Saturday, May 30

Clinique's 3 Steps To Great Skin

I have been using Clinique products for years. When the opportunity to go to a Clinique event came up, I knew this was an opportunity that I know I absolutely cannot pass up because I believe in these products.

I went to the Clinique event looking forward to what will be done with us and the other mommy bloggers who also signed up with the invite. And I can say this is one of the most organized and cool events I've been to.

First we had the Skin Type Analysis.

We underwent a skin type analysis during which a Clinique product specialist asked questions about our skin. I answered the questions and later knew what the type of skin I belong to. I have a SkinType 2 which is characterized as dry and dehydrated.

Then we were instructed to do the 3 Step Skin Care System

Step 1: Cleansing with Liquid Facial Soap

Step 2: Exfoliation with Clarifying lotion

Step 3: Moisturizing with Dramatically Moisturizing Lotion

These 3 step skin care I have continued to use till this day. I have noticed a dramatic change in my skin. My skin is now clearer and glowing. I even feel that my skin has become radiant.

Clinique products are 100% fragrance-free and have been formulated for Asian skin. These are also allergy-tested.

The results are more than satisfying and positive. My sisters noticed the change in my skin too.

I love the results I got from these Clinique products and that goes to say, hubby does too.

Friday, May 15

When To Toss It Away

I was checking my dresser the other day, found out I have cosmetics, perfumes, lotions, hair gel and even facial foam wash that I haven't used yet. Now that I consider myself a low maintenance mom, these things will take months before it gets consumed. And I don't usually wear make up plus I'm so lazy to do beauty rituals before I go to bed. Problem is, I don't know if I have to toss them away or I can still give some to my friends or sisters. Good thing I came upon this article from Good Housekeeping.

Face Makeup

Toss-it time: Six months for liquids; two years for powders
Insider info: You increase the odds of bacterial growth — and, hence, of breakouts or irritation — when you repeatedly dip your brushes and fingers into liquid foundation. Also, as it ages, foundation can go on unevenly, creating a streaky, inconsistent finish. “Oils rise to the top, and the consistency thickens,” explains New York City makeup artist Mathew Nigara. Powders present less of a problem because bacteria can’t grow where there’s no water. However, over time, powders with botanical ingredients like aloe or jojoba can become harder to blend and are more likely to crumble, as their trace amounts of water evaporate.


Toss-it time: Three months
Insider info: “A mascara tube is a dark, wet environment — the perfect breeding ground for bacteria,” says New York City optometrist Andrea Thau, O.D. “Preservatives in a mascara only work for so long.” Dr. Thau knows from firsthand experience: She once developed a sty from a makeup artist’s mascara wand. Plus, three-month-old mascara is a non performer. “It’s chalky and powdery, and any lengthening or thickening fibers often separate from the fluid, so the mascara stops going on in a smooth, even coat,” says makeup artist Cristina Bartolucci. To avoid hastening the demise of your mascara, never pump the wand — that pushes air into the tube, causing it to dry out faster. Instead, slowly draw out and twist the brush to scrape the tube’s interior and pick up product.

Eyeliner and Eye Shadow

Toss-it time: Liquid eyeliners, three months; cream eye shadows, six months; pencil eyeliners and powder eye shadows, two years
Insider info: As they do with mascara, bacteria tend to flourish in liquid-eyeliner tubes, and the product dries out. Pencil eyeliners have a longer shelf life because you can create a fresh, clean surface each time you sharpen them. (Just be sure to regularly sanitize your sharpener with rubbing alcohol.) Powder shadows, like pressed powders, are less prone to contamination because they, too, lack water (if you wet them, toss after six months). But aging eye shadows have performance issues: They get packed down, making it harder to pick up pigment with your brush.

Lipstick and Lipliner

Toss-it time: Lipstick and gloss, two years; lip liner, two years or more
Insider info: Lipsticks’ water content makes them potential mini reservoirs of bacteria. No surprise, they also dry out with age, says New York City makeup artist Tina Turnbow: “They no longer look creamy on the lips.” Long-wearing formulas may have an even shorter life span since they often contain ingredients that evaporate more quickly than creamier formulas. Pencil lipliners, like eyeliners, may last a little longer since putting them through a sharpener removes the old surface.

Nail Polish

Toss-It Time: One to two years
Insider info: When polish expires, the consistency turns gooey or stringy. Formulas are especially sensitive to temperature extremes and humidity, so avoid storing in the bathroom.

Skin Care

Toss-it time: Acne creams and other over-the-counter products that contain drugs are FDA regulated and usually carry expiration dates. But cosmeceuticals (products claiming to have anti-aging and skin-changing benefits) are not regulated, and once they’ve been used, they shouldn’t be kept for more than six months — or, if they’re in pump bottles, a year — says Wilson.

Insider info: “Some ingredients [such as vitamin C, retinol, and hydroquinone] degrade even more rapidly if they’re left in direct sunlight or exposed to air,” says Tina Alster, M.D., a Washington, D.C., dermatologist. Less frequently — but more alarmingly — certain products can actually become more potent over time, says Boston dermatologist Ranella Hirsch, M.D. The reason: Active ingredients like retinol and glycolic acid become more concentrated as their bases degrade, separate, or evaporate. And when proportions change, your skin may get irritated. To prevent problems, store cosmetics properly, discontinue use after six months, and look for products that come in a pump, which helps keep air out. Another option that’s starting to hit shelves: special jars that dispense creams through a tiny hole or slit when you press the top (an internal “floor” rises with each push).


Toss-it time: Six months
Insider info: Sunscreens are FDA regulated, and though they usually have expiration dates of at least one year, that date indicates the purchasing time frame. When you open a tube, water may start evaporating, causing the formula to eventually become unstable. Once that happens, the ingredients are no longer evenly distributed, so you may get a lot in one dose, but nearly none in another. Protect your tube by storing it out of the sun.

Hair Products

Toss-it time: One year
Insider info: Always close the caps of shampoos, conditioners, and styling products tightly. Otherwise, water and air can get in, breaking down the formulas or causing them to separate. (Good news for hairspray users: Aerosol cans are the best product protectors going, so sprays should stay good even longer.)


Toss-it time: Two years — or potentially many more
Insider info: “Eau de toilettes and perfumes can last for several years, as long as they’re kept out of humidity and sunlight,” says Robert Gerstener, co-owner of Aedes de Venustas, a New York City fragrance emporium. “Both of these elements can alter notes in a fragrance, which will then change the overall scent.”

Simple Stay-Fresh Secrets

  1. Wash and dry your hands thoroughly before putting your fingers into a product.
  2. Avoid reinfection. Stop using all eye makeup if you have an eye infection and lip products if you have a cold sore. The exceptions: lipsticks, lip liners, and eye pencils, which can be shaved clean with a knife or sharpener. (Just cleaning with a tissue won’t suffice.)
  3. Smell your mascara when you first purchase it. If you recognize that scent, you’ll know when it goes bad: Expired mascara often takes on a funny, chemical odor.
  4. Choose a cotton-tipped swab or disposable sponge to apply makeup to a pimple — and avoid double-dipping. Going back and forth from the product to the affected area with your finger or a sponge can lead to contamination.
  5. Try to use labels, stickers that “remember” when a product was first opened and alert you when it’s no longer wise to use it.

Wednesday, May 13

8 Smart Ways to Reduce and Reuse

Go for eco-friendly living, here are some ways:

microfiber cloths
Reach for Reusable
One microfiber cloth can take the place of 60 rolls of paper towels before it needs replacing — and is gentle enough to use on nearly all surfaces (even eyeglasses). Keep a few handy for absorbing spills, wiping down counters, de-streaking mirrors, and more.

travel coffee mug
Mug Around

Bring your own travel cup to your favorite java joint: Most places will fill it for you, and often at a discount. While you're at it, start carrying a refillable water bottle.

milk jug
Be a Jughead

If your program won't take milk or juice cartons (and your taste buds won't mind), try switching to brands that use plastic jugs, which are much more recyclable.

file folders
Hug a Tree, Virtually

Before you hit the "print" button for that party Evite or Web driving directions, consider your options: Could you print on the back side of paper you've already used once? Jot down just the address if you're going to a familiar area? Or maybe use the "note" feature on your cell phone? If you prefer not to print double-sided, the backs of cut-up, once-used printer sheets make excellent by-the-phone notepaper.

cleaning products
Refill 'Er Up

Many cleaning products are available in large jugs for decanting into the smaller spray bottles. Also, look for concentrated cleaner refills for which you can reuse the old spray bottle and just add the water, and "ultra" strength detergents, which save packaging because you get more laundry loads out of the container.

double a batteries
Switch Your Portable Power

It's hard to find a program that recycles one-use batteries, whereas rechargeable ones can and should be recycled — and never sent to a landfill, since they contain cadmium. Plus, you'll be buying less, since you can easily charge up the reusable kind many times before they die.

dry cleaning
Dry-Clean Greener

You may already bring reusable bags to the grocery, but here's a way to waste less at the dry cleaner, too, put your clothes on a handy bag.

plastic bowls
Bulk Up

For foods that come in hard-to-recycle tubs (yogurt, cottage cheese, sour cream, margarine), get the largest-size container and dole into smaller reusable ones as needed. Then, use the tubs for freezing leftovers (just don't microwave in them, as most are not designed to handle the heat and could melt). Other uses: stashing desktop odds and ends, as planters for growing herbs, or kids' crayon storage.

Source: Good Housekeeping

More Laundry Tips

As I am in the laundry business, I always look for ways to improve our services by trying new products, surfing the net, reading forums among moms and clipping magazine articles. I came across an old magazine with TLC for textiles as one of its articles. Here are some more tips on washing and drying the softies in your home reposted on this blog.

Clean Dingy Curtains

When the weather permits, take down drapes, curtains, or sheers and shake them outdoors to remove surface dust. Then machine wash at the highest water level, adding window coverings after the tub fills so they can move about freely. Remove from the dryer and hang immediately. After washing sheers, dip them in a solution of 1 cup Epsom salts and 1 gallon hot water, and hang them over a shower rod or towel bar to dry. You won’t have to iron them.

Wash Slipcovers

Presoak washable fabrics in cool water with regular detergent for 5 to 10 minutes. Wash on the delicate cycle, then dry on the lowest heat setting. For a smooth fit, put slipcovers back on furniture while just slightly damp. Hint: Use a wooden spoon to tuck fabric into crevices.

Perk Up Pillows

Check care labels, but in general it’s safe to wash polyester- or down-filled pillows two at a time in the machine on the gentle cycle for 2 minutes. (Be sure to check seams on feather pillows for any gaps and mend openings, or they may burst when immersed or during the spin-dry cycle.) Toss a couple of clean tennis balls into the dryer with pillows to plump them up. Hand wash foam cushions in the tub or sink with a mild detergent and warm water. Air-dry.

Launder Comforters and Blankets

For cotton, rayon, or synthetics: Presoak or use a prewash spray on badly stained items. Then wash on the delicate cycle (check label for water temperature; if not specified, choose cold-water setting) for about 5 minutes with regular detergent and oxygen bleach, if safe for the fabric. Put in the dryer on the gentle cycle, or line dry. For down-filled: Wash separately using a mild detergent and the delicate setting. Thick comforters may need an extra rinse cycle to remove all the soap. Add a clean sneaker to the dryer load to help down fluff back up.

Towel Care- use mild detergent when washing them.

Quick Touch-Ups

• Refresh pillows, comforters, and curtains by putting each item, along with a fabric softener sheet, into the dryer on the air-only setting.

• Mop up pet hair, light soil, and debris on washable slipcovers with a slightly damp microfiber cloth; use a lint brush on silk or delicate textiles.

• Dust off drapes, cushions, and fabric-covered chairs by vacuuming on a low setting (use upholstery attachment).