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Beauty Diaries: How I Got Rid of My Under-Eye Dark Circles in One Week

Neon Fix

From the desk of Jhenelle Neon.

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I’ll be completely upfront with you: I’m the type of person who will get under-eye circles and bags almost immediately if I’m not caught up on my Zzz’s. Whether I’ve had a late night out with girlfriends or have been burning the midnight oil for work deadlines, my eyes are always a dead giveaway for how much sleep I’ve been getting (or lack thereof, for that matter). I recently started noticing how tired my eyes were looking in photos, and wasn’t happy about it… So, I decided to do something about it. A beauty experiment, if you will! After all, they say your eyes are the windows to your soul, and no one wants such an important facial feature looking run down, fatigued and dull.

After a bit of research and a week of trying out five different tips and tricks, I’m pleased to say that my experiment worked and my under-eye bags had mostly vanished. I’ve been receiving compliments everywhere I go on how rested I look (probably because I am!), and those who know me best (like my mother) have told me I should just keep doing whatever I’m doing because it’s making my eyes look brighter. Pretty cool, right? Little did I know how much of a difference a few extra hours of sleep each night, upping my h20 intake, and a natural beauty remedy or two could make in my appearance. Here are the five easy things I did to get rid of my under-eye bags and dark circles

What I Did…

1. Changed My Bedtime.

I know this sounds obvious and it’s because it is… But this first tip is the most important if you really want to change how well rested your eyes and skin look. Ready? Here it is: Get. More. Sleep. In retrospect, I now realize I was racing through life with an average of about six hours a night. Take a look at the “before” photo above to see the effect this had on my eyes and skin. I would busy myself each night with emails, events or unimportant to-dos around the house until about midnight when I would force myself to get in bed. And I would then wake up at 6am to make sure I got my workout in, and would stay extremely busy all day until midnight. Then the cycle would repeat. I was doing this to feel productive, and on the one hand it worked, but at the end of the day I ended up feeling more fatigued because I wasn’t prioritizing sleep. Nobody’s body can perform to its best ability if it’s run down all the time. So, I made a huge effort to be in bed between 8:30 and 9:30pm every night. You read that right—every night. I was fighting off a cold at first, so I found I really needed that extra sleep, but even after recovering, I continued to get in bed around 9:30.

At first I found myself feeling antsy being in bed so early, but by the third night of doing so, my circadian rhythm had changed. I found myself naturally waking up with the sunrise and getting tired after sunset. My bedtime became natural. I also had more stable energy throughout the day and didn’t feel like I needed caffeine to keep myself awake. Which brings me to my next point…

2. Replaced Coffee with Green Tea.

Ever heard of adrenal fatigue? I was basically a walking example of it. This condition is common in us millennials—it’s a state of lethargy and stress brought on by overexertion and overworking. And, as I’m sure you can imagine, caffeine consumption does not help here. So many of us rely and even depend on our morning cup of coffee to perk us up after a night of little sleep, when, in reality, getting the extra sleep is all we really need to feel energized. In order to stick with my goal of getting more shuteye each night, I vowed to swap out coffee for green tea during my experimental week. Green tea has a bit of natural caffeine, but it’s much lower than coffee and left me with a more stable, less buzzy energy boost after drinking it. This was a hard one for me to do, but I noticed that it helped tremendously with my goal of sticking to a bedtime and sleeping all the way through the night.

3. Upped My H20.

Not only was I sipping on green tea during my week, I was also chugging water. We’re talking 3 liters a day. (I’m a very active person, so this amount was right for me but it might not necessarily be right for you. Click here to find out how much water you should be drinking daily). I stole this little tip from Lauren herself: The way I “tricked” myself into drinking enough water each day was by making myself drink one liter before each meal. So, I would drink a liter of water before breakfast, a liter before lunch and a liter before dinner. Easy-peasy. By day three of doing this, not only were my under-eye circles way lighter, but my skin looked fabulous and my pores even looked a little smaller, too.

4. Cooled Off with Cucumber Slices.

This trick seems like an age-old cliché… The kind that brings to mind 1960s magazine photos of glamorous ladies lounging poolside with cucumber slices on their eyes. But let me tell you—it works. These tricks stick around for decades for a reason! Cold, freshly cut cucumber slices not only feel amazing on tired eyes at the end of the day, but they also act as a cold and hydrating compress, decreasing inflammation in the puffy or tired skin around eyes. During the seven days of my experiment, I put cold cucumber slices on my eyes every single night about an hour before crawling into bed. It only took 10 minutes of my day, and I found it to be such a lovely little self-care treat that I’ve been doing it ever since. I have been so happy with the effect it has had on me mentally and physically, that I’ve made it a regular staple in my nightly beauty routine.

5. Cut Out Refined Sugar.

Now, this one was more to help my skin overall, but it is worth mentioning. Cutting out refined sugar is something I did when I went on my two-week skin cleanse (read more about that here), and I loved the results I got from it. This little dietary tweak helps to decrease inflammation in the entire body including the skin, which happens to be our largest organ. In short, sugar basically makes our skin age faster because it promotes an environment where collagen (the stuff that makes our skin dewy and plump) is more likely to break down, our immune systems don’t perform as well, and we aren’t as capable of fighting off bacteria (NY Mag). Knowing all of this, I cut out candy, sweets, sugary drinks, even “healthy” sugary foods like granola and coffee sweeteners for a week. It’s incredible how quickly this seemingly small change can have on one’s skin. While my under-eye bags were lightening up by the day, my complexion started clearing up simultaneously too!

P.S. I also started using a new facial oil during my week that I have become completely obsessed with. It’s called Shea Terra Organics Rwandan Maracuja Facial Oil and you can buy it here. I highly recommend it as I believe it helped contribute to my clearer, brighter skin.

Why It Worked…

It’s pretty amazing to look at my before and after photo and see the magic that these tips worked on my under-eye circles, not to mention my overall skin. I was even surprised by it myself when I saw the two photos together! If you look closely, the muscles in my face even look a little more relaxed in the second photo, and the whites of my eyes are way whiter. I didn’t realize that I was walking around with semi-bloodshot eyes all the time, and now I know I can blame it on the aforementioned lack of sleep and adrenal fatigue I was subjecting myself to. Now that you see the results, let’s dive into why this worked so well…

The sleep part of my experiment was pretty self-explanatory, but it was still amazing to see how quickly it changed my appearance. Basically, when we don’t get sleep, our body “traps” fluids under our eyes because the muscles have been overused by being awake for too long without resting. It’s our body reacting in an anti-inflammatory way, but it results in puffy eyes. So, to put things simply, getting more sleep cures this! I know it’s obvious, but this factor was the most effective during the week of my experiment. And I’ve been so much more motivated to get more hours of sleep each night ever since. Hey, they don’t call it beauty rest for nothing.

Upping my intake of water (and green tea, which I replaced for coffee) was the second most effective factor in noticing these changes. When the body is well hydrated, there is less chance of water retention that can cause our under-eye areas to swell or get puffy (Top 10). Avoiding dehydrating caffeine drinks and drinking more water combats this under-eye puffiness, and I sure noticed it.

As for the cucumber slices, this water-rich veggie has enzymes and astringent properties that help reduce inflammation, tighten the skin, and hydrate—which is why this at-home mini spa treatment helps get rid of wrinkles and dark under-eye circles. I also truly believe that adding cucumber slices to my nightly beauty routine helped me to relax and unplug before bed, which therefore resulted in my getting a better night’s sleep (And therefore, brighter eyes! It’s a domino effect, you see…). As I mentioned above, I loved this part of my routine and have been doing it ever since.

Overall, my weeklong experiment was a huge success, and the main lesson I learned was how important sleep is for not only my appearance but also how well I function in my day-to-day life. This was a wakeup call of sorts… Pun intended. There were so many other positive ways getting more sleep affected me in my work and personal life after this week, but I’ll save those for my next Beauty Diary post…

Do you have any tried-and-true tips for getting rid of under-eye bags and circles?

If you do, please share them in the comments below. I’d love to read them and try them out myself.

xx
Jhenelle Neon

Melanin Magic : Trendy or Super Bio engineering?

Neon Fix

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It seems like everyone and their mother wants to appear more bronze or tan these days. Men & Women alike are hitting beaches, imitation self tanners & tanning salons in huge numbers and its all in pursuit of a little thing called melanin. Melanin is a dark brown to black pigment occurring in the hair, skin, and iris of the eye in people and animals. It is responsible for tanning of skin exposed to sunlight.

Melanin is a broad term for a group of natural pigments found in most organisms. Melanin is produced by the oxidation of the amino acid tyrosine, followed by polymerization. The melanin pigments are produced in a specialized group of cells known as melanocytes. Melanin provides some protection against skin damage from the sun, and the melanocytes increase their production of melanin in response to sun exposure. Freckles, which occur in people of all races, are small, concentrated areas of increased melanin production. Some humans have very little or no melanin synthesis in their bodies, a condition known as albinism.

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Melanin produced by plants are sometimes referred to as 'catechol melanins' as they can yield catechol on alkali fusion. It is commonly seen in the enzymatic browning of fruits such as bananas. Chestnut shell melanin can be used as an antioxidant and coloring agent.

ADVANTAGES OF MELANIN

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Protects - Neutralizer of toxic substances within the body

Anti Aging -Cutting off free Radicals from the destruction of cells.

Nerve conducting Facilitator - Makes nerve impulses flow better

Optimizes your eye sight- Darker eyes give you better reaction time.

Energy Transformer- Found in places of body where energy is being transformed i.e.; inner ear , eye, brain.

 As a child, Senegalese  model  Khoudia Diop was constantly teased for her dark complexion. Bullies would call her names like "daughter of the night." But today, Diop's deep chocolate skin is helping the 19-year-old New Yorker make a name for herself. She was recently featured in  The "Colored" Girl Project .

As a child, Senegalese model Khoudia Diop was constantly teased for her dark complexion. Bullies would call her names like "daughter of the night." But today, Diop's deep chocolate skin is helping the 19-year-old New Yorker make a name for herself. She was recently featured in The "Colored" Girl Project.

In the pre-industrial age, freckles and sun damage were associated with peasants – people who did manual labour in the sun. The wealthy went to great lengths to keep a pale, milky skin by staying indoors and protecting themselves with hats, bonnets, umbrellas and protective clothing when they ventured outside.

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While light therapy definitely played a role, it wasn't the only thing that sparked the fascination with a darker skin. It was only in the 1920s that tanning was made trendy by the fashion pioneer Coco Chanel

Rumour has it that photographs of her surfaced after she had sunbathed too much on a cruise. Chanel, who was known for her pioneering work in the fashion industry, immediately started a trend: Women unleashed the shackles of the Victorian era and took on a new minimalist style – combined with a “healthy glow”.

When colour movies and television became prevalent, actresses wanted a tanned skin to look better on the big screen. 

As tanning became popular, so did sunburn, however, which opened up the market for products such as tanning oils.

By the 1960s, tanning was just as much as status symbol as pale skin used to be. A tanned skin suggested summer holidays on tropical islands, an outdoor lifestyle, fitness and overall robust health.

And if you couldn’t afford a life of leisure, what did you do? Tan in your back yard, or get a fake-tan, of course. Tanning beds and indoor tanning took off all over the world. 

People already made use of sunlamps in the 1930s, while the first commercial tanning beds made their appearance in the USA by 1978. The first self-tanner, Man-Tan, made its appearance in 1958, and by the 1990s, tanning beds and self-tanning products were widely available.

Sources

Sirius Times; Dr. Timothy Moore "The Science of Melanin," https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yozORb1TE_I

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Melanin

I saw it on YouTube

Neon Fix

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YouTube has cemented itself as the go-to source, when you want to learn just about anything. If you’re like many women, it’s where you get all the best beauty advice. As a beauty professional and licensed cosmetologist, I’m constantly looking for new techniques and product reviews, but there’s just some sh*t you can’t learn on YouTube.

Excuse my language, and understand, I’m not a YouTube hater, in fact, I love YouTube. However, a lot of things beauty should not be tried at home. Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, it is not wise to perform chemical services on your own head without supervision. This means relaxers, colors, perms, keratin treatments, etc.

Any service that relies on even distribution of product, and works on a limited amount of time, is a bad idea to try at home. The process of rinsing your hair will most likely cause toxic chemicals to run over your face and/or body but worse than that, there’s a good chance you missed a spot. Missing a spot could mean you didn’t put enough protective cream on your scalp, now you have a burn. Missing a spot could mean you have a huge patch of uncolored hair. Missing a spot could also mean you didn’t rinse properly, now you’re… missing hair in a spot.

Of course there’s nothing wrong with trying a beauty product and risking a rash, or attempting a haircut and looking like Cynthia Pickles, but there’s something hugely wrong with chemical burns, missing hair and horrible color.


Hair Fix: Topical Biotin Benefits for Hair: Does it Really Work?

Neon Fix

By now it’s common knowledge that popping biotin daily won’t guarantee long, lush hair. The truth is that biotin doesn’t make hair grow faster or longer. It can only promote longer hair by strengthening the hair follicle. Stronger hair allows each strand to reach the end of its growth cycle. Your genetics then decide just how far that cycle will take you — to mermaid-like lengths or average, below-the-shoulder ends.

Another sad fact: Unless you’re deficient in biotin (or B vitamins), the supplement won’t make much of a difference. “Most people get enough biotin from foods as well as the biotin our bodies produce,” says dermatologist and scalp expert Dr. Rebecca Kazin. So popping a pill (just like any vitamin supplement you don’t need) won’t do much…or anything at all.

But now there’s a new breed of biotin products, coming in the form of serums, shampoos and even hairspray. Topical biotin offers the same (not-so-reliable) results as ingested biotin, but it guarantees the added benefit of instant fullness. “Applying a hair product that is made with biotin will help strengthen the surface of the strands,” says Schwarzkopf Essence ULTÎME celebrity hairstylist Richard Collins. The formulas coat each strand and thereby increase the diameter of each existing hair. 

Everything You Need to Know About Taking Biotin for Hair Growth ]

Schwarzkopf Essence ULTÎME is one of the first to offer a full range of biotin-infused topicals. Biotin+ Volume & Vitality Shampoo ($6.97 at Walmart) promotes less breakage because of the blend of biotin and keratin. The result is overall thicker hair in as little as seven days. Our tester was impressed. (Matrix Biolage FullDensity Thickening Shampoo works similarly to remove follicle clogging impurities and promotes more durable strands.) The other winner in the collection is the Biotin+ Volume & Vitality Daily Serum Spray ($6.97 at Walmart). The lightweight spray doesn’t weigh down even the finest of hair and adds fullness by adding smooth movement to hair’s natural texture. Just don’t brush after spraying on damp, just-washed hair for better volume.

For a boosted blowout, try Briogeo Blossom & Bloom Ginseng + Biotin Volumizer ($18 at Sephora) — a blowdry spray. Hair instantly has more height at the root and over time, it can even promote hair growth. While biotin adds strength, the formula’s ginseng root and ginger root are the ones that really promote growth. Ginseng stimulates blood flow to the scalp and follicles, while ginger, a natural oil, helps energize the follicle.

Bosley Healthy Hair Follicle Energizer ($18.99 at Bosley) also helps thinning hair. The leave-in serum contains biotinyl-GHK that protects hair follicles, while scalp activators help to increase the energy levels of the follicles and promote healthy growth. Just dab a few drops where thinning occurs most.

While instant results are common, how much difference you’ll see over time is debatable. “Topical biotin has been reported to improve the appearance of skin and hair, but it is difficult to know how much is able to penetrate the skin, scalp and hair cuticle barrier,” says Kazin. All of the formulas are formulated for thin, fine hair (read: lightweight and won’t weigh down hair), so they automatically promote fuller-looking hair with or without biotin’s help. 

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But what about the fact that I've been Trying a new brand called Mane Choice, whose products are also infused with Biotin, and my ponytail looks and feels thicker after a month of testing their Orchid Gel 7 laid Back edge control? Is that the result of castor oil & magic D vitamins or merely a coincidence? While we wait for more studies and concrete evidence on topical biotin benefits, we’ll be dosing our hair with the seemingly miracle formulas just in case OKKUUURRRRR!

- XOXO Jhenelle Hill

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ISSA MAC Cosmetics Summer. . .heat proofing your makeup. . .

Neon Fix

 Photo courtesy of MAC Cosmetics  Barely there makeup down to a science--from glowing skin to groomed brows and tinted lips.

Photo courtesy of MAC Cosmetics

Barely there makeup down to a science--from glowing skin to groomed brows and tinted lips.

The emphasis on natural, barely there makeup is more evident than ever this year. Beauty experts and opinion makers are fixated on creating looks that highlight glowing skin. And were not talking about the overly “strobed” cheekbones of reality TV stars. The direction this season subscribes to the kind of glow that one gets post-workout or after a thorough facial. Think pinkish-gold flush. Dewy finish. Minimal coverage. And maybe, a show of adorable freckles.

Glowing Skin In Seconds. Start with MAC’s Strobe Tone Up Cushion Compact SPF 50. A spin off from the beauty label’s iconic Strobe Cream, this compact creates luminous radiant skin that easily glides onto skin. Fine pearl particles helps to achieve that glow from within. Use a sponge, brush or fingers when applying all over the face or on elevated parts. Top off your look with a spritz of MAC’s Prep and Prime Fix. This mother of all water mists now comes in two variants: Goldlite (for a bronzed finish) and Pinklite (for a subtle flush). Prep and Prime Fix is specifically formulated to hydrate and refresh skin, leaving a soft sheen. It may either be used alone or as a setting agent.

  Photo courtesy of MAC Cosmetics   MAC Strobe Tone Up Cushion Compact

Photo courtesy of MAC Cosmetics

MAC Strobe Tone Up Cushion Compact

  Photo courtesy of MAC Cosmetics   MAC Strobe Prep and Prime Fix Plus comes in Goldlite or Pinklite for a radiant, sheer finish

Photo courtesy of MAC Cosmetics

MAC Strobe Prep and Prime Fix Plus comes in Goldlite or Pinklite for a radiant, sheer finish

Brows For The Win. To compliment a look that celebrates skin that breathes, MAC makeup artists say, “eyebrows on-fleek are so last year.” For a while there, it felt like hyper-stenciled brows would be a beauty staple. It appears, however, as though women today are keen on celebrating their natural beauty and that would include brows that are less than perfect but well groomed. This is not to say that strays are not on-point. On the contrary, with this new direction, it is essential that one is able to keep brows shaped and in place.

We each have a distinct way of styling brows. Some like to fill them while others are partial to recreating texture. The Eyebrow Styler from MAC aids in precision application so that users are able to create hair-like strokes. A spoolie on the other end of the pencil makes it easy to groom and blend this long-wear formula. MAC’s Shape and Shade Tint, meanwhile, is a dual ended pen ideal for filling in brows. A sponge tip feature makes it easy to shape brows and keep them in place.

jhenelleHill

This Weeks Fixer Beauty Give Away! Armani Beauty!

Neon Fix

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Congratulations to the Neonfix Facebook Armani Beauty Giveaway Winner Danielle Hill!!! This could be you but your playing games !!! The answer was "SILICA" !!!!

Yes Silica! It's the secret that has Beyonce, Rihanna, Issa Rae, Kim Kardashian ( probably Kanye too) and all of your other favorite celeb skin looking as smooth as a babies bottom.

Follow Neon Fix on Facebook and Stay Tuned for next week Wednesday's Beauty Giveaway at 7 pm!!!!

 Danielle won a Giorgio Armani mascara and eyeliner!!!! 

Danielle won a Giorgio Armani mascara and eyeliner!!!! 

Yesterday's Contest. . .
FREE BEAUTY GIVE AWAY QUESTION!
First Person to Comment below with the right answer to the question wins a free Armani Beauty Mascara & Eyeliner give away!!!!
WHAT IS THE 6 LETTER MINERAL INGREDIENT IN MOST FACE PRIMERS AND MANY OTHER BEAUTY PRODUCTS?
Here are your clues:
-It's clear.
-It starts with an S and ends with an A
-It absorbs oil and sweat, so your makeup lasts longer and you don’t look like a frying pan all day.
-It helps your makeup adhere to your face better.
-It thickens the consistency of a cream or lotion.
-It helps foundations spread onto your skin more easily.
-It improves even distribution of pigments in cosmetics, preventing them from settling in makeup.
I'll be posting a winner in an hour ! Comment fast because i'm including my instagram family too !
Are you ready to play?
Good Luck from Neon Fix !!!

Follow us on Facebook and Stay Tuned for next week Wednesday's Beauty Giveaway at 7 pm!!!!

XOXO Jhenelle Hill

www.primandp.com

www.jhenellehill.com

NEW CHANEL WATERPROOF EYE BROW PENCIL ! ! !

Neon Fix

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This is a serious must have for beauty Pros and civilians alike. Not too thick not to thin this pencil really makes it hard to mess up a brow.  You do have a window of opportunity to blend and remove product before it sets. . .but once it sets you are set for the day!!!! Check out my Insta story @jhenelleneon I'm obsessed and I'll be wearing it all week!

XOXO Neon