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Look like an Egyptian February 22, 2011

Ankh tattoo

Ankh tattoo

Egyptians value life so much that they focused on the afterlife almost as much as the present.  They would put an Ankh in their hands upon death, as their way through to afterlife (as the ankh symbolizes the key of life).  I have an Ankh on my left shoulder as a similar symbolism. My name means life – like Steve Wonder said in his song, life is Aisha.  I just had to throw that in because I always feel like I have a connection with Egyptian culture. Haha!

Anywhoo….back to egyptians and skin:  Preserving the skin was a huge part of the process in preparing one for the afterlife. Therefore, I wanted to share a couple of Egyptian skincare must-haves. The first is a commonly used nightly ritual, tweaked for today’s use.  This modern “skin preserver” is used nightly by Egyptian women and consists of pure glycerin and lemon juice, mixed with Nivea. The more ancient emollient consisted of just glycerin and natural honey, which was believed to have been used to preserve the mummies. There is a company (Weiser Cosmetics) who has commercialized this ritual, and created a lovely cream called Armenia Skin Cream

The Egyptians seemed to understand the benefits of honey and the skin (I plan to blog on honey and it’s benefits in next weeks blog).  They also understood the importance of moisture as a way of preserving the skin.  There are many who believe that glycerin is not good for the skin, however I am not one of those people.  Did you know that you could cleanse your skin using pure glycerin?  Yes.  It’s very similar to the concept of using cleansing oils.  I have used this technique on occasion (in the winter specifically) and have loved the results – my skin felt super hydrated and soft the next morning.  One thing I must note if you plan on using this technique – make sure you have or plan to exfoliate your skin, otherwise the dead skin cells will be more noticeable.   

Egyptian Magic

Egyptian Magic

And now……to share my favorite product in the WHOLE WIDE WORLD!  Seriously, after spending hundreds of dollars on various “miracle creams” and products, I have gone back to this $35 celebrity favorite.  I feel like this is one of the best kept secrets, although it’s been mentioned by celebrities such as Oprah, Madonna, and Kate Hudson.  It has been the only product that has shown noticeable results in diminishing my hyperpigmentation as well as it has helped to clear up my skin in the past.  It never hit me until now, that I complained about the cost, but have spent 3x’s more on products with all types of junk (meaning chemicals and parabens) mixed in it.  This product is all-natural (another plus) and non-scented (great for my eczema skin).  So what is this product I rave about?  Egyptian Magic!  It lives up to it’s name – it’s not a miracle cream, it’s a magic cream!  I have kept this product as a secret weapon in my camp – up until now, I only told my BFF about it, but now i’m screaming it to the world.  If you have scarring or dry skin or even breakouts, go and pick this up from Whole Foods, Trader Joes, or your closest natural market or order online.  The price has gone up from $30 to $35 (the price went up because of it’s demand), but I now realize whatever the price, this is a good one to keep on hand, even if you keep it just for emergencies such as a burn.  The product consists of some of the most basic ingredients such as olive oil, beeswax and honey.  Another product using honey! Go figure!

How I use it: After washing my face at night and putting any serums that I feel are necessary, I will rub the egyptian magic between my hands until it becomes an almost oil consistancy and apply on my face before going to bed.  This way, as the skin replenishes at night, these properties can be soaking into the skin and helping the healing process.  I have also, from time to time, used this in my hair, noticing baby soft hair as a result. 

Egyptian Magic is magical for it’s healing properties.  On the container, it says “All purpose skin cream”.  I would love to hear any feedback from those who use this product and what for, as well as from those who decide to go out and purchase it.  

On a note of beauty, another look Egyptians are known for are their dark accented eyes. Nefertari has an eye khol like the original formula from ancient times. All products are all natural and authentic. This khol is a powder that would need to be wet, the same as if you were applying an eyeshadow as an eyeliner.

 

What’s this about a $7000 facial?! Only February 16, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — icfaces @ 5:00 pm

What’s this about a $7000 facial?! Only in Hollywood! Mila Kunis’s celebrity esthetician (the infamous Scott Vincent Borba) says he was testing this new on the Black Swann supporting actress. Well he could have called me!

 

Calling All Fashion Designers

Skintimate is pairing with Mara Hoffman in a search for the next generation in female designers, with their 2nd Skintimate Studios Ready for Everything Fashion Design Contest.  Contest is open from February 9 – March 23rd 2011.  You must be 18 or older to enter the contest to win the 2-week internship, however girls age 13 and up can still enter for a chance to win a Hoffman scarf and a trip (with a chaperone) to Miami for the Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Swim Show in July. 

From February 9th to March 23rd, aspiring designers will visit http://www.skintimatestudios.com and enter for a chance to win a two week internship with Hoffman helping her team prepare for her 2012 Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Swim show. Contestants will upload a female dress design that conveys the theme “Ready for Everything.” In addition to the design, girls will need to answer two questions: Explain details of your design and why it represents the theme “Ready for Everything,” and share what unique qualities you posses and bring to the fashion world. Designs and essays will be judged for both versatility and original creative expression.

Skintimate, along with Hoffman, will select ten final designs which will be announced online April 21st. The finalists’ designs will premier on the Skintimate Studios website from April 21st through May 18th allowing America to cast their vote for their favorite. The winning designer will be announced online May 25th and will be given the chance to spend two weeks with Hoffman and her team in New York and Miami as she debuts her line at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Swim show in Miami. The nine other finalists will receive a deluxe fashion prize pack filled with must-have items to help kick start their fashion careers.

Good Luck!

 

Gator Balm February 15, 2011

Filed under: skincare — icfaces @ 4:43 pm
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If you follow my blog, you already know that I’m always keeping an eye out for a holistic remedy or a natural way of healing or something of the sort.  Sometimes I torture myself (like with the Harataki).  But in those times, it’s worth the torture (they say pain is beauty, right?).  So, guess what it is this week?!  GATOR BALM (by African Formula)!  (No torture here!) 

When I first heard the name, my initial thought went to the Lubriderm commercial with the alligator slithering through a white-walled room with a woman laying on a white lounge.  I wondered could these two be similar in any way.  Nevetheless, I then began my research.

I was introduced to this balm by a naturopath who told a young girl (having had a pretty severe case of acne and hyperpigmentation resulting from the acne) to apply the gator balm to her face and let sit for 5 to 10 minutes and then wipe off with an astringent or witch hazel (note: this is different from toner).  I have not seen the girl since she has started this regimen, but she has attested to great results and improvements.  There’s not much research online that has shown much other than testimonials and hearsay, so I wanted to see if any of my followers had any insight on this product.  It is supposed to be great for eczema, dry itchy skin,  and even Psoriasis.  Consisting of all pure products, I can see why this would be a great product to keep in your arsenal, however up to this point in my research, nothing in it made me think it would be a great remedy for acne, in particular, outside of the “healing” properties. 

However, the one thing that stood out to me was that it contains goldenseal, which was torture to me as a kid.  My mom used to get goldenseal from this guy named Honey (he owned a record shop – I think off of Georgia Avenue).  She made me and my brother take a teaspoon of goldenseal to make sure we did not get sick.  Until now, I never knew that this product was used topically as an antimicrobial.  Ah-ha!  Here it is!  This must be why she is seeing improvement!  Along with an antimicrobial ingredient, the product contains soothing and healing agents such as Comfrey Root and Vitamins A, D, and E.  I will be ordering this and sharing my results.  Until then, have any of you tried this or heard good things?  Please share.

 

Ken Celebrates his 50th Birthday February 9, 2011

Filed under: Grooming — icfaces @ 4:53 pm
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Ken 2011

Ken 2011

As a guy, what would you ask for on your 50th birthday? A car? A trip? A man-cave?! Well for Ken’s 5oth, he’s getting a total makeover!  Not only that, he’s getting made over AND his debut in a movie.  His makeovers will be by some of the top designers in the industry and will be displayed at Christie’s in New York from February 14 – 20 and in two pop-up locations in New York and LA.

Each outfit will be designed according to different occasions, WWD reports – Yigal Azourel will create a beach look, Simon Spurr will design formal date attire, Michael Bastian will provide the ultimate picnic ensemble, Robert Geller will kit him out for a movie, Nicholas K (MUST click on this site – these flash pics are VICIOUS!) will dress him for a rock concert and Billy Reid will be making Ken’s winter clothes.

Being that the couple broke up 7 years ago, don’t you think it’s time Ken stepped up his game?!  What do you think?

Ken's past looks

Ken's past looks

 

Moving On…on to the next!

Filed under: skincare — icfaces @ 2:50 am
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(Sorry guys – I tried blogging from my phone and am now realizing when I “update” it does not “publish” to the site.  So here ya go – a day late AGAIN!)

I have my favorites from Renee Rouleau, but the products didn’t wow me. So I’m moving on to my next six-week trial.  (Don’t worry, I will continue with my favs in the cabinet!)  Yes, I said six weeks – in my opinion, you should give a product an estimated 4 to 6 weeks to see results. Just in time, I received my Mario Badescu products in the mail today!  My cousin (Felicia) has raved about this line for some time and I’ve tried a few things here and there, but never the whole line, so here goes…..

MB Cleansing Gel

MB Enzyme Cleansing Gel

This couldn’t have been more perfect timing to work on clearing up my clogged pores!  I’ve finally figured out my blackheads on my forehead are coming from my Kinky Curly Curling Custard that I’ve been using in my hair (because I’m overdue for a hair cut and it helps shrink my ‘fro).  So disappointing!

MB Silver Powder

MB Silver Powder

Nevertheless, I am about to wash my face with the MB Enzyme Cleansing Gel and use the Silver Powder to unclog some of this congestion on my forehead.  For updates on my Mario Badescu experience, tune in in a month and a half. In the meantime, there will be other fun stuff I’ll be sharing in the upcoming weeks.
Remember: You’ve only got one skin, so make the best of it.

 

Renee Rouleau Review for Skin Type #5 (Sensitive Skins Only) February 1, 2011

Filed under: skincare — icfaces @ 10:58 pm
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Renee and Aisha

me and Renee Rouleau

On December 28, 2010, Renee Rouleau graced the DMV with her presence and I must admit – I was anxious to meet with her after following her tweets for months.  Not only did she intrigue me with her unique and enticing skin tips, but she also showed that she was well-rounded in all skin types, which is not common in the industry.  Also, anxious to try her products, I was glad that she brought a few to sell.  I explained to Renee that I had very sensitive skin and that almost anything I put on my face stings.  She was evaluating my skin even before I could express my concerns and nailed my skin type just like that!  If you know anything about RR, you know that she works from a system of 9 skin types.  She pegged me for a Skin Type #5, which include the following symptoms: frequently irritated from harsh products, produces oil in the summer, mostly in t-zone, skin can feel tight or dry during the winter, etc.

Renee further explained to me that sensitive skin can be due to many factors: environment, hormones, emotional stress, and harsh skin care products. With her products, the focus is on ingredients to help soothe, strengthen (build the skin barriers), and comfort your sensitive skin.

So my routine skin care plan was prescribed as follows:

MORNING

  • Cleanse with the Purifying Face Wash
  • Tone with the Elderberry Toner (leave damp for next step)
  • Apply Vitamin C & E Complex (apply 1-2 pumps)
  • Daily Protection SPF30 (apply to face and neck)

EVENING

  • Cleanse with the Calming Chamomile Cleanser (apply to dry skin)
  • Tone with the Elderberry Toner (leave damp for next step)
  • Apply Glycolic Serum 10% (ONLY once or twice a week) OR White Tea Soothing Complex (using on the nights in between the Glycolic Serum). Alternate the serums every 2 to 3 days.
  • Moisturize with Hawaiian Nourishing Cream

My Experience:

I was headed out-of-town for New Years Eve celebrations and the Prince Concert in NYC the next day, so I was uber excited to bring my new products with me.  I had purchased the Vitamin C & E Complex, the daily protection, glycolic serum and white tea soothing complex.  She was out of toner and the Hawaiian Nourishing Cream, however I really wanted to try the nourishing cream and was quite surprised that after placing the order, it came in the mail in about two days.  Her assistant is SO awesome (Thanks Lydia!)  With that said, I must give my disclaimer: I did not follow the routine to a ‘T’.  I used my Rose Toner that I can’t seem to go without (that’s homemade by a colleague of mine – Habeebah’s Herbals.  Everyone LOVES it who I introduce to the line).

My favorite of my purchase has been the Vitamin C & E Complex.  The first thing I noted was the nice soft scent.  I was a little thrown off because the consistency of the Complex was a little looser than I was used to, but then again I was used to Vitamin C’s stinging my skin as well.  Per Renee’s instruction, I was to use the complex after my cleanser and toner, in my morning routine.  Immediately, I  saw why this is Renee’s #2 best-selling product and I think that it must be due to the ‘no-sting’ formula and wonderful scent.  In addition, being composed of antioxidant vitamins, it is an anti-aging MUST!  I was quite surprised that after experiencing some stinging from my toner (after an exfoliation that I should NOT have done), I put this Vitamin C serum on and it actually soothed the stinging.

Benefits of the Vitamin C & E Complex:

  • good for sensitive skin (no sting formula)
  • improves uneven skin

I followed up the application of the complex with the daily protection (SPF30).  It is a must and is great because it’s a moisturizer and daily protection in one!  Needless to say, this is their #1 best-selling product.  It protects from UVA AND UVB rays, which is important because typically a product protects from one or the other.  I also love the fact that it is formulated for sensitive skin, that’s also prone to breakouts (it won’t clog pores) and dries to a matte finish.  A lot of times SPF is itchy or may even sting my skin.  I did not get any adverse reactions from this SPF product.

Renee was very careful in recommending the glycolic due to how sensitive I explained that my skin was.  She informed me to use at night, after washing and toning.  She warned me that due to my previous sensitivity, I would not use the general recommended frequency.  Instead of altering 7 days a week, every other week, I was to use 1 to 2 nights a week (not back-to-back) and intermittently incorporate the White Tea Soothing Complex which is great for anti-redness and in turn, would help to rebuild by skin barrier.  While the glycolic was gentle (containing Aloe Vera extract, and Allantoin), I still felt some sting when applying this AHA formula to my face.  Even better, I have since noticed less breakouts and minimization of blackheads (on my forehead).  As directed, I use the soothing complex on off nights, however as stated, I have not experienced the “essential moisture and nourishment” to my dehydrated skin as stated on the bottle.  Oddly enough, the White Tea soothed my skin, but not as well as the Vitamin C & E Complex.

Benefits of the Glycolic:

  • dissolves dead skin cells
  • encourages cell turnover

Benefits of White Tea Soothing Complex:

  • Neutralize free radicals
  • Improve hydration levels
  • Calms redness and sensitivity

My final nightly step, I was instructed to use the Hawaiian Nourishing Cream, which features a bio-fermentation technology from a Red Marine Algae (that is found along the shores of the Hawaiian islands).  Although this cream feels wonderful going on, I can’t say that I’ve seen any difference in “healing” my skin.  It smells good and feels hydrating, and I even feel an immediate “lift” after applying the cream.  My speculation is that my skin doesn’t need improvement (wink) in the area of anti-aging and what I’m feeling is helping to prevent future aging appearance (wink wink).

Hawaiian Nourishing Cream Benefits:

  • Intensive Repair
  • Improving appearance of skin aging

My Before and After (forehead full of blackheads):

SUMMARY:

All in all, I love t

he non-irr

itating formula (using Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate), Vitamin C & E Complex and will likely continue to order it, as well as the Daily Protection SPF.  The Glycolic, even though it doesn’t “soothe sensitive skin” like the bottle reads (IMO), I think this is a good formula for sensitive skins, due to the added aloe vera extract and allantoin.  The White Tea Complex, while it’s described as offering incredible anti-irritant qualities, I was not excited about this helping to build my skin barriers or soothe my skin.  I also felt no moisturizing help or added nourishment from it.  Lastly, the Nourishing Cream I think I will keep by my bedside because it seems if I give this product a little more patience, I’ll see a difference in my skin.

FINAL PICKS:

  • Vitamin C & E Complex
  • Daily Protection SPF 30
  • Hawaiian Nourishing Cream