Saturday, August 20, 2011

BB & CC Cream - Asia's Hottest Beauty Product for Flawless Skin Invades America

What is a BB cream and why is it so popular in Asia? 

The BB stands for Blemish Balm, an all in one beauty treatment! It brightens the skin, acts as a concealer to cover blemishes, hydrates like a moisturizer, evens out the skin like foundation, contains a high SPF to protect, and delivers serums to soothe, fight acne and aging. My model friend turned makeup artist, Colleen, just returned from Asia and shared this little pearl of wisdom with me, so I wanted to pass it on to you too!

This product was originally developed in Germany as an ointment for patients after they had undergone skin peels to protect, soothe and cover redness. From what I understand, a Korean actress used it after laser surgery as a daily cover up for her recovery and went on to publicize her experience and because of her testimony it became a highly hyped and sought after product launching in Korea around 2005. Spreading to Japan, then SouthEast Asia, and now to Europe and North America, these BB creams may be the next hybrid potion to really deliver!

Besides giving your face a natural flawless look while protecting your skin from the sun, prolonged use of these products are said to fade scars and improve the overall quality of your skin tone.
Before and after pictures using BB Cream:

Some of the most popular brands of BB Cream include Missha, Dr Jart+ (both available at Sephora), SkinFood and Liole. 
Many of the BB creams in Asia come in a variety of different tints but the ones  available today in the American market come only in one or two shades. Boscia's BB Cream has a light neutral beige which works perfectly with my skin and my girlfriend's whose skin is a different hue than mine. The girls at Sephora told me that it works on most everyone unless you are very dark or tan, because it seeps into your skin and self adjusts the color so that it looks invisible, giving you a flawless finish. In the US and UK, MAC, Dior, Smashbox, Clinique and Estee Lauder have all launched their own BB Creams. These 5 in 1 multitaskers are similar to a tinted moisturizer used alone or under makeup, but add a radiance with skincare benefits. I see this easily becoming my weekend go-to product!

Even though you may be just now learning about a BB Cream, there is already a new and improved ... CC cream, on the market. The CC (Color Control) Creams promise to provide better coverage with more skin nourishing ingredients than their older BB predecessors. I have been a fan of the BB creams because of the high SPF and tinted skincare benefits, but my complaint is that they are a little too heavy to wear especially on hot humid days. Well, someone else must have thought so too because the new CC Creams include the high UVA/UVB SPF protection with a lighter and less oily formulation that expertly covers uneven skin tone. Plus most include Vitamin C and a skin brightening primer.


Chanel, whose iconic double C's seem especially made for this Cream, launched their own CC Cream in Asia. They have not yet announced the US release of this product but you can be sure beauty bloggers are already looking for an Asian connection to get their hands on it. Interestingly enough, it looks like drugstore brand and long trusted skincare line Olay, might be first up to bat in the U.S. with their anticipated launch of Total Effects CC Tone Correcting UV Moisturizer in October - available in 3 shades for $22. 

But if you're like me and gotta have it now ... well, where there is a will there is a way! The only CC Cream seemingly available in the states is Rachel K's best selling and highly hyped balm, founded by Miss Singapore Rachel Kum. Available for sale on the ever popular shopping site Ebay. This in demand product is sold in 2 colors - one for yellow undertones (the pink bottle "neutral" color) and one for pink undertones (the black bottle "original" color). Of course this begs the next question ... How do I know what undertone I am?

Undertone is the natural skin coloring that we were born with, notwithstanding the surface color of your skin from weather or skin conditions like acne or rosacea. It's possible to change the color appearance of your skin with makeup or skin products but the idea of finding your undertone is based on the skin you were born with. I think the easiest, fastest way to check is by holding your thumb firmly against your inner forearm for 10 seconds. When you release your thumb, the blood should rush back into the covered area and reveal your true undertone - yellow or pink.

If you have a warm or yellow undertone your skin usually tans and does not burn. And if you look at the underside of your arm, your veins may have a slight greenish tint if you can see them at all.

If your skin has a cool or pink undertone you probably burn first before you achieve a tan and if you look at your veins on the underside of your arm, they will appear blue.

I think whichever  BB or CC Cream you pick will quickly work it's way into your everyday staple because using it corrects uneven face color instantly - tricking people into thinking you have naturally flawless skin without having to worry about the precision of foundation, powder, concealer, primer, brighteners ... All in one! Plus it's good for your skin because of the vitamins, anti aging ingredients and SPF . Remember the big difference between the two is that the CC Creams have a lighter texture.

A little secret about applying the creams ... for areas around the nose or other pigmented areas that need a little more concealing, pat instead of rub to create a layer to cover the redness and even out skin color.

And I couldn't end this post without wondering if a DD Miracle Cream to enhance "you know what"  is on the horizon? Let's hope so!

Shelley GoodStein is a 47 year old FORD model who speaks to women through television, national articles and public forums about a model's secrets to looking good from the inside out and the beauty of aging! She is the author of Face This: Advice From Real Models, Photographers and Make Up Artists on How to Become Picture Perfect!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Stress can make you look OLD

Are you starting to show your age or worse … look older than you actually are? Avoiding anxiety is one of the easiest ways to “cheat your biological clock” according to research published by Bahman Guyuron in the medical journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.

Female identical twins were studied to see what factors made one look older than the other.  Women that underwent the stress of a divorce were perceived to look almost 2 years older than their sister who was married, single or widowed.  Take home message girls: You are better off staying single than ending up in a bad relationship.

They also found that extra weight over forty helped to soften wrinkles in the face but the added pounds under forty caused skin to sag and obscure youthful features like a smooth jawline. It’s often been said that as a woman ages she must choose between her body and her face. According to Dr Guyuron, being thin is what ages us the most, "Excessive loss of weight can be detrimental to youthfulness and attractiveness after the age of 40"... leaving older women looking gaunt. However, thanks to injectible dermal fillers that can help restore lost facial volume, you no longer have to choose between having a big butt or a beautiful face.

Unfortunately, taking anti-depressants was shown to effect appearance negatively, finding that women who used them looked  “significantly older” than a twin that had no history of anti-depressant use. Guyuron speculates that these drugs tend to weaken eye muscles, causing the area to look droopy and relaxing the facial muscles to cause sagging or jowls.

Healthy living choices definitely made a difference in keeping a youthful face. Sun worshippers and those women that smoked or drank more alcohol, looked older than their sibling.

Sooner or later, the choices you make in your life and anything that contributes to a person’s stress will show up “written on your face.” Genetics obviously pays a factor in contributing to how we age, but this study, holding genetics identically constant, reinforces that how we react and the choices we make in our lifestyle (booze, smoking, sun) can impact that youthful glow above just DNA alone.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Beyond a SHADOW of doubt ... the perfect color for your eyes!

School started this week in Arizona for my kids and while I was there to register my 8th grade son, I was reminded of a couple things from my own school days ...  experimenting with eye shadow as a teenager and art class. The good news for curious girls is that when you are young your face can handle all those glittery, wild tints but as we age it is important to focus on enhancing with color. After all, our eyes capture the attention for our entire face! So time to brush up on what hues are best for your eye color. 

The colors directly opposite of your eye color on the color wheel are called complimentary colors and that’s exactly what they do - compliment your eyes! They will pop your eye and give you your most dramatic look. Your shoes can match your outfit, but your eye color should match your complexion. You can also break that old school rule, that says you shouldn't wear eyeshadow the same color as your eye, by paying attention to the shade you are choosing.

For blue eyes complimentary colors are orange, pink and golds.
Avoid aqua shades because they will compete with your blue eye color.
Lavender will give your eyes a gray blue tone.
Rusty oranges will make your blue electric.
Smoky eyes done with gold, bronzes will be killer with a light blue eye.
If you use blues try silvery, gray or navy.

Green or hazel eye's complementary colors are pink, purples, and orange.
Mustards and peaches will give brightness.
Gold is great to highlight.
Light green and khaki are colors to try in the green family. Also brown with a red undertone (think sienna or pimento) can be nice.

Many women with green eyes have fair skin and freckles, so try to avoid eye shadows that are too shimmery or deep in color. Olive skin green eyed girls should avoid silvery blue shadows.
Sometime black eyeliner is too harsh for your eyes so consider making you eyes stand out by lining with violet or dark brown.

If you have brown eyes you hit the jackpot because almost any color works for you.
Brown eyes have no complementary color because brown is actually a combination of other colors. 
Try jewel tones. For a dramatic effect use midnight blue. Just watch out when using brown colors so that your eyes don’t start to look muddy.

Look inside your brown peepers for just a hint of a green, gold or blue fleck and borrow from those color palettes to pop your unique color. The intensity of the eyeshadow you choose should depend on your skin tone – the lighter your skin tone, the less intense color you should use.

Deep brown almost appearing black eyes can use darker colors but be careful they don’t look too harsh. Try highlighting with the lighter flecks of color in your eyes.

Medium and light brown eyes are the easiest to work with. Consider purples and mauves, copper, golds, bronzes, greens  - use the darker colors in your crease and be careful not to overpower the color of your eye.

Back to school for EVERYONE!

Monday, August 8, 2011

There's an App for that! Best in iPhone 4 Women.

About a week after my husband gave me my iPhone I fell in love all over again! I could easily check my email, log on to Facebook, see the weather, set an alarm, and listen to music all with a simple click from my home screen. Oh yeah and make phone calls! Then I discovered apps ... and my love affair went to a completely committed, all time high. Sharing a few of my favorites that just might Rock your world too.

1. MyFitnessPal – FREE  (Personal dietician)
A model is always watching her weight and the best calorie counter on the iPhone, MyFitnessPal, lets you set your daily calorie goal and then record daily exercise and food you eat (over 1,000,000) to make sure you are staying on target. It will also help you when you go out to eat with caloric numbers from popular menu items of PFChangs, CPK, Subway and more. Once you’re logged in you can enter your current weight, height and sex and go on to create your personal profile with how much you wish to gain, or lose. It will calculate for you the number of calories you need to eat and the number you need to burn to meet your goal. No need to write it all down anymore in a food diary, plus you can go back to track your progress from week to week.  Motivation from your phone!

2. TripIt – FREE (Personal Travel Agent)
Traveling for photoshoots and bookings, TripIt puts all your travel plans in one place. To use it open your account online and forward your confirmation emails to with the email you signed up with.  It will automatically scan and consolidate them into one travel itinerary for you. You can see all the details of your TripIt  itineraries whether you are online or airport mode offline. Get maps and directions, link to airlines and dial phone numbers to hotels on your iPhone straight from your TripIt  itineraries. Are you also the master travel agent? Keep all of your family members trip info here, by date. Simply forward their confirmations from your email too, so that you have everyone’s whereabouts at your fingertips!

3. Kindle – FREE e reader
Amazon’s e-reader has been around awhile, but now you can buy the books to read without the Kindle device. The Kindle app allows you to download and read all of their e-books right on your phone. No need to carry the paper version of your favorite book around or another electronic reader, just your iPhone! Don’t forget – Face This is available for only $9.99 on Kindle. Keep instant access on your phone for easy updates when you’re taking photos. P.S. I find the screen size on my iPhone is the perfect distance for eyes in need of a little  aging “focal” help.

4. Evernote – FREE  (“real” memory storage)
As a writer who is self-published, self-promoting and self everything, I am always writing ideas down. I used to jot notes everywhere to jog my memory so that they weren’t lost forever. My iPhone has a built in notes app but it doesn’t sync to the computer so they are stuck on the phone. Evernote syncs with your computer and can save photos, notes and record voice memos. Helps you remember everything … from snapping a photo of the wine label you loved at dinner to that favorite joke someone just told you!

5. MINT – FREE (personal banker/bookkeeper/financial advisor)
Mint  tracks your income, spending and investment balances and transactions together all in one place so you can have access to your entire financial picture all in one place. Mint is connected to almost every financial institution with Internet banking capabilities in a password-protected site. Give your credit card some attention, pre-set budgets, categorize your spending and track progress of your financial goals.

6. Grocery IQ  – FREE (errand boy)
Popular at my house, Grocery IQ saves the need to phone home while you're at the grocery store. When you run out of an item, before throwing it out, just scan the bar code (with your phone’s camera) and it will appear in your list. Mine is synced with my husband and when either of us updates this list we get a notice on our iPhone telling us that the Grocery IQ has been updated. even allows you to store coupons in your phone so you no longer have to remember to bring them to the store.

7. iPeriod – FREE  (Personal Assistant /Menstrual Calendar)
To help you remember when she comes to visit every month there’s an app called iPeriod. A password-protected app with a built in calendar to track your time of the month, most fertile days and an email notification system to warn you of upcoming or late arrivals. No more stuttering when asked at your doctor’s office the time of the start of your last cycle.


Who Called? – FREE 
When you get calls from a number you don’t recognize this app will find out who’s calling by using reverse phone lookup.

Date Check – FREE (private investigator)
Allows you to scan "Sleaze Detector" for criminal records, a "$$$" feature with details about home ownership and other "vital" statistics. There's even a "Compatibility" feature to help you find out the chances of a relationship to sizzle or fizzle.

The Bad Decision Blocker – 99 cents (Worth every penny!)
You know he’s not good for you, but you can’t resist calling or texting him. The Bad Decision Blocker app, hide’s his contact information for up to one week to eliminate the temptation to contact that bad boy or ex by putting his number on lockdown. And it can’t be reversed until the time is up. Only works if you don’t know his number by heart, but before blocking a contact, you must delete any text message conversations and all previous call history that exists with Mr Wrong. (The app can’t do this for you) 


Baby’s First App – 99cents 
You’d pay 5Xs more for this built in entertainer. Useful for waiting rooms, restaurants and planes ... you can entertain your little one and help them learn with this app.  With a touch of the screen your toddler will hear and see letters, numbers, animals, colors and shapes. Another similar iPhone app to check out is Toddler Cards for $1.99

Family Car Games   $1.99 (Are we there yet?)
Entertaining backseat passengers for hours, this app gives instructions for 100 no-equipment needed, family games to play anywhere while you are waiting to pass the time together. After you get the instructions you can put away the phone so there is no fighting over who gets the iPhone (also no car sickness from staring at it!)

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The Skinny on Alcohol

A new study in Europe suggests that not only does alcohol make you fat, but scientists also found that most women who drink have an alcohol-altered body shape with a half-inch larger waistline compared to women that consume little or no alcohol.   

Cutting alcohol out of your diet can be an effective way to lose weight; after all, it’s called a “beer belly” for a reason. In this particular study of over 250,000 Europeans, it was found that women, much more so than men, appear to store the fat gained by long-term alcohol consumption in their abdomens.

Although alcohol contains calories, (7 calories per gram, making it almost twice as calorie-laden as protein or carbohydrates which contain only 4 calories per gram) it is important that you know that alcohol is metabolized differently than carbs. Most of it is converted in your liver to acetate, which is used for energy.  Your body views alcohol as a toxin and it is placed first in your system to be oxidized and used for fuel instead of using the carbs, protein and fat that are present. These sources take a back seat when you consume alcohol because your body uses the increased levels of acetate for energy instead - slowing down your metabolism of fat.

Remember weight loss and weight gain are dictated by calorie surplus or calorie deficit. A light beer is 110 calories. A 5 oz glass of red wine is around 100 calories, but keep in mind some wine glasses hold up to 12 oz. so it really depends on the pour.

With a minor in Math, it is easy for me to go straight to the numbers - so if you consume an extra 100 calories per day than you work off, that will add up to a weight gain of 10 pounds per year. A 5 oz pour before dinner and another with your meal and you’re up to 200 extra calories a day or 20 pounds a year.

If the scale isn’t budging or you’re having difficulty changing your body shape consider treating the wine and beer you’re drinking as a food because it may be making you fat! Anytime you consume more than you burn the extra has to be stored somewhere … as body fat, and most likely around your middle.