Category: Bioelements Sun Diffusing Protector


I did a photo shoot the other day down at the Creek in the little village of Arroyo Grande with  photographer and friend, Marilyn Rivas Tate. What a beautiful setting, and what a photographer! Marilyn (and her equipment) were amazing.

At 55 I wasn’t very confidant about doing “beauty shots”. I knew I could do my makeup – duh, and I knew she could make the magic on her end, but I’m not a 20 something model anymore – so I was apprehensive.

I had to do my makeup early in the morning because I had a full day of clients. My everyday makeup would have left my features washed-out for photos.

Here is a list of what I did for my session with Marilyn and what I recommend when I do makeup for a special event or photo session.

1.) One week before the event you should do your last skincare treatment. I recommend a facial Peel that is appropriate for your skin-type. An exfoliating and hydrating treatment will provide a smoother, more even canvas for makeup application.

2.) 3 days after a peel you can have your eyebrows waxed. Fabulous brows are a must!

3.) To prep the skin before you apply makeup: cleanse your face, spritz with toner (Climate Control by Senegence), use a product with sodium hylauronate (Hy-Drate by Tu’el) to retain the skin’s water, and apply sunscreen.

4.) If you need sweat-proof makeup for the heat, humidity, or the scrutiny of  flashbulbs, wear an oil absorbing product. Greasy skin does not look pretty in pictures or in real life.

My pick: Absorb by Tu’el

5.) Prime-time! Almost ready for makeup. But first, primer is something to have on hand when you have a crazy-long day, or when you want a flawless look. It creates a protective base and a smoother surface for fine lines, acne scaring or any other irregularity in the skin. It allows foundation to be applied evenly and effortlessly.

6.) Hmmm, what foundation to wear? Youngblood Mineral Makeup of course. I love the option of very light to full coverage with this mineral makeup. It also has an SPF rating of up to 30 (about 8 SPF for most applications). Did you know it is better to have wear  mineral makeup than bare skin when going out?

7.) Next add highlighters, bronzing powders, blush and contouring.

  • Highlight the eyes. Under the brow bone and by the tear duct, place some white or brightening highlighter. I don’t love shimmer or glitter on older, crepey or dry skin 😥 matte is better. But for all you kids out there (or for those who don’t give a s*^#) shimmer away!

My pick: Sandstone Pink Cream by Senegence. This is one of celebrity MUA Kandee Johnson’s favorite products!

  • Contour the eyes. Puffy upper lids require shadow in earth tones (grays or browns) to minimize.

My pick: Trucco Hi-brow Trio

  • Use a darker foundation or bronzing powder, in hollows of checks and possibly under the chin and the sides of the nose – every face is different.

My pick:  Sunglow Mineral Makeup

8.) Lashes! Curl, prime, curl again, and coat 1,2,3 or more times.

My pick: Youngblood’s Outrageous Lashes Mineral Lengthening Mascara

9.) Lips! With out a doubt Lipsense by Senegence is my #1 pick

10.) Brows! A professional shaping and consultation is essential. Don’t do any waxing at least 3 days before the event in case you break out a little.

  • Use a pencil a little lighter than you want the brows to end up, to fill in and lengthen the brow shape.
  • Brush them out.
  • A brow powder will soften and add dimension to the eyebrow (the same Trucco Hi-brow Trio you used to contour the eyes is perfect).

11.) And finally, whether your on the big or the little screen, you need to understand the importance of taking it all off at the end of the day.

I can’t wait to get my skin clean because I know the secret to having great looking skin in the morning is removing all that makeup at night, and this is one of the most important beauty tips you can follow.

If you leave makeup on overnight, it can clog your pores causing all kinds of breakouts, blackheads, and uneven skin tone. Plus, your skin renews itself at night and cant effectively do that if its covered in old makeup.

My pick: Hydrophylic Cleansing Oil and Herbalizer by Tu’el

12.) And last but not least, get plenty of beauty sleep the night before!

See you at the spa!

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Everyone’s always talking about UV rays and how bad they are and how you need a certain type of SPF to block out those rays. But what do all those acronyms mean? What are UV rays? Are they bad? And if UV rays are bad, how do you combat them? Well, let me tell ya!

Ultraviolet (UV) irradiation is present in sunlight. It is considered an environmental human carcinogen. The effects of UV rays on normal skin include: skin cancer, sunburn inflammation and hyper pigmentation (also known as sunspots). In addition, UV rays can also have a negative impact on the immune system.

UV falls into 3 categories:

1.) UVA– can penetrate glass, it oxidizes melanin (the brown stuff), that’s already present and triggers the release of more melanin in the skin. It has less energy than other UV rays, but penetrates deeply. Fortunately, it does not cause redness. However, UVA can generate chemical changes which can damage DNA. Because it does not cause reddening of the skin it cannot be measured in SPF testing.

2.) UVB– stimulates the body to produce more melanin and produce a “burn”. They are the most potent rays that reach the earth, and can produce skin cancer.

3.) UVC- These are the highest energy UV rays.  They have the shortest wave length and could be the most harmful to your skin and eyes. They should be completely absorbed by the ozone layer, however the earth’s protective shield is increasingly compromised.

So, what is a tan anyway? My kids used to taunt me by saying, “Mom, I’m going out to get some sun damage!”

A tan is the skin’s defense against UV radiation, the brown pigment (melanin) in the skin increases when exposed to moderate levels of radiation. In healthy skin with moderate exposure, Melanin absorbs UV radiation and dissipates the energy as harmless heat, blocking the damaging of skin tissue.

It is important that sunscreen block both UVA,UVB and UVC. A skincare professional can recommend a product; or you can take a few notes about ingredients to look for in a full spectrum block like: titanium dioxide, zinc oxide  (life guards wear it – it’s clear now) and avobenzone.

Here is one of my favorite sunscreens, especially for sensitive skin that react to the chemicals in sunscreens: Tu’el Oil Free Essential Protection SPF 30.

Most products contain an SPF rating to show how well they block UVB rays only. However they typically offer no data about UVA protection. In other words, that 80 SPF sunscreen you have sitting in your bathroom may or may not be working.  Since UVA rays don’t cause redness, there’s no way to tell if they’re damaging your skin.  The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is considering adding a star rating system to show UVA protection. (Note to the FDA: Hurry up already, it’s been promised for years!)

Everyday sunscreens should be at least SPF 15. If you’re going to be in the sun for prolonged periods, make sure it’s SPF 30, and remember to get one that is formulated to block the full spectrum of rays.

I recommend applying sunscreen to the entire body right after showering, and to the face after washing it. That way the product has time to soak in and take effect before going outside. It’s a good idea to slather on a second application when you hit the beach, or will be having prolonged exposure.

A white cotton shirt has a SPF of about 8, but if the shirt is tight and the weave stretched, it’s much less. If the shirt gets wet, fades or is several years old, its ability to protect against the sun is even more reduced. Did you know that dark colors absorb more UV rays (that’s a good thing), than light colors. That is why you are hotter in a black shirt than a white one.

Adding a hat and UV protective sunglasses to your sunscreen will help protect your face completely.

If all that wasn’t enough to convince you to slather on the sunscreen, here’s a few more fun (sun) facts:

  • One per cent of wrinkles are caused by ageing; 99 per cent are caused by the sun.
  • It only takes one severe burn during childhood to double the risk of skin cancer in adult life.
  • Using SPF 15 during the first 18 years of life lowers skin cancer odds by 80 percent.
  • An easy way to remember the difference between UVA + UVB rays: UVA = ageing, UVB= burning.

So remember – practice safe sun!

See you at the spa!

So, you’ve heard me say before that you have the skin you’ve inherited until about 30, and then  you have the skin you deserve after that. Which means, beautiful skin doesn’t happen naturally (just like the body!). So, what are the top 5 things to guarantee a great complexion?

1.) Find an esthetician that you can visit at least seasonally. Facials are a real boost to the health of the skin and a good way to get professional feedback on how your skin is doing and what it needs more or less of. Your esthetician will also get you hooked up with the best products to use for your skin.  Remember: Your skin is always changing, so what you use should change as well. There are seasonal changes that all skin types experience, and personal changes and stressors that are unique to you. Even if your skin is so problematic that you need a doctors help, that’s no excuse to neglect caring for it at home.

2.) Use great products even if this is a low priority or you have limited resources, there are some key product that really are a must. Let me tell you about a few of my secret weapons:

Facial sunscreen – USE THIS DAILY! In other words, don’t let UV Radiation hit your face without protection (UVA penetrates glass), and keep some in your purse (pocket) for prolonged exposure. In case you’re wondering, the numbers on the bottle don’t mean much; the use of them is unregulated. What does mean something is “full spectrum coverage.” Zinc Oxide is the key ingredient for achieving that.  Not to give you a science lesson, but Zinc Oxide is what lifeguards used to wear before they developed a clear formula.  (Remember that thick white stuff that covered their t-zones?) It’s an important ingredient because it is natural. You don’t have to get it full strength (bit much) but try to get a sunscreen with Zinc Oxide as an active ingredient.

Moisturizer with Sodium Hyaluronate – Sodium Hyaluronate is a polysaccharide  found in the extracellular matrix of our connective tissue.  It is a tissue lubricant that holds over 100 times it’s weight in water.  (Ok. That was REALLY a science lesson.) As we age, this ingrediant needs to be supplemented. Bottom line? Don’t use a moisturizer without Sodium Hyaluronate as one of the top ingredients. The product I recommend is Advance by Serum from DermaQuest. It contains  40% Hyaluronic Acid. Don’t worry!  It doesn’t act like an acid (burn), it is called an acid because of its molecular size and thus, its ability to penetrate the surface of the skin.

Use a foundation everyday – Before mineral makeup came on the scene I could not get my staff (at the Spa in MN), to put makeup on women after a facial, because they didn’t want to “clog the pores”. Mineral makeup doesn’t clog pores, but not all mineral makeup is created equal. I  carry Youngblood Mineral Makeup,which also has an SPF value.  Some of the minerals reflect UV, some absorb it. When wearing mineral makeup, getting a good match is key. Using it daily is also important because the enviroment stresses the skin and mineral makeup soothes and protects it. It calms redness, conceals “spots”, and evens skin tone. It is also not a comedigenic (acne feeding) makeup.

Note: Get a small concealer brush to apply minerals under and on top of the eye area before using shadow. It adds extra  UV protection and conceals redness and dark circles.

So now that you know about some great products to care for your skin, what are the remaining three ways to guarantee a great complexion?

3.) Eat right

4.) Exercise

5.) Drink plenty of water

See you at the spa!

Photo courtesy of Google Images.

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