Jill Ann

The Science behind the Beauty and the beauty behind the science

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Beauty tips that will help make your “walk of shame” less well…..shameful! =)

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Its none of my business whether you spent the night or not with him ;)  But spending the night doesn’t always need to involve a significant other. Whether you are in a relationship with your main squeeze, married and having a couples night or weekend getaway or just doing your thing,or even crashing at you girlfriends place, you have already spent the night or in the future may.

So if you happen to wake up in the kitchen asking "how the f*** did this ish happen?!?!"  And the theme song of last night was Beyonce’s “drunken love” you will be prepared ;) I have provided both beauty, fashion and hair tips for the morning after!

 ***NOTE: I am not suggesting casual sex to ANYONE. I am not telling any young women to have casual sex nor am I "glamourizing" casual sex, I am however promoting SAFE SEX for whomever decides to do it***

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Mouthwash and or Listerine Strips: There is a reason that this is first on the list!I think these 2 are the most important. Nothing screams “WALK OF SHAME!” like your breath reeking from last nights drinking, smoking, eating, etc. Not just for your significant other but for yourself. Having a rinse of mouth wash making my mouth feel fresh will make me feel much better. I always try to keep a mini mouthwash on me every day anyway.

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Travel toothbrush: Any drugstores would have this complete with a compact case. Great to have. Nothing feels better than brushing my teeth when I am hung over. If you have time to make one thing fresh and clean the morning after, make it your mouth! As I said before I think oral hygiene is the most important thing to worry about in the morning.

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Travel Deodorant: A cute itty bitty deodorant/antiperspirant is convenient to have whether or not you get to shower. In the summers I usually carry this every day anyway if I know I will be sweating more. If you did not get a chance to shower wherever you slept, the powdery scent of Dove deodorant can help you feel and smell a bit more fresh.

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Sunglasses: Chances are you won’t have much makeup products on you to put on a full face. Sunglasses will hide your tired puffy eyes and dark circles and keep the sunlight from making your headache a million times worse!

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Contact lens case and contact solution if applicable and or your eyeglasses: I do not wear glasses or contacts but I know for a fact that it is not good to sleep with them left in your eyes. Chances are if you are tired (and or hungover) you  won’t feel like popping them back in your eyes in the morning and will want to wear your glasses instead!

Eye drops ( While I am on the topic of eyes!): This can help make you look a bit more refreshed if your eyes are blood shot. This also can feel quite refreshing. Visine  (or any “get the red out” formulation eye drops) is the classic but I am a huge fan of Rohto-V. They cause a cooling tingling sensation in the eye which is NOT for everyone or those with extra sensitive eyes. Some people  might perceive this as a burning sensation but I happen to love how it feels. You eyes will both look and feel more awake and refreshed.

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Dry Shampoo: To soak up excess oils at the roots or to help mask the odor of your hair which might smell like a sweaty bar or night club by the next morning. Drugstores have a wide variety lately.

Headband, hair elastic, bobby pins: To do a simple ponytail or bun, or any easy fast up-do to look a bit more put together in the morning. I will do a blog about “off day” hair but here are some ideas below. A simple headband and an elastic can take you from completely sloppy to polished up!

Travel body wash: Great to have to help wake you up with a fresh fruity scent but if you’re lucky to be able to shower where you crash, soap and water is great on its own! In the drugstore travel aisle :)

Body Spray: Great if you will not be showering where you crash. It makes you feel a bit more fresh and would mask the odors of alcohol, smoke, sweat , smoke, etc. Smelling good will make you feel better. I always keep one in my bag. LOVE SPELL & AMBER ROMANCE by VICTORIA’S SECRET are my favorites :)

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Makeup-removing towelettes: Another thing that really shouts out “WALK OF SHAME!” from the roof top really is running mascara, encrusted black stuff on your face and broken out skin from not washing it the night before!!! If you don’t get to wash your face wherever you’re crashing, keep a small travel pack in your purse. At FIVE BELOW stores I have found the Neutrogrena makeup removing wipes in a small travel size. They literally take everything off the face without irritation. Dollar stores have packs of them as well.

Fresh Underwear: Don’t laugh. There is a panty in a small package called “ho on the go” And it also comes with a toothbrush, moist towelette and a condom. There are actually a bunch of “kits” made for spending the night. There is a “Walk of Shame Kit” and a “Shame on you” kit as well.

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Something easy to throw on: Draw string pants or yoga pants with a tank or a plain basic tee shirt dress. Great to have if you know ahead of time that you will spend the night especially if you know that you have have a tendency to spend the night where you are staying in particular. If your significant other or friend offers you you’re own drawer in the bedroom leave a spare set of clothes there. See my previous post on ” Building an off day wardrobe” to get some ideas :)

Plastic bag: for the dirty clothes (duh!)

So did you just leave the gym or did you spend the night somewhere and just walking home now?!?! Nobody will ever be able to tell ;) I hope this little guide helps you ladies (and gents!)

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How to build yourself a lounge wear wardrobe!

Lounge wear does not have to look sloppy. If you’re a stay at home Mom, work from home, have a day off from work or just a college student lounging inside of your dorm (or at home), ditching the baggy sweats and ripped up stained baggy tee shirt and trading them in for something cuter will help you both look good and feel good.

The Basic Pieces

1. Yoga Pants: They are much more flattering to the female figure compared to baggy sweats and look okay to wear out to run a quick errand; to grab a coffee or a newspaper, etc. They are comfy, stretchy, have a flattering fold over waist line. Dark colors usually are the most flattering like classic black, charcoal grey and navy blue and match with whatever you wear on top. Some have really fun waistbands. I have bought yoga pants in the past from Target and Victoria’s Secret. Yoga pants are available almost everywhere from stores like GAP & OLD NAVY to Department stores to KMART and WALMART. Some stores also specifically sell lounge wear such as GAP BODY and AERIE. Ann Taylor LOFT also has a nice selection of lounge wear.

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2. Leggings: These can be flattering on everybody if the ones you purchase have a thicker material and the right size. Leggings should be form fitting but never skin tight no matter how much you weigh. Wear with a long v-neck tee and a cardigan or hooded sweatshirt on top. Solid dark colors like black, navy and chocolate are the most flattering and the easiest to work with while building up your outfit. I am not a huge fan of printed leggings but if you like them go right ahead! :) I have bought leggings in the past from TARGET, JC PENNEY, MACY’s and ANN TAYLOR LOFT.

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3. Plain Tee’s and tanks: Lounge wear tanks and tees shouldn’t necessarily be baggy but of course they can be slightly loose and long for comfort. A v-neck shape flatters most shapes. Extra long styles that cover your bum look great with leggings! While plain colors work best with everything, a graphic tee with a fun pattern or print works nicely too!

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4. Chic, Feminine sweat pants: I like the more form fitting sweat pants out on the market. Brands that I like for cute sweats are Abercrombie & Fitch and from the Victoria’s secret PINK collection. They come in a lot of colors and styles usually with bright girly graphics.

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5. Classic Sneakers: Slip on sneakers are the easiest. Classics such as Converse and KEDS look more chic and feminine compared to athletic sneakers. Save those for the gym!

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6. A long comfy, cozy cardigan: Or also known as a car coat or sweater coat. It can keep you warm and comfy but also tie your look together in case you have some place to go or a fast errand to run. This all depends on the style and length of the sweater you have. Typically this is not the cardigan sweater you would wear out unless you were going through a drive-through. This shape is long and loose to wear while lounging indoors. Mine happens to be camel colored, has a tie around waist and is almost long enough to pose as a bath robe! It has become longer and looser since I had lost a lot weight (3 dress sizes). It is very comfortable and looks cute with a tee shirt, and leggings or yoga pants. Add slippers or moccasins! Combined with sweats might be too frumpy looking. But that is just my opinion. I wear it for many indoor activities from blogging, doing school work on the computer, reading, breakfast/morning coffee to evening TV after my bath or shower. It is much more feminine when compared to a snuggie!

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7. Hoodies: There are cute selections of graphic hoodies in stores like Victoria’s Secret & American Eagle,Target, JC Penney, Aeropostale, etc. depending on your age and style preference. For simpler styles try stores such as NY & Co., GAP or Uniqlo. All sporty name brands have made more feminine looking pieces as well that can be worn outside of the gym like Nike, Adidas & Puma. I seem to like dark solid colors like black navy or charcoal (and even darker jewel tones) in a pull-over or zip-up style. I use them for both laid back days and also to the gym or a dress down day when I go to class. They look good with a tee or tank underneath; paired with  your sweats or yoga pants. I like cotton as the material for the spring and fall, and like velour and fleece in the cold winter months. And your trusty College logo hooded sweatshirt might be baggier but who’s isn’t? With leggings and slippers or flip flops, it looks adorable!

8. Slippers: I do not mean your fluffy bedroom slippers. I prefer slippers that have a “real shoe” look and feel to them: For example, UGG Australia makes these soft, comfy Slipper Clogs that have a sole with good traction in case you needed to run outside quick to get the mail or something. It would be easier and safer to walk in then a soft sole that can put you at risk for slipping or stepping on something sharp. (ouch!) I also love a moccasin style slipper shoe as they are both comfortable and cute. My moccasin’s are also in my school wardrobe as well!

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Optional/ Nice to have after you stock up on the staples:

  1. An extra long boyfriend style, pull over V-neck sweater 

  2. An off-day bra. If I am home lounging I tend to take a break from wearing under wire and wear something much more comfortable! I am a fan of the “Genie Bra” It is so soft and comfy that I can sleep with it on! It has a pretty decent amount of support for something with no under wire. 

  3. Cute, printed thermal tees: Add an extra layer of both warmth and style in the winter thermal!                         
  4. Cute Extra-long socks to cover up to below the knee
  5. Terry Cloth Drawstring Pants: For the warmer months. Can also double as a bathing suit cover up in the summer time.
  6. Fold over lounge pants: Can also double up as a pajama pant! I love these! I have found them in navy and camel at NY&Co and a charcoal colored pair from Ann Taylor Loft. This style of pants are typically summer items as these are loose, light and airy. They kind of look like gaucho pants but much longer.     
  7. Boy Shorts: Only If you living situation allows for this! And if your legs are shaved of course! Victoria’s Secret also makes a “Boxie”, a shorter, feminized version of men’s boxer shorts, worse as pajamas, not really as an undergarment.
  8. A girly track suit: I like velour or fleece in the winter and terry cloth in the summer. I like wearing this to the gym or to run a quick errand.

Accessories: These are all also completely optional but nice to have to express your individuality

1. A cute knit hat or beanie: If you have not done much with your hair. Great for covering up a bad hair day or keeping your head warm in the winter time.

2. A cute head band: To dress up a plain bun, pony tail or chignon. Headbands also work for short hair as well! (In the near future I will have a blog post about “Off-day” hair styling, just like my “off day” makeup post!)

3. Minimal jewelry (if desired): Nothing too fussy just a simple necklace or stud earrings. 

4. Sunglasses: (Optional.) Great to have during the day to go on a coffee run, especially if you haven’t applied makeup! I love classic over sized tortoise shell style the most!

5. Small handbag or wristlet: During my down time, the last thing I want to do is carry around a bulky, heavy bag! If I need to run out I like a wristlet or a phone wallet to have just my ID, keys, cards, cash, change, cell, maybe a lip balm. I also love medium sized- cross over messenger style bags. If I happen to be going for a pedicure on my down time, that is the only time I will take a large but soft and light tote bag to bring reading material.

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My Favorite Foundations

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Having a super pale complexion and on top of that, really sensitive skin has always made it very difficult for me to like any foundations available on the market. If it provides good coverage, I break out. If I don’t break out, the color looks awful or the formulation cakes up! When it comes to cosmetics I would have to say that out of all products I am the most picky and fussy when it comes to foundation. If I can’t find a good one, I’d rather go without it!

This is why I had been a tinted moisturizer / BB cream kind of girl for a long time. It was just easier. The only problem with that is that there are occasions that require much more coverage than a BB, CC cream or tinted moisturizer. Thanks to all of the beauty Guru’s out there I have found a few good foundation selections, both high and low end. BB and CC cream are in my “every day” clinical class, work or lounge around makeup routine. I do not wear foundation every day.

  • Bare Minerals: This is the first foundation that I actually loved and have returned to it over and over again. It is my go to foundation in the hot summers. I start using it when the weather is 75 degrees or higher or when it starts getting a bid humid. With age I noticed that I can not use it in the winter time, as the mineral formulation is way too drying on my skin for that season. However it is my holy grail in the summer as it is great at absorbing extra wetness and sebum from sweating. There are no melt downs with this foundation and the mineral veil applied on top keeps everything sealed. Bare Minerals also makes beautiful mineral blushes, eye shadows and all-over face color. In the starter kit for Bare Minerals comes your foundation color, your “warmth” (Bronze color), your mineral veil, brushes and brush shampoo. I found that the warmth shade looks terribly muddy on my pale skin. The ladies in Macy’s who helped me choose a different all-over face color better suited for my complexion were great! I don’t buy the kits anymore, I buy individually my foundation color in Light (W15) and the mineral veil. The All-over face color I use is the Bare Radiance in True Radiance. It is a gorgeous rosy color that is like a blush and highlighter in one with its subtle sparkle.image
  • Josie Maran Argan Matchmaker Powder Foundation: When I started working as a Laboratory Technician in a Clinical Lab, those work conditions were very dry but for our own health and safety to minimize the growth of microbial pathogens which we were exposed to working in health care. With constant air filters going and a terrible lack of humidity in the air, my skin was becoming red and blotchy. I would be on my hour break applying moisturizer to my face! This is around the time where my skin was changing and getting too dry for Bare Minerals in the Autumn and Winter months. I was panicking because Bare Minerals was all that I knew and loved foundation wise. I remember telling the lady in Sephora that I did not want a liquid foundation but I wanted something similar to Bare Minerals but also something more moisturizing, a difficult quality to find in Mineral formulated foundations! I was told to try this product and I am happy that I discovered Josie Maran’s cosmetic line. This powder foundation contained Argan Oil which was probably the ingredient that soothed my tired, dry skin. I have used this product on its own and I have also used it to set my BB cream or tinted moisturizer while providing more coverage at the same time. I am not a fan of the round sponge applicator that it comes with in the compact. I prefer to apply it with a dense powder brush such as my Bare Minerals complexion brush or my E.L.F. powder brush.

  • Josie Maran Argan Matchmaker Serum Foundation: This product is unique in so many ways to begin with ; but in general a serum formulated foundation is different compared to other liquid foundations. A serum foundation contains many skin care benefits inside of it and applies more like, well - - A serum! This foundation is thin in texture and dries very fast. It literally melts and then sinks into your own skin becoming a part of you! The most fascinating feature is how it is self-adjusting. The product comes out white. I am talking Elmer’s School Glue white! And as you blend it adjusts to the skin tone with its “chameleon pigments” as Josie Maran refers to them. It has a really nice scent to it as well, like natural and outdoorsy fruits and flowers. It has SPF fills in fine lines, moisturizes wherever your face needs it and also absorbs excess oil wherever that is needed, perfect for combination skin! I found that it applies the best with clean fingers rather than a brush or blender. Here is my actual review that I posted on Sephora.com about this product :)

"This very unique formulation; unlike anything else I have ever seen on the market literally melts into your own skin, becoming a part of you, that’s how naturals it looks and feels. I felt that my skin was still able to breathe! I did not need to set it with any powder as my skin just seemed to absorb it. My skin looked and felt soft and silky to the touch, not cakey. It seems to be moisturizing where it needed to be and oil absorbing in other places, great for combination skin like mine. I am really more of a BB/CC cream or tinted moisturizer kind of woman but I really like this foundation as it stands out from the rest! "image

  • Cover Girl Outlast Stay Fabulous 3 in 1 Foundation: For a drug store brand , this stuff is great! The 3 in 1 formulation saves you time as this is foundation with both primer and concealer in it as well. It has a natural, matte finish great for combination/oily skin and I get so many compliments on my skin whenever I wear it! It is super concentrated. A little goes a long way so I suggest you blend it very well with a wet foundation sponge or beauty blender. 

If you are extremely pale you should understand that a foundation that matches you exactly still doesn’t seem to provide coverage, nor does it warm your complexion up a bit. I was not getting the coverage that I wanted with a light pinkish color but when I had a woman in Macy’s cosmetics department match me for another shade, I was able to get a warmer shade on the neutral spectrum. I try to keep things neutral. My undertones are more on the cool pinkish side but I like a teeny bit yellow contrast to counter act the cool tones. Accidentally buy too dark and you look too orange, too yellow or the worst of the worst — muddy! I hate that!  The point I am trying to make is when in doubt, always go neutral! If you are having trouble seeking a great foundation, I hope this review helps you out!

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Foods that double up as DIY beauty treatments!

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Honey: Great for both skin and hair DIY treatments —  SWEET! :D   It can soothe sun burnt skin. It conditions hair, treats acne, moisturizes when used in body scrubs and also treats blackheads. My favorite thing to do is to mix the honey with olive oil and raw sugar to exfoliate flaky lips and skin.

Beer: Can be used as a hair rinse to add shine and bulk it up! It is filled with proteins and vitamins and minerals from the natural ingredients like hops and barley. It can cause a healthy shine, thick body and movement as it coats the strands with protein. Alcohol also cleanses and shines. Flat beer works best and to cover up the smell use conditioners and sprays after that smell fruity to avoid smelling like a frat house after your rinse!

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Apple Cider Vinegar: A Clarifying hair rinse to cleanse the scalp of style build up. Any vinegar is really good for this but apple cider I use anyway for other things. Dilute some with water and always rinse AWAY from your eyes. As a facial toner I mix a small amount with water.

Eggs: Can be used in facials or in hair treatments. For the face the whites absorb excess sebum (oil) and the yolks are moisturizing. Egg facial masks also tighten the skin. Applied in thin layers the whites and yolks should be allowed to dry until you feel the tightness in your skin. Try not to get any in your mouth or eyes as raw eggs may have Salmonella . Be sure to wash your hands afterwards. When used in any hair rinse , do not rinse your hair with hot water or you will end up with scrambled eggs in the shower! For the hair, eggs are a nice protein treat for the hair and can be very conditioning and moisturizing on fried strands. Some people add other foods I have mentioned to their egg mixtures, depending on their hair type. For extra dry hair, you can make an egg and olive oil hair treatment or even mix some avocado for extra moisture. Some people add honey to thicken the mixture to avoid a mess. Apply to dry hair before shampooing. Allow to dry as much as possible and then rinse with cool to lukewarm water.

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Raw Cane Sugar: Makes a nice natural scrub/exfoliant for the body when mixed with a little bit of honey and Olive Oil. DO NOT use splenda or anything artificial to substitute sugar in any DIY scrub or treatment.

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Extra Virgin Olive oil: I use this to remove my eye makeup whenever I run out of eye makeup remover but I find this much more effective and also hydrating around the delicate eye area. Even water proof mascara comes off nice and easy! Olive oil is also good for dry cuticles and good to use in DIY body scrubs to moisturize the skin. A teeny tiny bit goes a long way to use on dry hair.

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Used Coffee grinds: As a scrub, said to lessen the look of cellulite and to flush out excess water that is making you look bloated. Caffeine is a diuretic so it can depuff wherever it is applied.

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Coffee or expresso mixed with a bit of water: On a small cosmetic pad then applied over the eyes to minimize puffiness and dark circles. Many eye products on the market that are meant to diminish puffiness contain caffeine.

Lemons: As a facial toner, breath freshener, teeth whitener, blond highlight brightener, nail cleanser, you name it. Always make a lemony water to avoid irritation to the delicate facial skin, because lemon still contains citric acid.

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Tomatoes: These are loaded with vitamins A,C & E, minerals like Iron, antioxidants like lycopene, so it only makes sense that they would be great for the skin. These are best for oily and acne prone skin DIY treatments.

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Strawberries: One of my favorite berries, strawberries can be used in facial masks to target oil or acne prone skin. They can also be used as a hairmask to enhance shine when blended into a pulp with a bit of honey and a few drops of coconut or olive oil. The vitamin C in the strawberries are a nice treat for the scalp and the skin on the face. Strawberry facial masks tend to brighten the skin on top of providing oil control and PH balance.

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Oatmeal: This is usually used to help thicken a mask. I see oatmeal called for a lot in many facial mask. The plain steel-cut oats in the cylinder shape box work best! No extra sugars or flavors here!

Avocado: I love eating avocado! Eating avocado has good effects on the hair and skin as well. They are good mashed up and used in a DIY moisturing facial mask or makes a nice edition to any egg hair mask to provide extra moisture to super dry hair.

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Bananas: You know those nasty, soft over ripe bananas that nobody wants to eat? They can still be used however! Those actually are the best to use for any hair or face treatment!

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Club Soda: An emergency rinse if someones dyed blond hair turns green from chlorinated swimming pools/jacuzzi’s. Don’t panic! This has happened to me before. My blond highlights turned a neon green. I would do this in the shower after you swam in a high level of chlorine. Bottles of club soda are usually pretty inexpensive. Don’t use any flavored ones here, plain is best. I like to do this before shampooing and conditioning. Once conditioner is applied, your hair will be slippery and not let the carbonated water do its trick!

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Proteins Used in beauty products: KERATIN

Keratin is a protein found naturally in hair, skin, nails as well as wool and animal furs. 

  • 90 % of every hair consists of keratin and (dependent on the moisture in the environment) 5 – 10 % are water; minor hair constituents are lipids (fat), pigments, and minerals. Keratin is a fibrous protein, which gives strength and elasticity to the inner and outer hair structure. The keratin protein consists of long peptide chains, which form strong filaments. The composition of the peptide chains determines the structure of individual filaments. Hair filaments may turn around their long axis, bend or even fold. Intact keratin is not only elastic but also insoluble in water. Keratin is able to tolerate extreme temperatures both on the high and low side. Thanks to keratin, hair is built to withstand (or at least tolerate for a while) the hot rays of the summer sun and bitter winter cold as well as the heat of styling aids like curling irons, flat irons, hot curlers and other heated tools. Hair with sufficient intact keratin is well equipped to withstand the onslaught of environmental stressors. Still, persistent exposure to stress will finally do some damage to the long strings of keratin, which are responsible for keeping the shape of every hair intact. Once keratin is broken down into small enough strings, it becomes water soluble and will be washed away.

  • Keratin Strengthens Hair

    If your hair is damaged or if you want to straighten and strengthen your hair or make it more resilient to stress, there is no reason not to enjoy the advantages of one of the many hair care and styling products with keratin. Keratin is added as intensely potent ingredient to hair care products because it strengthens hair by improving the hair structure from the inside out. As a result, your hair will regain its healthy natural structure. Keratin fills gaps and breaks in the hair shaft to make hair suppler, shinier and easier to style.By the way, keratin does have its place as ingredient not only in hair care products but also in styling aids like mousse and hairsprays. All these products may contain liquid forms of keratin as ingredients, which are identical to the natural keratin in human hair. Keratin-containing hair care products provide hair with optimal protection against moisture loss. You will also enjoy the ease of achieving excellent styling results.

  • Keratin is mainly used as a strengthener for the hair as well as an anti-frizz agent as Keratin will block out moisture and humidity. Keratin’s reputation is mainly in the hair-care industry but it also serves a roll naturally as the outer-most layer of our skin consists or Keratin as well. Some parts such as the bottoms of our feet will tend to be more kertanized than say our facial skin. Keratin is linked to Collagen in our skin. I will have my next protein chemistry post applied to beauty to be COLLAGEN, one very important, especially in skin care.

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Cures for the Winter Blues. Little Beauty Pick me ups! Cheap Thrills!

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This North Eastern winter weather makes me feel just so blaaaahhh sometimes! “Lump around weather” as I refer to it. Sometimes that feeling tempts me to slack off my beauty and skin care routine but I know that will only make me feel much worse in the long run! We all know that when we look good—we feel good! If you are a college student or just starting your career and wanting to save money, chances are that high-end spa visits for facials and massages to ease your stress just aren’t in the budget! I am going to talk about a few beauty, skin care and miscellaneous products here that beautify by lifting your spirits when you need it the most! Call these cures for the Winter Blues :D

1. Paper Facial Masks: Why do I love these? They are quick and convenient and very economical at no more than 2 bucks a pop! I tend to pick them up whenever I see them in discount and dollar stores. They are less messy than facial masks sold in tubes. These are pre moisturized paper masks already soaked in your facial treatment that you just simply unwrap and put onto your face for about 15 minutes. I like to use them once a week, typically on a Sunday evening to give my skin a nice treat and restore moisture balance. I like to make sure that I have no place to go because after a facial, I only want to moisturize and not have to put any makeup on. They are good for your “me-time” to pamper yourself even if only for 15 minutes! I like to lie down while doing these masks but  right now I am sitting up and blogging with one on my face as I am typing this! It is also nice to store them in the refrigerator for a nice cooling sensation on the skin. I try to get a spa facial with extractions once a year but to maintain in between I like to use these. I am obsessed! Amazon.com has them in many brands where you can purchase them in bulk.

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2. WEN by Chaz Dean Fig Sweet Orange Oil: This oil is great for dry winter skin and fried hair and it smells delicious. It is not greasy either! It is a little bit pricey but It has many uses and a little goes a long way. A bottle will last you about one full year. For one use, it can be put into a bath you can soak in and indulge in the delicious scent like aromatherapy. For extra moisture in the winter, I like to add a few drops to my regular moisturizer for a beautiful, non greasy glow. I like to put a few drops onto either wet hair before I blow dry or on dry hair on the dead ends or before flat ironing. It makes my hair so soft and silky without wearing it down. (My hair is very fine) The scent of the orange in it is very uplifting and soothing at the same time. Any scented oil works but I like this one because it does not weigh the hair down and it is also good for skin by not clogging my pores.

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3. Light up a scented candle or some incense in up-lifting scents. I find that fruity, citrus scents are the “happiest” fragrances to boost your mood and remind you of the summer time! Warm cozy scents such as sandalwood, vanilla & Amber might put you in a more relaxed, cuddly mood. For those mornings when you don’t want to move, a citrus or minty shower gel can also awaken your senses.

4. Try a new herbal tea! Since I have been feeling sluggish since the holidays, I have been indulging in Yogi Teas. They have such organic, earthy flavors with little to no caffeine (except for a few of their green teas!) They come in a variety of flavors, all with unique health benefits. Some are for detoxifying the liver and kidneys (Which will do wonders for your skin btw), One is specifically called “Skin Detox”. There are also teas for boosting immunity, calming stomach troubles.

http://www.yogiproducts.com/products has a description of them all. I believe Stop and Shops and Shop Rites carry them but never a selection of every kind. Amazon.com might sell them in bulk if you happen to find a favorite :)

I hope these tips help with your winter blues!

Until next post!

Jill <3

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What I wear in the Winter &Stone Cold Snowy Weather

I try to avoid going out in the snow but life happens and does not press pause just for the weather when you need to be at work or school!

My must haves when I have to be out in the snow!

1. My Long Down Parka Coat with a hood: Choose one that also defines the waist. Mine is DKNY Jeans from MACY’s in a plum/wine color. It is warm, stylish & practical!

2. My North Face Snow Boots: My feet stayed both warm and dry when I had to travel to school in a blizzard to take a final! The soles make great traction to avoid slipping on ice. They are like little bubble jackets for your feet! The faux fur adds a stylish, feminine touch while still serving their main purpose, keeping your feet happy, warm and dry when there is snow, ice and slush on the ground! Let’s face it! If your feet are cold, your whole body will feel cold and miserable!

3. Fleece Leggings: They are much warmer than Jeans and the straight leg won’t drag on the ground making you feel wet and cold. They are also easy to wear with snow boots!

4. Scarf: My favorite scarf right now is this multicolored tribal print one from ALDO which I have had for years!

5. Leg Warmers: These can be both stylish and comfy and offer an extra layer of warmth on the calves to avoid muscle cramping due to the cold. Mine are Joe Boxer from KMART in a knit sweater material with some sparkle. They looked really cute showing above my snow boots. I have also worn them peeking above my tall leather boots for an Armin Van Buuren New Years Eve party on a pier in South Beach Seaport in Manhattan bringing in 2013. I am glad that I wore the leg warmers because the wait on the line was 45 minutes and we had a mandatory coat check which also was outdoors under a tent. I remember running to the front door of the building after that! Boy Did I feel bad for those half naked raver chicks! I definitely don’t rock a bikini top and fuzzy boots with my legs uncovered in the bitter cold! 

6. Hat & Gloves: I love a hat to pull over my ears to keep them warm and prevent heat from leaving by keeping it trapped. It is amazing how much heat is lost from the head and neck areas! Gloves prevent frostbitten hands.

Underneath the winter coat and boots of course I would have extra warm socks on my feet. I would probably wear a thermal tee under a long sweater. This pretty much how I get dressed when I have no choice but to be out in winter! What are your winter staples?

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"Off day" and lounging makeup tips.

Days off from work and school are days to relax and take care of things that need to be done like laundry, school work, errands and bills. I usually like to give both my hair and skin a break on those days but still look fresh and put together without putting too much effort into it. I love a “no makeup” makeup look because it is quick and effortless. On off days, it is important to not slack with your skincare routine. Even if you will be indoors all weekend and don’t want to wear any makeup at all, at least wash and moisturize! Off days are also good for experimenting with new products in colors indoors before testing them out in public!

Here are some easy products that work well for Off days!

  1. Tinted Moisturizer or BB cream: Products like these even out complexion and provide minimal coverage. I do not like wearing full coverage foundation if I don’t have to!  I like Olay’s BB cream. 

  2.  A cream blush or cheek stain: I like cream blushes because they are easily blended with clean fingers rather than with a brush for powder blushes. I love love love cheek stains because it can double up as a lip stain as well. Benefit cosmetics make stain’s in several different colors formulated for both the eyes and the lips, my favorite and the original is Benefit’s Benetint, a nice raspberry color. It gives a gorgeous flush on the cheeks. I am also a fan of all-in-one color sticks! ELF Cosmetics makes good affordable color sticks in several colors. These are creamy formulations made for eyes cheeks and lips. I love products that can multi-task! It saves time and makes life much easier! imageimage
  3. Tinted Lip balm: To moisturize your lips and add a little bit of sheer color in one single step. I like Maybelline’s Baby Lip’s, Burt’s Bees and Rosebud Salve. Rosebud salve has the least color pay off but it is super moisturizing and very natural. I wear it every day! It is only $5.00 at Sephora and it also can be used to moisturize dry elbows and rough cuticles. I love multi tasking products!!!imageimageimage

  4. Powder: To control oil and set your BB cream or tinted moisturizer. I love the High Definition Powder by ELF Cosmetics. They are translucent and work on every skin tone and comes in 3 formulations, Original, Correcting yellow and one in a very light pink shimmer (My favorite!). It is only $6 on Eyeslipsandface.com and is known to be a dupe for Makeup Forever’s high definition powder at a fraction of the price! I use it every day.

  5. A neutral, easy to blend cream eye shadow: Shimmering beige, taupe or champagne is the easiest way to brighten around the eyes without being too dramatic. Neutral colors for the best, especially for Off days! Cream shadows are easy to blend without brushes! I love this cream eye shadow trio from Maybelline.
  6.  Brown or a colored Mascara: Although I I love dramatic lashes for going out, my “hang out”/ lounge around mascara is always a much more natural looking one. A day off is also a good day to experiment with a different colored mascara in a deep jewel tone like emerald green, amethyst purple or navy blue. ALMAY has a wide variety of mascara colors in drug stores. 

OR….

Another option is to just go with an all in one type of palette with colors for both eyes, cheeks! Neutral colors work the best I feel. A good pick is Too Faced “No makeup” palette or Lorac’s Pro to Go palette. If all colors are in the same palette, they all coordinate with each other which makes things much easier!

Optional Products

 If you are a total beauty junkie like I am then you can expand on this basics list as needed! It is all up to you. Here are some more picks!

  1. Concealer: (For me this is a must have for my dark circles!) Or if I have a bad case of acne which has not been happening lately.
  2. Eye liner: (For that little extra oomph!)
  3. Lip stain pens: that are out on the market such as Revlon, Cover Girl and L’oreal. They are like magic markers for your lips! They are great if you want extra color with your moisturizing lip balm! 
  4. Highlighter or Luminizer: To brighten up your look and draw light into places like the inner corners of the eyes, bridge of the nose and cupid’s bow above the lips.
  5. Bronzer: For warming up your look a little bit more or for a little bit of contour. From drugstores I love Physician’s formula bronzers.

I hope you enjoyed reading this and that it inspired some of you! What are your favorite go-to products on your off days and why?

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Protein of the Week & Beauty Products which contain it!

Since I am a science major, I can truly appreciate the science behind the beauty industry. One a week I will start to blog about a particular protein, its use and importance in the beauty industry, which type of products it is found in and list of beauty products that I like which have this protein as an ingredient! So you will learn about good beauty products and learn a little biochemistry at the same time, not bad, eh ? :)