Ingredient Spotlight: There’s No Cure for Pineapple

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Ingredient Spotlight: There’s No Cure for Pineapple

On this beautiful July day, I like to think back to another July afternoon. Some years ago I lived with my husband, then boyfriend and musician, and our 4 roommates, also musicians, in a 5000 Square foot McMansion with a full Olympic sized swimming pool and a resort style back yard. Lets just say, we threw a lot of parties.

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I believe this was the same party where we bought five gallons of Sake from our favorite sushi restaurant just before they went out of business. I may have had a few cocktails. I’m not exactly sure how the conversation started but one of my friends was saying that there is no cure for stupid. I heard this as I came out with fresh pineapple and said “Thers’e no cure for PINEAPPLE!” When my friend told us that he didn’t like pineapple. I told him that was because he hadn’t tried fresh pineapple and began to goad him into eating it. When he refused, I may or may not have tackled him in the grass and shoved pineapple in his face. To this day if someone mentions pineapple, the inside joke is THERE’S NO CURE FOR PINEAPPLE.

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So without further ado. Here is why you will love pineapple in your skincare and my favorite products with pineapple that will have you saying THERE’S NO CURE.

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Pineapple extract acts as a chemical exfoliant. it contains the enzyme bromelain which has antioxidant and skin-soothing properties.

Pineapple ceramide, on the other hand is a lipid found in the hard skin of pineapple. It helps to hold water in the fruit and on our skin , it help to prevent water loss, in addition it lightens the skin, and has anti-aging properties in that it maintains the skins structure.

The first spotlight product is by Emanence: Pineapple Enzyme Pro Peel 10%

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This is a professed product and is available through any salon/spa that varies Eminence. My salon, Leidan Mitchel in Arcadia, Phoenix, AZ caries the line. It has 10% AHA which makes this a nice mod-strength Peel that will open pores, exfoliate the skin and prepare it for other products.

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Advanced Genifique Sensitive dual concentrate is the next product example in this ingredient spotlight. This is a lovely serum jam packed with antioxidants and skin lightening ingredients. However if you are sensitive to fragrance, this serum may not be sensitive enough for you.

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Last, but most definitely not least is B-Hydra from Drunk Elephant. I am super obsessed with this product line, which you know if you follow my blog. This contains Pineapple ceramide which has skin lightening properties but also aids in hydration. It pairs incredibly well with the powerful B Vitamins in this formula.

So next time you think of pineapple, maybe instead of thinking of pina-colada's you will think skincare instead.

If you want to learn more about you skin and which products would work well for you, you can schedule an Advanced Analysis at my salon Christi Lanz at Leidan Mitchell in Arcadia, Phoenix. 

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My Hero’s Journey for the perfect foundation

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My Hero’s Journey for the perfect foundation

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I recently went on a journey to find the perfect foundation. I can tell you turning 35 is no party for your skin and adding a pregnancy on top did not help. Some women glow, I flaked. Add the fact that, Botox, Retinol, hydroquinone, salicylic acid we're all out for nearly a year, and my skin turned into something unrecognizable. It was definitely time to put down the dry, mineral foundation, that used to look so velvety on my skin and go on a epic quest to find the perfect foundation for dry, aging, skin that requires medium to full coverage.

The Call to Action

I know what you are thinking, "Christi, you are a makeup artist, don't you already know which foundation looks the best?" The answer to that question is yeah, I know what looks great on 20 year old models and 16 year old prom dates, but I rarely do makeup on 35+ women. That, my friend, is a horse of another color. It was time to leave my humble village and venture out into parts known and unknown to seek out a mentor or 10 so that I could learn the ways of the noble Sephora color lead and eventually do battle with fine lines, hyperpigmentation, and dry skin.

Refusal of the Call

I tell you, I waited way too long to change my foundation. I knew it was time but I wasn't ready. I loved my loose mineral foundation. It was natural, gentle, contained only five ingredients, and was breathable enough to sleep in. However, when a co-worker brushes a flake off your forehead, it's time to take a hard look in the mirror (pun intended) and reevaluate.

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Meeting the Mentor

The first thing I needed, was to attain the weapons of the pros. I finally got on board with the beauty blender craze. Now, mind you, I've been using a Beauty blender on my many of my brides, prom, and photo shoot work. I had not, however, been using one on myself. I was still kabuki brushing my way to a flawless finish, but my new skin texture made that impossible. It was high time I purchased my own beauty blender for personal use. If you are unfamiliar with the Beauty blender it's time to get acquainted. What's the difference between a beauty blender and an old fashioned sponge? First, It's ultra soft. You simply squeeze the blender under running water until it fills with water and becomes large and soft! It's patented texture absorbs minimal foundation and its rounded design allows you to apply your makeup with flawless perfection. In other words. You need this.

Crossing the Boundary

Now, with my beauty blender in my arsenal it was time to head out into parts unknown, or rather, really well known because let's be real, Sephora is basically my church. But metaphorically, the world of liquid foundation was relatively new for me. I was really only familiar with M.A.C Pro longwear and Smashbox Studio Skin. I like both of these foundations for studio work, but for every day wear I wanted something with the same great coverage, that felt a little more breathable. Remember, I was used to minerals, and the blazing sun of Phoenix will melt the toughest foundations in a flash.

Tests, Allies, Enemies

So, I journeyed across the desert to each and every Sephora in the Phoenix metro area and spoke to the color lead at each location. Always asking them what foundation do you like for dry, aging skin, that won't settle in my lines but still gives me good coverage. Becca Aqua luminous was the first recommendation I received. I will say that when I first saw the swatch on my wrist I was a fan. It has a really pretty look. I took a sample and tried it for the next few days, but unfortunately the coverage is really light and in some lighting I felt like the shimmer in the product made me look greasy and reflected my fine lines. I want a Matt foundation, I will add a Highlight were I want it. I do not want my whole face to shimmer.

The Inner Most Cave

I tried everything. Dior Airflash, looks pretty, but they don't make my shade. I had high hopes for Fenty, but while it looks great in the first two hours, it would dry and separate on my skin later in the day. Josie Maran Vibrancy never fully dried and would transfer on my phone and clothes, hourglass illusion settled in my lines and made them look dramatically worse. I felt like maybe I had unrealistic expectations. Maybe I should just scamper home with my head down and kabuki brush between my legs.

The Ordeal

I decided to face my foundation head on (so many puns intended), and attack my lines and dryness with the proper primer. I have found several I like and would recommend. First aid Beauty coconut skin smoothie priming moisturizer and the old stand by Smashbox original primer or Primerizer.

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Reward

Having solved part of my problem I arose stronger. However, I still had not found the perfect foundation. I found some that were better, like the new Bobby brown longwear weightless. It has a really soft feel going on ok but a little heavy and my fine lines were still too noticeable.

The Roadblock

Then, a rumor began to spread across the valley. NARS was coming out with a new foundation, but it would not be out until next month. It was rumored to be like their beloved concealer, but formulated as a foundation. We heard that praises were being sung about a foundation that felt light but covered even the darkest of blemishes. But we had to wait two more weeks for it's arrival.

Resurrection

Finally, it arrived. I raced to Sephora and asked for a sample. I tried the NARS Natural Radiant Longwear Foundation. I was amazed to discover that it came in my color. (There is even one more lighter) It felt light and looks like skin, It doesn't settle in my lines but rather blurs them. I can still see them but, that is not something foundation can fix. It covers my hyperpigmentation perfectly. I don't even need a concealer. i do I just use a tiny bit of the NARS concealer under my eyes. Cue "I'm Amazed" by My Morning Jacket.

Return with the Elixir

So the moral of this story is. There is a foundation out there for you. Don't give up. Use all the tools at your disposal. Speak to your Sephora and Blue Mercury Color Leads and also, probably, you should try the new NARS Natural Luminous Longwear Foundation $49 because it's awesome!

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Christi Lanz is a lisenced cosmetologist working at Leidan Mitchell Salon In Phoenix, AZ. 

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THIS WEIRD SKINCARE LINE IS MY LATEST OBSESSION

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THIS WEIRD SKINCARE LINE IS MY LATEST OBSESSION

If you haven’t heard of Drunk Elephant yet, you’re not alone. They are one of the new kids on the block. They launched their first products in 2014. The ingredients are pure and effective, the packaging is air tight to preserve antioxidants, and their price point is reasonable considering what’s in the bottle.

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The weird name comes from their signature ingredient, Marula oil. It comes from the marula fruit in Africa. Elephants love to eat this fruit because it ferments in their stomachs and makes them drunk.

The benefits of Marula oil are similar to Argan Oil, however, many people with dry skin are getting better results with Marula Oil.

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Their stand out products include; C -Firma Day Serum, B-Hydra Intensive Hydration Gel, and T. L.C. Framboos Glycolic Night Serum and Protini Polypeptide cream.

So let’s talk about each product individually and why you have to add funny looking bottles with weird little names into your medicine cabinet anti-aging arsenal.

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C-Firma Day Serum $80

This product is nearly IDENTICAL in power to Skinceuticals CE Ferulic. It has the same ratio of Vitamin C and E and Ferulic acid. However, it also contains some other antioxidants, including pumpkin and pomegranate extracts, AND it’s all neatly packaged in an airtight container that will preserve the ingredients until you use them. Oh, and I forgot to mention it’s only $80 compared to Skinceuticals version ($166) that’s a steal!

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B-Hydra Intensive Hydration Gel $52

This is like the Skinceuticals B5 but it includes pineapple ceremide and is a light weight hydration serum. Vitamins B and C work great together so this is a great daytime addition to C-Firms

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T.L.C. Framboos Glycolic Night Serum $90

This is a 12% AHA/BHA night Serum that resurfaces skin. Using chemical exfoliation can help all your other products by removing top layer of dry damaged skin allowing the other products to penetrate deeper. It also includes raspberry extract and soothing ingredients like white tea to keep you from getting too dry.

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Protini Polypeptide Cream $68

Growth factors, peptides, and supportive amino acids go hard to work to treat fine lines and sun damage while providing medium hydration.

All in all this is a reasonably priced line that packs a powerful punch! I’m obsessed.

#drunkinlove #obsessed #drunkelephant

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Summer Hair Hacks and Tricks

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If sultry summer waves have always seemed elusive check out my hacks and tricks for perfect texture from the beach to the club.

If you are looking for perfect waves look no further than the original surf spray and surf line from Bumble and bumble.

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Start your look out with Surf shampoo and Conditioner. (Pro Tip: For dry or platinum color treated hair swap Surf conditioner with Hairdressers Invisible Oil Conditioner.) This allows you to start your style in the shower and begins to create the texture you need.

 

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Next, gently blot the hair dry with your towel. Don’t rough it up or you will create frizz.

Run a nickel sized amount of Don’t Blow it from mid strands to ends.

Separate the hair into 4 or 5 sections. Take each section and twist away from the face. Spray each section with Surf Spray.

Continue to twist until the section wraps into a tight ball and squeeze it for a count of five. Do this for all five sections.

Finish with a light spray of Hair Dressers oil dry finishing spray for a gentle shine and UV protection.

Now you can be ready for the beach, the bar, the road trip or wherever life takes you this summer.

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5 THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT EYELASH EXTENSIONS

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I feel like there has been a lot of misinformation about lash extensions going around lately. Some of that is due to hearsay and others may have had a bad experience with an unqualified lash specialist. Well I am here to clear that all up. Below you will find the top five things I wish everyone knew about lash extensions.

1. LASH EXTENSIONS DO NOT RUIN YOUR EYELASHES

Lash Extensions are perfectly safe for your natural lashes and will not cause them to fall out or grow back shorter and thinner. Here’s the caveat, as long a you choose a lash technician who is careful to apply one single lash extension to one single lash. When one lash extension is glued to multiple lashes it can cause the lash that is ready to fall out to pull out lashes that are not ready. Extensions that are properly applied will not do this. Occasionally, someone who has has had lash extensions for several months or more will take a break and think that their natural lashes look shorter than before. This is usually not the case. We just forget how short and wimpy our lashes were compared to our long, thick extensions.  That is why I usually like to take a before picture so that you can make a good comparison.

2.LASH EXTENSION APPOINTMENTS ARE COMFORTABLE AND RELAXING

If you have never been to a lash service before let me give you an idea of what you can expect. When you arrive at your service you will be asked to lie down on a massage table you will usually be provided with a blanket to cover your self if you get cold and a bolster to put under your legs. I recommend wearing loose fitting clothes so that you will be more comfortable since you may be lying there for a few hours. The Lash technician will apply an eye pad to your under eye and lower lash bed in order to isolate your top lashes away from your bottom lashes. Let your technician know if the pad feels uncomfortable or like it is to close to your eye. You will want to be able to fully close your eyes so that the fumes from the adhesive do not cause them to water before the adhesive is fully dry. If your technician applies the pads correctly it should generally be a very comfortable and relaxing experience. Next all you have to do you relax and keep your eyes closed until the end of the service. The service can last anywhere from one to three hours depending on the speed of the technician.                                 

3.    LASH EXTENSIONS REQUIRE MINIMAL UPKEEP

Your natural lash cycle takes an average of six weeks. Depending on the person you naturally loose between 2-5 lashes per day and behind that lash grows a new lash. If you have a faster lash cycle or very oily skin you may need to get a fill to refresh your lash extensions more often. Most people will get a fill every 3 weeks. If you have a slower lash cycle or don’t mind being a little sparse for that last week then you may be able to go 4 weeks. If you are the sort of person that likes their lashes to look full and perfect all the time, then 2 weeks is your best bet. I’ve always felt that lashes last as long as my nails in fact I have stopped getting my nails done and replaced that appointment time with my lash appointment.

4.    EXTENSIONS ARE DESIGNED TO FIT YOUR EYE

Everyone’s eyes are different. Some people have large eyes some people have smaller eyes. Some people are naturally blessed with long, thick, luxurious lashes and some of us have shorter,  thinner lashes. Your extensions can be customized to your eye shape and lash length. I usually recommend that you don’t go more than twice the length of your natural lash and if you have smaller eyes a thinner, shorter lash extension will generally look better. You can also go with a more natural look or a more dramatic look. If you are unsure, I  recommend starting more natural and slowly going longer and thicker with each session until you find the perfect fit for you

5.    LIVE YOUR LIFE! YOUR LASHES WILL BE FINE.

The first 24 hours are when you need to be extra careful with your new lash extensions, and you should not get them wet. The next day you are ready to live your life a usual. Swim, shower, and forget about your lashes. The only changes I suggest you make in order to prolong your wear are to switch out any face products with oil for oil -free replacements. Choose a oil-free moisturizers and and an oil free eye makeup remover for starters. I suggest Mabelline Expert Eyes 100% oil free makeup remover. Don’t wear waterproof mascara. Most people will find they no longer feel the need to wear any mascara. If you choose to wear it try to keep it on the ends of your lashes away from the the adhesive. That’s it! Now enjoy waking up beautiful, needing to wear less, makeup and generally looking more beautiful than all your friends.

Thats it. Just choose an experienced lash technician who uses quality products and your are ready to wake up beautiful! I am a Licenced Cosmentologist of 5+ years and use the luxury line EBL Lashes. see my homepage for an appointment information if you live in the Phoenix metro area. 

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THE TOP 5 BEAUTY TIPS TO GET YOU READY FOR YOUR WEDDING DAY

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THE TOP 5 BEAUTY TIPS TO GET YOU READY FOR YOUR WEDDING DAY

Most women find the pressure of of being on stage in front of all the most important people in their life a little daunting. Your wedding day is perhaps the one day in your life when all eyes will be on you ; and you definitely don't want to have regrets about the way you look in your wedding photos. Here I have my top five beauty tips to hack your way to a beautiful wedding day look.

1. START WITH THE DRESS

It makes sense to start with your dress. You don't want to plan a half-up hair-do or a long woven braid if it is just going to cover the beautiful detailing on beading that is the centerpiece of your gown. Here's a hint: You want to have chosen your veil as well. A cathedral vs. bird cage will completely change your hairstyle. My favorite place to find last years dresses in the valley is Brilliant Bridal in Mesa, AZ. They are new, never previously owned dresses from last years roll out.

2. FACIAL, BOTOX, and LASERS OH MY!

This one is going to depend on the needs of your skin. If you have problematic skin prone to breakouts you may want to start your facial routine 6 months to a year in advance. If your skin is relatively clear, one facial 2-4 weeks before the wedding date is fine. If your are looking to do some major texturing, you have several options. A series of 6, light peels and micro-dermabrasion, separated by one month each, works well for light resurfacing.

If you have deep acne scars you may consider either micro-needling or Laser resurfacing. Both technique give you a relatively similar result,  however for the deepest of pits and scars major laser resurface may be your only option. Some stronger lasers are done in only one or two applications and this is also an option for someone who has less time before theirwedding day. Please be aware, the stronger the laser, the more pronounced the down time. Be prepared to take a week or two off of work. I you have dark spots the only option that I have found is a spot treatment laser followed by a regimenof hydroquinone and retinal at night. I found great results at Perfect Skin and Laser Center in Tempe, AZ.

A lot of brides try Botox for the first time for their wedding day. If done correctly the only people who will know are you and your doctor. However, this is really important, notice I said DOCTOR? Here the the valley a nurse practitioner, RN, or even and LPN, can inject Botox and fillers. I'm sure there are nurses out there who know what they are doing but I can only speak to my own personal experience, which has been that the nurses that did my injections overfilled and in once instance, left me asymmetrical. I then had to be filled more on the other side to balance me out. Oh boy was I ever frozen that time! Fortunately the effects of Botox wear off. I have also had several doctors do my injections and my experience was a much more natural result. I prefer to use Dysport, which is the Pepsi to Botox's Coca-Cola. I find it faster acting and longer lasts. For me, Dysport begins to work almost immediately with full effects in three-five days. It also tends to last six to seven months as apposed to Botox's four month window. So if you decide to go under the needle, plan accordingly. Make sure to have tried your injector once to see if you like the results you get. Tell your doctor that you don't want to look frozen and that you are planing on getting some for your wedding day. Get your first injection 6 months in advance then go back in for a touch up one month before the wedding date, leaving plenty of room to fix any problems. It is also worth noting that some laser and facial treatments are counter-indicated with botox for at least one month after the injection. But most of all, do your research. I have had great results with Dr. David Cramer of the Natural Healing Medical Center in Mesa, AZ. His results are so incredibly natural! I also really like Dr. Ann Watwood, the medical director of Clear Skin Institute in Phoenix, AZ. She tends to give a more lifted result if you request it.

3. EYELASHESEXTENSIONS and MICRO-BLADING

Eyelash extensions; get them! They will change your whole life. Make sure to try them ahead of time in case your are allergic to the glue or just don't like them. You will have them filled every four weeks so try them out at least a month in advance and then have them touched up the day before your wedding day for optimal results.

Micro-blading your eyebrows isn't for everyone but if your find a really good artist it can really give your makeup a beautiful look. Get them done at least one month in advance and have them touched up two weeks before your big day.

4. WEIGHT LOSS SUGGESTIONS

Don't waste your money on Coolsculpting, or Ultrasound Fat Reduction, or any of those other non-invasive fat removal procedures. They don't work well enough for the price tag. If you are serious about have a procedure done, bite the bullet and get liposuction. You will likely spend less and have better results.

The route I recommend is a combination of the HCG diet and a personal trainer. There is just no substitute for good old fashion hard work and sweat. If you are considering the HCG diet I highly recommend Vitality Med Spa, they are hundreds of dollars cheaper than everyone else in the valley. They have a Scottsdale and Mesa location.

5. HAIR and MAKEUP

Finally! My favorite subject. Let me start by saying. I do not do bridal hair and make up without a trial way ahead of time so that we can work out all of the details. It always amazes me when a bride is even considering having their hair and makeup done by someone they haven't even met. What if your stylist/ makeup artist isn't any good? It may also a have nothing to do with talent most discrepancies in this area have a lot more to do with taste. Maybe you like to look really contoured and sculpted and maybe her strengths are soft natural and smokey looks. Another problem I see all to often is either unrealistic expectations or brides choosing looks that are flattering on the model but not on their own features. I often have brides who come in with a picture of a woman that has super long thick hair and their own hair is thin and shoulder length. I can do the look on them but it is going to look different. So we either need to talk extensions, which can take several weeks and several thousand dollars to make the look happen, or we need to come up with another idea. This is not a conversation that I want to have on someones wedding day.

Another super easy trick that I tell all the brides who want a good amount of volume on top but have fine or thin hair is your are gonna need a bump it hair insert tool. You can get them on AMAZON for like $1.50. So order that ahead of time is your look requires it.

Above all do your research and plan ahead. No one will remember what the food tasted like or if the music was good but your wedding photos are forever. Thanks so much and if you liked this post you can follow me on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter for updates.

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