I am always looking for alternatives to my favorite hgh boosting supplement, SeroVital. This powder by Optimum Nutrition is equivalent to half of the effective ingredients the BCAA or Branched Chain Amino Acids. It contains a mix of amino acids and 160 mg of caffeine from natural sources (see below).
You mix it with water and can consume it once daily or prior to workouts. It is formulated to give you more energy, improve focus and help you recover faster from workouts.
I used it for a couple of weeks and I liked the fact that it helped me workout longer without feeling as tired. As for building more muscle, I’m not sure if it made a difference. It can make your heart race a little if you are sensitive to caffeine. I had to STOP using it because something in it messed up my digestive system (I won’t give you the gory details). I was dairy free and I had to go back to eating probiotic yogurt to get back to normal.
So suffice to say, I won’t be consuming this anymore. I wouldn’t discourage others from trying it. It comes in 16 flavors and is priced at about $19 for 30 servings and $35 for a 65 serving container. You can find it online at Amazon (I may get a commission from this link), Allstar Health and many other health stores.
Finishing powders are an essential last step in any makeup application. A good powder sets makeup, blurs imperfections and gives your skin an airbrushed look. Over the years I developed a coterie of favorites, starting with the original Make Up For Ever HD Finishing Powder and ending with IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Pores Silk HD Anti-Aging Micro Powder.
I have a list of must haves when it comes to powder. It has to be light/ white (I don’t like beigey translucent powders), it has to be stable and loose. I don’t like finishing powders that come in a compact, they get gross. With a loose powder, you can shake it into the lid and just tap out the excess, keeping your powder pristine.
The first powder in the trio is Make Up For Ever’s Ultra HD Finishing Powder. It got a bad rap in the past for the white blurs in celebrity red carpet photos but they have fixed that problem. It’s super light and you don’t need a lot. I usually buy the travel version ($20) and it lasts a few months with daily use. The only thing I don’t like is that it is hard to get the last bit of powder out. I tried cutting the webbed cover but still couldn’t get it out. Find it at MUFE stores and Sephora.
Next up is the bargain, E.L.F. High Definition Powder. This powder is a little thicker than the others but at $6, it’s great when you don’t have $20 plus dollars to lay out for powder. It also comes in a skin toned version and a corrective yellow (banana powder).
Finally, my new favorite is Bye Bye Pores Silk HD Anti-Aging Micro Powder by IT Cosmetics. This powder by the anti-aging specialists at IT Cosmetics sets and blurs lines and imperfections. It does have a yellow cast to it but I didn’t really notice it. If you have aging skin, you will really notice a difference. Get it for $24 at ULTA or itcosmetics.com.
Beauty moves at lightning speed these days. All the amazing products on the market can leave you with a bulging makeup drawer and an empty wallet! But there is way to make all your beauty dreams come true on a budget – discount department stores.
Visit any TJ Maxx, Ross and Marshalls and you’ll find a vast beauty department filled with skincare, bath and body, makeup, haircare and more. On a recent trip I found high end skincare like Elizabeth Arden and Estee Lauder, mermaid makeup brushes, products from Philosophy and The Body Shop, hair dryers, even hair extensions!
You can get really great deals, especially on clearance. I got one of those makeup eraser cloths for $2 and a package of collagen eye strips for $2.99. The thing to remember when shopping is to check expiration dates and the list of ingredients. Products made in Europe are a safer bet (even better than the U.S.A.) because the E.U. has adopted laws that require ingredients to be tested before added to a product on the market.
Lastly, remember the cardinal rule in beauty products, never use a product on your skin you haven’t tried before for a special event! Allergies don’t care about your itinerary!
The next frontier of wrinkle reduction, the décolleté
One of the most forgotten areas of the body is the décolleté. Sun, wind, gravity and side sleeping all can lead to crepey, wrinkled skin on your chest and in between your breasts. But never you fear, there is a solution!
A new line of treatment products is taking on the delicate décolleté problem with the technology of silicone. Sio Beauty was developed by Gigi Howard, a young woman saddled with chest wrinkles from a young age. Howard tried all kinds of DIY and over-the-counter treatments to lessen the wrinkles with no success. Then one day she was talking with a friend about these scar bandages her doctor prescribed for post surgery scars. She borrowed one from her friend and saw results in one night.
After consulting with doctors and scientists and creating 60 prototypes, Howard finally came up with SiO SkinPad. Made from medical grade silicone, the pad has an almost reverse figure eight shape that fits between the breasts and over the chest. Each pad is reusable at lasts 15 uses. If you ever used one of those silicone blister bandages than you know how it works to lock in moisture and speed up cell turnover. The SiO system includes pre-treatment cleansing pads that help exfoliate and prepare the skin for the pad and post treatment serum.
SiO Beauty sent me a complimentary sample of the system so I could give it a test run. First I used the SiO Décolleté Cleansing Discs. Glycolic acid helps remove dead skin and prep the skin for the SiO SkinPad. After waiting 30 minutes for the skin to dry, I applied the SkinPad. Applying it was kind of awkward so I decided to lay down. It adhered pretty snug to my skin and initially felt a little weird. About an hour in I couldn’t even feel it. After I peeled it off in the morning, my skin was a little red and so I applied the post treatment serum. Although I don’t have a lot of wrinkles, I definitely noticed a difference. I wondering how well these would work for face? Are you listening SiO Beauty? The pads can also be used to prevent wrinkles from forming as well.
The SiO Skin Pads are $49.95 for a package of two or you can purchase them with the pre-treatment cleansing pads and post treatment serum for $138.45 at siobeauty.com. Follow them on Facebook/SiOBeauty for special offers.
Time for a haircut? Your new ‘do’ can help someone else get a fresh start too. Vienna based salon chain Hair Cuttery will be holding its annual charity cut-a-thon this week in support survivors of domestic violence. On Monday, May 1 and Tuesday May 2, Hair Cuttery will donate a free haircut for every one purchased at any one of the company’s 900 participating salons.
“It is critical to stand with survivors right now – in every way that we can. We are thrilled that Hair Cuttery continues to support survivors and be a voice against violence,” says Kim Gandy, NNEDV President and CEO. “Our partnership with Hair Cuttery is a uniquely empowering one. The gift of a haircut cannot be underestimated. It allows survivors to save money, which aids in their economic independence, and provides an often rare opportunity to relax and be pampered.”
All you have to do to participate is to head over to your area Maryland, DC and Virginia Hair Cuttery (find one here) this Monday or Tuesday and get a haircut. You may want to call ahead to see if appointments are available.
Hair Cuttery’s Share-A-Haircut program has been going strong for 18 years, donating to charities and causes including St. Baldrick’s Foundation, American Red Cross, American Cancer Society, and Girls on the Run.