Category Archives: eyebrows

Get Rid of Your "Stress Face"… Permanently?

Remember botox and restalyne? Well, apparently the newest trend in cosmetic surgery to get rid of the dreaded “elevens” aka furrowed brows, aka “stress face” isn’t an lifetime series of injections in your head. On the contrary, it’s simple and permanent…and was discovered accidentally (of course).

Don’t get me wrong. When I say simple, I don’t mean easy. In truth, it’s a little horrifying — or maybe a lot horrifying depending on your level of comfort with medical procedures.

A few years ago, it was discovered that the removal of a certain facial muscle called the corrugator (yes, I did say REMOVAL) was quite effective in helping ease the pain of migraine sufferers. Well, guess what? A side effect of this muscle removal was a nice, smooth forehead.

Corrugator Excision: Before and AfterSo (surprise!) the cosmetic surgery community has latched onto this new procedure and are selling it as the next fountain of youth.

A onetime procedure that costs about the same as two years of Botox (wow!) will remove the corrugator muscle that creates vertical wrinkles between the brows. It’s usually done in conjunction with upper-eyelid surgery (might as well, right?).

If you’re not down with spending $8000 and removing facial muscles at this juncture (or any juncture) in your life, GirlPaint recommends a far less painful and somewhat more affordable option: face cream. More particularly, Skyn Iceland Stress Defense Cream with Biospheric Complex.

Offering a botanical alternative to injection treatments, Skyn Iceland Stress Defense Cream uses gABA technology derived from tomato, ginseng, and portulaca extracts to help relax and smooth tension lines, brow furrows, fine lines, and wrinkles instantly.

Yep, good ol’ gABA. It’s quick, almost instant in fact. The worst that might happen is that you experience a little stinging (gABA is known to sting a little bit, especially when you first use it). One caveat: the effects don’t last, so you gotta apply  Skyn Iceland Stress Defense Cream with Biospheric Complex every day to get the de-creasing benefit (sorry, I couldn’t resist).

image courtesy Michael R. Schwartz, MD, FACS

Got the Economy Blues? Beat 'Em with These Beauty Values

Economy got you down? Have you — like most everyone else — had to pare back your beauty regimen to just the basics? I’m here to tell you that just because there’s less money in the coffers (or in your pocketbook) you don’t have to give up on having the latest cosmetic finds.

Here are a few AMAZING values for your beauty box that won’t break the bank.

Smashbox Try Me collection
Smashbox Try Me collection, $29

Smashbox gives us sooooooo many options when it comes to looking for a great bargain. One of their best is the Try Me collection featuring best-selling signature items, all in portable trial sizes to give you a flawless face at home or on-the-go. For $29 (!!!), Smashbox generously includes Photo Finish Primer, Photo Op Under Eye Brightener, Brow Tech & Cream Eye Liner Pallette, Double-Ended Eye Liner & Brow Brush, Lip Enhancing Gloss in Crystal (sheer), and a special instructional DVD.

Sephora Deluxe Palette
Sephora Deluxe Palette, $32

Sephora’s Deluxe Palette (only $32 but valued at $200) is a sleek, triple-tiered compact that opens to reveal eyeshadow, blush, lip gloss, and powder on stackable, sliding trays. A selection of applicators and a mirror embedded under the lid give you all the tools to create a polished, impeccable look anytime, anywhere. This savvy, multitasking set has it all: 18 eyeshadows, two cream eyeshadows, two blushes, two compact powders, 24 lip glosses, two double-sided sponge applicators, a double-sided blush/powder brush, two lip gloss brushes, all in a chic black case.

Bare Escentuals Go Bare Kit $32
Bare Escentuals Go Bare Kit, $32

Bare Escentuals helps us beat the bear with its Go Bare Kit, a six-piece set of mini BareMinerals must-haves. This set features a miniature versions of Eyecolor in Joy, Blush in Golden Gate, Mineral Veil, Buxom Big & Healthy Lip Polish in Eva, a Contour Shadow brush, and a Flawless Application brush, all housed in a portable box with a built-in mirror.

So there you have it. It really doesn’t cost a fortune to look beautiful, or have the latest and greatest beauty buys from some of the best around….

Stila Shine On Gift of Glaze: another great value collection!

Take 10 Years Off Your Age Right Now, Pt. 1

Properly applied make up can make you look fabulous. But unless it’s done the right way and using the right amount, make up can actually add years to your face.

As a 37 year old former makeup artist, I’ve learned a few simple tips to follow that will help you look younger starting today:

FACE

  • Moisturize your skin–face and neck–with a light moisturizer before you apply your makeup…and allow it to sink in, about 5-10 minutes
  • Apply makeup primer BEFORE any makeup. The least expensive and one of the most effective I’ve found (it rivals Smashbox): Monistat Anti-Chafing Gel. It contains the EXACT same ingredients as most of the best makeup primers. Plus, you can pick up a tube at most drugstores for $5
  • Apply your concealer BEFORE foundation. Using your finger or a concealer brush, pat a little concealer under your eyes, around your nose and on any blemishes or discoloration. Concealer before foundation prevents you applying too much foundation.
  • Apply less foundation. And switch to mineral foundation. The better brands and newest formulations (Jane Iredale, Everyday Minerals are some of my favorites) give excellent NATURAL coverage with a light application
  • Apply blush to the apple (round part that pops out when you smile) of your cheeks. For a youthful glow, use a cheek stain or cream blush in a pink, rosy or peach-y color
  • Blend your makeup well and use a light touch

Take 10 Years Off Your Age Right Now, Pt. 2

A few more simple tips to follow that will help you look younger starting today:

EYES

  • Groom your eyebrows. Pluck only stray hairs (those are the ones that fall outside your natural eyebrow)
  • Apply eyeliner to the top lash line only. And unless you have medium-or-dark toned skin, DO NOT use black eyeliner. Brown, grey, plum and green are better for fair-to-light toned skin
  • Apply two coats of mascara maximum. One coat for daytime wear is best
  • Curl your lashes. If you don’t like the traditional lash curlers, use an electric version. Sephora’s is terrific and a great deal at $16
  • Avoid shimmery eyeshadow
  • EXCEPTION to above tip: Use a shade-lighter-than-your-skin-tone colored shimmery eyeshadow applied with a light touch to your brow bone (the area just below the outter two-thirds of the eyebrow), AND apply a dab of shimmery ivory shadow to the inner corner of your eyes. These tips really open up the eye area–young!
  • Also, avoid ‘cool’ eyeshadow colors like grey, blue, true green. Opt for colors like pink, peach, gold, warm greens (olive, moss, sage), plum, ivory, brown, taupe

Take 10 Years Off Your Age Right Now, Pt. 3

And even more simple tips that will help you look younger starting today:

LIPS

  • Use lipgloss or sheer lipstick–NOT lipstick. Use a shade just deeper than your natural lip color. Avoid ‘cool’ colors and dark colors. Instead, choose a sheer pink, peach, rose, mauve or berry
  • Apply lipbalm or clear gloss when not wearing colored gloss. This will keep your lips moist and young-looking all the time

More Anti-Aging Tips:

  • Take care of your skin by cleansing, moisturizing and nourishing it every day using good skin care–P.S. good does not necessarily mean expensive
  • Wear SPF 15 (or higher) sunscreen every day
  • Drink a gallon of water every day
  • Go for a walk at lunch, shoot for 3 times a week. It’s a great excuse to catch up on your window shopping; just don’t take your wallet–debt makes you look and feel old
  • Smile, or better yet, laugh–a lot
  • Eat plenty of protein, complex carbs, fruits and vegetables
  • Manage your stress levels. Take up knitting, painting, piano, yoga or meditation. Find something you like to do and ‘just do it’
  • Get plenty of sleep–sleep is a proven fountain of youth

Naturally Beautiful for Spring…Youth pt. 2 of 3

Time for makeup…but first, makeup primer.

You’ve worked hard to achieve the perfect base for your makeup, and using a makeup primer will help to ensure that your skin stays soft, smooth and protected all day. Try Bloom’s Makeup Base $18; its gentle formulation is both light and protective and will give your foundation a good base on which to sit (notice I said ‘sit’ and not ‘settle’ because the last thing you want is your makeup settling into your pores and wreaking havoc on your skin). Plus, most primers contain silicones that help to absorb excess oil on the surface of your skin. The secret to applying primer is using as little as possible (think pea-sized amount or less) and just skimming the surface of your skin—do not rub it in.

Next comes foundation. Makeup foundation can be tricky, and makeup made-easy is my favorite kind of makeup. Many wonderful (and easy-to-apply), natural-looking mineral foundations are now available. Reasons to use (and love) mineral foundation are 1) because it’s applied with a brush, it tends to be far more hygienic than its liquid cousins and hence, far less likely to cause breakouts, 2) it contains health-promoting minerals like titanium dioxide and mica which impart protection, stability, silky texture and are naturally anti-bacterial, and 3) it offers controllable coverage so that you can achieve the perfect finish for your skin.

Important points to remember when choosing your mineral foundation are to look for one that is the right color (match the color on your jawline—it should blend perfectly with own your natural skin color, with perhaps just a hint of yellow to neutralize any redness) and one that does not contain talc, aka talcum powder, which can settle into your pores, encourage the growth of icky bacteria, cause breakouts and actually enlarge the size of your pores over time—who needs that?! Recommended: Splash Sheer Mineral Powder is the line’s best selling product. Contains SPF15. Covers and protects your face at one brush. $25

Applying mineral foundation to achieve the perfect finish requires just a little practice, and you know what they say…practice makes perfect! First, shake just a little bit of the powder into lid of the container. Next, lightly rub a medium-sized face brush or Kabuki brush into the powder and tap off the excess powder into the container. You should see almost no product left on the brush. Now, starting with your cheeks, use light, circular strokes to ‘buff’ the powder onto your face. Do not worry about covering dark circles, blemishes or red spots during this step. Just buff a layer or two of mineral powder onto your skin to even out the overall color and tone of your skin. The use of very little powder, plus the small, circular buffing is what will create amazingly smooth-looking, pore-free skin, so follow these instructions implicitly!

Next comes the ‘concealing’ step. Using a smaller brush–a medium eye shadow brush works perfectly—dip the bristles into the mineral powder. Again, tap of the excess. Now buff out any circles under your eyes and any red spots or blemishes on your face—remember to use a light touch and keep the brush moving. Repeat this step as necessary to ‘erase’ any imperfections around your nose and on your chin and cheeks. You may need to switch to a smaller brush to hide smaller blemishes and freckles.

Now that you have neutralized the color of your face and achieved a soft, natural base, it’s time to add definition and healthy color. Always apply makeup, in particular powdered colors, from the top down. The reason is that many powdered colors, like eye shadow, brow powders and even some eye liners tend to ‘tumble’ down onto your cheeks. You will want to sweep these little flecks of color away, and if you’ve already applied blush or highlighter to your cheeks, you’ll end up having to reapply, resulting in a cake-y, heavy look that is decidedly unnatural—and a Big No-No.

Enhancing your eyebrows, even just a little, can have an amazing and dramatic affect on your entire face–in a very positive way, no less!. Brows frame the face, just like your picture frame frames your favorite artwork…and without the frame, it just ain’t right!

Brow powders are best in achieving the ‘natural look’ because of the soft definition they impart. And the best brow powder kit is NYC’s Eyebrow Kit. The colors are very natural and the quality is remarkable; plus the price is incredibly reasonable. Select the correct color kit to enhance your natural eyebrow and hair color. NYX Eyebrow Kit–Long lasting eyebrow cake powder has two shades to blend and the perfect natural eyebrow. To fill and define eyebrows, apply with slanted eyebrow brush and then shape and style with round brush, aka spoolie– Start by brushing your brows upward and outward, using either a brow brush or ‘spoolie’ like the one you’ll find in NYC’s Eyebrow Kit. Next, using a stiff-bristled angled brush (there’s one included in NYC’s Eyebrow Kit!), tap the end of the bristles in the lighter of the two shades and, using short, light strokes, brush the color into the end of your brows closest to your nose. $4

To maintain the most natural look as possible, do not brush the brow color all the way to the edge of your brow. Every few seconds, stand back and survey your results, checking the color intensity and overall balance. If you need to deepen the color a little bit, use a little bit of the darker brow powder and brush lightly into your brows. Follow the natural shape of your brows as you apply. As a last step to ensure the color coverage is even, lightly brush through your brows with your brow brush or spoolie tool. Voila!

If you like to use eyeliner, now is the time to apply it. Just use a soft, smudgy color, like chocolate or dark gray, and apply it only to the top lash line, making sure to ‘hug’ the lash-line as you apply it.

Keeping with the natural, healthy look we want to achieve, sweep a layer of eyeshadow in a color one shade lighter than your eyelids over the entire lid area. Pick a shadow with a hint of shimmer if you like…yes, just a hint (no glitter, please). The Amuse makeup line features some beautiful shadows in a range of ‘natural’ skin-tone colors, from pearly white and shimmery pink to soft olive and rich bronze. $22

E.L.F.: Fur Free in More Ways Than One

Support beautiful brows and the Humane Society in one fell swoop when you purchase E.L.F.’s Professional Tweezer Set...and for only $5.

E.L.F. Professional Tweezers aren’t those cheap, “off the shelf” tweezers, either. These are honest-to-goodness pro-quality. A nice, sharp, slanted edge….good weight; and they come in a cute, little custom-made, snap-close pouch.

Brow Grooming Tips
Eyebrows are usually the most neglected part of a person’s face and yet they are the most important feature on a person’s face. They tell people a lot about you. When they are properly tweezed or glued down, they help to balance facial features. They draw attention to the eyes like a picture frame for the eyes and they are never noticed. If they are improperly tweezed they draw attention to themselves. They give the face an unbalanced and can give the face a character from a comic book. Groom your eyebrows and you will look well polished.

  • Align a long handle brush with the side of the nose and the inside corner of the eye. This is where the brow should begin
  • Align brush with the edge of the nostril and the outside corner of the eye. This is where the brow should end.
  • Align your brush with the beginning and the end of both brows. The brow should begin and end on the same level.
  • Align your brush with the outside rim of your iris (the coloured part of your eye). This is where the arch should be.
  • The brow should be one thickness from beginning to end, tapering slightly at the end. Align your brush handle with the highest points of both brows to indicate this.
Fixing Problem Brows
  • Thick Brows are identified by the stray hairs that grow down into the crease area of the eye lid. This closes the space between the brow and the crease, consequently, making the eye appear smaller and closed.
  • Brows That Are Too Long are identified by the stray hairs that grow down the outer corner of the eyebrow. This creates the illusion of drooping eyes. It changes the whole face and creates a very sad or melancholy look. It also makes the eyes appear older.
  • One Brow Look or Unibrow can be identified by the stray hairs that grow across the bridge of the nose. This gives the illusion of having one eyebrow over two eyes. It creates a very stern, unpleasant and angry look. This also makes the eyes look close set.
  • Brows that have a rounded or too high of an arch. These can be identified by the excessive space from the crease to the brow. This creates a quizzical or a stunned appearance. It also gives the illusion of a permanent frown line and makes the eyes appear to be smaller.
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