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Monday, September 26, 2011

Having Good Skin BELOW the Chin: Taking Care of Our Necks!

We often spend so much money and time on our skin care routines that we completely neglect one very crucial part of anti-aging and just having good skin all around: our necks! Necks are often one of the first parts of our body that shows our age (or more of an age than we actually have!). You don't want to look like your head belongs on a different body. Would you wear a gorgeous dress with tennis shoes? No. It would take away from the beauty of the dress and draw the attention to your hideous and out of place shoe choice. Consistency is key in beauty.
You know how the age of an oak tree can be determined by counting its rings? No one wants to play count the rings around your neck. 
Instead of opting to wear turtlenecks and scarves for the rest of our lives, let's show the neck some love and make sure that we place equal importance on the value of having good skin below the chin. Have I convinced you yet? I thought the aging oak tree reference would do it.

It is a fact that blood circulates poorly in the neck area and this area has virtually no subcutaneous fat. Making it thinner and with less elastin and collagen. 

Maintain the Skin Below Your Chin! Here's How:

and don't forget your decollete! I don't know many people that don't have sun damage in this area, some of us from frying ourselves like an egg at the highest elevations possible, legitimately trying to get as close to the actual sun as possible)

1. Use at least an SPF 30 on your neck and decollete just as you would your face, but don't stop at the neck, go all the way down to your bust line AND the back of your hands!! Think of how much sun your poor hands are subjected to just by having them positioned on the steering wheel in the sun's direct path!

2. Moisture! An aging neck is a neck that is not well hydrated. Besides eating foods high in Vitamin F (corn and sunflower oils as well as nuts), lather on that moisturizer day and night. And remember, a good SPF is the most important part. If you have that down, you are way ahead of the game already.

3. Night Time Care Here is where we give our necks the royal treatment. Use a night cream that is specialized in treating the neck area. Generally, if a moisturizer is formulated for the neck, it is also meant for the decollete (that area that is between neck and bust) There are a few really good ones out there! I will list a couple of my personal rec's below. You won't be disappointed. They are both highly highly rated and reviewed. Spend some time really focusing on upward strokes when blending your moisturizer into your neck. Never downward! Same goes for your face moisturizers. We don't want our skin to ever be drooping downward and so we don't want to do anything to encourage that downward motion.
Easy Night Time Neck Treatment: I mentioned corn and sunflower oil. You can rub either of these on your neck, massaging the area but avoiding massage of thyroid gland. After you are good and coated, take a warm wet towel and wrap it around the area to keep the moisture in. Leave it on for up to 30 minutes. 


4. Unless it says not to, use your face masks and treatments on your neck as well.

Fantastic Neck Creams for Your Night Routine:

Philosophy When Hope is Not Enough Neck/Decollete Cream: 

This is a very thick and dense cream. It will take a little bit of muscle to blend it in all the way. But this will force you to concentrate and slowly work the cream upward onto your neck and chest. This is a great treatment, your skin will thank you. Best for night time use as it is a bit thick for day, $35 for 2 oz. and a past QVC award winner for best neck cream.

Bare Escentuals Firming Neck Cream:

Another award winner, this is a fan favorite in the area of neck creams. This cream does go on silky smooth and will instantly hydrate. This cream is also made special for the decolette as well as the one from Philosophy. Bare Escentuals is known for being paraben-free and for containing many good for you ingredients. Can be used both day and night. If you don't want to use it twice, make sure to use it at night if choosing between night and day. The 2011 QVC award winner for best neck cream. $38 for 1.7 oz.

**If these creams are too pricey and just don't fit in the budget, look for an alternative in the drug store that is one specialized for the neck area like L'oreal RevitaLift Face and Neck Cream. I have a motto that when all else fails, turn to Ebay.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Drugstore Gem: Prestige "My Biggest Lashes" Mascara

Who isn't always on the search for the next best mascara? Even when we do find our Holy Grail mascara, we keep our minds open to the possibility of replacing it. After all, Holy Grail only means that it has that status until the next best thing comes along, making it virtually disposable. What if we treated our husbands and boyfriends like we do our mascara? Seemingly committed but with the option of replacement at any given moment. You love that person, he's the best you've ever found, you couldn't imagine life without that person, but you'd dump him in a second if someone better came along. There is no solid commitment to a mascara. If I love Benefit They're Real so much and think its the best mascara that has ever graced my lashes, why was I wandering over to the Prestige section looking for "My Biggest Lashes" while at ULTA the other day? Because there is always that possibility that something else works better. And its that possibility that has us on that endless search for the perfect mascara.

That being said, Prestige My Biggest Lashes is not better than Benefit They're Real. But it's pretty dang good. And its on sale RIGHT NOW at ULTA for around $3. The regular price of $5+ won't break the bank either. 

Photo Credit: http://www.productrater.blogspot.com
What It's All About: Prestige is sold at Rite-Aid and ULTA. I really like their eyeliner so I wasn't hesitant to try the mascara when I read the reviews on MakeupAlley.com. Prestige not only has "My Biggest Lashes" but also "My Longest Lashes" and "My Blackest Lashes". Since I prefer volume over anything else, I chose the first one. 

The Brush: The brush is big and fat but not too big and fat. I like big brushes so this is OK by me. Makes it a tad hard to get the lower lashes without a little messiness going on but I can live with that.

Formula: Gathers a bit on the brush which can cause some more messiness. The consistency is rather wet but this doesn't have a negative effect if you kind of wipe the brush with paper towel upon application. This isn't waterproof and I didn't see the option for waterproof.

The Results: Volume! You do have to wait a minute in between coats because of the wetness quality I mentioned above. Which makes the mascara fairly buildable. I like that because I don't want my lashes to crisp up before I'm ready to quit layering the mascara on. No flaking on me throughout the day and the curl has held its shape after about 6 hours of wear. Not a huge amount of length but not totally useless in this department either. 

The Reviews: On Makeupalley.com, out of 243 reviews it was given an average of 4.1/5 and 75% would buy again. This is very good for mascara reviews.

If you love L'Oreal Voluminous, you should like this mascara. It's similar in the formula and results. And its cheaper! It's also comparable in the sense that Voluminous also comes out really wet at first until you use it for a while and it performs better. 


Overall Grade: B+

I Love Lipstick: Too Faced Lip of Luxury "Centerfold"

Lipstick is by far and away my most favorite cosmetic item. I've said it before and I will say it again, my love affair with lipstick goes way back to the days of middle school when I would run to my locker between every class to touch up my lipstick. Granted, my tastes have changed but my passion for lipstick has not. I have never tried a Too Faced lipstick before so I thought why not? I have heard good things about the "Centerfold" shade so I was deciding between that and Smashbox. Ultimately I went with the TF. I was a little surprised to see the $20 price tag. I was under the impression that Too Faced was in the below $20 category with MAC and Bare Escentuals. Evidently not. But the "Pro's" justify the price so read on. 

Too Faced Lip of Luxury in "Centerfold", $20 at Ulta

Photo taken from http://www.makeupandbeautyblog.com (because I have a cold sore and can't possibly subject myself to the humiliation of photographing it)
Shade: A mid-toned mauve, not too light nor too dark. Mauve is hot for the fall too! Although it isn't the same, I really do think if you love MAC Snob or MAC Blankety, you will like Centerfold. On my lips, Snob pulls more purple and Blankety pulls more brown but both have that mauve-ish quality you can find in Centerfold.

What I Like About the Lipstick: 

The packaging is so cute, pink with a round crystal looking thing (I know, such a sophisticated description)on the end of it. Serves no purpose beyond aesthetics but I appreciate the effort. 

Very smooth application: Infused with shea butter and botanicals make it super moisturizing yet rather long-wearing. Oh, and paraben free!

Opaque: A very nice saturation of color, Centerfold is neither too matte nor too sheer. In fact, its got a rather perfect texture.

Longevity: Pretty good. I've read others say it is not but I think it is, so there! The texture is one that doesn't slide right off the lips. To be fair, I use MAC Prep and Prime lip primer as well as a lipliner before lipstick application so I'm sure this helps. 

What I Don't Like: That I don't have more of them. 

Overall Grade: A+

Want some great new eyeshadow? Enter to win the brand new, sold out, Urban Decay Naked2 Palette! Sign up to follow my blog, and click the link below!

Unnatural Beauty: A Humorous and Opinionated Beauty Blog: Kicking off 2012 With A Giveaway.. The Urban Decay Naked2 Palette! 



Friday, September 23, 2011

Try This Look If You Want Big Full Lucious Lips! Whether You Have Them Already or Not!

I came across this lipstick tutorial from one of my most favorite YouTube girls, LisaLisaD1 for her "Pammy Lips" (i.e. Pamela Anderson). Her lips are already pretty fantastic but who doesn't want their lips to look even more fantastic?! Like, without injections of course! And don't even try to lie, you know you want those porn-star lips. But here's how to do it in a classy, natural, sexy way. And if you don't have full lips and you want to learn from someone whose lips aren't full in the first place, please watch the PixiWoo video below Lisa's. She is 100% amazing and you will learn so much from her! So there's something for everyone. I'm an equal opportunity beauty blogger.

Have you ever thought of putting a grey lipliner on your lips? Well, you should for the sake of this video. If you don't have MAC Stone lipliner, available on Mac.com but not in store and please don't pay $35 for one on Ebay from someone who is tricking you into thinking its discontinued because it isn't. If you want a cheaper alternative, I've heard NYX makes one called "1000 years" if you can get to an Ulta. Otherwise, maybe you can find one at the drugstore.

I'm gonna try this look when my MAC Stone comes in the mail (free second day shipping from MAC right now w/ code: POSH). But for now, I wanted to pass it along because I think its a good one.

If you don't have the exact lipsticks/glosses that Lisa uses, it doesn't matter. Just as long as you use something similar,

What you'll need:

MAC Stone or NYX 1000 Years (or a similar grey/taupe/plum liner)
Any mauve-toned lip liner
A nude/pink lipstick. A more cool toned nude works for this exact tutorial, i.e. MAC Myth, Creme de Nude, MAC Fleshpot, or similar)
A lipgloss that will highlight the full parts of the lip, something nude/peachy/shiny or even a really glossy clear will work well. Think of the gloss as a highlighter for your lips in this look.

WARNING: If you come out looking like this, you need to keep practicing:


ON TO THE TUTORIALS!


Tuesday, September 20, 2011

My Current Anti-Aging Product Loves: The Spotlight is On Philosophy

But first,wouldn't it be great if someone would just pay me to talk about makeup? Wouldn't a job with a cosmetics company as a "Product Educator" just be the ultimate dream job for those of us that could talk about makeup all day long? I have come to a conclusion recently that was formed by my complete lack of time for blog posts in favor of a full-time graduate program to get my Master's Degree. Here it is: Makeup is fun and reading hundreds of pages of text, writing papers, and doing research is boring. But unfortunately, being well-versed in the fine art of "makeup knowledge" just doesn't look as good on paper as formal higher education to a potential employer. That being said, I really feel like taking a break from the ever so problematic health care situation in the US and focus on what products I've really been loving these days. And coincidentally, a large number of them are from Philosophy, a not cheap but not extremely expensive high-end skin care and fragrance line. They are very much a "problem-solution" kind of brand and really focus on individual skin care issues with innovative and universal (sometimes) products. Not totally a doctor brand, yet not totally a fluff brand, Philosophy does have its roots in science-based skin care and has continued to release many well received products in their line. I totally endorse buying many cosmetic products on Ebay from a trusted seller. Tax and shipping can add around $10 on to the price when you purchase from certain online retail venues. Finding free shipping and not paying tax on Ebay is fantastic when you already find the product for a lower retail values. Only drawback? If you buy from a crappy seller and if there is a "no returns" policy or "limited returns" to only damaged or "not as described" items in place by the seller and you happen to hate the product and can't return it based on that. But whatev, these are some A+ products put together by yours truly. And if I do say so myself, I have pretty good taste.


Philosophy Help Me Night Treatment (Allure Beauty Award Winner): Ahh, my skin can finally breathe a sigh of relief having found a strong but gentle retinol product that will not tear up my face and restrict me to a reclusive lifestyle. The percentage of retinol in this Philosophy product is the strongest that you can buy without a prescription so that takes care of the concern of finding a retinol infused product but it being too weak to work. Second, it has moisturizing properties and doesn't leave my face dry or tight. In fact, I often forget to apply moisturizer at night over the Help Me because my face feels moisturized enough without an extra step. This stuff is only for night time use which is a perfect segway into my next most beloved current product. $45 for 1.05 oz


Philosophy On a Clear Day Retinol Clarifying Lotion: The daytime counterpart to Help Me in my skin care regimin. I strongly believe that this multi-tasking product for blemish-prone skin is the direct contributor of my clear and hormonal acne free skin. I used to get clogged pores and the occasional but absolutely impactful and dreadful cystic acne bump. You know the kind of acne that never comes to a head but just sits there for ever and ever as a big swollen and sensitive to the touch, beauty busting, confidence destroying, hard bump. On a Clear Day keeps this miserable situation at bay while giving me a very gentle dose of retinol during the day. Retinol once per day is very good but retinol twice per day is even better. Another Philosophy skin care treatment winner. Around $40 for .75 oz.


Philosophy When Hope is Not Enough SPF 20: I've lost track of how many "Hope" products that Philsophy has created. Let's see, there was Hope in a Jar, Eye Hope, Hope in a Tube, When Hope is Not Enough, etc. All I know is that the one that I like has better hydrating properties for my normal/dry skin than does its "Hope in a Jar" predecessor. I like the version of When Hope is Not Enough that comes in a tube, is tinted a pinkish color, and has an SPF. It is perfectly hydrating while going on a little greasy but soaks into the skin fairly quickly. It works magic over the On a Clear Day product that I just mentioned. Although I'd like the SPF to be upped to at least 30, I am glad that there is at least something in it that will shield me from the wrinkle dispenser known as the sun. $38 for 2 oz.


Philosophy Microdelivery Mini Peel Pads: These things rock. They are a daily exfoliating treatment for your face that work like a daily mini peel. You have to know how important and crucial exfoliating is for the upkeep of your precious skin. You simply cannot make room for fresher, brighter, skin cells if you have layers of the old stuff blocking its debut into the world. These little pads instantly reveal a certain brightness to your skin tone which makes those than want instant gratification happy. The peel pads work to set your face up for the other products that come after it in your skin care routine. The work of the peel pad helps your other products sink in better and go on smoother. Another plus are the anti-inflammatory benefits and paraben free, sulfate free formula. $35 for 60 pads (this can last 1 month or 2 depending on how often you use).


Honorable Mentions, Non-Philsophy, But Still Belong On The List of My Faves!


Dr. Denese Advanced Firming Facial Pads: Like these even better than the Philsophy Microdelivery Mini Peel Pads but didn't go with the theme of sticking to Phil products! These have a kick! Used only at night, great glycolic acid exfoliating treatment pad. Available at QVC (or Ebay).


Bare Escentuals Pure Transformation Night Treatment: Minerals that look like foundation powder to apply to your face. At NIGHT! You actually go to bed with what looks like fairly decent foundation coverage. And it doesn't come off on to your pillow. When you wake up, you look pretty good and can drop the kids off to school without wearing a ski mask or taking the time to apply your makeup in the morning. This deserves its own post but had to mention. Major love.








P.S. Use all products with caution. Most of my recommendations in this post are for treatment products and contain ingredients that may not be condusive to sensitive skin. I personally have sensitve skin and can use all of them with no problem, so that is saying something right there. Again, do your own research and make your own decisions based on what's right for you! If Anti-Aging is your concern, Philosophy may have the answers. Or at least claim to :)

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Nail of the Day: Essie Mochachino

Photo credit http://alisnailnews.blogspot.com
Mochachino by Essie looked to me like a beautiful taupey-coffee shade with very subtle multicolored shimmer when I was looking at the bottle in CVS. On the nails it was a little different. That pretty multicolored shimmer didn't really translate to the nail like I had anticipated. Unless in direct sunlight, the polish just looked kind of gritty. And the shade on the nails looked darker than it did in the bottle, less mochachino and more "concrete" with its tendency to appear like a really smoky brown. I would say that this isn't a pretty color but a cool color. And a nice one for fall, I was just expecting a little something extra.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Top Nail Polish Picks For Fall: Tis The Season...

I don't have certain nail colors for certain seasons because I think nail color works across all seasons. However, the change of the seasons does inspire me to be drawn more towards my darker nail colors. And even though it is nowhere near fall where I live, I thought I'd do my top nail polish picks so you can be ready to roll when the air turns crisp and the boots get pulled out of the closet. Ahh, the fall. Have you ever heard anyone say they hated the fall? I think the love of fall is pretty much the one thing that everyone on this planet that experiences it has in common.
In no particular order. These picks are my favorites and I also threw in some choices that are big this fall as far as nail trends go.

Essie Demure vix: I had to use this picture first because its been the color I've been obsessed with ever since I got it. I love this shade. It can look mauve sometimes and taupe at others but it has this amazing special quality of a purple iridescence that makes this polish. This purple flash of color was so hard to capture on my own nails but this picture (not my own) does a decent job. Trust me though, so much better in real life. You can see that hint of purple duo-chrome in the bottle though, and its how it transcends to the nails which is so so cool. Love. Some call it Demure Vixen but my bottle just says "Demure vix".

 
Essie Midnight Cami: Navy is big this fall in fashion as well as on the nails. I really like this Essie shade because of its vibrancy and beautiful sheen. If you aren't so bold to go this dark on your nails or if you just don't think navy is for you, try it on the toe nails and work your way up. It looks amazing on toes, trust me! Be sure to wear a nice shiny top coat when going dark, the shine gives those shades something special that can't really be picked up on in a pale shade. Another recommended shade in this genre is OPI Russian Navy, a true classic that every dark polish lover has in their collection. Russian Navy is in the permanent collection so you should have no trouble finding it.

Essie Wicked: This shade is a beautiful, sexy, vampy shade of deep deep burgundy. Wicked is to Essie as Lincoln Park After Dark is to OPI. Just a classic, very popular, shade when you want to go really dark on the nails. I was obsessed with Wicked before Demure vix took over. Another shade that looks amazing-ness on the toes. And remember, if you're wearing a deep vampy shade, you should probably match the toes to nails. I didn't make that up, I read it in a magazine. Do what you want.

OPI Lincoln Park After Dark: Now that I've mentioned this shade, let's go ahead and get it out of the way. LPAD is my favorite and most worn color of all time. It makes my list every season for my top shades and I've gone through several bottles of this already. A stunning and very deep plummy black that will never go out of style. And even if it does, I don't care. I like wearing ultra dark colors with feminine, soft, tops or dresses. I really like that contrast between the two very different styles.

Photo Credit thedailyvarnish.com
Butter London Branwen Feather: After this, I promise I will give you a break from dark dark dark. Since Branwen Feather is kind of in the same category as OPI LPAD, I thought I'd put them together so you can see how they differ. BW is another very dark plummy toned black but it has more of a grittier sheen to it that isn't quite shimmer. It looks really good in the sunlight where you can really pick up on the purple. Butter London is going to be BOGO free at Ulta for one day on Sept 20th. So excited because its $14 nail polish, yikes!

Photo Credit Lacqueredmom.blogspot.com

Butter London Yummy Mummy: One of my favorite colors. It's a very simple yet elegant taupe with a slight shimmer to it which is more of a pealy finish rather than actual sparkles. Its fairly pale and more on the beigy-taupe rather than say, OPI You Don't Know Jacques. It was my introductory shade into Butter London and I was quite pleased with the results. I have to say it really grew on me and became a part of heavy rotation. At first I saw nothing special about it but when I noticed that pearly finish, I was sold.

Essie Sexy Divide: I love this polish! I have it on my toes as we speak, which by the way looks amazing. This is a rich bold purple that is very.... purple. What I mean is its a nice change if you want to deviate from the purple/blacks and just go for something that truly looks purple. I would call this a royal purple in the way that it isn't eggplant or plum but its not lilac or lavender either. Its truly a gorgeous saturated purple that I know you will love


OPI Uh-Oh Roll Down the Window: While I don't really get the name of this polish, I really enjoy this look for fall. Wait a minute, is rolling down the window supposed to imply throwing up and therefor the green symbolizes this activity? I sure the hell hope not. Olive green is huge this fall, huge huge huge so this rich olive shade will be perfectly on trend. I like it better with a couple of accent nails to make it more interesting. These are easy to achieve with a black nail pen. Just draw little circles and then dot the middle with a gold polish. Just make sure you let the polish dry completely before using the nail pen. If you don't have a nail pen, use a tooth pick dipped in a little black polish. It's easier than you think.


Deborah Lippmann Naked: If you just aren't into dark or bold color on your nails, you can't go wrong ever with a beautiful flesh colored nude. I've said this before but nude nails make the fingers look longer and more delicate. This is my favorite nude shade but there are so many amazing ones like Essie Topless and Barefoot and OPI Salmon Sands. Nude tones have been so big for a while now and aren't the least bit hard to find. I would most definitely wear nude all year around. We wear nude lips all year round don't we? This is a fail proof color that always looks put together and cool. 
 
The Fall 2011 Sephora by OPI collection on QVC: I don't have this set but I really want this set. Each color is just so perfect for the fall. The colors are so soft, fashionable, and wearable for everyone. From the left to right, the colors are BYO Boy (a rose brown), Dear Diary (sheer warm light pink) Nonfat Soy Half Caff (a pale cappuccino), On Stage (an opaque grey-plum). I am most interested in the "BYO boy" because to me its the most unique. Although its called a spicey rose brown, I think it has a mauve quality to it and mauve is also a big color this fall. And how pretty is that cappuccino shade? 

Photo Credit: TheWestStreetJournal
Essie Fall 2011 Carry On collection: You can't go wrong with any of the shades in this collection as they all scream fall. I am anxious to try the Carry On shade as well as Glamour Purse. I have enough shades like Lady Like and I'm not into orange rust shades like Very Structured. The thing I like most about Essie is its way too easy accessibility. You can pick these up at CVS, Walgreens, Target and probably other places.


OPI Over the Taupe: Taupe has been big for a while now. If you can't find this one, you could always use You Don't Know Jacques but just about every nail polish line there is has its own version of a taupe nail polish. Five years ago, it would have been like impossible to find. Over the Taupe is a dark taupe which borders on a milk chocolate. Definitely looks best with short and well groomed finger nails. Something about jet long brown nails just doesn't sit well with me. Taupe can be done in many ways on the nails from beige taupe to this milk chocolate taupe and taupe that has plum undertones like the famous Sephora by OPI Metro Station. Another great one to try that borders on a grey taupe is Deborah Lippmann Waking Up in Vegas (one of her most coveted shades in the line).

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Dressing Age Appropriate: A Few Little Tid Bits of Wisdom

I'm all for women expressing themselves and wanting to look sexy no matter what age they are. I hardly ever utter the words "that's just not age appropriate" because I think if it makes you feel good and it gives you confidence, then why not? Life is too short to live by other peoples standards of what you "should" be wearing. As long as it doesn't embarrass your kids. With that said, if your wardrobe consists of more than 30% coming from Forever 21, it's time to reevaluate. It has come to my attention that some of us may be taking the name, Forever 21, too literally.I see nothing wrong with wanting to buy a trendy top or two from Forever 21 if you don't want to put a whole lot of money into it but when F21 is your go to store for work, home, and you don't have a "2" or a "1" as the first digit in your numerical age, its time to pass it on by. Put that crippled, blind, and deaf dog down already. Prolonging its life is only causing more suffering.

Other stores to not purchase more than 1/3 or less of your wardrobe from if you are over 30+: Wet Seal, Charlotte Russe, Abercrombie & Fitch, Hollister. And please, for the love of all things fashion, stop wearing t-shirts that advertise the brand. Unless that brand is Chanel. Or anything else that a teenager on their own could not afford.

Seriously, if you're on a budget, and you're saying "but the F21 prices are so cheap, I can't afford much more", you would do better at Nordstrom Rack (Nordstrom outlet), Off Fifth (Saks outlet) or watching Hautelook or from time to time. You can find such amazing and sophisticated yet fun pieces for sick sick prices. You just have to be patient and pounce early when the stores (Hautelook is online) open @ 8AM Pacific, 11AM EST. If its young and trendy you're after, you will find it there and be amazed at the deals. Think of it like this, spending a little bit of money on something of crap quality and having to replace said crap isn't as economical as you think. Especially if you're replacing it with more of the same.

I know everyone hates "mom jeans" if they have even an ounce of fashion instinct but some ladies take the mom-jean rebellion a little too far. This should be a very easy to follow and simple rule. When you sit down, and you aren't wearing a longer top, and you can see your underwear or more, these jeans are not right for you. Once again, if you're buying your jeans from F21, I'm probably talking to you. You don't have to subscribe to the high-wasit look, but please, look for a mid-rise or save those low-rise hipsters for days when you are wearing tunic length tops or won't be sitting down at all.

Get some nicer flip-flops if you must wear them to places other than the pool or beach or to get a pedicure. The cheap ones that we all grab from Old Navy to run around in (well, I don't but I'm trying to relate), are bad for your feet and bad for your look. At least get some flip-flops that have some height with a wedge and some substance to them! There are so many to choose from Zappos. Affordable too!

Your permission to go bra-less has oficially been revoked. I don't care if you are an a-cup or if you have the perkiest boobs known to man, you. must. wear. a. bra. Seriously, does this really need mentioned?! Everyone looks better in clothing if they are wearing a bra. A bra, if wearing the right size, puts your girls where they need to be which instantly makes you look slimmer and polished.
Stop freaking talking about comfort! You know that show, What Not to Wear w/ Stacey and Clinton? Every single frumpy ass woman who begs to hold on to her dated and horrific clothing uses the same line "but its so comfortable!". Comfort shouldn't be the goal, its a bonus. Picking something that is flattering to your body type is the main goal. As a (American) society, we have become lazier. As things around us become more convenient, we are getting lazier. Its an absolute fact whether you want to believe it or not. I'm sure if it was OK to wear your pajamas to work or church, most people would. Stop it! I have a great little trick I've used for myself for a while now. I stayed at home with my children for 5 years before going back to graduate school. Staying at home and sometimes not having anywhere you have to be, can put you into a really depressing rut and a "who cares what I look like attitude". I rebelled against this and started dressing and getting made up like I was going somewhere even if I wasn't. The moms at my daughter's school would comment "you always dress so cute and wear the cutest shoes!". I let them in on my secret. If I dress like I am not tired, I FEEL like I'm not tired. I instantly have more energy and confidence. Confidence is key.

Yes, you do need makeup. "but I don't have anything to cover up". Yes...you do. How about those dark circles for one? How about looking like you got a full nights sleep even if you didn't? Concealer under the eyes is a must, ladies. I may have a nervous breakdown if someone said I had to leave the house without mascara for a week. You might as well say I have to leave the house without my eyes. Because I will look the same either way. You need concealer under the eyes, well-groomed and shaped eyebrows, mascara, and some kind of lip product that provides color. This is what you need, but going further than this is optional.

Wear a heel. Especially if you aren't happy with your weight. The more unhappy you are, the higher your heel should be. More height=more slimming. I'm not saying to break out the 5" stilettos (but you should if you have them), but even an inch will help. This is the part of my list where I will say that there is no inappropriate height for women over a certain age. Within reason of course, I think those clear plastic looking stripper heels are inappropriate for any age. Look for a heel with a platform around the toe because this instantly takes off some of the "feel" of the heel. What I mean is if you have a 5" heel, and a 2" platform, it will feel like you are walking on 3" inch heels rather than the full 5".

I'm gonna take the chance that I may offend some people here but please, if you are over 36, stop wearing loungewear with words across your butt. If you are going to sleep in them or even maybe going out to the mailbox (although this one is a big maybe), then fine. But if you are going out in public or heaven forbid your kid's school with the words "Sexy" or "Junk in the Trunk", you should be put in a fashion time-out. Sorry ladies, this includes the Victoria Secret Pink clothing line. If you have some of this stuff without words across the butt, then its probably OK to wear.To the mailbox.

The hands down at your sides rule. It made sense back in high school and it makes sense for the 35+ crowd. Notice how I have picked a number arbitrarily that just so happens to not include my age of 33. Anyway, put your hands down at your sides and your shorts, skirts, dress length should not be shorter than where your middle finger hits. I will give you one inch of leeway.

And it should be a no-brainer that tops that expose your midriff are out of the question.

These rules aren't hard to follow people. Wear all the cute, trendy, celebrity inspired clothing that your heart desires. Just aim for "sophistication" before "sexy" and the sexy will naturally follow. I know women in their 40's that feel and look better than they ever did in their 20's and I love that. Work it girl! Just not in a sequined triangle top bikini.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Have You Ever Tried Mally Beauty Products?

Mally Roncal is a celebrity makeup artist to stars like Beyonce, Kim Kardashian, Angelina Jolie, you get the idea. She is known for giving her clients that glowy, highlighted, fresh looking skin that we see on the pages of the magazines and try hard to emulate at home. Mally sells her line on QVC and I make sure to watch her whenever she is on because she always has great tips and shows us exactly which products she uses on her famous clientele. She's absolutely drop dead gorgeous, very lively, and fun to watch. And she cries on the drop of a dime when she takes a live on-air call where the person praises her and credits her with their newly formed self-confidence. The Mally Beauty line is full of innovative, fun, and highly rated products that instantly become favorites among her fans. QVC is definitely the place to go if you want to give Mally a try for the fact that they put together some amazing kits for some amazing prices (see Just Heaven kit below). So I wanted to introduce you to Mally and show you some of the most coveted products in case you want to try but don't know where to start.

Mally Poreless Face Defender: 
This stuff is what I call innovative. It is used as a finishing powder but minus the powder. It looks like a clear hard gel that you apply with a sponge to mattify your face and set your makeup. You hardly know you are wearing anything over top of your foundation and its perfect for touching up throughout the day when you want to take away shine and minimize pore size. Helps also to diminish the look of fine lines and will never give that cakey powdery appearance, because it isn't a traditional finishing powder.

Mally Perfect Prep Primer: If you watch QVC, this is host Lisa Robertson's favorite primer and one she wears daily. Lisa is gorgeous and has flawless taste. I figure if she chooses Mally's primer over all the others she has access to, it must be good. Super highly-rated product that comes in the original and "Glow" for an extra special finish.

Mally Beauty Perfect Prep Primer
Mally High Shine Liquid Lipstick: This happens to be the QVC Customer Award Winner for best lipstick for 2011. A great choice for those that find ordinary lipsticks too drying and yet don't really want to go the lipgloss route. This product goes on like a lipgloss but it provides the coverage and pigmentation of a lipstick. And did I mention high shine? Gorgeous gorgeous shade selection. Try Mally's Baby and Blossom for two popular, can't go wrong, shades.
Mally Volumizing Mascara: Quite possibly the most popular item in the Mally Beauty line and of course, another QVC customer award winner for 2011 best mascara. This is one that seems to be making its way around the beauty guru circuit even if they have never tried another Mally product. This mascara may be a great way to start if you want to introduce yourself to her stuff for the first time.
Mally Volumizing Mascara, Photo Credit: http://myrayofbeauty.wordpress.com/2010/05/14/top-10-beauty-must-haves-4-mally-mascara/
Mally Effortless Airbrush Blush/Highlighter:

This can only be found, as far as I know, in Mally's 8-piece Just Heaven Kit that I mentioned in the first paragraph. I mention this one because its awesome and its Mally's favorite item that she has ever created. Also one that she wears every single day, according to her. It's a gorgeous blush in shade Afterglow, a peachy-pink and a golden highlighter in shade Purelight. One of the main products used in creating that perfect Mally signature glow that her celebrity clients want.
Mally 8-piece Just Heaven Kit:
Another 2011 customer award winner for QVC. This kit basically has everything in it that makes Mally Beauty so beloved. The price is amazing and can only be found on, that's right, QVC. If you bought each piece separately, it would be $186. But wait... if you hop online right now, it can be yours for $73.56! I have looked at this kit about 10 times in the last week and each time I talk myself out of it. Once again, I'm back looking again and this time I'm becoming weaker and weaker to its grip. What all do you get?

 -Evercolor Endless Eyeshadow, a powder and cream shadow in shade bronze-brown
-High Shine Liquid Lipstick in shade, Just Heaven (a beautiful sheer peachy-pink and exclusive to QVC)
-Perfect Prep Primer in Glow
-Mally Volumizing Mascara
-Effortless Airbrush blush/highlighter duo
-Visible Skin Bronzer (choice of 2 shades, exclusive to QVC)
-Automatic eyeliner in black navy
-Double-ended shaping makeup brush
-Mally makeup bag

Seriously, do you get why I'm continuously haunted by that Just Heaven makeup kit, calling my name, and begging to be a part of my makeup collection? 

And for your enjoyment, a YouTube video from EmilyNoel83 who also enjoys Mally Beauty, featuring Mally's All-Day Gorgeous Kit



And more pictures of beautiful Mally. 

Mally w/ husband of 10 years and twin girls Sophie and Pilar
Mally w/ another of my favorite ladies, Tori Spelling



Friday, September 2, 2011

Fashion Focus: Easy Ways to be Trendy This Fall Without Trying too Hard

I have one fashion rule about trends. Don't spend too much on trendy pieces because you may hate them the following year. Rather, keep it simple and classic in your clothing style and trend them up with affordable accessories or classic pieces that just so happen to be trendy that season. That way, you aren't out too much money if your trend finds itself on the "Fashion Don't" list the following season. I don't know about you, but I have exceptionally good instincts when it comes to whether a trend will stay or pass us on by leaving us humiliated when we look at photographs where we are proudly displaying that previously hot new piece. Take skinny jeans for example. I may have been the first girl that I knew that jumped on that train as soon as I saw it heading toward the station. I didn't blink before loading up on several pairs because I knew they were here to stay. But not all trends are so simple to discern. So do yourself a favor, take the guess work out of it and start being trendy the easy way. (BTW, some of these trends aren't new, but let's face it, all parts of the world are not created equally when it comes to certain looks hitting their town. What's new for me is probably so 2001 for you fancy pants Europeans)


Let's start small....
One way to jump on the trend train is just to forget about what clothing and accessories are hot but to focus on which colors are on trend. And since color itself is trendy this year, there's really no way you can make a mistake. If you want to get more specific, try navy.


Navy is big right now! If you aren't sure, try it on your nails or buy a pair of navy boots. You'd be surprised how well navy goes with many outfits you already own. Navy is the forgotten neutral when it comes to shoes.

COLOR! Bold, vibrant, bright, rich color. But if this isn't for you, there is something else on this list that should be more in your comfort zone (see white top/black bottom below)

Leopard print anything! There are so many leopard print shoes and boots out there right now and I have a feeling if you splurge on some, they will be here to stay. 

Floral print, namely, dresses. This one kinda takes me back to 1992 during my floral dress, Doc Martin boots phase. But it was a pleasant trip back.And very Bridget Fonda in Singles. I'm old.

Full length and mid-calf length skirts.

Layers! Pile it on, if you can stand it. Some people think the more layers they wear, the bigger they look. Not if you are dressing correctly for your body shape. In fact, layers add depth and structure and can often create a slim silhouette.

Long long coats, like, to the floor long. 

Nail art. Nails are the hot new accessory. And the sky is the limit. Any color, any texture, and any design. This year, nails have never been more appreciated.  Check out the Sophy Robson for Sephora videos for some really cool nail art. 

White shirt/black bottom. All over the runways for fall 2011. Can it get any easier? Obviously the white button up, the staple classic wardrobe piece, will be very chic with a great pair of black trouser pants or pencil skirt. 


Kitten heels. For those of you that can't stand to wear high heels, give your feet a break and embrace the kitten heel. Feminine, sophisticated, and easy on the feet. 


Stripes, the bolder the better. Thick horizontal stripes more specifically.


Leather skirts. Does leather really ever completely go away? Thankfully, no. 


Cat-eye sunglasses.


Makeup look of the season: bold, defined lips with doll-like big black lashes. Minimal yet effective. Check out the new Lancome mascara, Hypnose Doll Eyes.


Texture, Texture, Texture, and mixing texture. Not only is it cool to wear leopard print but its even cooler if your leopard print feels like an actual leopard. Or silk paired with leather or fur (faux, please) mixed with leather are other ways to do it if you don't want to delve too far into the whole animal thing.


Looking like a man. Androgyny is back my friends. There is a creepy way to do this and a subtle and easy way to do this. Wearing a tie with a sport coat and cumberbun is the creepy way. Mixing genres like pairing the menswear coat with something very feminine and sexy on the bottom is much more approachable.



Thursday, September 1, 2011

Nail Beauty: Tip of the Day!


 If you haven't used a ridge filler before applying your nail polish, you should. Why? Because it creates a splash guard between where you want your polish to go and where you don't want it to go. It's a great way to prevent  messy manicures and manicures that look like you did them yourself. You know the kind I'm talking about. You know when you go get your nails painted by someone else, it looks so nice and neat and there is that perfect line before your cuticle where your nail polish doesn't cross? A ridge filler can do this for you at home. I've heard they are especially useful when using dark polish colors. Use it on the toes as well! I've seen one from Seche Vite in CVS which didn't get very glowing reviews on MakeupAlley.com as well as one from Orly that did a bit better in the reviews category.  There are also more expensive brands that make their own Ridge Fillers like Deborah Lippmann and Butter London (which is BOGO free on Sept 20th at Ulta, see the post below for more deets). Personally, I'm gonna go for the Seche Vite or Orly due to lower price and easier accessibility.


And there you have it! BTW, the Essie Demure vix + Essie Let it Shine Topcoat wore beautifully and better than any other Essie/Top Coat combo. I got 6 days out of that manicure before I saw a little bit of chipping (that wasn't even that noticeable). Six days is the ultimate in my manicures and I rarely make it to that mark. I'm guessing it was the Let it Shine topcoat that did the trick. Either way, I adore that polish color and you will too so check it out.

Ulta: Exciting September Events Worth Checking Out!

I prefer Sephora because it doesn't take 2 years to build enough points to get a few bucks off your purchase or a pack of cotton balls. But now that ULTA is stepping up their game, adding new brands, and special events, I'm becoming more and more of a fan. I got my recent ULTA circular the other day, and was so excited to see all of the beauty deals coming up for the month of September. There are four weeks of beauty deals that are available during the time along with certain brands doing in-store events (i.e, you can get your makeup done with one of them if you sign up). The deals consist of things like being able to get some of our favorite products for a much cheaper price. Since its such a rarity to be able to get any kind of sale on higher-end makeup brands (Smashbox, Tarte, Too-Faced, Benefit, etc), this is a major deal and the reason why I marked some of the dates on my calender.
I'm only listing the "Beauty Steals" and not the in-store events. I don't really care about this part because I have had bad luck with the results of the "makeovers" I've suffered at the hands of some of these "professionals". Who shall remain nameless. ( but one of them rhymes with "Do-Placed")


Exclusions: Limit 2 per customer, beauty steals are for ONE day only, BOGO free or BOGO 50% off item must be of equal or lesser value. You don't have to take part in the beauty event to be able to buy the "beauty steal". 

SO excited for the September 20th beauty steal! Scroll down and see why!  

Week 1 Sunday September 4th:
Bare Minerals Prime Time Eyelid Primer $12 (reg. $18)

Monday September 5th:
Philosophy Lipshine, Buy 1, get one 50% off (reg. $10 each)

Tuesday September 6th:
Hydroxatone Hydrolyze 20% off (reg. $80)

Wednesday September 7th
Stila Lip Glaze $11 (reg. $22)


WEEK 2
Sunday September 11th
Tarte Gifted Mascara $10 (reg. $19)


Monday September 12th
Philosophy Purity Wipes $12 (reg. $20)


Tuesday September 13th
StriVectin Scrub FREE w/ any StriVectin purchase ($45 value)


Wednesday September 14th
Murad Hybrids, buy 1, get one 50% off (reg. $35)


WEEK 3
Sunday September 18th
Kinerase, buy 1, get 1 50% off (reg. $28-$150)


Monday September 19th
Tarte EmphasEyes Aqua Gel Eyeliner $9 (reg. $18)


Tuesday September 20th
Butter London, buy 1 get 1 FREE! (reg. $14 each) HOW GREAT IS THIS DEAL?! It's worth picking up 2 polishes to get the additional 2 for free. You can now justify spending $14 for a nail polish (that is smaller than an OPI polish to begin with, I might add)

Wednesday September 21st
Cargo OneBase Foundation and Concealer in one $13 (reg. $26)

3X ULTA BONUS POINTS FOR EVERYTHING IN THE STORE FROM SEPTEMBER 4-24th, take your coupon in from the ad so they can scan it. You can only use this coupon ONCE. 


In other ULTA news: 
Certain ULTA locations will be getting the Lancome line in their stores. If you get the ad sent to your home, there should be a place on the back of it where they have listed the store that is closest to you that will have Lancome. Lancome is pricey, perhaps the priciest makeup line to be carried at ULTA, but their products are A+ quality. Lancome happens to the the #1 prestige beauty brand in the world. I'm excited to try out their Hypnose Doll Lashes mascara! Doll Lashes + bold lip is what is hot right now in makeup, by the way.

There are also some amazing free gifts with purchase of lots of tempting little makeup sets from Tarte, Benefit, Bare Escentuals, Laura Geller, Lorac, and more. My personal fave would be the Tarte set that includes a full size Amazonian Clay blush, Lights Camera Lashes mascara, eyeliner, and eyeshadow palette for $39 and there is a free gift of a mini Park Avenue Princess bronzer and mini lip product. That is what I call a beauty steal. For a full list of all other deals going on for September at ULTA, go visit their website. 

P.S. ULTA doesn't like when you return something that qualified you to get you a gift with purchase unless you are also returning the gift with purchase. If you don't have the gift, you can return item for store credit (even if you have receipt).