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Laura Serino

After visiting Maine only a handful of times, Laura Serino packed up her studio apartment in New York City and headed north for "the way life should be." After a summer on North Haven island, she and her boyfriend, a Maine native, settled in Portland, Maine. Serino is a former magazine editor who has been published in national and regional publications. When she isn't blogging, she spends her time antiquing, scouring thrift shops, exploring new places in Maine and cozying up to her cat Jasper. She recently completed her first book, "Twentysomething Girl, 1001 Quick Tips and Tricks to Make Your Life Easier." Reach her at info@forefrontfashion.com Follow her: @ForeFrontFash

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Fore Front Fashion with Laura Serino
Posted: October 29, 2014

Talking natural beauty with Nancy Tozier

Nancy Tozier knows a thing or two about natural beauty. Her makeup and skincare line, Faces from Nature, is made right here in Maine. I asked her my pressing beauty questions – and boy did she deliver!

Apothecary Shop

What is mineral makeup and why is it supposedly better?

One of the biggest differences between your typical economy chain store mineral makeup is that most are formulated with a bismuth base (bismuth oxychloride).Bismuth is indeed a mineral but it is one known to cause irritation and acne. It is used as an economical base. This gives what I call a space suit look, shiny, and way too iridescent.

Another difference is often the drug store variety contains Kaolin clay as another popular, inexpensive base. It is meant to pull moisture from the environment. If your skin is excessively oily, that’s great. It will absorb oil and reduce shine, but if you are not excessively oily skinned, your skin is then robbed of moisture and fine lines are accentuated.

In that case, what DO we want a makeup base to be?

Faces From Nature is made from a light sericite mica base. This looks better on a variety of skin types and does not accentuate fine lines because it is matte, rather than iridescent. It never causes irritation or acne. It’s a bit more expensive to use in manufacturing (especially since we have ours coated with L-lysine, an amino acid which encourages new collagen growth), but worth it in appearance.

I can’t seem to get past the tossup of what foundation to use: liquid versus powder. And is one better than the other?

Younger skin prefers a powdered mineral and anyone with fine lines will prefer a liquid. Another scenerio would if you have oily skin – a powder is traditionally more absorbent. My aloe foundation is moisturizing as well, leaving what we call a dewy finish, which is a moist but not oily feel. The dewy finish means the skin is consistently moisturized and plumped though out the time frame that the foundation is applied. This plumping effect makes skin look younger, especially if dehydrated or if it has fine lines. We have moisturizer that works in the same way. Our Extreme Environment Moisturizer is like youth in a jar, as skin stays hydrated and plump due to an intense, long lasting, moisturizing formula. In addition it stays firm from the added cucumber extract and essential oils. And it smells like heaven!

Got a good tip for stopping a pimple in its tracks?

Wash your face with a good quality foaming cleanser and a face cloth. Apply a dot of Neosporin on the blemish and put on a band-aid overnight. In the morning, mix a cup of very strong green tea and a half tsp. of salt. Dab (don’t rub) the green tea on repeatedly. In a few hours it will be just about gone and definitely able to be covered with concealer.

The question that always plagues me is anti-aging. There is so much to know about this! What’s the few things I should do to try and keep wrinkles at bay now that I’m in my 30’s?

The most important thing to do to prevent aging is to protect your skin from the sun. The safest sunscreens are Titanium Dioxide and Zinc Oxide, that’s why we use them in our mineral makeup. Whatever the number of the sunscreen, say it’s a #30, add half to it (45) and that’s how soon you need to reapply! Using antioxidants on the skin is another important thing that you can do, and whatever vehicle they are in, the vitamins need to be stabilized so they have not lost their power by the time you use them.

Here is why antioxidants are important: When the sun hits your skin, it releases an enzyme called collagenase. Picture Pacman if you will. That’s what collagenase does to the fibers that make up your skin. Nom, nom, nom. Breaks them down. Collagenases are enzymes that break the peptide bonds in collagen. That is one reason why our skin ages. Also, our skin is assaulted with other free radicals which also cause damage. This whole process is called oxidation. ANTI-oxidants stop this process as their name implies. The most popular antioxidant is Vitamin C. Vitamin C helps to stop free radical damage, which can take years to show up (so beware of tanning when you’re still young!) So both our Vitamin C serum and Vitamin C Moisturizer are good preventatives for aging.

Vitamin C serum, sunscreen, gotcha. Anything else I can do?

Exfoliate! Most people use a wildly abrasive scrub once a month and call it good. When you use apricot pits and the like, instead of loosening and rolling off dead cells (which stimulates collagen production, which is GOOD!), they scrape the skin causing some dead cells to be gone, but more new skin to suffer abrasions. This creates a large amount of peeling skin which encourages inflammation which ages the skin and leaves the flakes to mix with any oil, creating a paste which fills the pores, causing blackheads and pimples instead of removing them. Our Peppermint Polish, Multi-fruit Cleanser and Maine Blueberry Cleanser all use both fruit acids (which contain those fabulous antioxidants) which loosen the glue that holds the dead cells to the surface of our faces, and microbeads, which are little round balls which then, after the fruit acids loosen the cells, roll them away!

Nancy Tozier, Green Beauty Guru

Have any other beauty or skincare questions plaguing you? Ask in the questions below! Many thanks to Nancy Tozier for the huge help. Learn more about her product line, Faces from Nature, right here.

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