The Expert’s Guide to Perfume Application

How to Determine Your Scent’s ‘Staying’ Power

Anyone who appreciates a fine scent knows that perfume can be a work of art. But the wearer is the performer. In fact, without you, says Ana Maria Urrea of the fragrance house Firmenich, scent is little more than a pretty bottle of liquid. “Fragrance works on body heat. Your body heat activates the scent and propels it into the air.” Perfumers even have a word for how far scent projects: sillage (pronounced see-yahz).
 
How you apply your scent should be largely based on the sillage. So if you wear a fragrance that people comment on when you’re several feet away, you know the scent has a strong sillage. The JAFRA fragrance Diamonds, for example, has a stronger sillage. “These scents generally work well lightly spritzed on hair or clothes,” says Urrea. You’ll leave a scent impression (sillage means “wake” in French) without overpowering yourself or others.
 
Fragrances with a minimal sillage stay close to the skin. These fragrances are best applied on the wrists, neck and chest, where body temperature is highest. “These are the more intimate ‘nuzzle’ scents,” according to Urrea. “You have to be very close to the wearer to smell them.” If you’re on a date night, you can even apply these subtle scents to the back of the knees, the small of the back or anywhere else your partner might be pleasantly surprised by a great fragrance.  The JAFRA scent Eau d´Aromes has more minimal sillage.
 
How do you know if your scent has a strong sillage or a minimal one? Certain ingredients used in many scents – floral notes, musk and hedione, for example – are notorious for being diffusive, strong sillage scents. Oftentimes, fragrances with essential oil, citrus or herbal notes, are less diffusive. But, of course, the only real way to be sure is to try on the scent. “Perfumes are always individual,” says Urrea. Your exact body chemistry and even the weather outside can make a difference in how a scent smells on the wearer and even how diffusive it is.
 

10 Brilliant Beauty Hacks That Save You Cash

Beauty emergencies fall into two main categories: You run out of an important product when you need it most; or you discover you’ve had an appearance disaster. In the worst-case scenario, both hit at the same time. The good news? A clever, inexpensive solution may be as close as the medicine cabinet or the kitchen. The 10 best beauty hacks for common crises follow.
 
 “OMG, I’m out of….”
 
Mascara: The classic hack is a touch of petroleum jelly applied with a mascara wand or spoolie brush to make lashes shiny so they look longer and thicker. Or, if you’ve got a nearly empty or dried out mascara tube, add a few drops of contact-lens saline solution to get the last bit of color out.
 
Makeup remover: Grab the coconut oil from the kitchen. Apply it to your face to melt makeup and wipe off gently with a warm washcloth. Bonus: It will leave your skin feeling super soft.
 
Toner: Mix a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar with a tablespoon of water and spray or dab onto your face. This isn’t a hack for every day because even diluted vinegar is too acidic for regular use on facial skin, but it’s okay in an emergency.
 
Cuticle cream: Use lip balm. Out of lip balm? Petroleum jelly also works in a pinch.
 
Dry shampoo: Spray the roots of your hair lightly with spray starch and brush out. Alternative: baby powder. Only apply a small amount!
 
“Uh oh, I have a problem! It’s….”
 
A self-tanning mistake: Baking soda to the rescue! If you overtanned your knees, palms, or elbows, make a paste of baking soda and water and gently rub it on the area where you need to remove tanner. Wipe off.
 
A too-prominent part: If your hair is thin, you may have too much scalp showing at your part. Smooth some brown eye shadow at your roots to fake thicker hair.
 
A pimple: White toothpaste (not the gel kind) works to shrink that one-time angry red zit. It’s okay in an emergency to dot a little bit onto a pimple, but it’s too harsh to use widely on facial skin. You can also try a warm, moist teabag to quell the inflammation.
 
Under-eye bags: Teabags save the day again! This time, chill two dampened teabags briefly in the freezer before lying down and applying them to the undereye area for 5 to 10 minutes. The astringent effect of the tannin in the tea leaves plus the cool moisture should help relieve the puffiness.
 
Hat hair: If your hair is frizzed out because you’ve been wearing a knit hat or the weather is dry, just swipe a dryer sheet over it to tame the static. Or rub a tiny amount of petroleum jelly on the surface of your palms and smooth it over your hair to settle down flyaways.

 

5 Resolutions You Absolutely Must Break to Get Beautiful Skin

Did you make a list of resolutions for the New Year? You may want to consider tweaking them if any sound like this:
 
“I’m only going to eat 500 calories a day until I finally lose that weight!” Losing weight is the number one resolution every year for almost everyone. But if you’re going to do it, do it right. Consuming fewer than 1,200 calories a day is going to leave your skin (and the rest of you) starved for important nutrients, especially the healthy oils found in fatty fish, nuts and avocados that keep your complexion glowing. Better to drop the pounds more slowly and keep your skin and your body healthy.
 
“I promise to exfoliate every day!” Whoa, curb your enthusiasm! Gentle cleansing and exfoliation are necessary for glowing skin, but daily exfoliation, especially with an abrasive scrub, is too often. Once a week is plenty. On the other days, use a mild cleansing milk.
 
“I vow to get outside more and exercise!” We’re not going to bust you for communing with nature or getting a fresh-air workout, but we’re betting that you’re skimping on sun protection. Doesn’t matter if it’s cloudy or clear, make applying an SPF of at least 30 part of your daily beauty ritual.
 
“I’m going to make my own beauty products!” Yes, there are lots of clever beauty hacks to extend or replace certain products, but generally making your own supplies out of kitchen ingredients isn’t smart. Sea salt, for example, is a bad idea as a scrub because the crystals are too sharp and will scratch delicate facial skin, while olive oil is too heavy to use as a moisturizer and will just clog pores.
 
“I’ll save money by buying the cheapest brands!” Looking for a bargain is a great idea on commodity household goods like dish soap and paper towels, but it’s not smart when it comes to beauty. For skin care and cosmetics, make your goal getting the most for your money, rather than just buying by rock-bottom price. Why? Because cheaper formulas frequently contain unhealthy chemicals the more sophisticated brands avoid, like sodium lauryl sulfate, and skimp on the more expensive, cutting-edge ingredients like peptides. Read and compare labels and choose the safest, most effective ingredients at the best price. Your skin will thank you.

 

5 Harmless Habits That Destroy Your Skin

You Know You Do at Least One of These!

You’re savvy about avoiding bad skin habits—smoking, sunning, and popping pimples. But you’ll be surprised at what other seemingly harmless habits can damage your facial skin.
 
Skipping sunglasses. Being outside in sunshine is a double whammy: You squint, promoting the formation of wrinkles, and you let the sun’s harmful UVA and UVB rays damage the fragile skin around your eyes. Always wear sunglasses when it’s bright out and make sure you clean the glasses’ nose rest and temple pieces regularly to keep them bacteria-free.
 
Cuddling your cell phone. We all love our cell phones, but if you make a habit of pressing yours against your face, you are spreading some very nasty bacteria to your skin. One scary study found that the average cell phone has more germs on it than a toilet seat. Use a headset when you can and wipe your phone case—not the screen—with antibacterial wipes. To clean the actual phone, use a dry microfiber cloth. (Anything else, like paper towels or wipes, can damage the screen’s sensitive coating.)
 
Skimping on laundry. You spend more hours with your face in contact with your pillow than anything else—even your cell phone! Change your pillowcases a couple times a week to keep bacteria from settling in. Likewise, treat yourself to fresh towels at least that often.
 
Leaning on your hand. You probably don’t even know you do it, but resting your chin or cheek in your palm spreads dirt, oil and germs to your facial skin, as well as encourages wrinkles by pulling on the skin. A hands-off policy is best. And keep your face relaxed: Don’t frown, purse your lips or rub your eyes.  
 
Cleansing too enthusiastically. You already know that not removing your makeup at the end of the day isn’t good for your skin, but that doesn’t mean the opposite habit isn’t just as bad. Exfoliating more than once a week or scrubbing your face vigorously with bar soap and a washcloth every day leads to dry, irritated skin and promotes premature wrinkling. Cleanse your skin gently in the morning and evening with a moisture-rich non-soap facial cleanser. Avoid hot water, which dehydrates the skin.

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