My Two Favorite OverNight Masks

And I am talking about two different kind of masks. Although they are both to sleep with.

The first one is a moisturizer mask called Drink Up Intensive by Origins. You can put on your skin a generous amount (I am always very generous with my moisturizers and sunscreens) before going to bed and let it work its magic during the night. No need to rinse. Not even in the morning. At least I don’t (and the reason why is here). It doesn’t have a color and it feels like you put on moisturizer and nothing else. The skin absorbs it all straight up. Having said that, the result lasts way more than a simple moisturizer, even if it is my powerful and beloved Aqua Bomb from Belif.And it does not feel greasy at all. In any moment.

As you can see by the post above, I am an enthusiast of moisturizer. I do think our skin needs a great moisturizer more than any other product. Too bad I only realized that in my 40s… Anyways, since then my main goal is to keep my skin always hydrated, no matter what. I think that is the secret to keep it looking good. And that is why I really like this mask. My skin feels highly hydrated during the night and when I wake up. I even use this mask during the day when I feel my skin need extra dose of moisturizer, like after sun tanning or during the winter days.

What Origins says about it:

  • It is recommended for normal to dry skin types. (My skin is normal to oily and I think it works great for me.)
  • It hydrates thirsty skin (love that and I confess that this was its selling point that made me give it a try).
  • It is enriched with avocado and apricot kernel oils, which effectively prepare skin for next-day environmental aggressors.
  • Japanese seaweed repairs the skin’s barrier function to prevent future dehydration and signs of premature ageing.
  • The overnight mask soothes skin whilst you sleep for long-lasting comfort so you can wake up to a revitalized, silky smooth and refreshed complexion.
  • Free from parabens, sulphates and phthalates.

I think they now have a new improved formula to this mask that I haven’t tried yet, but I am looking forward to. Only hope it is as good as the previous one.

The other mask is an actually sleeping mask. It is called Iluminage Skin Rejuvenating Eye Mask. It is silky and soft and it is for sure the most comfortable sleeping mask I have ever tried. Plus it does black out the light perfectly. Besides that this mask has a rejuvenating element since it is embedded with Copper Dioxide. The idea is to give you a good night of sleep AND minimize the appearance of the wrinkles during the night.

Let’s see what Iluminage says about it:

  • This rejuvenating sleep mask covers your delicate eyes with advanced care, to minimize the appearance of wrinkles while you sleep.
  • Beyond blocking all visual stimuli to quiet your mind and senses, this silky, soft, smart textile is carefully embedded with copper, a well-known essential mineral with skin-enhancing properties. This technology is clinically proven to help reduce the appearance of wrinkles for smoother, younger-looking skin in as little as four weeks. Copper is naturally found in your skin and is known to play an important role in skin’s renewal process. It has been used in makeup, face creams and other skincare products for years, and one of its properties is its ability to promote the natural growth of proteins in the skin.
  • How to use: Sleep with your eye mask nightly for younger-looking skin in as little as four weeks. One size fits all.
  • Adjustable hook-and-loop closure strap.
  • Non-irritating.
  • Color and anti-aging technology proven to last beyond100 washes.
  • 100% Cupron® copper oxide polyester.
  • Hand wash, dry flat.

To be honest, I don’t know if this mask is helping me with my wrinkles and all, yet. I have been using it for almost 4 weeks. But it feels really good to sleep in. Because of the copper, it does get stained in the white part all around the mask but it doesn’t bother me at all.

An update on this mask report on April 21st: I still don’t know if this mask is helping with wrinkles but one thing I noticed is that it stains the pillow case I sleep in. So, this is a major no-no. Even so, I am still using to sleep because it is a very comfy mask to sleep in.

My Favorite Tinted SunScreen

My Favorite Tinted SunScreen

I am talking about the Photoderm M 50+, a Tinted Protective Cream by Bioderma. I have been wearing this as my facial sunscreen and my daily foundation (since it is tinted) for over a year. And ladies, I love this product. And I do because, besides its protection against the sun, it makes my skin looks beautiful, rested, even and glowing. It looks like I am just wearing my natural healthy skin and nothing else. I feel that I don’t need anything extra applied. Not even a blush. Although I do apply a toner and a moisturizer underneath. And when I am in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, I do apply another sunscreen, for extra protection. And a little makeup: like my go-to grey eyeliner from Sephora and a lip stain from Revlon. Cause you never know who you are going to come across…

And this is me, before my early morning walk, almost ready to with no makeup, just the Photoderm M. Since it is water resistant, it stays even when I sweat a lot.

What Bioderma says about Photoderm M 50+:

  • Indications: Skin subject to hyperpigmentation. Suitable for pregnant women.
  • Benefits: Minimizes the risk of pigmentation during sun exposure with an unique filter system that guarantees a very high UVA/UVB protection and reinforced protection against visible radiation. This action is complemented by a genuine internal biological protection: the exclusive Cellular Bioprotection patent which activates the skin’s natural defences, protects cells and combats premature skin ageing.  Reduces the appearance of existent sun marks. Evens complexion and provides natural coverage.
  • Plus: SPF 50+ UVA 38, water resistant, paraben-free, fragrance-free, hypoallergenic, non-comedogenic, photostable.

As I said, I love this product and highly recommend at least a try to see if it works wonders for you too as it does for me.

You can check Bioderma’s Photoderm M in their website here.

Why I Never Wash My Face In The Morning

I don’t remember exactly when I stoped washing my face in the morning. It was probably 3 or 4 years ago. But I do remember why decided to do so: as I entered the menopause I noticed that my skin went from its usual mix of oily/normal to a not so oily/and sometimes a little dry even skin and because of that I thought it was a good idea to keep only two daily washes in my beauty routine, one in the shower and the other before I go to bed. Those two washes would be enough. That was also when I understood that a good moisturizer will be my bff in this skin routine thing, by the way.

Anyways, I do think this has helped my skin. And no, I don’t feel that my skin needs a little cleanse in the morning at all. It looks super. Plus today I saw a video from a beauty blogger from Brazil telling her reason to actually never wash her face in the morning. And she, who is far away from menopause, does that because she once visited a French Epidermologist name Joelle Ciocco ( you can learn more about her here) who told her that cleaning well (Joelle advises to have a double cleansing) the skin before going to bed allows you to skip the morning wash. On top of that, according to her, not washing in the morning you are able to keep better all the benefits that your own skin produced on its own during its overnight rest. And for me that makes totally sense and validated even more my choice.

If I feel that I need to remove the residues of a sleeping mask or a serum in the morning (actually I hardly feel I need to), I use a toner instead of washing it with water and soap/foam/gel/etc. And I use a let’s call it contemporary toner that is alcohol-free, less astringent and more nutritious to the skin. Here there is a very good talk about toners, something I only incorporate recently to my beauty routine.

And speaking of my beauty routine… in the morning I only skip the washing part. As I wake up I put some moisturize on, add sunscreen and a tinted protective cream (plus a subtle gray eyeliner and a nude lipstick, cause you never know who is gonna cross your path) and I am ready for my morning walk.

How To Find The Perfect Shades Of Colors For Your Skin Undertone

How To Find The Perfect Shades Of Colors For Your Skin Undertone

Yep, it is your skin undertone that will dictate which shades of colors will complement your skin. And by complement your skin I mean that shade of color that will make you look your very best, that will uplift you, that will enhance your best features and that will make you glow even with no makeup on or sans a nice healthy tan to back you up.

And yes, you read it right: I said shades of color and not color, because for each 12 seasons (yes, you read it right again!) there will be different shades of blue, green, yellow, red, purple, pink, orange, gray etc that will be perfect for each. In another words, if you want to find the right colors for your skin you will need to think about which shades of colors are your best friends.

I am not gonna explain about each season here because to know which one you belong to you will need to do a draping test and only with this test you will know for sure which season you are in. There is no other way to know. But here I am gonna focus on a simplified way, without any need for a seasonal knowledge to figure out which shades of each color suits you the best. Actually, this is my favorite way to figure color out anyways. Because when you take the test you get your color palette with just a few shades of colors (around 55) and those are not your only options. And the only way to know about the other shades that suit you is by doing this test I am gonna teach you.

First, you will need a natural light from a window or a door or from being outdoors. And a mirror. It is a good idea to have no distractions in your background or simply choose a gray one. Make sure you have no make up on. Then get the piece of clothing with the particular shade of color and place it right below your chin. Then pay attention to the effects that this shade of color causes in your face such as:

  • The white part in your eyes looks sparkling whiter.
  • So your teeth. (smile to check this out)
  • Your skin looks healthier.
  • If you have dark circles or bags under your eyes they will look smoother, suddenly.
  • Even without makeup you look refreshed, glowing, your best.
  • The wrinkles might look smoother.

If you got those effects when testing a shade of color, then yes, this is a friendly one. If by any chance the results you get when you test that shade of color is:

  • Unhealthy, opaque or dull looking skin.
  • Opaque eyes.
  • More than usual yellow smile.
  • Wrinkles look more visible.

Then that shade of color is not your bff.

By the way, your friendly shades of colors are your best bet to wear near your face in tops, scarves, coats etc. When you wear them near your face they will do their magic. If you like a shade of color that doesn’t belong to your friendly palette you can wear it in a place away from your face as a bag, a shoe, a skirt or pants, for example with no side effects.

If you have a tan, you can do the test and take a note that this shade of color is great for you with a tan and when you no longer have a tan, retest it to confirm if it is a good shade of color for you. I am saying it because sometimes makeup and a tan can help a shade of color be your friend, but without them, not so much. And here we are trying to establish which shades of colors are the very best for you under any circumstances. Although, of course that if a shade of color looks good on you wearing makeup or a tan and you do intend to wear that shade of color with one or the other, than that color will be a good friend of yours then.

Got it?

Another way to know if a shade of color is your best friend: take a mental note to the compliments you get every time you wear a particular shade of color. That can help too.

If you still want to know… the 12 seasons are: True Spring, Light Spring, Bright Spring, True Summer, Light Summer, Soft Summer, True Autumn, Soft Autumn, Deep Autumn, True Winter, Deep Winter and Bright Winter. Some of those fell under the warm undertones, some under the cool undertones and some others under neutral undertones. The easiest way to know whether you are warm, cool or neutral just do the test with silver, yellow gold and see which one looks best on you. If it is gold, then warm you are. If it is silver, then cool you are. If you look good with both, then you are neutral.

If you are not so sure about the outcome of the shades of colors you can always invite a dear friend that can help you with that.

Getting Back In Shape After 47

Getting Back In Shape After 47
Me, on my way to my early morning walk.

Since I entered my 3.0s I noticed that loosing weight has become a difficult task. I mean, when I was in my teen years or 20s I could easily loose a few pounds/kilos over the weekend. As I grew older that became harder. It is true that because I am a vegetarian since I was 16 years old and eat mostly good, healthy food helped me through the years but still I do enjoy eating some not so healthy food very often now and then. But to be honest, I think my metabolism was and still is still pretty good, but as time went by, with all the hormonal changes (I am at menopause now) and a thyroid not on its optimal self loosing weight is not that easy at all. The good new is gaining weight is not that easy either. At least not for me. 

Anyways, last April I was leaving the church holding a service for a dear friend of mine who had passed away and boom, I fell on the ground hurting badly my left knee. The service was very moving and I was crying and distracted and did the stupid thing of walking-messaging someone and missed a step. (Note to self: Don’t ever walking-messaging! Ever!) Because of that I fell on an uneven cement damaging badly my knee’s skin. It was pretty ugly. Plus the knee was all bruised and painful. And it remained like that for months. I lost almost every layer but the one before exposing the bone. The skin healed very slowly. It took about two months to completely close the wound. And it left me an awful scar that is still being treated. I could not walk properly, I could not bend my leg for a long time. Meditation only happened laying down. Crossing my legs was an impossible task. No yoga. No Pilates. No exercise for 4 months. Plus I was scared to not have my knee back to its usual self.

The funny thing is that some months prior to it I was way too lazy to actually work out. I had no motivation to go to my Pilates classes or do some aerobic exercise. But as soon as I got injured I start to want to exercise. I missed it as I have never missed it before. Just because I could not, that is why I wanted. The good thing about it is that as soon as I felt ready to exercise I did start exercising. And so far I can tell you that now I am active every day of the week and I am enjoying it. For the very first time in my life. Not kidding. Exercising was always a burden for me. Now, not really.

But going back a few months ago… My journey back to shapeland restarted in New York City on August. I went to the city to spend 3 months as I usually do every year and since New York is a very demanding city in terms of walking and climbing lots of stairs I felt that I needed a little extra help to be back in shape. So I enrolled in a Pilates class near my apartment and started doing Kundalini yoga. You might think that Kundalini yoga is not that hard but rethink that. Specially because I decided to practice it almost everyday. And the Kriyas (the posture routines) are hard. Some more than others but still, hard. And they can put you back in shape, indeed. Trust me.

Pilates, Kundalini, app dating and walking through New York City did the trick for me: I was back in shape, feeling more energetic, noticing that my body was again flexible and stronger. Wahe Guru! However since one of the things I most enjoy doing in New York when I am there is eating, I was not able to loose the extra pounds/kilos I had gained previously. So I thought. Just when I went back to Rio (de Janeiro) on October that I started to see the scale back to my normal. 

But then again, it was not that easy. At all. I needed some extra help this time. I explain: back in Rio I was still doing Pilates, practicing Kundalini yoga, started to walk for at least 40 minutes every single morning and I watched my diet. And still I was not able to loose any weight. I was extremely disappointed and worried cause what the heck was happening here. But since for the past 3 or 4 years I have been doing once a year those aesthetic procedures to address localized fat (abs, hip sides and my back), I decided to get the extra help from those procedures and see if it worked. My favorite non invasive procedure is the iLipo laser. This laser works wonders for my localized fat. You use 4 patches that is placed in the exact area you want to loose fat for some minutes and that will help to melt the fat over a few sessions. This time it took a little longer for me to see the results. But thankfully I did. I combined that procedure with a reshaping massage that also helps to loose localized fat and radiofrequency skin tightening to make sure the weight loss would not compromise the skin appearance of the treated areas. Of course I feel bad for not being able to loose the weight on my own cause I did everything right. It is a bit frustrating. But at the other hand it was a good thing because to be honest I wanted to keep some gained fat in some areas in my body and when you do loose weight you cannot choose where you are gonna loose from. Getting a little help from iLipo I can have a bit of control on that by using the laser in the chosen areas, therefore I lost weight where I wanted to.

So far I have lost almost 3 kilos of localized fat and hope to loose another 2 so I go back to my regular weight. Let’s see how it goes.

And so far as well I am currently in one of my best shapes ever. I feel the energy is here, the enthusiasm to exercise that never had been present is here, I am feeling flexible and strong (there is room for improvement here and here)… My knee is functional, no pain, almost a 100% and I am so thankful for it. In resume, I feel that this part of my life is flowing and this is pretty good.

And how about you, ladies? What do you actually do to be back in shape or keep your shape? I am dying to know.