Blog Posts by Carol Belanger

  • What does the term "natural" in skin care products mean to you?

    To me "natural" means that the skin care product's main ingredient(s) are extracted from plants, earth, and sea Examples would be essential oils extracted from botanicals, minerals such as mica, and zinc oxide, extracted from the earth and h are found in mineral makeup, or marine ingredients such as seaweed, or sea salt.

    Unfortunately, the term" natural" is not regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (USFDA) and thus the term "natural" is often used very loosely in labeling and extensively in marketing ploys by the skin care industry. Additionally, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration does not define the term natural or organic. In fact the USFDA does not approve cosmetics before going to the market. The responsibility of the safety of the cosmetic lies with the manufacturer. Except for color additives and those ingredients which are prohibited or restricted by regulation, the manufacturer may use any ingredient in a cosmetic provided that they are safe and properly

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  • Product Review - Kiehl's Ultra Facial Cream - The ultimate in moisturizers!

    Love it, love it! Kiehl's Ultra facial cream was just the hydration my face needed!

    I found Kiehl's Ultra facial cream to be a superb moisturizer. After a shower my face always feels tight and dry even though I use a very mild cleanser, I applied this cream over my face and neck and could instantly feel the dryness diminish. Kiehl's Ultra facial cream is also a humectant, so not only does it hydrate upon application, it continues to hydrate by absorbing moisture from the air. This extra hydration is a real plus for those of us with extremely dry skin.

    The cream goes on very smooth and I liked the fact that there is no heavy fragrance. The scent is very light, almost to the point of being non-existent.

    I also like the fact that the key ingredients in this product are extracted from natural substances.
    Below are the key ingredients which I found to be impressive.

    Antarcticine - a glycoprotein from the Antarctic sea which has proven to be useful in many cosmetic

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  • Suffering from dry, itchy, flaky skin, also known as the winter skin care blues?

    If you are like me, the winter season dries out my skin horribly. It's not just my face that seems to dry out, my legs become dry and flaky and get really itchy. This unusually dry skin is a result of oil glands producing less oil due to the colder temperatures. Another factor is low humidity in the home and outdoors. There is no moisture available for your skin to absorb. These combined factors of less humidity and less oil production in the skin makes for dreadful dry, itchy skin.

    It is not a problem figuring out what your skin needs - it needs moisture and extreme hydration to relieve the dryness and itchiness. The problem is finding a product that really hydrates and soothes the skin.

    From my experience lotions loaded with fragrances seemed to do more harm than good. They actually made my legs itch more! I have tried Eucerin which worked for me as it does not contain fragrances which are known irritants for dry and/or sensitive skin and it seemed to lock in moisture. If

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  • Are you ready for some new lipstick? How about a beautiful red or warm brown?




    Whether you like your lipstick in bold colors such as bright reds, soft colors such as light pinks, or earth tones such as browns; lipstick can only your enhance your overall look. Additionally lipstick adds color to the face and compliments the rest of your makeup and complexion.

    However, the problem with lipstick though is its inability to last all day. Whether it is a drug store brand or a high end lipstick, it never seems to last. Lipstick needs to be reapplied throughout the day. Another downside with traditional lipstick is that it can be messy; it ends up on clothing, bleeds onto teeth and even ends up on the cheeks and lips of people you love.

    The time had come to reinvent lipstick and SeneGence did just that. A new product hit the market called LipSense. LipSense is a non-conventional lip stain. It is a revolutionary breakthrough in lipstick. It will not fade, wear off, leave marks on the clothes, teeth or on the cheeks and lips of the people you love.

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  • Redken's Full Body Collection - the answer to fine, thin and limp hair

    Redken's latest line of hair care products is the Full Body Collection. This collection is designed to add life and volume for fine and flat hair without leaving behind stiff, stickiness or crunchiness that other products leave behind.

    Unfortunately, I have very thick, wavy and coarse hair so this type of product did not suit my hair very well. However, I did try it and liked the shampoo and it had a nice scent. The scent seems crisp and clean, much like pine or even citrus. It is difficult to describe but all in all it was a fresh and pleasing fragrance. The conditioner was to light for my hair type. I did not try the styling products as I have to use a serum or oil type products to tame my hair and really don't need any more volume.

    I liked the fact that the shampoo and conditioner bottles do not look alike. I can't tell you how many times I have grabbed a conditioner in the shower instead of the shampoo.

    I gathered up a couple of girlfriends, one with medium fine

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  • User post: Is there such a thing as fashion etiquette, or is it wear whatever?



    Fashion etiquette was ingrained in me at a young age. My family was not rich by any means but there were principles of fashion that I was taught. Below are just a few of the fashion insights I had while growing up.

    1: Never wear white in winter. Although a winter white is appropriate. Took me awhile to figure that out, lol. What this actually means is that you are not going to wear white slacks made from a lightweight material. A winter white would be slacks made from a heavier material. It is really not the color it is the fabric that mattered.

    2: Never wear high heels with cropped pants - Cropped pants are considered casual wear and the fashion etiquette rule was never mix casual clothing with dress shoes. During the fifties a woman wearing high heels and Capri or cropped pants had a definite "naughty girl" association with it. Today women in heels with cropped pants look pretty good. Wider leg crop pants look refined with bulky shoes and a skinny leg cropped pants look

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  • Refresher course - winter skin care tips

    Winter is just around the corner and the cold weather can play havoc on the skin. Every season we should evaluate our skin care routine. For instance, during the winter months the sebaceous (oil) glands produce less oil; thus for those with oily skin during the summer months they may find some relief from excess oil during the winter. However for those of us with combination skin or dry skin the winter months dry out the skin even more.

    Below are suggestions to help you combat dry skin in the winter time:



    Hydrate the Face - both inside and outside. Winter is the perfect time for warm herbal teas loaded with antioxidants. Additionally, you should have a daytime moisturizer that still includes SPF and an emollient rich night time cream. Consider a lotion during the day and a cream at night time. Consider creams that contain shea butter, avocado oil, and olive oil for example. Avoid moisturizers that contain alcohol and synthetic preservatives, fragrances, and coloring, as these

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  • It is that time of year again when the days are getting shorter and winter blues have a tendency to set in. These winter blues is known as Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), and the primary cause of this of this disorder is lack of light. That is why Seasonal Affective Disorder is more prevalent in the northern parts of the country due to the extremely long periods of darkness. For some, this type of depression can be incapacitating due to severe depression, feelings of hopelessness, anxiety, and social withdrawal to name a few.

    There are approximately 10 million to 25 million Americans that suffer from SAD; 75 percent of whom are women. As indicated above this condition can incapacitate otherwise healthy people while others may experience mild symptoms such as grumpiness and general irritability.

    SAD usually sets in about late October when the days start getting shorter and dissipates in early spring. The difference between this type of depression and other types of

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  • User post: Easy DIY Holiday Gifts

    While the White House and Wall Street state the recession is almost over, here on Main Street that does not seem to be the case. Seems like everyday I hear about more layoffs and people struggling to get by. So what can you do in this tough economy when discretionary $$ are scarce and the holiday's are just around the corner.

    Below are easy DIY holiday gifts that will please and delight any recipient. Additionally they are eco-friendly.

    Relaxing Lavender Sugar Scrub

    1/2 cup of jojoba oil
    3/4 cup of white cane sugar
    1 teaspoon Vitamin E
    1/4 cup almond oil
    6 drops of lavender essential oil

    Directions: Combine all ingredients in large bowl. Mix until combined, and then pour into desired container.

    Rejuvenating Body Scrub

    3-4 drops of Peppermint Oil
    5 tablespoons of sea salt
    1/2 teaspoon carrier oil such as almond or grapeseed.

    Mix the peppermint oil and sea salt together. Add the carrier oil and then add enough water to moisten the

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  • Avocado - not just for guacamole – a splendid skin care treatment

    Avocado and avocado oil offers so many benefits when used in your skin products. Did you know that avocado contains vitamins A, B1, B2 and D, lecithin, potassium as well as vitamin E. In addition to the vitamins it contains proteins and more than 20% essential fatty acids (amino acids). It is a sought after skin care ingredient because it has so much to offer.


    Avocados are used in anti-aging products because of its nourishing and hydrating abilities. The Department of Food Engineering and Biotechnology, Technion Israel Institute of Technology in 1991 found that avocado oil significantly increases collagen in the skin which is why it is commonly found in antiaging products. Furthermore because of its deep penetration into the skin it is a perfect ingredient to combat dry skin. For those that suffer with eczema or psoriasis avocado offers healing properties that will relive dryness. Both avocado and avocado oil is gentle and well tolerated by those with sensitive skin.


    In

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