Saturday, April 7, 2012

Get With Kate: Skip Foundation And Still Look Great!

Kate Winslet.

We really like this Academy Award-winning actress, not only for her amazing performances but also for her unassuming attitude and her not-try-so-hard beauty.

Kate Winslet is quite stunning, and proves that you don't have to be skeletal to get attention.

Here is a photo of the British beauty at the recent movie premier of Titanic 3D held at the Royal Albert Hall. The Lancome cosmetics ambassador stands out in an elegant black gown. She is wearing a bobby-pinned updo and understated makeup with the exception of soft red lips.

And interesting to note, we just read that Kate Winslet is not a foundation kind of gal. This is what she told InStyle magazine in the April issue:

"Since I don't wear heavy makeup...I opt for tinted moisturizer instead. It's not as dark as foundation, and it gives my skin a lovely sheen.

Kate must have really nice skin because it isn't easy getting away with merely tinted moisturizer as base coverage. But we have found a number of women DO prefer what Kate does, and SKIP the foundation.

Kate likes putting on her fave Lancome Renergie Eclat Multi-Lift Cream ($75/1.4 oz., at The Multi-Lift tinted moisturizer comes in 4 universal shades and delivers instant illumination to the complexion and tightening and smoothing skin.

We're not sure everyone could afford a $75 tinted moisturizer, but you can still get with Kate and put on a less expensive cream and still look great.

Friday, April 6, 2012

First Lady Michelle Right About Push-Ups: Fab For Toning Arms

We thought of First Lady Michelle Obama yesterday, as we struggled to complete a set of 10 push-ups. Remember when Mrs. O challenged Ellen on her TV talk show last February? And the First Lady won by completing 25?!

Not bad for a 48-year-old woman.

Last year, we could do 20 push-ups. Then we got lax, and took a break. We continue to lift small weights to keep our arms toned. We've been doing that for years now, but push-ups are really an excellent all-around toning movement that don't require any equipment or much time, just the desire for a strong, fit body. Plus, you can do a push-up just about anywhere.

Let's face it----Summer isn't too far behind, and that means warm weather and the shedding of sweaters and jackets. If you want your arms on display, now is the time to get MOVING.

And Michelle Obama has it right----her 'Let's Move' Fitness Program for school-aged children speaks volumes. But when you think about the theme, there really is NO age limit. We should all be moving.

If you want to bet that beautifully-toned arms like the First Lady's are just about lucky DNA, you're wrong. You have to work at it continuously.

So, let's further examine the push-up and its benefits and features. We did some research and found an old but very educational article in the Los Angeles Times by Jay Blahnik, a Laguna Beach-based personal trainer and IDEA Health & Fitness Assn. spokesman:

"The primary muscles used during a push-up are the chest, front shoulder and triceps muscles. However, because the push-up requires you to hold your body in a stable, horizontal position against gravity, you also engage your neck, core, hips and legs with each repetition.

Although the push-up is a simple exercise, many people do it incorrectly. Consider these push-up tips to minimize the risk of injury and maximize the benefits:

* When pushing away from the floor, focus on using your arms and keeping your body in a straight line throughout the movement. Avoid lifting your butt higher than your hips or hunching your neck and shoulders. Go slowly and exhale on the upward phase of the exercise.

* Don't allow your chest to actually touch the floor when you come down. Instead, stop the downward portion of the movement when your chest is 2 to 3 inches away from the floor. This will protect your shoulders and still provide plenty of range of motion to make the exercise effective. Try placing a book, rolled-up towel or tennis shoe under your chest to remind you when to stop lowering your body during the exercise.

* If you are unable to complete a full push-up, execute the exercise from your knees and/or place your hands on the edge of a sofa or bench (instead of the floor). These positions will make it less challenging, and allow you to build your strength over time. Then progress to a traditional push-up when you are able to complete 8 to 12 repetitions of this easier version of the exercise."

For more push-ups information, click here.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Beauty Budget Buy: Metallic Thong Sandals $20 Old Navy

Spring has certainly sprung. And if you're ready to slip on your favorite old flip-flops or thong sandals, you might want to buy a new pair, because these types of warm weather footwear wear out very quickly.

We believe you should display the prettiest feet around town, and that's why we are looking at Old Navy for our Beauty Budget Buy of the Day. Get this----a pair of Metallic T-Strap Thong Sandals for just $20!

Metallic is so chic and trendyfor Spring/Summer 2012. And merely adding a pretty pop of gold to your wardrobe makes a fab fashion statement.

We love these thongs---super cute and comfy with an elegant T-strap design. And if you buy them online, you get 30% off at checkout!

And now for the Debbie Downer footnote, so to speak:

You've heard the arguments before, that flip-flops or thong-style flat sandals, are NOT the best summer footwear. The American Podiatric Medical Association, along with plenty of studies out there, caution that flip-flop wearing time should be limited.

When you're walking in a pair, your gait changes in a way that affects your feet, ankles, and legs. And believe it or not, these go-to-casual sandals can cause substantial pain.

If you cannot give up wearing flip-flops or thongs, at least slip into a pair that have good arch support and cushioning. As the experts say......"If your flip-flops can fold in half, then they are NOT sturdy enough."

Hey---we still own several pairs of flip-flops and flat thong sandals and we LOVE them. We don't walk around in them day in and day out. So, we will buy the metallic thong sandals from Old Navy, and that's that.

Some things in life are TOO adorable to pass up.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Famous Celebrity Blondes Going For Bangs In Spring 2012

We discussed the big bangs trend just a few weeks ago. But lately, there's been a change we've noticed:

More and more celebrity blondes are going in for the cut. It looks like the blonde bangs brigade is here. Just take a look at the latest flaxen-haired trio who have opted for some pretty fringe:

Christie Brinkley. Jennifer Lawrence. And Taylor Swift.

Then there is Reese Witherspoon. Rihanna. Anna Faris. Hilary Duff.....And the blondes with bangs who's who goes on.

Gotta love the fringe. You can hide forehead wrinkles and high foreheads with bangs. Your eyes instantly look BIGGER with bangs. And if you suffer from thin, scraggly eyebrows, bangs can cover them, and your problem disappears.

So then, the question begs: Are you in some fringe for Spring?

Remember---there are all kinds of bangs. You can get longer, softer, curved bangs like Jennifer Lawrence of the 'Hunger Games'. Not severe or too heavy. You can side-part or middle-part the fringe when you want a change. Plus long bangs don't take forever to grow out.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Bumble & Bumble Puts Curly Hair Gals On The Straight And Narrow

We have long, straight hair, and even we are amazed at this new Bumble and bumble smoothing technology.

If we believe all the press, then this is BIG news for those of you who want to style curly hair straight or maybe give up the controversial Brazilian blow-out.

Bumble and bumble are raving about their at-home Concen-Straight Smoothing Treatment ($45, at beauty shops like Sephora).

The genius thing about Concen-Straight is its power to provide manageability and frizz reduction for up to 30 shampoos.

30 shampoos?! No kink. No curl?!

That's incredible.

Bb tells you how to use it:
-Shampoo hair.
-DO NOT CONDITION with anything. Towel dry.
-Arrange hair into small sections, starting at the nape and working forward.
-Shake Concen-straight Smoothing Treatment bottle well.
-Apply Concen-straight Smoothing Treatment liberally, on damp hair, roots to ends, ensuring hair is evenly coated.
-Let sit for 30 minutes, uncovered, and comb hair every 5 minutes into desired straight style.
-Rinse thoroughly with warm water only for about 10 minutes. (Hair should feel residue-free.)
-Blow-dry hair completely dry using your hands, a brush or both.
-Flat-iron as you normally would, sectioning as you go and sliding iron from roots to ends. (You're setting your hair's shape with heat, so don't miss a spot.)

If you want to rock the shiny, sleek, straight locks like model Heidi Klum was showing us fresh from her split from husband Seal back in January, try Bb's Concen-Straight. It's formaldehyde-free and very kind to your mane.

We think this is super hairstyling technology and definitely one of THE products to try in 2012.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Before You Turn The Lights Out---Please Remove All Makeup

We've nagged and nagged everyone here about removing makeup, and all traces of it, before going to sleep. And sure, there are some of you who don't take us seriously about adopting this key nighttime routine. But really, you should.

If you want a skin care product to do its beauty magic at night, then you MUST do it with a clean face. That means---NO stale liner hovering below your eyes or remnants of blush still sitting on your cheeks from 7:00 this morning.

Take it off. Take it ALL off!

Most times, we take Pampers Baby Wipes and get rid of the greasy cosmetics with a couple of sheets. That's an old trick we learned from a couple of professional makeup artists. It's quick, non-irritating, and as we like to say, "If it's good enough for a baby's cute little butt, well it's good for us, too."

We also like to mop up any left over makeup with a couple of cotton ball swipes of rubbing alcohol. It sounds harsh, but our dermatologist uses this method all the time before he begins a skin care procedure on our complexion.

Then---we begin our cleansing routine.

If you would like something a bit more gentle, trust us, there are tons of makeup removers---high-end, low-end, famous brand, generic, so many, that there is no excuse not to get in the good habit now.

Today, we are looking at NARS Makeup Removing Water ($28, at beauty stores like Sephora). Okay, not cheap at this price, but still an excellent product from a fab cosmetics company.

NARS Makeup Removing Water is quite unique in that it is a soap-free, oil-free, and alcohol-free water that removes face makeup and tones the skin:

"This formula gently yet thoroughly sweeps makeup away without rubbing while soothing botanical ingredients, including cucumber and chamomile, hydrate, comfort, and add radiance. The result: purified and toned skin."

We don't care HOW you get the makeup off, just PLEASE remove it BEFORE you hit the sheets. Good skin isn't a given for most of us. You have to put in a little effort to make major beauty progress.

You can look at it this way: The cleaner the face, the easier it is for skin care products to penetrate and do their work.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Celebrate The Southwest Spirit With A Beautiful Beaded Belt

Some might think that seed beads are too simple, or too arts and crafts-like to be considered serious fashion. But oh, how wrong they are!

Look at the beautiful detail and striking colors we found in a beautiful beaded belt from Boston Proper. And this is another hot Spring trend for 2012!

It's all about capturing the spirit of the Southwest and Native American charm. Beaded accessories are everywhere these days, and the best item to add to your Spring wardrobe is the sexy, beaded belt. It can transform your entire outfit.

Boston Proper is featuring colorful beaded medallion cuff bracelets and totes, along with beaded Native stretch belts with big interlocking-buckles ($79, in Tan, Spice, Coral, and Black). The beaded belts are nice and wide at 2 5/8".

We also found another cool beaded belt. This one by Cocobelle Designs. It boasts lovely antique glass beads on elastic--Aztec Turquoise ($28).

We love this look and can't wait to jump on the beaded accessories bandwagon!