Saturday, June 27, 2009

You Will Always Be Alive

This post is a tribute to a wonderful dear person, music legend - Michael Jackson. The news that Michael has passed away the night of 25th broke my heart.I didn't expect I would feel so much sadness and pain as I have not been an active fan for many years already. But Michael has been a very big part of my life when I was a teenager and since then there was always a place in my heart that belonged only to him.

My dear Michael, thank you for your talent, for the great influence you had on my life, for everything you were for me when I was a teenager. You filled my days with music, gave me strength, brought wonderful friends into my life. You inspired me to be better, to be creative and you were the reason I learnt English - I wanted to understand what you are singing about. You changed my life making it fuller and brighter.

They say you cannot love a person if you have never met them because you can't really know them. But we, your fans, know you. We know you through your songs, your performances, your concerts and interviews. We know you have a big, kind heart, you are generous, giving, loving, sensitive and vulnerable. Of course as any other person, you had your ups and downs, but I always was on your side.

My dear Michael, I refuse to believe that your heart has stopped, that you are gone, that this is the end of your dreams and your talent, the end of the legend. I hate the media for insisting you are dead, I hate those articles starting with dates of your life and going over your career, I hate people sharing this "sensational" news... I don't want to read or listen to these. You are not dead. You cannot be dead. You still have so many years ahead of you to create beautiful music, to fulfill dreams, to inspire and to touch people's hearts.

I refuse to believe that my dream of going to your concert one day and meeting you has to turn into a dream of visitng your grave. No, it can't be true. I refuse to say good bye. You will always be alive and I will just keep on dreaming..

Monday, June 22, 2009

Beauty Talk: Educate Your Kids About Sun Damage

Previously I posted about sun damage and increased chance of cancer if you start abusing sun and solariums early on. I have to say I am so happy my family did not have enough money to go on vacations when I was little. Thanks God! I had only one chance to turn my fair skin into the color of dark chocolate. I shudder when I look at the photos – my smile has never been so shiny white!
You are responsible for your kids - don’t let them get sun damage.
1. Start with protecting their skin early on. Babies have very sensitive tender skin that is so susceptible to UVA and UVB rays. Protect your precious baby by applying specially formulated sunscreens. To make sure your baby doesn’t have irritation go with a physical sunscreen not chemical.
2. Keep up regular sun protection and your kid will develop a habit of it that may save his or her life.
3. When you think your kid is old enough to understand, explain to your kid about the danger of UVA and UVB rays and about cancer.
4. If you have a teenager who doesn’t want to listen to your concerns some of the things you may do is
- take him/her to a dermatologist for skin examination and request the expert to show photos of sun damaged skin vs healthy skin and to explain about UVA/UVB danger. Or you can find such photos on the internet yourself.
- explain about premature aging and show photos of aged skin with sun spots and deep lines. Who wants to look so mottled and wrinkled?!
A couple efforts to develop healthy sun-protection habits in your children will ensure they have healthy skin and will preserve its youth long into adulthood.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Beauty Talk: Exfoliation - Part III - Chemical Exfoliation

This a continuation of our discussion about ways to exfoliate. In this post I’ll look at the chemical type of exfoliation.

Unlike mechanical one, it does not involve physical impact. Chemical exfoliation removes dead cells by dissolving or loosening up the glue-like substance that holds dead skin cells together.

Chemical exfoliants include various acids such as alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) or beta hydroxy acids (BHAs) and enzymes.

Examples of AHA are lactic acid, malic acid, glycolic acid and tartaric acid. BHA example is salicylic acid. The difference between AHA and BHA is based on their lipid (oil) solubility. Alpha hydroxy acids are water soluble only, while beta hydroxy acid is lipid (oil) soluble.

Enzymes are known as molecules that can speed up chemical reactions. When you apply enzyme on your skin, it comes into chemical reaction with keratin protein in dead skin cells breaking it up and loosening the cells. Example of exfoliating enzyme is proteolytic enzyme like subtilisin and papain.

Which exfoliant to choose?
Overall, chemical exfoliation is recommended for those suffering from acne. Most beneficial in this case will be BHA as due to its oil solubility it is able to penetrate deep into the pore and exfoliate the dead skin cells inside of it. Due to this beta hydroxy acid is good for oily skin with blackheads and whiteheads.

If you have thickened, sun-damaged skin and no problem with breakouts, go with Enzymes or Alpha hydroxy acids. Natural fruit enzymes like papain may be a good choice if you are looking for a milder exfoliant.

Examples of chemical exfoliating products for face include:
Vitamin C Re-Texturising Peel by The Body Shop
Papaya and Pineapple Peeling Kit by Alpha-H
Glycolactic Skin Renewal Peel Mask by Ren
Micro Mini Peel System by Ole Henriksen

Can't choose? Go for a mix of chemical and mechanical exfoliating ingredients like in Intense Smooth Out Micro-Peel by Carita. It contains grains as well as exfoliating enzymes.

Related Posts:
Beauty Talk: Exfoliation - Part II - Mechanical Exfoliation
Beauty Talk: Exfoliation - Part I - Skin Exfoliation
Beauty Review: YSL Exfoliating Lip Balm
Beauty Review: Sisley Buff and Wash Gel
Beauty Review: Caress Evenly Gorgeous

Monday, June 15, 2009

Beauty Review: Biotherm Aquasource Levres

Moisturizing balm protective lip care shiny effect

Product Tag Line:
Genuine lip care with a glossy finish for more supple, softer lips that are fresh, smooth and slightly shiny.

Softens, nourishes, moisturizes, protects from UV rays

What’s Inside:
- Trace elements – typical ingredients found in spa water
- natural moisturizing agent
- oil of Macadamia

Close-up on active ingredients:
Disostearyl Malate – skin conditioning and emollient
Polyglyceryl-2 – skin conditioning, emollient, emulsifier
Triisostearate – emollient, emulsifier
Octyldodecanol – skin-conditioning, emollient, fragrance ingredient
Silica Dimethyl Silylate - slip modifier, suspending agent, emollient
Glycerin - humectant
Cera Alba/ Beeswax - occlusive
Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate - UV FILTER
Sqalane – very effective emollient (softens, conditions the skin)
Pentaerythrityl - emulsifier
C18-36 Acid Triglyceride
Macadamia Ternifolia/ Macadamia Ternifolia Seed Oil
Magnesium Gluconate
Manganese Gluconate
Copper Gluconate
Zinc Gluconate
Sodium Chloride

couple parabens


I looked up the first 10 ingredients as they are most important. I like what I see! There is a high concentration of emollients which not only help to moisturize skin (attract water to it) but help to keep the moisture in. What I don’t like is that many similar lip products have very high concentration of occlusives. The only thing occlusives do is keep the moisture in… that is if there is any moisture to keep in. So Biotherm Balm is different in this respect! As you see from the list there is only one occlusive – beeswax. In addition there is Glycerin - effective humectant that attracts water to skin.

Texture: transparent medium thick gloss, not sticky
Finish: glossy
Smell: very light scent

What I like most about Biotherm Aquasource Levres is the texture. I love that it is not at all sticky, it doesn’t feel too thick, occluisve or too rich on the lips. In addition Biotherm balm does leave a nice veil of gloss. I use it before applying a lipstick to moisturize my lips. However recently even more often I apply it on top of a lipstick when I want to add more gloss. Biotherm balm does protect lips when the weather is cold or windy. So you won’t get uncomfortably dry burning lips. However, in spite of all the emollients on ingredient list, it did nothing for me in terms of nourishing (as promised in product description) or solving my problem of flaky lips.

Maybe one more big plus for some people would be that it has a sweet taste. I know there are gals who like their lips to have a flavor as well as guys who like their girlfriends’ lips to taste of something :-)

Another good feature is that it has SPF 8 which is of course not high enough to provide adequate protection but better something than nothing!

Bottom Line:
If you are looking for a solution for chapped flaky lips, I cannot recommend Biotherm Aquasource Levres as it did not help me. But if you are looking for a quality balm to moisturize your lips and protect against wind and cold, you can definitely give Biotherm balm a try.

Price Time: $15-19

Friday, June 12, 2009

Quick Fix: Thick Clumpy Mascara

If your attempt at creating thick, lush lashes turns into a disaster of goopy clusters of mascara, take action immediately before it completely dries. Wipe your mascara wand with a paper napkin. Brush your lashes starting from the roots up wiggling the wand gently from side to side. Next time keep at hand your old mascara wand.

If I still have clumps what I do is take a needle and carefully separate lashes from each other. Works magically! Please, never attempt this trick in a rush, if your hand is not steady or if there are many people around you!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Beauty Talk: Exfoliation Part II - Mechanical Exfoliation

During mechanical exfoliation dead cells are removed through mechanical or physical friction. One can say that they are “scraped off” the skin’s surface. Products for mechanical exfoliation can contain paraffin, wax, irregularly shaped granules or round beads/poly spheres. Mechanical exfoliants also include exfoliation sheet, sponges, brushes, washcloths etc.

Clarisonic is one of the examples of a mechanical exfoliation

Which one to choose?
If your skin is not prone to break outs, you are free to choose any way of mechanical exfoliation your heart desires. Just keep your skin type in mind:
* Stick to a milder wax exfoliant if your skin is dry.
* Go with a product with granules if you have oily/mixed skin.

If your skin is sensitive, prone to break outs, easily inflamed, stay away from irregular granules such as apricot kernel and almond shells. They may create micro cuts on your skin and cause irritation, break outs or spread bacteria from existing zits to new locations on your face. You will be better off using a chemical exfoliant, a mild mechanical product with round shaped beads or micro-exfoliation cloths.

The above mentioned also concerns exfoliation of body skin. However on your feet you can use specially designed more abrasive products and tools such as pumice, or crushed volcanic rock.

Examples of Mechanical Exfoliating Products:
Almost every skin care brand has a mechanical face exfoliator in their range. Here are just a couple examples:

My favorites are Estee Lauder So Polished (contains artificial exfoliating particles - miscro spheres) and Buff and Wash Gel by Sisley (one of my most favorite products, contains natural exfoliating particles).

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Beauty Tip: Preparation H Against Eye Puffiness

This post is a strange mix of a tip and a review. But I can’t really call it a Beauty Review since Preparation H is not really a beauty product! It’s more of a beauty trick!

If you have not yet heard of Preparation H being used against eye puffiness, you must be in shock right now… thinking “whaaat is she talking about???” Yes, Preparation H is a hemorrhoid product and yes, people do use it against eye puffiness. I am not the first, believe me! I do wonder who and how discovered this alternative use for Preparation H. But nevertheless it works!

I’ve been fighting with eye puffiness for a long time already. Milk masks are my favorite way to relieve swelling. However this is a very mild treatment that does not always work. So at some point, feeling quite desperate, I realized I needed something much more effective and very quick to deliver the effect. That’s when I decided to try Preparation H.

What’s Inside:
Wondering what’s inside this product that makes it work?
Here are Preparation H (gel) ingredients:
Hamamelis Virginiana Distillate
Propylene Glycol – skin-conditioning, occlusive
Hydroxyethylcellulose – emulisifer, emollient
Sodium Citrate - pH adjuster, masking agent
Methylparaben – preservative (can cause irritation)
Disodium EDTA - Chelating Agent, penetration enhancer
Propylparaben - preservative
Citric Acid – preservative, pH adjuster, toner

As you see, the main ingredient is witch hazel which is a very effective astringent and anti-inflammatory.

Texture: Transparent thick gel. When apoplied to the skin becomes more liquid.
Smell: a bit chemically but you don't notice it unless you really pay attention.

Prepapration H comes as an ointment and as a gel. I bought the gel form. It works wonders! Still doesn’t not always deliver depuffing effect, as sometimes that puffiness is just too persistent. But Preparation H works in most cases and the effect is very visible. Puffiness is gone up to 60-90%.

I apply it every morning when I have puffy eyes. When Preparation H dries it turns into a thin film and kind of tightens up your skin. Sometimes even creating folds or lines on it. I wash it off immediately as soon as I feel it’s dry. Don’t walk around with that film as it dries, pulls the thin skin and can lead to appearance of lines. At times I can apply Preparation H twice to get a better effect. Each time I wash it off after it dries.

I have no irritation or eye reddening. But of course I am very careful not to get it into my eyes.

At just $10, it's a beauty trick worth a try!

Related Posts:

Beauty Review: Talika Eye Decompress Mask
Beauty Talk: How To Relieve Eye Puffiness
Beauty Talk: Eye Puffiness: Symptoms and Reasons
Beauty Tip: Prevent Eye Wrinkles

Friday, June 5, 2009

Beauty Term: Dermobiotics

This term was coined by Biotherm from the skin [dermo], cellular life [biotic]. Dermobiotic means probiotics for the skin.

Biotherm, used the term for the first time when they introduced RIDES REPAIR cosmetics to the market. RIDES REPAIR line is based on Pure Thermal Plankton which enhances skin internal defenses against aggressors such as UV exposure and pollution.

Because biological effects on the skin of Pure Thermal Plankton can be compared to the effects that probiotics have on human organism, Pure Thermal Plankton was pronounced the first dermobiotic™

Photos by:,

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Beauty Review: Teint Idole Ultra Lancome

14 Hour Retouch Free

Glass bottle with a pump dispenser

Light floral scent

Stay-on Power:
This foundation lasts very long. The minimum it lasts on a very hot day and very oily skin would be about 5 hours. If you have combination skin and don’t live in tropics, it will last the whole day!

Porcelaine 010

Texture and finish:
Liquid medium-thick foundation.
Provides matte, smooth, non-cakey finish.

It is very versatile in terms of coverage. You can build it up from translucent to high coverage.

I don’t even remember anymore why I chose this foundation in the first place. But I have been a fan for 2 years already. Maybe it was because I was looking for something oil-free or perhaps it was the long lasting coverage that I was after. What I know is that this is an excellent product. Read on to find out why!

It is soooo light. I don’t feel Teint Idole Ultra on my skin at all. It doesn’t clog my pores and doesn’t break me out.
I have wide pores in T-zone. So one problem I would have with many other foundations is that they cake in my pores and exaggerate them. This is not the case with Teint Idole Ultra. It goes on smoothly and I just love how it evens out my skin tone. It hides all my flaws and makes them almost invisible. Redness, darker patches, pores, occasional pimples etc be gone!

Lancome Teint Idole Ultra blends miraculously with your skin and looks one with it. No streaky look, no mask and no caking (if it cakes on your skin try this trick )

Here I used Sigma foundation brush for application

I also love that I can control the level of coverage. To do this, use various application techniques. When I want more translucent look I apply it with a sponge (slightly, very slightly wet). When I want medium coverage, I apply Teint Idole Ultra with my hands. I put it on my fingertips warm it up and quickly rub it on starting in the center of my face. This is the area that needs it most. When I want higher coverage I apply it with a foundation brush. This way I can achieve higher level of coverage and can add foundation more precisely to the targeted areas and spots.

Teint Idole Ultra does dry up quickly so you need to be prompt applying and blending it.

Bottom Line:
I can’t live without this product. It’s really very good quality. I would recommend it for people with combination skin like mine. But I also think people with oily skin may want to give it a try. My T-zone does get very oily in the summer and I find that with some help of blotting paper this product holds up very very well!

Price tag:

Monday, June 1, 2009

Beauty Talk: Skin Exfoliation - Part I

Dull, tired looking skin? With the help of exfoliation you can make it smooth and radiant again!

Why do you need to exfoliate?
Skin exfoliation is a naturally occurring process. However, often your skin does need help with it.
Over the course of life cycle skin cells move from dermis to the epidermis. When they reach the top they die. But these dead cells don’t miraculously disappear, they often accumulate and cause skin’s surface to appear rough and dull. That’s why regular exfoliation is one of the effective ways for maintaining radiant healthy skin.

Exfoliation is removal of dead cells from the skin’s surface. Not only exfoliation immediately provides you with polished glowing skin, it also stimulates turnover of skin cells, unclogs pores and promotes better skin care products penetration.

There are 2 major exfoliation techniques and exfoliation products:

Which one to choose?
Your choice will depend on several criteria but mainly on your skin type, skin condition and the aim of exfoliation treatment. If you have sensitive skin type or acne, don’t use mechanical exfoliation. It can be stressful on the skin and some mechanical scrubs can even create micro cuts which will exacerbate your condition. Have oily thick skin not prone to break outs? Trying to fight acne? Need to improve sun damaged skin? In my next posts I will look closer at mechanical and chemical exfoliation to help you choose which is best for you.

Related Posts
Beauty Talk: Exfoliation - Part II - Mechanical Exfoliation
Beauty Review: YSL Exfoliating Lip Balm
Beauty Review: Sisley Buff and Wash Gel
Beauty Review: Caress Evenly Gorgeous
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