Say Cheese: Tips for Being Extremely Photogenic

 Tips for Being PhotogenicIn the digital age, pictures are more than a thousand words. On every social media platform, your profile picture is a representation of who you are—so why not make it count?

Follow these 10 styling tips, and you’ll be camera ready in every situation.

Showcase your features. Whether it’s your eyes or your smile, make sure to draw attention to your greatest asset. If you straight, white teeth, give the camera a wide grin. If you have full lips, let the world know with a bright color. If you draw attention to your best feature, you’ll feel and look confident, which makes for a better shot.

Look directly at the camera. Most of us look better—and friendlier—when we’re making eye contact with the lens. That doesn’t mean you can’t tilt your head to highlight your best angle, though.

Improve your posture.When someone is snapping your picture, find a pose that is comfortable, but not slouchy or rigid. The best pictures are always when subjects look natural.

Smile! When the photographer is snapping away, try to think of something that makes you laugh, and give the world a stunning smile.

Hats off. Hats and glasses do look stylish in person, but in photographs, they cast shadows and glares over your most expressive feature—your eyes.

Opt for a (mostly) natural face. Portraits should highlight you, not your makeup. Focus on using just enough eyeliner and mascara to highlight your eyes, which are always the most compelling part of a portrait.

Tame the mane.As a rule of thumb, bigger hair is better in photos because it frames your face. So fluff your locks with your fingers before the shutter clicks.


Got a few portrait tips up your sleeve? Share in the comments below!

How to Look Incredibly Well Rested

So you haven’t been getting enough zzzz’s lately…and it’s starting to take its toll where it shows the most: your eyes.

Don’t despair! While you work on righting your sleep schedule, you can still look remarkably well-rested with these eye-opening makeup tricks:

Color Me Awake
Dark circles are the bane of the sleepless. Combat yours with a little concealer under the eyes, blending it in the corners and the dark areas on the sides of your nose. Be sure to set the concealer with a little powder so it keeps looking fresh and finished all day long.

Line It Up
Nothing makes your eyes pop more than the illusion of more white around your iris. Try lining the inner rims of your lower lash lines with a flesh-colored pencil to give your eyes more openness.If your beauty regime usually calls for colored eyeliner, be sure to only lightly line the top lash and leave the lower lashline with only the flesh-colored liner.

Brighten and Shine
Blend a matte skin-toned shadow over your lids, and then dust a shimmer version of the shade just beneath brows. The shimmer eyeshadow helps reflect the light, giving the illusion of brighter eyes.

Finish the Look
Skip the mascara-loaded lashes that weigh down the openness of your eyes, and opt for a more natural lashline instead. Use any mascara that promises a natural or light look, sweep on two coats.

Finish your face with a touch of highlighting powder on your T-zone. Just like the shimmery eyeshadow, this helps reflect the light and brightens up your face on days you need the boost most. Now get out there and show the world a healthy, more alert version of yourself!

What are some makeup tricks you use to look bright-eyed in the early mornings?

Foods to Eat for Heavenly Hair

Heavenly HairDoes you hair need a little more oomph lately? You may find the “rinse, lather, repeat” system just isn’t enough when it comes to healthy, resilient hair—and the reason may seem obvious: your hair needs to be nurtured to look its best.

And the best way to indulge your locks is by fueling them from the inside out. Incorporate these hair-friendly foods into your daily diet, and watch your hair transform from dull and drab strands into glossy lively tresses in no time!

Fruits and dark green veggies. It’s true—healthy hair begins with a healthy body, so it’s no wonder these fortified foods would be at the top of our list. In terms of your hair, leafy green vegetables like spinach and broccoli are an excellent source of vitamins and they provide you with iron and calcium—necessary nutrients for a full and thick head of hair. Fruits high in vitamin C and A help your body to produce sebum, which is an oily substance in your hair follicles that acts as a natural conditioner.

Foods with omega-3 fatty acids. Want to add a little vibrancy to your mane? Snack on flaxseeds and walnuts to add some serious shine to your hair. Fish like salmon, mackerel, sardines, and herring are a great source of omega as well.

Foods that produce beta-carotene. Carrots, sweet potatoes, kale, asparagus, and pumpkin are all foods that convert beta-carotene to vitamin A during digestion. Vitamin A not only nourishes your hair and skin, but it also prevents dandruff. Remember, a healthy scalp is the very foundation of soft and supple hair.

  • Beans. Snack on legumes like kidney beans and lentils for Rapunzel-like locks. These foods contain growth-boosting proteins that will increase the thickness and length of your hair. Additionally, beans also have iron, zinc, and biotin, which prevent hair breakage.
  • Cysteine-infused foods. The amino acid cysteine gives your body a healthy detox, all while promoting hair growth by actually increasing the thickness of each individual strand. This magical nutrient can be found in poultry, eggs, red peppers, garlic, onions, Brussels spouts, oatmeal, and broccoli.
  • Nuts. If you’ve been toiling with way to decrease hair shedding, look no further. Nuts—such as Brazil nuts, walnuts, cashews, pecans, and almonds—are one of the best sources of selenium and have minerals that keep your scalp and hair healthy. Additionally, they all have zinc, which can help prevent hair shedding.
  • Whole grains. This healthy diet staple is good for both your hair and your overall health. Not to mention, whole grains are an ample source of zinc and iron. Whole wheat breads and fortified cereals also sources of B vitamins, which promote happy strands by boosting your red blood cell count. Red blood cells will carry oxygen to the living portion of hair strands and therefore increase your hair’s growth rate.
  • Silica-rich foods. For stronger, more durable hair, include foods rich in silica into your diet. Some healthy choices include bananas, oats, and raisins—and when you mix all these together, you have a nutritious, beauty-fortified breakfast!

Do you have more healthy hair tips you’d like to share? Tell us your best-kept beauty secrets in the comments section below!

Simple Summer Makeup Tips

With summer’s heat in full swing, it’s a good time to shakeup your daily routine—your makeup routine, that is! Embrace the heat and look divine with these tips that make your face as vibrant as the day is bright.

Get naked: Well, not literally. But who wants gobs of foundation melting off the tip of your nose in this record-breaking heat? Instead, try setting your face first with a little bit of lotion (SPF is your friend!), and only use a touch of concealer under your eyes (pro-tip: make sure to use a concealer that is slightly lighter than your skin color if you are prone to bags under the eyes). Finish your base with a loose powder, like MAC’s Select Sheer Loose Powder. A loose powder absorbs sweat and shine, but gives your skin the airy look of bare skin.

  • Glow: Summer is the perfect excuse to try out the bronzer that’s intimidated you all winter. Instead of using blush, sweep a little bit of bronzer just under your cheekbones (this will make them look extraordinarily pronounced!). Next, use a bronzer that’s slightly lighter to highlight the actual cheekbone and make them pop, all while giving your skin a radiant glow.
  • Go au natural: As for the eyes, less is more in the summer. Choose a light, matte shadow to brush all over the eyes, from lash line to brow-base. Next, dab a warm chocolate shade in the crease and blend. (Color tip: we especially love Nars Cosmetics Eye Shadow Duo in Key Largo).
  • Lash out: Spare no expense when it comes to coating those lashes. One of summer’s sexiest looks is a dramatic lash. Give Maybelline’s Illegal Length mascara a try. This mascara noticeably lengthens lashes thanks to its fiber extensions, and it builds well. Don’t forget the bottom lashes!
  • Kiss: Forget about lipstick—grab your favorite shade in Burt’s Bees Tinted Lip Balm and apply generously. It keeps your lips healthy, moist, and lends just enough color to complete your gorgeous summer look.

What are your best-kept summer makeup secrets?


The Perfect DIY Pedicure

Sandal season is here! At The Center for Natural Breast Reconstruction, we keep seeing strut-worthy pedicures all around. So what are you waiting for? Grab your favorite polish and arm yourself with these pro-tips for the perfect pedicure. Your piggies will thank you!

Trim and File

After you’ve removed your nail polish, cut the nails straight across just above your skin (only a sliver of nail-white should remain). Afterward, take an emery board and file the edges into a nice curve. As for choosing an emery file, the fine-grain boards are for smoothing, and the coarser ones are for shaping the nail.

Soak ‘Em

Fill a large bowl or partially fill your bathtub with warm water. Add a few drops of your favorite aromatherapy oil and rest your feet in the water for 10 minutes.

No aromatherapy oil, you say? Follow this simple recipe for your footbath. It softens those puppies and removes dead skin:
1 C. Buttermilk (slightly warmed)
½ C. Sugar
6-7 C. Hot water


After you’ve dried your feet, apply a basic cuticle remover to the base of each nail and rub in the solution. Wipe the excess away, and then use an orangewood stick to gently push back where skin meets the nail (including the sides). If you have a light hand and won’t nick yourself, you can use cuticle nippers to trim any loose skin.


Introduce your feet to the magic of a wet pumice stone. You can buy these pretty much anywhere and they work brilliantly to slough away dead skin on your heels and the balls of your feet. Remember the objective is to smooth out the skin, so scrub gently.


Moisturizing is the key to healthy skin and pretty feet. Take any thick, creamy lotion and rub it into your feet thoroughly. (Expert tip: lotion with shea butter is excellent for dry skin). Take your time with this step—you’ve worked diligently to get here, and the massage goes a long way to relieving tension.

Paint and Appreciate

Apply a thin base coat using three strokes, one down the middle and one on each side. Don’t paint the cuticle. Wait a minute before adding two coats of your favorite polish, then finish with a thin top coat. For a summery color choice, opt for anything in the blue-green family—teal is the it-color this season.

Now all that’s left is to decide where you’re going to show off your pretty peds!

What is your favorite place to show off a new pedicure?


5 Tips for Improving Skin’s Appearance and Health

skincare tipsHealthy, beautiful skin is within reach of anyone, no matter the age. A few simple tips will help your skin heal itself and glow.

Reduce sun exposure.

While a certain amount of sun exposure is a vital source of vitamin D, spending too much time in the sun can prematurely age your skin. Don’t be afraid to spend 10–15 minutes in the sun without sunblock a couple of times a week. The more skin you can expose, the less time you need to spend in the sun. Be sure to use sunscreen, cover-ups, and hats if you’re out longer.

Increase antioxidants.

While antioxidants are added to some skin products, you also want to get them from your diet. Eating plenty of vegetables and fruits of all colors gives you a full range of antioxidants, which strengthen collagen and restore elasticity to skin. Other sources of dietary antioxidants include green tea, wine, coffee, dark chocolate, and grapeseed oil.

Eat more essential fatty acids.

If you’re getting the good fats you need every day, your skin will glow and your hair will shine. The best way to get these fatty acids is to eat real food, such as avocados, fish, and nuts. Some women keep their skin supple and moist by applying coconut oil or olive oil directly to the skin. Beware: a little bit goes a long way!

Read labels and reduce the number of products you use.

Beauty products are full of chemicals, petroleum, and preservatives. Many women are switching to gentler, more natural beauty products, such as goats’ milk soap. Read your labels, and consider switching to products with fewer ingredients.

Many of us are using the same products we used when we were young adults, and we may not need them anymore. For example, toner formulated for younger skin can be drying, while cleansers may be harsh. Don’t kill your skin—cleanse it gently and rethink the products you use, including all of your makeup. Do you really need them? Could you use a moisturizing cleanser and skip a separate moisturizer?

Try mineral makeup.

In addition to using the same skin care products we used 20+ years ago, we also tend to use the same type of makeup we did as youngsters. Mineral makeup covers as well as any other foundation—even if you have acne or rosacea—and it’s better for your skin because it’s not made from petroleum and doesn’t clog your pores. Mineral makeup has fewer chemicals, is easy to use, and makes your skin glow. It’s you, just better.

When buying mineral makeup, beware of the ingredient bismuth oxychloride, as it can cause irritation or itching.

What do you do to keep your skin healthy and beautiful?

How to Keep Your Tresses Healthy and Radiant

healthy hair tipsHaving a healthy head of hair is easier than you might think. It all starts with your diet and ends with what you put on your hair. Following are a few tips to create the healthy hair you’ve always wanted.

Your hair is what you eat.

One of the easiest ways for doctors to see if their patients eat a healthy diet is to look at their hair. What you eat dictates how healthy your hair is from the inside out.

When it comes to nourishing your hair, get your nutrients from food, and use supplements such as multivitamins only as an insurance policy. Other concoctions that promise thicker, fuller hair don’t give your body anything you can’t give yourself through good food choices.

Eat a balanced diet of the following foods to nourish your hair:

  • Salmon, flaxseed, nuts, and seeds for omega-3 fatty acids.
  • Meat, dairy, and poultry for high-quality protein.
  • Fruits and vegetables, especially dark green and carrots, for vitamins A and C.
  • Nuts, seeds, eggs, and beans for trace minerals such as biotin and zinc.

If you eat a poor diet, your hair will suffer because it’s not getting the nutrients it needs.

Use a gentle shampoo and conditioner.

As it cleanses, shampoo strips the natural oils that make your hair shiny and healthy, so you put conditioner on it to bring back the shine and promote softness. Many shampoos have harsh detergents called sulfates, and two of the most common are sodium laureth sulfate (SLES) and sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS). These ingredients create the suds we’re used to, but they also cause  your hair to lose moisture and can fade color.

Sulfate-free hair cleansing can take many forms: sulfate-free shampoos, cleansing conditioners, and natural hair soaps. Any of these choices are much gentler to your hair, and you’ll be amazed at how much softer and healthier your hair looks and feels.

Try hair treatments.

Especially if you blow dry, curl, or straighten your hair, regular hair treatments can dramatically improve the look and feel of your hair. Your hairdresser can recommend treatments, and stores carry a large variety, ranging from hot oil vials to deep conditioning packs.

You don’t need to wash every day.

Women who switch from washing their hair every day to every other day report that their hair is stronger, silkier, and healthier than those who wash every day. It’s simply not necessary for most women to wash their hair daily. Often, women who believed their hair was oily find that after a short adjustment period, they are able to wash less frequently, and some use dry shampoo in between washings.

What do you do to keep your hair healthy?