Your Daily Beauty & Make-up Skin Resource for Younger, Healthier Skin

Beauty and Confidence is the definitive guide to beauty, make-up, wellness, and healthy looking skin. Our Editorial focus brings the reader tips and ideas on how to use beauty products to bring out your natural beauty while keeping your face feeling energized and looking young and healthy.

A Mom’s Guide to Looking Effortlessly Chic

Whether you’re a brand-new mama who equates showering with insta-chic or a veteran parent who can’t so much as pee alone, it’s hard not to look at put-together moms like Gwyneth Paltrow and Michelle Obama and wonder how they find the time to look so amazing. Answer: an entourage of stylists and makeup artists. But even if your entourage only consists of little ones, these quick tips will help you look paparazzi-ready in a flash.

Set up a beauty station by the front door.
Ever dash out of the house only to catch your reflection later and wince? To the rescue: Set up a mommy beauty station by the door. Simply hang a mirror and fill a basket (ideally out of reach to your kiddos) with your get-ready-quick essentials. A few suggestions: a hairbrush and dry shampoo to instantly upgrade your locks, concealer to mask any under-eye circles, blush or bronzer for a sweep of color, mascara to open up your eyes, and a box of facial tissues for quick beauty touchups.

Add stylish accents to your go-to outfits.
Guess what? You can maintain a uniform of cotton shirts and jeans as long as you accessorize smartly. A colorful, patterned scarf can add interest to a V-neck and boyfriend jeans (not to mention mask any spit-up or food stains). Skinny jeans and a plain top are instantly date-night-ready with a touch of costume jewelry and glam heels or fun flats. Invest in easy statement pieces, like a bright blazer, you can throw on before a parent-teacher conference that will instantly elevate your ensemble.

Streamline your makeup routine.  
Ah, if only you had the time to labor over creating the perfect cat eye. But you’d be surprised how far a minimal look -- with minimal products -- can go toward boosting your confidence. Opt for multitasking makeup, like a BB cream, an above-and-beyond tinted moisturizer that also contains SPF, antioxidants and other antiaging components. Instead of stressing out about perfectly applying lipstick, opt for a simple tinted lip gloss or stain. If you’re constantly on the go, an eyelash curler can do wonders to instantly give eyes a lift without the mess of mascara.

Borrow from Baby.
If your beauty budget has given way to a college fund, take note: There’s a treasure trove of goodies already in your nursery. Use your little one’s lotion for the eau de bébé that everyone absolutely loves. Your baby’s chemical-free shampoo will leave your hair super-soft without stripping it of essential oils. Can’t find time to shower? Even if you don’t use baby powder at the changing table, dabbing it on your scalp and the shiniest areas of your hair can hold you over in between washings.

Have a signature style.
One of Gwynnie’s biggest chic secrets? This mama has confidence. But if the baby drool on your shoulder has you feeling not-so self-assured, here’s a quick trick: Add something to your look that’s only yours. Tie a fun kerchief to your purse that you rotate every so often, and never leave the house without swiftly applying a bright lip color. Crumbs all over your clothes? Check. Signature statement necklace? Hey, you’ve got something going for

The Secrets to Smudge-Proof Makeup

All too often, I catch glimpses of women with unknowingly smeared lipstick and raccoon-like eye makeup on the street. Hey, it happens -- but it doesn’t have to! As a makeup artist for Good Morning America, it’s my job to make sure the anchors and reporters look perfect from the show’s start to finish. With those hot studio lights and high-pressure scenarios, it’s a challenge to make their makeup smudge- and budge-proof.

Over the years, I’ve learned a few tricks that really work. With these following tips, you’ll look flawless for hours.

1. Choose the right foundation.
Finding the right foundation that won’t look caked-on after a few hours is essential. The best product depends on your skin type. Experiment with drugstore concealers to find the right one. Sephora-brand concealers are also dependable. They come in a variety of shades for all skin tones and rarely require reapplication throughout the day. I like how they sink into the skin, leaving a nice, natural look.

2. Finish with translucent powder.
Television anchors are constantly under bright studio lights. My trick for keeping them shine-free: I use a translucent powder, which leaves skin with a matte finish. I recommend doing a touchup through the course of a day. Use a facial tissue to gently blot the skin and remove excess oil. Then reapply the translucent powder.

3. Go waterproof.
How often have you looked in the mirror to see smeared mascara or a black under-eye smudge? To prevent this from happening, use waterproof mascara. Some can leave your eyelashes looking brittle or clumpy, so test out a variety of brands.

4. Prime your lids and lips.
Creased, smudged eye shadow is one of the biggest beauty blunders I see. But one simple step can prevent this from happening: First, prime your lid with concealer. Without a primer, the makeup has nothing to hold onto -- and the natural oils in your skin will cause it to slide off and crease. So gently dab a little concealer onto your eyelid before applying any eye makeup.

You can also use this same trick for your lips. Using a finger, blend your concealer right onto your lips. If you find that this causes your lip color to look too light, try filling in your entire lip with a natural-colored lip liner. Then blot with a facial tissue before slicking on your lipstick.

 

The Truth About the Summer Cold Virus

Q. Are there different types of viruses in warm weather? 
For the most part, viruses are the same year-round. But there is one kind that's more common in the summer: the enterovirus, also called the stomach flu. This virus, which lasts a week or two, causes digestive issues and respiratory symptoms.

Because enteroviruses are spread the same way as colds -- through direct contact with another person or an infected surface -- remind your kids to wash their hands often and avoid sharing drinking glasses, eating utensils or water bottles.

Q. How should I treat a summer cold virus? 
Don't ask your pediatrician for antibiotics, since they're not useful for viruses. Instead, treat a fever with a pain reliever, like Tylenol. Cough medicine and decongestants can provide relief from cold symptoms. Check the packaging for age restrictions. And if your child is suffering from stomach issues caused by the enterovirus -- and is 6 or older -- you can give her an antacid.

Of course, make sure your child gets plenty of rest. You should also ensure she's drinking regularly, since the hot weather ups the risk for dehydration. Cooling baths, light clothing and air-conditioning can also help your little one stay comfortable while she recovers.

If one kid in your family is sick, how do you protect the rest of the brood? Do you let him or her play with brothers and sisters? Tell us in the comments below.

Create an At-home Spa: 4 Simple Herbal Recipes

You're in serious need of a pampering day at the spa, but you're short on time and money. The solution? Transform your own bathroom into a sanctuary. At the Lake Austin Spa Resort, I teach classes on how to turn common kitchen and garden ingredients into luxurious skin scrubs, bath salts and more.

The key is using herbs and flowers. Certain aromas have a powerful effect on the nervous system, leaving you feeling relaxed or energized. I recommend using the following ingredients for their scents:

  • Lavender: This soothing, antimicrobial herb has been shown to help you relax and get a good night's sleep. Wesleyan University conducted a 31-person study and found that when people sniffed lavender before bedtime, they got more slow-wave (or deep) sleep and reported feeling more energetic in the morning.
  • Eucalyptus: Developing research suggests this woodsy scent may help break up mucus and stop coughs, according to the National Institutes of Health. And a study published in the journal Respiratory Medicine shows that eucalyptol, the active ingredient, has anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Mint: Perfect for hot days, spearmint and peppermint are cooling and refreshing. And a recent study published in the International Journal of Sports Physical Therapy also found that applying menthol to the skin increases blood flow.
  • Ginger: When grated and added to a bath, the spicy root provides an invigorating sensory energy boost. It can be mixed with coconut oil for a mildly exfoliating scrub.
  • Rosemary: This herb has a refreshing, stimulating effect.
  • Rose Petals: Pluck them from your own garden to add a sweet fragrance to any bath or body treatment.

Once you've chosen your herbs, mix them up with one of the following recipes. With a few household ingredients, you can go from stressed and tired to relaxed and glowing:

Basic Bath Infusion

  • 4 cups fresh herbs (or 2 cups dried)
  • 4 cups water

Boil water in a large pot; add herbs. Stir, cover and remove from heat. Steep for 10 minutes, strain and pour into a hot bath.

Soothing Bath Bag

  • 1/4 cup powdered milk
  • 1/4 cup Epsom salt
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup dried herbs
  • 10 drops of essential oil

Stir together all ingredients and place in a muslin bag (or several layers of cheesecloth); secure with a rubber band. Add to hot bath and steep for several minutes. Open the bag and use the softened herbs as an exfoliating body scrub. You can also seal unused bags in a glass jar for several months.

Energizing Coffee Body Scrub

  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 4-inch sprig of fresh rosemary
  • 1/4 cup coffee beans, finely ground
  • 2 tablespoons bentonite clay (found in health food stores)
  • 3 tablespoons oil, such as olive, grapeseed, coconut or avocado
  • 3 drops each of rosemary oil and grapefruit or peppermint oil

Combine sugar and rosemary in a spice grinder and process until finely ground. Pour into a medium-sized bowl and mix with the remaining ingredients. Use the scrub on skin; shower off. Moisturize with additional body oil.

Skin-Softening Bath Blend

  • 1/4 cup rolled or instant oatmeal
  • 1/4 cup milk powder
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup herbs of choice
  • 10 to 15 drops of essential oil
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 teaspoons body oil

In a food processor, combine oatmeal, milk powder, sugar and herbs until coarsely ground. Pour in bowl and combine with essential oil, honey and body oil. Place in muslin bag and steep in a hot bath for a few minutes. Use cold tea bags (green tea or chamomile) over your eyes as you enjoy your bath.

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