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Lean into nature for a fresh and healthy look this spring.

Spring is here — or will be shortly — so it’s time for fresh faces and clean looks. Traditionally, “spring cleaning” means we disinfect our homes, reorganize our closets and generally purge our abodes of dirt and clutter; this means we also need to examine what’s in our makeup drawers and beauty bags.

Sure, we all have our favorite palettes, nail polishes and mascaras but, like food, almost all makeup has an expiration date. Not only can things start to get clumpy and dry out but products can also become a breeding ground for harmful bacteria — especially makeup that contains moisture. Expensive to replace? Yes, it can be. Worth a good case of pink eye, Pseudomonas aeruginosa or Staphylococcus epidermidis? Absolutely not.

Here are some guidelines for when to toss your makeup:   

Mascara and eyeliner: every three months. Our eyes are most susceptible to infection, so in accordance with the Food and Drug Administration’s recommendation you should replace your mascara at least once every three months. The same is true with eyeliner — liquid or pencil. I realize you probably have many different shades of liner but once you use one, bacteria can begin to build on the tip.   

Liquid foundation and concealer: every 12 months. Or sooner if you dip your fingers or a makeup brush into the foundation instead of using a pump; this increases the odds of bacterial growth.   

Cream blush and cream eyeshadow: every 12 months. And always use a new applicator when you’re applying them: Q-tip, freshly washed hands, clean makeup sponge, etc.   

Lipstick, lipgloss and lip liner:every 18-24 months. Toss them earlier if they start to dry out or you used them when you were sick or had a cold sore. Lip liners may last a little longer because you can continuously sharpen them, exposing new product.   

Powder products (blush, bronzer, eyeshadow):every 24 months. You can also spray powdered items with 99 percent isopropyl alcohol to help kill surface bacteria.   

Makeup brushes: It’s a good idea to clean these once a week to prevent bacterial build-up. Wash them with a gentle shampoo and then let them air dry. 

My tip: Put a “trash” date on your makeup packages with a marker so you know when to replace them. Also, if any of your products start smelling strange, change color or texture or you apply them while you have an infection, you’ll need to stop using them immediately and throw them away.

Now that you’ve purged, let’s consider a “fresh” approach to your new product selection. While in the past organic makeup didn’t conjure up images of glamorous palettes, things have changed. There are now several natural skincare and makeup brands with a range of innovative, contemporary and actually pretty offerings to consider. Here are a few of my favorites:   

Dr. Hauschka
This brand is famous for organic skincare products, but the company also has a complete line of makeup products including foundation, powders, mascara, lipstick, eye shadows and more. Dr. Hauschka’s organic makeup is certified by BDIH (the Germany-based nonprofit association of industries and trading firms for pharmaceuticals) and contains no synthetic chemicals. Their products are formulated using organic and biodynamic ingredients and pure minerals. My personal favorite: Natural Allure Illuminating Powder — a delightful pure silk powder that gives you a light shimmer.  

Ecco Bella
Ecco Bella cosmetics have some of the highest amounts of organic components. This makeup brand has a complete line of cosmetics as well as skincare products. The company’s products are free of preservatives, artificial colors and gluten and full of natural ingredients like organic jojoba oil, calendula and chamomile. Their products are also reasonably priced. For fresh, dewy lips this spring, check out Good For You Gloss in “Pleasure.” Your lips will thank you; your admirers will compliment you!

Suki Color
Suki Color organic makeup is made using only natural plant extracts and pure minerals. The company’s products are great even for the most sensitive skin (I have rosacea and my skin loves this brand). Suki Color has multiple benefits — you look great and the makeup is packed with organic ingredients including omega oils and plant extracts that nourish and moisturize the skin. For lovely-all-over, fresh skin coverage, try their Tinted Active Moisturizer. You’ll be treated to a velvety finish with cell-turnover benefits.

Makeup artist Nancy Dawson and her team help brides look their best.

When I got married in 2001, I had to travel to my hair stylist and makeup artist — they didn’t come to me. I had to leave the house where I was getting ready and traipse across town to a salon to spend hours sitting, waiting to get my hair and makeup done in between other client’s appointments. The resulting look was so dramatic and trend-based that when I flip through my wedding photos today, I see a bride who doesn’t even look like me.

Luckily, local brides now have an excellent and affordable option to help them look like the best version of themselves on their wedding day and not a total stranger: Brideface.

The Covington-based makeup studio Brideface, which is owned and operated by makeup artist extraordinaire Nancy Dawson, tackles old-school wedding-day hair and makeup woes head-on. 

Brides these days are savvy enough to realize that their everyday makeup isn’t going to cut it on their big day, even if they’re rather skilled at applying it. They need long-lasting, waterproof makeup that not only looks incredible in photos but also looks soft and pretty in real life. They want professional service and pampering, at their location; they want that celebrity experience. So in addition to completing your makeup on-site the day of your ceremony, Brideface also does trial runs to ensure you’re going to like your look — in life and on camera.

The team at Brideface knows how to achieve a balanced beauty look because of Dawson’s years of training and experience. (When I said Dawson was an “extraordinaire,” I meant it. I’ve had my makeup done by so many artists over my 44 years and she truly stands out.) 

Dawson’s artistic journey started about 20 years ago when she fell in love with the transformational power of theater makeup while studying the flute at the University of Cincinnati’s College Conservatory of Music.

After graduating from CCM, Dawson freelanced as a flutist, dabbled in theater and worked in the bridal registry at Lazarus. When Dawson learned that the now-famous French makeup artist Laura Mercier (the woman behind the “Flawless Face”) was creating her own makeup line, she jumped at the chance to find a way to work with her.

Taking the initiative to fly to New York or drive to Chicago whenever Mercier was doing personal appearances, Dawson ended up working directly under her and learned invaluable techniques, including the art of enhancing a woman’s skin and natural beauty with makeup instead of covering it up. While this may seem like a common beauty philosophy now, even a decade ago it was revolutionary. Mercier was also the first to create and market foundation primer —a staple of today’s beauty industry, which was unheard of 12 years ago.

Dawson had eight years of direct exposure to Mercier and her knowledge, but after having three children within two years, she, like many moms, was finally forced her to re-evaluate her priorities. 

After having kids, Dawson did wedding makeup as a side gig until she founded Brideface in 2005. Although she professes that she knew nothing about the wedding industry or starting a business when she opened Brideface, and at the time there were very few legit makeup artistry businesses pursuing weddings, her studio hasn’t stopped growing since its founding. Today, Dawson has a crack team of ten makeup artists available to service her clients.

The Brideface Bridal Package (starting at $225) covers on-site travel on the day of the wedding, a trial run session and a day of makeup. Her artists specialize in applying airbrush foundation and individual lashes (which have a much more natural look and feel than strip lashes and tend to have much greater longevity). They’ve even won several awards for their work: “Best of The Knot” for the past three years, “Wedding Wire Top Pick” for five years and Dawson received a “Woman of the Year for Beauty” award from Cincy Chic in 2012. Brideface also offers packages for wedding parties and teaches classes to individuals and groups on makeup application.

If you’re getting married in 2013 or beyond and want a personalized experience you can afford, I strongly suggest contacting Brideface and booking an appointment. Visit brideface.com or email nancy@brideface.com for more information.

My vow to be hotter and healthier at 45 than I was at 25.

Back in 2003, I was twice the person I am now — literally.  

In October of that year, I had gastric bypass surgery and it changed my life forever. Nine years, two kids and 155 lost-pounds later, I completed one of the final stages of my transformation: This summer I had 6 ½ pounds of extra skin removed from my abdomen and a major abdominal hernia repaired (people thought I was pregnant, which was just great for my self-esteem). The surgery made a huge difference — I went from a size 14 to a size 8. I had finally achieved my dream of a normal body size plus the health that goes with it. Or so I thought. 

The Stairs 

There I was, pretty pleased with my weight and health, when I drove out to a client for a meeting. I had to walk up three steep flights of stairs. Previously, when I was heavy, I would have found a parking space closer to the building and avoided those stairs like the plague. Post-surgery, I thought these stairs would be no problem.  Flight one wasn’t too bad. Flight two was a challenge. By the middle of flight three, I was gripping the rail for all I was worth and pulling myself up the stairs. I was out of breath and my leg muscles were screaming at me. To add to the humiliation of the experience, there was a gentleman (yes, they still exist) who had gotten to the top of the stairs first and was holding the door open for me (I’m sure he never thought it would be a big time investment on his part). I had four stairs left to climb and it seemed like my legs were going to give out. Somehow, my body didn’t fail me and I made it up the stairs and through the door. I was completely winded and couldn’t believe that I was in such bad shape. I didn’t come all this way just to be winded by stairs. 

Finding The Right Trainer 

I will confess, I hate exercise with a passion, but I knew I needed help to get fit. I also knew an alpha trainer getting in my face and shouting at me to “push through the burn” would not be a match for my personality. I needed someone who would understand that I’m 44 years old, I’ve been through many abdominal surgeries and I just want to be in shape, not ripped. Then it hit me: my girlfriend Robin. 

Better With Age 

Let me tell you about Robin Horst. I worked with Robin at LPK for many years. She was a cute, petite mom with a great smile and bubbly personality. Robin will tell you she had an average mom’s physique (and now that I am a mom, I totally get that). She looked good in clothes but, like most of us, she knew how to hide whatever flaws she had. Fast forward to today — Robin is now 55. She has spent the past few years reading everything she can on fitness, diet and the aging process, and then applying her new knowledge to herself. This woman’s body has completely transformed. She’s got arms that would make a 20-year-old jealous. Her abs are sculpted. Her calves are a heart shape. Every time I see her, I’m blown away by how hot she is and how happy she is. Robin has found her calling in life and has become a certified personal trainer. She truly believes (and lives) that diet and exercise are the key to tricking a woman’s body into thinking it’s younger. Lucky for me, Robin has agreed to take me on as a client. 

What’s Next? 

When this article is published, I will have six months to get myself into shape before I turn 45. Robin is going to do all kinds of measurements and we’ll take some photos. Then she’ll create a fitness program for me that takes into account all of my previous surgeries and my fitness goals: to have cardio strength and be toned.  In July, I promise to show you my 25-year-old photo next to my 45-year-old one. Yep, public accountability. So stay tuned and in the interim, check out Robin’s blog for some tips: getfitbefierce.wordpress.com. 

Robin’s Fitness Tips

Here are some tips from Robin that you can immediately implement to impact  your physical profile: 

  • Start the cardio. “Physical exertion raises metabolism and maintains this higher [metabolic] rate long after the exertion has stopped,” Robin says.  
  • Eat small, frequent portions. “The goal is to create a state where your body is always running at a higher metabolic rate,” she says. “That’s why nutritionists recommend eating five to six smaller, nutrient-dense meals over three large meals. And eating more frequently does more — it keeps your energy up, your blood sugar stable and your hunger under control.” 

Visual proof that beauty professionals are experts at elevating your look…

The scary lady without makeup on in this photo is me before I got into the hands of an amazing beauty professional, Jenny Simon. 

And while printing a picture of my naked face feels like a bold move on my part, especially since I never leave the house without makeup on (seriously), I thought I needed to show you the difference that personalized beauty procedures can make to your look. 

A beauty professional has the skill set and training to customize your appearance needs from determining the optimal shape for your eyebrows to administering the correct facial for your skin type to applying makeup that works with your coloring. Let me take you through everything Simon did to me. 

Brow And Lash Tint 

For those of you who don’t know Simon, she is the proprietress of Jenny Simon FACE in Hyde Park. For those of us who do know her, we refer to her as the “Eyebrow Expert.”

Simon has a gift for waxing your brows into the shape that best complements your eyes and face. Everyone is different, so she doesn’t necessarily subscribe to trendy shapes such as thick or thin; she does what looks right for you. This is important because I’ve had my brows waxed according to what’s in style before instead of what looks best on my face and, unfortunately, I’ve learned from experience that black, pencil-thin brows are not a good look for me.

Simon arched my brows and left them thicker in some places. She also suggested I tint them because I have really light brows, and then created a custom dye based on my complexion and hair color. The tinting makes a big difference in how my visage comes across.

I also have pale eyelashes. If I don’t wear mascara, my eyes recede. Simon recommended that I tint my lashes with vegetable dye so I don’t have to wear mascara all the time.

Look at the difference the brow work and lash tinting make to my face between my before and after shot. Still no makeup. That’s a pretty visible impact, right?

Custom Facial

I have to admit that I have recommended different spas for facials in the past — no one loves a spa day more than I do. And ordering a facial off a spa menu is fine if you don’t have specific skin concerns to address, or you just want a general, pretty glow from the cleansing and moisturizing. But if you have ongoing concerns such as anti-aging, hyperpigmentation, acne, etc., you are probably better served by getting a custom facial.

Simon offers personalized service and will discuss your skin concerns with you when you come in. She observed that my skin was sensitive, reactive and dry. She also noticed some clogged pores and fine lines, which suggested that I was dehydrated. Who knew you could tell that by looking at my face? Simon applied a chamomile cleanser and gentle, exfoliating beads with a rotary brush, then a 30-percent lactic peel — it’s safe and non-burning (although it did tingle). She explained that the acid helps reduce the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, flaky patches, sun damage, uneven skin texture and other signs of aging. Simon then massaged my face to improve circulation, release muscle tension and further remove dead skin cells.

After the peel had worked its magic, Simon applied a mega-rich, intensive, anti-aging cellular moisture mask. It felt cool and wonderfully rich.

She finished my facial with a hydrating serum, anti-redness serum, vitamin C (which has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits), SPF 30 and triple action Eye Excellence for dark circles, puffiness, fine lines and wrinkles. She also applied a peptide lip therapy, which rebuilds collagen and maximizes hydration and protection. That was a first for me.

Personalized Makeup

So now I had a glowing complexion — a new canvas to work with. I wanted a professional makeup look, but I also wanted to experiment with colors outside my normal comfort zone. I trend toward plum palettes because they make my eyes look greener.

Simon introduced me to browns and greens. She applied a peachy brown to my eyelids and an emerald green to my brow bones — I had always steered clear of green because I was told it would make my own green eyes less impactful. Wow, was I wrong. She also used a lovely peachy blush (my normal choice would have been a rose) and finished off with half-red lips and bronze gloss.

She talked me through the process, told me what brands she was using and showed me how to apply it myself. I’ve been sporting my new look all over town.

The Finished Product

As you can tell, there’s a huge difference between my first photo and my last one. I can honestly say that since I got my facial, brow tint and lash tint, I feel more comfortable wearing less makeup. I don’t need to hide behind it because my skin is at its best and my tinted lashes, along with my shaped and tinted brows, make a big impact on how I look without being fully made-up. I’m comfortable throwing on some lipgloss and heading out the door to run errands on a Saturday.

Simon really brought out the best in my skin and helped make my eyes pop without makeup. She also showed me a new way to approach my look when I wear makeup — all in a customized consultation. Treat yourself to one. I guarantee you’ll be glad you did. Book an appointment at jennysimonface.com in time for the holidays. Show up at your next holiday party with your new look or, better yet, take some time for yourself after the holidays and rejuvenate your skin to start the new year off fresh

Photos by Al Bell

Use this traditional temporary tattoo as an accessory.

As the vice president and managing director of beauty brands for an international design agency, I am fortunate enough to travel around the world as part of my job, and I find discovering beauty practices from other cultures to be one of the biggest delights of traveling. Perhaps my favorite practice is the Indian ritual of applying mehndi or henna tattoos.

The decorative tattoos are created from a temporary dye paste derived from the henna plant, so there’s no pain and no permanency! I got my first while visiting Little India in Singapore several years ago, and every time I go I make a point of having mehndi done — covering a bit more skin each time. 

The History 

One of the earliest mentions of henna body art can be found in an ancient Mediterranean legend. In the story, women adorn themselves with henna dye as part of a harvest festival as well as a springtime fertility festival. There’s also evidence that the fingers and toes of Egyptian Pharaohs were stained with henna prior to their mummification in order to enable recognition in the afterlife. And ancient Greek statuettes have been found with red marks, interpreted as henna body art, on their hands, feet and breasts. But the most frequent association with henna tattooing today is within Eastern wedding culture, specifically in the Indian subcontinent. In a traditional pre-wedding ritual, intricate mehndi patterns are applied to the bride’s — and sometimes the groom’s — feet and hands for luck.

Over the past 5,000 years, as mehndi has migrated from the henna plant’s native zone of Africa, southern Asia and Australasia to the Western hemisphere, its composition and rituals have blended. But mehndi designs can be traced to their different geographic regions: Arabic designs tend to be more floral; African and Native/South American Indian designs tend to be larger geometric patterns; and Indian designs tend to blend delicate, fine lines to create an intricate pattern.

The Process 

To create henna dye, the leaves of the henna plant are dried, ground and mixed into a paste with an acidic liquid like tea or lemon juice. The paste is then applied to the skin using a plastic cone or a paintbrush and allowed to dry, staining the skin in the process.  When you work with a henna tattoo artist, the artist will apply henna to your skin in a pattern of your choosing. But be sure you know where you want your tattoo(s) applied before you go in to have it done. Wear short sleeves if you want your hands and/or wrists done, and shorts and flip-flops if you want your feet and/or ankles done. 

Twenty minutes after application, the henna paste will start to dry and crack. At this point, you can apply lemon water with sugar to remoisten it so the dye stays on your skin longer and stains darker. After the paste dries completely (warning: this will take several hours), it will begin to chip. At this point, you can rinse — not scrub — it off. What is left behind is a design that is pale orange in color and gradually darkens as the henna oxidizes over the course of the next 24 to 72 hours. The final result is usually a stunning dark reddish brown color.

Maintenance 

Since this is a temporary tattoo, it does have a limited life span (one to three weeks depending on how you care for your skin, how saturated the henna was, etc.). Bathing your skin in olive or coconut oil daily and avoiding any kind of exfoliation (i.e. pat dry your skin — don’t rub it with a towel) will prolong the life of your new body art. 

As An Accessory 

Think of mehndi as a replacement for jewelry. Before you have a holiday event, find a mehndi artist and experiment on a hand or foot to see if you are comfortable with the art. If you like the effect, make your appointment a day or two before your event so the henna has a chance to oxidize to optimize the color. 

Last year, I went to a black tie event and had mehndi on my hands, wrists, feet and ankles. Since I was wearing a cocktail dress, the artwork was readily visible. I received more compliments on my “art” than I have on any piece of jewelry that I have ever worn to any event. It was also a great icebreaker. People were curious — they wanted to know where I got it, what the process was, how long it lasted. I’d encourage you to try it. You’ll be the talk of your event. 

Rachel Goldman is a fantastic local mehndi artist. Call her at 513-673-2899 to make an appointment.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the position or policy of Libby, Perszyk, Kathman Inc. or any of its affiliates.

Photos by David Rafie

Breaking up with your beauty professional.

We’ve all done it. We’ve cheated on our hairdresser, facialist, makeup artist, waxer, etc. We were just curious to see what it would be like to have a different creative take on our hair, or if our friend’s facialist really was the reason she looks four years younger or if the waxing hurt less with someone else. Whatever the reason, we’ve done it.  

But Cincinnati is a small town. Odds are that you’ll run into your “ex” somewhere — perhaps even return to them at some point — and “cheating” can create a really awkward relationship dynamic moving forward. So, based on several conversations with local beauty pros, here’s some counsel on how to approach those issues that might cause you to stray. 

Problem: They Just Do What They Want And Don’t Listen To You. 

Hiring a beauty professional is like hiring an artist in many ways. You can give them an idea of what you want, you can bring photos, you can have deep discussions and think you’re on the same page about what you’re trying to achieve but still, when all is said and done, you can end up with a hair color you never expected, a haircut that makes you miserable, brows that are too thin or a makeup palette that makes you feel overdone. So then what?  

Well, if you’re that dissatisfied, you must tell them at the time of the service. For some reason, people shy away from that conversation and then go home and cry about it on Facebook or Twitter to their 900 friends, thus damaging the professional’s reputation. Be prepared to tell them why you’re upset and how their service does not meet your expectations. You’d be surprised — some will alter the results to satisfy you. 

On the other hand, be prepared that if the artist thinks that your request will make you look less than what their best efforts are, they may refuse. If you think you look hot with a mullet, bleached brows and orange eye shadow, and in their opinion you’ll bring down their brand name by associating them with that look, they may not be willing to budge. Your best bet is to check around and find a hairdresser or beauty pro who creates looks on people whose aesthetic you admire. 

Problem: They Give You The Family Discount And Therefore Don’t Respect Your Time. 

So you have a great girlfriend, cousin or sister-in-law who does hair and is very gifted at her craft. You call and make an appointment (just like everyone else), but because you’re family and she’s not charging the full rate, it’s cool if she’s running late, right? I’ve had a two-hour cut and color turn into a four-hour extravaganza because my “family friend” was so busy servicing her “full-paying” clientele that she spent time gossiping with them, letting me sit too long with color. I didn’t get the same level of service, and for a $25 discount, I spent two extra hours of my life in a chair. Sorry, my time is worth more than that. I also found myself getting resentful of her taking me for granted and it had an effect on our friendship. I did end up telling her that I could not spend four hours on a cut and color, but I didn’t totally come clean about how it made me feel. In hindsight, I should have. I would advise you to definitely do so. She needs to be made aware so she doesn’t damage future relationships.

Problem: They Talk About Everyone. 

There is no getting around this one. If your stylist (regardless of discipline) is telling you what other people said about you/others or is talking about how certain clients don’t pay their bills, cheat on their boyfriends, etc., you can expect that they’re saying the same things about you. Regardless of whether or not it’s based in truth, this is drama you do NOT need to be caught up in. So while they may walk on water, make your skin glow or bless your hair with the hottest style in the city, walk away and don’t look back. Friendships, business relationships and more have been affected by these kinds of toxic relationships. And don’t waste your time calling the stylist out on it. It’s not worth it.  

Problem: You’re Cheating On Your Stylist With Their Co-Worker. 

Ouch. Sorry. There is no avoiding this one. You must tell your stylist why you’re seeing their co-worker and what was not working. Be gentle. Be cognizant that they have to work together, and make it clear that it wasn’t a matter of poaching. But if stylist A does great long-hair styles and you’ve moved on to short hair and that’s not their forte (but it is stylist B’s), be honest about it. Even if it’s just a matter of chemistry, tell them. 

Problem: Reunited And It Feels So Good? 

So you cheated and now you have to go back because, well, the grass wasn’t greener. Tell the truth. Your stylist will be happy to have you back and then have a chat about why you strayed in the first place. He or she will want to know so they can adjust whatever was causing you to question your look in the first place.

Ladies, these are relationships. We trust people who help us beautify with a lot of information about ourselves and sometimes become good friends. But do not confuse business with personal. If there is ever a question of delivering what you need, then you have to talk about it. Otherwise it’s like continuing a romantic relationship when the romance is gone. Be honest, factual and genuine. Be prepared that some folks are more or less emotionally mature than others, and there are times that you may lose your relationship with them over it. But in the end, a good professional knows how to take professional criticism and learns from it. It’s what allows them to improve at their craft.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the position or policy of Libby, Perszyk, Kathman Inc. or any of its affiliates.

The new belle of the beauty ball.

There’s been a lot of buzz about BB creams lately. Suddenly, they’re all the rage. I’ve seen them all over Asia for years now, but I was surprised when they showed up here in the States positioned as “Beauty Balms.” (In Asia, they are known as “Blemish Balms”). With all the fanfare, you might be wondering: What exactly are they? How do they differ from my foundation? What benefits do they deliver?  

Interestingly enough, even though BB creams are extremely popular in Asia, they were originally formulated in Germany by a dermatologist in the 1950s. The cream was developed to protect, soothe and regenerate skin while providing light coverage for patients who had undergone surgical or laser procedures. The product was introduced to the Japanese and Korean markets in the 1980s. It was immediately embraced by Korean celebrities and gained a great deal of demand in these markets due to the stars’ endorsements. Today, BB cream is swiftly emerging as the belle of the beauty ball in Europe and the U.S. as the go-to skin-miracle makeup. 

SO WHAT IS IT?  

Let’s be clear, it’s not really a miracle, but it is what we’ve all wished for: simplicity in a tube. BB cream combines four products — foundation, moisturizer, anti-aging cream and sunscreen — into one.  It’s basically a hybrid tinted moisturizer, but it has more coverage, increased skin-care and anti-aging benefits, and even though it’s lightweight, has a high SPF. What I love about BB cream is that it gives you dewy-fresh skin, which looks great regardless of your age (unlike mineral foundations which can make older skin look dry).

BUT DOES IT WORK?

I’ve tried it and have found it to be a great alternative to a light foundation or tinted moisturizer. It saves time on my beauty routine because instead of applying my serum, moisturizer with sunscreen and then foundation, I just use the one product. I will confess that I did find I needed concealer (it’s quite sheer) as well for a little extra camouflage on the tip of the nose and under the eyes. And a quick warning: When first applied, BB cream seems to make the skin look a bit grey or ashy. The product needs a couple of minutes to soak in (massaging it lightly with your fingers or using a foundation brush helps), and then it will settle into the skin and look lovely. 

BEST BB CREAMS 

Garnier Miracle Skin Perfector, Daily all-in-one BB Cream, $12.50Garnier’s version of BB cream is simple and straightforward. It hydrates for 24 hours, evens skin tone with its pigment, gives skin a healthy glow and has SPF 15. It’s the most affordable of all my favorite BB creams, and is sold in supermarkets and drugstores.    

Estée Lauder DayWear Anti-Oxidant BB Creme, $38.This cream is high in anti-oxidants, controls oil and has light-reflecting pearls that make for a luminescent finish. It also contains SPF 35. Available at most department stores.

M.A.C Prep + Prime BB Beauty Balm$30M.A.C.’s version provides oil control with a smooth and flawless finish. This product lasts all day because of its added primer, and protects with SPF 35. It can be purchased online or at M.A.C. stores/counters. 

Smashbox Camera Ready BB Cream, $39. This multitasking, tinted cream formula with SPF 35 moisturizes, primes, perfects, controls oil and protects. Formulated with emollients and optical pearl pigments, this BB cream gives skin a glowing, ethereal look and provides a hydrating veil for the complexion to maintain moisture on the surface of the skin. Available at Sephora.

If you want to save some time in the morning (and some money on buying multiple products), try a BB cream. Like our sisters in Asia, you may decide that this product is your beauty must-have! 

The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the position or policy of Libby, Perszyk, Kathman Inc. or any of its affiliates.

Beauty expert Elle Morris’ tips for traveling in style.

Like many women these days, my job requires travel, and, oftentimes, it’s international. After arrival, there’s so little time to recover from jet lag and put yourself together for a meeting, it’s important to hit the ground running — ready for meetings both physically (secure in your appearance) and mentally (confident that you don’t look like you feel).

Because of my job, I’m constantly asked, “What are your must-have beauty products to arrive at your destination looking and feeling great?” My answer? Hydration. Staying moisturized inside and out is the key to looking and feeling your best when you land, whether you’re traveling for work or for play.

Body

First and foremost, drinking water is essential to health and beauty when flying. Our bodies are used to a normal level of 30 percent to 65 percent atmospheric humidity. When we’re on an airplane, the humidity drops to as low as 10 percent. This means we dehydrate more quickly.

Dehydration not only results in dry looking skin, but it also increases our risk of catching colds and viruses. Hydration keeps mucous membranes moist and active to help them catch and block pathogens from entering the body.

I recommend drinking eight ounces of water for every hour you’re in the air. Also, be careful when adding alcohol, caffeine, or salty meals and snacks to the mix as these will aggravate dehydration.

Face

Keeping on the hydration theme, your skin gets zapped by travel, too. Carry a good moisturizer and apply as needed. I apply every two hours or so for domestic flights, and I put on a mask for international flights. My go-to in-flight moisturizer is Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Moisturizer ($19 at Saks or Nordstrom). It absorbs easily so there is no greasy face to worry about.

If you’re on a long flight to Europe or Asia, remove your makeup and mascara with an Olay Wet Cleansing Cloth ($5 at drugstores) and apply a cloth facial mask during the flight. There are many different brands, but my favorite is the SK-II Facial Treatment Mask ($90 for a pack of six at Nordstrom). Apply one of these before you go to sleep, put the blanket over your head (if you’re worried about people staring) and catch some ZZZs. When you wake up, remove the mask before emerging from your blanket and you’ll have refreshed, hydrated and plumped skin.

Eyes

We can’t forget about our eyes. These lovely orbs get dehydrated as well. If you wear contact lenses, bring moisturizing drops for short flights, and remove them before sleeping during long flights. If possible, wear your glasses for international flights. Your eyes will likely get a bit red while flying, so my favorite product is Rohto Artic eye drops ($4 at Walmart). The drops instantly cool and soothe.

Don’t forget the area below your eyes either. Often, under-eye skin gets puffy from lack of sleep or not enough fluid intake. For instant results, apply a little bit of Patricia Wexler, M.D.’s Fastscription Instant De-Puff Eye Gel. You’ll feel it cool and shrink that baggage immediately ($19.50 at Bath and Body Works).

Lips 

Lastly, we need to care for our lips because our puckers get dry, too! Aquaphor Lip Repair ($4.50 at drugstores) does the trick! With a blend of shea butter and castor seed oil, this simple balm hydrates and heals the driest of lips.

So drink your water and follow these tips. You’ll look and feel like you’re ready to take on the world, no matter where you land!

DID YOU KNOW: Substituting Bars For Liquid Beauty Basics Like Shampoo And Body Wash When Flying Can Save Room In Your One-Quart, Zip-Top Bag For More Decadent Beauty Supplies. Visit Sites Like Flight001.Com To Find Paper Soap, Or Local Retailer Orange Fuzz To Snag A Natural Rosemary Beer Shampoo Bar.

A glimpse into beauty trends today and through the ages.

One of the things I love about Cincinnati is that we have incredibly gorgeous women from all over the country — not to mention the world — living shoulder-to-shoulder in this mid-size city. And, even though we may come from various ethnic backgrounds and beauty ideals, the women that have come before us, and the women living across the globe, inspire our beauty choices every day. 

Some of the earliest and most recognized beauty icons are Egyptian queens like Cleopatra and Nefertiti. With hair as black as coal, dramatic cheekbones, blunt bangs, heavily lined eyelids, rouged cheeks and lips of red, thousands of years later, women’s beauty choices are still influenced by this look. Blunt bangs, cat eyes and red lips are still in! 

In Cleopatra’s time (69 B.C.-30 B.C.) stocking up on cosmetics was not as simple as a trip to the local department store. Red lipstick was made by adding crushed carmine beetles to a base of ants. Hair dye was created using the henna plant or by crushing black gazelle horn into an unguent with oil. And the classic almond-shaped cat-eye was applied with paint made from materials imported from distant regions. Green eye paint was usually made of malachite, a green ore of copper; and kohl was made of galena, a dark grey ore of lead. Although imported materials were expensive, women were willing to invest in these luxury cosmetic items. 

So next time you fork over the extra cash for that new eye shadow palette from Chanel, don’t feel guilty — women have been doing this for thousands of years! 

Fast-forward to the early 20th century, and the flapper era comes to mind. In the early 1900s, the use of makeup was frowned upon (as Queen Victoria thought it was only for prostitutes), but as Prohibition, the age of jazz and revolutionary art movements de- livered via film took hold of American culture in the 1920s, women were liberated in fashion and mindset: Skirts rose, hair was cut short and make- up became acceptable. Even suntans became desirable. Having darker skin became all the rage as French women idolized African American entertainer Josephine Baker for her exotic look, and fashion icon Coco Chanel “accidentally” returned from a Riviera vacation with a tan. Both were a stark contrast to previous beauty ideals, which prized pale skin as a symbol of delicate femininity and wealth. 

Huge innovations in the cosmetic industry, which affect the way we use makeup today, also happened in the 1920s. Cosmetician, chemist and wig maker Max Factor developed the “color harmony” principle, coordinating powder, lipstick and rouge into color groups based on skin tone. He also developed “Pan-Cake” makeup, a breath- able greasepaint for actresses that soon turned into the first commercially available foundation. Twist-up lipstick (for easy public application) and suntan oil were also products of this era. So we can thank the women of almost a century ago for our cute bobs, tanned limbs and the ability to publicly paint our lips! 

As we progress into the 21st century, we see the world becoming more connected. American women today take fashion and beauty cues from their sisters across the globe. They look east to India for accessories, spa treatments (think ayurvedic options like those available at Sia Spa in Kenwood) and clothing styles (think the rise of Bollywood and the popularity of films like Slumdog Millionaire). Henna tattoos are now common in North America as are tunic blouses with exotic patterns.

Women in America also look south of the equator to countries such as Brazil and Argentina for beauty inspiration. Brazil is famous for its natural and holistic approach to beauty (think Gisele Bündchen) while Argentina, on the other hand, is hailed as the cosmetic surgery capital of the world. Gorgeous women are constantly emerging from both countries as well as all over Latin America. American women have taken to admiring their unique femininity and style. 

Today, many different types of women, independent of their age, race and ethnicity, are hailed as beauty icons in American pop culture. Beyoncé, Jennifer Lopez and Kim Kardashian all defy the traditional blonde-haired blue-eyed beauty. And Andy MacDowell, Cynthia Bailey, Angela Bassett and Nicole Kidman defy beauty standards beyond a “certain age.” 

Forgive the pun, but the beauty in all of this history and connectedness is that women from different countries and time periods all influence each other. And we are lucky enough to have a bevy of beauties from different backgrounds in Cincinnati. So remember, we all have some common threads in our history as women and in the beauty choices that we make everyday. We should celebrate what brings us together as well as what makes us unique. 

DID YOU KNOW: Women Throughout History, Including Cleopatra, Are Said To Have Bathed In Milk To Keep Their Skin Supple. Milk Is Full Of The Alpha Hydroxy Acid, Lactic Acid, Which Naturally Softens Skin By Removing Dead Skin Cells. Make Your Own Milk Bath By Adding 2 Cups Of Powdered Milk (And A Few Drops Of Essential Oil) To A Lukewarm Bath.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the position or policy of Libby, Perszyk, Kathman Inc. or any of its affiliates.