Jason Wu for Lancôme: Let’s Get Wu’d!

I wanted to start this post by saying that I don’t usually shop at Saks 5th Avenue. My girlfriend and I were passing Saks on the way to lunch last week, as we noticed that they were setting up inside for a special event. We found out that designer Jason Wu was going to make an appearance to launch his make up collection for Lancôme Paris. Being big fan’s of Jason’s designs for Michelle Obama, we decided to stick around for photo ops and champagne.

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I got to snap a picture and got a lovely Lancôme mirror, autographed by Jason. I learned that Wu’s Lancôme collection includes 2 Blush Pallets, 3 Eye Shadow Pallets, 2 Lip Colors, Eye Liner, Mascara, Nail Polish, and a Blush Brush.  Jason was very nice to answer my question about his favorite product in his line, which is ‘Disco’ Eyeshadow Palette. That was enough to get me in a chair to get my makeup done by Lancôme professionals. I really loved the pigments of the eye shadows and ended up buying ‘Midnight Floral’ Palette so I could play with it some more at home.

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I am a bit of a make up junkie, and buy a lot of stuff from both professional and mainstream brands. From my experience, when it comes to eye shadows it’s really hard to find a palette, where very color would be used equally. Even in my favorite Chanel’s ‘Les 4 Ombres’ palettes, there are always 1 or 2 colors that are left behind. After experimenting with “Midnight Floral” Palette, I quickly found out it won’t be the case. What a pleasant surprise! Every shade in the palette serves a different purpose: all over base, lid color, crease, highlighter and liner. I followed the instructions that came with it, and here is my final look:

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I was very impressed, or should I say I was Wu’d?  The eyeshadows felt silky and blended very well, you can easily go from a soft day time look to a dramatic smokey eye. Luminous and smooth, these pigments are really made to brighten up the eye! As I mentioned before, the palette comes with the detailed instructions, which is a great help for non-pro artists like myself.

You can learn more about the ‘Jason Wu for Lancôme’ line at Lancôme Website. Rumor has it, Mr Vu’s next venture is a collection for Helmut Lang. Congrats to Jason, and  we’ll be sure to keep an eye out for more cool stuff with his name on it.  Image

 

 

Ask a Bunny: Alison Waite

Say hello to Alison Waite, our Bunny guest of the week. Since becoming Miss May 2006 Aly’s claim to fame is a career as a television host. You have seen her on NBC’s Extra! as a field correspondent, a host of E! News Now on E! and MTV’s show “Frenemies”.

I’m always amazed of how Aly manages to look so amazing on TV. Remember, there is no photoshopping in live television. While you can get away with so much as a model, you really have to be picture perfect as a television host. Camera lenses don’t lie and what you see is what you get!

 

Alison Waite Playboy Playmate                   Alison Waite Playboy Playmate

We asked Aly to share some of her beauty secrets, that help her to always be camera ready:

ALY’S BEAUTY TIP #1 – JOJOBA OIL

“Jojoba oil from Trader Joe’s is my go-to eye make-up remover. Whether I’m wanting to remove a little mascara or a lot of heavy eye-make up and lash glue from a shoot this oil always delivers. And thankfully without any irritation. I used to buy eye make-up remover pads but it always left my eyes feeling dry and caused unsightly redness. Now I just keep the jojoba oil in the shower & put a very small amount on my fingertips. I then gently massage the oil onto my closed eyelids (you don’t want to actually get it in your eyes of course). And voila, after a few circular motions mixed with water from the shower head the eye make-up and glue disappears. I keep a wash cloth handy to wipe off the remnants if I  was wearing a ton of make-up from a shoot or a face wipe will work as well (I am just careful to not use the wipe near my eyes since it causes irritation in my case). Afterwards I follow with my normal apricot scrub face wash routine just to make sure all the access oil & make-up residue is gone. I have never been so pleased with a product & love that it is all-natural & inexpensive!”

ALY’S BEAUTY TIP #2 – Million Dollar Tan Mermaid Mousse Extreme

“I used to tan for hours everyday and frequented tanning beds in my younger days. Now I regret all that sun exposure and wear tons of SPF. Of course I loved the appearance of my super bronzed bod, but I’d rather not sacrifice my skin health nor do I want to appear older & wrinkly. While spray tans at the tanning salon were a good alternative, I never felt I achieved that golden glow that a real tan would provide. I always looked orange or streaky, it smelled bad & was always rubbing off. Luckily my dear friend in college (Go SDSU) was so sick of the bad sunless tanning products that were on the market, that she developed her own line.  I’m not just saying this because she is my friend.  Her Million Dollar Tan products are amazing! And they are organic, packed with moisturizers so they won’t dry out your skin. They don’t smell and best of all, the tan looks totally natural! I’m hooked! Especially before a shoot I’m always applying Million Dollar Tan the night before. I would recommend Mermaid Mousse Extreme to anyone that is wary of at-home applications.  If I can do this,  trust me, you can too! I love the deep dark  faux tan I get that lasts for about a week or so. http://www.milliondollartan.com/Mousses

3. ALY’S BEAUTY TIP #3 – SLEEP

“I’m a big fan of it! And everyone knows how vital it is to get your sleep if you want to look and  perform your best. For me, I love 8 hours (or more if I can get it) of uninterrupted sleep. It’s not always easy to fall asleep so I try to create the most zen atmosphere possible to ward off restless nights. I spray a lavender oil mist from Whole Foods in my sheets before bed. I also play music on my iPod that is relaxing, I especially like spa sounds on Spotify. I try not to watch TV or be on my phone, computer/Twitter/Instagram 30 min before I’m going to bed, but it’s easier said than done sometimes.  I can tell such a huge difference in my appearance after I’ve had a full restful night’s sleep. And if not, that’s what cucumbers and a good eye cream (La Mer eye balm) are for.”

Ali's Beauty Secret #1 - Jojoba Oil from Trader JoesAli's Beauty Secret #2 - Million Dollar Mermaid Mousse     Ali's Beauty Secret #3 - Sleep

I wanted to thank Alison  for taking time for our blog and I can’t wait to try Million Dollar Mermaid Mouss myself! Check out Aly’s hosting reel below to see how flawless she looks on camera, and be sure to follow her on Twitter and Instagram .

Photo credits: Sarah Orbanic and Nick Suarez

Alison Waite Playboy Playmate

 

 

 

All About Puffy Eyes: Part 2 – Main Causes

If you read my previous post you already know that I’ve been struggling with this problem for a very long time. As a result I had to make adjustments in my lifestyle and nutrition habits to keep the problem under control. I am convinced that when it comes to health and beauty, it’s not enough to treat the symptoms, you really have to find the cause of the problem.

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Here are main causes of puffy eyes:

 

#1 LACK OF SLEEP – Be sure to get enough zzz’s ! At least 8 hours a night.

#2 CRYING – Crying is not your friend, ladies! It causes major temporary puffiness due to fluid retention and eye irritation.

#3 COMPUTERS, SMART PHONES, TABLETS – If you are a social media freak like me, chances are your eyes never get any rest, which can result in dark circles and puffiness. Some people have to stare at the computer screen all day long due to the nature of their job. Whether you’re on your smart phone tweeting or at your desk job, I encourage everyone to take 5 minute breaks every hour, when you can close your eyes and give them a little rest.  Try not to use your iPad or Smart Phone right before bed. Reading hard copy books and magazines may be old-fashioned, but is actually a lot easier on the eyes.

#4 ALLERGIES AND SINUS INFECTION – Puffiness and irritation of the eyes often comes from your sinuses. Get that allergy under control instead of treating the symptoms.

#5 DIET – You are what you eat, indeed. In many cases excessive sodium consumption leads to water retention, which lands directly on your eye lids and results in puffiness. A lot of folks are under impression that they don’t use any salt in their food, and they forget all about processed foods. Processed foods contain high levels of sodium and chemicals including gluten. Over time, consumption of  too many processed foods can leave the body sluggish and unable to eliminate waste efficiently, which would contribute to inflammation and water retention. By the way, artificial sweetners have been implicated to cause fluid retention as well. If you regularly have puffy eyes, try cutting back on diet soda drinks, don’t reach for a packet Splenda, and see if it helps.

#6 GENES – In my case the puffiness is hereditary, so instead of bitching at the genes, change your diet and find the remedy that works for you. As a last resort see if there are any plastic surgery solutions out there.

#7 DEHYDRATION – I touched upon dehydration in my previous post. In case you missed it, here it is again: be sure to drink enough water, because when your body is dehydrated  it tries to hold on to fluids, which results in puffiness.

#8 LIFESTYLE ISSUES: SMOKING & DRINKING – I don’t think I need to explain harmful effect of booze and cigs on skin in general. Alcohol dehydrates the body, which causes fluid retention and puffiness after a night out. If you are consuming alcohol, be sure to drink equal amount of water to help your body hydrate. Water can prevent a hangover and puffy eyes in the morning.  Smokers may not notice formation of dark circles under their eyes right away, but with time bags under the eyes will appear along with other irreversible effects of skin aging.

#7 SERIOUS DISEASES – Puffiness may also be a sign of kidney disease, liver dysfunction or thyroid problems. Be sure to see your doctor and run the necessary tests if you are prone to major puffiness.

#8 IRON DEFICIENCY – Iron deficiency (anemia) is another cause of fluid retention, especially in women. Be sure to check your iron levels by doing a simple blood test.

 

I hope this information will help those who are trying to battle the puffiness. In my next post I will talk about remedies and dietary tips. Stay tuned!

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All About Puffy Eyes: Part 1 – Common Mistakes

Every once in a while everyone wakes up with puffy eyes in the morning. With me, it’s the other way around.  Every once in a while I would wake up with eyes that weren’t puffy. Doctors tested me for all kinds of potential causes, and we finally came to the conclusion that it’s a hereditary problem which runs in my family. My Mom’s puffiness developed into large bags under her eyes as she got older, my brother has them too.

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Over years of modeling I tried every possible remedy  so I could show up to a photo shoot not looking like I had a late night out. I stopped partying, cut out alcohol, was getting 10 hours of sleep every night, and still it would not make a token of difference. The worst puffiness would occur right before my cycle, when women’s body retains the most water. This problem caused  a lot of stress and frustration, and  I was eager to try every trick in the book. Eventually with time I discovered some remedies, that helped keep my puffiness in check. But until then I often became a victim of common mistakes and misconceptions.

MISTAKE #1 – DON’T DRINK WATER BECAUSE IT WILL MAKE YOUR EYES PUFFY IN THE MORNING

It is a very common misconception, unless you have chronic  kidney problems. Dehydration can actually be one of the main causes of puffiness and swelling of the eye area. When your body is dehydrated, it will try to retain water, and that results  in puffiness. The first cure for puffy eyes  is drinking plenty of water. Water with a slice of lemon in the morning is great! Lemon contains electrolytes beneficial to hydration and has an alkalizing effect on the body .

MISTAKE #2 – ICE CUBES

While ice in general will help to take the puffiness down in the morning, you should NEVER PUT THE ICE CUBES  DIRECTLY ON YOUR SKIN, even if in a plastic bag. I learned that a hard way by giving myself freezer burn on the lower eye lids. You can use an ice pack, but only over a wash cloth. Ice water can be a great safe alternative: you can soak cotton balls or a wash cloth in ice water, and literally “chill” for 10 minutes with your eyes closed.

MISTAKE #3  HEMORROID CREAMS & ASTRINGENTS

Once I showed up to the set with  an extensive puffiness. The make up artist I was working with wasn’t very happy about it, and she suggested I try using witch hazel on my eye lids the next day. Well, I should have known better, my skin is very sensitive, and naturally, I ended up with some redness and irritation.

On another occasion I tried Preparation H… In theory it could work, however it did not do a damn thing for me, except for the cooling  effect, as the cream just came out of the fridge. I also learned later, that one of the ingredients of Preparation H, a yeast derivative that is supposed to reduce puffiness, is no longer found in the version that’s available in the U.S. (The cream was reformulated in 1994.)  And here is the worst part: it got into my eye, which was extremely irritating!  All I can say,  puffiness became the least of my concerns on that morning. Now I have a new rule: I NEVER USE SUBSTANCES ON MY EYES THAT DON’T BELONG IN THE EYE AREA!

MISTAKE #4  WATER PILLS

A few years ago I was very frustrated with  puffiness and swelling, and a the last resort, I picked up a pack of water pills and started taking them a night before a big photo shoot. While I was feeling ok at first, on the morning of my big job I woke up having unusual symptoms. My heart was beating irregularly, I was feeling weak, dizzy and nauseous. What a night mare! Despite beeing sick,  I had to gather myself together and report to the set. The bottom line: water pills did not make the bags under my eyes go away, but gave me so many side effects, that I could barely make it through the day.

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As you can see, I truly made every disastrous mistake out there. I hope that my readers won’t fall into the traps of common beauty myths and misconceptions.  In my next post I will talk about the immediate remedies and some long term solutions for puffy eyes.

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Ask a Bunny: Marketa Janska

When someone says ‘Natural Beauty’, the first person who comes to my mind is Marketa Janska.  We’ve known each other for more than 10 years now, since she first became Playboy’s Miss July 2003. She is one of the very few people, who can be in front of the camera with no make up on and sexy-messy ‘I just rolled out of bed’ hair. She can really pull off this look! Marketa hardly ever wears make up in her day-to-day life, she only uses all natural and organic products for her skin care and she looks like a million bucks! We asked her to share some of her beauty secrets with our readers.

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MARKETA’S BEAUTY TIP #1:

“Every day I start my morning with a cup of hot water with lemon. It’s a really great habit to have:  keeps your PH levels in balance and is great for the digestive system. Not only Vitamin C in lemon gives a great boost to your immune system, but it also helps with the production of collagen. Take your hot lemon water every morning and wait for 30 minutes before you eat something.”

MARKETA’S BEAUTY TIP #2:

“The secret behind my skin glow is “Egyptian Magic All Purpose Skin Cream”. It has a great combination of all natural ingredients: olive oil, beeswax, honey, bee pollen, royal jelly and propolis extract. I use it as a night-time moisturizer for my face, it also works great on your lips, knees and elbows, cuticles, hair, and can even prevent stretch marks!”

MARKETA’S BEAUTY TIP #3

“Another one of my favorite products is “Rose Water & Glycerine Spray” by Heritage. I carry it in my purse and spray it on my face any time my skin needs a little pick-me-up. The combination of pure rose water and vegetable glycerin is very nourishing and really locks in the moisture in your skin.  Can be used as a great finishing spray for your make up or a leave-in conditioner for your hair. And the smell is divine!”

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You can find out more about benefits of the Egyptian Magic Cream at http://www.egyptianmagic.com/ . It comes in 2Oz and 4Oz jar, you can purchase it in Costco, Urban Outfitters and many online retailers at the price of $26-$39, depending on the size.

Rose Water and Glycerine Face Spray can purchased in Whole Foods or from online retailers. It comes in 4 and 8 fl oz and price anywhere between $4 and $12, depending on the size.

On behalf of our readers I wanted to thank Marketa for taking time to share her beauty secrets with us. Be sure to connect with Marketa on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, her official website www.marketjanska.com. Look for Marketa’s music on iTunes, apart from modeling she is a talented recording artist. We wishing Marketa the continuous success in her career!

Photo credit: Sarah Orbanic

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My Face Cleansing Regimen

In this post I wanted to talk a little bit more about my Rule #1 – face cleansing.  Our face is tend to collect a lot of dust and bacteria throughout the day, so even if you don’t use make up it is very important to wash your face thoroughly mornings and nights to remove all the impurities before they end up in your pores.

There are so many great facial cleansers on the market, but my most favorite product is Toleraine purifying foaming cream by Le-Roche Posay.  It was recommended by my dermatologist.  Toleraine is hypoallergenic, fragrance free, great for sensitive skin and leaves your skin squeaky clean! I used some other gentle cleansers before, but most of them don’t give you the squeaky clean feeling. You only need a pea size of the product to create reach leather. Toleraine Foaming cleanser retails for about $20-$23, you can find it in Target, CVS and Ulta.

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I like to use cellulose cleansing sponges with my foaming cleanser. They are soft enough to not upset sensitive skin, yet rough enough to give a little exfoliation and help cleanse the face thoroughly.  You can get them in Wal-Mart, Sephora or any beauty supply store. Sponges retail anywhere from $3 to $6 (a pack of 2 or 3), one sponge usually lasts me a couple of weeks. You can actually use them much longer if periodically sterilized.

I understand, that not everyone can spend $23 on a facial wash, Neutrogena cleansers are a great alternative within $7-$10 range, the downside is that most of them are nor fragrance free. Neutrogena Ultra Gentle Daily Cleanser is a great “on a budget” alternative.

After washing and drying my face I follow-up with alcohol free toner. I use Obagi toner, which is a bit pricy, Neutrogena has a great one as well!

I would love to know what your favorite products are, please comment and share your experience with me!

3 Ground Rules for Beautiful Skin

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Here are 3 very simple rules to keep your skin young and healthy. I follow these rules religiously and I am confident that if you do too, you will soon notice a big difference!

RULE #1 – CLEANSE

No lady should ever ever go to sleep with make up on. I don’t care how tired you are, you have to do it. Wiping it of with a wet wipe is not good enough! You have to wash it clean with water. You skin needs to rest and breathe free of make up & oils.

RULE #2 – HYDRATE

No fancy moisturizer will make a difference if you don’t hydrate from the inside. Get in the habit of drinking at least 8 glasses of water a day. My water intake is about 12-14 glasses a day. And when I say water,  I mean water, not an ice tea or a Diet Coke. We live very fast paced lives nowadays, it is so easy to forget to drink enough throughout a day, unless you carry a jug of water with you. I never leave the house without a bottle of water, I have one on stand by in my car, I start every meal with a glass of water. Hydrate your body and you will see the difference in your skin as well!

RULE #3 – PROTECT

Hide your faces from the sun, ladies! Everyone knows that sun is a #1 cause of premature aging. But not everyone follows through with putting sun screen on their face every single day, not just when they go to the beach. I wear SPF 30 or higher even on a cloudy day. Sun activity is rising every year as the ozone layer gets thinner and thinner, so it’s up to us to protect ourselves, even if you think your skin is not prone to sun damage. Sun damage accumulates in your skin and often results in pigmentation and premature aging years later. There are so many great sun screen products suitable for every budget and t is very easy to find one that works for you.

In my future blog posts I will talk more about my skin cleansing regiment and my favorite sun screen products. Stay tuned!