August 2014

  1. Choose the perfect day cream

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    If finding the perfect day cream has you mystified you are not alone. Today skin care is so advanced it can be confusing.                              Light Diffusing Particles in new products mask flaws and make skin look luminous (RT)

    Let’s start with the essentials. If you care about your health and your looks, you need apply sunscreen every day, even if you work inside. Recent studies show that even the light from your computer screen and certain light bulbs can age your skin.

    The minimum SPF should be 30. I prefer 50. If you do not wear makeup you may prefer a day cream with SPF. If you wear makeup as in a primer or BB cream there will be a screen in it.

    Sunscreen is the most effective anti-aging tool you have so use it.-blur_elure

    To make the most of sunscreen you want one with added anti-oxidants to help prevent and repair damage from sun pollution and stress. Anti-oxidants help your skin build collagen and prevent sagging.

    Good sources of anti-oxidants are Vitamins C and E, green, black, and white teas, Resveratrol and Grape seed oil, and various botanicals. All of these are powerful anti-oxidants and very good for the skin. I like to use a variety of products so my skin gets the benefit of all of them.

    Creams and lotions containing glycolic, lactic, or salicylic acid used to be the dermatologists first choice for anti-aging. These alpha and beta hydroxyl acids remove the outer layer of built-up dead skin cells, keeping skin smooth and clear. They are wonderful for oily skin and can work as part of an anti-aging, anti-acne regimen.

    I like glycolic acid even for my dry skin as there is ample research that shows it acts to speed up cell turnover and also helps to build collagen.

    Retinols, the non-prescriptive version of vitamins, can be helpful in a day cream if you break out, but in general I prefer retinol to be used at night, such as prescription Retin A.

    Day creams can also include ingredients to lighten and brighten skin. Niacinamide, also known as nicotinamide, is a form of Vitamin B3. This is a powerful anti-aging ingredient. It helps to strength skin, increase micro-circulation, and lighten age spots.

    Peptides are amino acids that are used in anti-aging creams. Research has shown that peptides can help strengthen skin as well as reduce fine lines and wrinkles. I love peptide-based creams. They don’t irritate my skin and I find them very effective.

    Hyaluronic acid is an ingredient I look for in all of my skin cream. It attracts and holds moisture to the skin. Glycerin, various silicones, and light-diffusing particles can help a day cream or primer “work magic” if you are over 40 or have dry skin. These ingredients are what make very expensive cult products such as Zelens eye cream that sells for $120 and Revive Intensite Volumizing Serum which sells for $600 so instantly affect. The right silicones help to smooth out imperfections. Light-diffusing particles help to disguise flaws and add luminosity.

    But you don’t have to spend a fortune to get the same ingredients or results. Cosmetic giants L’Oreal and Olay offer products with similar ingredients as do many smaller skin care lines.

    To find the perfect cream learn to read labels. Know your skin type and buy accordingly. It doesn’t matter how old you are, if you have acne or oily skin skip rich creams. Focus on sun protection, anti-oxidants, and glycolic acids to keep skin clear and fight the signs of aging. I didn’t use anything but a glycolic acid cream, eye cream, and sun screen until I was over 50 years old.

    You can read our reviews or research by entering into Google with the name of a cream or a skin care issue.

    If you are unsure or have a hard time finding a good fit, shop at Sephora where you can sample before you buy. Also keep your receipts and boxes so you can return products that don’t work out. (I put the receipt into the empty box.) Ask about return policies before you buy. Drugstore creams are $25 to $30 each, and that is too expensive if you can’t return something that doesn’t work for you.

    Just a few of our favourites:

    Osmotics Creaseless is full of peptides and wrinkle filling spheres. This line is loved by beauty insiders for good reasons.

    $85Glytone Antioxidant Anti-Aging Cream this a derma favourite with glycolic and antioxidants

    $62LIFTLABLIFT + MOISTURIZE Daily Cream full of cutting edge ingredient and super moisturizers. $145

    L’Oreal Paris Revitalift Miracle Blur Instant Skin Smoother Finishing Cream, SPF 30

    This is a super primer that makes skin look fabulous with or without makeup. $20

    Olay Regenerist Instant Fix Wrinkle Revolution Complex Primer this is a beauty bargain at $25. It contains all the right stuff sophisticated skin smoothing silicones, B3 Niacinamide and a variety of peptides. This is not a moisturizer and if you have a dry skin you may want a moisturizer or oil under it. It is new category like L’Oreal Blur “skin perfector”.

    If hyperpigmentation or age spots are your issue:

    Elure is the most effective product we have ever seen to eradicate stubborn age or sun spots. This line works miracles and there is no rebound as there is with hydroquinone.

    For line that fights hyperpigmentation but is also anti-aging we love Lumixyl.

    The four step line has a delicious botanical based cleanser, glycolic acid lotion, non-chemical, peptide- based brightening lotion, and non-chemical sun screen. There is also a great eye cream sold separately.




  2. Click on top title to open and scroll

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    If you think that florals are only for spring and summer, think again. Dark lush florals showed up in the fall collections of Dolce&Gabbana, Matthew Williamson, and Valentino – just to name a few.  Pair florals with dark tights and edgy shoes and boots for a chic look.

    Valentino Lurex and silk brocade trench coat $6,900

    Erdem Vivi printed ponte dress $990


  3. Trend alert: Asian skin care lines

    ExfolipowderClick on top title to open and scroll

    Amarte has become one of my favourite skin care lines. This luxury line was developed in Korea and brought to America by Dr. Craig Kraffert, MD, the founder of DermStore.

    I am particularly hooked on the cleansers. The Asian approach to skin care is appealing. It focuses on thorough cleansing. Exfoliation is frequent but gentle, so skin is fresh, never red or irritated. The goal is flawless and glowing complexions. Products combine natural botanicals from traditional medicine with cutting-edge, anti-aging science for products that feel good and pamper skin. The Asian approach to skin care is appealing. Exfoliation is frequent but gentle, so skin is fresh, never red or irritated. The goal is flawless and glowing complexions.  Products combine natural botanicals from traditional medicine with science for products that feel good and pamper the skin.

    Amarte Exfolipower is a unique skin-smoothing powder that turns to gel when activated by water. Regular use leaves skin taut and glowing without any of the irritation you can get from harsher products. What I love most about Amarte Exfolipower is how it makes pores seem to disappear with a single use. It is $35.

    Amarte Daily Wonder Cleansing Foam cleanses skin deeply without drying. This foaming cleaner treats your skin with active botanicals leaving it clean and fresh. It is $40.

    Amarte means “to love you.” It is designed to address oily, dry, and aging skin. The air-tight pump bottles keep products fresh and hygienic.




  4. Define and tame brows

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    Revitalash Hi-Def Tinted Brow Gel Eyebrow Setting Gel with Styling Brush helps to define, sculpt, and fill-in brows.

    This mineral tint styling gel instantly and dramatically improves the appearance of thin eyebrows. The formula also contains peptides and oat beta glucan to “help fortify brows.”

    This product is easier to use than pencils and stays in place much longer than powder.

    It costs $32. Find it online and at fine department stores.




  5. Anti-aging algae

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    EverDeep is one of the newest complete anti-aging skin care regimes you can buy online or from an infomercial.  Many women like the convenience of ordering a single line that is replenished monthly by mail. The approach is so popular that some premium department store brands have begun offering similar deals.

    What is unique about EverDeep is, according to company, “the Algasome Complex which comes from a unique strain of algae found in the deep waters of northern Europe.” The products also contain other popular anti-aging ingredients such as peptides, and anti-oxidants.

     Some types of marine algae have been found to be effective at slowing the signs of aging and to contain anti-oxidants, so the premise makes sense.

     I tried a sample of the introductory kit. The products feel great. The five-piece basic kit costs almost $40 a month for what is supposed to be a 90-day supply. That is not inexpensive considering the small size of the products. The products that come in these types of skin care kits tend to be what I consider “travel size”.  Most of them would not last me for the full 90 days.

     EverDeep is an option for women looking for an effective and gentle approach to anti-aging. The products feel great and the ingredients are effective. If you like buying skin care products this way, and find the sizes adequate for your needs, this is definitely one to try.



  6. TrafficClick on top title to open and scroll

    Waze, one of the world’s largest community-based traffic and navigation apps, sponsored a survey conducted by market research firm Lab42. It included a thousand drivers in the United States.

    Here is what Waze told us about U.S. drivers and their habits:

    Creatures of Habit
    If you’re wondering why there is always traffic on your journey, it’s because 63 percent of drivers take the same route to and from work every day. At Waze, we pride ourselves on ensuring that we can provide you with the fastest route anywhere – so if it is out of your comfort zone, trust us and take it! 
    Road Rage Reality

    One third of the people survey never experience road rage.

    Managing Road Rage

    The majority, or 50 percent, said they are most likely to manage their road rage by chilling out with some good tunes
    Singing in the Car
    Singing was the one activity people do most when they are driving in traffic or otherwise.

    Making the Most of Traffic Time
    When asked what “strange” or “unusual” things people did in their cars, here is how it divided: Personal Grooming 45 percent; 13 percent did something sexy. 
    Split on Selfies

    There is almost a complete divide on the percentage of people who don’t take selfies in their cars: 48 percent don’t and 52 percent do. If you do, please wait until you have reached your destination! 




  7. More Regency romance

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    The Secrets of A Scoundrel is the final book in Gaelen Foley’s Inferno Club Series. The book stands alone as modern, sexy Regency read, but it also completes the bestselling series about a group of dashing aristocrats who belong to a secret order that functions as an early version of Britain’s MI5 intelligence service. 

    The Secrets of a Scoundrel tells the story of the darkest and most troubled member of the Inferno Club: Nick, or Lord, Forrester. Nick is reputed to be the most deadly and dangerous member of the order. For reasons not understood by his friends he has disobeyed and possibly betrayed the order. As punishment, he is locked away. 

    Nick is mouldering away in a dungeon when Virginia, Lady Burke, comes to see him with a proposition. She needs his help to rescue kidnapped girls who will be sold in slavery.

    She wants his word he won’t try to escape. Unbeknownst to Nick, Virginia is the secret love-child of his mentor and the order’s founder. Nick agrees to help free the girls and gives Virginia his word that he will not run away. 

    What Virginia doesn’t tell Nick is that she has another mission connected to secrets that have haunted her. In true Regency Romance tradition their attraction is instantaneous, their passion is fiery and the path to true love is fraught. This is the darkest and in many ways most romantic of Inferno Club tales.




  8. Easy Vegan Pesto

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    Cooking for vegetarians is never that difficult. You can always rely on eggs or cheese, and make classic favourites such as eggplant parmesan or lasagna, to name just two. But vegan cuisine can be more challenging.  That is why I loved this vegan recipe for the Italian classic pesto from by Veronica Bosgraaf.

    In the recipes, Veronica replaces the richness of cheese with creamy avocado. As the founder of the Pure Bar and a lifestyle expert, Veronica has been developing vegan recipes for years.

    Avocado Pesto

    2 cups packed basil leaves

    3 cloves garlic

    1/3 cup pine nuts (could roast them, optional)

    1 cup avocado oil

    1 whole avocado

    Pulse basil, garlic, and pine nuts in a food processor until chopped. If I have time, I prefer to finely chop the ingredients myself because I think it is therapeutic and creates better flavor. Add avocado, and mix in. Slowly add avocado oil and blend until the mixture is smooth (pesto consistency). Add salt and pepper to taste. Toss with your favorite pasta, add sundried tomatoes, and sprinkle with toasted pine nuts.




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