Different Is Beautiful

Port Wine Birthmark
Port Wine Birthmark with Smart Cover Concealing Creme

The popular website Cafemom.com recently featured an unnamed contributor who wrote a beautiful article about living with a physical difference.

 

“I was born with a port-wine stain birthmark that covers half my face, which travels all the way to my brain (causing another condition called Sturge-Weber syndrome) and caused my facial features to be asymmetrical.”

She goes on to offer a few words of wisdom to other people who might have a noticeable physical difference like herself. The author advises them to remember that they have a voice, and they “can change the world.” Not everyone has the same experience of living with a physical difference. Some have a hard time with it; some are ambivalent; some absolutely love the traits that set them apart. After all, different is beautiful!

For those who have occasional moments of struggle, the writer reminds them that their condition doesn’t define them and they are not alone. For instance, one in ten newborns are born with some kind of vascular birthmark, of which one type is the port-wine birthmark like this writer.  She also emphasizes that decisions about one’s health and appearance are up to them. You know best what’s right for you.

Different Is Beautiful

Smart Cover Cosmetics is proud to be a pioneer of camouflage cosmetics. Our Concealing Crème hides port-wine birthmarks and other skin issues that ordinary makeup can’t cover. As our brand ambassador and model Serena Leroy can tell you, sometimes opting not to cover your birthmark is the most empowering choice you can make.

If you have a birthmark or any other physical trait that makes you feel different, the gifted writer from the Cafemom website has a few sage words for you: “If you’re a girl, remember, you are beautiful and stunning. If you’re a guy? You are handsome with tons of swag.”

The 1, 2, 3’s of Skin Cancer

Smart Cover is a proud ally to people with skin concerns of all kinds. When it comes to skin cancer, early detection, not to mention prevention, can save your life. Arm yourself with the 1, 2, 3’s of skin cancer.

ONE – Prevention

The best way to ensure that skin cancer doesn’t have a lasting impact on your life is never to get it in the first place. If possible, stay out of the sun between 10AM and 4PM. “Avoiding the sun at its strongest helps you avoid the sunburns and suntans that cause skin damage and increase your risk of developing skin cancer,” according to mayoclinic.org.

When you are exposed to the sun, cover up as much as you can, and never leave the house without sunscreen. Even for casual exposure, SPF 15 should be the minimum.

TWO – Vigilance

Be aware of any changes to your skin, especially if you have moles that appear out of nowhere, or that change in color, size or shape. Many skin changes are normal and not signs of cancer, but let your doctor determine the cause and appropriate treatment.

THREE – Early Detection

Cultivate a relationship with your dermatologist. She’s there to help you, and she just may save your life. Don’t wait for your annual checkup if you notice something unusual but DO maintain an annual appointment with your dermatologist.

The 1, 2, 3’s of Skin Cancer

In a perfect world, your life will never be touched by skin cancer. But if it is, having some basic knowledge will empower you to get treated and get better. Many skin cancer survivors use Smart Cover Concealing Crème when they feel like covering their scars. Life is precious, and we want you to enjoy as much of it as you can. For more information, check out the The Skin Cancer Foundation.

The Joys of Bath Time

There are countless pop culture references to the escapist pleasures of a nice bath. Harried moms in detergent commercials retreat to the tub when they just can’t deal with life (or apparently, laundry) anymore. Even Ernie from Sesame Street gets in on the action, filling a tub with bubbles and bringing his Rubber Ducky along for the soak. The joys of bath time are well-documented indeed. But is it good for you?

In a word, yes. Longborough University research associate Steve Faulkner reports that in a recent study, an hour-long soak in a hot bath (about 104 degrees Fahrenheit) resulted in about as many calories burned as a half-hour walk. He further asserts that “passive heating,” that is to say, heating the body up without exercising, has approximately the same effect as exercise when it comes to controlling your blood sugar and reducing your blood pressure!

The Joys of Bath Time

Some people like to add scented oils or even healing herbs to the bath, while others go for good old-fashioned bubbles (like our pal, Ernie), or just plain water. It all depends on your personal sensitivities and preferences. Lifehack.org writer Diane Koopman suggests cold water to tighten your skin “and reduce sweating and open pores, whilst still providing optimal hydration.”

Smart Cover Makeup Remover & Cleanser is a wonderful addition to your bath experience, especially since it works so well to remove makeup on your face and body without over-drying your skin. This is especially perfect if you use Smart Cover Concealing Crème to cover varicose veins, bruises or other skin concerns on your body.

A hot bath, like a hot fudge sundae, a kind word from a friend, or a new makeup kit from Smart Cover, is one of those little treats you just need once in awhile. Give yourself the care you deserve!

 

Wax, Shave, Thread or Sugar?

Mother Nature clearly did not anticipate this generation’s proclivity for smooth, hairless skin. Of course, there are plenty of folks who proudly let their body hair grow and we say, “More power to them!” How about you? Do you wax, shave, thread or sugar?

Wax, shave, thread, or sugar

Waxing, as defined by beinghealthfull.com, is “a method of hair removal where warm wax is applied to your skin and hair and removed quickly to remove hair.” Most of us are familiar with this process, whether you get your eyebrows waxed at the nail salon or go for a full Brazilian (wherein all bikini-adjacent hair is removed) at a spa.

It can hurt, but if you’re being serviced by a reputable esthetician the pain should be short-lived and the results can last for weeks. If your skin is a little sensitive, there may be redness afterward. This usually only lasts a couple of hours, and you can cover it with Smart Cover Concealing Crème on your face or body.

Self writer Emily Rekstis swears by sugaring: “Although the technique is very similar to waxing, sugaring uses a [gentler] mix of sugar, lemon, and water to remove hair.” This method tends to hurt less than waxing but is a slightly more expensive.

Threading is yet another inexpensive and nonpermanent hair removal option that lasts weeks longer than shaving. Elle.com’s George Driver explains: “A piece of thread that is specially coated with anti-bacterial wax is… twisted in the hands of the professional, to create a mini-lasso [that] removes the hairs quickly and directly from the follicles.”

One con to threading is that the skin must be held taut (usually by the client herself) as the threading is done, which is a little uncomfortable. But beauty experts will tell you that threading gets you the fiercest eyebrows. Cover any redness with Smart Cover Camouflage Crème and enjoy looking amazing!

When You Can’t Stop Picking at Your Skin

The health of your mind and body are closely related. If your body is suffering in any way, it is bound to impact your mental health. Conversely, if you are living with anxiety, depression, or any other mental health issues, those issues will often manifest themselves in a physical way. One example of this is excoriation disorder, which is a compulsion to pick at the skin. What do you do when you can’t stop picking at your skin?

Many of us have found ourselves giving way more attention to a scab or hangnail than was warranted, but excoriation disorder goes far beyond that. Alternately called dermatillomania or chronic skin-picking, Mental Health America defines this disorder as “a mental illness related to obsessive-compulsive disorder… characterized by repeated picking at one’s own skin which results in skin lesions and causes significant disruption in one’s life.”

When You Can’t Stop Picking at Your Skin

Recently, television personality Dr. Phil McGraw decided to shine a light on this affliction. A guest on his program confessed that she had been obsessively picking at her own skin for four years, beginning when she was 17 years old. A great deal of damage had already been done to her once-pristine complexion, but she was determined to stop and finally ready to ask for help.

This is a crucial first step: reaching out for help. If you think that you or someone you know is dealing with excoriation disorder, there are resources available to you, including the TLC Foundation for Body-Focused Repetitive Behaviors.

Smart Cover Cosmetics has always been dedicated to helping individuals with all kinds of skin concerns. If there is something you want to cover, our Concealing Crème will restore a smooth, clear appearance to your skin (as long as skin is not open). To wash the day away, we are proud to offer Smart Cover Makeup Remover & Cleanser. Most importantly, Smart Cover is here to remind you that you are not alone.

Humidity is good for your skin!

We are in the final “dog days”of summer, and you may have begun to dream longingly of cooler days already. As one sticky day blurs into the next, you’re wondering when you can say goodbye to this muggy weather. It’s not quite that time yet, but maybe all this humidity is good for your skin!

According to health writer Abigail Libers, there is no one perfect climate for every skin type. We all benefit from sweating out our toxins, which is of course facilitated by a hot, humid environment. The humidity makes your skin cells turn over faster than usual, which for those of us with oily skin means more debris to clog pores and cause breakouts.

To minimize the negative effects of humidity on oily skin, wash morning and night with a gentle cleanser like Smart Cover Makeup Remover & Cleanser. The fruit enzymes exfoliate your skin and fully dissolve the day’s makeup without causing irritation. If you’re looking a little shinier than you’d like, Smart Cover’s Compact Finishing Powder will keep you smooth and fresh-looking, whatever the day brings.

Humidity is good for your skin!

If you have eczema, which can cause dry, itchy and flaky skin, then a humid climate will help your skin retain moisture. This will both help to heal the redness and itchiness, and will also decrease the flaking. Even if you don’t have this condition, but tend to have somewhat dry skin, humidity will prove beneficial to your skin.

For individuals with eczema or psoriasis, Smart Cover Concealing Creme can cover redness (as well as skin concerns from blemishes to scars to tattoos). If you don’t have the luxury of picking up and moving to your skin’s dream climate, at least you know how to care for it so you can always look and feel great.

Food Matters to Your Skin!

You may think you’re doing everything right, but food matters to your skin!

We know, we know: you wash your face in the morning, apply a moisturizer and SPF under your Smart Cover concealer, and limit your time in the sun. At the end of the day, you wash off the day’s dirt and makeup with Smart Cover Cleanser & Makeup Remover, and you even use a night cream to help rebuild skin cells and fight free radicals while you sleep for seven to eight hours. But guess what? Food matters to your skin!

If your diet’s not right, your skin won’t be right.

Even if you have the kind of metabolism that allows you to eat a double cheeseburger and wash it down with a chocolate shake without gaining an ounce, you may very well gain a blemish or two from all that sugar and starch. Allure.com writer Elizabeth Siegel notes that the jury is still out in terms of whether dairy really does cause breakouts, but it has been established that “too much sugar can break down collagen and elastin, making your skin look dull and causing wrinkles over time.”

So what foods should you eat for better skin?

Foods with lots of vitamin C, like strawberries, broccoli and citrus fruits, according to Self.com, help with the production of collagen. Collagen, of course, is what keeps your skin looking youthful and fresh.

Almonds and sunflower seeds contain Vitamin E, which help protect your skin from the sun—but you still need to wear sunblock!

Of course, leafy green vegetables like kale and spinach are great for you on a number of levels. When it comes to your skin, these foods are rich in Vitamin A, which helps with cell production and turnover, and can also help fight free radicals, which advance the aging process.

Smart Cover concealers can hide your blemishes and imperfections, but the right diet will help keep those blemishes from ever appearing in the first place!

Men and Makeup: A “Fad” That’s Here to Stay

Men and MakeupWhen it comes to men and makeup, “a lot of people are ready to live in a world where men feel welcome to wear makeup if they so choose.”

This bold statement comes courtesy of Huffington Post writer Julia Brucculieri, and she’s far from the only media voice making this observation. Increasingly, men are seeking out concealer to hide skin issues, the same way that women have done for generations.

Men are experimenting with eyeliner and mascara. They are contouring with blush and bronzer to enhance their bone structure.

Cosmetics companies are taking notice. Some of the biggest names in the makeup industry are now boasting male spokesmodels, and think pieces on the virtues of makeup are emerging in highly circulated—and famously manly— publications.

Men and Makeup

GQ writer Sean Hotchkiss recounts a highly relatable tale of dealing with cystic acne. One night, as he and his girlfriend got ready to go out, Hotchkiss complained about a large pimple on his face. In seconds, his girlfriend had whipped out her concealer and made the blemish virtually disappear. He was an instant convert.

“Wearing concealer will be the most effective, least fussy grooming move you make all day,” Hotchkiss advises his fellow men. He urges them to let go of their gendered hang-ups and adopt what he simply thinks of as a “lifehack.”

Smart Cover has been way ahead of this trend for a long time, with many loyal male customers. Smart Cover’s waterproof Concealing Crème has often been the only thing that worked for men and women who wanted to cover scars, tattoos, razor burn, and other skin concerns.

Now that the world is catching on that makeup is for everybody, might we interest you in the Hollywood Makeup Artist Kit?

Do you wear short shorts?

Whether you actually wear short shorts or you prefer longer, more relaxed styles, you’re undoubtedly showing some leg this time of year, and you have plenty of options.

According to fashion writer Ana Colon for Glamour.com, “Bermuda shorts are undergoing a reinvention, and this season they’re reentering mainstream retail, with various interpretations—from baggy to fitted, from khaki to denim—available for any shoppers who would like just a little bit more coverage, please.”

If you want something a little more form-fitting, the 90’s trend of bike shorts as mainstream attire is making a major comeback. Whether you remember this look from the first go-around, or like this young Buzzfeed writer, it’s all new to you, bike shorts can be a comfy way of baring your legs without showing too much skin.

Of course, there are always capris if you want to feel nice and covered but still show off your shapely calves, and stay cool! It’s a classic look that can be dressed up or down and works for most body types. Cropped pants, which really just bare your ankles, look great with sandals or even flip-flops, and definitely evoke the feeling of summer.

Show Some Leg!

If you have varicose veins, bruises, or any other skin concerns on your legs, Smart Cover’s waterproof Concealing Crème will hide them for you. Choose a shade that matches your skin tone, and don’t be afraid to mix shades for a perfect match.

To create a sun-kissed look without having to reckon with potentially harmful UV rays, try Smart Cover’s Believable Bronzer, which works on the face and body. What’s great about applying the Believable Bronzer to your legs is that it not only makes them look tanned, but it instantly gives them a leaner, more toned appearance! You may just sport some short shorts, after all!

Fun Makeup Tips for the 4th of July!

If you’re the patriotic type, we have fun makeup tips for the 4th of July! Summer flies by, so savor your time with family and friends, enjoy all the backyard barbecues and fireworks. And if you’re really feeling festive, why not let your makeup reflect your mood?

Fun Makeup Tips for the 4th of July

You’re probably already rocking a red, white and blue outfit, so really make it pop with a bold red lip. “When it comes to makeup there is no bigger statement than red lips. The look is stunning, attention grabbing and a timeless classic. And the best thing is that anyone can pull off red lips,” writes Kate for Hairstyler.com.

Glittery makeup is very on-trend right now, according to Makeup.com. Sparkly eye shadow is the perfect way to show how much you love America! If you want to be a little more subtle while accentuating your Independence Day eyes, try white eyeliner. Cosmopolitan.com beauty writer Carly Cardellino notes that sometimes a simple white cat-eye is all you need:

“Just trace your upper lid with a white pencil and flick the pencil toward the outer corner of your eye, like you’re drawing a check mark. If you’re a newbie at creating the winged look, hold a business card at an angle at the outer corner of your eye and use the straight edge of the card as a guide.”

We’re now in the thick hot, sticky summer, so make Smart Cover’s Compact Finishing Powder part of your July 4th makeup regimen. It’ll keep your skin looking smooth and shine-free. Smart Cover’s waterproof Concealing Crème will cover any skin issues so you can focus on celebrating life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness!