyes. For emphasizing the color of your eyes, look at using a plum purple but if you want to stay with a brown or black eyeliner, layer on some plum to soften the other colors.  Other colors that work well are Burgundy and Mahogany, amethyst, eggplant, and violet add that little bit of extra flash to your look.

Since hazel eyes are a mixture of brown and gold tones, you might want to use a golden olive color to accentuate their glow. If you use an olive or emerald green, you'll bring the greener tones as well as eggplant, plum, or a steel grey.  If you prefer to bring out the natural browns, choose a chocolate, bronze, or copper. On the other hand, if you want to add a bit of  pizzaz, try either a peach or magenta liner.  For a night time look, top the green or brown eyeliner with a bit of gold in the corner of the eye and in the center.

For the few people who have grey eyes, you need a rich warm color such as warm browns and vivid Burgundy. More specifically, if you use a terracotta shade or a bright yellow, you'll emphasize the bluer shades whereas wines, purples, and red-violets emphasize the grayer tones of the eyes. However, if you prefer to emphasize your eyes try using a pearly white or silver eyeliner instead. 

So if you are ready for a change or just want to experiment, here is what you need to know.  Have fun, enjoy yourself and go for it.  Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.  Have a great day.

Monday, January 17, 2022

Mineral Makeup Myths

My sister loved using mineral makeup because it lent a shine to her skin.  She said the makeup made her skin glow so she didn't have to. Mineral makeup is composed of naturally derived ingredients and minerals that are good for the skin and it is not a new trend.  It has been around for about 25 years. 

Over time, several myths have evolved concerning mineral makeup.  Some of the myths are true and some aren't so we'll let you know which are and which aren't.

The first myth is that mineral makeup is good for sensitive skin. This one depends on what brand you buy. Some are free of parabens, binders, or fillers which make it a good choice but if the brand contains bismuth oxychloride, then there could be a problem.  Bismuth oxychloride is found in crystalline form in mineral makeup because it is the ingredient that makes your skin glow.  This ingredient can get stuck in pores and cause irritations. 

Another myth is that it is good for oily skin.  Again, depending on the brand, it may or may not be correct.  In general, mineral makeup creates a dry powdery finish which could make your skin produce more oil.  When the oil mixes with the powder to form a caked look.  If you look carefully, you might find a brand that is designed to be used on oily skin so you shouldn't have the same problems.  Furthermore, look at using a matte finish so your skin doesn't shine as much.

Since mineral makeup is marketed as "natural" and hypoallergenic, one assumes it is good for the skin. In general mineral make up is free of fragrances, dyes, and preservatives so in this sense it is good for your skin. Preservatives used in the. makeup can make it last longer and keep bacterial growth from happening so they aren't all that bad. 

Furthermore, mineral makeup is often advertised as being faster to apply and easier to use than regular makeup because the powder is applied in a swirling motion using a large brush. This can cause small particles to attach to your fine face hairs giving the illusion that you have peach fuzz. Instead of a brush, use soft sponge applicator.  The other thing, is depending on the brand, you might get a liquid foundation instead so you don't have to apply it with a large brush.

Many brands of mineral makeup is based on a white compound that may cause the light to flash when having your picture taken. In the final picture, your skin may look paler. If you aren't worried about having your picture taken, then it is not a problem but if you take selfies and your skin looks whiter than you thought, this is why.

Then there is the myth that says wearing mineral makeup will make your wrinkles more visible to everyone. This is true only if you choose the wrong type.  If you use a face primer first to fill in all wrinkles before applying the mineral makeup, you'll have a much smoother face. In addition, buff in the powder foundation because buffing warms the minerals and gives your skin a smooth finish.

Of course, one myth says that mineral makeup has a natural sunscreen in it.  As long as the minerals are Titanium Dioxide, Zinc Oxide, or both, then yes it does have some protection, usually in the SPF 8 to 15 range. To provide better sunscreen protection, apply sunscreen under your mineral makeup so you have the maximum amount of protection.

So what it all boils down to is the type of mineral makeup you buy.  Always read the ingredients list before buying and be aware of potential issues.  Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear. Have a great day. 

Friday, January 14, 2022

Body Cream Or Body Lotion?


Since it's winter, you might be thinking about using a cream or a lotion to help keep your body hydrated and moisturized but you might wonder what the difference is between the two.  You might also wonder if one is better than the other or would both work?  You want to make sure the choice you make is right for you so that you fight your dry, cracked, skin.

A body cream is that it is thicker with more moisturizing ability than a lotion so it is better for your dry skin in the winter.  Usually a body cream contains more oil and less waters it is thicker than the lotion and often is stickier due to the higher oil content. Sometimes the body cream is made so it is 50% oil and 50% water and it often takes longer to be absorbed into the skin.

Furthermore, it provides a protective barrier between the cold weather and your skin, locking in moisture. It is great for helping your cracked and dry skin and due to its thickness, you won't need as much as you would if you are using a lotion.  Furthermore, body butters are considered a type of body cream due to their thickness. Usually body butters contain shea, mango, cocoa, or palm butters and might contain avocado or coconut oils.  Body creams or butters are strongly recommended for hands because they are always being exposed to hot water, detergents, or household cleaning products.

The body lotion does the same thing as body cream but it is thinner because it has more water than oil. It is best for maintaining the moisture level in your body once you get rid of all the cracked and dry skin. Furthermore, body lotion is recommended if you have a mild case of dry skin where you just need a little moisturizing power.  

Since it has more water than oil in its formulation, body lotions do not penetrate as deeply into the skin and you will need more to get the same penetration as a body cream.  In addition, the formula has a less greasy feel than the cream.  If you have oily skin, it is suggested you use a lotion since it is less oily.

When you go shopping, you can look for anything that says body lotion or body cream. Either of these can be used all over your body, including your hands and feet but don't use them on your face.  Look for a cream or serum specifically designed for you face otherwise your pores may become clogged.

One thing you can do to increase the ability of your skin to absorb the cream or lotion, is to exfoliate it first. In addition, exfoliation helps give you smoother skin.  When you exfoliate first, you get rid of dead skin cells that might normally clog the pores of your skin. 

So now you know whether you should be using a body cream or lotion and why.  Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.  Have a great day.

Wednesday, January 12, 2022

Keeping Skin Hydrated In Winter


Living in northern Alaska, I am well aware that winter weather tends to dry out the skin, both face and body.  I keep running out of my body lotion so I'm always picking up more. For most of us, when our skin dries out in the winter, we automatically head for the store to get body lotion but there are other things we can do in conjunction with the lotion to keep our skin hydrated.

Our skin dries out during the winter when we are outside because the cold wind hits our skin or the sun's rays reflect off the snow and inside from the warm dry air of the heating system.  When our skin dries out, it becomes flaky and itchy and if we don't do anything about it, the skin can crack and bleed. So instead of waiting for it to happen, do what you can to prevent it.

Think about keeping the temperature of your house cooler during winter because the higher the temperature in the house, the dryer the air becomes.  It is recommended the house be kept between 68 and 75 so the air isn't as dry.

One of the first things to do is to keep any moisture you have in the skin.  Our body produces a certain level of natural oils that can be preserved by avoiding long, hot baths, or showers, and cut back on the frequency of showers.  When you do take a bath or shower, use warm, not hot water and pat yourself dry when you are done. The rule of thumb is that if you have red skin when you finish your shower, the water is too hot, so lower the temperature. 

Furthermore, use a body wash since it is less drying in the winter than bar soap. The body wash should be fragrance free, dye free, or for sensitive skin and then read the ingredients looking for things like hyaluronic, ceramides, shea butter, oils, or oats. Finish your routine by moisturizing your damp skin for maximum benefit.

Instead of relying only on the hot air from your heater, use a humidifier to add moisture to the air because your body will absorb it and make it healthier.  The humidifier could be a table top model or something bigger depending on whether you want moisture throughout the house or only in your area but you want to keep the humidity levels between 30 and 50 percent. If you aren't sure of the humidity levels, you can purchase a humidity monitor for not much from Amazon.  Don't be afraid to run it all night to keep the moisture levels up.

Remember the rule about drinking so much water during the day?  That still applies in the winter because you need to hydrate your body from the inside too. Furthermore, be sure to wear sunscreen when you go outside because of the UV rays from the sun.  Since the rays are bouncing off the snow, you are being hit from more angles than if you are on bare land.

When you buy lotion in the winter, make sure it is an oil based one since it is more effective at hydrating skin.  You might even consider using a deep moisturizing treatment at night for your hands and feet.  Put the treatment on and cover with gloves or socks to help keep the moisture in for better results.  

In addition, check your facial cleaner to make sure it contains hydrating ingredients like hyaluronic acid serum. If your cleanser has glycolic or salicylic acid in it, look at temporarily changing to a more moisturizing cleanser so you don't dry your skin out. Furthermore, check out all skin care products for AHA's or retinal because they can cause skin irritations.  

Remember, with just a bit of work, you'll have wonderful skin all winter long. Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.  Have a great day.

Monday, January 10, 2022

Use This Instead Of Weights.

I know I need to use weights on a regular basis but I can't always take them with me.  When I travel to Europe, I do not want to put them in my luggage because I could put my portable tea pot, portable water pick, and other important items instead.  So I've been finding ways to continue my strength training without the use of weights.

Fortunately, there are some nice alternatives one can use.  Instead of using weights, one can use their own body weight which is often easier to take with you and less expensive. In addition, if you add a few other moves to the workout, you can burn the maximum number of calories in 20 minutes or less.  I realize for many people, this type of workout is much harder since it does involve the whole body and they aren't used to it.

Research indicates that a good workout needs two elements in it to provide the best results: cardio and strength. Getting enough cardio is fairly easy due to things like walking, dancing, kickboxing, etc but strength training is the one many people skip. There are things to do if you love going to the gym or if you are one who doesn't have a local gym.  First, I'll look at alternatives to machines people use in the gym and then I'll look at activities one can do in the backyard or park.

If you like using a chest press machine, think of doing push-ups instead.  Push-ups are great for building muscular endurance while activating the total core more.  If you aren't great at push-ups, then start with the modified ones, working your way up to the full ones.  Sometimes, you have to build your muscles in your core and arms to do a proper push-up.

Instead of doing a barbell squat or using a leg press, think about using single leg squats because it improves balance and core stability.  This is great because we need to work on balance as we age and this exercise incorporates it.  

Then if you like using a treadmill or stationary bike, one can do jumping jacks, mountain climbers, burpees, or lateral hops to accomplish the same thing. These exercises elevate your heart and the movement takes your body out of the normal plane of motion.  I enjoy jumping jacks and they do get your heart moving.

Rather than using the sit up or crunch machines, try swapping it out with planks.  Planks are better for your neck and spine while activating your deep abdominal muscles.  Remember, if you don't do planks on a regular basis, start with one or two and work your way up.

If none of those take your fancy, head out and play a game of basketball because when you are jumping, cutting, sprinting, and hopping your body is undergoing so much resistance. When you do your body weight activities such as push-ups, slow them down for better results.  Spend 3 to 5 seconds going down and back up because the slower pace makes your muscles work harder.

Be sure to switch out exercises so you don't do the same ones every day otherwise your body gets used to them.  Look at incorporating some yoga as a way of switching things up since it relies on body weight in many positions.  Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.  Have a great day.

Friday, January 7, 2022

Nail Polish Strips

 Recently, someone told me I should be using nail polish strips rather than nail polish because they are so much easier to use and you don't have to worry about spilling anything.  I'd never heard of them, so off I went to check it out.  

Nail polish strips are exactly what it sounds like.  They are strips of decorated nail polish that can be stuck on the nail before being cut to the exact shape desired.  Specifically, you stick the strip to your nail bed at it's base or at the bottom of the nail.  You then smooth it on to the top of the nail and fold it a bit over the edge before cutting it.  The final step is to smooth out the edges using a small nail file that comes in the package.

Most nail polish strips tend to have at least three layers - base coat, color coat, and a top coat - to give them a proper look but not all brands are alike. Some are thinner, or stick better, or cut off easier but they all work about the same. However, they can last up to two weeks depending on what you do and they do chip like regular nail polish.  The nice thing is that you do not have to wait for the polish to dry or try to clean off that little bit that got caught on your cuticle.  In addition, it won't drip and you won't get it all over yourself.

In addition, nail strips come in plain or a variety of colors and decorations. They can also be found in regular or gel formulas and both types have a self-adhesive to allow them to stick to your nails.  Since not everyone has the same sized nails, these strips come in different sizes so you can find one that works for you. Furthermore, if you mess up when you apply them the first time, you can take them off and reapply them without messing the strip itself up.  

Nail strips are more expensive than a bottle of polish and a package is usually enough for one application. Nail strips can also dry out just a a bottle of polish dries up, especially if the lid is left off. In addition, they are easy to remove but they might leave your nails feeling rough and a bit brittle just as if you wear regular nail polish for long periods of time.  Just be aware, since the nail polish strips may stretch some, any decorations on the strips might stretch out of shape.  

Since a number of different manufacturers make and sell nail strips, the quality may vary quite a lot, so try several until you find the one that works for you. Just remember these are not those glue on nails, they are the polish you use to finish your own nails.  Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.  Have a great day.


Wednesday, January 5, 2022

Types Of Nail Polish

 I love wearing nail polish when I'm at work or heading out for a nice dinner but it doesn't work when I'm trying to work in the garden.  Yes, I know gloves exist but I have this bad habit of misplacing them and so I have to redo my nails so many times in the summer and I often give up until fall.  It's always nice to know the types of nail polish so you can use the one that is best for your situation.

First is the basic type of nail polish. This is the general one most people use when they paint their nails.  It goes on but doesn't last that long and it is the one you get when you buy the cheapest variety. It seldom lasts a week before it begins chipping.  When I use it, I usually end up with chipped nails within two days.

Next is gel polish which is the one the nail technician tends to use or you might use it at home but either way, it relies on the use of an Ultraviolet light to harden it. A gel polish tends to lasts around two weeks and it is good for extending your nail shape.

Then there is an acrylic nail polish which is made from a combination of liquid and powder.  The mixture is applied to bare nails and allowed to dry.  When it dries, it forms a hard shell that is then filed into the desired shape and lasts about 2 weeks.

There is also a breathable polish.  This type of polish allows oxygen and water pass through because it does not form a hard shell.  The polish is labeled as water permeable if you are looking for it at the store.  It is recommended that you go without nail polish periodically otherwise, it can stain the top layer of your nail if it is left too long and it will also dry your nails out.  Unfortunately, this could cause fungus, yeast, bacteria, or mold to grow beneath the nail plate. Breathable nail polish is for those who cannot go without a manicure or pedicure.

Next is polygel which is a hybrid of both the acrylic and gel.  This is one often used by nail technicians to give you a flawless finish.  The gel like mixture is applied with a gel brush to the top of the bare nail before being shaped and cured under either an LED or UV light. It can last up to 21 days without doing anything. 

Another type is the dip polish which is another choice provided by nail technicians and also lasts between three weeks to a month. The nail technician will apply a base coat of polish before sprinkling a powder on the polish.  The excess is shaken off before more is applied until it has a solid covering. The dip polish is finished off with a layer of clear powder and a final sealant to keep it all nice.

The final type of polish is actually shellac which is a hybrid mix of basic and gel.  It is applied to bare nails before being cured with a UV light. It cannot be used to extend the shape of your nail but it does last about two weeks.  

So hopefully this will help you decide which type of polish you want to try.  Someone told me about a press on nail finish that decorates them so you don't have to use nail polish.  Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.  Have a great day.

Monday, January 3, 2022

Types Of Eyeliner.


I don't know of anyone who doesn't use eyeliner when they want that complete look but the type of eyeliner determines the look.  I prefer liquid as I can get that very narrow line but it seems to run out when least expected but I know others who prefer a eyeliner pencil since it gives a softer line.  Today, with the new year, I decided to go over all the different types of eyeliner, some of which I need to experiment with.

First is the eyeliner pencil which is best for a beginner because they are quick and easy to use. Eyeliner pencils can either require a sharpener to keep the tip useable or resembles a mechanical pencil also known as a retractor eyeliner, where you pop out the old lead and use the new one. Unfortunately, the liners you have to sharpen, must be sharpened every time you use it so you get a nice line. Usually the eyeliner itself is creamy so it glides on your lash line smoothly. 

Next is the liquid eyeliner which is great for creating bold, dramatic looks. This eyeliner allows you the most precision, while giving you the ability to do lines that range from extremely thin, to quite wide such as in the photo. The liquid eyeliner is best for creating Egyptian eyes, cat eyes, winged eyeliners, and graphic eyeliners. Since it is a liquid, it is harder to use and requires a steadier hand. It does dry quickly and isn't as easy to smudge as other eyeliners so don't use it for a smokey look. On the other hand, the liquid eyeliner comes in a gloss or a matte so choose the one you need for your look.

If you want an eyeliner that combines the best of the liquid and pencil versions, look at trying a pen eyeliner. The pen eyeliner has a fine tip which allows the option of creating a precise line but is easy to use even for a beginner.  Pen eyeliners are often smudge proof and smear proof and can come with a fine felt tip for application. 

Then there are gel eyeliners that come in little pots of color and are applied by using an angled brush.  These can be intimidating at first but with a bit of practice, you can get a really awesome line.  In addition to defining the eye lash line, they can also double as an eye shadow base when applied all over the lid or be applied to the corner of the eye for a smokey eye look.  Most gel eyeliners have a high wax content so they are waterproof and long lasting. In order to remove it, you'll need proper eye makeup remover since it is waterproof. You can create different looks by varying the angle of the brush and the thickness of the gel.  Furthermore, gel eyeliner gives a softer less precise look than a liquid eyeliner.

You might run across a creme eyeliner which is always smooth and soft.  Both the creme and gel eyeliners are designed to be used only on the top lashes, not the bottom ones.  The creme eyeliner comes in either a pot or pencil form and when used provides a more natural look. If you buy the creme eyeliner in a pot, you need to make sure it has a brush to apply it. Furthermore, creme eyeliners are used more frequently than gel liners but do not last as long as the gel ones.

One can also use eyeshadow to provide a soft, smudged look by applying the eye shadow with an angled brush along the lash lines. Although this is more of an eyeshadow hack, it can be used for that specific look.  So now your know about all those possibilities and you can explore the different types of eyeliner to see which one works best in which situation.  Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.  Have a great day.

Sunday, January 2, 2022