Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Free Striking Question of the Week - 12/18

Winner drawn 12/28 - Congrats to Joy R.!

Weather and holiday gatherings tend to drive us to our kitchens to bake something special...

Free Striking Question of the Week - 12/18 - What are you baking this week?

Prize - Striking Holiday Duo ($77 value) includes moisture creme and eye creme.

Post answers here on our Facebook fan page, here on the Striking Blog or email to strikingskin@gmail.com by 9am PT on Friday 12/25. Winners will be randomly selected and emailed on or before 12/28.

(Whoops - we posted this to Facebook and did not post it here on the blog. Same question for this week as posted on Facebook just now posted here too!)

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Monday, December 21, 2009

Oh no, not my neck...

I’m in my mid-forties, but ten years ago, a supervisor of mine told me I had the neck of a fifty-year old. I went home and studied my neck in the mirror for hours and much to my dismay, she was right. I forgot about my neck.

I, like so many other women, spent so much time concentrating on my face and hair that I forgot about the important part of my body on which my head rests. Oops! From the day that my saggy, wrinkly neck was pointed out to me, I made it my personal mission to tell everyone, “skin care shouldn’t stop at your chin.” My goal is to rid the world of sagging necks and wrinkly cleavage. You think I’m kidding, but I’m not. I’m the self-proclaimed head cheerleader of neck and cleavage rejuvenation.

If you’ve found yourself in the same boat as so many other women, read on and learn about what you can do to get your neck and chest to match your perfectly maintained visage et coffuire:

1. Lower your sights. Take a good look at your neck and décolleté. Do you see lots of fine lines and loss of firmness? Do you see sun damage on your décolleté? Have you spent your precious time and money making sure your face and your hair look great? Hate to tell you, but your neck and décolleté might be giving away your age. Time for some TLC!

2. Start repairing. The easiest thing to do it is to extend your skin care regime below your chin to include your neck and your décolleté. That means include those areas in all facets of your skin care regime especially the application of anti-aging serums and treatments with high performance ingredients as well as application of an SPF product. When you have a professional facial performed by a licensed esthetician, she will always include your neck and décolleté during the treatment. Why don’t we do this at home?

3. Major remodel. If good skin care isn’t enough and you need a little more help, there are several treatment options available from a full neck lift, to procedures like a thread lift, thermage, and laser for the neck and injections of fillers for wrinkly cleavage. Procedures in both of these areas can produce dramatic results and those results can be long term if you are complaint with your post-procedure instructions and if you continue with proper skin care maintenance (see #2).

4. One last thought. If you, like 300,000+ other women in 2007, had breast augmentation surgery, you’ll want to make the most of your investment by keeping your décolleté smooth and wrinkle free. They can lose their allure when they’re mired in wrinkles.

The thing to keep in mind is that it’s never too late. Over the last ten years, I’ve managed to salvage my neck and while it isn’t perfect, it certainly isn’t 15 years older than my face anymore and I’m definitely not a candidate for surgical intervention at this point.

What about you? Did you forget about your neck? Do you care? Why or why not?

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Thursday, December 17, 2009

My Winter Facelift

If you watched my routine at home, you’d never know that I work in the skincare industry. I use three products religiously (cleanser, serum, moisturizer) and a fourth, eye creme, only when I think about it. I love my Clarisonic, but I forget to use it most of the time. Most nights I’m too exhausted to wash my face before I hit the sack and wake up with eyeliner and mascara smeared all over my face. I’m lazy. I know.

My skin really started to change this year (I’m 44) and in an attempt to continue to chase the fountain of youth and with a sincere of goal of having great skin to start 2010, I decided that I’m going to get a winter face lift.

Not that kind of face lift! I’m talking about the do-it-yourself, no knife option. Want better skin by the Valentines Day? Follow along:

1. Commit to a skin care routine. Of course, I prefer Striking Skin Care products, but whatever you use, make sure you have the basics: cleanser, serum, moisturizer and eye creme. Use them twice a day religiously.

2. Add a retinol, vitamin C or AHA product to your routine at night. Each of these products will help to resurface and rejuvenate the skin which aids in the absorption of the active ingredients in your serum and moisturizer. Once you’ve added one of these types of products into your routine, it’s imperative that you add a SPF during the day as well (it can be in your foundation or in your moisturizer) as retinols, vitamin C and AHAs can make your skin photosensitive.

3. If it’s in your budget, try a Clarisonic brush. I am a HUGE Clarisonic fan. Their brushes range from $225 for the Clarisonic PLUS to $149 for the Clarisonic Mia, and it’s worth every penny. The brush gets your skin 6xs cleaner than with manual cleansing which helps the performance ingredients in your skin care products to penetrate more efficiently. When I use mine, I see a difference immediately. Mine is sitting in the charger, ready to be used tonight!

4. Get a deep cleansing facial. In a perfect world, I’d have the time and money to get a facial once a month. For my winter face lift, I’m committing to one facial a month for the next three months. It’s time to do a clean sweep of my skin.

5. Drink water and lots of it. I’m in a constant state of dehydration and it shows up on my skin with tiny little fine lines and a sallow complexion. It doesn’t help that I live in the land of Starbucks and have a serious caffeine addiction. Time to double up on water (and trips to the bathroom). Not only does staying hydrated make your skin look better, it also helps with brain function!

6. Get a brow wax. I know this doesn’t really have to do with skin care as we traditionally think of it, but it does work wonders for the no-knife face lift. I’m religious about getting my brows waxed and I’m amazed at the number of friends that I have that have never had it done. If you want an instant “lift” to get yourself inspired for your winter face lift, find a great esthetician and schedule a brow wax NOW!! You’ll love the results!

All that being said, the next thing I’m doing is calling my esthetician to schedule a brow wax and get this regime jump started. The goal is fantastic skin by Valentines Day and glorious skin by March.

Are you in?

Posted by Brigette, contributor

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Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Around the Water Cooler: What book are you reading?

I asked around the office and here is what our group listed as what they are reading this week (or month!)...

The Help by Kathryn Stockett
Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
Devil's Brood by Sharon Kay Penman - Historical Fiction Eleanor of Aquitane
Farm Sanctuary: Changing Hearts and Minds About Animals and Food by Gene Baure
Wishin' and Hopin' A Christmas Story by Wally Lambs
Julie and Julia by Julie Powell
Time of My Life by Allison Winn Scotch

Tell us about what book you are reading and post your answer to this week's Free Striking Question 12/11 and be entered to win a Striking Holiday Duo (value $77.00).

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Why am I so dry? Oh yeah, I forgot. I’m over 40.

When I hit 40, everything changed. My eyesight went south, my occasional gray hairs became an entire crop and my skin dried up. I could hear my mom and my aunt snickering “I told you so” in my head as I complained about how my body was betraying me.

I skipped the box of hair color (I’m just too lazy to keep up with it, so why start?), got a new prescription for my contact lenses and then contemplated what the heck I was going to do about my skin care. I’ve been in the skin care industry for a long time and have tried hundreds of moisturizers, but I knew that I needed something different this time. Gone are the days of my carefree 20s and my simple 30s. I need something serious in my 40s, especially with perimenopause right around the corner. I’ve got to undo some damage and prepare for the slow down in collagen production.

Striking Restorative Moisture Creme is just what the doctor ordered. It feels extremely rich at first, but within 5 minutes, my skin soaks it up and feels renewed. Because I’m an ingredient junkie, let’s talk about some of the performance ingredients that make this moisturizer worthwhile:

It’s full of shea butter which my skin drinks up. Shea butter is the natural fat from the karite nut which grows in Africa. It’s an excellent emollient ingredient that also smoothes the surface of the skin.

It contains sodium hyaluronate which is a super-humectant that can attract 1000 times its own weight in moisture to the skin.

Green tea is added to soothe the skin (inflammation contributes to the aging process)and provides antioxidant protection. Couple green tea with antioxidant vitamins C and E and you have got a powerful defense against free radicals.

The most powerful ingredient however is SmartPeptide Palmitoyl Hexapeptide-14, a patented ingredient that has been shown to increase collagen production, reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and even skin tone. In a clinical study 97% of subjects said they had firmer skin in 14 days and 93% said that the overall appearance of their skin had improved in 14 days. This two week time mark seems significant to me because when we get feedback about Striking products, invariably the customer always mentions that she saw a different in that time frame.

Are you ready for something more serious? Are you ready to transform your skin?

Posted by Brigette, contributor

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Monday, December 14, 2009

Another Best Things in Beauty Product Review

Adrienne Whyte of Best Things in Beauty has been using our Striking Multi-Peptide Serum and wrote a fabulous review on it. Read her post here.

Subscribe to her feed and read the latest about all the "best things in beauty".


Friday, December 11, 2009

Free Striking Question of the Week - 12/11

Winner drawn 12/18 - Congrats JoJami!

Question: What book are you currently reading?

Prize: Striking Holiday Duo Set (NEW for the holidays)

Set includes -
•Striking Rejuvenating Eye Creme, 0.5 oz jar
•Striking Restorative Moisture Creme, 1 oz jar
Product Value: $77.00

Winner will be drawn on Friday, December 11th.

Post your answers here, on our Facebook page or email us at strikingskin@gmail.com. All answers must be posted by 9am Pacific time on Friday, December 18, 2009 in order to qualify. Winners will be randomly selected and then emailed for contact information. Please do not post your address or other contact information to this blog other than your email address.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

HDTVs and Seeing Real Beauty

I thought that last year was the "big year" for flat screen televisions for the holidays but as I look at the ads, discounts are available this year as well. Last year we did end up splurging and buying a large HDTV. I had heard that the picture can be life-like, almost as if the people were standing in front of me. What I did not realize is how "real" people appeared and they lost their flawless image. When watching on my former box TV, anchor men and women would appear ageless with smooth, perfect skin. Now when watching our television, people have uneven skin tones and wrinkles around their eyes and mouth. Their hair has fly aways like mine and their teeth are not as straight or white as I remembered.

I was taken back initially by this as it was such a change, almost as if they had aged overnight. But now I appreciate it because we live in a world of perfection as the targeted goal and air brushing is the norm in magazines, online photos and other forms of media. It does seem more "real" seeing them clearly on HDTV and I think this is exactly what people need to see; that not everybody is flawless but beautiful just being themselves.

We came across this post on Entrepreneurial Menopause Freedom and wanted to share it with you. The author writes about how she felt after being interviewed and then broad casted in HDTV without a make-up artist available to her. It is honest and does drive the question: Why are we so hard on ourselves when it comes to aging and physical changes?

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Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Glam Girls and Accessorizing

We really enjoy the Glam Girls from Fabulous After 40 because they "get it". They understand how to answer the questions that so many of us have. They can look at outfit that we might wear and turn it up a notch.

In the past I have personally viewed accessories as something extra that I can do without, when in fact it is the accessories that make the outfit. It is better to have a few great outfits than a wardrobe of incomplete outfits. There is definitely a difference in how I feel when I wear an outfit that is complete. I have more confidence, I walk a little taller and overall my day feels better.

Here is a short video from JoJami Tyler and Deborah Bland and how to accessorize something everyday and make it more memorable. You might get an idea or two that you could use to spruce up an existing outfit you already have.


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Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Around the Water Cooler: What is your signature fragrance?

When it comes to perfume, it is all about personal preference. I asked around the office and here is what our group listed as their favorites...

Poême by Lancome
Destinations by Ann Taylor
Tuscany by Estee Lauder/Aramis
L’interdit by Givenchy
J'adore by Christian Dior
Fleur de Vanille
Euphoria by Calvin Klein
Chanel No 19

Tell us about your favorite perfume and post your answer to this week's Free Striking Question and be entered to win a Striking Holiday Duo (value $77.00).

Monday, December 7, 2009

Floral, Woody, Fresh... What does this mean when referring to perfume?

I recently stopped at the fragrance counter to smell the latest perfume from Faith Hill that I encountered while perusing through the November Redbook. During my visit, I was asked "What type of perfume I usually wear? Was it something floral, woody, fresh?" I was not sure so I said "fruity?" and told them the name of the perfume. I was wrong and realized that I needed to read up on perfume lingo so I could describe what I was looking for.

When I was looking for my signature fragrance (see recent post) on RealBeauty.com I also stumbled across the lingo I was looking for in a fragrance overview. I began reading and learned why I was incorrect in my perfume language that I had been using.

Fragrances can be described in 3 different terms: family, tone and notes.

A family is the main descriptor of a fragrance. There are 14 different families that are are used and can range from floral, oriental, fresh and woody. They are then divided into smaller or sub-categories that are in between each family. Example would be florals become soft florals when vanilla is added or if something spicy is added it will be described as a floral oriental.

Next is the tone. The tone refers to the strength or intensity of the fragrance. I was surprised to hear that a fragrance can only have one tone and I was in fact using it incorrectly.

Last is the note of a fragrance. A note can be what you are smelling or separating out from the scent. For instance, it you smell cinnamon, apple or vanilla you are smelling a note in the fragrance.

Think about your signature fragrance, can you describe the family, tone and notes? I will need to get back to you on that one for me...

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The Key to Finding Your Signature Scent

This week the Free Striking Question (12/4) is on the topic of fragrance. Most people have a scent that they feel is their "signature" scent; the one that smells best on them or the one that they prefer most. Others have fragrance that is specific to what they are doing whether it is during the day at work, in the evening or for a special event or date.

Fragrances can take on a life of their own when applied in different amounts to skin and they smell different on each person. A scent can smell amazing on one person and not the same on another.

If asked, I believe that most women would have at least one fragrance come to mind that they love. A fragrance is something personal for each person, it can bring back a memory or create a feeling of confidence within one's self.

If you are unsure and looking for your signature fragrance, we came across an online tool:Fragrance Finder at RealBeauty.com that can help you.

Fragrance can also be a great gift for someone special. But, it is not something that should be chosen based on the person who sniffs it at the counter, it should also be chosen by the person who will wear it. If you are planning on buying perfume or cologne for some one this holiday season, find out in conversation what their signature fragrance is or at least what type they light (notes of fruit, floral, musk, oak). By taking the time to find out, it will make the gift something that they will use and enjoy and not sit on the counter untouched.

What were your results?

I took the quiz to see if I found out something about new about myself and I did. Here were my results:

Fragrance Finder Quiz Results

Congratulations! Here are your results:
You might like Woody Fragrances

You seem like the calm, nurturing type who makes others feel at ease. You have a self-confidence that's extremely attractive. Your boho-chic aesthetic is more glam than granola, and you always look great in an effortless way. This indicates that you might like a scent that's sexy yet earthy and unconventional. Classic woody fragrances are dominated by notes of cedar, patchouli, pine, sandalwood, and vetiver. Some newer versions are blended with exotic oriental notes, fresh citrus and lush green leaves, or feminine flowers.

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Friday, December 4, 2009

Free Striking Question of the Week - 12/4

Winner drawn 12/11. Congratulations Valerie!

A fragrance is all about personal preference...

Question: What is your signature fragrance?

Prize: Striking Holiday Duo Set (NEW for the holidays)

Set includes -
•Striking Rejuvenating Eye Creme, 0.5 oz jar
•Striking Restorative Moisture Creme, 1 oz jar
Product Value: $77.00

Winner will be drawn on Friday, December 11th.

Post your answers here, on our Facebook page or email us at strikingskin@gmail.com. All answers must be posted by 9am Pacific time on Friday, December 11, 2009 in order to qualify. Winners will be randomly selected and then emailed for contact information. Please do not post your address or other contact information to this blog other than your email address.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

My Shopping Connection

MyShoppingConnection.com is a one stop shopping galleria of ideas for the person who loves interesting products and is looking for that one of a kind item when shopping. It lists reputable online and local stores by area.

There are several features on the site such as the Shopping By Mail and My Area Shopper pages. The Galleria lets people quickly scroll through products that are reviewed by the editors to see if something peaks their curiosity. Products are only selected as Editor’s Pick if the editor(s) have used the product and felt it would be of value or interest to their readers. Striking Skin Care was selected as an Editor’s Pick and a product review was written on our line of products.

My Shopping Connection is a fun shopping site where there is something for everyone to find there. Are you having trouble finding that perfect gift for something, My Shopping Connection could provide the idea you were looking for.

My Shopping Connection

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

December's Known Bargains

Look for and stock up on these items that might be a better deal this month.

December is the month for these bargains:
• Gift Wrap
• Bakeware (usually after the holiday, sometimes before)
• New cars
• Weddings
• Computers
• Real estate

See our original post in September to read the entire article from Kathryn Cavanan in USA Today (9/4/09.

Look for next post on January's Known Bargains early next month to give you idea of what bargains traditionally occur in January.

See September's bargains.
See October's bargains. (Listed at the bottom of this post.)
See November's bargains.