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3 easy product swaps to prevent wrinkles right now

If you want to prevent wrinkles and premature aging in the most effective way possible you need to incorporate Broad Spectrum SPF into your daily skincare routine. Trust me, you can slather on as many anti aging serums and creams at night but nothing will do as much to prevent aging as protecting your skin from what does the damage in the first place – the sun. It’s easier than you think! From sunscreens safe for face (especially combo skin like mine) to moisturizers and BB creams, there are so many ways to swap one thing out for another with protection that there really isn’t an excuse to go without.

I’m sure for some SPF protection sort of takes a back seat once fall rolls around, but it shouldn’t. UV rays still penetrate your skin in autumn and all through winter. If you really want to prevent skin damage, premature aging and wrinkles, integrating SPF protecting products into your daily routine YEAR ROUND is a MUST. I’m giving you the info and products you need to know about right now to create habits that will keep your skin young looking and wrinkle free for the long haul.

SOME REAL FACTS:

  1. SPF 15 is the absolute minimum you should be wearing EVERY DAY. Even in winter.
  2. Look for “broad spectrum” this means it protects against UVA and UVB – the cancer rays and the ones that give you wrinkles. If it doesn’t say broad spectrum it’s only protecting you from sunburns – nothing else.

So let’s go over that again:

UVB = Sunburns & skin cancer

UVA = Ageing and wrinkles

I know you want to prevent both when you’re handing over your hard earned cash for those products, so always look for BROAD SPECTRUM.

We all have super crazy busy lives, I know. Mornings are a huge hassle and these days it’s a big enough chore to wash my face and put some makeup on. How are we supposed to remember a whole other product or step? Easy. Swap it out for something you already use. I’m going to give you some options, and they’re ALL broad spectrum. I double checked. Just because I love you.

 

SPF Moisturizers. I love GinZing just as much as the next girl, which meant I was super disappointed to find that it didn’t contain any sort of SPF. If you can bear it, swap it out for one of these SPF moisturizers:

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Elizabeth Arden Moisture Cream SPF 30

This stuff is glamour right down to the packaging. Lightweight and lightly scented, it’s great for someone who wants something that doesn’t weigh their skin down but packs a punch when it comes to preventing wrinkles and locking in moisture. The main components ciramids, mica (this gives it the white shimmer effect), shea butter and vitamin E. But wait, what exactly are ceramids? Well, they’ve been likened to “skin cement”. It’s the stuff that your skin produces a lot of when your young and slows down with age. It also is a huge component of what locks in moisture and keeps your skin tight.

(For more in depth info on ceramids and skin read this!)

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Clinique Superdefense SPF 20 very dry to dry combination

Clinique offers up a heavy cream moisturizer perfect for the colder months. I found out the hard way that summer heat doesn’t mesh well with this thick of a formula – it’s lovely but a tiny bit greasy and it takes longer to soak in. Make sure to apply this long before your makeup to avoid smudging! Don’t be discouraged though, the fact that this moisturizer IS heavier will be great when you’re battling the cold winter wind.

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Clinique Superdefense Eye Cream SPF 20

I can’t imagine using an eye cream that didn’t protect against SPF now. Considering your eye is the most delicate, easily damaged skin on your body it’s sort of a “how didn’t I get on this sooner” product. I LOVE this eye cream. It comes in a standard tube, and soaks in quickly. Perfect protection. Enough said.

 

Straight Up Sunscreens: If you really can’t part with your moisturiser, I totally understand — GinZing is pretty damn amazing. Here are some alternatives you can wear over and under your makeup to keep those UV rays in check: 

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Clinique SPF 45 Sunscreen Stick

I had my boyfriend apply this to his face and ears before the Rogers Cup finals (he’s a firm believer in not putting anything on his face for some reason) and he raved about it afterward. Non sticky, totally clear and super easy to carry on the go. Perfect for girls on the run or boyfriends.

 5

ColoreScience Loose Mineral Sunscreen

This is genius. It comes in a compact little case with a brush. Super easy to use, loose powder helps dry up oily bits from too much time in the sun. All you have to do is pop it open and swipe in circles, no twisting or anything. Good for girls like me who will have applied makeup and don’t want some lotion screwing it all up while I’m out. It’s definitely a go to if you have sensitive skin and need to stick to mineral makeup! It’s also available in a shimmer version if that’s your thing. Don’t forget to apply a SPF moisturizer beforehand though, just relying on powder alone can be a bit iffy (you tend not to put enough on).

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Innovative Skincare Extreme Protect SPF 30

Woah woah woah. This stuff is intense: “Our studies showed that skin protected with Extreme Protect SPF 30 may experience less DNA damage in direct sunlight than untreated skin in total darkness. No other product on the market can offer that kind of protection.” The scientists behind this stuff actually went and found enzymes in nature that they incorporated into the entire line that tolerate all kinds of crazy environments like incredible heat, cold, pressure, acidity and even radiation! Science! For your skin! If you want to do spf right – this is the holy grail of sun protectant. Like, hot damn.

(See more about this wonder product here)

 

CC/BB Creams: If you’re pairing these guys with an SPF moisturizer or a sunscreen you let soak in before applying this, you’re golden.

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Clarins BB Skin Perfecting Cream SPF 25 – 01 light

Heavier coverage, 01 light was a touch too dark for my skin tone (and that was with a summer tan) so if you’re pale like me I’d opt for their 00. It definitely applies more like a foundation than a BB cream (for a lighter touch I’d go for Clinique Moisture Surge). I’d opt for this if you’re looking for heavier coverage and a thicker consistency. A bit too heavy for me, but it could work perfectly for someone looking for different coverage!

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Clinique Moisture Surge CC Cream SPF 30 – in light

Clinique, you have found a loyal fan with this product. By far, this is my favourite bb cream I’ve ever used! Non greasy, great coverage. I’m in love. This completely replaced my foundation routine during my busy summer days and has stayed with me far into autumn. This product never felt heavy, soaked in quick and never seemed to get darker like other SPF products tend to. Definitely recommend this one!

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Clinique Moisture Surge CC Cream Compact SPF 25 – in light

I’m not a huge fan of the matte look, but for those who are this is a must have. Those with combo skin will love this, as it goes more to a powder finish after application. Great for touch ups on the go with a huge mirror, and sponge held inside. Didn’t budge when I did apply it and is great for those looking for heavier coverage. If you have scarring or hyper pigmentation this would be a great bet. I don’t know about moisturizing, if you really want something moisturizing I would opt for the CC cream vs the compact.

 

What’s your SPF routine look like? Let me know!

5 Easy Ways to Style Dirty Hair

Ran out of time to wash your hair in the morning? Decided to skip daily washing to maintain hair health? No matter what reason might be, there is no need to feel grumpy about unwashed hair anymore. According to expert hairstylists, second day hair is easier to style and provides better styling results and hold. If you have had trouble creating hairstyles, it might be time to re-think your decision to wash your hair daily.

Here is a compilation of easy but chic hairstyles that you can wear on day-old hair. Aside from hiding the greasiness from your strands, these hairstyles look good enough that they would not even bother to tell between second-day and freshly washed hair.

Side Braids

When talking about dirty hairstyles, braids should never go missing on the list. The reason why braids work so well with dirty hair is that it hides the greasiness while adding just the right amount of texture.

Beautiful young woman

To create a side braid, you need to prep your hair by applying dry shampoo. This will help absorb excess oils from your unwashed hair. When you are done prepping, gather hair over to one side and start braiding to the ends. Secure the braid using an elastic tie. Finish off your hairstyle or tame any flyaways before they form with a light hold hairspray.

Messy Ponytail

Just like braids, ponytails are very efficient at hiding traces of oil from your unwashed hair. You can therefore pull your hair back and style it in a messy way to create a chic look for your dirty hair.

If you want to add definition to your ponytail, you can prep hair by running it on a curling iron. This will provide more texture to your hair. You can also choose where to place your ponytail – low, high or middle. Add a spritz of sea salt or volumising spray to make the ponytail appear more piece-y.

Beachy Wave

This is a favorite hairstyle for women in the summer because it is easy to do and hides any imperfections. And it is for these same reasons why you a beachy wave hair is ideal for second day or dirty hair.

To style your hair, you must first detangle it with a comb. Apply a protective heat styling spray so you can run your curling iron throughout the length of your hair. Curl two-inch sections of your hair at a time. Apply an anti-humidity spray or sea salt spray to hair when you are done curling. Simply run your fingers through your hair to make them look brushed out.

Ballerina Bun

Ballerina Wearing Bun In Hair

This is the ideal hairstyle for women with shoulder-length hair. Start by dividing your hair into sections and then prepping the bottom layers first. Apply a heat styling spray before using a one-inch barrel curling iron. Form a high ponytail by twisting your hair and then twisting the strands one more time to form a bun. Finish off the hairstyle with a light hold hairspray. If there are any small strands of hair hanging out, use bobby pins to secure them in place. If you want to make it look extra stylish, you can also braid the hair (after forming a ponytail) to create a braided ballerina bun.

Low Bun

One of the reasons why low buns work for dirty hair is because it does an effective job of hiding your part line. And your part is where you can mostly find excess oil in your unwashed hair.

Back view of young woman applying makeup

Low buns also look like they’re easy to do, and they are! Again, you need to prep your hair with the use of dry shampoo. This will help absorb any excess oil in your hair. Add texture to your hair by running it against a small barreled curling iron. Then, twist your hair to form a low bun. Place it around the back of your neck before securing with an elastic tie. There is no right or wrong way to twist your hair – let it be as casual and messy as possible.

What is your favorite way to style dirty hair?

Staying Platinum Blonde The Right Way

Sustainable bleaching, the only way to stay blonde for the long haul.

It’s not difficult to find a post about going blonde on the internet, but as far as STAYING blonde? I’m going to bring you through the process of getting roots touched up properly to keep your platinum hair as healthy as possible. I know I’m not the only one who has left a salon with my scalp totalled and freshly bleached roots that turn to a yellow band in a week or two. But you guys, last week, I met the colour technician of my dreams (Hi Amanda!!) and she explained to me during the process why I’d had such bad experiences prior to her and how to keep others from experiencing the dreaded yellow band and burned scalp of my past. I’m going to give you some key things to look out for to make sure you’re getting the best bleach out possible: Why proper techniques are used and what happens when they aren’t.

Bad Bleach Out Red Flags:

Not going through your hair as it processes to make sure they got every layer, applying more bleach where necessary is a huge red flag.

Being rough and aggravating the scalp. If they look like they’re just trying to get it done as quickly as possible and sort of just slapping that bleach on you’ve officially found a colour tech you shouldn’t be going to.

band

My awful roots and yellow band combo had me wanting to hide under a paper bag.

How yellow bands happen: Waiting too long between bleachings or application. Yes, I’m guilty of this. I was jumping from salon to salon and never bothered making return appointments as I constantly left unhappy. Trust me, now that I’ve found Blyss, I’ll be keeping those roots in check. But the timing of appointments isn’t all to blame. Yellow bands can also be caused by improper application:  Not enough product put on hair or it simply wasn’t lightened enough – the only way to fix this band is to bleach again.

Make sure they’re mixing fresh bleach numerous times during the process, if they aren’t you’re risking even more damage to your hair. The first 20 minutes after bleach is mixed is when it is at it’s most active, any time after that and it’s just not as good. A proper colour tech will know this!

The Good, Sustainable Bleach Out:

Gentle application: This means sliding the bleach on, not pressing it in. I remember during my consultation Amanda described platinum hair as a luxury good — you have to be as gentle as possible with your hair when it’s in this condition or it’s going to look like a fancy dry clean only blouse you put through the wash too many times.

They have a plan: Amanda applied bleach to the back portion of my head first, with a weaker developer, as it would be on my head longer. She explained that starting from the back is best as it allows her to rinse the bleach if necessary without getting water on the rest of my head.

section

The proper way to bleach hair is by sectioning it off and applying the bleach in super thin, tiny sections. With such small sections Amanda didn’t need to apply bleach to both sides as the bleach encased all of the hair in one go.

Again — Remixing bleach every 20 minutes. Using bleach that has sat for longer than this is no longer in it’s prime lightening time. Which means it’ll take longer to lighten the same amount and do more damage to your hair and scalp. Amanda makes sure to do this by only mixing enough for one section at a time.

If they’re putting you under any sort of heat to speed up the process, make sure they’re using a steamer and not just a drier which will completely suck the moisture out of your hair. A steamer processes your hair in the fastest, gentlest way possible and keeps the bleach moist. I sat under the steamer for 25 minutes after my bleach application.

How to avoid damage at home:

Amanda pointed out that at home care is just as important as getting a proper bleach out. The colour technician isn’t going to be able to fix everything for you, you need to come in with a clean palette they can work with. It’s just like skin care: you need to focus on the foundation before whatever you apply to it can really do it’s best work.

davines

Davine products used on my hair during my bleach out. Top to Bottom Left: NaturalTech Nourishing Hair Building Pak, NouNou Pak. Right: Davines NaturalTech Nourishing Shampoo.

To make sure my hair and scalp were being treated in the gentlest way possible, Davines NOUNOU pak was applied to my towel dried hair after the bleach was shampooed out. I sat with this mask on for 15 minutes, rinsed and continued with the toner. After my hair was toned this was shampooed out with Davines NaturalTech Nourishing Shampoo and Vegetarian Miracle Conditioner. Both of these products are anti breakage. Applying this product between these processes helped protect my hair and scalp.

How long to go between bleachings: 4 weeks or 1cm

Too much protein actually makes your hair snap – you need a balance of moisture and protein to have the strongest hair possible. You can do this by alternating treatments each time you wash your hair. Think NouNou Pak one week, and the protein treatment the next.

When you’re washing your hair do it as gently as possible. When Amanda was washing my hair at the salon, she used an open palm method to avoid aggravating my scalp. Don’t scrub your hair with your fingers, remember, GENTLE.

Pat your hair dry and squeeze out the ends. Don’t rub or scrub your hair every which way with a towel like they do in the movies.

Comb your hair from the ends upward and take your time.

If you move around a lot wrap your hair in a silk scarf. If this doesn’t do the trick a silk pillowcase could help – I bought one off amazon for 20 bucks and noticed I didn’t wake up with such a tangled mess every morning!

happy

I’m finally on my way to having healthy blonde hair and I couldn’t be happier!

Do you have any bleach out horror stories? Anything you’ve learned to look out for in a new salon? Let me know in the comments!

And don’t forget to check out Blyss Salon in Toronto!

BTWSAM Vlog!

WOAH, guys. I made a really ADD riddled video for you. With my macbook, which means the quality is terrible. Don’t worry, I’m working on getting a real camera soon. But here’s a little snippet of what to expect soon and a look at my hair before and after my recent bleaching! Woo!

More info soon. You’ll have to wait and read my upcoming article about this little bleach adventure on xovain.com :)

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