Boost your skin’s radiance

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Merle Norman’s new Revitalizing Bubbly Mask is fizzy pink foam packed with his mask emollients and humectants to hydrate skin, as well as Marine Collagen. It also contains “time-released antioxidants”, and Vivillume helps restore skin luminosity. Vivillume is an active botanical that helps to lighten discolouration, even skin tone, and decrease puffiness.


Merle Norman’s new Revitalizing Bubbly Mask leaves skin looking and feeling soft, dewy, and refreshed in just a few minutes.


I enjoyed this mask. It was fun to use. My skin felt soft and looked calm and dewy.




Give summer skin a “Lift”

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If your skin has taken a beating from too much fun in the sun it needs effective, anti-aging TLC to help it recover and regenerate.

According to scientists at LIFTLAB, “Cell Protection Protein or CPP has the ability to strengthen cell membranes, boost cell regeneration and encourage the formation of protective anti-oxidants.” There are decades of scientific studies to show how it works with your skin to promote the formation of over 40 natural proteins, including collagen and elastin for firmness, resiliency, and bounce.

LIFT & REPAIR Treatment Serum is designed to “target and repair visible fine lines, deep wrinkles, sun damage and uneven skin tone.” According LIFTLAB,” It has the highest concentration and number of active peptides and proteins in the entire line.”

This line is ideal for women with sensitive skin who don’t want to risk irritation but still want effective anti-aging benefits. I have tried LIFT & REPAIR Treatment Serum as well as LIFT + FIX Restore Serum, which, the company says, was designed to calm, eliminate and prevent inflammation. I found it really does offer quick relief for skin irritated from sun exposure, extreme temperatures, pollutants and cosmetic treatments. It also contains Cell Protection Protein as well as special ingredients to sooth and firm skin.

I have sensitive skin that can break out in hives in minutes and the LIFT + FIX Restore Serum has calmed my skin down in hours. CCP and peptides are very effective anti-aging ingredients and much less irritating than retinol.

Products in the line range from $65 to $250. You can find them at your local Neiman Marcus store or online.


Don’t get a permanent pucker

lipdrink.jpgSun damage can happen all year long. Those little lines that can “pucker” the skin around your lips and look so aging are often the result of sun damage. So protect your lips as well as your skin. Jane Iredale’s Lip Drink provides broad spectrum UVA/UVB SPF 15 combined with soothing botanicals such as carrot seed oil and avocado oil to moisturize and coffee seed, blackberry seed and green tea leaf extracts for antioxidant protection. Lemon peel oil gives the soothing balm a refreshing scent.                                        



Coffee pods and capsules

espresso_300x300.jpgThere are many good reasons to enjoy your morning coffee and maybe even afternoon espresso if the caffeine doesn’t keep you up. Far from being the villain coffee was once thought to be it is actually good for you in moderation. Coffee is full of disease-fighting anti-oxidants, and regular coffee drinkers may lower their risk for certain cancers and Diabetes Type 2.  Research shows that coffee can even help your memory and may even improve your workout. So go ahead and enjoy a cup or two of good quality coffee as part of a healthy diet. 

But beware of coffee drinks. There is no benefit to sugar and fat-laden coffee confections served up by coffee chains. They will undo all the healthy benefits. 

Recently I tried Nestles Dolce Gusto’s Piccolo. It is a small and inexpensive capsule coffee machine. It is easy to use and makes a cup of espresso with a crema layer or a frothy coffee-house drink in minutes. Each cup of coffee costs anywhere from 50 cents to 80 cents, which is a much lower price than in any coffee house. DG

But my worry with coffee house drinks is the calories.  A small Starbucks Macchiato with hazelnut drizzle has 240 calories. Nestlé Dolce Gusto Latte Macchiato has 89 calories. I chose these two drinks to compare as they are both sweetened coffee with steamed milk. Even an 89 calories cup of coffee has to be seen as a treat or snack in healthy diet.  But whatever coffee you enjoy there are many benefits to making it yourself.



Beauty Bargain

neuco.jpgThe Neutrogena Microdermabrasion System uses disposable puffs on a small battery-powered microdermabrasion applicator. You place the puffs, which are covered in ultra-fine crystals, on a small hand-held machine which vibrates to genetly exfloites. Skin is left taut and glowing. For less than about $20, the results are amazing. This is one of my favourite new skin care items and a true beauty bargain. Some people are under the impression that the microdermabrasion system is an alternative to a cleansing brush. It is not. It is a home treatment that you use in place of a scrub.  That means you might use it one to three times a week, depending on your skin type. 

Many beauty editors are enthralled by the pricy Clarisonic vibrating cleansing brush. They say it leaves skin super clean. I am not a convert, but if you like the idea try one. Some of my own beauty savvy friends swear by it, but be aware that cleansing brushes can make certain types of breakouts worse. If your skin begins to breakout or looks irritated, give the brush a rest. You have to be very careful with manual exfoliation when you have active breakouts or sensitive skin. Persistent or severe acne needs a doctor! Please do not listen to anyone who tells breakouts are part of the “healing” or your skin is “detoxing.” This is non-science. Acne is a disease.  Acne is hard to treat and is made worse by rough treatment. You cannot squeeze, wash, or muscle it out of your skin. Believe me, ask a person who has had acne for the name of a good doctor. 

As a beauty editor I have tried all types of microdermabrasion treatments that have left my skin bloody – which is not pretty or healthy.  Being too aggressive with skin is just as bad as neglecting it. But gentle microdermabrasion is a fabulous addition to any anti-aging skin care régime and the Neutrogena Microdermabrasion System is my new favourite way to get it done. Regular microdermabrasion can help make skin look firmer and more luminous, as well as help to reduce fine lines and wrinkles. Recent studies say it may even help to stimulate collagen and help prevent sagging.

 Those are fabulous results from a gadget that costs less than $20, feels wonderful, and takes less than two minutes to use. Look for it in drugstores, big box stores, and online for $20 or less. 

The Neutrogena Microdermabrasion System is true beauty bargain!


Spray-on protection

If you find applying top-to-toe sunscreen tedious, you may be tempted to skip it or skimp on it. Don’t spray it on instead. Sprays make an even application effortless. I do it every morning before I dress to save time and prevent sun damage.
Here are two sprays on sun screens we really like:
Fake Bake’s SOL Survivor SPF-30 Spray with Anti-Oxidants is light and dries quickly. It contains a blend of effective sunscreen ingredients and green tea. $10.99
Dr. Denis Gross Skincare Sheer Mineral Sun Spray Broad-Spectrum SPF 50 plus Protection is a hard-to-find, all-natural mineral spray. $42
More of our favourite sunscreens:

Mineral sunscreen for sensitive skin!

If you have sensitive or acne-prone skin, many popular sunscreens may irritate or break out your skin. It has happened to me. In addition, many European skin care experts, including doctors prefer mineral sunscreen especially for the face.
Babo Botanicals SPF 30 Clear Zinc Sunscreen is an all mineral sunscreen that made for sensitive skin. It contains 22.5% active zinc oxide for complete sun protection. The sunscreen goes on clear too, thanks to micronize zinc. Babo is an all-natural organic formula that contains no harmful chemicals. The formula is not greasy.


Tips for choosing and using sunscreen

Boating requires serious sun protection, but you also need at least an SPF 30 daily!Sunscreen is still the most effective defense against premature skin aging that we have – even compared with pricy potions, lotions and high-tech treatments. And it helps to prevent deadly skin cancer!
The best new sunscreens are light , not sticky, and some even have additional anti-aging ingredients, such as antioxidants and moisturizers. Best of all they are affordable.  
Here are a few things you need to know to help get most from your sunscreen and keep your skin young and healthy:
You need sun protection daily even on cloudy days, as the damaging rays of the sun can penetrate clouds.
You need a good sunscreen even inside, especially if you sit in an office tower with windows. The UVA rays of the sun age your skin and penetrate glass. Have you ever seen how much older someone who drives looks, on the right side of her face?
Apply at least SPF30 sunscreen to all exposed skin 30 to 40 minutes before you plan to go out. Slather it on, and do not be stingy. The estimate is a shot-glass to cover your body. I prefer a fast-drying spray.
I prefer a non-chemical, mineral sunscreen for my face. Not all experts agree that this is better, but I find it less irritating and I believe it is better for my skin. Many European experts advocate the use of non-mineral sunscreens, especially for the face. Choose what you prefer and wear it. I also carry mineral-based powder with an SPF 30 or 45 SPF to touch up my face during the day.
For your body, a high SPF spray can be an easy way to get complete coverage quickly. Spray your body heavily to insure good sun protection.
Here are of our handpicked favourites:
Vichy Capital Soleil SPF 60 Soft Sheer Sunscreen Lotion is broad-spectrum UVA /UVB sunscreen that will not irritate sensitive skin. The formula includes potent antioxidants to fight damaging free radicals. It is also available in SPF 30 and SPF 45. $30.50
Tropical-scented botanical rich spray
The light banana and coconut scent of Australian Gold Sheer Coverage Continuous Spray is delicious. The first spritz will make you feel like a sexy beach babe. The light spray dries quickly and makes touch-ups a breeze. Water babies will be glad to know that the company has determined it is water resistant for up 80 minutes. $10.49
This spray is available in different SPFs and also with a bronzer (not a sunless tanner). This is one of our favourite lines of inexpensive and effective sun protection. We love the beachy scent and the skin-pampering botanicals.
Australian Gold’s SPF 45 Sheer Coverage Faces protects with UVA/UVB broad-spectrum sunscreen while a gradual self-tanner gives skin a glow. There are also anti-aging benefits from Australian extract, Kakadu Plum, a super anti-oxidant that is full of Vitamin C. 
Australian Gold’s special technology leaves skin feeling dry and light. We love this sunless tanner packed with beauty benefits for only $8.99
Anthelios 60 Ultra-Light Sunscreen Lotion Spray with Cell-Ox Shield is a sheer spray that contains a combination of sunscreen ingredients for effective broad screen UVA/UVB sun protection. The ultra-light spray also includes powerful anti-oxidants. Also available in SPF 30. $30.50
Aveeno Hydrosport Sunscreen Spray with SPF 50 is one of our favourites because it is so affordable, yet it has everything we want in sunscreen. It is full of antioxidants from skin-pampering botanicals. It feels light and dry going on. Aveeno Hydrosport will even adhere to wet skin, so it is great at the beach or at the pool. It is also available in SPF 30.
$8.99. Available at drugstores and online.