Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Beauty Tips for your Hair

here are some beauty tips to add some swag to your hairstyling.

1. add some color with feathers:

these little extensions can give instant perk to any hairstyle. what is amazing about these extensions is that you can blow dry, curl, and straighten them. they behave as your hair would and look oh so cute peeking out of your locks.

2. add some clips:

even the tiniest of clips add color and style to your mane. go big or go little, just go for it. hair accessories are not just for those 10 and under.

3. add some texture:

thicken up those strands with a few spritzes of Bumble and Bumble's thickening spray. transform limp locks to textured and full bodied. adding volume to your hairstyle is like instant va-va-voom. pair it with some platform pumps and you're set.

4. add some curl (or not):

if you are straight go for curly or if you are curly go for straight. whatever it is, changing up your usual look makes you feel like a new woman. if you haven't, i would suggest investing in a quality curling iron or straightener. both are worth the investment and eliminates the hassle of waiting for your iron to heat up as well as curl. a nice iron does both in just seconds.

5. try a new style:
here's me capturing my "Fall Look" with my Shu Uemura Color Atelier

who cares if you haven't tried it before? have fun with your hair. twist it, rat it, curl it, braid it. trying something new will get you noticed. this simple top knot caught Tman's attention, and capturing a man's attention to your hairstyle doesn't happen often.

there is never a bad time to add some swag to your style. hope you found these beauty tips helpful and if you have any to add, please comment!


Tuesday, November 29, 2011

So Embarassing...

this last Friday i had one of those moments that is mortifying and funny at the same time. however, the wound is still a little fresh so i would rather not share the story until i can really laugh at myself about it.

instead, i thought i would share an embarrassing story worth laughing about now.

there is advice floating around that if you have sweaty feet, try adding a light dusting of cornstarch to your feet before going sockless in flats to keep your feet dry. well, a girlfriend of mine heard this advice and sweaty feet WAS a problem for her so she thought, why not give it a go?

turns out, she had a Dr. appointment that day and didn't give her cornstarched feet a second thought until they told her to undress. as soon as her little peds stepped out of those shoes she realized that the cornstarch had turned into a paste. not only that, but her feet were leaving cute little white footprints everywhere she stepped. panicked, she ran to the sink to soak a few paper towels with the intent to not only clean her foot, but her foot prints also. as she frantically scrubbed at her feet (to only worsen the cornstarch paste already created) there was a polite knock at the door and the doctor walked in. i am sure you can imagine the embarrassment. how do you explain cornstarch footprints and paste encrusted feet?

we have all had beauty nightmares like this where we give some beauty advice a try only to have it go horribly wrong. my story involves this:
and this:

but this blog is read by my family members and i will spare you the details. just know that when things go wrong, we have all been there before.

yours in beauty...


Monday, November 28, 2011

Hard Candy Holiday Makeup Tutorial (Beauty Blog Back Track}

here is another beauty blog back track i recently posted on kiki creates and thought i would repost for you here as well

Hard Candy cosmetics are perfect for holiday looks because they give you an inexpensive variety to add to your everyday makeup. changing your style, or vamping up your look, doesn't have to cost a fortune. just head to your nearest Walmart, pick out a few key items, and easy peasy a new you.

here's a makeup tutorial i made for this upcoming holiday season using the newest Limited Edition products (which can be as low as $1) as well as some of the fall line of product i reviewed here. i also have on my gorgeous $1 nail polish that i reviewed here.

that lip tattoo that i finished with i reviewed ages ago and still love it. hope you all had a great holiday weekend. we are on year round school here so my holiday continues until the New Year. yippee!


Saturday, November 26, 2011

Shu Uemura Color Atelier Review and Tutorial {Beauty Blog Back Track}

as a beauty blog backtrack, this is a repost of the review i did for kiki creates:

a while back Shu Uemura sent me some products to review and among them was their Color Atelier eyeshadow quad. you all know i love Shu Uemura products. their products are high quality, sleek, and designed for the makeup lover. the price range is a bit higher than your average product which makes them the perfect holiday gift. (just e-mail this post to your hubby if you're interested)

i would like to begin my review with the Quad Custom Case. Shu Uemura defines it as this:

"inspired by traditional Japanese craftwork, each element is created with careful precision.
the jet-black palette has a rich, lacquered finish. but the lid and base of both have slightly different tones. this color scheme is inspired by the harmony of the "wa", or traditional Japanese style art.
an eco-concept, seeking a design without glue, plastic frames or other elements that may end up in a landfill. shu uemura's refill palette is like a game, with one small movement you can change your eye shadow selection to match your every desire."

doesn't that just sound glamorous? when i received my custom case i was impressed by the quality of the craftsmanship. (that doesn't happen with me very often). the case opens easily to import and export the eyeshadow or blushes of your choice.

along with the case i received four shadows: dark brown 861,  medium brown 862, medium plum 761, and vivid orange 260.

i consider myself a makeup junkie. i like products in the $.99 range to the $99 range. i just want a product that works, no matter the cost. i will be the first one to tell you that there IS a difference between a $4 eyeshadow quad from the drugstore and a $50 eyeshadow quad from a designer brand. while both work, one works almost effortlessly.

Shu Uemura products are such a high caliber product that blending is made easy, application is smooth, fallout is virtually non existent, and has true color payoff with a finish that doesn't fade. inexpensive makeup is fun for experimenting, Shu Uemura Color Atelier is a must for you everyday makeup look.

i have loved owning this color quad, and it is a well used addition to my makeup regime. i would rate this product, (along with all Shu Uemura products) a Grail. they are a reliable, high quality brand that you just cannot go wrong with.

for a tutorial on how to apply a fun pop of color in your fall makeup, check out this video here:


Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving

we have so much to be grateful for this Thanksgiving:

our beautiful little Olive was born healthy & happy. our family survived a cross country move. kindergarten has been a place of growth for our Cdiddy. Sissy boo is mama's little helper and the best big sister (a blessing for both). Tman's job has helped to continue his pursuit of success in his career field. i am back to bloggin' and loving every second of it. we have incredible family and friends that have helped us through it all.

photo courtesy of the amazing Persona Studio -
 we wish you the happiest Thanksgiving.


ps. i finally fixed the glitches on my Facebook "Like" button, caved in, and created a page. i would be really thankful if you did me the solid of simply clicking that "Like" button on the right side bar --->

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Dress Giveaway & Discount

just a reminder about the gorgeous Shabby Apple dress giveaway. here are a few more glimpses of that gorgeous dress:

you can enter to win here

or maybe you are interested in a different dress? head over to Shabby Apple, look around, and if you find something enter blushing10off to receive 10% off your order. (warning: i have a tendency to lose complete track of time when viewing these beautiful dresses so BEWARE)


Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Hair Tutorial for the Holidays

short hair, medium hair, or long hair, we all have the same problem, coming up with new hairstyles. long hair is a little more versatile when it comes to styling, but you can still try out different looks with short and medium hair as well. here is a tutorial for styling your hair for the holidays:

short hair or medium hair? forget about the curling portion of the video and just follow the directions of volumizing the crown of your head, then add some cute embellishment like a head band or clip. you will be holiday ready in no time.


Monday, November 21, 2011

Win A Shabby Apple Dress!

Giveaway Expired

i told you it was going to be something big. REALLY BIG. we haven't hit 500 followers yet but i am pleased to say that i have a gorgeous Shabby Apple dress to offer one Blushing Basics reader.

say hello to the Boogie Woogie:

what a perfect dress for the Holiday Season! the Shabby Apple website describes it as this:

Some things are just better together: peanut butter and chocolate, Ella and Louis, love and dancing. We decided to pair two things we love—the soft, cotton jersey of our favorite t-shirt, and the gorgeous sateen of our Jazz Age collection—to create the Boogie Woogie, an indispensably comfortable-yet-elegant little black dress. A luxe jersey cap sleeve top is gathered at the waist with a wide satin sash, and a veritable bouquet of appliqu├ęd, ruched flowers and leaves adorns the full sateen skirt that swirls just below your knee. A truly inspired combination,the Boogie Woogie has star potential.

envision yourself in this dress. that star potential could be yours by doing TWO things:
  1. "Like" Shabby Apple on Facebook (<---just click there!)
  2. "Follow" Blushing Basics on Google Friend Connect. (just click the "Support me by joining" tab on the right side bar. enter your e-mail and voila! you are a follower. this just updates your Google Reader with my current posts. no spam. no stalking.)
once you have done those things, make sure to leave a comment below. winner will be chosen December 4th. extra entries can be earned by:
  1. sharing the link to this giveaway on facebook.
  2. referring a friend to this site. once they become a follower, you will receive an extra entry. be sure to let me know their GFC name.
good luck, and may the best woman (or man) win.


Holiday Makeup Tutorial

it's that time of year where party invitations are being sent, dinners are being attended and pictures are being taken. this week i plan on bringing you a few tutorials to help take some of the pressure off and give you an idea or two about how to prepare.

today's tutorial is a simple eye makeup tutorial. i am using the Hard Candy eyeliners that you saw here:

to teach you an eye makeup look that is easy to achieve. the final results look a little something like this:

it's not dramatic, it's not smoky, but it IS pretty, elegant, and easy to do. check out the tutorial below to find out how you too can create this Holiday Makeup look.


Sunday, November 20, 2011

Blushing Basics is now Dot Com

just a quick FYI, i have gone dot com. i am officially:

but if you're interested, all addresses will be forwarded to the new address.


Pumpkin Facial

wondering what to do with your extra pumpkin filling? try a facial. pumpkins are rich in vitamins and minerals which help to promote healing and moisture. this holiday season set aside 1/2 cup of your pumpkin pie filling for this moisturizing mask:

Pumpkin Facial

1/2 cup pureed pumpkin or pumpkin filling
1 tbsp. yogurt
1 tbsp. honey

mix ingredients well and apply mixture to face being careful to avoid eye area. let sit for ten minutes (and if you have any cucumber slices laying around, place them over eyelids). after 10 minutes, rinse completely and pat dry. any remaining facial mix can be stored in the refridgerator.

Tman's favorite dessert is anything pumpkin so i better keep this out of his reach...


Friday, November 18, 2011

China Glaze Introduces "Eye Candy" 3D Polish

this December China Glaze is introducing a new line of polish titled "Eye Candy" inspired by Marilyn Monroe who embodied the phrase: Diamonds Are A Girls Best Friend. these glitter polishes are gorgeous alone OR layered with your favorite polish. the 3D look is created by an innovative use of glitter technology and is knock your socks off gorgeous!

with polish names such as: Love Marilyn, Blonde Bombshell, Lorelei's Tiara, Material Girl, Some Like it Haute, and Marry a Millionaire, you are bound to feel the gorgeous allure of Marilyn when wearing these shades.

China Glaze is a polish that is worn by many celebrities, including Lady Gaga, Rhianna, Ivanka Trump, and now Blushing Basics :) add your name to that list by scoring some of these sweet new colors.

i was like a kid in a candy store when i opened to the box with all these lovely colors and could not wait to do a tutorial for you. here's a fun look for the holidays, or any day for that matter.

apply your blurple color to entire nail

next, add a strip of tape diagonally across nail. paint glitter polish over corner of nail and immediately remove tape before polish dries.

finished result should look something like this.

every time i look at that polish i smile. i cannot wait to try every color...but changing your polish color daily is just not practical so it will take a few weeks.

and for those of you who hate to remove glitter nail polish, simply soak your cotton ball/pad in polish remover, rest the pad on your nail for approximately 5-10 seconds, then wipe away. giving the remover a few minutes to absorb into the polish makes removal a cinch.


Thursday, November 17, 2011

Makeup Tip {Budgeting Basics}

i posted this almost exactly one year ago. the information is still useful (and updated a bit) so i thought you guys might be able to make the most of it:

the Holiday Season tends to put a crunch on your wallet. i have had a few readers e-mail me asking for tips and suggestions on how to beat this money crunch while still looking good. here are a few suggestions for the budget minded:

Swagbucks: by registering here you can download a Swagbucks toolbar with search engine. you earn points just for searching, and once you accrue enough points you can purchase items such as gift cards. i use this tool bar and have earned approximately $30 this year. i know that's not a ton of $, but it's nice to have a few extra $ to purchase my nail polish, lipsticks, etc. if you sign up now and enter promo code SBPAYSFORME you will receive an additional 80 points (add that to the 30 you receive for registering) starting you with 110 swagbucks. that instantly puts you a quarter of the way to your first reward.

ExpoTV: by registering here you can create an account to review household products. for each video you review you will receive points. you can accrue points to purchase gift cards and products. along with product reviews you will occasionally be selected to test products and review them. in the last year we have received a set of Aussie Shampoo, Conditioner, Hair Treatment and Hairspray. we also received a Norelco Electric Razor for my husband to review (valued at approx. $180). i just received new Tres Semme shampoo and conditioner that i will be reviewing soon, so for those of you who blog, this is a nice way to receive free product.

these are just a few ideas, if you have any that would be helpful please share.


Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Layer Clothes for Fall 2011

here's a quick video i made highlighting some of the fashions for fall. i originally had all this talking and explaining, but it was so long winded that i deleted it all and put pictures of me wearing the outfits instead. this is just to give you some ideas for outfits you may have in your own closet that you haven't tried before.

thanks for watching, and btw, wasn't that song beautiful?! my cousin is so talented.


Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Hard Candy Limited Edition Polish

this weekend i received all sorts of goodies in the mail, some of them being the Hard Candy Limited Edition holiday products:

tutorial for those sweet metallic eyeliners to come...
for those of you who remember the original Hard Candy line, their iconic product was the nail polish that came with a matching ring. they have brought back that lovely little beauty with fabulous shades for the holiday season. i could hardly wait to try mine out because my FAVORITE shade of nail polish is an orange/red. that is just what they sent:

so i whipped out my Seche Vite and quickly gave the polish a try:

there are several things i like about this product. first, you cannot go wrong with the price. for only $1 a bottle this makes the perfect stocking stuffer, the finishing touch to your present, or the necessary color for your holiday outfit when you don't want to spend $8-10 on the expensive bottles. second, it dries amazingly fast. by the time i finished applying the first coat my polish was completely dry to begin a second coat. (i hate waiting for polish to dry and it is just not practical when you have children.) third, pair anything with Seche Vite and it is bound to last for days. lastly, did i mention the color?! the photo does not do justice to the great bronze glitter highlights embedded in this color.

this product is a must try. for only $1 you can have this fabulous color on your nails in no time.


Monday, November 14, 2011

Giveaway Winner

congratulations to the YonKa Paris giveaway winner!

please message me with your address so that we can get your prize mailed out.

i have written a review today for kiki creates so head on over and check it out if you are interested in a fall makeup tutorial and Shu Uemura shadow review.

thanks to my wonderful contacts, i also received some new makeup in the mail this weekend. this means review + holiday makeup tutorial is on its way.

i'm still recovering from my weekend of birthday partying, karaokeing, crafting all daying, soccer game watching, night out with the hubby, church going fun. please excuse my lack of posting.


Friday, November 11, 2011

Hair Tutorial Video and a Thank You

i made this video almost exactly ONE year ago! i can't believe a year has gone by already. technically my blog has been On Air for about a year and a half, but i only consider myself to have full time blogged for one year (baby, move, job change = no blogging). i have loved blogging, i enjoy reading your comments, and i like the challenge of coming up with new and creative ideas to share.

if you are new to this blog, here's a little about me:
  1. i cry a little and laugh a lot. sometimes it's the other way around.
  2. i love having friends and consider myself lucky for the friends i have.
  3. makeup is not my life, but it makes my life brighter. i step into a makeup store and my heart skips a beat. my pulse races and my breath quickens. seriously. sounds a little crazy but i have been this way my whole life. advice in life is always, "find a job that you love". i found it.
  4. i love my family more than anything. i adore them. Tman is hands down, the best thing that has ever happened to me. the other night, he kissed me on the lips and said "i have the greatest thing to ever come out of the Tri-Cities" and he meant it.
if you are new to blogging (or are a blogging enthusiast) you know success can be measured in many ways. some of the successes of my blog are:
  1. my stats are always improving. the longer i blog, the better response i get from my readers, new and old. thank you!
  2. i receive positive feedback from the companies who provide me with products to review. i work with some awesome PR people and they have been so generous to continue providing Blushing Basics with products for review. thank you!
  3. my friends i have made. i love making new friends and i appreciate all of my family and friends who support my blogging habit, as well as refer me to their friends. thank you!
i hope you can see from my list that none of this would be possible without YOU. so a huge hug and kiss from me to you for helping me do this. i continue to set goals to meet, my next goal is for 500 followers. once i reach that benchmark i want to do a great big giveaway. bigger than anything we have yet to see. so leave me a response and tell me what you would like to see as a giveaway and i will do my best to make it an extra special thank you.

and that my friends, is a year in blogging.


ps. happy birthday to my brother Greg (a day early), to my SIL Stacy Ann, my sweet little buddy Amelia, and hopefully? baby Bowcutt.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Makeup Tips for Sleepless Nights

it's been one of those nights where if it is not one child waking up, it's another. you know what i am talking about. you make it to bed WAY later than you should in the first place and only minutes after your head hits the pillow you hear "WAAAAA". makes me cringe just thinking about it.

don't get me wrong, i love my little kiddos. but when i wake up after falling asleep i have a tendency to turn into Darth Maul:

my husband even claims that my voice changes. is he right? i have no idea because i am still about 80% asleep and i have a hard time remembering what i say or do. my tunnel vision tells me "take care of kid. go back to sleep."

so here are some tips to make you look more awake and not so sleep deprived:
  • to get rid of undereye puffiness, keep some small spoons in the fridge/freezer. when needed place then over your eyes for a few minutes to depuff.
  • to get wider awake eyes, concentrate your mascara above the pupils and on the outer corners of the eyes.
  • add color to your washed out skin, apply some pink blush to the apples of your cheeks.
  • get rid of undereye circles by using some concealer to cover up the dark skin. be careful to not use a color that is too light, otherwise it will be obvious.
  • eye drops. not to be overused, but sometimes desperate times call for desperate measures.
hope that helps take you from Darth Maul, to happy:


Monday, November 7, 2011

what NOT to wear

so the hubs and i were shopping this weekend (for christmas of course!) and we made a quick trip into Nordstrom Rack to check out the goods. i instantly fell in love with a gorgeous fur jacket (faux). after trying it on we stood in the aisle debating whether i was too old/young to be wearing fur? is this trying too hard? should a mom to three (young) kids wear a fur coat (you know, sticky fingers, spit up, etc.)?

we debated, and i talked myself out of it. we left the Rack and headed over to the actual Nordstrom for some lunch and more holiday shopping. we enter the building and what do I see on the mannequin immediately as we enter?!


Nordstrom Glam

now, i am not saying i'm a Nordstrom stylist, but that is EXACTLY the outfit i had in mind when i pictured myself in that gorgeous jacket that i talked myself out of. as women, we are our own worst enemies and our insecurities often get the best of us.

so here are a few tips on what NOT to wear:
  • don't wear something you don't love. if you love it, who cares if it is (or isn't) in style, trendy, the hot ticket?
  • being a mom doesn't mean you can't have style, just be smart about it.
  • dress modestly (shout out to my nieces who are reading this!). don't wear clothes that are too revealing, too tight, or too short. you can still be glam without too much skin.
  • don't sweat the small stuff. and by that i mean who cares if you're 30 and wearing a fur coat? c'est la vie.
and Tman, if you're reading this, that would make a great Christmas prez.


Sunday, November 6, 2011

Hard Candy Cosmetics {Grail or Fail}

congratulations to the winner of the Napoleon Perdis Makeup Pallette and Seche Vite Top Coat!

here is a re-post of the Hard Candy cosmetics review i recently did for kiki creates:

let me just say that i heart Hard Candy cosmetics! let me count the ways:

1. they don't test on animals

2. their color range is spot on for the season trends

3. their price point is amahzing. seriously.

so this fall when they introduced their new fall line i was more than happy to test out some of the new products. first up, and my favorite of the group, Stroke of Gorgeous:

this felt tip liquid liner glides on smooth. i wear liquid eyeliner it is a must in my makeup regime and i am constantly replenishing my supply. i have tried liners ranging in price from $25-5 and let me tell you, this one is a SUPER competitor. the pointed tip allows for accurate application, the formula doesn't smudge or smear, and the price point ($5!!) is unbeatable. not only that, the product is infused with a Lash Growth Serum promoting fuller lashes. definitely on my GRAIL list, i would highly recommend it.

next up is Lashaholic:

absolutely lurved the packaging! in fact, i couldn't bring myself to throw it away. the product itself, well, meh. i like that the formula is water-resistant so that it won't flake or smudge. the volume building powder however is a little clumpy and application isn't great. for it's price point ($7) it's a worthy product. however, i have mascaras in my lineup for the same price that produce results i love. not a grail, but not a fail either.

this next product, EYE DEF brings out the Snooki in me:

this product's performance knocked me out of the water. it does not smear, smudge, or crease. you apply this once and it stays put! the colors are all metallics, so if you are going for a natural look, try a different shadow. this shimmery liquid shadow is seriously shimmery. unlike powders, which can diffuse, this product provides an almost metallic look. GREAT for smokey eyes, night outs, and fist pumping :) the price point is reasonable ($6) and the finish is true to color. on the GRAIL list for sure.

last product of the group, Stay In Line:

this is a mechnical pencil liner that even the most inexperienced can master. this pencil glides on smooth and allows for accurate application. the shades available range from subtle to showy and the formula is infused again with the Lash Grow Serum. the price point is only $5 and i heart the sponge tip for smudging. seriously, if you are a beginner, this is the place to start. add it to the GRAIL.

Hard Candy products are exclusively sold at WalMart and can be found in the cosmetic aisle. i have reviewed their products before (Lip Tattoo) and they produce one of my favorite products of all time, their shadow stick (why i haven't done a grail or fail on this yet? i don't know).


Friday, November 4, 2011

Verve 360 hair salons in Pittsburgh Skincare Giveaway

our skin care boot camp is coming to a close and what better way to end it than with a giveaway? a big thanks to Verve 360 hair salons in Pittsburgh for providing us with the prize. i was so excited when they e-mailed me with this offer because i have been talking about my aesthetician days all week and this product is one of the lines we carried! it is considered the "Haute Couture" of skincare, the creme de la creme, and i absolutely go bananas for these products.

i present to you, YonKa Paris Creme 93:

with an MSRP of $50 this is one deluxe face cream. YonKa Creme 93 Protective and Balancing Cream hydrates and rebalances the T-Zone and combination skin from environmental aggressors. aromatic essences, humectants and emollients work synergistically to rebalance the skin's essential protective film. stimulates the skin's ability to repair itself. the epidermis is balanced to feel smooth and velvety. t-zone complexion is instantly revitalized and enlivened with no sign of dehydration. self adjusts moisture level associated with combination skin through a scientific aromatherapeutic cocktail of normalizing phyto sources. skin is thriving with vibrancy and clarity.

(am i allowed to enter my own contest?!) to enter:

  1. leave a comment telling us why you would like this product.
  2. for another entry, become a follower (it's so easy, click on the Google Join this Site button on the sidebar, enter your e-mail and you're done. it simply updates your Google reader. no spam emails from me, no stalking, i promise.)
  3. tweet, share on facebook, email your friends. just leave me a comment with the link showing you did.
and before you go, i am guest posting over at kiki creates today. i put together another video for how to layer clothes for fall. this one is less talking and more showing. check it out if you have a minute.

i am also guest posting for At Home With K. i put together a fall makeup tutorial using my beloved Shu Uemura shadows (shadow review to come).



Wednesday, November 2, 2011

DIY Facial Exfoliation

one of the best ways to ward off blackheads and prevent pimples is to exfoliate your skin regularly. this helps remove that top layer of dead skin cells and makeup that could clog your pores. buying exfoliating products can be expensive and having facials done professionally can be even more expensive! here is a video showing how to do this yourself with Baking Soda (the magical box, it can do anything). even i was surprised at how well it exfoliated my skin and left it feeling smooth. having had the expensive treatments done, i was very impressed with the results.


Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Got Zits?

the bane of my skin's existence. zits, pimples, acne, blackheads, whiteheads, pus-geysers, blemish, cysts, are all words to describe that painful little molehill that seems the size of a mountain under our skin.

as a teenager i had intermittent acne issues. those little suckers would set up camp on my face and i would walk around for days, humiliated. in my early twenties my skin was beautiful and crystal clear. enter the childbearing years, and my hormones were literally like a roller coaster. breakouts were continually banished only to rear their tiny little heads and show themselves again.

post baby hormone coaster and acne free

zits are caused by the sebaceous glands in your skin producing more sebum or oil than is necessary. when this happens your precious little pores can get blocked. bacteria can get in and cause an infection, otherwise known as a zit.

if you have an extreme case of acne, you are best off seeing a dermatologist. if you are one of the bajillions of people who have breakout, but don't need a professional to treat it, here are some suggestions:

  • drink lots of water and avoid juice and soda. water is a natural detoxifier for your body and will help to flush out impurities the could cause blocked pores
  • skip the tan. i know a common urban myth is that a tan helps to dry out your skin and vanish breakout. i'm sorry to say that is incorrect. tanning only helps to thicken your skin, leaving your leather face with more wrinkles, and more pore blocking opportunity.
  • relax. easier said than done right? stress levels only cause our body to react in ways we may not want.
  • begin a regular skin care regimen. cleansing our skin twice a day (with appropriate products) helps remove makeup, sebum, dead skin cells, and other debris that causes acne. however, using products that are too harsh will only cause your skin to react in a negative way, possibly leading to more breakout.
  • avoid touching your face and keep hair from doing the same. touching your face will only help spread acne causing bacteria. the product in our hair (hairspray, conditioners, gels) will also leave residue on our face which could cause breakout.
  • eat a healthy diet. yes it matters. a healthy diet of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains give your body the antioxidants it needs to boost your immune system.
  • exercise regularly. this helps your body stress levels to remain balanced.

following these steps combined with a good daily skin care regimen will help to keep your skin clean and clear. a good daily skin care regimen would include:

  • cleansing with a dermatologist approved cleanser. the top three drugstore brands would be: Cetaphil, Cerave, and Neutrogena. your cleanser should remove dirt, oil, make up and dead skin cells without causing irritation or drying out the skin.
  • moisturize with a non-comedogenic (non pore clogging) hypoallergenic (non irritating) moisturizer. if you are actively fighting acne, make sure this includes salicylic acid.
  • wear sun screen. again, make sure it is non-comedogenic and hypoallergenic.
salylic acid, the super-acne fighter:

looking at the labels of many acne medications, you'll notice that the active ingredient is often salicylic acid. salicyic acid works by causing the cells of the skin to shed more readily, helping to clear clogged pores and neutralizing bacteria within, as well as preventing pores from clogging up again.

acne occurs in part when there is a buildup of dead skin cells in the pores. salicylic acid helps normalize the shedding of the skin cells inside the pores and helps prevent the clogging that, along with oil and bacteria, can produce pimples.

and that is everything you need to know about zits, and then some.