To Inject Or Not To Inject

For those that don't already know, I own my own small beauty company. It's one that accidentally threw me into the entrepreneurial world at a time in my life when most others are headed for retirement. I have been asked countless times why I started the business and invented my first product, Fullips, and the truth is it sprang out of necessity.

As I got older and started facing some more common aging issues (like thin lips), I went searching for options outside of injections. While I know many that have encountered no issues with their injections, I always just personally prefer natural options, at least for as long as I can get them! I feel like looking good at any age is important and people should always do what works best for them.

I'm also not one to shell out a lot of money on treatments and certainly don't like pain or needles, so I tried the various plumping glosses and gels on the market. Some stung, some worked for a brief moment, and some did nothing. I wanted plump lips, but not red, burning ones from chemicals.

I knew lips naturally plump up when we're well hydrated because fluid draws to the lips and if someone sucks on your lips while kissing, they also plump up. So I decided to find a way to combine those two things into a beauty tool that would temporarily provide what I was looking for.

Self-suction turned out to be my answer! Figuring out that one size enhancer doesn't fit all was a bit of a chore, but after sucking on dozens of things and understanding what worked best, Fullips was born! Add a little lipstick and liner and for those of us older women who have lost our lips, voila!

There are so many options for helping slow the aging process both inside and out. There are invasive products and natural products. I don't think there is a right or wrong, but simply what works best for you. Cost is often a factor as well. The key is to do research, talk to people about what you're considering, and interview several doctors if you decide to do a more invasive procedure. Remember to ask about maintenance and take it all into consideration.

Here's to your health first and your looks to follow!

Style Your Man the Right Way

Every guy needs a fashion update every now and again, and if your fellow is something less than fashion forward, he may need a bit of extra attention in that department. If you’re looking to up your dude’s fashion game and make every piece in his wardrobe cohesive, it’s important to use specific styling tips and habits. You don’t have to completely overhaul his current apparel, but strategic nudges in the right direction can do wonders for his overall look. The devil’s in the details, so keep these tips in mind and elevate your man’s style with ease.

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Accessorize with the Best of Them

Accessories aren’t exclusive to women’s ensembles. The right accessories make the look, and your man should have a few staples to dress up any of his wardrobe picks, whether he’s rocking a casual look at a friend’s house or dressing up for a boardroom meeting.

  • Step one: a classic watch. What men’s fashion outfit is complete without an elegant timepiece? Browse leather watches for men if he likes traditional looks, or opt for chromed out watch faces if he loves modern appeal.
  • Step two: some shades. You can’t forget the eye protection, especially when sunglasses bring so flair to a guy’s overall look. Whether he likes classic Ray-bans or accessorizes with a cheaper version of wayfarer-inspired shades from your local Target, protecting those peepers year-round is important, rain or shine.
  • Step three: cufflinks. This is for the fancier fashion fellow, but if he works in a professional setting or attends upscale events on a regular basis, cufflinks are a must-have addition to his accessories collection. You can customize a pair of cufflinks with his initials for an added bit of sentiment, or pick from ready-made cufflinks on the aptly-titled Cufflinks.com.

 

Check Out Some New Kicks

Shoes are versatile and can bring an outfit together. Most men have a pair of sneakers and sandals in their repertoire, but you can bring some added style into his current wardrobe with a shoe upgrade. Go for classic styles and brands as you’re convincing him to try new things. Adidas, Nikes, and Converse tend to be easy sells — even for the most fashion-resistant men. Head to a department store that carries a variety of brands, pick out a selection for him, and have him pick out his favorites based on comfort. Be sure to grab a pair of dressy loafers while you’re out, especially if he doesn’t already own a pair.


Update His Jeans

A great-fitting pair of jeans should be in every person’s closet, but if your guy’s jeans look more frumpy than fitted, it’s time to get him some new denim. Stick to classic Levi’s, especially if he’s a more laidback type of personality, but always consider darker blues. This hue is flattering on everyone, and can make the most casual outfits look a bit more put-together. Opt for clean, straight-legged jeans—no skinny jeans, no fake mud application, no rips and tears.  
 

A Tailored Suit Never Hurts

Every guy should have at least one suit in his wardrobe, even if it’s only worn for special occasions. If your significant other doesn’t have a suit already, or has one that fits horribly, it’s time to look into some high-quality tailored options. Investing in a suit that fits him perfectly in the shoulders and molds to his form is a surefire way to take him from drab to debonair. Head to a local suit boutique, or even check out your local Nordstrom. Suit experts can take his measurements and create a customized fit that you’ll both love.

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Practice Patience

If your fellow is less than excited about the prospect of transforming his closet, ease into it. Remember, this is a marathon effort — not a sprint. Significant change isn’t going to happen overnight (or in a single shopping trip). Don’t rush things, as you don’t want to hurt his feelings or impede your progress by pushing too much on him at once. Keep his wants and personality in mind as you shop; he’s the one that’ll be rocking these new duds, so make sure they’re things he likes.


With these tips in mind, you can give your dude a fashion overhaul that you’ll both appreciate. Happy shopping!

 


*This article was provided by Purple Camel Media, which is unaffiliated with Et Al Beauty, LLC.  Thank you to Purple Camel Media for their contribution to our blog.

Baby Boomers and Skin Cancer

For those of us over 50, baby oil and iodine may be an all too familiar memory of our 20’s. Throw in a reflector followed by a top notch sunburn and that’s how I attained that perfectly bronzed body during my younger days. Knowing what we all know now, the idea isn’t quite as appealing these days!

 
 

As a consequence of the era where we baked until we were a fine golden brown, many of us are now keeping our dermatologist busy. And if you haven't visited your doctor yet, you may want to consider it!

Skin cancer has different types, but as with many others, the earlier you catch it, the better options you have for treatment.

From my own experiences, don’t ignore anything. I recently noticed a very tiny spot in the small of my back. A quick biopsy determined it was squamous cell carcinoma and I had MOH surgery to remove it. A tiny scar that’s now hardly even noticeable is a small price to pay. Had I waited, it would have been larger and could have spread. A spot on my face was also suspicious and frozen off. Left a slight white mark, but again far better than waiting and needing a more invasive procedure.

While none of us want scars, the techniques used for these removals when caught early are minimal and certainly better than the alternatives!

For scars on your face, long-lasting coverage concealers work beautifully, and using one with sunscreen is even better. Hats, sunglasses with UV protection (very important) and sunscreen are a must.

And being covered doesn't mean you can't still have that sun-kissed look with your favorite bronzer. My current favorite is Benefit’s Hoola Matte Bronzer in a powder and of course tanning moisturizers will work too!

As always, it's never too late to protect your beautiful skin so please use that sunscreen! If it's exposed and the sun is out, you’re at risk. And make that call to the doc for your skin check. The sooner the better!

xoxo Linda

Little Changes...Good For Your Health and Your Waistline!

Summer often sees a rapid increase in health memberships for those of us hoping to get back into those swimsuits. There’s the old saying, “you are what you eat”, and if that’s the case I’m currently a giant piece of pie.


When we’re younger foods often affect growth and development. Sugar and caffeine are obviously not good for growing youngsters and in your youth you may not need the daily caffeine boost.  As we age, however, that morning cup of coffee can be our biggest reason for getting out of bed! Lucky for us, getting older has its perks, and recent studies have shown caffeine to be beneficial for us grown-ups. From reductions in cardiovascular disease and diabetes to psychological pick-me-ups, it’s proving to be quite curative!


While many of our nutrition habits are often established in childhood, as adults we have so much more information at our fingertips for easy ways to be healthier and adopt better habits! These habits can improve our physical as well as our mental health.


Sugar of course is one of the biggest saboteurs to our good intentions and unfortunately seems to pop up in anything that doesn’t grow out of the ground. It’s a plague for those at risk for diabetes or struggling with weight gain. And while it’s easy for some to suggest cutting it out altogether, it’s sometimes easier to figure out what “good” you can add to your diet, rather than subtract from it. So, what are some things we can all easily do to get results from the inside out this year? Here are a couple tips to make you feel and look better for the summer weather, without needing a gym membership or a crash diet!


Grab an Omega-3! Aside from the amazing brain-boosting properties like helping to reduce Alzheimer’s risks and depression, fatty acids are also connected to lowering heart disease and raising Vitamin D levels. And if that wasn’t enough, they contribute to the healthy skin and shiny hair we all want more of! Adding one or two servings a week of fish like Salmon into your diet can provide all these worthwhile results without any giant lifestyle changes.


Try something new! Whether it’s a food or activity, new things are always fun! Did you like riding a bike as a kid? Chances are you still will! Take an evening stroll after dinner and enjoy the winter season. If you’re a foodie, find a way to try out some things that are making the news. Many swear by anti-aging fruits like papaya which helps breaks down proteins and ease digestion. And the currently popular coconut oil and avocado have a whole host of uses and benefits. Obviously diet is a huge factor for weight, so if you just want to start somewhere, change just one thing at a time and go slowly. Maybe ditch the soda at lunch or replace your morning doughnut with a quinoa-oatmeal blend. Over time, little changes add up!


And for the beauty lovers needing a little pampering, here’s one more fun use for the great avocado!
Quick Avocado Face Mask:
Mash 1/2 Avocado really well. Dissolve 1 teaspoon honey in 2 tablespoons of hot water and add to the avocado. Smooth onto face avoiding the eye and mouth area. Leave 10 minutes and wash away.

As we age many things change---one major thing being our lips!

Where do they go?

Hormones changing often cause our lips to thin.

While I invented fullips enhancers to give us that extra little plump here are some other important tips to remember!

1)  Stay hydrated.  Dehydration can cause lips to lose some of their natural fullness.  So being well hydrated is beneficial, not to mention to your overall health too!
 "Coffee, tea, sodas, alcohol, etc...anything with caffeine will decrease the results tremendously, do to the diuretic effects of those products."

2)  Moisture.  Keeping your lips well moisturized, just like you would the rest of your face, not only keeps them fuller looking, but their overall appearance is better.  

3)  Exfoliate your lips.  Yes, while we often think about exfoliating our skin, we often forget that our lips can also benefit.  Use a very soft brush, gently.  In fact, Fullips packages include small exfoliation brushes with every order as a gift, I think it's that important!  Remember, nothing is nicer and more kissable than soft lips!

4)  Consider using a Plumping Gloss.  There are several good ones on the market. Even if you prefer more color than you can get with just a gloss, or have your favorite lipstick, you can use a plumping gloss underneath your favorite color, still giving you the benefit of the plumping effect.  With any new plumping gloss, remember to always check the ingredients first to make sure you do not have any allergies.

5)  Hormones.  If your lips seem to have thinned due to age, and possible hormone changes, you might talk to your doctor about checking your hormone levels as a lack of estrogen can add to this problem.  (I use Bio-Identical pellets and love them!)  However if you are not a candidate for hormone replacement, then using alternative, natural options may be best in these situations.

6)  Liner.  When applying your lipstick, consider using a lip liner.  If you use a neutral lip color then you can take it just outside the edge of your lip line and it will still look natural.  Additionally, using the liner as a barrier, your lipstick is less likely to bleed.

7)  Find a Moisturizing Lipstick.  While I personally like the look of matte finish lipsticks, they can be more drying and your lips will not look as full.  However, if you have a special matte color you prefer, you could still try a plumping gloss under it. I am adding a great liquid matte the my line which lasts and does not cause me any dryness. None of my products are ever tested on animals!

8)  Lip Liner Illusions.  For a fuller looking lip using a liner, add a thicker line under your bottom lip in the center of your mouth.  It creates the illusion of more depth and fullness.


Bonus Fullips Enhancer Tips:

*For those that have a Fullips enhancer, here are some extra tips.  For those coming straight to our blog, the Fullips product was created to offer a natural and less expensive alternative for those wanting fuller lips, without the use of chemicals or invasive procedures.  Our enhancers come in 3 sizes and shapes for a variety of uses.

The Small Oval is my personal favorite!  It was developed to be used vertically, to target the middle of the mouth. In doing this, it takes the focus off the outside area where many older women, like myself, have more noticeable laugh lines and often get a turned down mouth look.  By drawing attention to the center of my mouth, and focusing on a smaller area, the fullness is more pronounced and distracts from the areas that I do not like.  It is kind of a smoke and mirrors thing, but it works! :)

The Medium Oval can focus both on the whole mouth area, and be turned vertically for targeting certain areas.  It can be used to do one lip at a time, and while that takes a little more practice to perfect, it is very useful if you have one lip that is smaller than the other.  If you are looking at just targeting smaller areas, like the center of your mouth, the small one is still the best.  But the Medium Oval tool provides options for both overall fullness and targeting.

The Large Round is our most popular seller for those looking to achieve an overall, fuller look.  It is best for doing the whole mouth area, but not as useful for targeting specific areas.  While some customers use it for one lip at a time, the size is best used for encompassing the whole mouth.  Generally, those with an overall larger mouth shape, and younger people, prefer this one.  Even though my 26 year old daughter in our demo uses the medium oval.  It's such a personal choice really.

And...next blog, I will have tips for my latest product Nexsey! Designed to hide those neck wrinkles that also age us far beyond what we feel! Sixy is the New Sexy!

xoxo Linda

How to Deal with Dry Winter Skin

Unless you’re among the lucky camp that never has to worry about their skin, seasonal changes can wreak havoc on your complexion. Our skin is the largest organ of the body, so it definitely needs some extra special attention. In order to avoid the drying effects of winter, take a look at these tips below.

 

Talk To a Specialist
While it may seem indulgent, working with a great skin care specialist is one of the best things you can do for your skin. These are specialized skin experts that can assess your skin for any underlying issues, and explain how to best use skin care products to your advantage. For instance, if you have sensitive, climate sensitive skin, he or she will most likely tell you to avoid benzoyl peroxide, as it can dry out your skin.

If you’re looking for a bit of pampering, estheticians can also perform customized facials to help that dry winter skin begin to rehydrate. Generally you should see an esthetician a few times a year, but this is an investment that’s definitely worth it.

 

Set Up a Skin Care Routine
Once you’ve seen a skin care expert, they’ll likely have given you a set of products that will work well with your skin. It’s important that you set up a regime and stick to it, and it’s essential that you use all products as directed. While those suffering from dry skin should avoid over washing, it’s essential to cleanse, tone and moisturize twice day. You’ll most likely need to use a heavier moisturizer at night than during the day; however, if you have a combination of both dry and oily skin it may be helpful to avoid using the denser moisturizer on areas more prone to oil production (like the “T” zone).

 

Be Mindful of Your Diet
Most experts will tell you that skin health begins on the inside. Often, when the weather turns cooler, we tend to drink less water and unknowingly begin to dehydrate our bodies, which is directly reflected in our complexions. This is why it’s important to remember to drink plenty of water all year round. This keeps not only our skin but all of our organs functioning optimally. If you find yourself struggling to drink enough, try to alternate with green tea or find creative ways to entice you to sip more H20 throughout the day. You’ll also want to take a look at your diet as well.  Foods like salmon, nuts and avocados that are filled with omega fatty acids that are skin friendly and help us rehydrate our bodies from the inside. Sweet potatoes filled with beta-carotene can supply skin with cell-repairing nutrients that help reverse tissue damage and prevent premature aging, while water and silica-rich vegetables like cucumbers improve both moisture and skin elasticity. Have fresh produce at the ready by using a service like FarmBoxDirect.com—you’ll find fresh fruits and veggies at your doorstep every week! Eating healthy has never been easier.


Keep It Cool
When the outdoor temps start dropping, the indoor temps steadily get higher. Be careful to avoid taking extra hot showers or sitting next to heater that’s cranking out the heat. Prolonged exposure to hot temperatures strips both the skin and the hair of much-needed moisture. Keep showers shorter and cooler and try not to sit too close to any direct heat sources. And, speaking of keeping it cooler, the winter season tends to be stressful for many individuals with the pressures of holiday planning. Stress has many harmful effects on our bodies, and our skin is no exception. Make sure to incorporate time to relax into your winter schedule. Head to a yoga class, reinvigorate your meditation practice, make sure to get an extra hour or two of sleep or take some time to do something that feels calming… your skin will thank you.

The Eyes Have it--It's all about the lashes!

Beauty trends are an ever revolving door. What is old is new again and even the fads we wish would stay buried in the past, tend to resurface!

Brows and lashes are two things that have had an interesting history of trends.  Going as far back as Ancient Egypt, men and women heavily darkened them with kohl. In the Middle Ages both were shaved to create the illusion of a higher forehead, and early versions of mascara and tinting have been around for centuries.

Lashes and brows are still a huge point of focus today. Thick brows and long, luscious lashes dominate social media beauty pages. They can greatly accentuate the shape and size of the eyes and make the rest of your makeup pop. Much the way lipstick highlights your lips, lashes and brows finish your look.

Over time however, just as your hair thins or changes, lashes and brows can befall the same fate and leave us looking for options. While after 50 it’s perhaps not as much about trendsetting, we still want to maintain the same finished and more youthful look.

False eyelashes in particular are all the rage at the moment and options abound!  Full, partial, demi, angled, straight, you name it and they exist. There are thick, thin, wispy and everything in between. They can be applied one lash at a time or all at once in strips. You can attempt to do them at home, or have them professionally done. Price of course varies as well, starting at just a few dollars for drugstore brands or $25 for a more expensive pair.

For those looking to start somewhere, my friend recently launched her own gorgeous line called Eyeris Beauty. They are not only extraordinary, but they are 100% cruelty free, which for me is a big thing! And they can be used up to 20 times allowing for some practice too!

False eyelashes certainly provide the most dramatic change, but you must be careful. Sometimes they can accidentally pull out your own lashes and the last thing you want to do is lose anymore!
And for simpler solutions, of course there is always mascara, all prices and all types. And again, while this is what I mostly use, you have to be careful as it can be drying and when it sticks to your natural lashes can cause further thinning. Last, there are prescription topicals you can ask your doctor about that promote growth. If this is of interest, just be sure to do some research of any possible downsides. The most important thing while enhancing any part of your look is not to cause further damage to anything you already have!

I have tried the false lashes and they were fun and quite dramatic. Personally they're something I would use for special occasions mostly. As I've shared before, I tend to be a bit lazy so anything that requires extra work probably isn't going to make my daily routine. So I suppose my drugstore Covergirl Lash Blast Volume mascara will have to do for now!

Brows are up next month!