Wednesday, December 8, 2010

“Skin Care and Beauty” Photo Contest

Challenge for your Creativity

Win samples of Swiss and German skin care products! (scroll down for more details about the prize)

Read Details:

  • What you need to do
    To win the prize you do not have to be a professional photographer or a model, you just need to unleash your imagination and creativity.

    Make a creative quality skin care and beauty themed photo and send in for a review.

    Email: beautyhealthinfo at

  • Some Hints
    - Artistic photos of you with your favourite skin care products are also welcome. - Especially welcome are photos with people in them not just of a skin care product alone!
    - Snapshots and low quality photos are not accepted.
    - No nude photos, please.

  • Copy Right
    - The photo has to be made by YOU.

  • Note: By participating in this contest you give me the right to post your photo on this blog and

  • Deadline
    25 March, 2008

  • Best photo wins!
    I will announce the winner at the end of March, 2008

  • Prize
    You will get minimum 10 samples from quality Swiss and German brands:
    Annemarie Börlind(Germany): Eye Crème, Ceramide Vital Fluid, 4 samples from System Absolute Line – Annemarie Börlind products contain 100% natural ingredients. According to Style Switzerland (Schweizer Illustrierte), Boerlind Brand is one of Kate Winslet's favourites.
    Heliotrop (Germany): Multiactiv Face and Eye Cream
    Biokosma(Switzerland): Day Cream and Hydrogel for normal/mixed skin
    Rausch(Switzerland): Shine spray

    At our discretion, we may also give a link to the winner’s website, provided it is good quality and skincare/ beauty/ photography related.

    The prize will be shipped by regular mail. I am not responsible for delays or non-deliveries.
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    Celebrity Beauty: Leona Lewis' makeup in "Bleeding Love"

    I would be really surprised if you have not heard yet of Leona Lewis. She is amazingly talented and her powerful voice is spellbinding. Leona was discovered due to the British reality talent show The X Factor (similar to American Idol) which she successfully won.

    Her current hit "Bleeding Love" has been leading the charts and is so often shown on MTV - I think I know it by heart. Having watched it so often I've had a chance to admire her amazing look in this video over and over again. She is beautiful – no question about that. But her makeup is just magical. Whenever I would see the video, I would think to myself: whoever created this makeup is a genius. So, finally, I decided to find out who is responsible.

    Leona’s makeup artist is Jane Bradley. According to Jane’s blog, she first did Leona’s makeup in September/October 2007 and has been “almost permanently attached to Leona” since. Currently, Jane does Leona's makeup for all the numerous events she attends daily (and Leona has a lot as she is promoting her debut album and is taking the entertainment industry by storm). Jane also flew to LA to do Leona’s makeup in the "Bleeding Love" video.

    Leona’s look in "Bleeding Love" has made some noise among beauty addicts worldwide and, of course, among beauty bloggers. There have also been a couple videos on YouTube in which people attempted to recreate her makeup in that video. Not only the makeup is gorgeous, but also the dress she is wearing is breathtaking. Just in case you were wondering, it is a Dolce and Gabbana creation worth £100.000=$200.000.
    This crystal-encrusted forty pound dress is from Dolce and Gabbana collection Fall 2007.

    Going back to Leona’s makeup in "Bleeding Love"… I decided not to post the YouTube videos here as, to my big regret, each of them has some kind of a presentation flaw – like a noisy cartoon in the background for example. I am not the one to give directions on creating a smoky eye as I am just trying to master it myself. I also tend to wear more subtle makeup so this look is new for me. However, I thought it would be fun to look into the details of this amazing makeup by Jane Bradley. So I took a closer look at Leona’s makeup and did a couple screen shots.

    As you can see from the photos above – it is a dramatic smoky eye done in very dark (almost black) green shades. Dark green eye shadow, the base of Leona’s smoky eye, is applied with a bit of a tick on the outer eye corners. Light silver shadow goes right under the eyebrow to lift it up. I think there is also a golden highlight in the center of an upper eyelid. Finishing touches include fake eye lashes and a black eyeliner applied along the upper eye lashes.

    I decided to give this smoldering eye a try myself. It was a very quick experiment and I am not claiming that I did recreate Leona’s look.
    I used:
    L’Oreal eye shadow in black: 163 Smoke;

    Essence’s shadow in sparkling green: Jungle Queen 22,

    Lancome’s silver eye shadow in 316 Pierre de Lune,

    Chanel’s Liquid Eyeliner in black,

    Estee Lauder’s Magna Scopic Mascara.

    I did not have an eye shadow in the exact dark green but it appeared to be no problem at all.
    Here is what I did:
  • applied L’Oreal shadow in black, then over it a shadow in sparkling green to achieve the extremely dark green shade. I liked the final color and how you can control the intensity of green and black shades by layering and blending. It took me some courage to really go faaaar beyond my outer eye corner. Not sure I achieved that upward tick – need some training here. To blend the eyeshadow well and to create a smoky transition I used a brush and my finger (which is always a reliable tool).

  • applied some shadow along the lower eye line and made sure there was a nice transition between the upper and the lower eye lids(along the outer corner).

  • applied a metallic-silver shadow under the eyebrow. Silver should be quite subtle not to stand out.

  • achieved a bit of a more highlight with a tiny touch of white shadow right under the eyebrow in the outer corner.

  • finished up with an eyeliner along the upper eye lid.

  • curled eyelashes and applied mascara.

  • did eye brows. This look needs prominent eye brows to be balanced. Since my usual eyebrow corrector allows just a touch of colour, here I had to use an eye pencil in dark brown.

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    Beauty Review: Perfume Sample Set

    I received a wonderful St.Valentine's present from my husband today: perfume sample set. The gift was accompanied by a comment: "what a smart marketing strategy, don't
    you think?!" What got my business-minded husband so excited, is the whole idea coming with the set. It includes a certificate for a free perfume. So you can try out 10 fragrances and then use the certificate to get the one you like.
    The package and presentation are very nice: box looks like it is lined with velvet, a book with description and ad photos is included, and your certificate has a conveninet table where you can rate perfumes on the scale of 1 to 5.

    The 10 perfumes are
  • Boss Femme by Boss

  • Rose Essentielle by Bvlgari

  • Liberte by Cacharel

  • Armani Code by Giorgio Armani

  • L'Instant Magic by Guerlain

  • L'eau D'Issey by Issey Miyake

  • FlowerByKenzo by Kenzo

  • Hypnose by Lancome

  • For Her by Narciso Rodriguez

  • Alien by Thierry Mugler

    I like perfumes with notes of freshness, perhaps just a touch of bitterness, not too sweet but a hint of sweetness is nice, fruity is nice too... However, when I feel I want a change a new experience, I would wear something completely different: like intense bitter-sweet. Some of the perfumes in the set I tried as samples before. For example, Hypnose by Lancome and L'Instant Magic by Guerlain. Both beautiful perfumes and are more of an evening-out variants.

    Now I need to decide if I want a more subtle perfume for every day and occasion or a more intense evening varinat.

    What I know for sure it will be fun to try these fragrances out (and review them as well)! The final decision will be tough!

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    Sisleya Eye and Lip Contour Cream

    Product Tag Line:
    To restore a fresh, youthful look to eyes and lips

    Product Profile in short:
    (as described on Sisley Website)
  • helps counter the formation of visible lines and wrinkles

  • minimizes the appearance of under-eye puffiness, dark circles and signs of fatigue

  • formulated with a particularly high concentration of active ingredients


    After a few weeks' daily use, skin appears more supple, more radiant and better-toned, with an average reduction in wrinkles of approximately 23%.

    What’s Inside:

    Padina Pavonica algae extract
    Natural plant extracts: Matricaria, Licorice, Wheat proteins
    Vitamins (E, B5 and F)

    Close-up: How active are the active ingredients?
    Butyrospermum Park II (Shea Butter) – occlusive
    Glycerin – humectant, attracts moisture to your skin
    Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Flower Extract – is believed to stimulate elimination of old cells and growth of new ones
    Rosa Centifolia (Cabbage Rose) Water - anti-oxidant, toning, revitalizing
    Glyceryl Stearate – emulsifier, solvent, humectant
    Isopropyl Palmitate - thickening agent and emollient
    Sorbitol – humectant, thickener
    Algae Extract-Paraffin - a potent moisturizer
    Propylene Glycol Dicaprylate/Dicaprate - Emollient
    Oleyl Alcohol - emollient (skin softener), emulsifier, and thickener
    Cetyl Phosphate - emulsifying agent
    Propylene Glycol - emollient, hydrating agent
    Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Extract - Anti-inflammatory and a whitening agent
    Triticum Vulgare (Wheat) Protein – attracts and retains moisture
    Further: Sesame seed oil, Carrot Root Extract, Matricaroia Extract


    Texture: creamy and thick
    Absorption: due to shea butter it felt very occlusive
    Smell: non-perfumed, extremely subtle and naturally herbal

    I was trying a deluxe sample which lasted for 2 weeks. It’s a nice product: kept the eye area nicely moisturized and allowed smooth makeup application (no clumping of eyeshadows as it at times happens with some eye creams). However, I was expecting much more from this product after experiencing the amazing effects of Sisleya Radiance Anti-Aging Concentrate. I would also expect much more impressing effect taking into account quite amazing active ingredients list. It was just ok. I have some slight lines, not yet wrinkles, but I did not see much change in those after the 2-week regular twice a day application. It did have an effect on dark circles, but I cannot comment on puffiness as I don’t usually have this problem.

    Price Time: about 150$

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    Beauty Fact: Sebum Contains Squalene and Vitamin E

    Did you know that sebum contains such potent anti-oxidants as Vitamin E and Squalene?

    It is already a known fact that Squalene IS (the one used in cosmetics as a natural moisturizer) a major component of sebum. However Vitamin E presence in sebum is still being researched. Several experimental studies show that sebaceous glands and sebum serve as a transport mechanism taking “the lipophilic antioxidant vitamin E from the blood to the skin surface.” In human skin, the highest level of vitamin E is found in sebum. So it appears that sebum is not only beneficial for the skin due to its coating effect, but it also acts as a natural anti-oxidant substance.
    That is why people with oily skin stay looking younger longer. Just look at Posh!

    PS: Gals with oily skin stops using harsh cleansers now, do not strip your skin of the vital anti-aginers!
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    Beauty Talk: Age Factors

    Why some people develop certain signs of aging sooner than others? Why some people at the age of 30 are still asked for an ID and others stop caring an ID with them from the age of 16? Why Britney at 26 looks older than Kate Moss at age 34?

    There are several major factors that influence how fast we age, as well as how “gracefully” we age. Some of these factors are beyond our powers to do anything about, while others we can influence to stay younger looking longer. So let’s look at them a bit closer:

    1. Genes
    Gene’s influence on our aging speed and the way we age accounts for 20-40% . For example, it mostly depends on your genes, when or whether you will develop a nasolabial fold. However, research shows that external aging factors still make a much bigger difference. How would they explain Kate Moss phenomenon???

    2. Skin Type
    Moisture is essential for skin’s optimum functioning. Oily skin has a coating of sebum that prevents it from loosing moisture and, to a certain extent, protects it from the aggressive environment. In fact, sebum is rich in Vitamin E which is a potent anti-oxidant!

    3. Race, Culture and Geography
    You must have noticed that black and Asian skin generally look younger. Some researchers think it is due to the fact that darker skin has more natural pigment that reflects light and protects skin from sun damage. Culture is also a major aging factor. For example, Italians and Spaniards love to sunbathe and spend a lot of time in the sun. That is why they develop signs of aging earlier than some other nations.

    Also if you happen to be fair skinned living in sunny Italy or Greece, you will get as much sun as the native population without having their levels of natural melanin. As a result - you get more sun damage.

    4. Bone Structure
    Have you noticed that people with high pronounced cheek-bones tend to look younger. I guess it is just a visual effect?!

    5. Diet
    Healthy diet rich in vitamins, minerals, good fats is a big part of anti-aging strategy. What about calories? Do they make any difference to our aging speed? Here experts seem to disagree. According to numerous studies, low calorie diet helps to stay young longer. However, with age we naturally loose fat tissue supporting the skin and as a result skin starts to sag. That is why extreme no-fat diet results in more sagging and wrinkles. Find the golden middle!

    6. Lifestyle
    Either it is a stressful job, long nights, smoking, intense partying or alcohol – all of these lifestyle factors add up to your aging speed.

    Here you have it! It looks like we can actually influence 50% of these aging factors. Though nowadays, thanks to plastic surgery, changing your bone structure is a possibility as well.

    Sources: This post was inspired by and article in Cosmopolitan, Uk Feb.'08 "The Age Factor". I also use some other resources including Aging Research, Factors Affecting Your Skin
    Other articles and resources related to aging and anti-aging:
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    Sisley Confort Exteme Body Cream For Very Dry Areas

    Product Tag Line:

    A creamy formula, a rehydrating and repairing body balm for dry skin.

    Product Profile in short:
    (as described on Sisley Website)
    • helps the skin to regain suppleness and softness
    • offers immediate relief and comfort

    intense, long-lasting nourishment

    What’s Inside:
    • Shea Butter and Kokum Butter for instant soothing and repairing skin.
    • Harpagophytum extract brings a sense of relief when the cream is massaged onto the skin.
    • Chestnut extract helps strengthen the skin's barrier function

    Close-up on Active Ingredients:
    Brassica Campestris Seed Oil- Grape seed oil
    Cetearyl Alcohol – used as emulsion stabilizer, emollient, thickening agent and carrying agent for other ingredients
    Glycerin – humectant, attracts moisture to the skin
    Butylene Glycol - another humectant
    Castanea Sativa Seed Extract - Chestnut Seed Extract contains esculin, an antioxidant compound. In addition to this Chestnut Seed Extract is mentioned in many sources as having potent anti-inflammatory characteristics.
    Mineral Oil - occlusive, keeps moisture locked in skin
    Isopropy Palmitate – thickening agent and emollient, facilitates water retention in the skin, lubricates, softens.
    Dimethicone – occlusive
    Garcinia Indica Seed Butter - Kokum Butter - softens skin, restores elasticity, helps to regenerate skin cells and promotes skin’s healing
    Butyrospermum Parkii- Shea Butter - emollient
    Hydroxystearic/ Linoleic/Oleic Polyglycerides – natural emulsifier
    Squalane - natural organic compound used in cosmetics as a natural moisturizer (mostly comes from shark liver oil)
    Cetyl Palmitate- emulsifying agent

    Mallow Extract, Panthenol (humectant, emollient and moisturizer, soothes and treats irritation), Lavender Oil (balances skin, stimulates cellular growth), Thymus Mastychina Herb Oil, … Sage Oil… Glycine Soya Oil

    As always in Sisley products, a couple parabens at the end are used as preservatives.

    Texture: Very rich, creamy
    Absorption: For such a rich cream is great (or is my skin too thirsty?)
    Smell: Nice light herbal smell with just a touch of bitterness. This is the type of a product that you like to smell before application.

    I loved this product! I applied it to dry areas including knees/elbows, lower legs (from the knees down) and used it as a night time hand cream. The mentioned promise that it is comforting is not just a promise really - the sensation is amazing.

    Upon application, you get a strange pleasant feeling as if your skin just relaxes and goes into nirvana (I can almost hear it sighing with a relief :-)). I guess it is the action of the above mentioned Harpagophytum extract - also known Devil’s Claw and used as anti-inflammatory and pain-reliever.

    This cream leaves skin soft and hydrated. So as a conclusion, I would just say – it is another luxury wonderful product from Sisley.

    Price Tag:
    Ranges between $ 90 to $ 120
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