Covergirl & Olay Simply Ageless


Skinsider is back from a little break! I feel bad about being that blogger that suddenly disappears, but occasionally life happens and you just have to put  things on hold. I have missed you though, and have been busy investigating some fun new skin products that I think you’ll enjoy! To kick things off, I’d like to introduce you to my blush of the moment. While admittedly I have yet to master the perfect smoky eye or find the perfect red lipstick (if you have any tips or suggestions, I’d love them), I actually find blush one of the hardest things to get just right. And when you nail it, I mean really accentuate the contour of your cheekbone with a color that makes it look like you jogged in place for just a few minutes, the results are stunning. Covergirl & Olay’s Simply Ageless, available from drugstore.com for $10.49,  applies so smoothly and evenly, compared to many powder blushes that tend to end up looking a little blotchy. The application pad that is included with the blush is super soft and makes it easy to blend the color along your cheekbones without leaving any streaks. I’d highly recommend this blush if you’re a gym-before-work girl and find it difficult to apply powder blush in the slightly steamy locker room. Speaking of, I’m making it my Friday goal to hit the treadmill tomorrow morning so I can spend the evening with friends. What are your weekend plans?

Image courtesy of drugstrore.com.

Products to Soothe the Skin


‘Tis the season for grilling out, a bevy of fresh produce at the farmers market, and painted toenails. Unfortunately, it’s also the season for allergies. Pollen is swirling in the air, dust balls and mold have been collecting all winter, and your sinuses and skin might be paying the price. My skin has been irritated lately, which inspired me to research natural remedies for itchy skin. Allergies are especially tricky because it’s difficult to isolate what is causing the discomfort. It could be a combination of foods and environmental exposures, such as pollen or animal dander. If your skin feels like it needs to be cooled down, I would recommend a regimen that includes aloe, oatmeal, tea tree oil, and Vitamin E, which all work to soothe your skin. I’ve highlighted a few of my favorite products here: 1. Nature’s Gate Aloe Vera body wash ($7.49 at drugstore.com) is a cooling gel body wash with a slightly bubble gum scent that leaves your skin feeling clean and cool. Turn down the water temperature and watch the redness of your skin start to fade. 2. St. Ive’s Oatmeal & Shea Butter body moisturizer ($5.89 at CVS) nourishes and restores hydration to your dry skin. It’s light in texture and smell and is perfect for dry patches of skin around your elbows. 3. derma e Tea Tree and E Oil ($12.50 at skinbotanic.com) is perfect for soothing itchy hives or bug bites. Tea tree has a strong smell similar to eucalyptus and can be a bit overpowering, but is tempered by the soothing Vitamin E Oil. Use a cotton ball to dab it onto affected areas before bed and feel the tingly, cooling feeling settle into your skin as you drift into sleep.

Have you found any natural remedies to work for your allergies?

Images courtesy of drugstore.com, stives.com, and skinbotanica.com

Making Sun Safety Sexy


Annnnnd the DC heat is back for the season. Just last week, I was reaching for a coat in the morning, and now I’m sleeping on top of my covers, waiting for my apartment building to turn on the AC. While the weather has me dreaming about grilled corn on the cob, frozen swirl margaritas at Lauriol Plaza after work, and weekend road trips to the beach, it’s also a reminder to stock up on products that will protect your skin from sun damage. Not only do I want to help you avoid peeling and tightness after a day of laying out unprotected, but skin cancer rates are up among young women–young as in 20′s. 20′s! Nobody likes a lecture, so why not make sun safety sexy and fun? Why not think of it as an excuse to shop for some beach accessories? That way, you can still go and out and do everything you want, but your body won’t be suffering. A few things on my sun list this year are new sunscreen (check the expiration date on yours, or throw it out if you’ve had it for more than three years), a cute sun hat, and a chapstick with SPF in it for each purse so I’m always covered. I’m looking for a sunscreen that is light but contains Titanium Dioxide, which is crucial for blocking UVA and UVB rays. I’m thinking of trying Origins Sunshine State ($24.50), as I have yet to try anything from Origins and not fall in love with it. This Juicy Couture floppy hat is a bit outside my price range ($68) but I do have a birthday coming up…but at only $1.89 apiece, I will be stocking up on Chapstick Ultra with SPF 30.

What’s on your sun shopping list this spring?

Images courtesy of  origins.com, nordstrom.com, and drugstore.com

Philosophy Passover/Easter treats


Happy Passover and Easter week! Our apartment was filled with delicious aromas last night as my roommate prepared kugel and charosas for a Seder, and I am looking forward to Easter brunch this Sunday at Birch & Barley. I have been dying to brunch there ever since I read about their Grand Marnier french toast on one of my favorite DC blogs, Bitches Who Brunch. Mmmm! Speaking of delicious…I don’t think there is any other word to describe Philosophy skin care products. Whenever I make a trip to Sephora, I can be found lingering in the Philosophy section, smelling the melon daquiri body wash or coconut frosting scrub. It is amazing how true-to-life these scents are, and every bottle reflects the creative, playful spirit of the company by offering a fun recipe or words of wisdom. If you’re thinking of putting together a Passover present or Easter basket for one of the lovely ladies in your life, you might want to brighten it up some mouthwatering Philosophy products such as the orange jelly bean, sugar chick, and chocolate bunny shower gel trio, peppermint lip glosses (with SPF 20), or dark chocolate three-in-one shampoo, shower gel, and bubble bath. Can you imagine anything better than soaking in hot chocolate? Shop online and sign up for emails to receive a free gift with your first purchase over $25! Now that is sweet.

Images courtesy of philosophy.com

Foods for Smoother Skin


I made the most of the thunderstormy weather today by giving my apartment a good cleaning and then holing up in the coffee shop of my favorite bookstore, Politics and Prose, with a double cappuccino, grilled cheese, and a good book. (I’m currently reading The Warmth of Other Suns  by Isabel Wilkerson, and would highly recommend this nonfiction work about African Americans moving out of the South after the Civil War until about the 1970′s.) A relaxing Saturday is so therapeutic after a busy work week, but I’m hoping the weather clears up tomorrow so I can make a trip to the farmer’s market and grocery store by foot. While I’m a faithful gym-goer Monday-Friday, I like to exercise outside as much as possible on weekends by going to a park or walking around the city to get my errands done. You really see more of the city on foot, while saving some gas/Metro money and being environmentally friendly. As you’re making your shopping list for the week, you may want to think about adding these foods that help keep your skin smooth and prevent wrinkles, according to SELF magazine: citrus fruits, strawberries, broccoli, and red pepper. SELF is one of my favorite women’s health magazines because it takes a wholistic approach to health. Eating is not just about your weight–it’s also about how your body functions, protects itself, and feels. This article does a fantastic job of breaking down how different foods affect your skin. It’s a lot to absorb all at once, so I’ll break it down in weekly pieces, starting with foods that improve the texture of your skin. What do all the food above have in common? They are all high in Vitamin C, which is essential for collagen. Instead of spending a fortune on expensive collagen creams or treatments, just add a little a color to your shopping list for a much cheaper and tastier boost!

Do you have any suggestions for recipes using these skin-smoothing foods?

Images courtesy of free-extras.com

Burt’s Bees Mango and Acai Lip Balm


My mom and I were talking this past weekend about Burt’s Bees lip balm (if there is a gene for addiction to skin care products, I definitely inherited it from her), and their new Nourishing Lip Balm with mango butter and Rejuvenating Lip Balm with acai  berry, both $3. I love Burt’s Bees products in general, but I find the texture of some of their lip balms to be a bit too waxy. The mango and acai berry lip balms do a better job of really soaking into my lips and leave them feeling moisturized for a remarkably long time. Both lip balms are 100% natural, and have a fresh, tropical scent without being overly sweet. Is one better than the other? I like the acai berry for daily use, as it is packed with vitamins and antioxidants. The mango rolls on a little thicker and is extra soft, so I turn to it when my lips are dry or cracked (so painful). Or, you could whip up a mango-acai berry smoothie for your lips with a layer of each. Yum!

What products do you apply to your lips before bed? I am looking for the best products that nourish while I sleep!

Images courtesy of shopstyle.com

Cool as a Cucumber


 

Leave it to DC to jump from 40 degrees and overcast over the weekend straight to 80 degrees and sunshine today. Rapid fluctuations in weather leave my skin feeling confused, but fortunately I had booked a Sunday afternoon free mini facial at Origins. I like to make appointments about once a season so I can spend some one-on-one time with a consultant going over any new concerns and of course trying out some new products. Origins consultants are always so friendly and professional, helpful without laying on the guilt trip. This time I met with Lindsay, who picked out some products that she thought I’d like to play with. Although I am a faithful user of Origins GinZing eye cream, Lindsay recommended I try Eye Doctor, available at Origins for $32. This cucumber-based eye cream is extremely gentle, and is perfect for when your eyes are feeling a little dry  and puffy after a long night out (nothing will dehydrate your skin like alcohol) or a weekend of walking around in the early spring cold air. It’s more than just soothing though–Eye Doctor also has ginseng in it, giving your eyes a kick of energy while nourishing at the same time. The scent has light, earthy undertones from the cucumber. Imagine if cucumber spa water came in cream form. Now imagine gently caressing your eyes with this cucumber spa water cream. Sounds pretty nice, doesn’t it? While GinZing will wake you up, Eye Doctor will cool your eyes down after a long day and restore the moisture to the delicate skin in the area above and below. I also learned this trick–let eye doctor chill in the fridge while you are at work, and you’ll come home to an even more refreshing DIY cucumber spa treatment.

Image courtesy of shopstyle.com