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!

Get the Red Out

I use visine, or a similar product every time I want to look extra good. You’re not supposed to use it too often, because we build a tolerance to it, so I am careful about how often I use it.

I use it when I want to look rested and vibrant, which comes to about once every other day. That seems to be adequate to keep my eyes from getting addicted to the stuff.

And it does make a difference in my appearance. My eyes “pop.” The whites of my eyes look whiter and my blue eyes stand out more. If I am having pictures taken, I always drop in come visene.

Just another trick of the beauty trade.

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.

 

 

Magic Gloves for Smooth Hands

I love sharing with my daughter my old tried and true beauty tips and secrets.

Her hands have been chapped since the cold weather began this year. So I whipped out the extra-moisturizing hand cream – not lotion – cream. It needs to have a buttery thicker texture to have the best effect. But, before I had her use it, I showed her how I wash my hands with a washcloth and firmly scrub the backs of my hands to exfoliate. When hands are still damp, the cream goes on. Thick.

Then, the magic. I gave her a pair of my cotton gloves to put her moisture-coated hands in just before bed. We both wore them all night. The next morning – our hands were smooth soft. I really think she was impressed – which in itself is a miracle. The gloves work every time.

For myself, I apply Retin-A every night on my hands – even in the winter. Once that has absorbed in – usually about ten minutes – I will apply a humectant-based cream. I prefer glycerin as a humectant for my hands. Once that has absorbed, I lightly spray my hands with rosewater (or just plain water) and apply the heavy-buttery cream. Gloves go on all night, and I wake up with much much smoother and softer hands.

But not as soft as my fifteen-year-old daughter. I wonder why?

Love Lip Balm

I love putting on lip balm. There is something luxurious about moving a pretty, juicy-smelling moisturizing balm across my lips. Yeah, I probably overdue it, but so what? They aren’t very expensive, They are so healing and fun.

Most importantly, lip balms keep lips soft, moist and protects them from the insult of cold dry weather. Dry, chapped lips are awful. They are uncomfortable, painful and don’t look good with or without lipstick.

Every night I apply lip balm before bed. During the day, whenever I have the opportunity, I apply a juicy moisture balm. During moderate weather, I will use a soft, moisture balm with glycerim to add moisture and oils to lock it in. I harsh winter weahter, I use thicker, balms, with beeswax and oils to apply a thicker barrier between the elements and my lips.

My lips stay comfortable throughout the winter and always look plump and healthy.

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.

 

Retin – A on My Hands

My hands are aging a little more aggressively than my face. It doesn’t really bother me though. It is much more important that my face look fresher and young than my hands. Besides, I beat the heck out of my hands with gardening, washing, carrying heavy objects and banging my knuckles so they bleed – attractive things like that.

On the other hand, as you know, I take very good care of my facial skin.  Always have. Ever since I was a teenager.

So, I use my most powerful facial-skin weapon on my hands too. Retin-A. I put it on every night. Pretty thickly too. My hands don’t dry out from it like my face does if I apply too much. When it has soaked in, I rub on some nice-smelling hand cream. Always with a combination of a humectant (like glycerin) and an occlusor (like dimethicone, cocoa butter, lanolin, mineral oil, petrolatum) which creates a thin film over skin and locks the moisture in.

I started applying Retin-A to my hands about a year ago. They look significantly younger than they did. I will never be a manicure model, but they look better.