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Skin Care, Tips and Tricks

Starting a New Skincare Regimen

Especially as the seasons change and we move from Summer to Fall, you might be tempted to change up your skincare regimen. Maybe there are some new products you’re dying to add into the mix with the ones you already use, or maybe you’re ready to transition to something a little heavier as the air becomes cooler and dryer. Especially when it comes to products you use on your face, always proceed with care.

When using a new product, start slow. Rather than applying it on your face the first time you try it, do a spot test on the delicate skin of your inner wrist to see how it reacts. A little redness on your wrist is easier to conceal than a red face! After that, use it only a couple times a week to let your skin acclimate before you start using it daily. Your skin has gotten used to certain products with certain ingredients, so a sudden switch can make it sensitive and trigger a reaction.

Rather than adding many new products to your skincare regimen at once, it’s usually best to add one at a time. One new product alone can shock your skin a bit, so too many new products all at once can cause extra sensitivity and dryness. Plus, if your skin has a reaction, how will you know which product caused it?

If you’re using a lot of products, you also need to be aware of the different ingredients and how they react with one another. Some ingredients may neutralize each other so you don’t get to enjoy any of the benefits, and other ingredients may even have a negative reaction when mixed together. Brilliance New York makes it easy for you with different skincare collections that are designed not only to work together but even to enhance one another.

Did you know that certain age-defying ingredients like retinol can be harsh on your skin? Brilliance New York skincare boasts retinyl palmitate, which gently turns into retinol only after being absorbed into the skin. Brilliance New York products are safe for all skin types, including for sensitive skin. Your transition to new products should be indulging and stress-free, with nothing less than radiant results.

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Hair Care, Hair How To

Back To School Beauty: Heat Styling for Kids?

It’s hard to believe that Summer’s coming to an end. But now that the little ones are heading back to school, you’re back on duty as their personal style consultant. For better or worse, the importance of beauty starts young. It’s perfectly understandable that you want them to make the best possible impression on their teachers, classmates, and that one snarky mom who always looked at you funny last year. But should you go as far as using a flat iron or curling iron on your child’s hair? Ultimately the decision is up to you, Mom and Dad, but we want to help you to make the best decision.

Problem #1: Children’s hair is extremely fine. Even kids with “coarse” hair have much finer hair than most adults. Their hair is far more susceptible to damage and can easily be burned by heat styling. You can infuse damaged hair with moisture and nutrients to give it a nicer appearance by using Recovery Masque, but it’s impossible to reverse the damage.

Problem #2: Some kids have trouble sitting still. They’re kids! The last thing you want to do is cause them physical pain when the dog barks and they turn to look at it and braise their cheek against the hot end.

Resolution: The younger your little one is, the more you should try to avoid styling with heat. If you do use a flat iron or curling iron on their hair, start with a very low heat setting and don’t make multiple passes over the same hair. Choose a high-quality flat iron with diamond-infused plates to evenly distribute heat and reduce damage. The cool tip may also help reduce accidents. But no heat styling tool is fool-proof or damage-free; always exercise extra caution when working with children.

How do you style and care for your kids’ hair? Do you consider their beauty an extension of your own? Leave a comment and share your thoughts.

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Skin Care

Exfoliating: What You Need to Know

If you’re not exfoliating, it’s time to start! Your skin will thank you for it. And even if you already exfoliate, knowing more about it can help you be certain you’re getting the most out of it and not unintentionally damaging your skin.

Benefits

Exfoliating involves rubbing a semi-abrasive material against your skin to remove dead skin cells. Dead skin cells left on your skin can clog pores, create excess oil, and give your skin a dull appearance, so exfoliating can help prevent and clear up breakouts. When the dead skin cells are removed, new ones take their place, making your skin smoother and more radiant. This process can even eliminate age spots, sun spots, acne scars, and other discolorations. Exfoliating also allow your other products to work better. When you exfoliate before using your White Diamond Face Serum, for example, the dead skin cells are out of the way, making it easier for the ingredients to penetrate deep into your skin. Some exfoliating products, like Sweet Reverie Body Scrub, are combined with ingredients like jojoba seed oil, almond oil, and diamond powder that simultaneously moisturize and add radiance.

Types

Sea salt scrubs, like Moonlight Serenade Body Scrub, are among the safest and most efficient ways to exfoliate. Using microdermabrasion devices and other exfoliation products improperly can cause skin damage. While scrubs containing microbeads have come under scrutiny for potential waterway pollution, salt dissolves naturally as you use it,. Sea salt can improve circulation wherever it’s used and is especially effective for remedying troubled, ashy areas like the elbows, legs, and feet. Everyone’s skin is different, but you’ll likely want to choose something a little more gentle to exfoliate your face and neck.

Methods

A good body scrub can be used around two to three times a week, but it depends on your specific skincare needs and the seasonal climate. Many people choose to exfoliate their face once or twice daily, though less frequently for those with sensitive skin. When exfoliating your face, try wetting only your hands and massaging facial scrub in quick circles with your fingertips onto dry skin for three minutes, then in larger circles with your palms. Avoid waxing afterward and be sure to wear sunscreen if heading into the sun, as fresh new skin is more susceptible to damage.

Care for Your Skin

The secret to beautiful, youthful skin starts by taking skincare seriously. Does your current skincare routine currently involve exfoliating? How is it working for you? Leave us a comment and let us know.

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Hair Care, Hair How To, Tips and Tricks

An End to Split Ends

Has it been a “cruel cruel Summer” for your hair? Now that Fall is right around the corner and it’s time to start helping the kids get back to school, you might want to think about cleaning up those damaged split ends.

What are split ends, anyway? They’re what you get when the outer layer of your hair cuticle wears away. Caused by any number of factors ranging from heat styling to wind exposure, it leaves your hair in a weakened, dry, and damaged state. If you have split ends, it’s important to get a trim. Otherwise it’s like a snag in pantyhose that can keep running up, unraveling your hair, leaving more and more damage. Especially during the summer, aim for a hair trim every 6 to 8 weeks.

In the meantime, keep the damage down by treating your hair gently. Use a wide-tooth comb after conditioning in the shower, pat dry with a t-shirt, and detangle with your fingers as it dries to reduce breakage. Some believe that a natural boar brush is more flexible with your hair and helps distribute your scalp’s healthy oils. Avoid pulling your hair too tight or using uncovered elastics hair ties with metal pieces.

You can’t reverse damage, but the proper nourishment can add strength and help your hair appear healthier until you’re able to trim those split ends. Use Recovery Masque for a replenishing dose of argan oil and hydration that permeates into the cuticle. Be sure to rinse with cold water to help seal your cuticles. After showering, work some Diamond Drop Serum into the ends of your hair for extra nourishment and protection from the elements. Try adding greens, fruits, wheat, brown rice, beans, and seeds to your diet if you can.

To help reduce damage in the future, be sure you’re equipped with the right styling tools, and know how to use them. While an inexpensive “drug store” hair dryer literally cooks your hair, BNY’s Pro Dryer 3800 comes with a diffuser as well as technology that evenly distributes heat and reduces damage, not to mention an 80% faster drying time, which means less heat exposure. The ceramic plates  of BNY’s 1.25” Diamond Flat Iron also offer even heat distribution, but have you tried turning the temperature down? Different types of hair require more or less heat, and you should try to avoid using more than needed. You might also consider taking a break from damaging chemical and color treatments to give your hair a chance to regain some strength.

How do you cope with split ends? Leave a comment and let us know what you’re doing to keep your hair looking healthy and radiant.

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Skin Care, Tips and Tricks

Serums and Creams: Know Your Skincare

Beautiful skin starts with quality skincare. If you’ve been browsing our Diamond, Ruby, and Caviar collections, don’t worry – you’re not the first to contemplate the difference between the serum and the cream and which one you should get. You see mostly the same active ingredients and benefits listed, so does it just come down to personal preference? By learning a little more about what each one does, you’ll soon understand that using both serum and cream has exponential benefits in comparison to either one alone.

Serum

Anyone who doesn’t use a serum is missing out from outstanding skin benefits. Serums are unparalleled by few skincare products in their ability to smooth fine lines and reduce other visible signs of aging. Comprised of tiny molecules, serums have the ability to quickly penetrate and work deep in your skin. While the rich hydration of cream is crucial for mature and dry skin, serum will add even more hydration for greater rejuvenation.

Serums generally have a gel-like appearance that’s less thick than creams and doesn’t leave any residue. Highly concentrated in active ingredients and little else, it doesn’t take much to get the job done. Immediately after cleansing and drying your face, use your fingers to pat and evenly distribute it onto your skin, using no more than the total amount released from one pump of the bottle (usually about the size of a pea). The longer you wait after cleansing and drying your face to use it, the longer it will take the serum to penetrate your skin.

Cream

Cream acts as a surface-level skincare treatment that forms a barrier over your skin to lock in moisture and keep out dirt. Creams may contain many of the same active ingredients as serums, but the thicker formula stays and works primarily on the surface of your skin. Those with exceptionally oily skin may prefer the lightweight formula of a serum instead of a rich, heavy cream, but cream locks in the benefits of serum for lasting results. (If you have oily skin, try to apply the smallest amount of cream that allows for even distribution.)

After cleansing and drying your face, and at least one minute after allowing your serum treatment to sink in, use your fingertips to pat cream evenly onto your skin. Keep in mind that the barrier it creates over your skin protects against good and bad alike from entering your skin, so a serum or other skincare treatment will require you to cleanse your face of cream beforehand.

What does your current skincare regimen consist of? Are you considering using a serum for the first time? Have you recently started using both serum and cream and noticed the difference? Share your thoughts and experiences by leaving a comment.

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Hair Care

Say Goodbye to Bad Hair Days: 5 Quick Fixes

Between humid days spent at the beach, a whirlwind of travel excursions while the kids aren’t in school, and hot nights spent tossing and turning, there’s no question that Summer is bringing its share of bad hair days. The real question is how you’re handling them. Use any combination of these five quick remedies to turn hair flab into fab.

1. Use hair serum.

Slick some BNY Diamond Drops into your locks to quickly rejuvenate your hair with moisture, silkiness, and a soft shine. It doesn’t get easier than this. Be sure to start by working it into the ends and focusing on troubled areas before using the trace bits left on your hands closer to the roots.

2. Style your hair strategically.

If you’re battling frizz and kinkiness, counteract by pulling your hair into a sleek pony, or go with the flow by creating a bohemian or beachy style with texture, waves, and braids, or perhaps a messy bun. An overly oily hair day, on the other hand, can be less noticeable when worn in braids, or you can work with it by opting for a wet look hairstyle. If your bad hair day is characterized by flatness, try changing your part or teasing your roots to add instant volume.

3. Accessorize.

From hats and headbands that hide troubled spots to sunglasses that draw attention away from your hair, accessories come in handy on a bad hair day. But make sure you’re dressing for the day and not just your hair. Does that hat make sense for where you’re headed? Are you going to have to take it off?

4. Express blow dry.

Styling with heat, especially when using a Brilliance New York hair tool with negative ions and Far Infra red technology to seal hair cuticles, can help you reverse the worst of hair tragedies. But let’s face it: You don’t always have time to reach for your flat iron or curling iron. If you’re in a hurry, spritz some Heat Protector, turn your head upside down, and give a quick blast of heat to those unruly locks with your hair dryer. It’ll add volume while correcting misshapenness, and if it’s a BNY ProDryer you’ll be left with smooth, silky hair.

5. Nail your makeup and daily skincare treatment.

If you’re feeling anything short of happy with your hair, boost your confidence for the day by leaving the house with flawless makeup and moist, supple skin. Today’s not the day to skip out on your Diamond Facial Serum and Face Cream (though what day is?). When applying makeup, be sure to balance your look with the other bad hair day fixes you’ve used. If you accessorized with a sweet, innocent-looking headband, add edgy style with darker eye makeup. If you pulled your hair back into a tight, sleek look, go a little softer with your makeup.

What’s the worst hair day you’ve ever had? What did you do about it? Have any other tricks you’d like to share? Leave a comment or tag us @BrillianceNY in a comment on that one Instagram selfie that says it all.

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Skin Care, Tips and Tricks

Are Your Makeup Mistakes Aging You?

With the right beauty regimen, age is just a number – and one you never have to tell a soul. But is your makeup making you look older? If any of these describe you, it’s time for a makeup makeover to unlock a more youthful you.

My foundation doesn’t match my skin, or I’m not wearing foundation.

Without foundation, skin tends to look uneven and dull, and wearing it incorrectly can age your look. BNY Dual Finish Foundation gives your skin a visible boost and is easy to blend for a naturally dewy or matte look. The trick to foundation is to look like you’re not wearing any. Too light and you’ll look flat and lifeless, and it’ll be clear that there’s a layer of makeup on your face. Too dark and it’ll drag down your features, giving your skin a dull, heavy appearance.

I cover wrinkles with concealer.

Concealer over wrinkles gives false hope by looking good when first applied; it’s never long before it starts to get cakey and emphasize the lines you were trying to hide. Toss the concealer aside and reach for your Caviar Collection Eye Serum and Eye Cream.

I only wear eyeliner on the bottom, not the top.

Sure, the lower lash line is easier to work with. But if you’re not using eyeliner on your lid, you’re missing out. It can really open up your eyes and brighten the look of your whole face. Just be careful not to go too thick for your eye shape, as doing so will age your look. Stay close to your lash line for youthful, natural looking beauty.

I don’t define my eyebrows.

Eyebrows get thinner with age, meaning a fuller brow looks more youthful. Full brows also lift the face. Grab a brow pencil in roughly the same shade as your hair and fill in those eyebrows.

I wear lipliner darker than my lipstick, or I wear lipliner outside of my lips.

Lipliner is intended to keep your lipstick neatly on your lips. While some ladies choose to go just outside the lips with liner to make them look bigger, the color can slip into the fine lines around your mouth and emphasize them, making you look older. Your lipliner should match either your lipstick or the color of your lips to avoid looking like a dated trend.

I wear dark lipstick.

Aging often brings thinning lips. Dark colors create a slimming effect, meaning dark lipstick will make your lips look even thinner. Swap that dark, dated shade for something light with a little shine to make those kissers look plump and fresh.

My blush is the wrong shade, or I apply it on the wrong part of my cheeks.

When applying blush, start high, on the upper curve of the cheek, and brush upward and away from the cheek. This makes your cheeks look higher and more defined, lifting all your facial features. Applying blush on the center of bottom of the cheek gives your face a heavier look. To find the right shade of blush that won’t make your skin look dull, try pinching your cheeks and matching it to that color.

I don’t moisturize my face, or I moisturize my face with body lotion.

It’s crucial to use a daily moisturizing face cream. Moisture alone can help give your skin a youthful glow, but aside from that, makeup applied to dry skin can make your skin appear dryer, duller, and older. Keep in mind that you should be using a face cream like BNY White Diamond Face Cream rather than body lotion, as body lotion clogs your pores. Moisturize immediately after taking a shower or washing your face to lock in moisture and keep dirt out.

I don’t talk to anyone about makeup and beauty.

It might be embarrassing if you’re doing something wrong, but you’ll be surprised what you can learn. Leave a comment or tag us @brillianceny on Twitter so we can talk about best and worst beauty practices and learn from each other.

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Skin Care, Tips and Tricks, Travel

Summer Travels: The Mile-High Beauty Club

Wherever your travels are taking you this summer, you’re probably more excited about the destination than the long flight to get there. We can’t reduce your flight time or keep the crying babies off your plane, but we do have some beauty and health advice that will come in handy once you’ve reached your cruising altitude of thirty thousand feet. Consider Brilliance New York your co-pilot.

Defeat Dry Skin

There’s a reason your hands and skin always feel dry when you’re up in the sky. The air at high altitudes has very little moisture.

The miniature water bottle handed to you by a flight attendant once every few hours is hardly enough to keep up with your body’s normal water requirements let alone compensate for the altitude. Buy a few water bottles once you’ve passed airport security and keep yourself hydrated throughout your flight. To avoid frequent bathroom breaks, load up on raw fruits and veggies, which offer a slow release of hydration into your body.

You should also nourish your skin with extra hydration before and during the flight. Step up your moisturizer game with Body Soufflé up to a day before your flight, and bring cream with you the day of your travels. Apply thirty minutes before boarding to give it time to be absorbed, then reapply up to once an hour during your flight.

Say Goodnight to Sun Damage

Were you lucky enough to snag a window seat? You’ve probably never gotten sunburn on a flight, but you’re still exposed to harmful rays through the window. And when you’re a mile high in the sky, that’s one mile closer to the sun. To prevent skin damage, make sure you’re wearing a cream with SPF, like Pearl SPF Day Cream.

Purge All Puffiness

Remember the last time you left a flight feeling puffy and bloated? Let’s really make it the last time.

Skip those salty airplane peanuts and pretzels. Pack raw fruits and veggies with you instead. To increase circulation, it can also be helpful to stretch and walk periodically (when safe and allowed to do so). If your eyes are puffy and you’ve checked your Caviar Eye Cream or left it home, rinse your face in cold water, or soak a cloth or paper towels in cold water to create a cold compress to use during descent.

No More Messy Hair

After your flight, there’s nothing worse than meeting loved ones, going out to eat, going sightseeing, or even just walking off the plane with messy airplane hair.

Endless hours of sitting with your head against an airplane seat can cause a flat patch of hair. Prevent it by flipping your head forward and tying your hair into a loose topknot. When you let it down after your flight, you’ll probably even notice a nice volume boost. You’ll still want to guard your hair from dryness and extra tangles and damage, so be sure to enlist the deep hydration of Protect and Repair Shampoo, Conditioner, and Hair Masque the night before traveling.

Count On Cleanliness

Long flights can leave you feeling pretty icky to say the least. Just before descent, bring a toothbrush, mini toothpaste, deodorant, and Facial Cleanser into the bathroom and freshen up. And if you’re on a red-eye flight, be sure to remove your makeup and wash your face before you (and the folks in your row) settle down for the night.

Happy Travels!

We hope you have a great trip! Any other mile-high beauty secrets to share? Leave a comment and let us know.

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Holidays/Occasions

Balanced Beauty for a Fierce Fourth of July

Between loud, bright fireworks and a bold color combination of red, white, and blue, it’s easy to go overboard when incorporating the Fourth of July theme into your holiday beauty and fashion. This beauty checklist will help you have a fun Independence Day minus the visual violations and embarrassment.

 The American flag appears on only one element of my look. Sure, it can be fun to find how many ways you can work the American flag into your clothing, accessories, hair, and makeup. But a single flag (or multiple flags that appear in one place, like your nails) has way more punch. If you’ve created American flags over your eyelids, save that flag shirt for next year.

 I did not use face paint (or makeup as face paint). You can look patriotic without looking like you’re going to a costume party.

 I am not wearing a body suit or flag dress. (Need we mention costume party again?)

 I have a fresh, festive manicure. If there’s a side of you that wants to go crazy with glitz and glitter, the nails are an acceptable place to release that energy. Combine all the American colors if you’d like, or go with a solid red. We love bright manis for the Summer.

 My makeup features either a bold, red lip, or an extra pop of color on the eyes, like mermaid blue eyeliner – or neither (not both). The pop of color on your eyes doesn’t have to be a patriotic color; try to make a smart choice that complements your entire outfit (which doesn’t necessarily mean an exact color match).

 I have consciously selected accessories that balance my outfit. If you’ve gone with a red, white, and blue theme that runs through your clothing, jewelry, and maybe even your makeup, why not add something a little different but still summery, like a stylish straw hat?

Do you have your entire Fourth of July look planned out already? Leave a comment and let us know what you’re thinking. Or why not post a pic to Twitter and tag @BrillianceNY so we can see? We hope you enjoy the holiday!

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Hair Care, Hair How To

Goodbye Envy, Hello Extensions!

Tired of looking at other hairstyles and wishing you had that kind of volume and length to work with? Envy is a waste of time when a simple solution is at your disposal. Every day, more and more women are making the switch to hair extensions. If you’re just beginning to consider Brilliance New York hair extensions, then you’ve come to the right place to learn about the best extension option for you.

Human VS Synthetic

For hairstyles that turn heads, 100% human hair extensions are 100% the way to go. Synthetic hair is cheaper for a reason. It never blends in quite right with the rest of your hair, tangles easily, and can’t be styled the same way human hair can. Synthetic hair can’t always withstand the heat from flat irons, curling wands, and other hair tools, which can cause it to melt. Extensions with extensive shine may lure you in, but buyer beware: they’re usually coated with silicone, which wears off quickly, leading to fading and tangling.

Clip-In VS Other Methods

There are a handful of intimidating hair extension installation methods ranging from glue to heat fusion, all of which can be pretty damaging to your hair. Clip-in hair extensions, consisting of small sections you can place strategically through your hair by yourself, are the least permanent and cause the least amount of damage to your hair. Avoid stress to your roots by placing clip-ins where your hair is the strongest, avoiding wearing them while sleeping or bathing, and completely opening clips before removal.

The Remy Standard

It’s important that your hair extensions are Remy hair. Remy comes from a single source and is picked strand by strand to ensure perfect alignment, with all strands’ roots in the same direction. Remy hair is high quality, remains beautiful and soft wash after wash, and barely tangles. Other types, like single drawn or double drawn, are not as high quality and have less uniformity from hair to hair.

A Natural Look

Done properly, hair extensions can go completed undetected – but certainly not unnoticed! For a stunning new hair extension style, seek help from a Brilliance New York salon stylist who can help you select the extensions closest to your natural hair color. She or he can help you use them to create highlights or lowlights or may even steer you toward mixing and matching colors for a more natural blend. One of the biggest “extension rookie” mistakes is to wear extensions straight from the box without any kind of styling. You want them to look authentic and lived-in. For the most natural look, your stylist can even cut them for the perfect blend of layers with your real hair.

Styling and Care

You can use low-temperature heat to style human hair extensions like you would your normal hair. You can even color them, though it’s best to avoid bleach and over-processing as well as products containing alcohol or oil. A stylist should be consulted before chemical treatment. Treat your extensions gently and carefully according to the instructions. Put thought into their storage, too. Instead of leaving them crumpled up, why not hang the clips on a hanger?

Extend Your Style

Leave a comment and let us know if you’re thinking of trying hair extensions. Or if you already have them, we’d love to know all about them and the beautiful new hairstyles you’ve been showing off.