Thursday, July 1, 2010

10 THINGS to do to look a little better everyday

It's a new month! Which means another installment of my new 10 THINGS series!

I confess. I don't wear makeup everyday. Sometimes, I just don't have the time! Other times, I either don't feel like it, or I'm trying to be good to my skin and give it a break from the elements (elements = products).

That being said, it can be easy to fall into a rut of looking, well, "tired" all the time. You know what I mean by tired, right? It means like shit, basically. In the same notion that you take it when someone from work tells you, "You look tired". And it leaves you thinking, Thanks sweetheart. Thanks for the kind words. 

So in order to break the rut, I wanted to make a list of 10 things you can do each day to boost your appearance. It's not a lot of things, in fact you don't have to do them all at the same time. But sometimes a little goes a long way. 

1- Concealer. Under your eyes. It will brighten up your face and make your eyes look more awake.

2- Blush. Or, my favorite, a cheek tint. The best thing about cheek tints is that they are fast and effortless. All you have to do is have good aim (i.e., know where your cheekbones are), swipe that shit and you're done! Blush helps to give you a youthful glow and adds a bit of color to your face. 
3- Exercise. It doesn't have to be much. A quick 10 minute walk on the treadmill is enough if you truly don't have the time. Walk your dog. Walk your neighbor's dog if you don't have one, just get moving. Endorphins are a powerful thing. They make you feel chipper and just doing a little bit of work to better yourself makes you feel good, proud and accomplished!

4- Try something different with your hair. If you wear it up all the time, wear it down. If it's always down, sweep it away from your face and let your eyes show through. Try a braid, a low side pony tail, bangs or a faux bob! Remember, the changes don't have to be big ones, just different.

5- Drink! Water, that is. Not only does it hydrate you and help to keep your skin clear, it keeps your skin glowy and naturally dewy. Besides, it's just good for you!

6- Adorn yourself! Add a scarf to your hair, or my personal favorite, a flower. They're a nice, unexpected change and it's elegant, fresh and wonderful for summer! Try wearing earrings, or use colorful bobby pins in your hair. They're not very expensive. You can find tons of great options for hair accessories at your local ____ Superstore! (Target, Walmart, etc.) 

7- Exfoliate. Now this is a tricky topic for me, because I don't believe you should exfoliate your face everyday, especially if you're using a cleanser with harsh scrubbers like coconut or almonds particles. Instead, I say use a gentle cleanser (Purpose, Cetaphil) and use a mild scrub sponge on your face and gently buff away at your skin. I really love Cotton's Oval Face and Body Exfoliating Pads. They're so gentle, but provide just enough force to get the buff away impurities, dead skin cells and all that other nastiness roaming around on your face. They're a must if you have sensitive skin.

8- SLEEEP! It's the proven, successful, unanimous way to NOT look tired!

9- Two words: Cold. Shower. Now calm down, you don't have to spend the whole duration of the shower in cold water; you can do what I do and spend the last minute to 5 minutes just waiting under the shower head. The cold water increases blood circulation and it will help make those dreadful bags under your eyes recede faster.
10- Smile. Even if it's difficult, or if it hurts or you just don't feel like it. Studies show that smiling and laughing even if you're not feeling happy makes you happy! Besides, everyone looks beautiful with a smile on. 

How do you break out of your beauty rut?

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Top 10 Foods That Will Give You Great Skin - via Skincare Beauty Zone

Lately I've been doing a lot of thinking about food. Now, if you know me, this shouldn't come as a surprise, but the difference this time is I'm paying a lot more attention to foods that improve overall health and appearance. Call it vanity, getting older or becoming wiser but I've been contemplating  things like antioxidants, omega-3 / omega-6 ratios, healthy fats and vitamin packed foods that all benefit your skin.

I've been meaning to write a healthy-foods-for-beauty type post anyway, and I will, with my own twist, but I wanted to pass along this article I stumbled across from the Skincare Beauty Zone, because I thought it was direct and informing. Besides, these foods are great and I (try to) eat a lot of them frequently. C'mon! Dark chocolate? Pomegranates? Avocado? Salmon? Green tea? All very yummy. So read the article and let it inspire to you go shopping and before you know it, you'll have better skin than you used to!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Burt's Bees Pomegranate & Soy shampoo & conditioner product review

I had heard a lot of good things about Burt's Bees products when they first started gaining notoriety. They were being hyped everywhere! Celebrities were singing its praises, friends loved the way it smelled, magazines noted that they were environmentally friendly so I thought I would give some of their products a try.

I started with the shampoo and conditioner, which might not have been the right choice for me. I have very thick, curly, unruly hair, which is, more often than not, over-processed and damaged (actually, I chopped most of it off, so it's not as over-processed but it is very dry and sun-damaged). But no matter... I wanted to see what all the fuss was about so I decided to dive in. Here's what I think!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Mark's Daily Apple on how cutting out grains can help clear your skin

I wanted to pass along this post from Mark's Daily Apple (the site that I often reference when talking about my low glycemic index food intake and the Primal Blueprint). It talks about the correlation of grain intake (which causes inflammation), how grains can help cause acne and how changing what you put into your body can change what it puts out (but we already know this, right?). 

I followed the change that the Primal Blueprint suggests and I saw a dramatic improvement not only in my waistline but on my face once I started eliminating grains from my diet. It is not the exclusive way I got my skin to clear up (the regimen did most of the work), but was and still is an important part of it. And if you look like what I used to look like, you might want to consider giving it a try too!

Give it a read!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

At-Home Pedicure Products

It’s flip flop season! OK it’s unfair of me to write that because, well, in south Florida, EVERY season is flip flop season... But that makes it all the more important to take care of your tootsies!

I’ll be honest, I have gross feet. At least according to some people I know. Other people think they look like... feet! And feet are kinda gross to begin with, right? Well, not if I can help it.

I have been making more of an effort lately to have cute feet. I blame it on my first pedicure experience: I had just moved to Florida and I decided to, for the first time in my life, get a pedicure. Well, apparently my feet resembled something like a rotting carcass because you should have seen the horror on that poor woman’s face when she was scrubbing away at my heels. It was a mixture of fear, disgust and fury all in one little facial expression [In my defense, I had just moved to Florida 2 days before in the middle of the harsh NY winter and Manhattan is a pedestrian city = lots of walking! Plus, as a broke kid working 2 jobs, I just didn’t have money or time for a mani / pedi mmkay?] She then reprimanded me in her accented English by yelling “What happen to you feet! Why they look like this!” Embarrassing, yes - after all she did shame me for having nasty hooves, but you know what? She helped me see the light. So to that I say thank you, petite, angry woman at the nail salon. It is because of you that I never let my feet see the light of day without scrubbing, buffing and putting copious amounts of baby oil on them so the gleam as if they have been blessed by the baby Jesus himself.

If you’re like me and want to save yourself some embarrassment by going to the nail salon, try these at-home foot care products that helped make my puppies less cringe inducing:

Friday, June 11, 2010

I Don't Like Proactiv and Here's Why [Part 2]

[04/30/10 - with makeup]

Continued from Part 1:

In a span of 3 months my skin problem went from moderately bad to severe. And the severe result is not something I’d experienced even in puberty. Yes, I had always had bad skin (and I know “bad” is a relative term, but you see what I mean now by bad) but this time it was WORSE! To be 25 years old battling severe cystic acne was probably among the worse and most painful, -emotionally and physically- experiences of my life. And for those who think that this could have been brought on by stress? Again, I say bullshit. Yes, hormonal changes (i.e.: menstrual periods) had an affect on my skin, but the breakouts I’d get were minimal and were easily manageable. I could wait 4 days or, just use the Proactiv sulfur mask as a spot treatment, and boom! Problem solved. Not to mention another devastating and stressful event I had been through a few years prior to my Proactiv fall-out that took a further emotional toll on me, and my skin remained intact and unaffected. 

Monday, June 7, 2010

I Don't Like Proactiv and Here's Why [Part 1]

As I type this, I am watching an infomercial on QVC rolling my eyes and getting, unreasonably upset. Now I shouldn’t be so upset, but I have my reasons. Listening to the callers-in and QVC “hype-ers” talk about this product like its a miracle is, well, frustrating for me...

I’ll explain.
I was a faithful customer of Proactiv for 4 years. I grew up with terrible skin and battled it from ages 10 to, well, currently. Now when I say bad skin, I don’t mean typical pubescent breakouts, I had a face regularly littered with pimples (not zits) and it’s remaining dark acne scars for most of my teenage life and into my early 20’s, which is well, now (OK, fine, I’m in my mid 20’s now but whatev). I had seen the infomercials for Proactiv since I was 16 and always wanted to try it out, but didn’t have the means. I had tried everything I could think of at the time to try and get rid of my breakouts: from washing with this gentle cleanser to that harsh cleanser and using a home remedy instead to expensive over-the-counter products and they were always unsuccessful. But then I got older, and I got a job, moved away and was issued a credit card, so I decided to finally try Proactiv because everyone I knew had great things to say about it, family included and they all had great skin. So I with all the hope and prayers I could think of, I tried it and... it worked! I was so happy! It didn’t take too long for me to notice a change in my skin. My breakouts receded, and after a while (a long while; how long, I don’t remember) the scarring started to go away, tho it wasn’t permanent.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Sally Hansen's Insta-Dri Fast Dry Nail Color review

Yesterday morning, I bought Sally Hansen's Insta-Dri Fast Dry Nail Color in Brisk Blue. And, though this is not something I regularly do, I applied it while hard at work (my boss was out of town, OK?). Yes, a bit tacky (do the cool kids still say that?) but I couldn't help it! I mean, the color! Look at it!

But the review - lets get down to it.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

10 THINGS to do to get great skin

It’s the beginning of the month and the 2nd half of the year! How are your New Year’s resolutions going? That bad, huh? Yeah, me too. I thought I’d try to re-instill my resolutions in a new series I’m calling 10 Things. 10 Things will focus on 10 good habits I will try to carry out every month for a whole month that will revolve around beauty, skincare and most likely, health care as well (since they tend to go hand in hand). Feel free to try them too, or make up your own 10 beauty related things!  [I stole this idea from the beauty segment called 10 Ways]    


10 Things to do to get better skin

Monday, May 31, 2010

Shameless Plug

Just in case you hadn't heard, I now write for the! Check out my Examiner page at the link above! 

[I'll go back to writing real posts tomorrow. It's Memorial Day, so I took a day off too! ...Sorta]

Hope you all had a wonderful Memorial Day for those of you in the US.

Memorial Day Sales!

Friday, May 28, 2010


I totally caved.

Follow me! 

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Cannes Film Festival Looks

I was going to write a post about the Cannes Film Festival beauty looks that I loved the most but as I kept glancing through the pictures, I realized that the amount of pictures I liked were NONE! Nothing inspired me or made me go I wanna try this! To me it was just more of the same.

Yes, there were people who I thought looked great on the red carpet (Salma Hayek, who can do no wrong in my eyes), but this is not a fashion blog... sorry.

Then, as I was wasting time this morning while I should have been getting ready for work, I came across this picture on Hot Child In The City and said Eureka! [Ok, I didn’t say ‘eureka’, but that doesn’t matter; my general reaction was the same].

Friday, May 21, 2010

E.L.F. FREE brush set promotion

Hey everyone!

Just wanted to let you know of a promotion going on at E.L.F. Spend $20 between now and Tuesday, May 25th at E.L.F. and you'll get a FREE professional brush set containing about 12 brushes! All you have to do is enter EGBST at the checkout!

That's pretty awesome!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Summer Beauty Must-Have's

Phew! It’s been a minute since I’ve been here. Gotta brush the dust off this place. But I’m back and I’m ready to get you guys ready for these warm summer months. If you’ve read my article from the, than this list will look familiar. But keep reading, I’ve made a few changes to this list for The Beauty Ally.

(Side note: My articles and The Beauty Ally might run parallel in topic from time to time, but the content will not be completely the same, so be sure to check out both!)

[click photo to view larger]

So here it is, my top recommendations for a beautiful-faced summer!

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