The holidays may be over but nothing is slowing down. I have yet to catch up on sleep and it’s starting to show.
Dull skin, dark circles, dryness – the list of unpleasantries caused by exhaustion goes on. Until I can get my beauty sleep back on track, I’m using these 7 tricks to look more awake.
1. Drink water. Water is my first answer to nearly any ailment. Being dehydrated makes me feel so out of it and does no favors for appearance, either. Add a squeeze of lemon for taste and a vitamin boost.
2. Apply an eye mask. Dark circles and puffy under-eyes are the telltale signs of one too many late nights. I love the 100% Pure Bright Eyes Mask or Klorane Smoothing and Relaxing Patches. Store eye masks in the refrigerator so they will also de-puff. Leave these on for as long as possible.
3. Massage with a jade roller. Store this one in the refrigerator as well! Use the chilled jade roller to massage in upward strokes from your décolletage to your jawline to your temple. Use the smaller end to gently massage around the orbital bone.
4. Use cooling eye drops. My eyes get especially dry when my contacts have been in for too long and these cooling eye drops are the only fix.
5. Add a few drops of face oil in foundation. Dewy, glowy skin will instantly make you look more awake. My current favorite combination is this Marula Oil and Erborian BB cream.
Chances are you’ve heard of dry brushing – the centuries-old Ayurvedic beauty ritual had something of a revival these past few years, appropriately in line with everything self-care. Despite purchasing a standard dry brush years ago, it wasn’t until recently that I made it part of my routine. I was sent a Prana dry brush which, in addition to all-natural boar bristles, is made with ion-charged copper bristles for a host of extra benefits.
Beyond the obvious exfoliation, dry brushing is said to increase energy, boost circulation, stimulate lymphatic drainage and promote collagen production. Now I’ll try just about any product or treatment that promises glowing skin – as a bonus, this one is entirely natural and inexpensive.
I spoke with Jessica, the founder of Prana, to get the expert take on all things dry brushing. Read on for what to expect when you start dry brushing, Jessica’s dry brushing routine, and one of the beauty topics I find most fascinating – free radicals.
E: Why should we be dry brushing?
J: “There are a number of health benefits our bodies will enjoy when we dry brush. First, dry brushing is a great way to exfoliate the skin. It can also detoxify the body, improve circulation, improve skin tone, aid digestion, reduce and prevent cellulite, and increase energy and well-being. In addition, dry brushing stimulates the lymphatic system, which helps eliminate toxins and pathogens that can cause inflammation and illness.”
E: How is dry brushing better than simply exfoliating?
J: “Exfoliating mainly only removes dead skin cells at the superficial level. With dry brushing the lymphatic system is stimulated and blood circulation improved, giving you more energy.”
E: How long will it take to notice the benefits of dry brushing?
J: “Your skin will feel great after brushing! An ionic body brush feels very different than a typical body brush; in particular, ionic body brushes create a unique soothing effect and a pleasant tingling sensation on the skin.”
E: What is the most common feedback you receive when customers begin dry brushing?
J: “Most of our customers have reported feeling more energized and seeing a surprising amount of dead skin cells removed when they dry brushed with the Prana brush.”
E: What makes the Prana dry brush better?
J: “The Prana brush is handmade with love from the highest-quality sustainably-harvested beechwood, which is then beautifully smoothed and finished with natural wax.
The brush also has ion-charged copper bristles that are made from a high-quality alloy of copper and zinc, both of which are very important trace minerals. Copper aids in the formation of collagen, facilitates the absorption of iron, and plays a central role in energy production. In addition, zinc is essential for healthy hormone production, maintaining energy levels, supporting immunity, and promoting good digestion.
Using an ionic body brush also has the effect of providing your body with an excess of negative ions, which in turn provides your body with a multitude of ‘spare’ electrons which are ready to neutralize free radicals that come into contact with your body. Negative ions are often discussed in relation to what are commonly referred to as ‘free radicals’. Free radicals are molecules or atoms that have at least one ‘lone’ or ‘unpaired’ electron, but the molecule or atom does not carry a charge like an ion because the number of orbiting electrons still matches the number of protons. Free radicals are generated in our external environment. Free radicals are very harmful because they effectively try to ‘steal’ an electron from other atoms and molecules in order to become electrically ‘stable’. When free radicals come into contact with our bodies, they can cause significant damage to our cells and tissues. Regularly using an ionic body brush essentially creates a ‘protective ion shield’ around your body in addition to providing the many usual benefits of ordinary dry brushing.”
E: How do we take care of the dry brush?
J: “Copper is naturally anti-bacterial, so there is no need to clean your ionic body brush in the same manner as you might clean an ordinary brush. In order to keep your brush clean, we recommend brushing the bristles several times with a dry cloth, or tapping the brush with the bristles pointed down on a washable surface, such as a sink basin, in order to remove any skin particles. We suggest that you do this after every each use. Please make sure never to wash your ionic body brush with water or soap.”
E: What is your dry brushing routine?
J: “I use my Prana Brush every morning before showing. I spend about 3 minutes brushing my body, starting from my feet and working my way upwards in long, straight strokes towards the heart. This is the direction in which lymph flows in your body, so brushing in this direction (as opposed to brushing in a circular motion or away from your heart) will have the most beneficial effect on your lymphatic system. After showering, I always make sure to moisturize my skin with lotion or coconut oil.”
Five sleeps till 2019! This year we are hosting a little New Year’s Eve gathering in our new apartment. To set the tone, we chose to send these eccentric illustrated invitations with Paperless Post. It only took a few clicks to customize the card – we requested our guests wear party socks since we’re trying to keep shoes out of the apartment – and add our guest list. After sending and before settling the menu, I naturally got to thinking about my makeup look for the evening.
I’m a firm believer in the rule of wearing a dramatic lip or eye – never both. When it comes to evening makeup, I almost always opt for a shimmery eye and a sheer lip balm or gloss. The look is sleek, dramatic and doesn’t require frequent touching up. Here’s how I’m doing my makeup for New Year’s Eve.
To get glowing skin, I exfoliate with the Clean Dirt before doing a face mask – either the fresh Black Tea Mask or Tata Harper Resurfacing Mask. I leave that on for as long as I can, then rinse off and pat on a cream with a few drops of Marula Facial Oil for even more glow.
For any party or event, a primer and setting spray are your secret weapons. I pat on a few drops of Ren Perfect Canvas Primer before applying a light layer foundation (with the foundation brush I’m obsessed with) and dabbing concealer where I need it. I love Hourglass Ambient Lighting powders to set that without loosing any luminosity.
On to the eyes. I first buff on a neutral powder eyeshadow or pale bronzer all over the lid. Powder under the cream helps the look to last all night and not crease. I drag navy eyeliner along my lash line and use a flat brush to smudge.
Now for the pièce de résistance – Spacejam glitter in Melrose. Using glitter was always a pain until I discovered this magic little tub. It’s a mix of tiny blush sparkles and bigger white gold glitter in a sticky balm that applies easily and dries in minutes. I tap it on with my finger, concentrating the most on the lid and pressing outward to blend.
Once that sets, I swipe on a few coats of Lancôme Monsieur Big Mascara and keep my eyes shut for like 30 seconds to avoid it smudging under my brows. Yes, it makes lashes that long. Last but not least, a few pumps of Pixi Makeup Fixing Mist to set the look and voilà!