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The Basis of Beauty
As you head into the fall pageant season, remember that the foundation of any beautiful look is healthy, blemish-free skin. A smooth, polished complexion starts with the right foods, the right amount of exercise, plenty of sleep, and a skin care program suited to your needs.
Many experts suggest that eight glasses of water, lots of fruits and vegetables, and a good night's sleep get you off to a good start. Once you've got the basics of health, you need to set up a skin-care routine that suits your skin type.
Begin your skin regimen with cleaning and exfoliating. Morning and night, use an oil-free cleanser to reduce the risk of clogged pores. Follow it with a toner to remove residue and shrink pores.
Depending on your skin type, exfoliate with a good scrub two to four times a week. This will remove dead cells and leave your skin brighter and smoother. And don't forget your neck, shoulders, and legs when you exfoliate. They'll be bared for the pageant and will benefit from a good polishing. Choose a gentle body polisher, such as a salt- or sugar-based product that contains moisturizers as well as exfoliators.
Choose your moisturizer to fit your skin type. If dryness is a problem, select a moisturizer, usually a cream, rich in emollients. On the other hand, oily skin will benefit from an oil-free product such as a lotion that contains humectants such as glycerin or lactic acid rather than an emollient.
When a late night-before leaves you feeling a bit droopy with puffy eyes, turn to a product that contains an anti-inflammatory ingredient as well as moisturizers. It is also well to select a product that can be worn under makeup.
Give yourself a sun-kissed look without the dangers of the sun or a tanning bed. You'll find a host of bronzers out there in both powder and cream formulations. The powder is easier to control: just stroke cheek bones, nose, forehead anywhere the sun would touch with a soft, sable brush. If you prefer a dewy look, pick a cream bronzer, smooth it on with care, and blend with a sponge.
With polished, healthy-looking skin, you've got a head start on any beauty look you choose.
Ernie McCraw is director of beauty for Sally Beauty Company, the world's largest distributor of professional beauty products. A licensed cosmetologist for more than 30 years, he is frequently asked by newspapers and national fashion and beauty magazines for beauty advice.
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