Shades of Beauty

MY Beauty Secret

- How to get smooth and radiant skin without spending a fortune on lotions -

For years I spend a fortune on body lotions which promised to give me the smoothest skin of my life. The outcome was mediocre. Sure my skin was softer and more hydrated right after the application, but in the long run, I just wasn't happy with my skin, until I started Dry Brushing it. 

Since then, my skin is in the best condition ever. So, for all of you who want smoother and healthier looking skin, I highly recommend Dry Brushing

 

What is Dry Brushing

All you have to do is take a firm body brush with natural bristles and brush your whole body with it, excluding the face.

Dry Brush your body before you take a shower not afterwards. Start brushing at your ankles in gentle circular, upward motions. Always brush towards your heart because the lymphatic fluid flows through the body towards the heart, so it is important to brush in the same direction. The exception to the rule is your back. Here you begin brushing the neck and move downwards to your lower back.

 

I always start with one leg, then switch to the other side. Afterwards, I brush the front part of my upper body, then my rear side and last but not least I finish with my arms. 

 

The whole procedure sounds very time-consuming, but I promise you once you develop a routine it last no longer than ten minutes.

Benefits of Dry Brushing

 

1.  It Exfoliates Your Skin

By brushing your skin you remove all the dead skin cells. Even after the first brushing session, you will feel an immediate difference in your skin condition. Overtime, after regularly Dry Brushing your skin, you'll get the smoothest skin you'll ever had.

 

2. It Unclogs The Pores and Congests The Skin

Dry skin cells clog your pores leaving your skin dull, uneven and with impurities. By removing those dry cells your skin becomes more radiant and pure.

 

3. It Refines Your Figure

Dry Brushing helps to refine your silhouette because it distributes your body's fat deposits more evenly throughout your body.

 

4. It Helps To Reduce The Appearance Of Cellulite

Cellulite is a result of toxic materials that have accumulated in the body’s fat cells and are unable to be eliminated from the body. Dry brushing increases the circulation thereby it helps to break down those trapped toxins and eliminates them through the body's usual elimination channels. Therefore, the appearance of cellulite will be visibly reduced.

 

5. It Stimulates Your Lymphatic System

Dry Brushing also stimulates your lymphatic system. Your lymphatic system helps you to remove toxins from your body. Without those toxins, your body is able to run more efficiently. As a result, you feel fitter and more awake.

 

Let me know if you gave it try.

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Shades of Beauty

How I prolong my summer tan

- My three favourite products -

Although the summer hasn't shown his face here in Northern Germany, I managed to get a decent summer tan on my Rome vacation.

Now, I am determined to prolong this tan as long as possible. Here are my three favourite products to hopefully extend my tan into early fall.

 

 

 

The Tan Maximizer is an after sun moisturiser. It contains a so-called Reinforced Tan Activator Complex aka TAC. This magic ingredient prolongs the natural melanin release in the skin, to boost the tan as if you are still in the sun. 

All you have to do is to apply it daily after you sun exposure or your return from the holidays. I have used it several times, and it works. It not only prolongs the tan but also makes it appear more even and intense. You can use it on your body as well as on your face. This special formula comes with a price. You have to pay about 30 for a bottle.

 

 

 

This one is a new discovery of mine. I use it for about three weeks. So far, I like it. In contrast to the Tan Maximizer, it contains self-tanner. Depending on how often you use it you can build up a decent tan or prolong your already existent one.

It comes in two shades light/medium and medium/dark. 

I use the light/medium one, and it enhances my tanned skin in a natural-healthy looking way. So far, no streaks or orange looking skin.

I have to admit, I don't know how it performs on a not tanned skin, but from experience with other tanning products, I don't think the outcome is that different. 

Cost wise it is a little bit less expensive than the Tan Maximizer.

3. Natura Vitalis Magic Sun Lift Capsules

Unlike my first two products, this one is not for external use, you have to swallow two capsules per day.

I take them since the beginning of April, and my experience is different from what I expected. The main ingredients of these capsules are different kinds of melanin and copper. These two should boost the melanin production from the inside so that you look naturally tanned without the need of sun exposure.

Well, this didn't work out for me. Even after months of taking them, I didn't see any visible changes in my tan. Nonetheless, I would still recommend this product because with additional sun exposure I tanned much quicker. Furthermore, no matter how long I expose my skin to the sun I don't get sunburned anymore. Also, self-tanning products work so much faster on my skin. I only need one application to achieve my desired result. 

 

In general, I believe these capsules are a great way to protect the skin from sun damage and photo-ageing. You can get them here.

 

That's it from my side. What are your tips to prolong your summer tan?

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Shades of Beauty

Last Minute DIY Face Mask for Glowing Skin

Are you feeling a little bit sluggish and your skin is looking dull after all those Xmas celebrations? No worries, I know a last minute face mask that will bring back the glow to your complexion. Just in time for your new year's eve celebration. The best part is, you don't have to spend any money because all you need is already in your kitchen cupboards.

 

Ingredients

 

- extra-virgin olive oil

- honey 

- baking soda 

- a bowl

- a tablespoon


Why these ingredients? They work wonders on your skin. 

Olive oil, as well as honey, have moisturizing properties to make your skin soft, smooth and hydrated. Olive oil also helps to repair your skin, promotes elasticity, and reduces blemishes. While honey fights off bacteria, tightens your skin pores, protects your skin from sun damage, and premature wrinkling. 

The baking soda works as a gentle exfoliating agent removing dead skin cells. Furthermore, it reduces redness caused by breakouts and boosts circulation. 

Preparation

 

1. Put a teaspoon of extra-virgin olive oil, one-half teaspoon of honey, and one teaspoon of baking soda into your bowl.

 

2. Mix the ingredients well to form a thin paste. If you prefer it a little bit thicker, just add more baking soda. That's it your face mask is ready for application.

Application

1. Wash your face before applying the mask. Leave your skin slightly damp for better adherence of the mask.

2. Spread the mask on your face and neck in small circular motions. Leave on for 20-30 minutes.

3.  Then rinse it off with lukewarm water. 

 

Tip: Afterwards, apply a face cream to lock in the moisture. To maintain the glowy complexion use this mask at least once a week.

 

 

This is it from my side for this year. I hope you all have a great 2017 and keep dropping by on my blog. Thank you so much for all your feedback and support throughout 2016. See you in 2017.

 

Xoxo Karen

 

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Shades of Beauty

Last Minute Beauty Gift Guide

Are you still on the hunt for the last Christmas gifts? I put together some Beauty Gift Ideas with a short explanation what I particularly love about each product. 

 

Weleda Skin Food

This cream is a lifesaver for your winter skin, it protects you from harsh weather conditions and brings even the dryest skin back to life. 

Tip: I love to use Weleda's Skin Food as a primer under foundation to achieve a dewy look.


 

MAC Fix+

Once you tried MAC Fix+ you never want to live without it again. A few spritzes transform every 'Makeup face' into a flawless, dewy looking skin. I like to freshen up my makeup with this spray throughout the day. 


 

 

YSL Cinema

YSL's Cinema is a warm, seductive, oriental scent that lingers on your skin for hours. I get compliments every time I wear it.

 


 

RCMA No Color Powder

My go-to powder to set my makeup. It doesn't change the colour of my foundation, never looks cakey no matter how much I apply, and is a bargain.


Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge

One of my favourite ways to apply makeup is with this sponge. The Miracle Complexion Sponge guarantees a streak-free makeup application.

It also works wonders for applying loose powder because it prevents a powder overkill.


 

NYX Highlight & Contour Palette

A great palette if you want to get started with the Highlight & Contour game as it offers a variety of shades for fair to darker skin tones. 

Tip: Use the ones that are either too dark or light as eyeshadows.

 


 

 

Urban Decay Smoky Eyeshadow Palette

The Smoky Palette is a great allrounder palette. Offering an equal amount of matte, satin, and shimmery/metallic shades to achieve every eye look you desire.


 

Charlotte Tilbury's Magic Cream

The Magic Cream is a moisturizer and primer at the same time, leaving your skin hydrated and glowy for hours to come. I love to mix the cream with my foundation for an extra glow.


 

Face by Pixiwoo

A brilliant book to learn everything you need to know about makeup. Everyone can learn something from this book no matter how skilled. Moreover, it comes with a free app which includes video tutorials with even more tips and tricks how to achieve the makeup look of your dream.


Natasha Denona Body Glow

Body Glow is a water and sweat resistant body lotion/makeup that blurs out imperfections by creating a natural-looking glowing skin. With this baby, you will never feel too pale again. It is suitable for every skin tone as it comes in three shades. Even better, it doesn't transfer onto your clothes, therefore, wearing white will be no problem.

 


I hope I could give you some inspiration. See you soon!

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Shades of Beauty

The dirty truth about micellar water

For the last year or so micellar waters are the "thing" to get the perfect skin, you always wanted. Some of you may wonder if just one product can deliver all of this? The answer is no. In fact, it can do quite the opposite by using it the way it is promoted. Let me explain why.

The Hype

Allegedly, micellar water is the beauty secret of all French women. They just pour a little bit on a cotton pad, swipe it over the face, and that's it for their skincare routine. No additional steps are necessary, no rinsing of the face; some even profess you need no extra moisturiser due to the "magic formula" of these micellar waters. According to the claims, they solely consist of micelles suspended in soft water. These act like little magnets pulling the dirt out off the skin. Even better, the reported lack of alcohol or soap in these solutions should result in a hydrated skin.

The Truth

Yes, micellar water has its origins in France, where it was invented as an addition to the harsh water, but that's about it when it comes to the truth.

 

First Misconception: Micellar Waters don't contain soap or other abrasive chemicals.

Wrong, when you break it down to basics, micellar water is nothing more than soapy water. To explain why I have to go a little bit deeper into the whole face cleansing process.

 

To remove oil or makeup from your face, you need a surfactant to break down the interface between oil and water. Oil and water can't stand each other that's why oil always floats on top of the water. Here is where the surfactants come into play. The term derives from the words surface active agent. They consist of a hydrophilic head (loves water) and a lipophilic tail (loves oil). 

This structure allows them to break down the interface between oil and water as well as holding the oils/dirt/makeup in suspension allowing their removal. Because of this dirt-removing feature, you find surfactant in (almost) every cleansing product. 

 

What do surfactants have to do with the micellar water? 

 

Well, when surfactants interconnect with water, they huddle together into little spheres called micelles, the water-loving heads point to the outside while the oil-loving tails point inwards. Hence micelles are simply little soapy batches swimming in water.

 

 

Image


Why don't micellar waters need additional water?

The reason is the cotton ball. Like water, it is hydrophilic (water-loving). So, when you pour some micellar water onto a cotton pad, the outward pointing water-loving surfactant heads are drawn to the cotton pad, while the oil loving tails point to the outside grabbing the oil and makeup while you wipe the pad over your face.

 

So far we can retain: Micellar water is a two in one cleansing product, containing soap like batches swimming in water. These micelles obviate the need for added water to remove excess oil and makeup from the face. The only additional thing needed is a cotton pad.


Second misconception: You don't have to rinse off your face after using micellar water.

 

To put it bluntly, I can't recommend it. Like all the other facial cleanser micellar waters have one purpose to clean your face. So, if you don't rinse it off, you leave these cleansing action on your skin for the whole day, night or even worse 24/7.  For sure, there are different kinds of surfactants, some are milder than others, but still, I wouldn't leave the micellar water on the face without ever removing it.

 

You risk that it breaks down your protective skin barrier which shields you from changing weather conditions, air pollution as well as free radicals. Such a damaged skin barrier can lead to dryness or even premature signs of skin ageing. Moreover,these cleansers are for sure no replacement for you moisturiser and your sunscreen. 

 

Although the claim is, that these waters don't contain any additional alcohol, fragrance or other abrasive chemicals, many of them do. Just check the ingredients list. They can, therefore, further increase the risk of a damaged skin barrier, when resting on the skin nonstop.

 

Summary

Micellar waters don't contain a "magic formula". They are facial cleanser with the same active ingredients like every other one, too. They certainly don't replace all your other skin care items and shouldn't be left on the skin all day long. 

 

I hope this overview was helpful. Until then...

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Shades of Beauty

why you should include rosehip oil into your skin care routine

Beauty Oils

As I already mentioned in my August RoundUp, I have a new addition to my skin care routine: rosehip oil.

I included rosehip oil into my skin care routine because of its effective ingredients. It consists of vitamins, antioxidants and essential fatty acids. They help the skin to restore its youthfulness and to combat signs of premature ageing. Here are five benefits of rosehip oil.

1. Anti-Ageing effect
Rosehip oil helps reducing fine lines and wrinkles because it contains high amounts of vitamin C, A, and lycopene. Both Vitamins stimulate your collagen production. Besides that, vitamin A is a small molecule. It can penetrate deeper into the skin and improves the skin’s moisture levels. Vitamin C and lycopene can also repair the skin's surface and restore its elasticity. All of this leads to firmer, more youthful looking skin and who doesn't want this.

 

2. Photo-Ageing Protection
Like I mentioned in a previous post, the sun can damage your skin causing discoloration, dark spots and decrease of collagen, resulting in premature skin ageing.
The antioxidants in rosehip oil combat free radicals to protect the skin against the effects of the sun. Furthermore, the vitamin A, combined with the oil’s essential fatty acids, can improve already visible skin damage by bettering the skin tone, texture and pigmentation. Vitamin C and A also counteract the decrease of collagen through sun exposure.
Please keep in mind that also the antioxidants of rosehip oil combat photo-ageing, it is not a replacement for your sunscreen.

 

3. Eczema and Scar Treatment
If you suffer from scarring or eczema, using rosehip oil can alleviate these skin conditions. The main constituents responsible for this are the essential fatty acids. They are emollients which improve the skin’s flexibility as well as the permeability and help the skin regenerate/repair itself. More than that, these essential fatty acids aid in reducing dry and itchy skin, the common symptoms of eczema.
The vitamin A plays a role here as well since it has the ability to improve skin texture and tone.

 

4. Texture
If you shied away from using oils in your skincare routine, because they left an oily residue on your skin, you should try out rosehip oil. It is much lighter than other oils, non-greasy and therefore is absorbed quickly into your skin.

 

5. Historical Usage
Last but not least the efficiency of rosehips has been proven throughout the centuries. Because of their healing properties, the Egyptians, Mayans and Native Americans used rosehips as a remedy. The Britains even made syrup out of the oil and handed it to children during wartime to strengthen their bodies defences.

 My personal favourite    

Get it here or here

Tips
A good rosehip oil comes in a dark container to prevent rancidity, many of them are enriched with vitamin E to further improve their shelf life. I store mine in a drawer to maintain the quality of the oil. Furthermore, I would opt for a cold-pressed oil. They haven't been altered by heat and, therefore, retain more nutrients.
 
After using rosehip oil for almost eight weeks, I can see real improvements in my skin texture. It is less red, more moisturised, has a healthy glow, and fine lines are reduced. If you search for a product to improve your complexion, I highly recommend rosehip oil.

Let me know if you tried it. Until then...

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Shades of Beauty

How to avoid a Makeup meltdown

Beauty Trick

Today I share my three favourite tips with you how to avoid a blotchy foundation and to combat greasy skin. Here they are...

1. Basics - Blotting Papers
To combat the greasy patches on your foundation never, I repeat never ever, just put powder on top of it. The excess oil, your makeup, and the added powder will melt into a blotchy mess. To avoid this unpleasant makeup situation, always use a blotting paper first to remove the extra oil on your skin. After that, you can touch up your makeup with some powder or your foundation of choice.

2. Use the blotting paper like a pro
To prolong the time until you have to touch up your foundation, use your blotting papers strategically. After your moisturiser has set into the skin use them to remove excess oil and moisturiser. By doing so, your foundation goes on much more evenly and stays matte for a longer time.
To extend the effect further, use a blotting paper after your foundation application but before setting it with powder. Again, the blotting paper will take away any extra foundation, leaving your makeup looking more flawless, and lengthening the oil-free period.

My favourite Products for these tips

3. Lock it, lock it real good
This last tip will make your foundation last the whole day or even longer. Start by applying your moisturiser, then add the powder on top of it, and afterwards apply your foundation.
Yes, you read correctly, first the powder than the foundation. By applying powder over your moisturiser/ primer you are locking it into the skin. Besides the prolonged staying power of your foundation, you will need less foundation, and you can use a powder blush directly on top of it.
 
I swear on this technique for long trips, working hours or special occasions where I want to look extra flawless.

 


If you have any further question, feel free to ask.

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Shades of Beauty

Why you should consider sleeping on a silk pillow

Beauty Sleep

We all know the commercials where a model wakes up in the morning and jumps out of bed, fresh-faced with glowing skin and perfect hair, but reality looks somewhat different. We probably all have been waking up with bed lines on our faces and a mophead. However, there is one item which can prevent all of this and more: a Silk Pillow.

The unique properties of silk will bring you major beauty benefits. After knowing them, you may be asking yourself why didn't I purchase a Silk Pillow earlier? At least I do. Here they are.


1. Anti-Ageing
Silk contains 18 essential amino acids which are known to counteract the effects of ageing. Furthermore, silk embodies natural cellular albumen that speeds up the metabolism of your skin cells meaning quicker cell turnover, this ultimately, helps to reduce signs of (early) ageing.

2. Hydration
Silk is a non-absorbent fibre in contrast to cotton. Therefore, it doesn't draw your natural moisture from your skin or hair while you are sleeping. More moisture in your skin means more hydration and eventually leads to less fine lines and wrinkles.

Another result of this non-absorbent trait of silk is that your face creams perform more effective because they will soak into your skin instead of your pillow.

3. Smooth Skin and Hair
The smooth surface of silk leads to less friction of your facial skin as well as your hair. The results are fewer wrinkles/sleep lines, reduced redness, less breakage of your hair and a decreased bed hair effect.

4. Reduces Skin Irritations
Silk is naturally hypoallergenic combined with its smooth surface it leads to fewer skin irritations even for the most sensitive skin.

So if you want to get the most out of your beauty sleep, a Silk Pillow will contribute to it. I just started sleeping on a silk pillow, so I can't share any long term results, but so far I can say my skin feels smoother and more hydrated in the morning.


Has anyone of you some long term experiences?

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Shades of Beauty

My favourite beauty looks of the Met Ball 2016

Beauty Highlights

Hey everyone, today I show you my favourite beauty looks of the MetBall 2016. Some beauty trends clearly emerged throughout this evening: the bold dark red lip, metallic accents, braids, and shiny, almost glossy hairstyles. Each of these trends is wearable and can be incorporated into your daily beauty look. Here are my favourite looks of the evening.

Solely taken the beauty part into account, Rachel McAdams was my winner. While I only liked the upper part of Rachel McAdams's dress, her beauty look was flawless. The dark lips flattered her skin and the hairstyle enhanced her stunning makeup even further.

Katy Perry`s look was by far the most unsuitable for daily use but also the best transformation. Her bleached eyebrows and her pale skin in contrast to her dark hair and lips created a non-human creature look, truly hitting the "technology" part of the theme.

The perfect package of the evening was Zendaya. I really do think she was one of the few if not the only one, who looked stunning from head to toe. Her shiny hair, the glowing skin and the soft brown/bronze smokey eye complemented her dress perfectly.

 

What was your favourite beauty look of the evening?

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Shades of Beauty

How to contour  your collarbone

All eyes on the cleavage

Following last Friday's post about the Cold Shoulders trend, I`ll show you today how to add that little extra something to an off-the-shoulder outfit. To enhance the structure of my neckline and to create definition to this area, I like to contour my collarbones subtly. Some of you might get intimidated by the word Contouring but trust me it is quite simple. Just follow the steps below.

 

Basics
Every time I wear a deeper neckline, I make sure to put a little bit of makeup on my decollete. That way my face and my chest area have the same texture and more evenly skin tone.
To contour, you can use cream or powder products. If you solely use powder products, you`ll receive a more matte finish. By using cream products, your result will be dewier. Your contour colour has to be one or two tones darker than your skin tone. And it needs to be matte to create the illusion of an actual shadow. Try to find a shade with beige, taupe, or grey undertones that suit your skin tone. Your highlighter, on the other hand, can be shimmery. Choose a shade that is one or two tones lighter than your skin. If you have a warm skin undertone, choose a highlighter in gold or champagne tone. Pick a more pink or rose highlighter if your skin undertone is cold. Below you can see some of my favourite products to contour and highlight.

Now let's get started
1. I always start with the contour shade. First, I make sideway triangles on each side of my collarbone. Then I contour under my collarbone by adding a diagonal line to the underside of my collarbone.
2. Afterwards, I am adding the highlight shade by placing it directly onto my collarbone. The highlighter will make your collarbone stand out a little bit more.
3. Then you need to blend it in. Blending means to diffuse the colour until you can`t see any harsh lines, just a subtly enhanced area. My advice is to finish one colour completely and then move on to the other one. I prefer to begin with the contour shade. To blend, you can use a makeup brush or a sponge. I favour a dampened sponge.
If you use creams, you have to set them with powder. For a natural finish use a colourless setting powder. RCMA's NO COLOR powder is my favourite. To intensify the look, set the creams with a highlight and contour powder. My brush of choice, for setting or to simply contour with powders is a fan brush. It blurs the lines easily, for a naturally enhanced neckline.

I love the effect of this technique. Let me know what you think in the comment section.

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Shades of Beauty

How to maintain  your V-shaped face

- Trick to maintain your youthful look -

Today I want to share with you a little trick, how to maintain your youthful look without going under the knife. If you are interested, keep on reading.

Quite a while ago I saw a TV documentary about beauty. This documentary touched every aspect of beauty from plastic surgery, botox, fillers, ancient beauty rituals to individual beauty approaches. One woman that stood out of the mass, for me, was a woman from South America. She was in her eighties, which I couldn`t believe. I thought she was two decades younger. Here comes her "little secret":


To maintain her youthful looking face she always massages her face cream into her skin in an upward motion, so that her facial muscles won`t be dragged down, in addition to the normal ageing process. To furthermore counteract the sagging of her skin, she treats herself with a short 5-10 min face massage every evening. The massage is based on the same concept, to lift up her facial muscles and features. She promised an immediate as well as a long-term effect.

Here is what she does:
As you can see by the red arrows I painted on the face chart she massages her skin in an upward angle from the inside of her face to the outside. This is import: Always move from the inside to the outside, in an upward motion, to really lift up your facial muscles and features.


I adopted this routine by placing my middle and index flat onto my skin at the outer corner of my mouth moving up with light pressure of my fingers to the outside of my face. I repeat the same process for each red arrow 20-30 times until I have massaged both sides of my face. After that, I massage my forehead drawing little circles on my forehead again from the inside to the outside. And like the woman promised, after the massage, I noticed an instant lifting effect and over time I even improved my V-shape face form as well as my facial features.

 

I challenge you to try this one side of your face and compare it to the other untreated side. You will see that the massaged side looks more lifted than the other side.

Lately, I stepped up my face massage game by using this facial roller. While the routine on both face sides remains basically the same except I use the facial roller instead of my fingers, I have to change the routine slightly on my forehead. Because I can't draw tiny circles on my forehead with the roller, I first move it from my brow line to my hairline and afterwards from one side to the other side. I feel that the facial roller increases my blood circulation and somehow makes my skin look more glowy and even firmer in comparison with just using my fingers.

You can purchase a similiar

You can purchase a similar roller here

 

No matter what method you chose you can use your regular facial cream to preform the routine. I love to use oils like argan and coconut. Let me know, if you tried it or if you have any further questions regarding this routine

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