Summer Skin for the Win

Woman caring of her beautiful skin on the face standing near mirror in the bathroomThe rules for skincare vary with the changing seasons. Now that we’re in the thick of a hot and humid summer, you’re probably noticing that your skin is oilier than usual. This is because “heat increases sebum production,” according to Justaboutskin.com. Experts recommend using an alcohol-free toner in addition to your usual cleanser. Smart Cover’s Makeup Remover/Cleanser gently takes off all your makeup and thoroughly cleanses your skin without over-drying it.

Exfoliating your skin once or twice a week can also go a long way toward keeping your pores from getting overly enlarged with oil, plus ridding your skin of all those dead cells will leave you looking radiant. “AHAs and enzymes are far more effective at exfoliating skin than physical scrubs,” claim the experts at Justaboutskin.com, and you want to avoid needlessly harsh and abrasive scrubs containing large particles, especially on your face.

Makeup trends tend to be more relaxed and carefree in the summer, but if you are using concealers, stick to the noncomedogenic variety, which just means that it won’t clog your pores. Smart Cover’s waterproof Concealing Crème can cover skin imperfections on your face and body, and you guessed it, it’s noncomedogenic! Though the pigmentation of Smart Cover’s concealers has some sun-protecting properties, never go out without applying an SPF of 30 or higher.

“About one ounce (a shot glass full for your entire body) of sunscreen should be reapplied two or three times a day,” recommends the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery, and don’t forget that you can get sunburned on cloudy days too. Be vigilant about any changes to your skin, such as suspicious looking moles and any discolorations, and be sure to let your dermatologist know if you notice anything unusual. Wherever your adventures take you this summer, take care of yourself… and take along your Smart Cover!

Easy on the Eyes

Beautiful brunette woman with lovely natural skin and grey eyes posing with naked shoulders isolated on white

The skin around your eyes is extremely delicate. When it comes to cleansing the area, the key word is “gentle.” According to Jennifer Houston for Womanitely.com, “Products that contain haloxyl, peptides, nicotinic acid, caffeine, ceramides, retinol and moisturizers…help us fight wrinkles, discoloration, fine lines and puffiness.” Houston advises staying away from products that contain oil, which can clog the glands around the eyes.

Smart Cover’s Vitamin Beauty Stick contains Vitamins A, C and E, as well as other antioxidants. Apply around the eyes once you’ve cleansed the area to nourish and moisturize your skin. To maximize the results and help fight free radicals, apply to clean skin right before you go to bed. The Vitamin Beauty Stick works great on the lips and even on the skin around your mouth, too!

If you want to hide dark circles under the eyes, fine lines and other imperfections, the Smart Cover Stick gives you the coverage you’re looking for with the light, creamy touch you need for the skin around your eyes.

Makeup trends tend to be more laidback and fun in the summer months, like the so-called “last night’s liner” look. Chelsea Peng and Lori Keong write for Elle.com: “The trick is looking fresh-faced while also bearing traces of last night’s shadow, so don’t bother touching up your eye makeup when it starts to head south in the heat.”

Rock that melty eyeliner if you’re so inspired (or skip it, if you’re not!). Just remember to wipe your makeup off before bed and treat your eyes and the surrounding areas with a gentle touch. It may seem like a lot of work to take proper care of your eyes and the skin around them, but as a wise person once said: “It’s okay to be high-maintenance as long as you’re also high-performance!”

Age Spots? See Spots Go.

At around the age of 40, you may begin to notice flat brown, black or grey spots on your skin. These are called age spots. They usually appear on parts of your body that receive the most sun exposure, such as your face, chest, hands and forearms. Experts believe that age spots are caused by ultraviolet rays from the sun, or from tanning beds. They are also thought to be yet another effect of aging.

Age spots, also commonly called “liver spots” or “sun spots,” are not harmful to your health and do not require medical treatment. However, many people consider them unsightly, especially because they are associated with the aging process, and of course we all want flawless, beautiful and above all, YOUNG skin! There are several methods for removing or improving the appearance of age spots.

Some people opt for dermabrasion, which essentially scrapes off the outer layers of your skin so that new skin can grow in its place. Chemical peels work in a similar fashion, except the process involves burning rather than sanding off the skin. Bleaching the skin can fade age spots gradually, but as noted on Healthline.com, “Bleaching and tretinoin creams make your skin more sensitive to UV damage.” It can also take several months before you begin to see any results.

Cryosurgery, which freezes the age spots with liquid nitrogen, can be costly, as can laser treatments, which work by destroying the cells that produce melanin. Because age spots are a cosmetic rather than medical issue, many people prefer a less aggressive solution. Smart Cover’s Concealing Crème covers age spots and other skin imperfections on the face and body, and because it’s waterproof, it’s perfect for long summer days at the beach. For a lighter touch, the Smart Cover Stick and Perfect Touch Camouflage Crème hide spots on the face in seconds.

Age is just a state of mind, especially when you have Smart Cover!

Beautiful Summer Feet

Summer Feet - Smaller File

Your feet have been hibernating in the darkness of boots, sneakers and closed-toe shoes all winter, but summer is now upon us! It’s time to get your feet sandal-ready! This year, kitten heels and straps that wrap around the ankle are hot on the runway. Are your tootsies ready for primetime?

As Jan Sheehan writes for Everydayhealth.com, “Healthy feet start with good hygiene. Thoroughly clean and scrub your feet with soap and water when you bathe. Afterward, dry them well. Fungal organisms love moisture, so depriving them of any wetness will make it more difficult for them to thrive.”

After a day of running errands in flip-flops, wash your feet with Smart Cover’s Makeup Remover & Cleanser. Be sure to thoroughly scrub the bottoms of your feet, which can hold onto dirt even after a normal shower routine.

Use a pumice stone in the shower on callused heels for all-over smoothness on your feet.

Moisturize your feet with a non-greasy lotion to keep them soft and supple-looking.

Treat yourself to a professional pedicure at a reputable salon.  There’s nothing like slipping on sexy strappy sandals when your toes are freshly done!

Healthy feet are beautiful feet so take care of yourself and consult a podiatrist if you notice any pain, discomfort, or changes in the appearance of your feet and ankles, especially if you’re diabetic.

If you have any veins, bruises, spots or discolorations on your feet, a dab of Smart Cover’s waterproof Concealing Crème will hide those imperfections instantly.

Are your feet are looking a little pale, pasty or otherwise blah from a long winter out of the sun? Brush on a little of Smart Cover’s Believable Bronzer for a natural-looking “tan.” Have a beautiful and healthy summer! Don’t forget your sunblock… and don’t forget your Smart Cover!

Sunscreen on Your Shoulders Makes Us Happy

sunblock faceOne of the most quoted pieces of advice in recent American history came from an essay by Chicago Tribune columnist Mary Schmich, which immediately became so popular, that it was even turned into a dance song:

“Wear sunscreen. If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it. The long-term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists, whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own meandering experience.”

Even though Smart Cover gives you extra protection because our coverage is so opaque, we always recommend that you apply suncreen under our concealers. Since we are passionate about helping you to look and feel your best, we wanted to offer you some tips for purchasing sunscreen.

Opt for products that specifically say “broad-spectrum UV coverage” on the label (meaning it protects against both UVA and UVB rays).
Look for the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) or the Skin Cancer Foundation’s seal of approval.

Check the expiration date. The FDA requires that sunscreens remain effective for at least three years, so that’s how long you can expect yours to work at full strength. When in doubt, toss it out.

Apply sunscreen 15 to 30 minutes before you go outside, and be diligent about reapplying every two hours and always after swimming or “sweaty” activities.

Use a shot glass as your guide — it takes a full ounce of sunscreen to adequately cover the exposed areas of your whole body, says the AAD.

Don’t forget your neck, ears, nose, hands, and toes, as well as the backs of your arms and legs.
Love your lips by protecting them with a lip balm with an SPF of 15 or higher.

Limit your time in the sun, especially between 10AM and 4PM, when the sun is at its strongest.
Wear sun-protective clothing, wide-brimmed hats, and sunglasses as an added layer of defense.
Schedule a yearly screening with your dermatologist and alert them ASAP if you notice any changes in your moles or any new growths or lesions. Caught early, most skin cancers are highly treatable.

And, if you want to “go for the faux,” Smart Cover offers our Suntan Essentials Kit. It’ll give you a tanned look without the harmful rays of the sun.

Believe and Be Bronze

bronzed_smiling_faceOne of this winter’s makeup trends was ferociously rosy cheeks, with blush applied to look like “adorable windburn.” Now that we’re heading into summer, premier makeup artists are trading blush for bronzer. Summer is all about looking like you came by your beauty effortlessly, preferably as a side effect of lounging at the beach all day.

Smart Cover’s Believable Bronzer is the perfect way to create that illusion. Protect yourself from the sun’s harmful rays by applying sunscreen, but still get that gorgeous tanned glow with a quick sweep of Believable Bronzer. Use a little on the apples of your cheeks, on your eyelids and on the tip of your nose and look sun-kissed in seconds.

With an all-purpose makeup brush, you can even apply the Believe Bronzer to your shoulders, arms, legs and any other areas that you want to look tanned. Build color according to your personal preference, so you can be as golden and tawny as your mood dictates. Summer is a great time to play up your natural beauty while eschewing more complicated makeup routines.

Katie Dickens for Elle.com writes: “When it’s hot, a bright lip can be a bit high-maintenance and a steady stream of cold beverages make for constant reapplication.” She recommends following the runway trend toward delicate, candy colored lips in playful pink hues. Smart Cover’s Two-in-One Glow Stick will give your lips just the right amount of color and shine to achieve this look, and it’s a creamer blush too!

For help learning how to apply Smart Cover’s Believable Bronzer, check out this video featuring makeup artist Andrea Guttadauro. Believable Bronzer lets you have it both ways: healthy skin and a gorgeous “tan!” Summer only lasts a few short months, but your skin is with you all your life, so treat it well… and treat it to Smart Cover!

For All the June Brides

The beautiful woman posing in a wedding dress

Brides are to June as fireworks are to July. Both are beautiful, special, and if handled incorrectly, potentially dangerous! Bridezilla jokes aside, the reason for the prevailing stereotypes about “difficult” brides boils down to expectations.
Many women have a clear vision in their minds of how they want to look on their wedding day. Everyone knows a girl who lived on cheese sticks and popsicles for six months to fit into a dream dress. And you can’t have the perfect dress and NOT have perfect skin, can you?

For brides, bridesmaids, mothers-of-the-brides, and everyone else who is counting on having one perfect day this June, Smart Cover has just what you need. The Smart Cover Stick hides dark eye circles, blemishes and other imperfections on the face, and it’s the size of a lipstick so it will fit in even the tiniest purse or pocket for last minute touch-ups!

Better still, The Hollywood Makeup Artist Kit comes with 17 of Smart Cover’s most popular items, including the afore-mentioned Smart Cover Stick, and four different shades of the Concealing Crème. The Concealing Crème covers tattoos, veins or bruises on the face and body. It’s waterproof and will stay on from the beginning of the ceremony until the last piece of cake has disappeared at the reception.

As Kristen Finello wrote for Bridalguide.com, “A sane start to the day will go a long way toward helping you keep your cool once the action begins.” She advises picturing yourself on your honeymoon if you start to feel the stress of the big day.

Remember: you’re getting married because you’re in love! Enjoy your wedding day, but remember it’s just one day… and lucky you, you’re going to get to spend all the rest of your days with the love of your life. Congratulations!

Don’t Forget to Wash Your Face!

Profile portrait of a beautiful smiling woman washing her clean face with waterIf you’re like most people, you can remember your parents telling you to wash your face before bed when you were a little kid. Now that you’re an adult with no one telling you what to do, how good are you at following this rule? Is your skincare regimen like clockwork or a little more devil-may-care?

For those of you who are a little more lackadaisical about nightly skincare, we want to remind you how important (and easy!) it is to take care of that beautiful face.

Even if you’re not wearing makeup, you’re touching your face throughout the day and leaving all kinds of bacteria behind. If you don’t wash it off at the end of the day, you increase the risk of breakouts.

Nighttime is the best time for your skin to rebuild itself. Washing your face before bed makes the most of the effects of your skin’s self-repair process. To further maximize these effects, try Smart Cover’s Vitamin Beauty Stick around the eyes, mouth and other delicate areas of your face where fine lines can form.

Speaking of fine lines, according to Sleep.org, makeup tends to hold onto the free radicals that attack your skin all day. If you don’t wash your makeup off completely before bed, those radicals continue to break down the collagen in your skin, leading to wrinkles.

Worse than that, if you fall asleep with eye makeup, you run the risk of some of that makeup getting into your eyes during the night, which could cause an infection.

To ensure that your skin will always look and feel its best, remove your makeup thoroughly and wash your face with a gentle cleanser. For everything you need in one bottle, try Smart Cover’s Makeup Remover & Cleanser and then get a good night’s sleep. Your skin will thank you!

You’re So Vein

Portrait of a smiling woman relaxing by poolThe warm weather may have most of us are rejoicing, but those of us with unsightly veins on our legs are a little more ambivalent. According to Web MD, there as many as 30-60% American adults with varicose or spider veins. It’s an extremely common problem, but that offers minimal comfort when you’re turning down trips to the pool or spending your vacation hiding behind an oversized beach towel.

Fortunately, there are a number of treatment options available, the most well-known of which is sclerotherapy. Womenshealth.gov describes sclerotherapy as an outpatient procedure in which the doctor injects a liquid chemical into the vein, causing the vein walls to swell, stick together and swell shut. “This stops the flow of blood, and the vein turns into scar tissue. In a few weeks, the vein should fade.”

Other treatment options include compression stockings, which press down on the veins to reduce discomfort while increasing blood flow; surface laser treatments; and for very large varicose veins, surgical ligation, during which the veins are tied shut and removed altogether.

While compression stockings are relatively inexpensive, their efficacy is limited. Laser treatment and sclerotherapy can ultimately cost thousands of dollars, depending on how many sessions are needed. And surgery is often an expensive last resort.

For people who are embarrassed by the appearance of spider or varicose veins but don’t necessarily need to take such drastic measures, the right concealer is the perfect solution! Smart Cover Concealing Crème hides veins and other skin imperfections on the legs (and everywhere else on the body), and it’s completely waterproof.

There is no need to worry about “sweating off” your concealer, and with a little Smart Cover, you can even enjoy a swim. Your Concealing Crème will stay on until you’re ready to take it off. So get out there and enjoy the warm weather. You’ve got Smart Cover!

Are Facials Good For You?

Face Massage. Close-up of a Young Woman Getting Spa Treatment.

While some people swear by their monthly facials, others are more cautious. Unlike massages and other innocuous spa indulgences, facials can present risks for folks with extra-sensitive skin, who can be susceptible to irritation or even infection as a result of certain kinds of skin treatments.  As skincare expert Paula Begoun writes for The Cosmetics Cop, “Using essential oils [may] smell divine, but fragrance isn’t skin care. All fragrance, synthetic or natural, causes irritation, and irritation harms your skin.” Smart Cover’s concealers are fragrance-free, non-comedogenic and dermatologist-tested, for precisely this reason.

Managing expectations is important when you’re considering having a facial. Facials can reap enormous benefits: with the right esthetician, you should walk out of your facial with fewer blackheads via gentle extraction, improved skin tone, and softer skin. What facials won’t do is magically make acne disappear (sorry!) or lift up sagging skin.

It’s also important to remember that skin treatments such as facials are just one piece of a bigger puzzle when it comes to taking care of your largest organ. What you eat, how much you sleep and whether you get any exercise all have a huge impact on your skin’s appearance.  As Sarah Siddons points out on howstuffworks.com, “Even the world’s greatest facial won’t do much good if you chow down each day on greasy foods and consider channel surfing the ultimate in daily exercise.”

In terms of sheer pleasure, facials are a homerun.  In addition to treating your skin, estheticians will typically massage your neck and shoulders. Soft music plays, the room smells wonderful, and those 60 to 90 minutes are all for you.

We don’t have to tell you that the benefits to putting yourself first every now and again are too numerous to name! Facials may not work absolute miracles, but you always have Smart Cover to hide any remaining imperfections. If you decide getting a facial is right for you, by all means, enjoy!