Saturday, September 29, 2007

Finding Time for "Me" Time

If you're a busy wife and mother like I am, you probably spend a great deal of your day catering to the needs of others while your own go sorely neglected. You may not even realize it because you're so busy. If you find yourself unusually cranky and can't quite put your finger on may need a small break. If you're a working mother you need this more than anyone! Leave the kids with hubby (it's not babysitting no matter how many times he calls it that...they're his kids) and make an event out of a pedicure; instead of squeezing one in on your lunch break or working it in between traffic on the drive home and getting dinner on the table. Grab a latte and your favorite magazine, choose a marvelous shade of polish and let that vibrating chair do it's thing! If you're really feeling adventurous, schedule an hour massage or facial (or both!) at your local spa and get the royal treatment...indeed!

You're family will thank you for it!

Thursday, September 27, 2007

A Show of Hands

While women in their 30's are starting to notice permanent laugh lines, beginnings of crow's feet, and the skin under their chin becoming less elastic than it once was; and taking the necessary steps to turn back time, or at the very least and more likely realistic case, make time stand still...their hands are being grossly neglected. Your hands are one of the first places that signs of aging occur. Think about it: they're often exposed to the elements/climate, they get a little too much sun, and they're constantly being used. I didn't really make this connection until I took conscious notice of my younger sister's hands...they're young and flawless. They haven't weathered life yet.

Moisturize your hands as often as possible throughout the day and at night, after slathering your face and neck in anti-wrinkle cream, use the excess on your hands instead of wiping it on a tissue. And wear sunscreen on them daily! Yes, you may only be going to the office but you may leave for lunch and sit outside...and you have to drive there with the sun beating down on your steering wheel. Fight it! Arm your hands with moisture and protection!


Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Speak Up!

I certainly learned my lesson today. Since today was my only day this week that I had some "me" time (aka sans kids) I made a much overdue trip to the spa for an eyebrow wax. My usual girl was not in today and they fit me in with someone who I am unfamiliar with. When it comes to your personal grooming, I've learned, that it is essential to communicate your exact needs to the professional. Exact. Thick brows are back in fashion and I've been blessed (cursed?) with a pair that rival Brook Shields. I left the spa with pencil thin arches. Apparently when I was asked "would you like to keep the shape?", my direct answer of "yes" was not clear enough. Once the initial waxing and trimming were complete, she whipped out the tweezers...and tweezed, and tweezed...and yes...tweezed some more. I wanted to speak up and ask if she was removing too much but the "Miss Manners" in me stifled my inquiry. That would be my bad. Next time I'll tell Miss Manners to take a hike and make my concerns known.


Tuesday, September 25, 2007


Most women that I run across who admit that they don't workout use one of two excuses; they either "don't have time" or "hate working out". Well heck, I'm not crazy about working out either but I do "work" it into my schedule and to avoid the "hate it" pitfall, I make something that I enjoy part of my routine. Three times a week I attend dance classes. We start the first half hour with stretching, push ups, sit ups, lunges, some pilates, and throw in some good ol' fashioned Jane Fonda "stuff". The second half hour is non-stop dance! We learn a new hip-hop/jazz routine every Monday and by Friday we can do it in our sleep. I'm a dripping, sweaty mess by the time I leave; and if I'm feeling particularly energized and motivated, I'll walk to the class and back home again. Of course, this always sounds better on the way there than it does on the way home!

If you "don't have the time", trust me, some kind of exercise can be worked into an hour of your day. If you don't have time to leave the house (or can't because of daycare and such), pop in a workout DVD when the kids are in bed, or early in the morning (whatever your schedule allows) for your cardio and then add using some free weights into your nightly "getting ready for bed" ritual. Just think, "wash face, brush teeth, tone arms" doesn't take long to see results from those little hand weights if you are consistent.

Now stop making excuses!!! Get out there and get fabulous!


My Mascara Runeth Over

Having a little problem with your mascara refusing to stay on your lashes? Does it smudge off to your under-eye area simply by blinking too many times? While the problem may be your mascara(let's face it, some of them just suck); it could just as easily be blamed on what you're removing the offending mascara with during your evening skin care regime (this is something you're all doing, correct?). If you're using tried and true, good ol' Vaseline Petrolium Jelly; STOP! Yes, it may work miracles in getting all the residue off, but in the process it is leaving a slick, greasy residue on your lashes. This will interfere with the mascara and it's adhesiveness to your lashes.

I've tried several eye makeup remover formula's over the years and I've never been a fan of any of them. I have found (as mentioned in my Skin Care Tip #1 post below) that a gentle rub of the lashes with a little bit of Lubriderm lotion on a tissue does the trick. And as far as mascara goes; I've tried the whole range...ungodly expensive to ghetto cheap. I've also given the famous "pink & green" tube more than one chance and, quite frankly, I don't like the wand. So sue me. So my favorite (and also my suggestion for you to try) is L'Oreal Voluminous (not waterproof) mascara (I wear it in black). I've been using it for about 6+ years now and I don't have a single complaint.

Good luck!

Monday, September 24, 2007

Car Mirrors Tell All

Have you ever checked your mug in your car mirror only to find some ridiculously long hair growing out of some part of your face? Do you wonder why your friends didn't do their job as friends and inform you that "ya got a little something there"? Well if your friends won't tell you, the mirror in your car will scream it into your face! Every woman should keep a pair of tweezers in her car for just such an occasion. I don't know what it is about the combination of sunlight in the vehicle and the mirror that shows unsightly sights that a magnified vanity mirror won't, but there ya have it.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Worthwhile Investments

Looking better than good will require shelling out some amount of money, although it doesn't have to be a great deal of dough. Other than visiting a professional for your hair maintenance (i.e. color and cut, no one should be trying this on their own at home), which I hope you all are doing...two wise investments that should be penciled in to every woman's monthly planner are 1) a trip to an esthetician for eyebrow styling; this will do wonders for your face, and 2) a pedicure because, let's face it, feet are ugly and need all the help they can get! Both services will run about $20 each plus a tip. Professional attention to your brows will widen your eyes, brighten your face, and give you a polished look. If you're a frequent flip-flop wearer, such as myself, give your toesies and footsies a little TLC. Pedicures help a bad case of the FUGLY's.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Muffin Top is a Big "Not"

Remember in your teens and twenties you could just about eat anything you wanted combined with some lazy exercise, if at all, and you looked fantastic? Okay, me neither. But I didn't have to exert anywhere near the amount of thought and energy that went into my diet/exercise regime then that I must do now. Now your thirties have rolled around and suddenly there's this little "bloop" rolling over the tops of your pants; even the stretchy ones. Not necessarily a big "bloop", but a "bloop" nonetheless. This "bloop", more commonly known as "muffin top" is a bitch to get rid of...along the same lines of eradicating cellulite.

I watch my diet pretty carefully and my snail paced metabolism has forced me to keep up a moderate exercise program and still this little bastard sits at the top of my hips. Or at least it did. How did I rid myself of this barnacle? I eliminated as much refined sugar from my diet as possible. The major culprit of said sugar? Regular soda pop. That's all that can is...a heaping dose of sugar; multiplied by 3 because that's about how many I was drinking in a day. By switching to diet soft drinks (yes, I know, diet isn't good for you either but neither of them are) I shed 5 pounds in less than 3 weeks and have got my "bloop" under control. Also take the time to read the nutrition labels on the packages of food you purchase. Yogurt (even the low fat) is a huge offender! I was shocked! Good ol' fashioned milk is another.

Read and purchase wisely; oh, and you still have to exercise, and you won't have to hide the tops of your jeans with baggy, loose fitting tops. I know those are "in" right now but eventually they won't be, and every once in a while a girl likes to wear a snug top which is always in fashion.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Plagued By Oily Skin?

Do you find that 2 hours after you've meticulously applied your makeup that you now have enough oil on your face to grease a car engine? It's more than likely not your choice of foundation but the products you're using to clean your face. The product you're using to rid your face of oil is probably too drying, and causing your skin to over produce it's natural moisturizer. I found that by eliminating such products as toner, my skin is significantly less "greasy" as the day goes on.

Here's a tip to try. It may sound assbackwards, but here goes: If you have oily skin, try using products for normal to dry skin. Normal to dry skin, you ask? Yes. Exactly. This should cause your pores to produce less oil. Just a tip; give 'er a go! And remember, a dewy look is what you're going for, but oily/greasy does not equal dewy.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

The Perfect Jeans

As a tall woman with extremely long legs, and let's not forget to mention hip bones that jut out like daggers; I've spent many a disappointing day in department store dressing rooms trying on one pair of jeans after another. Often leaving the store empty handed (and frustrated as all hell). Up until about 1991, jeans for tall women just didn't exist. You either had to buy them too big so that they were long enough but swimming in the waist area, or fit in the waist only to have them hit you above the ankle. Neither is a good look. The latter could be hidden tucked into your boots but that only works in the fall and winter.

Enter the new millennium: I hit my 30's just in time for the ultra-super-uber low cut jean phenomenon! Yay me! But after 3 pregnancies and, well, being in my 30's; this is a ridiculous look; unless you're going for that "trying to look like a 15 year old" style (please, don't try it...people will whisper behind your back). One day I was inspired to give Levi's a try again, which, historically had been an extremely poor fit for my frame. But I found that Levi's had evolved and voila! The Levi's 518 Super Low Bootcut arrived! Don't let the name scare you... they ain't that lowcut. They're significantly lower in the waist than those "mom jeans" but not so low that your ass crack is exposed for all to see. They also have enough "give" in them to hold their shape for hours and not go all "baggy" like some jeans with a little too much stretch in the fabric.

Wash them on the delicate cycle in cold water and hang to dry (never put your jeans in the dryer!). This will keep them looking good enough to wear (even for those evenings out with heels or boots) for years! I've had my original pair for 3 years now and still wear them regularly...with a little fray at the hem for style!

If I haven't sold you on them yet, Sears and Kohl's currently have them on sale for $26.99 and $29.99 respectively...fab news for budget conscious shopoholics like myself!

Happy shopping!

Prolong the Life of Your Jewelry

Remember when your husband proposed and slipped that shiny new diamond ring on your finger? Or perhaps you're sporting Grandma's heirloom? Is that ring now dull, lifeless, and less than brilliant? Daily use of your hands and the constant hand washing in these germaphobe times will suck the shine right out of your baubles. Try removing your rings whenever possible before showering, hand washing, styling your hair, moisturizing...AND for Godsakes, remove them before anything that remotely resembles cleaning a toilet!

The best way to recapture that new car smell? Make a pit stop at one of the many jewelry stores in your local mall. Jewelry stores are one of the last retail establishments that actually perform stellar customer service. Ask them if they'll clean your rings while you wait...this should cost nothing. Most mall jewelry stores, in my experience, will offer this service for free, and takes about 5 minutes. If you ask and they won't, move on to the next jewelry store and mention that the previous store wouldn't accommodate your needs; they will be happy to "one up" their competition! Become a regular at your local jewelry don't have to purchase the expensive items they have on display. Simply bring in that necklace to repair the clasp; have that watch battery replaced, and THEN, one day when you've got a few extra bucks to invest in a gem, they'll more than likely give you a great deal! If you've got cute, well behaved kids, bring them in too! They make a great topic of conversation...hey, you birthed 'em! Use 'em!

Good luck!

Monday, September 17, 2007

A Little Bit About This Bloggy Blog

If you've stumbled across my place here...welcome! If you're wondering what it's all about, well, I'll tell ya: After years of giving advice to friends and family about beauty and/or fashion related subjects; it dawned on me...I give a LOT of advice! Anything from "Hey, what shampoo do you use?" to, "I love those jeans, where did you find them?". So inspiration struck and I decided to compile aforementioned advice into one easy to! I'm no professional about any advice I've written here; so reader beware. I'm just a shopoholic, beauty product and makeup junkie that knows what works, how to use/do it, and where to find it. I've got plenty of sage words to update stick around!

If you have a question you'd like me to answer, feel free to email me through my profile. Comments? Yes please! I love feedback!

Peace! xoxo

Skin Care Tip #1

Wash your face every night before bed, without fail. I don't care if you didn't wear makeup that day or are too drunk to function properly...wash your face! Every woman needs a beauty regime and it all starts with a clean face. My nightly routine includes the following products; all of which are affordable and easy to acquire:

1.Start with warm water and a washcloth cleaning entire face
2.Follow with Proactiv Renewing Cleanser gently scrub with your fingers and water
5.Remove any remaining eye makeup with a tissue and Lubriderm lotion (yep, Lubriderm)
6.Cover entire face and neck area with Garnier Nutritioniste Ultra Lift Anti-Wrinkle Firming Moisture Cream (start this when you're 20!)
7.Don't forget your lips! A liberal dose of Carmex should do the trick.

I started using Proactiv after a sudden bout of early thirties mild acne. The Garnier cream works wonders and once you become immune to the overwhelming perfume scent, you're good to go! After years of searching for the perfect lip balm, I was surprised to learn that good ol' fashioned Carmex (yep, the one for cold sores) worked better than any high end (or even low end) lip moisturizer I'd ever tried.

I get compliments on my skin all the time! Even from professionals. The above is just my advice...take it or leave it. You'll be happier if you take it.