Latisse and Extensions

I have made no bones about the fact that I wear eyelash extensions. It is one of my indulgences that have a great payoff as far as improving my look.

When I first started with regular extension applications, I stopped using Latisse, thinking it was no longer necessary.  Well, I was wrong. My natural lashes shrunk, and so, there were fewer lashes for extensions to be attached to. The result: sparser extensions and a much less dramatic look than I wanted.

So, I started with the Latisse again. For the first six weeks, I applied it every night. After that, I find all I need to maintain is every other night – so the stuff lasts twice as long. Which is good, Latisse is not cheap.

The results are definitely worth it. Also, I do not fear that if I ever decide to let my extensions fall out naturally, I will have some quality lashes left.

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Smoking, Drinking, and Sunbathing

She doesn’t look a day over 162!

I can always tell when a woman is a smoker or chronic sunbather. One who smokes and drinks regularly is even easier to spot.

Otherwise beautiful women have leathery skin and fine lines

YIKES!

all over their face. Often voices become raspy. If the skin has a chronic tan, ugh! It is painful.

 

I one time worked with a beautiful woman who was in her early forties. She had huge, wide blue eyes. Beautiful lips, great cheekbones, perfect white teeth lovely hair, but her skin was very tanned and wrinkly. Leathery. It was painful to see this otherwise gorgeous woman ravaged by bad habits. And myths that she believed.

She was convinced that she needed to have a tanned appearance to look good. She also refused to use foundation makeup because it was too cakey and uncomfortable to wear. So she spent hours in tanning beds. Her beautiful face was withering.

I tried to delicately suggest she not use the tanning bed. She insisted she needs the color. Why not make-up, I asked. Too cakey. I can’t wear it. So you are willing to wear leather as skin?!! I was dumbfounded. She just couldn’t accept that there was another way for her to look good.

I am sure she would have looked lovely with un-tanned skin. But she was dead-set on her myth of how she looks good. It worked well throughout her twenties and thirties. It was time to rethink and adjust!!

If I could have taken her home with me, I would have made her use Retin A regularly. And I would KEEP HER OUT OF THE SUN AND TANNING BEDS.

It was just her absolutely untrue believsof that killed her looks. Now for smokers, it is not a belief, but an addiction that continues the damaging behavior.

Don’t even start smoking. Ever. Drinking alcohol daily in large quantities dries skin because it dehydrates our entire bodies. Don’t allow yourself to justify increasing drinking to levels that you KNOW in your heart are unhealthy.

I am aware addictions are not so easy to stop. But by not starting, you have a huge advantage. There are also excellent programs /out there that help addicts recover. To boot, many programs have steps of recovery that help one be happier and a better person. That is always attractive!

Never step foot, (or butt) in a tanning bed. Ever. And, duh, wear sunscreen every day. Period.

 

 

 

 

Smoothing Split and Straggly Ends

BACKOFHAIRAfter I wash my hair, the ends can look frizzy or straggly – unless I blow it dry or style it. That’s because the ends of my hair have been around the longest and seen the most “combat.”  My ends can’t help but be the most damaged part of my hair – even though I treat my hair veeery carefully.

I have a strategy that gets my ends to look as thick and shiny as they can possibly be. It also works to repair them.

Before I clean my hair, while it’s still dry, I coat the ends with my triple-protein-infused conditioner. The three proteins are of different molecular sizes to fill in any-sized gap in the protein chains that make up my hair. It also includes plenty of provitamin B6 and lipids – both essential in nourishing and restructuring hair.

I leave it on for about ten minutes – although longer may have some additional benefit. Then, I aim the shower on the roots of my hair to soak them. I will add cleansing conditioner to my roots – massaging my scalp and working it down towards the end. I don’t actually move all the way to the ends, as I clean. There is no need to, and there is no reason to wash those wonderful proteins and conditioners from the ends.

I simply rinse my hair from roots to tips when I’m done cleansing – concentrating the rinsing more on my roots.

That is it. My entire head of hair looks clean, full and shiny – even the tips. I also strongly believe that, as a result of this regular practice, my hair grows longer than it would without it!

My Special Indulgence: Peppermint Foot Lotion

The soothing and energizing feeling of peppermint lotion on my tired feet after my evening shower of bath, is wonderful. A simple, but luxurious treat.

Besides the delicious aroma, peppermint essential oil is therapeutic. Calming and invigorating simultaneously. Peppermint on feet is especially helpful because it increases blood circulatiaon. It also helps alleviate foot fungus issues, like athlete’s foot that my feet have cronically. Peppermint also reduces pain, making my achy feet more comfortable.

A good hydrating lotion makes my feet feel fresh and dewy – not the hard and caloused things that they feel like by the end of a busy day.

The Body Shop makes a nice peppermint foot lotion. So does Burt’s Bees. I make my own and add lots of peppermint essential oil. Very refreshing.

 

 

Prolong Your BB Cream or Tinted Sunscreen

It’s no secret that I love Beautycounter Dew Skin tinted sunscreen (I sware, I am not affiliated with Beautycounter at all). But it is pricey.

To extend its life, I use a silicone beauty blender (or sponge – whatever you want to call it) to spread and dab the cream on my face and neck. It takes a little longer to do this way, because the absorption is only on one side (my face). The silicone does not absorb any product at all, so all of it ends up on/in my skin.

I spread it gently at first, then dab dab dab it onto and into my skin. Dabbing is key, as it creates a much more natural look than the streaky lines when I smear it.

It looks great, and I use about half the amount of product as I would if I were using my fingers. Saves money, and looks great. That’s a win.

 

No Time To Work-Out

 

I have no time to myself. So I have been trying to get as much of a workout in during the day/week that I can. Here’s how I sneak it in. Twice a week at my son’s hour-long boxing class, I weight train pretty intensely (the owner – Rich Dean, in Westport – is kind enough to let me use the weight machines).  I do three sets of each exercise to work a specific body part – working my entire body. I can do this in about twenty minutes if I go continuously. Afterwards, I do a full body stretching.

On top of weight training, I sneak in some cardio. I no longer rely on an hour of slow and steady cardio work (walking, running, elliptical, stairmaster, or climber etc). Instead, I do high intensity interval training. This gives me a better quality workout in less time. I walk/run with my dog for 2.5 miles. I start off walking about a quarter mile, then I run as fast as I can – counting 100 steps. This equals a little over 30 seconds. Then I walk, catch my breath and do it again.  In the course of 2.5 miles I sprint about eight times. That is a damn good workout. I’ve noticed a huge improvement in my cardiovascular health and, at my age, that’s important.

When I walk, in general, like in stores, to the pharmacy, into my kids school, I squeeze my butt muscles one side at a time. Doing this consistently is good isometric conditioning. Since I habitually do this, the effects really add up. Also, I squeeze my lower abdominal muscles as often as I can. This works especially well when I am waiting in lines.

All the above, which I do only when I can, but fairly regularly, helps to keep me in good shape. I would like to be in phenominal shape, but right now, that is not a priority. Being healthy and fairly slender (I am ten pounds over my usual weight) is important.

I will have to wait until the kids are much older to have the time to get back in fighting form.

Yeah, I Use Botox

I confess, I use botox and dysport. And I love them. They help me look younger and, I think, prettier.

My frown lines have not been around for years thanks to botox. I love that they are gone because I usually feel happy and relaxed, so I want to look happy and relaxed. Frown lines look strained, angry and unhappy. That just isn’t me. I am not even saying I think they are unattractive. They just make me look stressed and angry even though I am usually happy and calm.

I also use dysport around at the outer corners of my eyes, and a little below to keep my eyes looking more open, and crow’s feet minimized. This looks terrific, but does not last as long as the botoxed areas.

I use botox above my outer eyebrows to lift the eyelid – diminishing the hooded look of them. And I loooove using  botox just below my bottom outer lip corners to keep them from turning down (think of Sam-I-am from Dr. Seuss’s “Green Eggs and Ham.”) It is not a pretty picture. I find these down-turns at the end of my lips make me look unhappy, hard – old, like my Italian Grandmother used to look. I don’t like it! But I love the effect of botox injections there.

Botox and dysport are amazingly effective in helping me look happier, more relaxed, and younger. If you can afford it, go for it. You probably won’t be disappointed – but will rather be delighted and psyched.

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