Wednesday, May 4, 2011

"Hi, my name is..." A Guide to First Impressions

I know I have neglected my blogging for some time now. Don’t hate me! I’ll try my best to write as frequent as possible. Now as the school year has come to an end and we have finished our internships for the month (which flew by so quickly), it’s time to embrace the real world. Excited? Yes. Petrified? Very much so.
If I learned one thing from this year, it is that Public Relations is a “people” industry  - meaning that it is about who you know. Therefore, it’s important to remember that good ol’ adage: first impressions are the most crucial; make it count! While I was channel surfing today, I came across a television program that I occasionally watch called Style by Jury. The ‘before’ candidate comes into the room and is placed in front of a group of people behind a two-way mirror. The jury can critique and pick apart the candidate, which can become quite sad to hear. Clearly from what the jury says, the candidate’s first impression is shot.
The lucky candidate then gets to have a full body makeover and wardrobe change to make that first impression count. At the end of the program the ‘after’ candidate goes before a new group of people and is judged based on first impressions.
The reason I write this post is for the reason that I, a Public Relations (soon-to-be) practitioner, will have to make first impressions count towards the hundreds of people I will meet in my life. This goes for all professions. You want to make a good impression of yourself on someone because 1) you will be remembered more that way 2) you will gain connections and start building a network 3) people will take you more seriously.
I stumbled across a great post on how to make a great first impression. The post gives tips on what to do and how to act when meeting someone for the first time. The most important thing to remember is to always BE YOURSELF. I don’t think I can stress this enough. Who would want to pretend to be someone else just so people will like you better?  Ninety percent of the time, people will like you less for being the ‘fake’ you then the real you.  
Some beauty advice for making a first impression:
* Simplicity is the best policy. Do not overdo it with the clothing, makeup, accessories and perfume. A simple hairstyle like a classic pony tail or bun will do the trick. Plus, it will keep the hair out of your face and will look less messy.
*Stick to one part of your face you are going to accentuate. If you are going for dramatic eyes, don’t pair it with red stained lips and rosy cheeks. Save the ‘Bozo the Clown’ look for Halloween.
So remember, be yourself! Good luck!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Would You Try That?

There are hundreds of beauty products from different companies out there. Some that actually work and have a loyal following; others that aren’t worth a second glance. I must say, there are some wacky products out there (for a look at as-seen-on-TV products, check out Katie’s blog!). This post will look at some of those wacky beauty products. You can decide if you would use these products, or if they’re not worth your time (and money).
Mascara Shield
No more “Raccoon” eyes! Mascara Shield lets you apply makeup cleanly and evenly, with­out smears or streaks on your eyelids. Just position this handy shield beneath bottom or top lashes when applying mascara so it goes directly to your lashes, not your lids!

Neck Genie
A neck exerciser that takes years off your appearance! Neck Genie helps firm and tone your neck and chin for a more youthful look. The 2-minute-a-day neck exerciser uses progressive resistance to gently lift the muscles that cause sagging of the chin, neck and jaw as you age. Slim your neck without costly surgery, needles, or pain! Safe, easy-to-use device comes with storage case and instructions for neck exercises.

Nail Art Pens
Unique pen and fast-drying formula allows anyone to “Design & Go!” Create nail designs over any nail color. Fine-tip pen makes it easy to control and draw precise lines for a French Manicure. One reviewer suggests do not use on bare nails or it will stain your nails. Also, make sure your nails are dry before using the Nail Art Pen or it will ruin your manicure.

These are just a few products I came across. Please share your thoughts and if you have any products that we should try or stay away from!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Do-it-yourself Face Masks

A couple posts back, I discussed how you can save time and money on your regular beauty routine. Some might not realize, but most of your beauty products are right in the kitchen. Homemade remedies such as face masks and hair treatments can work just as well as store-bought beauty products. And the good thing about it is that results can be even better when you do it yourself. I have been experimenting with different face and hair masks for quite some time, and I have had varying results. Most of the masks got a thumbs up!
 Many ingredients like eggs, cucumber, yogurt, oils, honey and oatmeal are great for the face. They are packed with antioxidants, vitamins, and other nutrients that are beneficial for your body. You can combine many of these ingredients and tailor it to how you want. Make up your own homemade face mask or use some of the recipes below:   
Egg White Face Mask
·         2 egg whites, separated from the yolk and placed in a bowl
·         2 tablespoons of plain yogurt (I like Greek yogurt)

Separate the egg whites from a couple eggs and place them in a bowl. Add 2 tablespoons of yogurt (do not use flavored yogurt!). Mix them up and apply to face. Leave on face for a few minutes then rinse face in warm water, followed by a warm washcloth.

Oatmeal and Yogurt Face Mask
·         1 tbsp oatmeal, finely ground
·         1 tbsp live, organic yogurt (skip the flavored stuff)
·         A few drops of honey

1.    Add the yogurt to the oatmeal in a small bowl and mix together.
2.    Warm a few drop of honey. To do this, warm a spoon under hot water for a minute, then add a few drops of honey to the spoon.
3.    Stir the honey into the yogurt and oatmeal mixture.
4.    Apply the mask to the face. Leave it on for 10 minutes, then rinse off with several splashes of warm water. Follow with a warm washcloth.
5.    Apply moisturizer.
Cucumbers for the Eyes
According to Discovery Health, Cucumbers have an anti-inflammatory effect that reduces puffiness. The vegetable not only has a high water content, it but it's often stored in the refrigerator and comes out cold. This means that the water hydrates your skin, and the cool temperature decreases the flow of blood to the space around your eyes. Together, additional hydration and reduced blood flow can sooth the skin around your eyes and alleviate swelling.
Next time you’re lounging around, cut two thick slices of cucumber and place them over closed eyes for 10-15 minutes. Do this once a week to eliminate tired eyes.
NOTE: Not everyone will achieve the same results. Please use at your discretion and discontinue if you feel any itching, burning, or other weird sensations on your face.
Feel free to share any other recipes that we should try out!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Attention Men: Hydrate Your Skin

After thinking of what I could possibly write about for the guys in the class, I've decided I would talk about moisturizing. Regardless if you are male or female, everyone should moisturize his or her face (and body). Why? Because elements like cold weather and water (after showering and shaving) can cause your skin to dry out. Skin can become chapped and painful. Your skin will begin to feel very tight on your face. Moisturizers can help prevent the skin from drying out and helps deliver nutrients like Vitamin D to the skin. So yes men, you can and should moisturize too! Finding the best moisturizer can be a challenge; your face could be normal, oily, dry, or combination skin. A dermatologist can help determine what type of skin you may have. Here is how you can find out your skin type on your own:
1. After washing your face, dab your nose and forehead (t-zone) with a tissue
2. Determine your skin type:
Normal skin shows neither oil nor flaking skin. It should feel supple and smooth. If you have it, consider yourself lucky :)
Oily skin is characterized by the grease on the tissue. It is also common for a person with oily skin to have large pores and a shine.
Dry skin may feel taut or show flakes of dead skin. It is associated with small pores. Moisturizing is important for this skin type.
Combination skin is most common. It exhibits traits of all three of the above skin types. Usually, the skin is oily in the T-zone and normal to dry elsewhere.
Now time to find that moisturizer!
For the Guys:
Nivea Men Energizing Hydro Gel - $7
It's minty and stimulating and works when you just need a pick me up and are feeling dry and burnt out toward the end of the day.

L’oreal Men Expert Hydra Sensitive 24h Moisturizer -$12
Maintain your skin with our first strengthening moisturizer and after-shave that immediately soothes razor burn sensation and reduces skin sensitivities in 4 weeks.
Cetaphil Daily Facial Moisturizer SPF 15 - $12
Gives you moderate protection against damaging UVA and UVB rays that are responsible for premature lines and wrinkles. This moisturizer is lightweight, fragrance-free and suitable for use under makeup or after shaving.
For the Ladies:
Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel - $25
For oily skin, Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel contains an oil-free hydrating formula that feels light and silky on the skin, according to reviewers. Users say that it provides just the right amount of moisture without leaving the skin too greasy or dry.
Olay Classics Active Hydrating Beauty Fluid – Sensitive Skin - $11
Replenish sensitive skin with an exceptionally mild moisturizing formula that soothes dryness without leaving behind a greasy feel.
Nivea Visage Gentle Cleansing Cream – $9
Gently purifies and soothes without drying out the skin leaving a soft and supple feeling.

Happy Moisturizing!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

How to Save Time & Money

We all know that time (and money) is of the essence. Nowadays, people do not have much time to get all that needs to be done in a day. Many wish that they could have an extra hour or two in the day to get things done. People (myself included) know that convenience is an important factor in our everyday lives; many don’t even have time to read the newspaper in the morning for gosh sakes!
Because of the economic downfall that has happened in the past few years, people also do not have the financial resources for luxury products and services. Everyone is struggling. This post focuses on how you can cut your time and money in half.
How to cut costs
* Before testing out a beauty product, the golden rule is to always try a sampler. You might think that this is obvious; but because labels and ‘guarantees’ on packages, people will automatically think that the product is worth buying. This usually sets people up for disappointment. Companies would be happy to give consumers free stuff to try out. If you want to try the expensive brand names, go to your department store and ask for some samples to take home. Go to company websites like Loreal and Cover Girl and click on their ‘specials’ section for samples as well. Speaking of coupons, check out – you can pick and choose specific coupons to your liking and have them mailed to you each month.
*If you are happy with a certain brand or product, buy 2 or 3 at a time (especially if it is on sale).
* Many products can be used in multiple ways. Did you know there are 50 different ways to use Vaseline? Not only is it good to put on your nose when you have a cold, but I also use it as lip balm and as a lotion to put it on extremely dry and cracked skin in the winter months.
How to cut time
* Wash and blowdry your hair the night before a big event (or if you know you won’t have time to do it in the morning). Be sure to wrap your hair in a scarf to keep from getting messy while you sleep. Better yet, let your hair air dry while you sleep to save on energy and to avoid heat products from scorching your hair.
* I know many people have a hard time waking up in the morning, but if you can, try getting up at least 20 minutes to half an hour before you usually do in the morning. This will allow you time for your beauty routine, as well as to eat breakfast.  
* Make sure to fully remove makeup the night before. This will make putting on makeup much easier in the morning, and it will improve your complexion.
I hope these tips will help in your purchasing and daily routines. Please feel free to share any tips and stories on how we can get the most of our time and money.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Beauty Call: Bye Bye Blackheads

Biore Deep Cleansing Pore Strips - $14 for a pack of 14
Other than removing unwanted hair, blackheads can be a pet peeve. Blackheads are little bumps embedded into the pores of skin and usually develop when the skin produces too much oil. If you are still unsure of what a blackhead is, see for yourself. Take a mirror (preferably a magnifying mirror) and look on your nose, forehead and cheeks for tiny dark dots. Chances are you probably have them; if not, then I envy you. Luckily, there are ways to get rid of blackheads. Regular cleansing of the face can help prevent an over abundance of blackheads and pimples.
To get quick results, however, I use Biore Deep Cleansing Pore Strips. I’ve been using Biore Strips for quite some time and I have always had a positive experience with the product. The thing to remember is to wet the area so the strip has some grip to it. Once the strip has dried on your nose (it will feel like paper mache), it is ready to be ripped off. I usually count to three and then peel off the strip in one motion, which is a tad painful. But in the end, it’s worth to see the blackheads on the strip rather than my nose. After, I use my toner to close the pores, and voila!
According to, the product got an average vote of 3.8 out of 5. Some said that the product opened up pores (which is why I use toner afterwards to close them), and the glue stays on the nose after the strip is ripped off. Others said that they love the product and it does the trick. The Biore Strips get a thumbs up in my books. Although a tad pricey, it is worth the money and you can do other things while waiting for it to dry (like write a blog, perhaps?).
Try This:
*Dab Visine or Pepto Bismol on pimples or red spots on your face to reduce redness.
* Use a teabag on skin, especially for puffy eyes. The antioxidants in the tea will help reduce inflammation.
Feel free to share your experiences with Biore Strips, face masks, or any other cleansing products.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Beauty Call: The Divine Disaster

Nair Cire Divine - $15
Hair removal – a tedious task that no woman (or man) likes to do. Wouldn’t it be fabulous if there were a way to get rid of hair permanently (or at least for longer than a week)? Well, since life cannot be perfect, we must settle for other ways to get rid of hair. While preparing for my last trip, I decided to try Nair Cire Divine – a microwavable wax that helps remove unwanted hair at ease. The difference between this product and other depilatories is that Nair Cire Divine does not require cloth strips to help remove the hair; instead, you pull the wax off your skin directly.
After reading the directions carefully, I thought I finally have found a product that would be easy to use and would work effectively. Boy was I wrong. After stirring the wax with the applicator, I tried scooping some wax out of the bowl, but the wax started getting goopy and stringy and created a big mess. Frustration began to kick in and finally I managed to get some wax on my leg. Once the wax was ready to peel, I tried pulling the wax off but it crumbled when I did so. To make matters worse, no hair was pulled off in the process and it hurt a lot.
I did some research to see if others were as frustrated as I was. Many had the same problem that I encountered. On average, consumers gave the product a 1.7 out of 5. I give this product a thumbs down. It was a waste of time and money. Looks like I will be sticking to the trusted razor and shaving cream.
Try This:
* Ran out of shaving cream? Use hair conditioner. It works just as good as shaving cream and leaves your legs feeling smooth and soft.
* Always shave at the end of your shower. The steam from the hot water will open up the hair follicles, which will result in less cuts from shaving.
Feel free to share any disaster moments with hair removal.