Q&A Monday

For all your beauty advice…

Good morning, and Happy Monday! Happy Memorial Day to everyone. I hope you are enjoying the holiday and keeping it safe.  As always, thanks for the questions! Today I’m answering sunscreen, skin care and perming your hair questions…a nice mix!

Dear Brooke, How soon before I go in the sun do I need to apply sunscreen? Can’t I just put it on outside? Sarah B.

Dear Sarah, Considering the skin is the largest organ of the body, it needs proper time to absorb the products we use and benefit from the protection sunscreen offers. Apply your sunscreen to the areas of your body that will be exposed to the sun at least 15 minutes before going outside. If you’re going to be out in the sun for a long time, remember to reapply every two hours for maximum protection. Don’t forget to apply sunscreen to those small places that often get overlooked…hands, ears, neck. If you forget to apply it 15 minutes prior to sun exposure, don’t skip it! You will still get protection if you apply it when you’re already outside, but you’ll get the most protection by doing it before. Set aside time for it, your skin will thank you!

Dear Brooke, How bad is it really, if I don’t wash my face when I go to bed at night? I work crazy hours and sometimes I am just too tired to deal with it when it’s time to go to sleep? Cindy D.

Dear Cindy, I know what it’s like to be so tired, the last thing on earth you want to do is wash your makeup off your face! How bad is it? In my opinion, it’s very bad. One time isn’t going to kill you, but if you make a habit of skipping your cleansing routine at night, it will show in the long run. The effects of leaving makeup, and just daily dirt and grime, on your face overnight are clogged pores and frequent breakouts. Your skin repairs itself at night, so it needs the pores clear so it can breathe and regenerate. Really, it only takes a few minutes to wash your face at night…less than 5, so look at it that way. If you think of it as this huge chore, you’re not going to do it, but if you tell yourself it can be done in 5 minutes or less, it doesn’t seem so daunting. Keep some facial cleansing wipes on hand for the nights you just feel like you can’t do it. I don’t suggest them for every day use, but they’re great for travel and for at least getting that first layer of skin clean. Something is better than nothing!

Dear Brooke, I love perming my hair! I like the extra volume it gives me when I use rollers and I love that I can wash and go and still look put together. How bad is perming for you hair, and is it really outdated? Lilly C.

Dear Lilly, Good for you on knowing what you like! For awhile there, perms got a bad reputation. People think of extra tight curls and fried hair when they think of perms. But, perms are making their way back onto the scene and the ones I have seen are better than ever. Gentler solutions, and techniques, are being used now to create the pretty waves you see on the red carpet. So, my answer to that part of your question is no, they are not outdated. As far as the health of your hair when you perm? Any kind of chemical process is going to cause some amount of damage to your hair. If you’ve been perming for years, you know how important it is to take good care of your hair. Use a moisturizing shampoo and conditioner. Try to shampoo your hair every other day. (A great challenge for some of us!) And, use a deep conditioner, or hair mask, once a week. If you notice any breakage, start using a protein mask on your hair once a week to strengthen your hair. And I think you’ve got the right idea with “wash and go”!!

Once again, thanks for the great questions. Email me your Q&A Monday questions at brookeknowsbeauty@hotmail.com

You’ve Been Beautified!

Summer-Proof Your Look

For all your beauty advice…

Summer is just around the corner! The time for outside activities is upon us; bbq parties, swimming, hiking, etc. A lot of people I know hesitate to even apply makeup or do their hair for certain activities throughout this time of year because, what’s the point when it all melts off after an hour? How frustrating is it when you spend all the time you do to get ready and look gorgeous just to have it wilt away faster than it took to apply? Well, my first rule of thumb for this time of year is, don’t go outside! It’s too hot and sticky and, unless I am being fanned by a fig leaf pool-side, than I prefer to stay inside. But, that’s the Princess in me talking. If you MUST go outside, and I know most of you must, there are ways to keep your beautiful self looking beautiful.

Summer-Proof Skin: Your skin care routine doesn’t need to change too much in the summer. You may want to switch to a lighter moisturizer and save the heavier creams for winter, or use at night. Lighten up on products containing AHA’s or retinol, as these ingredients make your skin very sensitive in the sun, and more prone to burning. Also, use a good SPF that’s waterproof to ensure maximum protection for your skin.

Summer-Proof Makeup: One of the most important steps in applying your makeup, is to first wait until your skin has fully absorbed your skin care products. If you start applying makeup when it’s still damp from moisturizer or SPF, you’re going to have a mess on your hands. Always start with a primer to make sure your foundation has something to grab onto. Without a primer, your makeup will soak right into your skin. Switch to a lightweight liquid or powder foundation, or a tinted moisturizer. Eye makeup is another one that’s tough to keep in place on hot days. Make sure to use an eyeshadow primer before you apply your shadows. A good one will make sure the colors stay with you all day. I like Shadow Insurance by Too Faced. For eyeliner, I really like Aqua Eyes by Make Up For Ever. It truly stays put through heat and humidity. Waterproof mascara is going to be your best bet this time of year. If you’re not using one now and you don’t need one, then don’t worry about it. But, if you find that your mascara starts to smear  if you start to sweat, then go waterproof. There are so many to choose from out there, I can’t even begin to name good ones…this will last forever if I do that. Avoid using mascara on your lower lashes if you still smudge with waterproof. Use a cheek stain for your blush instead of powder, it will last much longer on a hot day. Set your makeup with a setting spray and you’ll be good to go.

Summer-Proof Hair: Just as it’s important to protect our skin in the sun, protecting your hair is a must-do as well. Try switching your products up for the summer. Instead of using products that add shine and volume, switch to shampoo and conditioner that will add moisture. Avoid heat styling during the summer as much as possible. If you’re outdoors a lot, the sun is going to be doing enough possible damage; using a blow dryer or any kind of styling tool is only going to cause more damage. Give your hair a vacation from the heat styling! Start playing around with your natural texture and find some cute styles that enhance what Mother Nature gave you. If you can, avoid coloring your hair in the summer, especially if you’re a sun lover. Color that’s exposed to too much sun is just going to fade fast. Keep up with regular trims to keep a healthy look and deep condition once a week. Play around with some cute up-dos or braids for a different look. If you’re really not sure what direction to go because you’ve never tried working with your natural texture, schedule a little extra time with your stylist so they can show you what will work best for you and keep it simple for you.

Those are some good suggestions to keep looking great all summer long. What about you? What do you do to keep looking fresh all summer? What products do you swear by in the summer?

I would like to wish you all a very safe, but fun-filled, Memorial Day Weekend. I’m sure you’ll all look fabulous while having fun!

You’ve Been Beautified!

Two For Tea, Tea For…Your Tub

For all your beauty advice…

Tea has many healing properties. It’s been used for ages to heal illness, skin conditions and even aid in weight loss. I have seen products that are tea bags designed to place on your eyes to fight the signs of fatigue and reduce puffiness. But Tub Tea? I’ve never seen that before, until now. When I first saw Tub Tea, I thought I was looking at an oversized tea bag…you know, the kind you see for making large jars of sun tea. But, then I asked myself what’s sun tea doing mixed in with bath products? Then I figured out it’s not sun tea (I guess the words Bath Tea on the string should have tipped me off), it’s Tub Tea. Hmmm…What is Tub Tea?

Tub Tea packets are oversized sachets, or big tea bags, filled with dried herbs, flowers and citrus peels. Available in many different blends, if you can find them to begin with…it’s not like they’re popping up all over. But they should! I love unique, natural bath products and it seems the only place to find these little gems, is in a specialty gift shop and those seem to be a thing of the past. Thank God for the internet, you can find all kinds of unique products by searching online.

The benefits of Tub Tea are many. Think of an herbal wrap when you go to a spa. All those different ingredients seeping into your skin to soften you up, treat skin conditions and relax your muscles. You will get the same benefits from soaking your body in the same herbs right at home, and the cost isn’t near what you would pay if you went to a spa! Soaking in Tub Tea can also relieve stress (I think most baths do that on their own; water is very soothing), anxiety, insomnia and fatigue. They can also restore your energy.

But, you don’t have to use your Tub Tea only in your tub. Used in the shower, the sachets can be squeezed onto the skin and freshly washed hair for a light scent to your skin. They can be used in a foot bath, which is great for someone with aching feet. And, before you use them, they can be used as a drawer sachet for a light scent to your clothes. They really do smell good, not too heavy on fragrance at all. A little on the sweet side, but very light on your skin when you’re dried off.

So, where can you find them? Like I said, they’re not as easy to find as a bubble bath or a shower gel, but they are around. Check Whole Foods, Vitamin Cottage, etc. Natural grocery stores and specialty (special-tea…ha ha) shops are going to be your best bet. You can find a lot of different Tub Teas to choose from online as well. TerrAmazon makes some great scents to choose from and Romanza Gifts has some good choices, too.

If you want to do a Family Spa Night, get the whole gang involved with making Tub Tea sachets. It can be as easy as taking the ingredients and putting them in coffee filters, tie the filter at the top and drop in the bath water. Or, you can really get into it and pick up loose tea bags and fill them with dried herbs, mixed with some essential oils, and salts. There are tons of recipes to find online of how to make your own Tub Tea. I came across a great site that has some great recipes and they show you how to make Valentine Tub Tea bags. Very cute, and something we’ll be trying for our next Family Spa Night.

I love the idea of Tub Tea, what a great way to relax your muscles, treat your skin and unwind from the day. What about you? Have you tried a bath tea? If so, what are your favorite brands, what benefits did you experience and where did you find the product? I look forward to your response!

Email me your questions for Q&A Monday at brookeknowsbeauty@hotmail.com

You’ve Been Beautified!

If You’re Going To Splurge…Splurge On This

For all your beauty advice…

We’ve all found ways to justify spending a little extra on a product we’ve come to love. Whether it’s a cleanser, an eye cream or a moisturizer, we’ll find a way to work it into our budget. And why not, we’re worth it, right? Of course we are! But what about spending more than a little extra on a product? What about one that some may look at as an investment? Every now and then a product comes along that I believe we should splurge on. The one I’m talking about right now is the Clarisonic.

What’s a Clarisonic? Well, if you’re familiar with the Sonicare toothbrush, you will understand the logic behind the Clarisonic Cleansing System, because the same technology was applied to the Clarisonic that was used with the Sonicare. Translation: It’s a very high-tech way to clean your skin. The Clarisonic feels so gentle on your skin, it’s hard to imagine that the brushes move 300 times per second…yes, I just said 300 times per second. So, what exactly does that mean? Well, to put it so anyone can understand that, it means that this product will get your skin a heck of a lot cleaner than just washing with your hands or a wash cloth. Because it cleans so deep, it’s removing 6 times more makeup and dirt than regular cleansing. And because it’s getting your skin so clean, that means that your products are going to absorb better into your skin and you’ll probably use less, saving you money in that area over time. One might think that would feel rough on your skin, or make your skin red and sensitive to touch when you’re finished cleansing with this. It doesn’t.

I had been reading about the Clarisonic for a while and I was intrigued. I’ve suffered with breakouts my whole life and I still do. I pretty much have my skin under control, but I still get the blemishes and I have a lot of congestion underneath my skin on my chin and my cheeks. My 11-year-old daughter is starting to break out as well. She’s at the age where she’s getting blackheads on her nose, but they go so deep, they are stretching her pores. No amount of cleaning, scrubbing or treating seemed to be working on them. Since the brush heads are detachable, meaning you don’t have to share with anyone, everyone in the family can have their own. I think that’s what finally sold me…I could make this investment and I would be able to share it with the people in the family who need it. My 9-year-old is safe…for now.

When I first got it, the only complaint I have is that I couldn’t use it right away. I had to charge the darn thing for 24 hours…stupid technology!! I was very eager to try it the next night and it was everything I had read about and more. The only time my skin ever felt so soft was when I had a professional microdermabrasion, and that hurt! This feels so gentle on your skin and after just one week, my skin looked brighter, my pores looked smaller and my skin was so soft and finally felt clean. I wanted to keep touching my skin, but that just brings on more breakouts. As for my 11-year-old? Well, after only 3 uses on her, the blackheads on her nose are quickly diminishing and her skin looks great. I know she’ll still get breakouts, that’s just the age, but if this can save her from the 2 rounds of Accutane I had to go on before the age of 16, then that right there tells me this was one of the best purchases I could have made.

The only thing I want to know is: Where the heck has this thing been my whole life?? It’s that good! If you’ve ever seen one, or read about it, and you just weren’t sure, I’m here to tell you to go ahead and buy it, you won’t regret it. Yes, it’s expensive, but 100% worth it, and you will love the results. I think the Clarisonic could make me actually enjoy getting a facial again, since it’s taking care of all that congestion on my chin, maybe extractions won’t be so painful now.

Do you have one? Tell me what you love about it, or what made you purchase it. I think everyone should own one!

Send me your questions for Q&A Monday at brookeknowsbeauty@hotmail.com

You’ve Been Beautified!

Q&A Monday

For all your beauty advice…

Good morning and Happy Monday. I hope everyone had a great weekend. I got some great questions sent to me for this week’s Q&A Monday. Read on about nail polish decisions, my opinions on French mani’s, and black nail polish.

Dear Brooke, This may seem like a stupid question, but I’m stumped! I am wearing a brown dress to an event and, in planning my outfit, I can’t figure out what color nail polish to wear. Help! Shay S.

Dear Shay, This is not a stupid question…I actually get asked this question a lot when it comes to a dress that’s not basic black. I’m a planner with my outfits, too, and it’s obvious you are paying attention to all details. Keep in mind that brown is a neutral color and most nail polish colors are going to complement it nicely. When I wear brown, I like to polish my nails with a bronze nail color; it goes well with brown, but it’s not too matchy-matchy. Red is another good choice since brown is neutral, a red nail polish is a nice contrast. When in doubt, go with a French manicure, it will go with any color outfit.

…and speaking of French mani’s…

Dear Brooke, I don’t have a question for you this week, but I do want your opinion. I love the way fingernails look when they have a nice French manicure done, but I can’t stand the way toes look with it! What’s the deal? I don’t understand why people want to make their toenails look like they’re long. It’s just ugly and kind of creeps me out. What’s your take on that? Am I just weird? Sandy F.

Dear Sandy, Thanks for the question. I’m always willing to give my opinion right along with my advice. First of all, I don’t think you’re weird. Some people just don’t like the look of French manicures on feet. Feet don’t freak  me out; I’ve seen it all when it comes to feet. I’ve heard differing opinions on whether or not toes should get a French manicure. If it’s done right, my opinion is, I like it. I think it looks fresh and classic and it goes with anything…if it’s done right. Mastering a French mani can be challenging. Personally, I never learned how to do it just right. I had a French manicure done on my toes once and the person wasn’t very good at it, so it looked bad. The good thing about it: it’s nail polish. If you hate the way it looks, it can be removed fast and you can start over. Thanks for asking my opinion!

…nails seemed to be the theme of the questions this week…

Dear Brooke, I love black nail polish! I wear it on my toes a lot because it’s not visible when I work. My question is, can I wear black nail polish in the office? I work for a major corporation in administration, but I just don’t know if I can pull it off at work. Kathy M.

Dear Kathy, I think black nail polish can be fun, but I also question it in the office. Bold, dark nail polish colors are all the rage, but I’ve never understood the appeal to black. My opinions aside on this, I would suggest a few things. Most important, if you’re worried you’re going to get in trouble, check your company guidelines with dress code. If it doesn’t say anything about staying away from black nail polish, then give it a try. If you do go for it, remember to keep your nails at a normal length, shorter is better with this color polish, and keep them protected from chips with a good top coat. I think you’ll be able to pull this off as long as your nails look clean and the polish isn’t chipping. Keep the polish with you for touch ups, or keep polish remover with you if they start looking unkempt.

Once again, thank you for your questions this week! Email your questions for Q&A Monday at brookeknowsbeauty@hotmail.com

You’ve Been Beautified!

My Foundation

For all your beauty advice…

By the title of this article, you are probably thinking I am going to be talking about my favorite face makeup, or giving tips on how to find the  best foundation…I’m not. This actually has nothing to do with makeup, so that’s a warning to stop reading right now if you’re only interested in products and not doing good deeds. I have started a foundation/charity and I want to share it with everyone.

Bea’s Big Heart Foundation has been organized in memory, and honor, of my mother, Bea. Anyone who knew my mom knew what an amazing person she was and how generous she could be. She had a  big heart and there was plenty of room in it for everyone! Sadly, mom passed away nearly 4 years ago, but I want to make sure her kindness lives on. This is something I have wanted to do since I lost my mom. I wasn’t sure how to make it come to life, or get the wheels going; I’ve never started a charity organization before. Thanks to my husband, Scott, for making this come to life. All I’ve had to do is tell him what I want to achieve from this and he’s taken care of the business side of everything, and now I am so happy to see it finally coming to life.

So, what exactly is Bea’s Big Heart Foundation all about? Simply put, it’s focused on Families In Need. I emphasize that because I feel it’s that important. I know so many families struggling right now and Bea’s Big Heart Foundation is here to help. There is no issue too small, and one day I hope, too large, for us to take on. It can be as simple as making sure a family has enough toilet paper for everyone (seriously), putting food on the table, helping with house payments, new clothes for growing kids, etc. These are the acts of kindness I saw my mother do on a day-to-day basis.

Mom lived by the motto “there’s always room for one more”, and that’s how Bea’s Big Heart Foundation will run. Our first project we are working on involves a single mother of 2. She has been living in a 1 bedroom apartment and sleeping on her couch for 2 years…Just knowing that hurts MY back! She is moving into a 2 bedroom apartment soon, (yippee!!), but she doesn’t have a bed for herself. We are working on finding her a bed and mattress as soon as we can.

How can you help? Well, that’s easy. Bea’s Big Heart Foundation accepts contributions of any size. No donation is too small. If you want more information on where to send a donation or how to contribute in other ways, email us at beasbigheart@hotmail.com With generous contributions, we can make sure everyone has a dry tushy, a full belly and a roof over their heads…just what mom would have done.

Stay tuned for more updates and for the launch of our website! I’ll be posting information on that very soon. Thank you to everyone who has been such a big help in getting this started and thank you to my daughters for designing the logo. I told them what I saw in my head and within minutes, they had it down exactly how I wanted.

I think they did a great job and I am very proud of them for being so excited about helping! As always, thanks for reading and stay tuned for more information on this project.

You’ve Been Beautified!

The Best Eyeshadow For You

For all your beauty advice…

Seeing as how they come in every color of the rainbow, it’s no wonder people get overwhelmed when trying to choose the best shade of eyeshadow for their eyes. Most women I come across have pretty much just given up and they use beige and brown. Sure, you can get a nice, natural look with those neutrals, but let’s have some fun with color! Besides, why would all these companies make so many colors if no one could actually wear them? I have always loved eyeshadow and I think I own every color of the rainbow. I’ve learned that if you have brown eyes, and I do, you can wear just about any eyeshadow color out there. Works for me! That just gave me the excuse I need to keep on buying! So, what about blue, green or hazel eyes?

Got blue eyes? Whether they are pure blue, light blue or borderline gray, the best shade of eyeshadow to complement blue eyes is brown. Brown is a contrast color to blue and by wearing it, you will really bring out the color of your eyes. Also, charcoal, violet and rose are really pretty colors on blue eyes. Avoid blue eyeshadow for blue eyes. You don’t want the eyeshadow color contrasting with your eye color.

Green eyes? Finding someone with true green eyes is unusual. Green eyes are beautiful but most people with green eyes tend to get a little lost on choosing the right color. Classic shades are  best for green eyes. Brown, deep purple and plum and dark green. To really make the gold in your green eyes pop, use bronze for an evening look when you can wear a more dramatic eye. It looks beautiful on green eyes.

What about Hazel eyes? It’s hard to describe the exact color of hazel eyes. Some people with lighter brown eyes say their eye color is hazel while others with green eyes flecked with gold lay claim to hazel. Well, since it’s hard to define what exactly makes an eye color classify as hazel, it can be hard to decide what shadows will look best with this eye color. Since hazel eyes sometimes look brown and sometimes they look green, choose neutrals to bring out the beauty of this eye color. Dark browns and soft taupes will look really pretty on hazel eyes.

Brown eyes? The sky’s the limit!! Well, almost. Brown eyes come in many different shades of brown, ranging from light brown to almost black. Brown eyes are a great neutral color that can carry just about any shade of eyeshadow. But, avoid yellow and certain shades of pink. These can make you looked “washed out”.

These colors are a good guideline to help you when you are shopping for eyeshadow. Of course, your skin tone is going to help you make the final decision. Experiment with different colors to find the best shades for you and don’t be afraid to ask for help when you are shopping. The makeup artists I know in this industry are happy to help and passionate about makeup and truly want you to look your best.

A lot of makeup lines are coming out with palettes designed to complement different eye colors. These are a great way to experiment with different looks and your colors are already chosen for you.

Have you had a hard time finding the right eyeshadow for your eye color? What are your favorite shadows for your eye color? Favorite brands? I look forward to your response.

Email me your questions for Q&A Monday at brookeknowsbeauty@hotmail.com

You’ve Been Beautified!