Raise your hand if you’ve ever had to put up with eczema, or any other unsightly skin rash that has left you feeling ugly.
It’s so frustrating. Every time it goes away, it comes back with a vengeance. Well, I’m here to tell you you’re not alone. Chronic skin conditions are common for people of all ages, and it’s nothing to be ashamed of. There isn’t anything you could have done to prevent it, but luckily, there are ways to treat it. There are a variety of chronic skin conditions like Psoriasis and Rosacea, but the most “popular” (and by popular I mean most suffered-from!) is Eczema.
I have had patches of Eczema set up shop on my body for the last 15 years. They usually show up around my elbows and on the back of my thighs (yuck), but about a year ago, it reared it’s ugly head on two fingers on my right hand. I took the photo above after not treating it for about a week, just to show you what it looks like (dedication, I know.)
What Is Eczema?
Eczema shows up as very dry, rough and thick red scales and scaly patches. It’s often associated with allergies and asthma, so if you got either of those, chances are you are susceptible to Eczema too. Many newborns are born with Eczema but will outgrow it by their tenth birthday, while it still affects 3% of children and adults.
What Causes Eczema?
Dermatologists I have spoken to say that eczema can be caused by factors such as stress, environment and even allergies. My eczema flared up in my teens when I lived in Las Vegas, a dry desert. And probably because I was taking all honors-level classes and was at school with student council duties from the crack of dawn to midnight. When I moved back to humid Los Angeles in my twenties, my skin cleared up for a while. Oh, the joy of soft, clear skin! But last year, between being laid off from my full time job and planning a wedding, my stress levels went through the roof. And being a long-time allergy- sufferer didn’t help.
1) See Your Doctor: If you think you may have patches of Eczema, make an appointment with your dermatologist first to go over your options. There are many topical creams ranging from steroid to immunomodulators that your doctor can prescribe to fight the condition. Another reason to see your doctor first- you may think you have Eczema but it could be another type of skin condition, like Psoriasis. Your doctor may also prescribe an antibiotic treatment to fight off infection-causing bacteria caused at the scene of the crime (the scales).
2) Over The Counter Relief: Hydrocortisone 1% is often prescribed over the counter by dermatologists to treat your eczema during and in-between flare-ups. If my eczema shows any signs of returning, I immediately start a hydrocortisone treatment to shut that thing down. If your Eczema is like mine and on your fingers, apply your ointment then cover the affected area with a vinyl glove. Do NOT use latex-it eats away the medication and many people are allergic to the material. I wear disposable vinyl gloves I got from Rite Aid every night with my hydrocortisone 1% cream.
Neosporin also carries a special hydrocortisone version of their ointment specifically for Eczema that works well.
Last but not least, Aquaphor is every Eczema patients’ best friend. I blend the hydrocortisone cream with the Aquaphor then wear the vinyl glove. If your Eczema is somewhere other than your hands you can cover the affected area with plastic wrap or even a tissue to keep the ointments in place. Aquaphor does have a greasy texture, but you will wake up with the softest hands/skin ever! So worth it.
1) Moisturize Often- I’m talking 3-4 times a day on the affected area. Keeping the skin hydrated with fragrance-free and unscented lotions. Aveeno Eczema Therapy is my favorite- it’s steroid and fragrance-free and made with colloidal oatmeal- a skin protectant. I carry this around in my purse all day.
2) Wash New Clothes Before Wearing Them- to get rid of chemicals that can irritate your skin. I use Tide Free and Gentle- it’s dermatologist- tested and free of any dyes and scents.
3) Keep the showers short and warm (not hot) Use a gentle body wash instead of harsh soap and avoid any abrasive scrubbers. Pat your skin dry with a towel, don’t rub. And apply moisturizer all over within three minutes to help lock in water. I’ve been switching between this one by Aveeno and Dove’s Sensitive Skin Body Wash.
I know this seems like a lot of products and information, but the good news is ALL of these items can be purchased with coupons from any drug store. And in my experience, the creams and antibiotics prescribed by dermatologists were all pretty affordable ($8-10 for a tube of ointment) but of course this also depends on your insurance coverage.
I hope that these tips help you find a way to live with and treat your Eczema. No one knows better than me how irritating it can be! If you have any Eczema-related questions, I’m always open to chat on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Let’s band together and be good to our skin!
Illamasqua is known for their out of the ordinary campaigns and this summer’s “Paranormal” launch is no different. Check out the beautiful visuals for this haunting collection!
Alex Box, head makeup artist for Illamasqua, created these enchanting makeup looks
“Why be normal, when you can be Paranormal?”
Paranormal Palette: $46.50
These four unique water-resistant eye shadows are combined in a cream-to-powder formula.
The Gleams are light weight iridescent creams that are perfect for highlighting cheekbones. Here’s Supernatural, a beautiful bronze. Peep Aurora, a bone-pearl shade, HERE.
There are a total of three shades and one clear polish. Click HERE to check them all out!
Here’s Seance, a plummy pink shade that turns neon under blacklight. I NEED THIS!
I told ya it’s my favorite time of year! All my favorite makeup brands are rolling out their summer lines, and I’m here to obsess over every single one of them with you.
Today’s attraction is French makeup giant, Makeup For Ever, found in Sephora stores nation-wide. This summer, they decided to expand on their award-winning Aqua line of waterproof products. As an oily piece of sweat in the summer heat, I can humbly say thank you to them.
THIS COLLECTION IS NOW AVAILABLE AT SEPHORA
Aqua Lip Liner: $19
Aqua Eye Liners: $19
Creamy, matte eye pencils that use silicone to stick to your lids and provide opaque color, now in new shades #25L Matte Brown and #52L Pearly Green Lagoon (Limited Edition!) I NEED the green one for sure.
Aqua Rouge: $24
Long-wearing lip color that provides opaque, transfer-resistant and smudge-proof color with a clear gloss to layer over, now in five new shades: #19 Pomegranate Pink, #16 Fuchsia, #20 Baby Pink, #17 Bright Coral, and #18 Coral.
Aqua Cream: $23
I don’t usually cover the Met Gala but this year’s “Punk” theme blew me away. It was so nice to see otherwise predictable celebrities step into avant-garde makeup and hair! Here are some of my favorites from the evening. Oh, and I’m keeping these photos ginormous because I really want you guys to see the art that took place for each look.
She looks like an Egyptian goddess. This look really works for her because A) the smoky eyes were done in a matte brown shade and B) the lips were kept nude. Her makeup artist most likely used the scotch-tape method to achieve that sharp angled shadow line. Instead of following her naturally-rounded brow he/she extended it towards the temples in the same angle as the shadow. Bravissimo! The braided, twisted updo is dope too. I’d probably wear that to the grocery store. No, seriously.
Rooney played up her pale skin and inky black hair with strong brows and an aubergine lip. This lipstick trend isn’t going away anytime soon, folks. Every fall 2013 runway featured a dark purple/black lip like this, and surprisingly, it’s very wearable for all skin tones. The trick is to leave the eyes and cheeks bare, just like Rooney.
KStew, even with her awkwardness, really brought it to the Met. This is probably the best I’ve ever seen her look. She pulls off androgyny well in this red lacy pantsuit, slicked back hair and burgundy smoky eyes. The red shade is a complimentary shade for her beautiful green peepers, bringing them front and center. Not-so-fun-fact: Most people have skin allergies to red pigment and can’t wear it, me being one of them. I hope her eyes weren’t swollen and itchy after this.
I am the most excited about this look. Dakota pleasantly surprised me by taking a major makeup risk and It. Looks. Bomb. Her makeup artist highlighted the inner and bottom lids with a shimmering white pencil, then added disconnected angles in the inner corners with a liquid liner. He attached V-shaped liquid liner to the outer corners of her eyes. I just love the starkness of the angles against her clean skin. So little, and yet so much.
I don’t even care that she is wearing black eye shadow up to her eyebrows. This is freaking cool! What seems to be in homage to Cleopatra a’ la Liz Taylor, Ginnifer’s makeup artist created a “window” on each eye lid and kept all the color inside. Black and greenish-gold shadows were used to create this look. How perfect is this punk makeup look with her dress? I’m obsessed.
With the exception of this week’s cloudy skies, the temperatures are rising and this means my favorite time of year: SUMMER MAKEUP COLLECTIONS! Oh, the bright lips, the bronzers and waterproof liners! I’ll be rolling out some of my favorite brands’s collections one by one, and today I’m starting with Youngblood Cosmetics.
For those of you new to the brand, YB Skin is a salon-only beauty line created by dermatologist Pauline Youngblood. All the products are made cruelty-free and contain the best minerals for your skin. They even offer vegan and gluten-free formulas! Watch all the new products and trade show fun roll out on Youngblood Cosmetics’ Instagram here.
June 1st marks the day YB Skin launches their summer picks.
Lipstick in DRAGON FRUIT: $19
This long-lasting formula blends Sunflower oil, Jojoba seed and Vitamin E, making lips kissably smooth. The color is a sheer, clean pink that reminds me of watermelon. I adore the formula of this lipstick: it feels grease-less but soft at the same time! This is a fave for me.
Mighty Shiny Lip Gel in FLAUNT: $25.50
The Mighty Shiny Lip Gels have a high shine, sheer color and light vanilla scent, making them easy-to-wear when you’re on-the-go. With ingredients like Jojoba Seed, Almond Oil and antioxidants, you can feel good about what you’re putting on your mouth. The Flaunt shade for summer is a bright, clear pink with gold shimmer. It’s beautiful on it’s own or paired with Dragon Fruit lipstick.
Here I layered a NYX lip liner in Fuchsia under the Dragon Fruit lipstick. It really shows how versatile this lipstick is. You can wear it sheer on its own or pack a punch with a liner. Follow me on Instagram for more fun makeup photos!
I’ve always been a little intimidated of Kiehl’s skincare products. I walk past the pharmacy-esque store and never go in. Something about the white lab coats the skincare experts wear and all the medical-looking bottles just makes me feel like I don’t belong.
As a beauty blogger, it’s my job to know every brand out there.I started out slowly by signing up to Kiehl’s website alerts. I was impressed with the quality and ingredients of the products, but was slightly overwhelmed– there’s so many different collections! Which one is right for dry, oily and combo skin? Can you mix and match?
Last week, with a sense of duty, I strode into the Beverly Hills location of Kiehl’s to dive into this well-known brand that has been around since 1851. And I’m SO glad I did. A lab coat-wearing lady with glowing skin approached me and we chatted about a few of the collections. Here’s a recap of the things I took home and tried.
THE MIDNIGHT RECOVERY CONCENTRATE
What it is: This lightweight water-free serum is made with a combination of pure essential oils and botanicals. It works with your skin’s nocturnal schedule of healing so you wake up with healthy, glowing skin.
Ingredients: Squalene, Evening Primrose Oil and Lavender Oil.
Skin Type: This product is recommended for all skin types, including oily because it helps re-balance the natural sebum of an oilier skin type. That being said, use a very small, minimal amount of this product to keep from looking greasy.
THE MIDNIGHT RECOVERY EYE
What it is: This nighttime eye treatment feels like butter. It reduces lines, puffiness and dark circles with the same ingredients as the Midnight Recovery Concentrate plus Butcher’s Broom (a tree shrub chock full of powerful antioxidants) and good old H2O. The non-migrating cream texture ensures the product stays exactly where you put it, so it won’t irritate your eyes. I suggest patting this product onto the orbal bone of your eye.
Ingredients: Squalene, Evening Primrose Oil, Lavender Oil and Butcher’s Broom.
Skin Type: All skin types! And I stand behind that recommendation. This will rehydrate dry skin and firm up oily textures.
POWERFUL STRENGTH LINE-REDUCING CONCENTRATE
What it is: This powerful water and oil-free serum is formulated with 10.5% pure Vitamin C. That’s right, the same Vitamin C that boosts your immune system also exfoliates your skin while feeding antioxidants to your skin. Vitamin C is known to promote collagen production as well as brightens and smoothes the skin. It also helps reduce skin damage caused by factors like sun exposure and pollution. YES PLEASE!
Use this morning and evening (underneath makeup too) to protect your skin and reduce your lines. The serum heats up when applied because it reacts to the water in your skin- that’s how you know it’s working! According to my Kiehl’s skin care expert, Vitamin C is the best thing you can do for your skin. I am in absolute love with this product. My skin has looked brighter and felt smoother every since I started using it. Well worth the price!
Ingredients: Vitamin C of course!
Skin Type: This product is recommended for all skin types and should be used as the first part of any skin care routine. Use it day and night to fight wrinkles and feed your skin!
It’s that time of year again, when the birds start chirping and your bum get burned sitting in your hot car. Everyone whips out their various products: TIME TO START TANNING. I don’t know if there’s an actual memo email that goes out to women all over the states, but it seems like we all know just about when, and join in.
The Options- There are several ways to achieve an Adrianna Lima-goddess-style tan.
1) Self-tanning at home with products
2) Mystic or Airbrush tanning at the salon
3) A tanning bed
4) and of course the old-fashioned way, but lounging around at the beach or pool.
The Products- There are two different kinds of products for faking a tan on the market. One “stains” the skin for about a week, the other is simply a colored lotion with bronzer that washes off at the end of the night.
My absolute fave, as posted above, is St. Tropez Mousse. The mousse comes out a deep dark brown and develops into a golden tan on the skin. The mousse texture makes it easy to fix if you make mistakes over the elbows and knees. Moisturize your arms legs. On days I don’t use St. Tropez, I touch up with the Neutrogena Micro Mist spray in Dark or Deep Dark. The reason I run out into the backyard when I’m using the Micro Mist is because I’m not a fan of the harmful stuff that comes out of an aerosol can. I don’t want my doggy breathing it in!
I always recommend Mystic or Airbrush tanning for special occasions. What’s Mystic, you ask? You go into a machine naked with a bonnet over your hair and are blasted with micro-fine mist of tanner liquid. This process takes 2 minutes tops and develops throughout the day. Don’t shower for at least 8 hours to get the full effect. Most places offer a Groupon for it, keep your eyes peeled!
The other option is Airbrush Tanning. This is where you hire a professional at either the salon or someone who comes to you with their airbrush machine and compressor. They will spray you down individually with the same type of bronzer liquid. Just like Mystic, Airbrush Tanning will get darker throughout the day, so avoid showering for about 8 hours. Airbrush Tanning is preferred as it’s more of a “service.” Do whatever fits in your budget.
The last two options will expose you to harmful sun rays, leaving you susceptible to melanoma (skin cancer) and aging your skin (those tiny wrinkles around your eyes? Yup, that was the sun). Just avoid them at all costs! And at the beach and the pool, SPF 35 and above for your body. Reapply every two hours. Floppy hat? Check Dark sunglasses? CHECK.
The Steps For Self-Tanning At Home
For an even tan, use a body scrub with a loofah in the shower to slough off dead skin. Pat dry and apply a light lotion to your arms and legs. This will help your tanner go on smoother and avoids drying or cracking into the skin later. Here’s the tricky part: Apply your mousse or tanner lotion with the QUICKNESS. This stuff dries very quickly so you have to be fast. If you are using a Mist, you won’t need to rub it in, they are designed to melt right into your skin. Rub the bronzer mousse or lotion into the elbows and knees sparingly…these areas get dark and splotchy very quickly. Have a friend help you if you can’t reach your back.
Voila! Enjoy your glow for the next 3-4 days, then repeat this sunless and harm-free routine again and again.