Spring Travel Must-Haves

Whether you are heading off for spring break with your friends, family, or that special someone, it is always a good idea to put some advanced planning into your packing. From skin care to gadgets, here are the spring travel must-haves that you definitely do not want to be leaving at home.

sunglasses

Sunglasses and Sun Protection
No matter where you may be headed to, spring signifies the beginning of better weather, meaning that you are likely to be spending much longer in the sun while you are on your travels. This makes a pair of UV blocking sunglasses absolutely essential, because not only will they add an element of chic to your look, but they will also provide the skin around your eyes with extra protection from the sun’s damaging rays. In addition to your sunglasses, you should also bring along a few other items that can help protect you from the sun, from a broad spectrum sunscreen to a wide-brimmed hat.

Cleanser and Moisturizer
While you may be tempted to leave your cleanser and moisturizer at home, and buy new, smaller versions when you reach your destination, it would be far more beneficial to your skin to bring along your everyday cleanser and moisturizer. Although cleansers may be easily available, switching to a new formula suddenly can really disrupt your skin’s pH balance, causing everything from redness and irritation to breakouts. Sticking with products that your skin is already used to will help you to avoid any skin issues while you are away.

spring jacket

Spring Jacket
Even if you are planning on travelling somewhere hot and sunny, spring weather can still be quite unpredictable, which is why it is always useful to have a lightweight spring jacket on hand. Since you are opting for a light version, you will easily be able to squeeze this into your bag, and, whether you have a rainy day or a chilly evening, you will be covered. Trench coats are ideal for this, as they are always right on trend in the spring, and bring a classy touch to any outfit.

Portable Charger
The majority of people these days travel with a number of different gadgets and devices, and organizing the many different chargers for each of these can be time-consuming and frustrating. A portable travel charger takes all of the fuss out of travelling with gadgets, as these will allow you to charge multiple devices all at the same time with just one charging device, saving you time and space.

Woman using travel wallet

Travel Wallet
When travelling, it is always easier to keep all of your documents in one place, not only so that they are easily accessible when you need them, but also to ensure that none of them end up lost. A travel wallet is a great way to do this, as these will have pockets and slots for all of your essential travel items, from your passport to your foreign currency to your credit cards.

Spring is a fantastic time of the year to travel, and these must-have items are guaranteed to have your trip running as smoothly as possible. From a travel wallet to hold all important documents to a portable charger that will ensure that you are never stranded without your phone or camera, these items all deserve a bit of space in your luggage.

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Tips for Updating Your Look

Woman of high fashion

Spring is all about fresh starts and new beginnings, making this the perfect time to update your look and add something new to your personal style. Whether you are seeking a few subtle adjustments or a huge dramatic change, here are some tips to help you get started.

Part Your Hair on the Other Side
If you have been parting your hair in the same place for years, flipping this over to the other side is an extremely easy way to update your look. While this may seem simple, a new part will add volume to your roots while changing the way in which the front sections frame your face. If your hair keeps flipping itself back over to the original part, try using some hair-setting tape to secure your new part in place before you go to bed, as this will help it to set overnight.

A New Lip Color
Everybody has their go-to lip shades, but trying out a new lip color can really help to shake up your look. If you tend to stick to classic shades, opt for something bold and bright instead, or, for those who are used to taking risks with lipstick, try swapping this for a subtle nude gloss. If lipstick is something that you never really wear, start off by experimenting with shades of red, as this is timeless and you are likely to easily be able to find a shade that complements you.

Woman applying blue lipstick

Experiment With Belts
Belts are an accessory that many people only use if they really need to, but they can really add a whole new element to your outfit, even if they are not necessarily needed. Using a belt to cinch in a blazer or fitted jacket can really enhance your feminine shape, while a belt on a loose dress can instantly turn it from casual to preppy.

Invest in a Pair of Pointy-Toed Shoes
While the tapered toe may come and go in terms of shoe trends, this is a classic style that many would consider to be the most flattering of all shoe shapes. The reason for this is because of the way in which pointed-toe shoes visually elongate the leg, especially when paired with an elegant pencil skirt or wide trousers. No matter what you wear them with, ensure that your shoes fit comfortably around the toes, without any pinching, and opt for a color that is similar to your skin tone if you want to elongate your legs as much as possible.

Pointed heels

Overhaul Your Skin Care Routine
Your skin is constantly on show to the rest of the world, and a great way to freshen up your whole look is by giving your skin a bit of a boost. Whether this means adding a few new serums and essences to your skin care routine, or trying out a new method of exfoliation, making a few changes at such a basic level will have a huge influence over your look.

Now that the dreary days of winter are just about over, this is the perfect time to think about updating your look. Whether this means styling your hair in a new way, or experimenting with different accessories, give these tips a go if you have been wanting to try something different.

Men Should Avoid These Skincare Mistakes

Men need to care for their skin just as much as women do, but there are often mistakes made that end up damaging, rather than supporting, the skin. From being unaware of skin type to neglecting the skin underneath a beard, these mistakes are, fortunately, easy to rectify.


Man shaving
Shaving at the Wrong Time
Shaving is a skin care practice that the majority of men partake in, but by shaving your face at the wrong time, you are only setting yourself up for everything from dehydration to irritation and rashes. The best time to shave is about five to ten minutes after having a warm shower, as this will have properly prepared your skin, meaning that you will be able to have a much finer shave.

Not Knowing Skin Type
A large number of men out there are completely unaware as to what their skin type is, and while this may seem complicated, it is, in fact, easy to figure out. If your skin is shiny, and prone to blackheads and acne, then you have oily skin, while those with dry skin would experience a rougher complexion with lines that are more visible, and perhaps red patches. Combination skin is a combination of both dry and oily, while normal skin tends to not have any of these issues. Until you have established your skin type, you will not be able to pinpoint the most beneficial products, meaning that your skin will not be receiving all that it needs.

Neglecting the Skin Underneath a Beard
When men grow a long beard, the focus tends to be placed on keeping the actual beard healthy and in shape, but the skin that lies underneath this is often forgotten about. Rather than neglecting this area and allowing skin issues to arise, invest in a quality beard oil, as this will penetrate through your beard and give your skin a boost of hydration.

Man applying sunscreen
Not Using Sunscreen
Neglecting to use sunscreen on a daily basis is a mistake that men and women are both equally guilty of, and with the sun being responsible for up to 90% of facial wrinkles, as well as plenty of other skin issues, this is something that needs to change immediately. A sunscreen should be used each and every day throughout the year, even if you plan on staying indoors, as the sun’s UVB rays are able to penetrate through clouds and glass, causing irreparable damage to your skin.

Using the Wrong Shaving Products
From razors to shaving cream, the products that you use to shave have a direct impact on the health of your skin. A high quality razor is essential, and this should always be replaced at the first sign of bluntness. When it comes to shaving cream and other similar products, natural ingredients, such as lavender and sandalwood, will always be beneficial, but you need to also match your shaving products to your skin type, which, after reading the above, you will have hopefully established by now.

While there are many common mistakes that men make when it comes to their skin, it is never too late to put a stop to these and begin caring for your skin in the correct way. From slathering on the sunscreen each day to investing in quality shaving products that are formulated for your skin type, these tips will help you to avoid these damaging skin care mistakes.

Anti-Aging Tips from the French

French woman with beautiful skin

With French women being known for their timeless beauty, it only makes sense to turn to them when seeking out some new anti-aging tips. From learning how they pamper their skin to borrowing some dietary advice, these tips will show you exactly how French women are able to obtain their naturally flawless complexion.

Regular Facials and Massages
Spas are extremely popular in France, and many women swear by regular facials and massages to help in their anti-aging quest. Thalassotherapy, a spa treatment that involves water jets, mud baths, seaweed wraps and sea-fog inhalation, actually originated in France, and is known for being able to tone muscles, including facial muscles, boost circulation, improve quality of sleep, and reduce cellulite.

French woman with beautiful skin

Less is More When it Comes to Makeup
The French have never been one to pile layer upon layer of makeup on their faces, and this goes a long way in keeping skin youthful and healthy. Instead of a heavy foundation, French women tend to go natural, opting for a small amount of blush instead, while those who do use a foundation will always apply it straight after their moisturizer, so that it blends in well with the skin to leave a soft, dewy and natural look.

Regular Exercise
While gyms may not be that popular in France, the French are still managing to maintain a regular amount of physical activity, and they mostly do this by walking. Rather than driving or taking a cab, spending half an hour walking to a destination is culturally preferred, with walking being a huge part of the traditional French lifestyle. While this may not seem like much, this regular physical activity is enough to bring about a wide range of anti-aging benefits.

Woman eating healthy food

Eat in Moderation
With plenty of decadent pastries and hearty, rich meals, French cuisine is not usually considered to be particularly healthy. However, the French are experts when it comes to eating in moderation, and pay close attention to portion size. An emphasis is always placed on maintaining a steady weight, as drastic weight loss or gain is never good for the body. In addition to this, the French diet always makes use of fresh produce whenever possible, and is, in a way, quite similar to the Mediterranean diet in this sense, which is known for being one of the healthiest, and most anti-aging, diets out there.

A Strict Skin Care Ritual
Many cultures around the world often turn to skin care only when there is a problem with their skin, whereas the French recognize the importance of developing a strict skin care ritual from an early age, and sticking to it throughout life. They invest heavily in skin care products, with many bathroom shelves resembling a high end skin care boutique, and take the time to figure out exactly what does, and does not, work for their skin.

Every culture around the world will have their own beauty traditions and rituals, and the French have quite a few that are definitely worth borrowing. From developing an anti-aging skin care routine to pampering your skin with regular spa treatments, these tips will help you to maintain a youthful appearance for many more years to come.

Skin Care for Better Makeup Application

Woman applying makeup

Skin care and beauty go hand in hand, because if your skin is in its healthiest state, not only will you need to use less makeup, but you will also achieve a much more flawless finish. From prepping your skin beforehand to enhancing your natural glow, keep these skin care tips in mind the next time you are applying your makeup.

Prep Your Skin
Whether you are off to work in the morning or heading out for a night on the town, your makeup will always look its best if your skin has been properly prepared beforehand. In order to truly start with a blank canvas, you need to first cleanse your skin with a gentle cleanser, before applying a toner to rebalance your skin’s pH level, as you want your skin to be at its best before applying any makeup products. Next, apply your serums, eye cream and moisturizer, before applying a primer. While a primer is not essential, this will give your skin some extra nourishment and hydration, while filling in any fine lines and wrinkles and acting as a base onto which your makeup can grip.

Woman applying lip balm

Don’t Forget Your Lips
Your lips are likely to be an important focus when applying makeup, but the skin on the lips is often neglected, making it important to prep your lips just as you would your skin. The best way to do this is by giving your lips a quick exfoliation, applying a gentle lip scrub in circular motions, before leaving it to rest for a few minutes. After rinsing this off, you will notice that your lips are so much softer and smoother, and a layer of a nourishing lip balm underneath your lipstick will help to keep them moist for the rest of the day.

Clear and Brighten Puffy Eyes
Rather than applying layer after layer of concealer to any under-eye dark circles, there are a number of ways in which you can naturally eliminate puffy eyes, making the rest of your makeup application much easier. The quickest way to do this is by performing a simple facial massage, rotating your ring fingers in the corners of your eyes near your nose in order to relieve any congestion, which is often the cause of puffy eyes. If you find that this is a frequently reoccurring issue that you have to deal with, then you should begin to look into the cause of your under-eye circles, whether this may be allergies or your sleeping position, and then work to change this.

Makeup brushes
Clean Makeup Brushes
If you do not thoroughly clean your makeup brushes once a week, as well as give them a quick clean after each use, then it is likely that you are transferring bacteria onto your skin each time they make contact with your face. There are many brush cleaners available that are most definitely worth investing in, and not only will this make a difference to your face, but it will also make it much easier to achieve a more professional makeup finish.

There are many ways in which your skin care practices will have an impact on the way in which you apply your makeup, and you should ensure that the two of these are always supporting each other as much as possible. From cleansing your skin before and applying any makeup products to knowing how to de-puff your eyes rather than needing to use layers of concealer, these skin care tips can really help when it comes to makeup application.

I Dream of Wrinkle-Free Aging

While aging may be an inevitable part of life, this does not necessarily mean that you have to deal with wrinkles and fine lines. By stepping up your anti-aging efforts from now, your dreams of wrinkle-free aging could very likely come true.

antioxidants

EQRoy / Shutterstock.com

Antioxidants
In addition to UV rays, the sun also emits infrared radiation, and studies carried out over recent years point to the way in which IRA is able to penetrate the skin even deeper than UV rays. However, just like with UV rays, IRA creates free radicals within the skin, which damage cells in many different ways. The best way to neutralize these free radicals is through the use of antioxidants, as they provide free radicals with the electron that they are missing, meaning that they no longer have to attack skin cells in order to acquire this electron. Vitamin C is the very best antioxidant for neutralizing free radicals, but try to ensure that the product that you use also contains vitamin E, as this helps to stabilize the vitamin C, keeping it potent for much longer. You should also be incorporating plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables into your diet, as these are packed with a whole range of skin-boosting antioxidants.

Woman applying sunscreen

Sun Protection
Studies have shown that UV rays from the sun are responsible for up to 80% of skin aging, meaning that if you want to put a stop to the development of fine lines and wrinkles, you need to put a stop to the amount of sun exposure that your skin receives. There are now many different options out there when it comes to choosing a sunscreen, and you are bound to be able to find one that works for your lifestyle. For those who use skin care products, whether it be lotions or creams, that already contain an SPF, this may be sufficient, but you need to ensure that you apply a thick layer of it onto your skin in order for your skin to be fully protected. Otherwise, your main choices lie between a chemical or a mineral sunscreen. Chemical sunscreens create a chemical reaction, turning UV rays into heat and then emitting this heat from the skin, while mineral sunscreens sit on the surface of the skin, deflecting UV rays away. Each will have their own pros and cons, so look into these carefully before making your decision.

Woman cleansing her skin

Keep It Clean
Your skin comes into contact with so many pollutants on a daily basis, and it does not take long for these to cause your skin to begin prematurely aging, bringing about deep wrinkles far sooner than you expected. From air pollutants to the bacteria that surrounds you every day, each of these can degrade the skin’s collagen supplies, as well as blocking future collagen production, and, without this protein, the skin is not able to maintain its firm and tight appearance. The best way to prevent this is by ensuring that your face is always kept clean. This means regularly cleansing it every evening, as well as doing a deeper cleanse, whether this may be professionally or at home with a facial mask, on a weekly basis. You should also be exfoliating a couple of times a week, and taking steps to minimize the number of unclean surfaces that your skin comes into contact with.

Wrinkles are a part of aging that everybody dreads, but these are not inevitable. By using effective products and keeping your skin protected from the sun from as early on as possible, you really will be able to enjoy wrinkle-free aging in the future.

I Dream of Flawless Skin

A smooth and flawless complexion is a lifelong dream of many, but, with a little bit of dedication, you can soon turn this dream into a reality. From making the correct lifestyle choices to using the very best of skin care products, these steps will lead you to the flawless skin of your dreams.

Woman applying eye cream

Personalized Daily Skin Care Routine
Truly flawless skin can only be achieved through the use of an effective daily skin care routine, but, since everybody’s skin is different, your skin care routine should be tailored to your individual skin. This means that you need to first identify your skin type, be it normal, combination, dry, oily, or sensitive, and then do some research into the various ingredients that are best suited to your skin type. When it comes to putting together your skin care routine, cleansing is always an essential first step, followed by the use of a toner to re-balance your skin’s pH level, which cleansing usually disrupts. You can then begin to apply your skin care products, beginning with the lightest and working your way up to the heaviest. This will usually mean serums, followed by an eye cream, and then a moisturizer, but, again, each product should be chosen based on your skin’s specific needs.

Woman making a smoothie

Healthy Lifestyle Choices
While you may think that you already take the best possible care of your skin, it really does not matter how many quality products you apply if you are still making the wrong lifestyle choices. Smoking, drinking and drug use will soon lead to everything from breakouts to a dull complexion to premature aging, while chronic stress, which causes the stress hormone cortisol to constantly run through your body, will do the same. A sedentary lifestyle will also lead to multiple skin issues, whereas those who begin to exercise on a daily basis will quickly notice a healthy boost to their complexion. One of the most important healthy lifestyle factors is diet, as processed foods, that are high in sugars and other unnecessary ingredients, will hugely detract from your complexion. The best way forward is a largely plant-based diet, with plenty of whole foods and fresh fruit and vegetables.

Recognize Bad Habits
If you have already been following all of the above steps but still find yourself suffering from seemingly random breakouts or moments of redness and sensitivity, then it is likely that you have some bad skin care habits that you are not aware of. Pressing an unclean cell phone against your face multiple times a day is a common one, and can be easily avoided by wiping down your phone a couple of times a day. You should also ensure that your pillowcase is frequently cleaned, as is your towel, as both of these can quickly transfer bacteria to your skin. Your hands are another part of your body that touches numerous unclean surfaces throughout the day, and if you tend to usually place your hands on or near your face, then this is another habit that needs to be stopped.

Many people dream of flawless skin, but it does take some effort to achieve this. While it may seem like hard work at the beginning, this dedication will soon pay off, making your dreams come true.

I Dream of a Clean and Clear Complexion

For those who have to frequently deal with issues such as pesky pimples or raging breakouts, it can often feel as though a clean and clear complexion will only ever be a distant dream. However, with some hard work and dedication, and by following each of these steps, you will soon be able to show off the complexion of your dreams.

Woman cleansing skin

The Most Effective Cleanser for Your Skin
Using a powerful cleanser can go a long way in bringing about a clear complexion, but you need to put some effort into choosing the very best cleanser for your skin. There are so many different cleanser types out there, but each will have their pros and cons, and it is worth looking into these. While foaming cleansers may be great for oily skin, they are too drying for dry or sensitive skin, with lotion-based cleansers being more suitable instead. If you suffer from frequent acne breakouts, a medicated cleanser may be what you need. You also need to keep the season in mind when picking a cleanser, as your skin naturally produces more oil in the summer, and is drier in the winter, so your cleanser needs to help balance this out.

Dietary Changes
While dietary changes are a common component of many long term detox programs, those that are not participating in a detox program should still make some dietary changes to benefit their skin. Studies have shown that there are extremely strong links between acne, as well as other skin issues, and certain foods, making it important to take a close look at the foods that you are eating if you are struggling to clear up your complexion. Refined carbohydrates are one food group that quickly lead to the production of more oil, which then clogs up pores and leads to breakouts, while dairy is known to contain particular hormones that send oil production into overdrive. When it comes to the foods that you should be eating more of, these include colorful fruits and vegetables, salmon and other oily fish, and green tea, as all of these contain components that reduce inflammation within the skin.

Woman drinking a smoothie

Detox Programs
Your body is exposed to various toxins all day long, whether this may be from the pollution all around you on the streets or from that cup of coffee that you drink each morning. While the body is able to naturally eliminate toxins, the amount that it needs to process in this day and age can often become quite overwhelming, leading to a build-up of toxins whose only escape route is through the skin. To prevent this from happening and to support your body’s natural detoxification processes, you need to clear this toxin build-up, and then maintain this afterwards. There are so many different detox programs out there, from juice cleanses to longer term programs that aim to overhaul all unhealthy life choices.

While some people seem to be able to enjoy a naturally clear complexion, others can only dream of doing so. However, while it may take more effort for some, this will most definitely pay off in the long run once you bring your dreams of perfect skin to life.

Bad Habits that Harm Your Skin

While you may try to take the utmost care of your skin, there are many habits that people have that actually cause much more harm than is realized. From falling asleep with your makeup still on to taking steamy hot showers, these bad habits should all be stopped as soon as possible if you want to maintain a healthy and clear complexion.

Woman taking a shower

Hot Showers
Hot, steamy showers are especially tempting during the colder, winter months, but they are something that should be avoided throughout the year. The skin on the face is extremely delicate, and while the hot water may feel soothing on the rest of your body, the high temperatures weaken the capillaries on the face. This then causes redness, as well as dry skin and dehydration, making a cool shower a much wiser option.

Unclean Makeup Brushes
Makeup brushes end up accumulating a lot of bacteria, and, if you do not clean them before using them, you will only be spreading this bacteria onto your face, which would significantly increase your chances of an acne breakout. There are many makeup brush cleaners that will do the job fantastically, or you could even wash your brushes with a gentle shampoo once a week, ensuring that they do not transfer any impurities to your skin.

Woman applying makeup

Sleeping with Makeup On
After a long and stressful day, it is all too easy to fall into bed in the evenings, forgetting to remove your makeup and cleanse your skin. While this may not seem like such a big deal if it only happens irregularly, even just one night of sleeping in your makeup can be extremely detrimental to your skin. Not only does this clog your pores, resulting in increased oil production, but it also dehydrates the skin, while pushing any makeup residue deep into your skin’s layers. As you age, and your collagen production naturally slows down, your pores will not be able to snap back into shape as easily after being enlarged by the impurities delving their way into them, making it absolutely vital to always cleanse and remove makeup before going to bed.

Excessive Alcohol
While you may try to limit your alcohol intake to one or two nights a week, you should still be keeping a close eye on exactly how much you consume if you want your skin to stay healthy. Alcohol dehydrates the skin, leaving it looking dull and rough, while also expanding its blood vessels, which will soon create spidery-looking veins around your nose and cheeks.

Woman wearing sunglasses

 

Skipping the Sunscreen
While the dangers of sun exposure are widely known, many still do not appreciate the protection that sunscreen provides. Even on the cloudiest of days, UV rays are still able to penetrate into your skin, and all of this sun exposure will not be doing your skin any good at all. From causing dryness to exacerbating existing skin conditions, to dramatically speeding up the aging process, skipping out on the sunscreen is one of the biggest skin mistakes that you can make.

Your skin is your largest organ, and deserves the very best of care. From keeping it well protected against the sun’s harmful rays to ensuring it has been well-cleansed each and every night, to keeping alcohol consumption to a minimum, any bad skin habits that you may have can easily be replaced by ones that are beneficial to your skin and health.

Reducing the Appearance of Cellulite and Sagging Skin

Cellulite and loose skin often go hand-in-hand with aging, mostly due to the way in which the skin begins to lose elasticity, especially after the age of 50. Fortunately, there are a number of ways in which you can reduce the appearance of these skin issues, from eating foods that boost elasticity to using products that will help to tighten your skin.

Woman  eating healthy food

Diet and Nutrition
The foods that you eat have a huge impact on your skin, and if you are trying to reduce the appearance of cellulite and sagging skin, it only makes sense to eat more of the foods that are able to help you on this quest. Foods that are low in calories but high in protein will help to strengthen your skin’s connective tissues, while fruits and vegetables will contain plenty of beneficial vitamins and nutrients. Another easy way to boost your skin’s elasticity is by ensuring that you stay hydrated, as dehydration will only exacerbate any cellulite or sagging skin. If you have a difficult time keeping your diet on track, it may be worth investing in some vitamins and supplements to ensure that your skin is receiving all of the nutrients that it needs.

Creams
There are so many different cellulite creams out there, and if this is a route that you want to take, it is important to remember that, chances are, the results that you will see are only going to be temporary. Products that contain caffeine are great for temporarily tightening the skin, while those containing vitamin A will help to thicken the outer layer of skin, therefore making any bumps much less visible.

Woman brushing legs

Dry Brushing
Dry brushing is a technique that has been practiced around the world for centuries, but only became popular in the US in the 1960’s. Dry brushes are easily available, and while this may seem like a method that is slightly too simple to help with the seemingly impossible task of banishing cellulite, it is actually extremely efficient. Dry brushing works by softening the hard fat cells that gather under the skin, thereby helping to distribute them more evenly around your body, while also clearing away the toxins that cause damage to the skin’s connective tissues.

Self-Tanner
Using a self-tanner is another temporary method to reduce the appearance of cellulite, and to make your skin appear much tighter overall. The darker your skin color is, the less obvious your cellulite will seem, but it is important to only use a sunless tanner, as UV rays will only break down your natural collagen even more. There are many different self-tanning products out there, from lotions to sprays, making this method ideal if you need a quick and easy fix, as well as a boost in confidence, for a day at the beach.

Cellulite and sagging skin are both extremely common, and while women all over the world may spend millions each year on anti-cellulite treatments, it is always worth seeking out the more gentle and natural solutions first. From adding collagen-boosting foods to your diet, to dry brushing your cellulite away, these methods are all worth trying if you are looking for skin that is smooth, firm and tight.