True Girl Skin Care


  • Teen Beauty: 20 Beauty Secrets Every Teen Girl Should Know

    Or, What I Wish I Knew 25 Years Ago When I Was a Teen

    teen-beauty-secrets.jpg - Getty Images
    Getty Images

    When I was a teenager growing up in the Texas countryside, I had to get all my beauty tips from reading magazines. More than 10 years ago, I started writing about beauty and I've literally read 1000s of magazines, dozens of books, interviewed dozens of professionals and tried out 100s of products. 

    What I would have paid to know as a teen what I know now. Even though I can't turn back the clock, I can share my very best beauty secrets with you. Here they are: the20 things I wish I knew when I was a teenager.

    New Thicker Stock. Fast S/H. Satisfaction Guarantee. Order Now!
    Here are 5 foods you should never eat if you want to lose belly fat.
    AVON Provides The Tools, Expertise & Support You Need. Get Started Now

    Watch the foundation

    In high school I wore a full face of Cover Girl liquid foundation every day despite the fact that I had pretty nice skin for a 16-year-old. I was a victim of "cake face," that matte look that screams to the world, "I wear loads of makeup." I had no idea then that heavy foundations are not meant to cover the entire face, they should be used judiciously -- to cover up only the uneven spots like the cheeks, around the nose and maybe the chin. Once the foundation is in place, you can then dot concealer on any ruddy or pimply spots the foundation doesn't cover.

    Here's a secret I wish I knew then: gorgeous skin is dewy and natural and heavy foundations leave look looking anything but. A better bet than foundation is tinted moisturizer, which didn't exist when I was a teenager.

    See How to Avoid "Cake Face"

    You pat concealer in, you never rub it in

    When I was younger, I used to slather concealer over my ruddy spots because tap, tap, tapping it in seemed like such a waste of time. The truth is tapping in it leaves your face looking much more flawless.

    Get Brand Name Makeup Samples Delivered Right To Your Door Free!
    See What This Beverly Hills Surgeon Recommends To Remove Dark Spots

    Here's how to properly do it: put a bit of concealer on the pad of a finger and pat it in. Never rub. Got acne? Gently tap the concealer over the blemishes and then set it with powder.

    Get more tips in How to Apply Concealer

    Play up your lips or your eyes, never both

    Ever notice how girls with heavy eye makeup and heavy lips can look overdone and a bit clownish? When it comes to making up your face, it's best to decide to play up either your eyes or your mouth, but never both. I'm not a huge fan of rules when it comes to beauty, but I pretty much always follow this one and I wish I knew this tip when I was a teen.

    If you wear a smokey eye, go for nude lips with just a bit of gloss. Prefer the drama of dark lipstick? Keep face light (stay away from heavy blush) and wear only mascara on your eyes and a light eyeshadow. Don't heavily line your eyes. Play up both and you'll look like a clown. And never, ever line lips in a darker color than your gloss or lipstick.

    See Play Up Your Eyes or Your Mouth, Never Both

    Less is more during the day

    Ever notice how some of your friends look their best with no makeup at all? No matter your age, there is such as thing as too much makeup. If you wear foundation, powder, blush, liner, mascara, eyeshadow, lip liner and gloss on an everyday basis, then you're probably overdoing it. Leave the heavier makeup to the evening and formal occasions and tone it down during the day: All you really need is a great mascara, concealer for blemishes and gloss. Add a pop of blush in winter.

    See How to Apply Makeup

    Oily hair? Dry shampoo to the rescue

    I have to wash my hair every day or it will look greasy. But the truth is, I hate washing my hair every day. I get by on the days in between using dry shampoo (or baby powder) that I apply at my crown and roots and brush through. It soaks up excess oils like nothing else. 

    Baby powder also works in a pinch. But it's best on blondes or girls with light brown hair. If you have dark hair, you might be better off with a dry shampoo crafted especially for your hair color.

    See my list of the Best Dry Shampoos.

    Bye-bye bad hair color

    Ever see those girls with naturally dark hair and super blonde highlights the width of spaghetti? It's as if someone painted little lines in their hair (which is actually what they did). Not attractive. The secret to great hair color is hair that looks like you didn't pay to have it done. That said, some of the best hair color is so obviously not natural (think platinum, like this) but is so cool that everyone will want it. Either leave people guessing or leave them dying to ask where you get your hair done.

    See Hair Color: The 6 Hottest Trends for inspiration

    So when to do it yourself and when to head to a salon?

    The general rule of thumb is to do your own hair if you are going only a shade or 2 lighter or darker. Anything more than that and you need a professional's help. Going from dark to blonde is actually a complicated process. You'll first have to strip hair of its natural color (this is called "bleaching"), then the stylist will color your hair blonde and possibly add a few highlights of darker and lighter strands to give hair definition. This is not something to try at home. But if you are dyeing a few strands blue or a couple shades darker, you can do it yourself.

    See How to Dye Your Hair: 15 tips for at-home hair coloring

    Vaseline is your best friend

    I actually knew this tip as a teen -- that's actually where I learned it. Vaseline is a great product to have on hand for 2 reasons: it's a great eye makeup remover in a pinch and used with a toothbrush, it's the best lip exfoliator ever.

    Here's how it works: Slather on a bunch of Vaseline, then use a toothbrush to massage lips. Wipe the excess off on a tissue. Your lips will be smooth and soft.

    More amazing scaly lip tricks in How to Get Rid of Scaly Lips

    You can never go wrong with layers

    Long layers are great for any hair type: Super curly, straight or wavy. It makes thin hair appear thicker, curly hair appear manageable and wavy hair appear just-got-back-from-the-beach sexy. Just make sure you don't get too many layers cut in. Short, spiky layers and hair that's short on top and long on bottom (mullets!) can be dated.

    Check out The Year's Hottest Hair Trends

    Acne? Get thee to a dermatologist, stat

    Biggest mistake people with bad acne make? Not going to a dermatologist. Forget those $150 jeans you covet. Getting rid of those pimples will be the best investment you'll ever make. And the only guaranteed way to do it is with a dermatologist.

    That said, there are some great treatments out there for acne that isn't too bad. Find out more in my article, Acne & Teens: How to Treat Pimples (& Cover Them Up)

    Spend money on key beauty products

    There's no need to spend a lot of money on cleansers, makeup removers, polish removers and anything that doesn't stay on your face for very long. Why spend $60 on a fancy cleanser that touches your face for 1 minute a day? You can also find affordable moisturizers that won't break the bank but will leave your skin feeling soft and supple.

    Not sure what to splurge on and what to save on? I give you the scoop in this article,Splurge or Save? Skincare, Makeup & Haircare Products. See if you should splurge or save on cleansers, mascara, concealer and more.

    Buying foundation or lipstick? Test it first

    There are some beauty products you simply must try out at a department store or Sephora before you buy. These include: Foundation, lipstick, blush and powder.

    Buy these products in a grocery store and you'll be lucky if you picked the right color for your skin tone. What you can get away with without testing: Mascara, eye liner, most basic eye shadows and lip gloss.

    Once you've bought it, how long until you should throw it out? Find out in What is the Shelf Life of Makeup?

    The One Beauty Product You Should Never, Ever Skip

    Had I known this trick when I was a teenager, I'd have fewer wrinkles as a 40-year-old. The first beauty product you should apply every day is sunscreen, even if it's cloudy or rainy outside. Why? Good habits start young and if you use sunscreen now, you'll have gorgeous skin when you're 50, 60, 70. Plus, the sun's UV rays can penetrate clouds and car windows.

    Not all sunscreens are created equal. Get the scoop on the best ones in My List of the Top 10 Sunscreens Once you've bought it, how long until you should throw it out? Find out in What is the Shelf Life of Makeup?

    The Secret to Sexy, Beachy Waves

    There's nothing cooler than long, layered waves. Wavy hair is gorgeous on all hair lengths, from chin length to shoulder-length to long. To get them, wind hair AROUND the barrel of a large curling iron. Reverse direction for each 2-inch section (wind up for one, down for another).

    Get the step-by-step instructions in How to Curl Hair: The Secret to Sexy, "Beachy" Waves

    Self-tanner will always stink

    Unfortunately, even the best ones smell. Your best bet is to apply self-tanner a good 24 hours before an important event and take a shower (don't loofah) to wash off any smell. For really big events like a dance or wedding, consider a professional spray tan. These are pricey and don't last long, so make sure to do it a day before the big event.

    Find out why self tanners smell

    Don't let nails go

    Not into manicures and pedicures? No worries. Just make sure to keep nails clean and the same length. If you do want to paint them, don't keep the polish on until half of it's chipped away. Also, there's nothing worse than too-long toenails. Keep nails clipped between pedicures! People tend to judge others by the care they put into their hands and feet.

    I share my best manicure secrets in How to Give Yourself a Manicure & the Secrets to Gorgeous Nails

    Don't line the inside of your eyes

    Of course you can line the inside of your eyes. There's no one stopping you. But keep in mind it will make your eyes appear smaller and who wants that? I love the look of a liquid liner on the top lid and a smudged pencil line on the bottom lid.

    More tips and tricks on applying eyeliner in How to Apply Eyeliner

    Shave legs at the end of the shower

    Cut down on nicks and cuts by making shaving the very last step in your shower or bathing ritual.

    See Top 10 Shaving Tips for more information.

    Play up your best feature

    What feature do people comment on most? Play it up. If you're told you have Angelina Jolie lips, make sure to wear gloss and play with bold lipstick colors. If it's your eye color people love, find eyeshadow colors that complement them and make sure to wear mascara. Also, know what color shirts look best on you and go shopping.

    Save money by making your own scrubs and face mask

    Why buy a $60 scrub or face mask when you can make one out of ingredients from your kitchen for pennies? All you need to slough off dead skin from your face and body is a homemade scrub made of 1 part oil and 2 parts sugar or salt. As for face masks, I have dozens of recipes for all skin types.

    See Recipes: 25 Amazing Face Masks & Scrubs.

    Remember: Beauty does come from within

    Think about a girl you know who could stand to lose a few pounds yet all the guys love her. Why? Because she's confident. If you aren't wearing makeup and your toes haven't been repainted in weeks, if you're happy and smiling you will still be 10 times prettier than the mopey cheerleader sitting next to you in class. Trust me (wink).

    View Post

  • Foods for Healthy Skin: You Are What You Eat

    What you put on your plate is even more important than what you put on your skin.

    WebMD Feature

    Want truly fabulous skin -- glowing, vibrant, and, yes, younger-looking skin? Make sure you're putting foods forhealthy skin on your plate.

    "Everything you eat becomes a part of not only your inner being, but the outer fabric of your body as well. The healthier the foods are that you consume, the better your skin will look," says Samantha Heller, MS, RD, a clinical nutritionist at NYU Medical Center in New York City.

    The reverse is true as well, Heller tells WebMD. The less attention we pay to what goes in our mouth, the more problems we may see cropping up with our skin.

    "You could have sallow skin, dry skin, older-looking skin. It's not going to happen overnight, but starve your skin long enough, and it's going to show," she says.

    What's more, some health experts believe that when your diet is missing certain foods for healthy skin, other, even more serious skin problems can result.

    Elaine Linker, PhD, biochemist and co-founder of DDF Skin Care, says a number of conditions, such as acne, can cause you to suddenly break out. And some chronic skin conditions, such as eczema, may be linked to diet.

    What Are Foods for Healthy Skin?

    Most experts say eating a balanced diet is the best way to get your share of good food for healthy skin. Still, a number of specific skin treats are more likely than others to give a boost of glowing good health to your complexion. Here's what experts told WebMD are the most important:

    Low-Fat Dairy Products. One the most important components of skin health is vitamin A. One of the best places to get it is low-fat dairy products. In fact, experts say that the health of our skin cells is dependent on dietary vitamin A.

    Nutrition expert Liz Lipski, PhD, CCN, says it's doubly important to eat A-rich dairy foods if you have either diabetes or a thyroid condition.

    "Many people who have these problems can't convert the beta carotene to vitamin A, which is the form found in many foods that we normally associate with this vitamin, such as carrots," says Lipski, the founder and Director of and the author of Digestive Wellness.

    The A in dairy products, she says is "true A," so everyone's skin can use it.

    Lipski says low-fat yogurt is not only high in vitamin A, but also acidophilus, the "live" bacteria that is good for intestinal health. Turns out, it may also have an impact on the skin.

    "Anything that helps keep digestion normal, any live bacteria or enzymes, is also going to be reflected in healthy-looking skin," says Lipski.

    Blackberries, blueberries, strawberries, and plums. The common link between these four foods is their high antioxidant content. In a study recently published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, these four fruits weighed in with the highest "total antioxidant capacity" of any food. The benefits of these foods for healthy skin are plentiful.


    Foods for Healthy Skin: You Are What You Eat

    What you put on your plate is even more important than what you put on your skin.

    What Are Foods for Healthy Skin? continued...

    "Free radicals -- like the kind formed from sun exposure -- damage the membrane of skin cells, potentially allowing damage to the DNA of that cell," says Heller. The antioxidants and other phytochemicals in these fruits can protect the cell, she says, so there is less chance for damage.

    "When you help protect the cells from damage and disintegration, you also guard against premature aging. In this respect, these fruits may very well help keep your skin younger looking longer," says Heller.

    According to the new study, other fruits and vegetables with a "high antioxidant capacity" include artichokes, beans (the study cited black, red, and pinto), prunes, and pecans.

    Salmon, Walnuts, Canola Oil, and Flax Seed. These seemingly unrelated foods all deliver essential fatty acids, and thus are key foods for healthy skin.

    "Essential fatty acids are responsible for healthy cell membranes, which is not only what act as barriers to harmful things but also as the passageway for nutrients to cross in and out and for waste products to get in and out of the cell," says Ann Yelmokas McDermott, PhD, a nutritionist at the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University in Boston.

    Because it is the cell membrane that also holds water in, the stronger that barrier is the better your cells can hold moisture. And that means plumper, younger looking skin.

    Also, says Heller, the same inflammatory process that can harm our arteries and cause heart disease can harm skin cells. Essential fatty acids can offer protection to both.

    The best-known essential fatty acids are omega 3 and omega 6, which must be in balance for good health (and good skin). Though we all seem to get enough omega 6, Heller says many people lack omega 3s. Fish, walnut, and flax seed oil are among the best sources.

    Healthy Oils. These contain more than essential fatty acids. Eating good-quality oils helps keep skin lubricated and keeps it looking and feeling healthier overall, Lipski tells WebMD.

    Which oils are the right oils for healthy skin? Lipski says those labeled cold pressed, expeller processed, or extra virgin are the ones to look for.

    "When an oil is commercially processed, the first thing they do is add solvents and raise them to really high temperatures, then put it though five or six processes. Important nutrients are lost," says Lipski.

    By comparison, she says when oils are prepared by the cold-press or expeller process, or, in the case of olive oil, are extra virgin, preparation involves only pressing, heating, and bottling.

    "You get all the nutrients that are not only good for your skin, but good for your body," says Lipski.

    Since any fat, even a healthy one, is high in calories, experts remind us that we don't need more than about two tablespoons a day.


    Foods for Healthy Skin: You Are What You Eat

    What you put on your plate is even more important than what you put on your skin.

    What Are Foods for Healthy Skin? continued...

    Whole-wheat bread, muffins, and cereals; turkey, tuna and brazil nuts. The mineral selenium connects all these foods for healthy skin. Experts say selenium plays a key role in the health of skin cells. Some studies show that even skin damaged by the sun may suffer fewer consequences if selenium levels are high.

    For instance, in two clinical trials, researchers at Edinburgh University showed that when levels of selenium were high, skin cells were less likely to suffer the kind of oxidative damage that can increase the risk of cancer. The results were published in 2003 in both the British Journal of Dermatology and the journal Clinical and Experimental Dermatology. And a group of French researchers found that oral doses of selenium, along with copper, vitamin E and vitamin A could prevent sunburn cell formation in human skin.

    What's more, Lipsky says that filling up on whole-grain products leaves less room for the "white" foods that are a worse choice for skin health. These include white-flour items (bread, cake and pasta), sugar, and white rice. All can affect insulin levels and cause inflammation that may ultimately be linked to skin break outs.

    Green Tea. This beverage deserves a category all its own in any article about foods for healthy skin. The skin-health properties in this beneficial drink just can't be beat.

    "It has anti-inflammatory properties, and it's protective to the cell membrane. It may even help prevent or reduce the risk of skin cancer," says Lipski.

    Indeed, a study published recently in the Archives of Dermatology shows that whether taken orally or applied to the skin, green tea can reduce the risk of damage from ultraviolet light (such as the burning rays of the sun), and thus reduce the risk of skin cancer.

    Heller adds that the polyphenols in green tea have anti-inflammatory properties that may also be beneficial to skin health overall.

    Water. While the exact amount you should drink each day varies, no one disputes the role good hydration plays in keeping skin looking healthy and even young. When that hydration comes from pure, clean water -- not liquids such as soda or even soup -- experts say skin cells rejoice.

    "It is my belief that our skin needs at least a half gallon of good clean water -- that's about eight glasses -- every day," says Lipski.

    While any good, clean water will keep your body and your skin hydrated, Lipski says hard water, the kind high in minerals, is especially good. Using water softeners to de-mineralize drinking water may reduce some of the potentially helpful effects.

    "A water softener may help your plumbing, but it's hard water that is better for your health," she says.

    In addition to keeping cells hydrated, water helps cells move nutrients in and toxins out, which Lipski says automatically leaves skin looking better.

    She adds that when we're properly hydrated, we also sweat more efficiently. Doing so helps keep skin clean and clear as well.

    View Post