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Eyebrow Hair Removal Options

 When it comes to cleaning up your eyebrows, you have a lot of options to choose from. You can wax them, tweeze them, and even have them lasered or “threaded.”

“There is an enormous range of ways to groom your eyebrows,” says Helga Surratt, president of About Faces Day Spa & Salon, in Baltimore, MD. “There are pros and cons to each method, and of course, a wide range in pricing as well.”

Hair Removal: Tweezing at Home

This do-it-yourself option allows you to remove unwanted hair using tweezers in the privacy of your own home.

Pros:

  • This is the least expensive method of shaping your eyebrows.
  • There are no appointments to keep and no one to pay.
  • You have complete control over the shape of your eyebrows.

Cons:

  • You may over-tweeze your eyebrows or create a shape that doesn’t suite your face.
  • Results last only one to two weeks.
  • It can hurt.

Price: About $30 per year. A good pair of tweezers will cost about $20 and you may want to keep some eyebrow powder on hand, in case you need to fill in any

Could Your Lipstick Give You Lead Poisoning?

 Beauty boost or health hazard? That’s the question women everywhere are asking in the wake of a new study from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

According to the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, a coalition that advocates for healthier makeup and hygiene products, hundreds of popular lipsticks currently on the market have tested positive for lead, which can be toxic even in small amounts.

The Campaign reports that the FDA analyzed 400 different lipsticks and found low levels of lead in almost all of them. Maybelline’s “Color Sensational” Pink Petal was the worst offender, with 7.19 ppm (parts per million) — 275 times the amount found in the least-contaminated product, Wet & Wild’s Mega Mixers Lip Balm — but L’Oreal, CoverGirl, and Nars had products in the top five, too. The average lead content across all 400 brands (which include other drugstore lines, as well as high-end companies such as Dior, M.A.C., Chanel, and Lancome) was 1.11 ppm.

To put these numbers in context, the Environmental Protection Agency’s allowable maximum contaminant level (MCL) is 15 ppm in drinking

Tips to Find the Right Skin Moisturizer

 Feel overwhelmed when you want to buy skin moisturizer for your dry skin? That’s no surprise, as there are dozens to choose from at the drugstore and hundreds more at high-end cosmetics and department stores — creams, lotions, ointments, some with sunscreen, others with an exfoliant. Choices range from the basic $1.50 jar of petroleum jelly to a $500 five-ounce tub of designer skin moisturizer. And all the options in between can make your head spin.

While choosing the right skin moisturizer may seem confusing, it’s actually very simple if you follow a few guidelines, says dermatologist Monica Halem, MD, of ColumbiaDoctors Eastside in New York City. Dr. Halem’s first rule of thumb? Don’t spend too much money.

How a Skin Moisturizer Works

Cleansers and moisturizers are the most important skin products, particularly for softening dry skin. A skin moisturizer works by sealing moisture into the outer layer of the skin and by pulling moisture from the inner layers of skin to the outer layer.

Key ingredients that seal in moisture are petrolatum, mineral oil, lanolin, and dimethicone. Glycerin, propylene glycol, proteins, urea, and vitamins

Find Mascara For Your Eye Shape

Even though mascara is a staple for many makeup wearers, it’s one of the more misunderstood products in your kit. Mascara opens the eye to help you look more awake. Most think there is nothing to applying mascara—they swipe it on the lashes the same way, every time. But there are methods to apply it based on your eye shape that will transform your makeup into something that looks more polished and professional.

Every mascara application should start with these two easy steps:

Curl the lashes

Always begin with an eyelash curler. I like one with a silicone strip, like Kevyn Aucoin or Billy B Beauty. Gently press the band against the root of the lash and turn the curler until the curve is parallel to the crease of your eye. Press gently, release, and presto! This will give even the most stubborn lash a beautiful curl.

Basic mascara application

The next step is to apply your mascara at the root of the lash. My favorite trick is to bend the wand slightly to get right in to the base of the lash. Next, comb through the top lash, wiggling the wand gently

3 Ways To Make Lip Liner Work For You

Everybody, and we mean everybody can benefit from a little lip liner. While lining your lips runs the danger of creating an outdated, overdrawn, unblended pout, it’s time to stop shying away from lip liner for fear it may leave you looking like a Real Housewife. Here are the real 3 ways to make lip liner work for you.

Nude: The Shaping Liner

Why use a lip liner that matches your skintone? Flesh toned liners can help shape your lips before lip products are applied by filling in parts of the lip area to match your face. This is a great technique for achieving dramatic looks such as a cupid’s bow shape, but it also works wonders for reshaping uneven lips—especially when finishing with a sheer lipstick or gloss that wouldn’t so easily mask the characteristic.

Matched: The Sharpening Liner

When you’re on the go, you don’t have time to fumble with a lip brush to get those sharp artist-esque lines every time you reach for a reapplication. Save energy by lining your lips first with a liner that matches as close as possible with your lipstick. You’ll get a crisp, creamy line that

3 Ways to Play with Color Mascara

So you’ve been wanting to try color mascara, eh? Maybe you just bought some, or maybe you’re eyeing that cute green, cobalt, or burgundy shade online. But…how do you wear color mascara without having it be such a Look? Is there a way to wear color mascara for a subtle pop of color without having everyone for 300 feet know you are WEARING BLUE MASCARA?

Why, yes. Yes there is. You can combine a color mascara with your regular black or brown mascara, making your lashes look different and interesting without getting too bright. Color mascara in class or an office? Definitely! Color mascara for a meet-the-parents dinner? Why the heck not?

Just the tips

Grab your normal, everyday black mascara (we used Inglot Cosmetics Perfect Length Define Mascara, $13), and sweep it on your top and bottom lashes. Next, try a crazy color! We went with Inglot Cosmetics Colour Play Mascara in 02 Green, which is a highly pigmented, almost electric green, and applied it just to the tips of the top and bottom lashes. Presto! A subtle-yet-still-visible color on the tips of your still-proper eyelashes. You can’t even see it unless you get

Find the Best Eyeliner for You

Eyeliner is bigger than ever this summer, and it looks like the trend is headed straight into the next few seasons. But with so many different options of liner out there, choosing the right one can be overwhelming — which is best for a smokey eye? What do you use for a sophisticated, lashy style? What about that crazy look you are cooking up for a night out?

It all makes sense once you know the various formulations of liner and what each can accomplish. Here is a look at the products available and how each one can help you create the looks that will have everyone talking. Let’s get you educated!

Pencil eyeliner
Pencils are a must-have for every makeup bag. Used to achieve any look from soft and smudgy to deep and dramatic, pencils are easy to use and great for beginners and pros alike. Pencil liners allow you to line inside the eye, around the lash line, and can even be used as a base to intensify any eye shadow. They come in a variety of formulations ranging from typical wax formulas to traditional Kohl’s and, now, even long-wear waterproof options. The trick

Tips to Find Right Blush for You?

We like to think of blush as pretty foolproof. There’s no detail work to master, no lines to stay inside of, and it looks great on everyone. But we also think that there’s a little more to applying blush than just dusting it on. Carefully placed blush can manipulate the appearance of your face shape in sneaky ways, and without much effort (we’re not talking about those trendy seven layer step systems). Play around with the looks below to find what application meets your own beauty needs. The results may surprise you!

Center Blush

For those who wish to soften their bone structure or have a square-shaped jawline, this can be a game changer. Apply rounded bursts of blush to center of the cheek– right on the apple. It will have a rounding effect on your entire face. What’s more, center blush can have a widening effect on the eyes. Done correctly, you’ll look like a doll.

Lower Blush

If your face features a long or prominent chin, you can even things out by placing your blush just below the apples of your cheeks– over the bone. This creates the subtle illusion that the

Tips to Getting The Right Eye Shadow

When it comes to choosing which eye shadow to buy, I am huge advocate of one simple truth: get the shade that makes you feel amazing. But to feel amazing, you need to feel confident. And when it comes to makeup, nothing gives you more confidence than a good understanding of color theory and how it applies to your natural eye color, hair color, and skin tone.

So, let’s give you some color theory basics so you can purchase with power. Below are some factors to consider when buying an eye shadow — whether you want an everyday look or instant drama.

Skin Tone  

Today, skin tones tend to be categorized into two columns, warm and cool. It doesn’t help that some makeup brands will categorize pink tones as warm and yellow tones as cool while others will do just the opposite, because the color wheel is divided down the center and yellow can be considered cool or warm.

But if you are aware of your undertone, you can navigate through all this product with decisiveness. To find out your undertone, check your veins. Our veins are naturally blue, so a yellow skin

Minimize Those Lip Lines

For some women, especially smokers and sun worshippers, lip lines can become a bother and a reason they desire plastic surgery. Years of cigarettes and UV exposure can cause dozens of fine lines to collect around the lips.

“The best treatment for lip lines is prevention; protect the skin from sun and avoid tobacco products,” advises Clinton Humphrey, MD, a facial plastic surgery fellow at the University of Illinois at Chicago. “Once lip lines are present, hyaluronic acid fillers may provide a small amount of improvement. Substantial improvement can be gained from dermabrasion, which is more effective for the upper lip than the lower lip.”

Treatment options depend in part on how many lines you have, says Michael Olding, MD, chief of plastic surgery at George Washington University Hospital in Washington, D.C. Many fine lines would require dermabrasion, whereas a few deep lines could be addressed with a filler, he says, adding that the choice comes down to filling the lines or flattening

Plastic Surgery: Minimizing Lip Lines

Options for minimizing lip lines include fillers (also known as soft tissue augmentation), dermabrasion, and laser skin resurfacing.

  • Fillers for lip lines. Hyaluronic acid

Behind the Botox Alert

Many of my patients were concerned and called my office when they heard news reports that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said it was reviewing the safety of Botox, Botox Cosmetic, and Myobloc. Because Botox has become such a popular cosmetic treatment, often used to soften wrinkles in the face and forehead, I’d like to explain the basis for this investigation and how it might or might not affect you.

The FDA is reviewing cases of individuals treated with Botox between 1996 and 2007 who developed adverse reactions. While the inquiry relates primarily to children withcerebral palsy who were given Botox to relax severe muscle spasms in their legs, the FDA is considering all reports of harmful side effects. Although the use of botulinum toxin for cerebral palsy is not approved in the United States, doctors have prescribed this treatment as a successful alternative to painful surgery. This is therefore known as an “off label” use of Botox, which means that it’s used to treat a condition outside of the FDA-approved labeling for the drug. The FDA does permit physicians to use an approved medication off label, but urges doctors to be well informed about

The Risks of Manicures and Artificial Nails

A manicure may look beautiful, but some chemicals involved in the process of getting one, especially the application of artificial nails, can affect the health of your nails, the surrounding skin, and other parts of the body.

Manicures and Allergic Reactions

“The development of an allergy to chemicals in nail products is the same mechanism that occurs with skin allergy to an allergen like poison ivy,” says Phoebe Rich, MD, clinical associate professor of dermatology at Oregon Health Sciences University in Portland.

These reactions may include:

  • Inflammation
  • Redness
  • Itching
  • Burning

These are symptoms of what’s called a contact allergy. Although they may be limited to the area around and underneath the nail, they can also occur around the face and neck. This type of reaction might be difficult to diagnose because you may not immediately connect a recent manicure with a reaction elsewhere on the body, and you may not think to mention it to your doctor when seeking treatment.

If you develop an allergic reaction, you need to avoid using that product again. “Once the allergy develops,” says Dr. Rich, “you will always be allergic to that substance and your skin will react

The Beauty of Mineral Makeup

Mineral makeup has become popular for many reasons: It’s eco-friendly, looks good, and feels light on the face. And because TV infomercials and the celebrities who use and recommend it, mineral makeup has gotten a lot of media attention.

“Mineral makeup has been around for 30 years or more, but has recently regained popularity in the cosmetics industry,” says Scott Gerrish, MD, of Gerrish and Associates, PC, a nonsurgical skin care specialist with offices in Virginia and Maryland. “Mineral makeup was originally used by plastic surgeons and dermatologists on patients after cosmetic procedures to cover the redness and soreness.”

Is mineral makeup right for you? Read on to find out.

The Magic Behind Mineral Makeup

Mineral makeup is made from pure, crushed minerals and will not cake on the skin: It allows the skin to breathe and gives you a lighter, more natural look than traditionalmakeup. “Mineral makeup comes in powdered, pressed, and liquid forms and has beneficial properties for your skin,” says Helga Surratt, President of About Faces Day Spa & Salon, in Towson, Md.

It is ideal for all skin types, all skin tones, and women of all ages. Mineral

How to Use an Eyelash Curler

Eyeliner, eye shadow, and mascara are standard tools in any makeup kit. But makeup pros know that using an eyelash curler can further enhance your eyes by making them look wider and brighter. Inexpensive and easy to use, an eyelash curler is also safe if used properly. Read on for information about types of eyelash curlers and step-by-step instructions.

Eyelash Curler Options

There are two types of eyelash curlers — the conventional clamp-down kind and the newer heated eyelash curler. “Although manual or heated curlers can be used to curl the lashes, the effects are only temporary, from day to day,” notes lash stylist Twanna Smith, owner of Glam Eyelash and Brow Bar Salon in Duluth, GA.

Traditional eyelash curler.

This curler is metal and has the same kind of handles you’d find on a pair of scissors. The handles open and close a clamp that, when squeezed tight for a few seconds, produces the curl. The curling end has a rubber pad to protect delicate eyelashes from the metal clamp. The curler works by crimping your lashes up toward your brow, making them look longer and more pronounced. “Look for an eyelash

Tips to Use a Skin Exfoliant

Our skin is constantly renewing itself, growing new skin cells to replace the surface skin cells that grow old, die, and fall, or slough, off. Every minute of every day, between 30,000 and 40,000 dead skin cells flake away.

Factors like age and dry skin can mean that dead skin cells don’t fall away as easily as they should. When these cells build up, they can make the complexion look rough and pasty and can also contribute to the clogged pores that lead to adult acne. The regular yet careful use of a skin exfoliant can help slough off dead skin cells and uncover fresh, more youthful skin.

There are two main types of skin exfoliants: mechanical exfoliants and chemical exfoliants. Both are commonly available, and both have pros and cons regarding their use and the types of skin conditions for which they are most appropriate.

Mechanical Skin Exfoliants

Mechanical exfoliants work by sanding off dead skin cells using mildly abrasive substances. These skin exfoliants typically are facial scrubs, creamy cleansers with tiny, rough particles. As you gently massage the exfoliant over the surface of your face and skin, the friction works to

Choosing the Right Skin Care for You

Selecting skin-care products can be a daunting task, what with all the choices filling pharmacy aisles. You’ll find dozens of over-the-counter products with such labels as “maximum strength,” “clinical strength,” and “original prescription strength” — plus seemingly identical products that are available only by prescription. What do all these labels mean, and how do you know which product is the best one for you? Here are some answers.

How Much Active Ingredient?

The active ingredient in an over-the-counter product is often the same as the one found in its prescription counterpart, but at a lower dosage. Over-the-counter dandruff shampoo contains a lower dosage of the active ingredient ketoconazole (1 percent), while the prescription-strength versions contain 2 percent. Inhydrocortisone anti-itch cream, the maximum over-the-counter dosage is 1 percent, while prescription-strength creams contain 2.5 percent. According to U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations, once a product’s active ingredient reaches a certain percentage — such as 1.5 percent for hydrocortisone, or 2 percent for salicylic acid in acne treatments — it requires a prescription from a doctor.

Sometimes It’s Just a Marketing Strategy

Because the FDA does not closely regulate over-the-counter skin-care products, a company

Dangerous Metals in Lip Products

Kiss your lipstick goodbye! The beauty-enhancing cosmetic may make you look sexy on the outside, but it could be poisoning you on the inside, according to a study published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives.

Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, School of Public Health evaluated more than 30 common brands of lipstick and lip gloss, and found that most of them contained high levels ofheavy metals — lead, cadmium, chromium, aluminum, and manganese — that could put women at risk for health issues including stomach tumors or nervous system problems. Kids who experiment with makeup could also be at risk.

Cosmetics generally contain trace amounts of metals, but the Berkeley researchers say some lipsticks may contain dangerously high concentrations of these metals and are therefore potentially toxic.

“Just finding these metals isn’t the issue; it’s the levels that matter,” said study principal investigator S. Katharine Hammond, PhD, professor of environmental health sciences at UC Berkley, in a press release. “Some of the toxic metals are occurring at levels that could possibly have an effect in the long term.”

“We did not find a pattern in which brands or types of lipsticks or lip gloss contained

The Secrets of Buying Face Makeup

It happened again: After spending hours looking for the right face makeup, you bought a foundation that doesn’t match your skin tone. Here’s a minor comfort: Getting the right foundation shade is one of the most difficult beauty products purchases a woman can make. But Helga Surratt, president of About Faces Day Spa & Salon in Towson, Md., says your quest will be easier if you do some homework first.

Suit It to Your Skin Type

Before choosing a foundation, “determine your skin type,” Surratt says. “Is it dry skin, oily, combination, sensitive, or prone to breakouts?”

  • Dry skin: It looks dull since it lacks oil, and it reflects light poorly. It may itch, be irritated easily, and be prone to scaly or flaky patches.
  • Oily skin: It looks shiny, feels greasy, and may have larger pores than normal skin.
  • Combination skin: In this very common skin type, cheeks are dry, but the T-zone (your forehead, nose and chin) is oily.

Choose the Right Formula

Look for foundations designed to do the best job of enhancing your complexion:

  • People with dry, combination, and normal skin can use emollient-based foundations. Look for the words

Tanning Salon Tax No Deterrent

A 10 percent federal tax, imposed on tanning salons in 2010 as part of the U.S. Affordable Care Act, does not seem to deter those who like the bronzed look all year long, a new study finds.

This is true, the researchers discovered, even though tanning salon customers typical pay the tax themselves, rather than the salon owners absorbing the extra fee.

“When the tax first went into effect, many tanning salon owners said they would pay it themselves rather than pass it onto customers,” said study author Dr. June Robinson, a research professor of dermatology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago.

She and her colleagues surveyed 308 Illinois tanning salons to assess the effect of the new tax. “The surprise is that almost none did this [absorb the cost],” she said. Instead, the salons are passing the tax on to customers. What’s more, they found the customers don’t seem to mind.

The study is published in the January issue of the Archives of Dermatology.

Among Robinson’s findings:

  • Eighty percent of the salons collect the extra 10 percent from customers through pricing, rather than absorb it.
  • About the same

Illegal Silicone Buttock Injections Can Be Deadly

The 30-year-old woman arrived at the Henry Ford Hospital emergency room in Detroit out of breath and coughing blood.

It didn’t take long for doctors to figure out why: The woman admitted to having been at a party at a hotel five days prior at which she — and others — received injections of liquid silicone to “enhance” the buttocks and various body parts.

The silicone was not the medical silicone that is sometimes used for implants, but the type easily procured at hardware stores like Home Depot. The fat solvent used to make the silicone had quickly traveled to her lungs and gotten stuck in the airways, resulting in “silicone embolism syndrome,” or clots, in this case, in the smaller vessels in her lungs.

The syndrome, admittedly rare, was first seen in transsexual men wanting to augment their breasts in the 1970s.

“There are two types of side effects [that can result from silicone injections],” said Dr. Angel Coz, the pulmonary and critical care specialist who treated the woman. “Lungs is one of them. The other goes to the brain. The mortality in lungs is close to 20 percent but in the