Monday, December 29, 2008

Beauty News: Drug for Growing Eyelashes Approved by FDA

Rejoice! Now there is an official drug that can help you grow long thick beautiful eyelashes!

Photo: ABC News

FDA has approved the first and only science-based treatment for growing eyelashes. LATISSE was developed by Allergan, the company behind Botox.

Latisse is a prescription treatment that has to be applied daily on a continued basis. As a result of regular continued use, the length, thickness and colour of eyelashes are visibly improved. Side effects of Latisse can include eye redness and itchiness. More serious but less common side-effects could be darkening of the eye iris or of the eyelid skin and, according to some reports, even permanent darkening of the whites of the eyes.

Photo: ABC News

Latisse is based on a chemical called prostaglandin, which is used to treat glaucoma. It was the side effect observed in the patients treated for glucoma with prostaglandin that inspired developemtn of this eyelash enhancement treatment.

Latisse will be available early next year and a month supply is expected to cost you over a hundren dollars. Which makes it quite an expense over a year.

Medical News Today
ABC News Report at

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Saturday, December 27, 2008

Beauty Fact: Best Anti-Ageing Treatments

A review published in Archives of Dermatology named the tree most effective skin anti-agers.
1. Topical retinols
2. Fractional CO2 Laser resurfacing
3. Hyaluronic-acid-based fillers

We all know about Retinol. It is the best non-invasive anti-ager up to date. Retinol is a form of vitamin A which when applied topically increases cells turnover and stimulates production of new collagen in both naturally aged skin and skin damaged by ultraviolet radiation.
Many women resort to topical retinol treatment to rejuvenate their skin, get rid of or improve appearance of wrinkles or age-spots. Topical retinols are not always well tolerated. There are certain side-effects such as irritation, dryness, susceptibility to sun damage or even a ‘retinoid dermatitis’. However currently it appears to be the most effective non-invasive anti-ageing treatment.

Photo by DACshots at

There has been a lot of talk about the fractional CO2 laser this year. Dermatologists are very excited about this recently launched laser and the anti-aging effect it produces. Fractional Carbon Dioxide Laser works by creating millions of microscopic wounds that cause the skin to go into a repair mode and increase collagen production. As a result skin is firmed, fine lines and wrinkles are reduced, skin tone is evened out. Another thing dermatologists are so happy about is that the time needed for a recovery is not as long as compared to other similar laser treatments. According to Elle (US, August 08) one needs a week for a full recovery, while some may experience “slight redness” for up to a month. However in another Elle article in December issue three women undergoing this procedure give a feed back on their recovery which seems a bit longer than just a week. Their skin looks burnt till it peels off only around 14-15 days after treatment and a month later they describe their skin being “marbled shades of red, extremely sun sensitive”. Only four months later they can report seeing positive results of younger looking skin, smaller pores, reduced pigmentation, lines and acne scarring.

Photo by Andreas Rueda at

And finally something that has been there for quite some time and now will definitely get more attention: Hyaluronic-Acid-Based fillers (such as Restilane, Juviderm). It appears they offer much more than just instant plumping effect. Hyaluronic-Acid-Based fillers also stimulate collagen production in the skin by stimulating fibroblasts. The exact mechanism behind this effect is not yet fully understood.

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Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Wishing Merry and Beautiful Christmas!

Beauty Review: Issima Secret Divin Skin Perfecting Anti-Ageing Serum by Guerlain

Product Tag Line:

A divine serum that enhances the skin’s beauty and delays the effects of time.

Product Profile in short:

(as described on Guerlain Website)
  • In an instant skin looks smooth, even, matte, and incredibly velvety
  • With every application skin’s quality is visibly improved


    “Imperfections and fine lines are smoothed away, the pores tighten, skin becomes even, velvety… incredibly radiant with a matte finish, just like the skin of an angel”

    What’s Inside:

    Guerlain does not provide details about the active ingredients neither on their website nor in the product booklet. From these two sources we can only find out that Secret Divin contains Anti-Ageing Complex and Blue Gold
    Close-up on Active Ingredients:
    Cyclopentasiloxane- skin-conditioning agent - emollient
    Dydroyized Adansonia Digitata Extract – baobab extract, emollient, antioxidant, improves skin’s elasticity
    Butylene Glycol - humectant
    Glycerin - humectant
    Cetearyl Ethylhexanoate – emollient used for skin conditioning
    Polymethyl Methacrylate – film forming agent (polymer of methyl methacrylate)
    Polysorbate 20 – emulsifier, helps to stabilize emulsions and suspensions
    Dimethicone/vinyl dimethicone crosspolymer – silicone polymer, adds luster, sheen and creates slippery feeling to skin products
    Polyacrylomide – polymer of acrylamide monomers, film forming agent
    Algin –. substance obtained from marine algae (seaweed), used to stabilize creams and make skin supple
    C13-14 ISOPARAFIN - thickener or gelling agent, emollient
    Titanium Dioxide – A natural white mineral pigment, used to give opacity to face powder, eye shadow, also used in full-spectrum sunscreens to protect skin from UVA and UVB
    Sorbitol - humectant

    Wheat Germ Protein - emollient and antioxidant

    Silica – talc-like powder, absorbs excess oil, in some sources is also described as emollient, conditioning agent


    Geraniol – maskin tonic, according to, it has a risk hazard rate of 5 out of 10 and in some studies showed skin irritation at very low doses

    Plankton Extract – antioxidant, skin-conditioning
    Limonene - synthetic flavoring substances, many sources say it’s skin-sensitizing.


    So now we know the Secret Divine to angle’s skin. As I understand from several polymers on the list it mostly relies on film-forming and masking agents. I think, due to all of the masking ingredients and Silica, Titanium Dioxide, skin looks lighter and the tone looks more even. There are several humectants and emollients on the list which is great for moisturizing. Emollients also contribute to that smooth soft feeling and look by conditioning the skin.

    I expected something better in terms of anti-oxidants since in the description of the product there is an emphasis on the anti-oxidant protection.


    Texture: light fluid, light creamy pink color, has tiny reflecting particles
    Smell: light sweet perfume

    Upon application skin immediately feels smooth to the touch. Before I looked closely at ingredients I thought there must be something powdery and something that creates a film on the skin’s surface. I was right. After the first tactile impressions, you start noticing that the pores are smaller and skin not only feels but looks smoother. It also looks matte. So all of these effects you see immediately. Unfortunately, in a week I have developed sensitivity towards this product. It could have been one of the many polymers or Geraniol… I have no idea… but upon application my skin felt tight and in a couple minutes it felt itchy. So I couldn’t see results of a long-term use and cannot comment on how skin’s tone evens out in the long run. However, I do still use this product from time to time. For example I apply it for a couple days before events to quickly improve the look of my skin.

    Price Tag:
    About 80-90$ (= 55-65 Euro)

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    Beauty Shopping: Guerlain's Boutique in Paris, Champs Elyses

    Get more information about Guerlain skin care and makeup or shop for Guerlain's products online
  • Friday, December 19, 2008

    Weird Fragrances and Curious Developments in Perfume Industry in 2008

    You may be amazed what kind of fragrances are out there! Cosmeticsdesign-Europe ran an article where they mention several “weird and wonderful” scents of 2008.

    Photo: by Food in Mouth at

    For those who think burgers smell seductive Burger Kind released men's perfume called “Flame”.
    It has a hint of flame broiled meat and captures the “essence of love” America has for its favourite sandwich Whopper.

    Another curious scent was developed by Sports Interactive. This fragrance aims to inspire consumer’s winning spirit. And what can inspire that spirit if not the various scents found in the dressing rooms of successful teams. I wonder what this perfume smells like… sweaty T-Shirt?

    Want to know how confidence and efficiency smell? Then try the fragrance launched by the Catalan Socialist Party back in January this year. Actually, as Albert Majós, explained it is neither a "perfume nor air-freshener" but the aromatic representation of socialism's values.

    Photo: by Fool-on-the Hill at

    Finally, let’s not forget Christopher Brosius’ ‘I Hate Perfume’ range. Here are a couple examples of his fragrances: Fir Tree – fir trees in the forest with a touch of frozen ground. Ocean/Eternal Return - the scent of sailing to the shore. Blend of fresh ocean air, wooden ship and a faint hint of cypress trees growing on the cliff above the water. I have never tested any of Christopher Brosius’ perfumes but I found his idea of expressing himself and his artistic vision in the perfume quite captivating.

    Perfume industry seems to be full of new developments and nice surprises for consumers. 2008 saw the launch of an anti-aging perfume Ageless Fantasy by Harvey Prince. Recently a Mood-enhancing fragrance compound derived from sea coral has been approved for a patent.

    Photo: by Tywak at

    Only listen what it can do to your psychological state: “Just inhaling very small quantities resulted in enhanced feelings of confidence, relaxation, affection, warmth, satisfaction and sensuality, in both men and women,” a spokesman for the Human Pheremone Sciences said. I am looking forward to new discoveries and launches!

    Wednesday, December 10, 2008

    Holiday Shopping: Friends and Family Discount at Macy's

    Holidays are getting closer! Are you shopping for presents? I bet you are! And it is even more fun when you can shop for holiday presents at a sale! So, make sure not to miss Macy’s great Friends and Family sale. I learnt about this coupon you can use to get a 20% discount from Wednesday, December 10 till Monday, December 15.

    Download the Macy's Friends and Family Coupon in pdf format.

    Happy Holiday Shopping!

    Sunday, December 7, 2008

    Beauty Buzz: Estee Lauder Holiday Collection 2008

    Holiday Collection 2008 from Estee Lauder was inspired by vintage jewels: Amethyst, Sapphire and Emerald. There are three corresponding looks and beautiful makeup products to achieve them.

    Sapphire Eyes:

    Estée Lauder Signature Silky Eyeshadow Duo with Faceted Design in Sapphire Limited Edition)
    Smoked Eye Pencil in Smoked Sapphire

    Sapphire Lips and Nails:

    Estée Lauder Signature Hydra Lustre Lipstick with Faceted Design in Ruby
    Pure Color Nail Lacquer in Ruby

    Amethyst Eyes:

    Estée Lauder Signature Silky Eyeshadow Duo with Faceted Design in Amethyst
    Smoked Eye Pencil in Smoked Amethyst

    Amethyst Lips and Nails:

    Estée Lauder Signature Hydra Lustre Lipstick with Faceted Design in Black Cherry
    Pure Color Nail Lacquer in Black Berry

    Emerald Eyes:

    Estée Lauder Signature Silky Eyeshadow Duo with Faceted Design in Emerald
    Smoked Eye Pencil in Smoked Emerald

    Emerald Lips and Nails:

    Estée Lauder Signature Hydra Lustre Lipstick with Faceted Design in Rich Red
    Pure Color Nail Lacquer in Red Tango

    Shimmering Jewel Powder - adds a final glamorous touch to the Holiday Look 2008 and lights up your skin with "a warm, luminous radiance".

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  • Tuesday, December 2, 2008

    Beauty Buzz: Yves Saint Laurent Holiday Collection 2008

    YSL holiday collection is in tune with their autumn-winter 08/09 tuxedo inspired look.

    YSL THE BOW COLLECTION 4 Colour Eye Shadow- palette of four eye shadows which reinvent the smoky eye in golden plum and rosy grey tones.

    YSL THE BOW COLLECTION Duo Lip Colour Palette- This bow accessory, inspired from the famous “Bow” bag was created to celebrate the 30th anniversary of YSL make up. Inside you will find an intense raspberry lipstick and a sparkling pink gloss

    YSL Golden Gloss - The new shade is Golden Burgundy. Gloss not only makes your lips beautiful but also protects and nourishes them with Nigelle and Cameline Oils.

    FARD À LÈVRES ROUGE PUR Pure Lipstick - Colour and care in one. The shade of Holiday Season is Honey Beige. Remember, beige lips are a trend this autumn-winter.

    LA LAQUE Long Lasting Nail Lacquer - For tuxedo style elegance choose Dark Blue or Moonlight White.

    YSL HOLIDAY SET - YSL Black Tuxedo Pouch contains a YSL Touche Éclat N° 1, Golden Gloss N° 1, Mini Luxurious Mascara N° 1, and a 1.2ml Elle YSL Eau de Parfum.

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  • Beauty Talk: Sensitive Skin Care Ingredients

    I decided to talk in more detail about some soothing, calming, anti-inflammatory ingredients that can be beneficial to sensitive skin. I have already mentioned in my previous post several of those listed below. But this time I had a closer look at them. I will be adding more ingredients to this list if I find the ones I consider important.

    Allantoin aids in formation of healthy tissue. Allantoin is used to treat skin ulcers, wounds, scalds, burns, eczema, psoriasis due to its moisturizing, soothing and anti-irritating properties.

    Bisabolol has soothing, anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial and regenerating effect on the skin. It is obtained from Chamomile flowers.

    Calendula extract (oil) has anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties and produces soothing effect on the skin.

    Castor Oil is an effective emollient and has calming effect on the skin.

    Caffeine produces anti-inflammatory effect and was found to relieve skin redness.

    Cucumber Extract
    The same vegetable you add into your salad can actually help to sooth your sensitive skin. It is a natural anti-inflammatory. Cucumber was one of Cleopatra’s beauty secrets!

    Cypress Oil reduces circulation and has vaso-constrictive properties. This makes it very beneficial for skin prone to redness.

    Green Tea Extractis known for its amazing anti-oxidant properties due to high content of catechin (polyphenol). It also has anti-inflammatory and anti-allergenic effect on the skin.

    Horse Chestnut is an anti-inflammatory agent. It contains OPCs (oligo-proanthocyanadins), antioxidant plant compounds similar and has toning and strengthening properties, especially to veins and capillaries.

    Licorice contains glycyrrhetinic acid and is an effective emollient, anti-bacterial and soothing agent.
    Milk Protein is known to effectively sooth skin. Milk compresses can be used to relieve redness and puffiness, or even to alleviate an allergic skin reaction.

    Panthenol (the provitamin of B5) stimulates new cell formation in deeper epidermal skin layers. This helps to rebalance skin natural protective barrier. It also has an ability to attract and retain water, which makes it an effective humectant and emollient.

    Red Raspberry Extract helps to relieve any irritation from skin sensitivity, acne or razor bumps. It produces soothing effect on inflamed skin.

    Sweet Almond Oil is rich in fatty acids and acts as an effective emollient. It has softening and soothing effect on the skin, protects it from drying and improves skin barrier function.

    Since the main cause of skin’s sensitivity is lower skin barrier function, ingredients that can help to rebuild this protective lipid barrier are very beneficial. There are ingredients which mimic lipid content of skin. Examples include: soya oil, avocado oil, apricot oil, canola oil, coconut oil, corn oil, jojoba oil, lanolin, lecithin, olive oil, safflower oil, sesame oil, shea butter, soybean oil, squalane, and sweet almond oil. Read my post on How to Treat Dehydrated Skin where you can find more ingredients and products that can help rebuild skin barrier.

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  • Monday, December 1, 2008

    Beauty Buzz: Lancome Holiday Collection 2008

    Lancome Holiday collectoin "C’est Magnifique" seems to be inspired by Hollywood glamour. Collection includes limited edition of Eye Shadow Quads, Le Vernis Nail Polish and Juicy Tubes. Get ready for an abundance of words such as "Sensatonal", "Splendor", "Glamour" in the names of products, shades, and descritpions.

    Color Design Limited Edition Sensational Effects Eye Shadow Quad in Glamour Premiere and Holliwood Seductive. Promise "supreme smoothness and blendability". I am not so crazy about the colours.

    Juicy Tubes - Ultra Shiny Lip Gloss - Choose between 5 new colours with glamorous names like Showered in Diamonds and In all Her Splendor.

    Le Vernis Divine Lasting Color & Shine - promises "lasting shine that stays put for up to seven days". You will also enjoy a "soft-sculpt brush" that alows "perfectly even coverage in one coat with no clumps".

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