Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Total Beauty's Top 10 Favorite Mascaras & How to Choose the Right Mascara

Are you on the hunt for the perfect mascara? The editors over at Total Beauty have offered us a top 10 list of mascaras. Is your favorite on the list?

Right now I'm using the Sephora brand mascara that came with the smokey eye kit I received awhile back. On a scale of 1 to 10 I would give it an 8. It tends to clump a little but overall I'm happy with the way it glides on easily and gives my very thin eyelashes some volume.

How do you pick out the right mascara for you? Here's a video of celebrity makeup artist Lutz Wesemann giving his tips on how to choose the right mascara...

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Body Image Struggles: Be Grateful For What You Have

Last week over at the Back in Skinny Jeans blog, it was "Inspiring Fit Week" and people shared their stories of what they are doing to stay fit. This is where I read about Leslie and her goal of banishing all body image struggles that women go through. I'm sure many of you can relate to these struggles.

One thing I've learned not to do when going through image struggles is to look at myself in the mirror obsessively. You will always, always find something wrong.

What you have to do when you look at yourself in the morning as you're getting ready for the day is to find at least 5 positive things about yourself and be grateful for those gifts. For example:
  • Thank you for my hair...(Remember that there are many women out there who have cancer and don't have any hair because of chemo treatments)
  • Thank you for my breasts
  • Thank you for my teeth
  • Thank you for my feet that I can put in my designer shoes
  • Thank you for my eyes
These are all things we take for granted, but they're what makes us who we are. They are part of our beauty. While you're obsessing on why you can't look like Jessica Alba, think about the people out there who don't have these basic body parts and be grateful for what you do have.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

A Hair Bun Is Always In Style

The Budget Fashionista points out that a loose bun is a beauty trend for this spring and offers directions on how to achieve this look. I came across a how-to video at YouTube that looks real easy as well...

A hair bun always look chic - it can go from casual to elegant with just the right accessories!

Shop For Valentine's Day Gifts & Play the Game O Love!

Men's stainless steel link braceletValentine's Day is just around the corner! Have you searched for a gift for the love of your life? Whether you're shopping for a boyfriend, best friend, or just yourself, it's always fun to give a gift on this day of love - although I believe that everyday should be love day ;) If you're celebrating Valentine's Day without a boyfriend this year, why not just treat yourself to something new?

A jewelry piece always makes a great gift because it's something that can last a lifetime. I've been on the hunt for a nice gift for my boyfriend and came across this stainless-steel rectangular link bracelet over at bangle bracelet by Charles Winston

As I've said before, bangle bracelets are going to be big for this upcoming spring season. I especially like this square bangle bracelet created by designer Charles Winston which is also available at It is made up of 24-karat yellow gold foil set inside the resin bangle.

By the way, is rolling out their "Game O Love" from January 25th to February 11th. Get a chance to win Valentine's Day presents for your sweetheart! Register at's "Game O Love" website.

And remember to always love yourself first! To find true love in your own life, you must exude love from within ;)

Monday, January 21, 2008

Carson Kressley Helps You Look Good Naked

How to Look Good Naked with Carson KressleyBeing stuck in bed with a nasty cold the past couple days allowed me to catch up on a couple new shows that I've wanted to see. One of these shows is "How to Look Good Naked" which airs on Lifetime. It's a show you'll want to watch at least once - definitely an eye opener. You'll begin to realize that it's not about a weight issue, but an attitude issue.

Carson Kressley - you may remember him from "Queer Eye For the Straight Guy" - is the host of this latest project to help women embrace their bodies. What I found to be real interesting is that many women have a very skewed perception of what their bodies look like compared to other women.

Read a review of "How to Look Good Naked" over at The New York Times.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Beauty Product Review: JamieO Skin Products

"What have you been using on your face? It looks different. Your skin tone looks smoother," my friend commented when I saw her for the first time in about a month.

I told my friend about Rewind Time ($81), one of the JamieO skin products that I've been using. As I get older I'm becoming more aware of skin care and the things I put on my face. During the summers here in California I spend quite a bit of time outdoors - days at the beach without sunscreen have taken its toll on my face. I began to see a little discoloration on my forehead and spots on my cheeks.

So, I've been using Rewind Time for the past month or so. Rewind Time is a vitamin C serum that is oil-free, lightweight, and fragrance-free. Because of its unique pH balance formula, I can use it every day.

JamieO also has a product called Crystal Radiance ($75) which is a two-part microdermabrasion system. It smells like an orange when you apply it to your face and oh, the way my face feels after using it! As you may recall, I reviewed the Swisa Sea Facial Peel awhile back. Well, Crystal Radiance produces the same results. Skin so smooth and soft!

Read another review of the JamieO Crystal Radiance over at BellaSugar.

JamieO Skin was founded by the father and daughter team of Dr. Terry James and Jamie O'Banion. "Having grown up in the home of a physician involved in clinical skincare development, I was privy to cutting-edge technology and learned early on how to select performance skincare products," said O'Banion. "JamieO Skin really evolved from my desire to share outstanding, clinical-grade products with real women in search of fabulous skin."

JamieO Skin products are available at the website:

Heal Those Scars

Scars are what give our body character, but sometimes there are scars that aren't particularly "pretty", like the scars of childbirth or an accident. I have a scar on the back of my leg from a burn I got when I was a young girl admiring a neighbor's motorcycle.

Well, I found out about scar therapy from Scar Heal that contain natural ingredients like onion extract which acts as an anti-inflammatory, grape seed extract which is a great anti-oxidant, and green tea extract, just to name a few. For severe facial scars, Scar Heal offers a silicone scar therapy which flattens raised scars and neutralizes the scar's color.

You can get more information about clinical studies on scars by visiting the Scar Heal website.

Do you have any scars on your body that you're self-conscious about? Has it affected your self-esteem and have you used any treatments to heal those scars?

Friday, January 11, 2008

Heaven, Oh, Heaven!

Fashion heaven is finding designer clothing at half off, but just as exciting as rummaging and fighting over clothes at a sample sale is being able to find fashionable junior clothing at very budget-friendly prices.

So along comes Heavenly Couture where you can get everything for $17.95 or less. You can find everything from skirts to pants, outerwear, and basics at the online shop. As I shopped the website for new pieces to add to the spring wardrobe, I came across this black, brown, and cream shift dress. What I like about this dress is that I could dress this up or down. Since it's still cold outside I could throw on some black tights and boots and still be "in season".

I can't believe that you can also get jackets for $17.95! The military jacket I currently have got some paint on it (why I was painting with it on, I don't know!), so I'm considering purchasing this fitted jacket as a replacement. This is the type of jacket you can wear with just about anything - dresses, jeans, slacks...

I wish there was a Heavenly Couture in San Diego! Currently there are a few stores up in the Orange County area.

Visit the website:

Weight Loss Tips People Most People Don't Talk About

Today on the Ellen Degeneres Show, a good part of the show was the topic of weight loss. Kimberley Locke came was on the show to talk about how she successfully lost 40 pounds. Also, two other women came on to tell their stories about shedding the weight.

I completely agree with Ellen when she said that we focus too much on losing weight. What we should actually be focusing on is simply getting the exercise we need and controlling the amount of food we eat.

I, for one, have never been on a diet. Although I'd like to lose a few pounds, I don't want to have to stay away from certain foods.  What I've been doing is just keeping my focus on exercising about 20 minutes a day which includes many, many ab crunches. 

Losing weight is all about mindset. Here are a couple tips I have to achieve a more positive attitude towards weight loss:

Don't focus so much on the numbers. Focus on being healthy and focus on maintaining a consistent exercise routine.

Try saying this affirmation to yourself, "I lose weight easily and effortlessly." When you say affirmations repeatedly, eventually your subconscious begins to accept this as reality. You begin to actually believe that it is easy to lose weight and you'll start to take action to achieve this goal.

Related Posts:

Spray Powder Shampoo: Your Emergency Hair Booster

Spray Powder ShampooBecause my scalp tends to get very dry and itchy I only wash my hair about 2-3 times per week. However, there are days in-between that my hair looks limp and lifeless. Then I end up washing it so I can get that fresh-looking feeling. I'm sure many of you know what I'm talking about! I also do quite a bit of traveling and end up putting my hair up in a bun because my hair starts to feel icky.

Well, I found out about this Spray Powder Shampoo line by Salon Grafix that I found to be of interest. This shampoo is actually a dry shampoo that comes in different shades to match your hair color. Here are some other benefits listed at their website:
  • Easily brushes off
  • Leaves hair revitalized
  • No white powder
  • No oil residue
  • Clean and shiny hair
Think about all those times when you didn't have time to wash your hair - like a hot date after work or you have a kids recital and don't have time to rush home to freshen up - this would be a good product to try out. Available at Rite Aid and Duane Reade.

Have you used the Spray Powder Shampoo? I'd love to hear how it worked for you...

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Spring 2008 Makeup Trend: Deep Red Lips

One of my favorite beauty looks for Spring 2008 is the deep red lips that I saw in the Lanvin show. Although I've always stayed away from red lipstick, I think I could pull off a deep red or wine-colored lipstick.

Here's a video of the Lanvin runway show with some backstage footage of the models getting their makeup done...

Here's an article on how you can achieve the Lanvin makeup look and here are a couple lipsticks to add to the collection: Estee Lauder - Pure Color Lipstick in Divine Wine or Christian Dior - Diorific Lipstick in Magic Wine

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Give Yourself Billion Dollar Brows

If your eyebrows look more like a piece of thread glued to your face than the face frames that they're supposed to be, you might want to check out products from Billion Dollar Brows. I recently received the brow gel and brow boost which I've been using for the past couple weeks.Billion Dollar brow boost

The Brow Boost restores thin, over-plucked eyebrows - which I know we've all been guilty of before! You're supposed to use it regularly to see any results, so I'll keep you posted on the progress of my brows...

I never knew that brow gel existed, so I'm happy to be able to finally tame those rebellious hairs. The wand that applies the gel looks like a mascara brush and helps keep those eyebrow hairs in place.

If you prefer the help of a professional when it comes to eyebrow care, you could check out the BDB Salon in Beverly Hills, CA. The salon not only offers brow shaping services, you can get body waxing and other facial services as well.

See who's sporting fabulous eyebrows at the BDB blog...

Monday, January 7, 2008

Bringing Sexy Back Into Your Life

I love this post, "Stuck on Sexy" by Plumcake of Manolo for the Big Girl. Each of us has a different definition of what "sexy" means. It all goes back to the idea of "you are what you think", so if you think being sexy is about a cardigan sweater set, jeans, and a pair of tennis shoes, then by all means wear it and wear it with confidence!

For me being sexy is about being true to myself and expressing myself in ways that I choose to. I was reminded of this when I watched a rerun of Saturday Night Live when Christina Aguilera was the host. She's one celebrity who has had the spotlight on her for the "raunchy" outfits she wears. There was a skit with Christina Aguilera playing herself and these other celebrities come into her dressing room to make comments about her reputation and style of dress. Aguilera explains that she's simply being true to herself and condemns society's double standard placed on women which is true - if a man expresses his sexuality, he's "sexy". However, if a women does it, she's labeled a "ho".

I'm not as daring as Christina Aguilera when it comes to dress, but I have my fair share of sexy attire. However, what makes me feel real sexy is knowing who I am, what I want to accomplish in life, and not having to pretend to be something I'm not! Now, that's true beauty ;)

Thursday, January 3, 2008

PurseBuzz Beauty Tutorial: "Parrot Eyes"

Browsing through an old issue of Self Magazine, I found out about the PurseBuzz channel over at YouTube. I've been on the hunt for new eyeshadow techniques, so I was excited to check out this video tutorial on how to achieve the "Parrot Eyes"...

Loreal Hip High Intensity EyeshadowFind out more about Elessa and PurseBuzz by visiting her blog...

I don't know if really have the patience to go through the layering of eyeshadow, but I'll give it a shot! I'm currently shopping around for eyeshadow and Loreal's Hip High Intensity Shocking Eye Shadow Pigments in "Rebel" have caught my eye...

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Making Money In Fashion

From the time I was 19-years-old I was on a mission to make a living from one of my passions in life: fashion. I took a job as a customer service rep for a company called Contempo Casuals (later acquired by Wet Seal) and worked my way up to become a Store Manager. My love for fashion and being able to call the shots was a great recipe for success.

Well, I soon realized that I didn't want to work for a corporation. I wanted freedom. I ventured into the world of eBay and tried my hand at becoming an online entrepreneur. Naturally I was attracted to the prospect of making money doing something I love and what did I love? Fashion.

It was thrilling to find great deals on vintage clothing and accessories in thrift stores and be able to turn around and quadruple my money on eBay. It was even more exciting to be able to buy wholesale clothing from companies like Merchandize Liquidators, sell these products while getting clothes virtually for free. After doing that for about a year I lost interest and went into designing jewelry and painting instead.

Later I went back to fashion retail - working for companies like Nordstrom and Macy's which exposed me to high fashion. I discovered my love for handbag brands such as Marc Jacobs and Bottega Veneta. Macy's was the last place I worked before venturing out on my own again and going into writing full-time.

So, why do I share this story with you?

1. I know some of you are probably wondering: who is this blogger and why does she write about fashion? As I reflect on the past ten years, it's interesting to see how my background has led me to write about fashion. This blog you're reading here is more about discovering your own unique beauty and sense of style - which is something I feel every person should strive for.

2. As an entrepreneur who wants to see others succeed, I wanted to share my experience of making money on the internet if any of you readers or fashion bloggers are thinking of ways to increase your income in 2008!

Beauty Product Review: Gloves in a Bottle

Gloves in a BottleWith it being the middle of winter and all, I know many of you are constantly grabbing that bottle of lotion to keep your hands moisturized. I recently tried out Gloves in a Bottle, a lotion that relieved my dry skin instantly. Ok, so most products on the market do that now, but after washing the dishes I found that I didn't even have to reapply lotion!

How It Works: The lotion bonds with the outer layer of your skin and locks in the natural oils and moisture. It becomes part of the outer layer of your skin so it doesn't wash off like many lotions do.

Read more reviews of Gloves in a Bottle over at Temptalia, Beyond Beauty Basics, and Lipstick to Crayons

Buy it at

I have three samples to giveaway, so if you'd like to try it out, send me an email: maria [at] First come, first serve!