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Are You Getting Enough Sleep?

Do you take your phone to bed with you? Leave the TV on all night? Work on your laptop in bed? All these things may prevent you from getting enough sleep.

It seems like, these days, virtually every aspect of our lives can be automated, outsourced to the latest electronic device. But when it comes to self-care, there are certain things that we just have to do for ourselves. One of those things is sleep. No matter how technologically savvy you may be, there’s no shortcut for proper rest.

Getting Enough Sleep?

According to the National Sleep Foundation, 75% of a complete night’s sleep consists of Non-Rapid Eye Movement, or NREM. This is the most restorative portion of the night. Blood supply to the muscles is increased, hormones that contribute to growth and development are released, and tissue repair takes place.

As Stephanie Jacob writes for WebMD, the increased blood flow to your skin that occurs during this stage of sleep is the key to a glowing complexion. The growth hormones that are released boost the creation of collagen, which reduces the appearance of wrinkles.

If you’re able to get your doctor-recommended seven to nine hours of sleep, you’ll notice the difference in your appearance within a few short weeks. Your skin will be brighter and clearer, your cheeks and lips will be rosier, and the circles under your eyes will be diminished. The Smart Cover Stick hides dark eye circles in seconds, and the Two-in-One Glow Stick will give your lips and cheeks a shimmery rosy glow… but your most important beauty tool will always be a good night’s sleep.

Living with Rosacea

Woman looking into a broken mirror touching it with her hand, with back of head showing

Commonly known as “the blushing disease,” approximately 16 million Americans have been diagnosed with rosacea. This disease can be a source of discomfort, physical pain and psychological stress. Experts believe that rosacea is hereditary and may be caused by a mite called demodex that lives on skin; a bug called H Pylori that infects the intestines; the way the body processes protein; or the way that the immune system reacts to certain bacteria.

There are four known subtypes of rosacea: Erythematotelangiectatic rosacea is characterized by flushing and visibly swelling blood vessels; papulopustular rosacea causes breakouts resembling acne; phymatous rosacea gives the skin a thick and bumpy texture in addition to redness; ocular rosacea causes eye inflammation that can include a bloodshot appearance of the eyes, swollen eyelids, and what can look to be a sty.

While there is no cure for rosacea, there are various treatment methods, including pharmaceuticals carefully tailored to each individual case, diets that omit possible triggers, and preventive skincare. Staying out of the sun is crucial in this capacity.

Beauty writer Stacey Gawronski candidly describes her experiences as a young woman living with rosacea on youbeauty.com. Misdiagnosed for years as having “sensitive skin” or run-of-the-mill acne, it was when she finally learned what was causing her skin issues that Gawronski was empowered to treat them. Perhaps more importantly, she reached a point of acceptance and positivity, musing: “My skin isn’t perfect, but is it really so bad?”

Ordinary makeup typically will not hide rosacea but specialty camouflage cosmetics like Smart Cover’s Concealing Crème can create the appearance of beautiful, smooth and clear skin in just a few seconds’ time. It dries to a matte finish with no setting powder required, and stays on until you take it off. If you are exhibiting symptoms of rosacea, consult your dermatologist for a diagnosis. When you’re ready to conceal your flaws without irritating your skin, Smart Cover will be waiting for you.

Port Wine Stains & Other Vascular Birthmarks

May 15 Day Of Awareness - Vascular Birthmarks FoundationThe Vascular Birthmarks Foundation, now celebrating over 20 years of service, is dedicated to educating people about vascular birthmarks and providing support to those afflicted. Smart Cover Cosmetics has worked with the foundation for several years as their makeup expert helping women, men and children with their concealing needs.

Vascular birthmarks are broadly defined as congenital discolorations of the skin that are caused by clustered or malformed blood vessels. They include hemangiomas, venous malformations, lymphatic malformations, port wine stains, and other vascular anomalies.

The most commonly known type of vascular birthmark is the Port Wine Stain (PWS), also known as nevus flammeus. There is no known cause of PWS and no prevention method available. It is not hereditary and affects all racial groups pretty equally, occurring in approximately 1 in every 3,000 live births. It is thought to develop within the first few weeks of gestation.

There are many highly trained physicians who specialize in treating birthmarks with various laser procedures. Many of our customers with Port Wine Stain birthmarks can attest that because it so often presents on the face, living with PWS can be an ongoing source of stress and frustration. It is not merely a “cosmetic” issue. Unfortunately, the potential complications are not limited to the social and psychological realms, as the blood vessels can gradually become more dilated, creating the potential for more serious issues in the affected area.

Before & After Smart CoverOrdinary makeup has proven ineffective at camouflaging PWS, which is why Smart Cover has been so warmly received by members of the Vascular Birthmark community. Our Concealing Crème camouflages Port Wine Stains without feeling heavy or cakey on the face. The coverage stays put and looks beautiful and natural, with or without setting powder.

May 15th is National Vascular Birthmark Awareness Day. We at Smart Cover are committed to our role in helping to provide information and support, as well as our one-of-a-kind camouflage cosmetics. If you are living with a Vascular Birthmark and would like to know what resources are available to you, please visit the National Vascular Birthmarks website at www.birthmark.org.

 

Miracle Foods to Look Ten Years Younger!

A multi generation portrait of a happy grandmother with her daughter and granddaughterThe right diet really can turn back the hands of time, according to Board-Certified plastic surgeon and anti-aging expert Anthony Youn, MD. In his new book, The Age Fix: A Leading Plastic Surgeon Reveals How to Really Look 10 Years Younger, Dr. Youn shares the best foods for keeping your skin smooth, firm and wrinkle-free. Here are just a few…

Eggs – A great (and inexpensive!) source of lean protein as well as vitamin A, eggs help your skin retain its elasticity.

Shrimp and Oysters – We hope you love seafood! Oysters are full of zinc and shrimp is packed with vitamin E, which can reduce scarring and help reverse skin damage.

Sweet potatoes – We all know sweet potatoes are rich in beta carotene, a precursor of vitamin A that helps your skin retain moisture and promotes the health of your eyes and the strength of your immune system. Sweet potatoes also contain selenium, which can reduce the appearance of wrinkles.

Tomato paste – If fresh tomatoes aren’t in season, you can always get a good dose of lycopene from about five tablespoons of tomato paste. Lycopene helps fight signs of aging with its anti-inflammatory properties.

Papaya – This colorful fruit is an anti-aging triple threat! Packed with vitamins E, C and beta carotene, it helps keep your skin looking young and dewy. (Smart Cover’s Vitamin Beauty Stick is enriched with antioxidants and vitamins A, C and E to nourish the delicate eye area.)

Green tea – Try getting your daily caffeine fix from green tea instead of coffee and you’ll get a big dose of antioxidants too, which combat signs of aging.

While you’re cleaning out your refrigerator to make room for all these new additions to your diet, try Smart Cover’s Anti-Aging Pick Up Sticks Collection, which includes the Anti-Feathering Stick, designed to prevent bleeding lipstick; the Lip Plumper; the Lip Pumice Stick to exfoliate the lips; the Tea Tree Oil Softening Stick to moisturize; and the Two-in-One Glow Stick, which is a lip gloss and cream blush in one, giving your lips and cheeks a hint of color.

Fight aging from the inside out with the right foods, as recommended by Dr. Youn. And fight aging from the outside in with Smart Cover!

 

 

Managing Acne

Teenage girl checking her face for pimple in the mirrorWhen you got your first pimple at twelve or thirteen, you were undoubtedly horrified but you also understood it as a rite of passage. With puberty comes acne, unless you’re really lucky. And surely by the time you get out of high school, you’ll be done with breakouts for good, right?

Ha!

Again, some people may actually be so lucky but for most of us, blemishes are a lifelong nuisance. Once upon a time, dermatologists dismissed diet as an acne trigger, but fortunately research has now confirmed what most of us have always suspected: what you put in your body shows up on your body! It seems pretty obvious when you look at it that way.

Experts recommend adding the following foods to your diet if you want to reduce acne:

“Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme” is more than just a song lyric. Introducing herbs into your diet will help your complexion, according to totalbeauty.com.

Vegetables packed with vitamin A, such as carrots and sweet potatoes will do your skin good!

Cucumbers, with their high content of water, help flush the toxins out of your body.

Zinc! If you’re a fan of oysters, you’ll get double the daily requirement of zinc in one serving (the jury’s still out on whether oysters can improve your love life, however).

Though milk products are usually not recommended if you’re trying to control acne, yogurt is the one exception.

If the candy aisle is calling you, head straight for the dark chocolates. Most sweets will worsen your acne but the high concentration of antioxidants in dark chocolate will help your complexion.

Water. Obviously.

Though eating right and getting enough sleep will definitely help to keep acne at bay, sometimes a big, ugly pimple will decide to rear its unwelcome head anyway.

If you don’t have time to hide under your bed until it disappears on its own, try Smart Cover’s Acne Rescue Kit. It goes on creamy and instantly hides facial flaws like fine lines, dark eye circles and yes, blemishes. Leave those teenage insecurities in the past where they belong and show your beautiful, clear face to the world!

 

The Mask of Pregnancy

If you’rPregnant Silhouettee an expectant mother, the changes to your body can be overwhelming. In addition to weight gain, fatigue and mood swings, the surge in hormones can trigger a skin condition called melasma.

Often called “the mask of pregnancy,” melasma usually appears on the forehead, nose, cheeks and upper lip. It sometimes shows up on the forearms and neck, especially if those areas have been exposed to the sun. This seemingly minor cosmetic condition can be highly stressful.

Characterized by brown or grayish-brown marks on the face, melasma is not dangerous.  It is also worth noting that while pregnant women are far and away the most likely to be afflicted with melasma, both men and women are susceptible.

Though it usually fades away on its own over time, some people are afflicted with melasma for years and need to seek the help of a dermatologist to treat it. Topical medications such as Hydroquinone, azelaic acid or kojic acid are sometimes prescribed. Others opt for procedures including chemical peels, microdermabrasion, and dermabrasion.

Smart Cover has set the industry standard when it comes to camouflage cosmetics and we truly care about helping you feel like your very best self.

If you’re suffering from melasma, our waterproof Smart Cover Concealing Crème (which is allergy-tested and fragrance free) can help you through this sensitive period, providing excellent long-lasting coverage on the face and body. If you just have a few spots on your face, our Smart Cover Stick works very well and takes seconds to apply.

Smart Cover’s Two-in-One Glow Stick will give your lips and cheeks an angelic hint of color, perfect for the new mommy you’re about to become.

Congratulations on the little miracle you’re creating and remember: when it comes to concealing skin imperfections or just looking fresh and fabulous every day, we’ve got you covered!

Tired of Looking Tired? Combating Dark Eye Circles

“Look at the circles under my eyes! I haven’t slept in weeks!” – Cowardly Lion

Cowardly Lion

For some people, dark circles under the eyes are just an unfortunate hereditary trait. For others, dark eye circles are caused by lack of sleep, poor diet and the inevitable aging process.

To reduce the appearance of dark eye circles from the inside, here are some suggestions:

Increase your intake of antioxidants and vitamins such as Vitamin K and Vitamin B12. Leafy green vegetables and fruits like blueberries are a great way to get these nutrients.

Treat your allergies. Hay fever can have you constantly rubbing your eyes, which wears away at the delicate skin, making dark circles even worse. Also, allergies can cause breathing issues while you sleep, leading to inadequate rest… and yes, dark eye circles.

Get some sleep. Most people need seven to nine consecutive hours of sleep to be fully rested and start to see a difference in the appearance of under-eye circles.

Avoid sugar… or at least try consuming less of it. Most of us can’t resist a little treat every now and then, but be careful not to let dessert become a major food group in your diet.

Don’t smoke! We don’t really need to say anything more, do we?

Reduce alcohol consumption. One glass of red wine with dinner can be good for you; one bottle is another matter entirely. As in all things, moderation is the key.

Watch your breath. Some people, especially those prone to anxiety, suffer from Hyperventilation Syndrome. This simply means that you’re taking in more air than your body can handle. Be mindful of breathing slowly and deeply. Yoga can help you to become more conscious and deliberate in your breathing.

To learn more about the causes of dark eye circles, and ways to treat them, visit thescienceofeating.com.

While you’re trying these remedies, remember that Smart Cover’s Perfect Touch Camouflage Crème has the ability to conceal even the most stubborn dark eye circles, not to mention unsightly bags, wrinkles and fine lines. It goes on creamy and blends easily. Our Smart Cover Stick also hides dark eye circles and other facial flaws with a no-muss no-fuss application (it rolls on just like lipstick).

If only the Cowardly Lion had tried Smart Cover!

 

Mini Makeover on the Go

 

Pretty businesswoman with baby over white background

now, everyone is familiar with the cliché of the harried working mom with no time for herself and no “beauty budget” to speak of. The truth is it’s become standard for adults, parents and non-parents alike, to be overworked and perpetually be running late.

The overscheduled Professional is almost a status symbol in America. This theme is explored in Brigid Schulte’s book, Overwhelmed: Work, Love and Play When No One Has The time and in this Slate.com article introducing the book.

We all want to be our best, achieve as much as possible and especially provide a good life for our children. We spend our lives checking off mental to-do lists, rushing to and from work, and barely giving ourselves the chance to enjoy the families we love so much.

Smart Cover may not be able to help you achieve work/life balance, but we can make looking good simpler and a lot less time-consuming. We have products that are great for the low-maintenance girl just trying to get out the door in the morning.

Smart Cover’s Flawless Face to Go is designed to conceal your flaws while bringing out your natural beauty in four simple steps: start with the Perfect Touch Camouflage Crème to conceal facial imperfections; then apply a little setting powder; give your lips color and shine with the Two-in-One Glow Stick, which doubles as a creamy blush!

You may spend all day in a cubicle, but a light dusting of Smart Cover’s Believable Bronzer on your face and body will make it look like you just came back from a beautiful, sun-drenched island and you don’t have a worry in the world.

We’re all doing the best we can. Making time for yourself to breathe and be happy is as essential to your health as the multivitamin you gulp down with your morning coffee. Even something as simple as promising yourself a ten-minute walk in the sunshine every day can make a huge difference. Now that spring is finally here, why not give yourself that small gift?

Skin Care Series from your 40’s through your 80’s and Beyond

Full isolated portrait of a beautiful and happy senior woman

SKIN CARE IN YOUR 70’S, 80’s AND BEYOND

Now is the time to enjoy your looks, feel good about your appearance; and above all, stay active. Subtle changes are what it’s all about!

Here’s more advice from our experts:

Use a rich moisturizer and sunscreen every day whether you are wearing makeup or not.

You don’t want to wear a heavy makeup that accentuates the wrinkles, so we suggest mixing Smart Cover’s  Perfect Touch Camouflage Crème with your own foundation so that you get the coverage that age spots may require, but still look very natural. Perfect Touch is a favorite of Actress Gena Rowlands.

Use a cream or powder blush that easily blends into your cheeks in soft mauve or rose.

Try a matte lipstick in the rose family and stay away from dark brown shades.

Keep your eye makeup simple; define your eyebrows as needed. Apply a heather colored pencil and smudge out the edges.

Above all, less is better than more when you get to be at a certain age.

 

 

Skin Care Series – From your 40’s to your 80’s and Beyond

Face CleaningTAKING CARE OF YOUR SKIN IN YOUR 40’S

We’ve had many emails from our customers of all ages asking us about how to take care of their skin relative to their age. Every decade brings changes to your skin and how you should care for it.

Let’s begin with how to care for your skin in your forties.

We know that the forties can be the hectic decade; balancing work, family and your home. Time is precious to you and there’s always stress associated with trying to do it all! Well, just be sure you make time for yourself and a simplified beauty regime.

Here’s some advice from the experts:

Choose a moisturizer for your skin type and wear it morning and night.
Sunscreen every day – you don’t want to have any additional sun damage which can cause premature aging.

Eye Cream every night. You can also try it during the day under your concealer so it will go on smoothly.

Use concealers to hide the dark eye circles and the tired eyes look.

Use a foundation with more coverage like Smart Cover to even out your skin tone and hide blotches that begin forming in your 40’s.

Brush on your blush or bronzer with an upward motion, since skin tends to sag as you approach your 50’s.

Mascara and Eye Liner become necessary in your 40’s to give your eyes more definition.

Find the right hair color to lighten up your face, cover your gray or add a few highlights for added sophistication. Invest in a good hair cut that’s appropriate for your 40’s lifestyle.

Stay tuned for our next blog on skin care in your 50’s. And that is a crucial time to really care about your maturing skin.