Beauty Fix: Why you need to try a steam blow out, how to shop for serums and more answers to your beauty questions
Every week we take on your questions about makeup, skincare, hair and more and provide all the answers. This week we discuss a new innovation for professional blow outs—and one that just may change our lives! We also share tips for shopping for a new serum and face mask and report on how to get the look from the Jason Wu Fall 2013 show. Have a question we haven’t answered? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I’m considering adding a serum to my skincare routine. What’s a good one to start out with?
We put our skin through a lot of different conditions and elements, so it’s fair to assume that it needs a bit more attention than a facial cleansing wipe and a basic moisturizer can offer. Serum is not necessarily a step that everyone feels essential in a skincare regimen, but it can be incredibly beneficial in many ways. Above all else, serums can be interpreted as vitamin cocktail for the skin. They generally contain concentrated forms of nutrients and ingredients that can help hydrate, moisturize and help firm the skin, especially when applied prior to moisturizer and sunscreen, and most formulae tend to sit well under makeup. An excellent starter serum is Clarins Double Serum Hydric and Lipidic System ($85, thebay.com). This serum contains two lipid forms housed in separate chambers that are mixed together when pumped out of the container. It also contains a slew of ingredients to firm (green banana), moisturize (marshmallow and burdock root) and boost radiance (arnica), making it an excellent option for anyone new to the category.
I loved the indigo-purple eye look at the Jason Wu Fall 2013 show. How can I replicate this?
I concur wholeheartedly with this sentiment; the beauty look at Jason Wu’s Fall 2013 show was sublime! The look was done by makeup artist Diane Kendal and she actually used an indigo eyeshadow that will be a part of Lancôme’s collaborative collection with Jason Wu. Since that collection won’t launch until the fall, try using Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics loose colour concentrate in “Technoir” ($17, sephora.com), a purple navy shimmer, for a comparable look. This loose eyeshadow has a shimmery reflective, duochrome quality that’s really out of this world, so don’t be afraid to pack it on! Apply the shadow to the lid using a patting motion with your fingertips and use a flat eyeshadow brush to wing out the loose eyeshadow at the outer corners of your eyes—and don’t forget to smudge a bit of the loose pigment underneath your eyes. Keep your cheeks and mouth neutral, throw on some mascara and you’re done!
Frequent heat styling and blowouts seem to be hindering my hair more than helping it. Is there an alternative to the traditional blowout?
I totally get where you are coming from. I feel like a different person when my hair is blown out professionally. That being said, I’ve been noticing that if I indulge in a blowout more than a couple times a month, the ends of my hair seem straw-like and split within no time. (And I always trim my hair and never heat style it otherwise!) In the search for something that wouldn’t harm my hair so intensely I came across the L’Oréal Professionnel Steampod service (starts at $15, lorealprofessionnel.com), which takes the tension and hair breakage out of the standard blowout. By using steam instead of hot, dry hair you can get a style with volume that will still have bounce days after your appointment. Here’s how it works: A pro-keratin styling cream is applied to damp hair which is then dried with a hair dryer, no round brush necessary. After this, the Steampod tool (which has a water reservoir to create steam) is used. It’s actually a flatiron that has a steamer built in—which seems counterintuitive when it comes to smoothing out hair, but hear me out. The steam hits the hair first and activates the pro-keratin cream, which swells the hair cuticle. The flatiron then passes over the hair to seal in the smoothed-out style. You won’t believe the shine this treatment gives hair, especially versus a traditional blowout. The pro-keratin treatment remains on the hair for a few washes, which means it’ll be less frizzy even after the initial appointment has come and gone. Pretty above and beyond the usual blow dry!
I’m seeing signs of aging appearing in my eye area and don’t know how to address it! Help!
Have you ever stopped mid-stare at your computer screen to realize you’re squinting and have been for a while? Do you wear sunglasses each and every time that you’re exposed to the sun? While we all know that sunscreen is our friend and that different factors play into healthy skin, bad habits can get the best of us and that sometimes results in premature wrinkles and signs of aging on our faces. Take a targeted approach and address your concerns with a soothing treatment, such as Laboratoire Dr Renaud pure anti-aging eye contour patches ($38, ldrenaud.com). These little patches are loaded with vitamin K, which improves skin elasticity and can help alleviate under-eye circle darkness and wrinkles. Even better: you’ll ensure at least 15 minutes of no squinting while you relax with this soothing treatment.
What should I look for when choosing a face mask?
This is a fairly subjective question, as it very much depends on skin type. First of all, if you have skin that is extremely sensitive or if you have rosacea, it’s actually best to avoid masks. If sensitive skin is not a concern, onto the mask buying! The main thing to keep an eye out for when examining mask ingredients is how many are active ingredients—meaning the ingredients are biologically active. Most masks tend to focus on ingredients such as acids or fruit enzymes to exfoliate and help remove dead skin cells. A mask to marvel at is Tata Harper Resurfacing Mask ($55, pureandsimple.ca), which contains 11 active ingredients, including witch hazel (reduces inflammation) and beet extract (promotes elasticity), as well as pink clay (reduces pore size).