makeup and style tips for women over 40

Thank you, Salamat and Mahalo to everyone who congratulated me and left encouraging comments when I was featured on Buzzfeed last week, it was surreal you guys! It came in such perfect timing because I recently started a series called Beauty Over 40 with my primary goal of recognizing women above 40 who are changing the beauty and lifestyle landscape. This is the third edition and we are going strong. I am happy to bring you today two beauty and style influencers whom I admire in the blogging arena. Scroll down for their tips and tricks!

At what age you started with makeup or skincare? I started wearing makeup in my teens but didn't really get into it until I started modeling at age 20. In those days, we did our own makeup and hair!

What are your beauty staples? Makeup staples: mascara, concealer, my beauty blender. Skincare: moisturizer with hyaluronic acid and I am just getting into probiotics in my skincare.

Any important beauty/ skincare advice to younger women? Get a good set of makeup brushes, they make application easier and more professional. Start using a good eye cream at age 30 or younger. With matte lipsticks, make sure to use a clear lip liner to prevent bleeding.

Any important beauty/ skincare advice to women over 40? Start using primers! Face primers to minimize pores, fine lines & wrinkles. Eyeshadow primer to keep shadows from creasing. Lip primer to hide lip lines. When purchasing foundation, choose a moisturizing one for a 'dewy' finish to add radiance to the skin. Exfoliate regularly, to turn over dead skin cells and keep skin looking younger and healthy!

makeup and style tips for women over 40

Barbi, Southern Blonde Chic

At what age you started with skincare or makeup? I have always had a fascination with makeup.  The transformation that can take place in 15 minutes never ceases to amaze me.  I began wearing light makeup at the age of 16 and never looked back.  I guess you could say  I am an addict of sorts. Skincare came a bit later for me – which is unfortunate.  There were far too many nights I slept in the makeup of the day which really takes a toll on the skin over time.  As I aged, I began to understand the need for a good skincare routine.  My skin is my biggest beauty challenge and I have been diligent about caring for it for the last 15 years.  Fortunately, there are so many amazing products available that assist in repair.

What are your beauty staples? I believe you look only as good as you feel!  I think consistent work-outs have really helped me maintain a youthful feeling (however, I have fallen off the wagon over the last couple weeks!!  Haha!!)    And I am quite sure that sleep is probably the most overlooked beauty product there is!  It is imperative to looking and feeling your best!! Nowadays, I always remove my makeup at night and Estee Lauder and Tula are my go-tos for skincare. As far as makeup, I use foundations by Estee Lauder (DoubleWear), Marc Jacobs and Makeup Forever.  I love the eye shadow palettes by BH Cosmetics.  Two things I can’t live without is a great mascara and lip color!!  I’ve tried them all and always run back to my Estee Lauder mascara – it is the best!!  I love lip color and use a variety of shades and brands.  My current favorite is Orgasm by NARS – so good!!

Any important beauty tips to younger women? The best beauty advice I could offer to younger women is take care of your skin NOW!  Your older self with thank you again and again!!

Any important beauty tips to women over 40? Embrace where you are and the Beauty you’ve become! Of course, skincare is crucial and even more so as we age.  So certainly a good moisturizer and anti-wrinkle serum should be an every day regimen. I find that makeup can be just as much fun as it was in my twenties – maybe even more so,  cause juggling a two-year-old and mascara takes real talent!! Embrace shades that enhance your natural beauty and choose products with lasting power!  Invest in good foundations that moisturize for you all day long!  Always line your lips to avoid pesky feathering lip color and select a mascara that doesn’t smudge – no one looks good with a 5 o'clock shadow under their eyes! 

Any style tips to women over 40? This is my very favorite question and one that I am asked often. My style tip for women in midlife is to remember and embrace that Age Is Just A Number! Honestly ladies, I say wear exactly what you want! If you’ve got great legs, grab you favorite over-the-knee dress and some wedges and GO!  If your shoulders are your best asset, rock the current off-the-shoulder trend!   Wear the most amazing embroidered top with your distressed jeans and don’t stress about what anyone else is wearing or thinking! Enjoy who you are and embrace what you love! Life Is Too Short!  Enjoy every single day and every single outfit!!


I like that both of them mentioned about lipstick feathering technique. And time and again, I love that they both emphasized the value of starting early with skincare. True, age is just a number so let's rock that face, body and attitude, ladies!

Beauty Over 40 series first appeared on this blog. xo

Vegan Journey: How to Transition

This is one topic I had the hardest time to write because I am not the type to share very personal lifestyle decisions and choices. I have always been the MYOB-type. Mind Your Own Business. I fear alienation and rejection from people who may interpret me as wanna-be-perfect. Because I am not. I don't want to be viewed as hypocritical. Because I am not. I have made mistakes and I will make mistakes. So why am I writing this then? I have been blogging close to seven years, some of you witnessed my metamorphosis, safe to say that some of you knew me like we are related albeit virtually. I have formed friendships with some of you so as a friend, I feel like now is the right time to tell you something. Something more important than makeups, fashion, skincare and aesthetic procedures that I had been dishing out for quite a while. I also decided to come out to liberate myself from whatever that's holding me back. That I need to stand up for something. So let me take you back to where it all began....

My plant-based nutrition mindset was quite strong because I was raised by my grandparents who made sure I will eat whatever was in the table. I was exposed early on to different vegetables and fruits because my folks instilled in me that to be in the "honor roll at school", I had to feed my brain healthy stuff. Dining out was pretty inexistent to us back then and ice cream was a luxury. Occasionally, we had meat but even then, the serving was tiny bit.

Fast forward to my mid-20s, I witnessed a cow being slaughtered as part of a ritual in one of the provinces in the Philippines. I cannot forget the eyes of the cow that seemed to be asking for help. Barbarically with machete, the cow was butchered and pieces of meat were distributed to all people who were present during that "ceremony". I was a visitor so I got invited to a get-together where the meat will be boiled and eaten by those who were present. I said yes to the invitation out of respect but I did not partake in the ritual eating. Looking back, that has somehow affected my distaste for meat.

Vegan Journey: How to Transition

But I was weak mentally and emotionally. Working in pharmaceuticals, the constant dining out and the lack of healthier options back then made me go back to eating meat. I tried to avoid it as much as I could but I was afraid of rejection by my peers. I don't want to be perceived differently. Not only that, I was feasting on high-sugar, trans-fat food because life was good when you treat yourself to all these fancy restaurants, fancy meals. I gained weight, much to my dismay. I enrolled in different gyms, I did boxing, yoga, dancing, etc but my unhealthy eating habits did not make me lose the fat. I had joint pains, chronic migraines, unexplained pain, my gums will just bleed. I was always at the ER. And I wasn't even 30 years old yet.

In 2006, I took on a new management position marketing dialysis clinics. This new role exposed me to the realities of chronic kidney disease and the contributing factors that can lead to it. I talked to patients first-hand. They are aware that dialysis, the machine specifically, is the only thing keeping them alive. Diabetes mellitus 2, hypertension, obesity, these are all lifestyle-related conditions that can all lead to CKD. I got scared. I don't want to be like them. This was also the time that I was dealing with a lot of stress in my personal life so despite this desire to better my health, I used food to comfort me. I continued dining out, feeding my body with high-fat, high-cholesterol, high-triglyceride, high-sugar food. People see me being successful but I was failing deep inside. I gained more weight. Teenage acne came back with a lot of hatred  and vengeance. Chunky, sickly, unhappy, depressed at 32.

2007 was my breaking point. I knew I needed to do something to get my act together. On the eve of my 33rd birthday, I made a decision. A decision that took me to my life right now. I left a rewarding career, I sold my house in the Philippines and everything I owned and moved to the US. In my quest for a simpler and stress-free life, I started eating healthy, went vegetarian, exercised daily and avoided all kinds of stressors. Finally I was drama-free. I lived in California for a while with my mom who wanted me to just take a break from everything. While she worked in pre-school, I was dancing and running with some of the elderly in a nearby gymnasium. I started to lose weight. My skin started to clear up. My joint pains were gone.

Vegan Journey: How to Transition

In 2008, I moved to Hawaii. My now-husband was instrumental in helping me gain back my confidence. By this time, I lost a lot of weight already. I was eating more and more vegetables. I was counting my calorie intake. I was doing yoga and hiphop exercise. And then I discovered Facebook and started reconnecting with old friends and colleagues. They were all shocked with my "new look". Like how can you not be?
Vegan Journey: How to Transition
But living with a carnivore proved to be difficult because I was preparing separate meals for us. Even on holidays, I will cook different foods. It was exhausting af. So yes I slipped although rarely. I ate meat then regretted after. And to be honest, I never really enjoyed roasting turkey. It was a chore instead of a celebration. I would eat a tiny piece then feel really awful, nauseous and tired after.

Finally in 2014, I thought I was ready to become vegan. Only my husband and one close friend knew about this lifestyle. Again my usual MYOB mantra. Then I became weak and fatigued after two years of being on plant-based diet. My husband was convinced it was all because of my being vegan. Even my mom thought so. True, B12 deficit because I was not supplementing enough and I did not eat enough because I was more concerned on my being skinny than being educated on plant-based nutrition.  So I switched back to vegetarian. I wanted ovo-lacto because it sounded cool, plus I like scrambled eggs once in a while. But something was happening in my body. Every time I will drink milk, eat anything with cream, or feast anything with milk in it, my stomach will begin to twist like crazy. Not even ten minutes passed and I was already running to the bathroom. Lactose intolerance So I dropped lacto and became ovo-vegetarian. All this back and forth, I know! Around this time last year, I started to research more about plant-based nutrition. I read clinical studies and articles penned by medical doctors and spent time understanding how a plant-based diet can reverse diabetes, hypercholesterolemia, hypertension, certain cancers, among others.

Vegan Journey: How to Transition

I was really doing great as vegetarian but whenever I had friends or relatives over, I admit to have slipped even though I merely tasted "just because", such was the case when my family from the mainland visited me last July. After all, my only reason for eating right was primarily for health reasons. I am eating plants 99% of the time so this very rare "accident" can't possibly affect my body.

Then one Saturday evening, out of boredom, husband and I was just flipping through Netflix and saw a documentary that intrigued both of us. After watching that show, I cannot believe for the life of me what husband just blurted "I want to be vegan. I want to eat what you're eating". Did I just hear angels sing? Hallelujah! I was convincing him all these years to join me but fell on deaf ears and one show, one freakin' show just made him go cold turkey? What The Health. Yes, that was the turning point for him. Yes, that's the documentary. What The Health.

Strength in numbers. Alone no more. I have never been this happy to have witnessed someone I dearly love transitioned from being the ultimate carnivore to becoming vegan. Happy wife, happy life. I got motivated again to cook just to make the transition very easy for him. That vegan diet ain't bland and boring. When we first shopped food as a vegan couple, I was teaching him to read ingredients and showing him various vegetables he needed to try. He was getting frustrated so I told him "you don't want to read ingredients? go straight to the produce section. Vegetables have no labels". The first time I let him taste my pulled "pork" slider made of young jackfruit, he couldn't even tell the difference that it wasn't meat he was devouring. When I cooked scrambled "egg" made from tofu (I added turmeric for flavor and color), he couldn't believe his eyes either! So it's been almost three months now, he said he felt so much better and always looked forward to us enjoying food together. He never for a moment felt weak or that his energy source deprived. Lucky dude because I gave him all the information he needed during his transition.  Strength in numbers. I followed plant-based medical doctors on Youtube and social media and joined Facebook groups that support veganism and plant-based diet. Strength in numbers. You will find us in every profession in every shape: athletes, teachers, chefs, nurses, doctors, actors, baristas, etc Vegans are everywhere. Some may be more vocal about it, some are just doing their thing quietly.

Vegan Journey: How to Transition

But something was still missing. One Friday evening, the documentary I was preventing myself to watch for quite a while popped in my Youtube recommendations. Again fear consumed me because there is one particular aspect of my lifestyle that I found the hardest to abandon. I love leather. I love high quality designer purses. I love high-end makeups. I love to look at my expensive purchases as form of self-affirmation. Wow, I can afford all these! But I have come this far to better myself so I swallowed my fear. I am aware of animal cruelty but I refused to know the truth. I hate to see the truth because I cannot handle the truth. The truth that animals have emotions, that they do experience pain. Boy, I have never cried this much watching a documentary. Just thinking about it now makes me teary-eyed again. It brought me back to the time I witnessed a cow slaughtered before my very eyes but I did nothing. "If slaughterhouses had glass walls, everyone would be vegetarian", Sir Paul McCartney once said. I love animals, I cannot eat animals. Not only this movie exposed animal cruelty in absolute horror for food's sake but it opened my eyes to something even more important. That the life of an animal has more value than my designer bags. Billions of animals are slaughtered for their skins. I love animals so why do I wear animals. We share this world with them. We are all earthlings. Earthlings, it's the documentary that confirmed my ignorance and reinforced my new stance. If you recall in my previous posts and videos, I have talked about downsizing and purging my stash. Yes, this was the very reason.  I have sold and donated and I am still in the process of purging. I made the toughest decision. I won't be buying anymore that's made with leather or anything with animal in it.

But vegan beauty, this is unchartered territory to me. first talked about going organic and natural in 2011. In fact it made it to my blog's resolution for 2012. But the call of Tom Ford, Dior, Chanel, Guerlain, and Givenchy were stronger than my desire. Those that I started liking because they're cruelty-free decided to not become cruelty-free anymore (NARS was a huge disappointment, Sulwhasoo even more). Thankfully, my other cruelty-free favorites Hourglass, By Terry and Urban Decay had not crossed over yet. But as I learn more and more about animal by-products that are sometimes present in cruelty-free makeups and skincare, my choices started thinning out. Hence, this is where I will possibly make mistakes. I will stumble. I will make wrong purchases along the line. But like a child learning how to walk, this too I will conquer.

Vegan Journey: How to Transition

But if there is one important lesson I have learned in all of ten years or so of tossing back and forth between vegetarian and vegan is that veganism is not entrenched on perfection. But rather, our sincerest desire to cause less harm to the environment especially to our co-earthlings, the animals. Transitioning is more than self-discipline. It is tough but it will happen if you desire it. It's a journey after all.

So how will this affect my blog? Well it's business as usual. I had been writing more and more organic content the past months as most of you may have noticed. Less reviews but more how-to's that cover from beauty to lifestyle because it allows me to speak more authentic. If I find something really nice that's vegan whether in beauty or fashion, I will share it here. And don't worry, I will continue to respect other people's lifestyle choices as I always do. It is your life, not mine. I will continue to blog because I find joy in writing and sharing things with you. But in case you need tips on how to transition, I am here. We're in this together.
Vegan Journey: How to Transition

You have read this far. Thank you for your patience and continued support. I love you guys. Really.

OMG, this is one huge giveaway that I can't wait to announce to you guys! I have teamed up with my fellow co-bloggers to bring this mega blog hop giveaway, win one or win all of 35! Each one of us has amazing prizes to give away; like in my case, one lucky reader will win Kat Von D Eye Contour Quad Smoke and Studded Kiss Lipstick Lovecraft (pictured below). Hop to the next blogger to see what's in store for you. And if you enter all of our giveaways, one mega lucky reader will win an additional $350 via Paypal. Thanks to Stacie from Makeup Obsessed Mom for pulling this together. Giveaway starts today October 16 and will end on Oct 31. Start by entering mine and then the rest of the mechanics will be explained further below:

Here's what you will win if you enter mine:

Enter to win Kat Von D makeups:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Enter the rest:

Today I’ve joined up with 34 other beauty bloggers to do a Mega Beauty Blog Hop GIVEAWAY! If you are unfamiliar what a blog hop is, it’s pretty simple. Each lady in the hop is giving away something beauty related. All of the prizes are from cruelty-free brands. You can click through from one blog to another, entering the giveaways as you go. I recommend that you keep track of your entries by paying attention to the numbered list. You do not need to enter all in a single sitting. Come back and complete all entries by October 31st.

You can enter 1, 10, 20 etc. or all of the individual giveaways that are linked below. If you enter all 35 of these individual giveaways, then you’ll be eligible to enter to win the grand prize of $350 Paypal Cash. Think of the things you could buy with that!

The Grand Prize entry form is on every one of the participating blogs, so you only need to enter once at the blog that you end on. All entries will be verified once the giveaway is over, so please give us a few days to announce the winners. Make sure you follow ALL the rules of each giveaway so you won’t be disqualified! This blog hop giveaway will run for 2 weeks, ending on October 31st at 11:59pm EST and is open to all.

In the event that you get an ERROR message when clicking on any of the links below, try clicking on the HOME page of that blog. Or come back later and try again. There are often hiccups that happen in the beginning of a pre-scheduled blog hop such as this. Thank you for your patience!
Ready to start hopping? Well, first things first — you’ve gotta enter my giveaway!

  1. Makeup Obsessed Mom
  2. Notes from My Dressing Table
  3. Thefabzilla
  4. The Feminine Files
  5. Beauty and Fashion Tech
  6. Portrait of Mai
  7. Realizing Beauty
  8. Style, Decor & More
  9. NorahLovesMakeup
  10. I Like to Talk A Lot
  11. My Beauty Bunny
  12. Beauty Info Zone
  13. Collective Beauty
  14. Geniabeme
  15. Phyrra
  16. The Plastic Diaries
  17. Ahleessa 4 Realz
  18. HashtagFabLife
  19. My Highest Self
  20. Polarbelle
  21. Just Tiki
  22. Brighter, Darling
  23. Haus of Hounds
  24. XO, Noelle
  25. Kate Loves Makeup
  26. ColorSutraa
  27. The Daily Nail
  28. Glam and Uncensored
  29. Keely's Nails
  30. From My Vanity
  31. Beaumiroir
  32. We Heart This
  33. Prime Beauty
  34. Chick Lit Plus
  35. PolishGalore
And now for the GRAND PRIZE entry!! Do not enter until you have completed ALL 35 beauty blogger giveaways. All entries will be verified. Good Luck!

Inexpensive Ways To Delay Signs Of Aging

Anti-aging. I may have used this term loosely in the beginning stages of my blogging stint so if I haven't changed or updated the titles yet (we're talking 7 years worth of writing), be it known that ever since I started working as Aesthetic RN Specialist (lasers, radiofrequency, body contouring, etc), I have been very careful not to use this marketing jargon because no such thing exist. I mean come to think of it, anti-aging is a misnomer. We all age, because that's how our bodies are programmed the moment we are born. However, you and I also know that some, barring medical conditions (i.e progeria), do exhibit signs of aging faster than others. I have discussed various ways to rejuvenate aging skin via aesthetic procedures but they don't come cheap, to put it bluntly. And I'd be blunt again. If you have very obvious textural issues like deep wrinkles or thick leathery skin, the following tips I am sharing may not completely reverse the damage that has already been created as a consequence of years of neglected skincare, unprotected sun exposure or belligerent use of tanning beds. And as always, my opinion as Aesthetic RN should not be considered as sole basis for diagnosis or medical advice. Consult your doctor or dermatologist or get a second opinion for that matter. *Contains some affiliate links*

Start early with skincare, use sunscreen. There is no exact science as to when you should start but if there is one particular product you should be using early on in your life, it is sunscreen! This is the most inexpensive, albeit effective way to delay signs of aging. I have discussed chemical versus physical sunscreen here. But really, you can buy a drugstore brand for as long as you use something that has at least SPF 30. And please, don't forget to reapply every 2 hours if you're staying out longer! Sunscreen in makeup is not enough so layer up ladies!
Cost: Currently I am using sunscreen from eltaMD which only costs $33 and it lasts me about 3-4 months. There are other cheaper alternatives (no more than $10) so it really boils down to your personal preference. / eltaMD is cruelty-free but not vegan /
Quit smoking, don't start the habit if you haven't yet. You have read and heard it many times but it's true and I can personally attest to it because I don't smoke myself and I have seen (and treated patients aesthetically) the big difference in the skin's texture between a habitual and non-smoker. HUGE difference! The nicotine in cigarette affects the circulation in your skin by constricting blood flow which in turn affects how the oxygen and vital nutrients are being delivered. Nicotine also affects collagen and elastin found in the dermis which gives the skin supple appearance. Will it reverse aging when you quit smoking? no but you can delay further progression of damage and degradation of your skin.
Cost: Free. You will save more money in the long run! Plus you minimize the risk of developing all forms of cancer!
Cut back on junk food and start eating healthy. Not only they are bad for your health (think cholesterol-laden, high-salt and sugar-spiked food) but junk food is also traced to premature wrinkles. Similar to nicotine, these trans-fat and hi-carb/hi-sugar affect the circulation in your skin which potentially deprives it from oxygen as well as accelerates collagen damage. Instead, snack on fruits (i.e. grapes, orange, apples are rich in antioxidant), vegetables (i.e carrots, celery) or even nuts (almond, walnut). Bust the myth! The "sugars" in fruits and vegetables as well as "fats" in nuts are packed with vitamins and nutrients that are vital to the body unlike the empty calories a.k.a zero-nutrition you get from junk food. The amazing women I have so far featured on my Beauty Over 40 series were pretty consistent in advocating eating healthy food as one of the reasons why they look young!
Cost: Anywhere from $1-$10 a week depending where you live or shop. I snack on grapes, celery, cantaloupe, pineapples, or any fruit or vegetable within my reach at work or at home.
Inexpensive Ways To Delay Signs Of Aging

Drink water, lots of it! It won't happen overnight but trust me, I have seen great improvement with the elasticity of my skin ever since I quit drinking soda and increased my water intake. That combined with the aforementioned tips I shared. Water helps in flushing out toxins, as well as providing protective barrier in the skin. I know it's hard to drink at least 8 glasses of water everyday and really, there is no hard and fast rule. Just chug water!
Cost: Free (if you don't buy bottled water like I do. Hawaii boasts of having one of the best quality tap water in the US if not around the world)
Moisturize but know that it can't do anything more than preventing transepidermal water loss (TEWL). Moisturizer is another marketing term we all grew fond of using for many years. It's a multi-billion dollar business anchored on the promise of youth. It has metamorphosed by being a plain humectant (preserving moisture) or occlusive (occludes, provides a thick barrier) to emollient (smoothing out skin) or combination of all if we are to listen to all the claims of various cosmetic companies. Dry skin accentuates fine lines or wrinkles. Oily skin still needs moisturization because you are addressing the TEWL and not sebum . Have you ever had that experience where your skin feels tight yet your face is reeking in grease? I do, and that's because of TEWL! There are plenty of moisturizers in the market that promise to do this and that, has this and that, layer this and that. I too was very much into layering and stuff when it became a "norm" few years ago. But let's be practical and realistic, what our skin really need is to keep it hydrated and prevent TEWL.
Cost: Currently I am using eltaMD Barrier Renewal Complex which only costs $45 (lasts anywhere 3-4 months). There are cheaper alternatives for sure so buy something that's compatible to your skin type. / eltaMD is cruelty-free but not vegan /
Sometimes over-the-counter topical medication does help!  I started retinol when I was in my late 20s and used it every so often. Retinol is a vitamin A derivative that helps with cell turnover, collagen production and acne (in combination with other treatment modalities). I can tell if a patient has been using retinol for years because of the texture of her/his skin. There is a certain inexplicable radiance from within. Recently, adapalene which is a third-generation retinoid (with over 30 years proven efficacy and safety profile) was approved over-the-counter, in particular the 0.1% Differin. Its primary indication is for acne but since it exhibits the same action albeit more tolerable than retinol per se, it can although anecdotally, help delay aging. I discussed more about it in this video. Sunscreen is important to use if you are considering retinol or adapalene because UV exposure without protection renders it inefficient that's why most dermatologist and doctors advice its usage in the evening, and sunscreen in the morning.
Differin 0.1% costs $12 and can last 3-4 months. Apply thinly in the evening, followed by moisturizer. If it's your first time and have never used any kind of topical vitamin A medication, introduce this to your regimen slowly. Typical side effects include peeling and redness. Stop if irritation occur and see your doctor. /Galderma, makers of Differin (and Cetaphil) is not cruelty-free /


Welcome to another edition of Beauty Over 40 where I feature beauty and lifestyle bloggers belonging to this demographics. I personally feel that we need more representation amongst Gen-exers and Baby boomers and that it is entirely OKAY to take care of ourselves and not feel guilty about looking good! Today I am honored to introduce to you two amazing women whom I admire and respect in the blogging community. Both are fabulous moms, workaholic at that! Tell me, they don't even look past 40! Scroll down for their tips and tricks!

Beauty Over 40 | Beauty and Style Tips for Mature Women

At what age your started with makeup and skincare? I started wearing makeup, in the late 90’s I was probably 18 when I began using makeup regularly, I used to wear Ultima II lipsticks and mascara/ kohl eyeliner. I didnt really start full face makeup until mid 30’s. Skincare - as of my 30’s, I began being strict with my skincare, my 20’s were not so orderly with skincare and in my teens I had acne and went on Accutane which changed my oily skin to combination dry.

What are your beauty staples (makeup and skincare)? My makeup staples are BB creams with high SPF but these vary on the season (I live in the east coast). In summer I wear Laneige BB cream and rotate Mychelle Sunshield Liquid Tint or IT Cosmetics Confidence in a compact spf 50. In the winter, I use more hydrating foundations, Koh Gen Do and Make Up Forever HD are my go to’s. Eyes - I love Viseart Neutral mattes, I can do my brows and eyes all at once using this palette. Rarely I do shimmer unless I am out at night. My brows are my other “must”, I fill mine in with Make Up Forever Intense Brow definer as well as Senna Brow Powder. For blush I use the Youngblood Contour palette. My skincare beauty staples are: Bioderma Micellar Water which is a staple of mine since years ago, Glam Glow Thirsty Mud Cleanser, Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant. For Beloved Sheet masks, Tony Moly Hydro Gel masks. I have dry skin and love mixing deeply hydrating moisturizers, Derma E Night time moisturizer (I actually use this in the daytime, in the winter I mix it in with my foundation). At night time, I apply Kreyol Haitian Castor oil to my brows and frown line every night, in the winter I do my lashes too. Toner - I’ve been using Dermalogica Multi Active Toner for years and swear by it. Weleda Almond Soothing Facial Cream is another favorite.
Any important beauty/skincare advice to younger women? Stay away from the sun, but if you can’t wear SPF and a hat. You are what you eat, beauty comes from your gut so be sensible with your food intake. Clean your makeup brushes and pillowcase regularly.

Any important beauty/skincare advice to women in their 40s and above? A nighttime skincare regimen is a must. Injectables are nothing to be ashamed of, embrace them as they prevent deep lines. Get facials regularly. Stop going in the sun.

Beauty Over 40, Beauty and Style Tips for Mature Women
At what age your started with makeup and skincare? 14
What are your beauty staples (makeup and skincare)? Vitamin C serum, collagen/snail masks, spf, moisturizer.
Any important beauty/skincare advice to younger women? Eat healthy, stay away from processed foods and beverages and always wear SPF!
Any important beauty/skincare advice to women over 40? Don't pile on too much makeup because it will make you a lot older than your age.
You have great fashion sense Any tips to women over 40? Don't be afraid to experiment with colors!

There you go, sunscreen is a mainstay again my dear readers and I like that both of them mentioned about eating healthy! Way to go ladies, we're in it to win it!  
Do you have a blog, youtube channel or perhaps active on social media? if you are over 40 years old and would like to be featured on this blog, please contact me! I'm all about sharing the love!
Beauty Over 40 series first appeared on this blog. xo

How to get rid of hyperpigmentation, how to treat sun spots, how to treat melasma, how to treat post inflammatory hyperpigmentation

Hyperpigmentation is one of the most common skin concerns I encounter on a regular basis as Aesthetic Nurse Specialist. It is one of my favorite topics because the treatment modalities vary depending on the type, cause and nature of the problem. Sometimes a patient will come to me and ask for sunspots removal but upon evaluation, it's actually melasma which for the most part is the trickiest to address. But first, let's understand few basics so you and I are on the same page.

Hyperpigmentation results from increased activity and accumulation of melanocytes or skin cells that produce melanin. Certain ethnicities and people with darker skin are more prone to developing hyperpigmentation. While hyperpigmentation is presented in different ways, the most common types are the following:
Sun spots (age or liver spots) are characterized by light to dark brown spots that are scattered on the face, arms and hands. Sizes vary from few millimeters to size of a quarter. As the name suggests, sun spots develop as a consequence of years of unprotected sun exposure. Hence, the older you get, the more sun spots you may have especially if sunscreen is not part of your skincare routine.
PIH or post- inflammatory hyperpigmentation develops as a result of post-injury or lesion to the skin such as acne, insect bite, contact dermatitis, medication-induced, among others. It is clinically manifested as macules or patches in a similar fashion as the initial inflammatory process. While they typically resolve, sometimes it takes longer to see complete resolution. It is important to identify and treat the root cause of the problem rather than being reactive. For example, patient A was concerned with multiple dark spots on arms and legs for several years. During  assessment, I noticed the constant scratching and severe dry skin. So while the dark spots can be treated aesthetically although very challenging, it is imperative to address the issue that's causing the PIH: scratching related to dry skin.
Melasma appears as brown to gray patches on the face where sun typically hits: forehead, cheeks, nose, upper lip. It affects about 90% of pregnant women that's why it is also called mask of pregnancy (chloasma). The exact pathogenesis remains unclear but sun exposure, genetics, hormones, and certain medications all play a significant role.
How to get rid of hyperpigmentation, how to treat sun spots, how to treat melasma, how to treat post inflammatory hyperpigmentation

While some people aren't concerned with hyperpigmentation, this is actually a big business to a lot of cosmetic companies. The big question is, do topical creams actually work? what about peels, lasers?
For many years, depigmenting agents are considered as first line of treatment. However, it is important to note that success rate depends on the cause, severity and timing of treatment. The earlier it is to start treatment, the better the response. In general, uncomplicated hyperpigmentation or light spots may have great success with the following:
Tretinoin, lactic acid, retinoid, licorice root works before melanin synthesis (pre).
Hydroquinone, kojic acid, arbutin, azelaic acid, l-ascorbic acids works during melanin synthesis (active phase).
Retinoic acid, glycolic acid, linoleic acid, lactic acid works after melanin synthesis (post).
You will find that most skincare products combine the aforementioned ingredients to address the different stages of melanin activity and that's because melanocytes go through a life cycle. It takes several months or even longer before one can see improvement. Most don't hence they look for more advanced options such as:
Non-invasive aesthetic procedures like LASER (Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation) or IPL (Intense Pulse Light) can also treat hyperpigmentation. Laser can either be ablative or non-ablative and its use depends on the severity as well as patient's preference. It targets the pigment buried beneath the skin resulting to complete reduction or eradication. Note that while laser or ipl can remove sun spots, neither will prevent re-occurrence. It is also important to mention that not all lasers or ipls can work on melasma or post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. Hence, it is equally imperative to have these procedures done with the correct machine and qualified provider. Why? because sometimes laser  or ipl can exacerbate PIH or melasma! Proper patient assessment plays a crucial part.
Other treatment modalities also include chemical peels, microdermabrasion or other light-based procedures. You will find that most aesthetic clinics, med spas or dermatologists combine treatments to yield optimal results.
Finally, I will bring you back to my number one skincare product of all time, Sunscreen! UV exposure intensifies PIH, melasma and is the culprit to sun spots, photodamage (premature wrinkles) and worse, melanoma. So slather because your skin matter!


beauty over 40, beauty tips and tricks 40 years and above

Today's post is a bit different because I am featuring three beauty bloggers whom I deeply admire and respect. Fabulous, fashion-forward, confident, youthful. They certainly belong to the new breed of Gen-xers and Baby boomers! I believe it's about time to take active steps to promoting our demographics which are often under-represented in the beauty industry. They certainly walk the talk and practice what they preach. Scroll down for their beauty tips and tricks!

beauty over 40, beauty tips and tricks 40 years and above

Amber Murray/ Beauty Junkies Unite

At what age you started with makeup or skincare? I started with makeup around the age of 15, and skincare around 20. I wish I would have started skincare earlier!

What are your beauty staples (makeu
p or skincare)? I’m living for the new Erno Laszlo White Marble Dual Phase Vitamin C Peel, it’s fantastic for resurfacing, brightness, and my pores. I’m also fond of any of IT Cosmetics foundations – they just seem to make my skin look and feel its best.

Any important beauty/skincare advice to younger women? My most important advice for younger women -- is to start with sunscreen early in life, and always wear it – no matter what! Every other thing you do in your beauty routine just means nothing if you’re not protecting your skin from aging and UV rays first. It’s the most important thing you can ever do.

Any important beauty/skincare advice to women in their 40s and above? For my ladies 40 and above, find a great glycolic peel, and stick to an exfoliation regimen. It will make a huge difference in the youthfulness of your skin! And as always, sunscreen remains an absolute must. Also, don’t be afraid to age gracefully. You’re not any less of a beauty if you can’t afford to get Botox, fillers, and other cosmetic procedures. We live in a time where a lot of people think that defines beauty as we get older. While it’s nice to be able to get those procedures, it doesn’t make you any less beautiful if you don’t!

beauty over 40, beauty tips and tricks 40 years and above
Allison Cohen/ Never Say Die Beauty

At what age you started with makeup or skincare? I started sneaking my mom's Maybelline mascara at age 13. I started using moisturizer at age 20.

What are your beauty staples (makeup or skincare)? Because I have colorless but long lashes, mascara is a must. For my downturned eyes, I prefer a thin wand with plastic teeth like Mirabella or Benefit's Roller Lash. Lipstick is also a must, and I usually wear neutrals for everyday and red or coral for evenings. My dry lips make me gravitate towards hydrating lipsticks like Tarte Lip Sculptor Duo and Too Faced La Creme. I use many skincare products with a hyaluronic acid serum and a rich eye cream being musts for my dry skin.

Any important beauty/skincare advice to younger women? Start using skincare products including sunscreen, anti-aging moisturizer and serum when you're young to preserve the health and look of your skin for as long as possible.

Any important beauty/skincare advice to women in their 40s and above?  Every woman should make her own decisions about beauty, and not every woman will choose to wear makeup. But I wish more women over 40 would use moisturizer and sunscreen. I see so many Boomer women around my age who look like they've never seen a bottle of moisturizer and sunscreen. Hydrating one's skin and protecting it from the damaging rays of the sun can do so much to protect the health of the skin and help a woman look more youthful as she ages.

At what age you started with makeup or skincare? I started using makeup and taking care of my skin the summer of 8th grade (14 years old) when my mom took me to the beauty shop to get me ready for high school.

What are your beauty staples (makeup or skincare)? I must have moist makeup remover wipes (I've used many brands), lip balm, mascara and tinted moisturizer.

Any important beauty/skincare advice to younger women? Avoid the sun and use good SPF. If you start taking good care of your skin at a young age, you will be rewarded later. This I know for sure!

Any important beauty/skincare advice to women in their 40s and above? Continue with a good skincare routine. And do what makes you happy as far as makeup application as long as it works for you.


There you have it ladies and gents, sunscreen is a staple and they have been taking care of their skin long before their blogs even started. What you sow, you shall reap, skincare-wise. Stay tuned for Part 2.

Do you have a beauty or lifestyle blog, perhaps active on Youtube or social media? I want to feature you if you are also 40 years young and above. Drop me an e.

Beauty Over 40 series first appeared on this blog. xo

Just the thought of Fall makes me excited. I know we don't get to witness the majestic fall foliage here in Hawaii but the overall atmosphere, including the cozy vibe is something I always look forward to. My home office for one smells like pumpkin spice with a hint of caramel (reed diffuser I got from Pier Imports yesterday). I also bought a pumpkin spice powder which I sprinkle to my coffee for some fancy zest. You can tell, I pumpkin spice all the things! But before I get distracted, let's just recap some of my September favorites one last time!
pr sample + own purchase + affiliate 
Cruelty-free Beauty, vegan beauty, drunk elephant t.l.c sukari babyfacial, derma e microdermabrasion scrub, urban decay comfort matte bad blood
Red is a trend this fall and the easiest way to rock it is to wear it on your lips. I know some women who are afraid to wear red lipstick. I say don't be! Red is as flattering as neutral or pink shade. A true red is universally appealing, such as Bad Blood Comfort Matte from Urban Decay. Currently sold as a set at $22 including the lip liner, I got both for only $17 when Nordstrom was running a sale!
Urban Decay Comfort Matte Bad blood lipstick and lipliner
Get fall-ready with skincare. I have always been a fan of Derma-E products including their Microdermabrasion Scrub. The texture is quite gritty yet not as harsh as the other brands because the main ingredients are volcanic sand and sea salt mixed with natural and organic oil such as citrus, jojoba, sunflower, orange, to name a few. I use this twice a week, usually on my pamper-nights (Wednesday and Sunday) when I spend longer time as far as my beauty routine goes. The trick with at-home "microdermabrasion" is to not to apply force as you massage or rub the product against your skin. Wet your face, scoop out pea-size then gently rub (like rubbing your puppy's belly with so much TLC). Another skincare must-have is Drunk Elephant Sukari Babyfacial. Note, I don't combine both at the same time because too much exfoliation can actually lead to more skincare problems such as irritation, breakouts and dryness. I have been using this product for many months now but never got to do a formal review. Offhand, it combines AHA (25%) composed of glycolic/tartaric/citric and lactic acid and BHA (2%) which is salicylic acid. AHA or alpha-hydroxy acid helps enhance and brighten the face. Anecdotally, it can help diminish dark spots (beginning stages of sun spots or uncomplicated hyperpigmentation). BHA or beta-hydroxy acid is salicylic acid which helps keep oil at bay, unclog pores, exfoliate and manage mild acne. This product does sting for a few minutes but it's one of those skincare wonders that I can actually see an immediate brightening effect on my skin. I use this once a week whenever I feel like my face looks dull.
vegan skincare, cruelty-free skincare derma e microdermabrasion scrub, drunk elephant sukari babyfacial
Fashion-wise, I am happy to have discovered this vegan satchel from Matt and Nat which can also be worn as crossbody. I think the color is great for Fall season. It's versatile both for the office as well as running errands. It's roomy enough to accommodate my continental wallet, keys, eye drops, lipstick, sanitizer, mirror and camera (Canon G7x).
matt and nat satchel, vegan lifestyle, vegan fashion
Finally, let me share with you a very simple breakfast cookie made without dairy. It's quick and easy and requires only a handful of ingredients. I have already baked this many times (4 this month that's why I am including it in my favorites post). I call it Cinnamon Apple Oat Cookies.

Vegan recipe Apple cinnamon oat cookie

Yields 9-10 cookies. Prep time 5 minutes. Bake time 18 minutes. 
2 cups Quaker Oats apple cinnamon (ground, pulse in blender, I use Ninja)
2 ripe mashed bananas
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons flax seed (you can also use hemp or chia seeds)
(Optional) 2 tablespoons vanilla protein powder
(Optional) 2 tablespoons almond butter

Mix ground oat with mashed bananas. Combine the rest of the ingredients. If you want extra chewy, add almond butter. Scoop a portion, roll into a ball in between palm, flatten, arrange in pan covered with parchment paper. Pre-heat oven 350 degrees. Bake for 18 minutes.

Shop my favorites

Despite all the rage in metallic lips, I was quite hesitant to try this trend because I feel like it looks too bold for my daytime job. I mean, I'm all for statement lips but this is one category I haven't really dipped into until recently. Hikari Cosmetics is an up and coming brand founded on providing sophisticated yet affordable makeup options for women. They are PETA-certified/ cruelty-free. I received four shades from their recently-launched metallic lip glosses ($13 each) but instead of the usual swatches, I thought of showcasing each shade alongside my work outfits-of-the-week, sounds fun ha? Here we go!

Monday was rockstar-meets-neutral. My studded knit top was a statement by itself so I went with neutral lips. This is Tender Heart, you can tell that whilst it's metallic, it looks subtle for daytime. As with other lip glosses, the applicator is sponge-type doe-foot. There's a whiff of citrus/chemical scent to all these lippies but nothing too overpowering. I had to apply twice to make it stand out a little. I wore cigarette pants and booties to complete my look.
Hikari Cosmetics Metallic Lip Gloss Tender Heart
Tuesday was comfort-meets-sass. I had some procedures and patient consults on that day so I wore something very comfortable yet still quite formal. I love gray and black combo, I can live in this outfit every single day if I could. Freefall is deep berry, Fall-appropriate in one way or the other. I had to apply four times because it comes out uneven. With too much product on, my lips felt tighter because it does dry down quite matte.
Hikari Cosmetics Metallic Lip Gloss Freefall
Wednesday was dress-down. I work half-days on Wednesdays so 99% of the time, you will see me in dark denims and simple top. I woke up late, grabbed my black long-sleeved top which you already saw many times on the blog, put on black jeggings and wore booties. I didn't have extra time to take several photos. Thankfully, this one shot came out clear. Forbidden is a beautiful rosy pink shade, it's my favorite because it gives a neutral pop to my very minimal makeup.

Hikari Cosmetics Metallic Lip Gloss Forbidden

Thursday was safari meets bronze. By now you have an idea that I do gravitate towards black or dark colors, outfit-wise. They're easy to wear that's why. Fall is when I wear animal prints and of course booties. I thought Spiced Rum, a bronze gold shade, compliments my top. I did a subtle smoky eye makeup to amp up my look. I thought this shade was a little too much for daytime but no, I actually liked it after Forbidden.
Hikari Cosmetics Metallic Lip Gloss Spiced Rum
If you're looking for cruelty-free alternative metallic lip glosses that won't break the bank, I think Hikari's line is worth considering. You can wear each one on its own or layer two colors if you're feeling rad. As mentioned, it dries semi-matte so try to moisturize your lips prior to application. Wear time is relative depending on what you do or eat. It survived sipping coffee and light salad lunch. The vegan status is quite unclear because when I asked the PR if it's either cruelty-free or vegan, I only got a response that it is the latter. If you order direct from their website, there is $3 shipping in the contiguous states, $5 in Hawaii and Alaska.

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