Sunday, September 30, 2007

On the Hunt For Fall Sweaters

We're starting to get a feel of fall weather here in California. The sun sets very early now and I feel the crisp wind blowing through my hair as I enjoy a cup of coffee on the back porch in the morning.

It's almost time to break out those sweaters and I've been on the hunt for some new pieces to add to the wardrobe...

This Free People juniors pointell knit hooded sweater is perfect for Southern California weather. It's not too heavy and can be worn with practically anything...

Free People Juniors Pointell Knit Hooded Sweater

I love this Susana Monaco Scoop Gather Sweater Dress. The whole outfit pictured here is actually something I would wear...

Susana Monaco Scoop Gather Sweater Dress

If chic and sophisticated is your thing, you might like this Diane von Furstenberg Aviero Cashmere Sweater. I like it because it's form-fitting, which adds a bit of sexiness to it...

Diane von Furstenberg Aviero Cashmere Sweater

Ooh, I can feel the fuzzy warmth of these sweaters already!

Friday, September 28, 2007

Rimmel London Nail Polish: The 10 Day Color Challenge

When it comes to buying nail polish, I tend to go for the cheap-o brands like Wet N' Wild or something from the flea market. However, after just one day the polish starts to chip - making my fingernails look real trashy and oh, so ugly. So, this time I decided to venture out and try something new...

I came across the Rimmel London brand of nail polish over at Target and it only cost $2.89 to boot! A nice big picture of Kate Moss was displayed along with the promise of "up to 10 day enduring colour", so I thought I'd give it a shot. Grabbed the "Celebrity Bash" color - I normally don't wear any kind of red makeup, so this was really going all out - new brand and new color. Such the exciting life I live, eh?

So, I've decided to take this 10 day challenge to see if Rimmel London can live up to the expectation. Here's a picture of my nails on day 1...

Stay tuned for the results! If this is your first time here, subscribe to this blog to receive more beauty and fashion reviews!

Related Post:
The $2/10 Minute French Manicure

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Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Fashion Quote of the Week and Milan Fashion Week

"The quest for “perfect” bodies and youth-enhanced faces is bound to have an impact on the look of fashion. It’s all I kept noticing on the streets of Milan over the weekend: tight women, aged 25 to 45, in their tight fashionable clothes." -- Cathy Horyn of The New York Times in her post, Now, Milan.

I think of Milan as the place where fashion is "born". It is one of my life dreams to visit this city and hopefully that dream will be realized very soon! In the meantime, we'll just enjoy some of these looks from Milan's Spring 2008 Fashion Week...

Here's an interesting one from the Prada collection...

Prada Spring/Summer 2008
I'm in love, love, love with the Bottega Veneta Spring 2008 collection...

Bottega Veneta Spring/Summer 2008
Ever since my days as a salesgirl in the Nordstrom handbag department,
I've been in love with Bottega Veneta's butter-soft handbags...

Bottega Veneta Handbag 2008
I'll be talking about some of the key beauty and makeup looks for Spring 2008 in an upcoming post, so Subscribe and stay tuned!

Photo Credits:
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Sunday, September 23, 2007

Funny Sunsilk Commercial Part Deux

A couple months ago I featured a funny Sunsilk commercial. Well, the company has come out with another commercial sure to give you the giggles. Funny thing is, I used to be like that during college - everything had to be in place!

Watch the latest commercial...

Related Post:
Beauty Product Review: Sunsilk Conditioner

Fashion Accessories: Inspiration From Fall 2007 Runway Shows

Pictured here from left to right: DKNY, Dolce & Gabanna, and Jason Wu Fall 2007

Taking inspiration from some of my favorite fall looks, I've started creating a new collection of jewelry for this fall season. Since grey/gray is the color for fall and being that I love the color paired with black and gold...I present a few pieces from the "Love" collection:

Buy these pieces at my Etsy shop....

Remember to enter for a chance to win jewelry and more! Click here!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Homemade Anti-Aging Facial Mask

One of the things I want to start creating is homemade beauty products. The only time I ever attempted to do something like this was back in college when I made a hair conditioner by mixing mayonnaise and eggs. It made my hair super greasy!

Anyways, I came across this video at YouTube that shows us how to make an anti-aging facial mask using natural ingredients...Enjoy!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Beware the Crocs Near Escalators!

For the past year I've been hearing stories about how those dreaded Crocs shoes have been getting caught in escalators. The first couple stories I read I blew off thinking it was just a kid who was horsing around and got their foot caught, but after reading this Yahoo! news story I really do think they are indeed dangerous.

I never really thought Crocs were that fabulous to begin with. For kids they're ok, but for adults...mmm...maybe....Depends on outfit, I guess. What do you think?

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Going Organic: Skin Care For the Natural Beauty

Lately beauty product consumers have been leaning towards organic makeup and skincare products. We've seen makeup companies like Bare Minerals gain popularity among women who are more conscious of the ingredients they put on their skin. With the heightened awareness of skin cancer and dermatitis among women, we're beginning to see a rise in sales of organic makeup and organic skincare. In my research on companies that offer organic skin care products, I've come across a few that have been around for quite awhile - way before many of us even knew there was such a word as "organic".

Eminence Organic Skin Care
Recently I discovered a company that has over 40 years of experience and research in organic skincare. Eminence Organic Skin Care is a Canadian-based company that offers products that are all handmade in Hungary. They guarantee that every ingredient - whether it's herb, fruit, or vegetable - is all natural. No artificial fragrances or artificial coloring are added. After the ingredients are harvested they are stored in temperature-controlled conditions for four months so that all traces of bacteria can die off. These ingredients are then mixed with water from Lake Hajduszoboszlo, a subterranean thermal lake located in Hungary that contains unique properties.

Aubrey Organics
Another company that's been around for awhile is Aubrey Organics. Aubrey Hampton is the man behind Aubrey Organics who experimented with an all-herbal bath oil and a protein-based hair conditioner. He started selling his products in Manhattan salons and health food stores. He started a company called Aubrey Natural Labs back in 1969 which later became Aubrey Organics. Products include bath products, baby care, pet care, plus much more. Aubrey has also written books including Natural Organic Hair and Skin Care, What's In Your Cosmetics?, and The Take Charge Beauty Book: The Ultimate Guide to Beautiful Hair & Skin. Aubrey Organics uses liquid coconut oil in their soaps and shampoos, coconut fatty acids and essential fatty acids in the creams and lotions, and a natural preservative of citrus seed and vitamins A, C and E. All products are not tested on animals.

Thomas Haase founded the company Lavera over 20 years ago because of his issues with dermatitis. Lavera's product line includes anti-aging, sun protection, makeup, hair and body products. Lavera is the only cosmetics manufacturer that offers a complete line of skin and body care specially formulated for allergy sufferers and sensitive skin. They use plant based liposomes for measurable repair effects and hyaluronic acid for effective moisturizing of sensitive skin.

These are just a few of the many companies that are now offering organic skin care products. Because these products cost more to produce than regular skin care products, the price for the end user is significantly higher. However, once organic farming becomes the norm, we'll probably see more competition and price reductions among organic skin care offerings.
Reminder: Remember to enter the giveaway! Win beauty products, jewelry, and a Beauty Is Within t-shirt!

America Ferrera: The Natural Beauty of the Emmys

America Ferrera at Entertainment Weekly's Emmy Celebration 2007The Emmy Awards come on tonight and The Red Carpet Style Awards blog has reported on some of the fashion at the Entertainment Weekly's 5th Annual Emmys Celebration...

I love that America Ferrera has come au natural. Some may think that her look is a bit boring, but I love that she's decided to just go against the celebrities' ideas of the beauty status quo. America's hair is carefree - not processed - and her face is the epitome of natural beauty. She actually looks much younger without all that makeup.

Photo Credit:

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Enter the Dove/Beauty Is Within Giveaway!

When I first started this blog, it was just a way to share my knowledge of fashion and to help women realize their true beauty - both inner and outer beauty. Never did I think that I would be approached by PR people or companies wanting me to review their products. Those types of things were for fashion magazines, right? Well, times are changing and bloggers now have quite a bit of influence when it comes to the fashion and beauty industries.

As part of my blog honor pledge I will disclose that I was approached by M80, a firm that represents Dove. I was asked if I wanted to try out the latest Dove hair care products and do a giveaway here at Beauty Is Within. Since I'm a big supporter of Dove projects, I obliged to try out what they had to offer...

Can you just imagine the big smile on my face when I opened up my mailbox today and was greeted with the smell of sweet cucumber and green tea! You would have thought I had never seen or smelled shampoo ever in my life ;) Of course, the photographer in me just had to take a picture (with props, mind you!) I will be doing a full review of the shampoo and conditioner in a couple weeks after I've tried them out...

Check out the latest Dove hair video:

Now, here comes the best part, Dear Readers...

In partnership with Dove, I've decided to do a giveaway for their latest hair products (the same shampoo & conditioner I received) PLUS I'm throwing in a $25 gift certificate to my jewelry shop AND a Beauty Is Within t-shirt! (T-shirt is available in three colors) Winner takes all!

All you have to do to enter the giveaway is leave a comment here with a beauty tip to share with fellow readers - that's it! Contest ends on 9/30/07 and I will publish all the tips shared in a future post! Winner will be announced on October 1, 2007.

Make sure you enter the URL of your blog/website when you leave your comment so I know who you are and can contact you if you win. If you don't have a blog/website, please email your contact info to maria [at] salondemaria [dot] info.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

I've Got Cool Handbags on My Mind

As I was browsing the TeamSugar site today, I came across these oh, so cool handbags...My favorite is the gold studded white handbag from Balenciaga.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

What's Ahead For Spring Fashion 2008?

As many of us are just getting ready for the fall fashion season, the fashion industry is enjoying previews of what is to come for Spring 2008. Mercedes Benz New York Fashion Week is in full swing at the tents of Bryant Park where all the fashion mavens have gathered to discover the latest fashion trends.

From what I've seen so far, it's going to be a spring season that is full of light and airy dresses, high waisted skirts and slacks, with a color palette of mostly black, white, and beige with dashes of vibrant red, cosmic blue, yellow, teal, and green. There were also hints of silver, purple, and coral scattered among the collections.

Key looks for Spring 2008: long, flowy dresses reminiscent of 60's and 70's hippie chick, shift dresses, a hint of 80's retro, and long evening dresses. Very feminine and "girly" looks.

Key fashion accessories for Spring 2008: skinny black belts, large totes, sun visors, hippie chick headbands, and big straw hats.

One of the standouts so far is the Miss Sixty brand - only because of the really short skirts and shorts and multicolored prints. Most of the collections shown so far have been very "grown up" and Miss Sixty is more of a trendy brand. This brand is definitely for the very bold and daring.

Gwen Stefani's brand, L.A.M.B., was also another brand that stood out because of color and graphic designs. Although Stefani does get quite a bit of criticism from industry insiders and the press for being a celebrity that has forayed into the fashion world, she has stood her own and has proven that she can design clothing. Her collection consisted of shift dresses, houndstooth pieces, school-boy blazers, and a few leopard-print pieces.

Most of the collections so far in these first few days of Fashion Week have come from the veterans of fashion design. Vera Wang showed a very feminine collection of long, loose-fitting dresses and long skirts. Badgley Mischka's collection was very chic and sophisticated - as usual! Fun, flirty, and feminine were the looks that dominated at the BCBGMaxaria show. I would have to say that the Bill Blass collection of dresses is by and large my favorite so far. The models looked like baby-doll mannequins! Here's a video from the Bill Blass show courtesy of Coutorture...

So, it looks like we're evolving into a more sophisticated and feminine look for fashion in Spring 2008. Until then, let's just enjoy the fall season!

Read my fashion reviews over at TheRunwayScoop:
Shop for BCBG Maxazria, Prada, Versace, and other designer fashion at!

More to come! Subscribe to receive updates!

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Style Picks For Fall 2007

Ford Models put together a video to let us in on some of the favorite style picks for this fall 2007 season...

I'm not too keen on the short plaid skirt only because I'd hate to bend over and flash everyone behind me. However, I think it would be ok with a pair of very thick black tights or even some leggings.

I did come across this plaid trumpet skirt from that is a more acceptable length - especially for the office...

Plaid Trumpet Skirt

I also like the velvet blazer. I don't think you can ever go wrong with a blazer no matter what material it is made of. It's such a versatile piece. I found this Chocolate Velvet Blazer from and fell in love with it! Hmm, it would go good with the skirt, eh?

Chocolate Velvet Blazer

No matter what pieces you pick for this fall, remember to create a style of your own and of course, accessories are key in putting the look together!

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Seven Steps To a More Beautiful You: Step #7 - Develop Your Own Style

Beauty Graphic Design

Well, we've finally reached Step #7 on this journey to a more beautiful you. Let's recap the previous six steps:

1. Smile!
2. Exercise
3. Know That You Are Beautiful
4. Thou Shall Not Judge
5. Take Care of Your Temple
6. KnowYour and Follow Your Dreams

This last step covers the topic of buying clothing that you love and developing your own style. Yes, being beautiful is about what goes on within you, but I also believe that the outside reflects what's going on in the inside. It's important to care of your body and make an effort to present yourself as a confident, beautiful person. Part of that includes dressing yourself from head to toe in fabulous gear!

I'm not talking about going out and buying all designer fashion and going for broke. What I'm saying is that you should only wear clothes that best express who you are (a beautiful, vibrant lady!) and buying things that you absolutely love. You'd be surprised how many women I hear say something to the effect of, "I saw (enter celebrity name) wearing something like that, so I'm going to buy it!"

Just because you saw a celebrity wear something or believe that "everybody else" is wearing it doesn't mean that you should wear it - unless, of course, you love it too. I've also heard women say that they won't wear something because it's "so last season". If you love something that was big last season, by all means you can still wear it this season! There are many ways you can update a piece and make it into your own style.

Developing your own style and mastering your look is about wearing things that you love, wearing pieces that make you feel comfortable, at the same time enhances and compliments your body shape.

So, there you have it! Follow these seven steps and you'll be on your way to becoming a more beautiful person - the type of person that attracts all the best that life has to offer! If you have any tips to add, I welcome your comments!