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!

Tattoos and You

Are tattoos and you friends for life, or bitter frenemies? Maybe you associate them with young, trendy people…or young, foolish people. For every meaningful and exquisitely executed work of body art, there are dozens of immediately regrettable tattoos, selected on the fly with the help of your friends rum and Coke.

Though tattoos are now virtually synonymous with impetuous youth, tattooing is an ancient practice, dating back to around 12,000 B.C. The word itself comes from the Tahitian “tatu,” which means “to mark something.” Ancient peoples from all parts of the globe seem to have arrived independently at this ritual of body modification in which pigment is inserted into skin to change its appearance permanently.

Tattooing was often an important aspect of cultural and even spiritual traditions, such as in ancient Egypt and India. As countries including England, France and Spain began to colonize other parts of the world, the European Christian ideals and aesthetics became the dominant forces, crowding out and sometimes even obliterating cultures and traditions of other peoples. The practice of tattooing became less commonplace, and even came to be regarded as barbaric or low-class.

Tattoos and You

Gradually, tattooing has reemerged to find itself a part of mainstream culture again. Even refined Hollywood actresses like Oscar winner Helen Mirren are sporting tattoos now! The one catch of course, is that tattoos are permanent. Though expensive laser procedures now exist for tattoo removal, they are expensive, painful and the results are not guaranteed.

Smart Cover’s Concealing Crème is a painless, inexpensive solution and it stays on until you wash it off. Having Smart Cover in your makeup bag is a decision you’ll never regret!

What’s the Top Cosmetic Procedure in America?

We all want to be attractive, but what’s the top cosmetic procedure in America?

Trends may vary, but wanting to be beautiful at all costs is universal. People will endure untold discomfort, spend thousands of dollars, and even put their own health at risk to achieve that elusive aesthetic ideal.

In Kayan, Burma, there is a fading tradition of what is known as the “giraffe women,” who would wear stacks of metal rings around their necks to elongate them. Never mind the pain and loss of mobility this surely must cause; it is all in the name of beauty. It should be noted, of course, that with the increasing prosperity and modernization of Myanmar, there are now estimated to be fewer than 100 women still upholding this practice in Burma.

What’s the Top Cosmetic Procedure in America?

Here in the United States, breast augmentation continues to be number one on the list of top cosmetic procedures. Eyelid surgeries, rhinoplasty (also known as nose jobs), tummy tucks, and liposuction procedures round out the top five. Thankfully, elective surgeries are safer and yield better, more natural-looking results today than they did when these procedures were still in their experimental phases. Still, it’s important to remember that there is an inherent risk any time you sign up for surgery.

Once you’ve weighed the pros and cons and decided that cosmetic surgery is the right choice for you, you’ll want to have support around you as you recover. In a perfect world, you will of course emerge looking and feeling like the very best version of yourself. As you’re healing, remember that Smart Cover Concealing Crème hides scars, and you can use it on your face and body.

If you’re still undecided about undergoing a cosmetic procedure, Smart Cover Cosmetics has a host of products to make you feel confident and beautiful… no doctor required!