Thursday, February 28, 2008

Relax And Release Your Inner Beauty

This is a guest post by Nancy T. Mindes...

Do you ever wish you could just hit the pause button because your life is constantly on fast forward? Is your life a continuous series of stress moments? Your face, your body language, even the way you talk and go through your day reflects what is going on inside you.

Maybe it’s time to create your inner spa.

Close your eyes and think of someone you know who is beautiful, yet by some standards, she would hardly be chosen for the cover of any fashion magazine. Still, she has something magnetic, a special glow that comes from within.

Beauty comes from living a healthy, happy life. It’s about enjoying the journey and feeling good in our skin. It’s about treating ourselves with the respect we deserve by doing the little things that make a big difference for both body and soul. It is remembering to pamper ourselves. Yes, believe it or not, you do deserve it.

It comes down to this: cosmetics and skin care can and do––enhance a woman’s outer appearance. However, there is more to being beautiful than meets the beholder’s eye, because real beauty comes from loving oneself. Give the inner you some TLC on a regular basis so the outer you can really sparkle.

Seven Simple Steps to Release Your Inner Beauty

Put yourself first. When you take care of yourself before everyone else, you will find that you become more at ease and infinitely more attractive. You will also be able to take better care of the people and things you really care about. You will become calmer in the process. Start by saying a gracious “No” to all the endless demands others make on your time to which you keep saying yes and regret later. Best-selling author and coach Cheryl Richardson recommends taking “pamper breaks with a special self-care treat.”

Play more. Do you ever ask yourself, “What is the point of doing all this work if I don’t have time to enjoy it?” Well start a new ritual. Each week, make a list of five things you love to do. Schedule “ME” Time into your planner before you plan all of your chores, errands and meetings. Make sure you do something playful for yourself each day. The more you play, the better you will look and feel, the better your performance, the more money you can make, the more love you can attract. You’ll have more energy and loving patience for family and friends, no matter what life throws at you. Go ahead, make a daily play date with yourself and keep it your sacred time.

Breathe. Do you hold your breath when you are on a deadline crunch, have three whining kids needing attention, or an SUV driver on a cell phone tailgating you in the fast lane on the expressway? Are you holding your breath right now? Breathing is the link between our bodies and the world outside. Breathing relaxes, invigorates and centers you. Yoga teacher and breathwork instructor, business owner and mother of two active toddlers Audrey Chin, recommends taking “Breathing Breaks”.

The Power of Meditation

Photo Credit: Elle Rigby

“Step one is to stop what you are doing and simply notice in the moment your breathing. Step two close your eyes then take three slow, deep inhalations and exhalations. Do this once in the morning; once after lunch, and, again, around the 4:00 p.m. slump time. It takes less than a minute and will change your perspective instantly.”

Smile. When you smile it is impossible to be upset and angry. Smiling relaxes your face, unclenches your jaw and helps relieve stress and tension from head to toe. It is an instant face lift and it releases healthy endorphins into the bloodstream. So, go on. Give us a smile.

Wear red lipstick. A schmear of scarlet is timeless and captures the feminine spirit. It will give you an instant boost of color and authority like nothing else can. Combined with a smile, you can’t help but look and feel beautiful. “When a woman has lost her lover, her job, when the dinner party is flopping…the birth pains beginning, the scandal breaking…the sudden streak of lipstick across the lips spells courage.” Harper’s Bazaar, 1946

Take a bath. Send the kids to the movies with your spouse or ask a friend to trade you some time. Lock the bathroom door and enjoy the great purifier of life: water. In addition to its cleansing qualities, a bath is deeply relaxing and restorative especially when it is infused with aromatic oils and bath salts which help to flush out toxins. Sharon Christie, president and founder of Aromafloria, offers this advice, “Since our sense of smell is a powerful influence on our emotions, when you need to relax, light a lavender scented candle and soakin a bath sprinkled with rose petals or a rose infused bath oil. The scent of roses lifts the spirits, cheers you up and acts as a skin firmer.” Cleopatra used roses as her signature fragrance because of its aphrodisiac qualities, which could hardly be a bad thing.

Do something for others. A random act of kindness, like paying someone’s toll or bringing a warm drink on a cold day to a person who must work outdoors. Reading to an elder shut-in, delivering meals to someone who cannot get out in the world or just being two willing ears to a friend who is going through a hard time can give you an inner glow. Think of a facial peel with heart.

Master the idea of life as a journey to be savored. In our goal-oriented society, we often forget to enjoy the ride. In his book, How to get What You Really,Really, Really, Really Want, Dr. Wayne W. Dyer tells us to “detach from the outcome.” It is a concept which frees us to focus on where we are at the moment, and enjoy the trip rather than engage in the constant, frantic race to the finish.

Nancy Mindes is a trained professional Attraction Coach who has helped hundreds of clients since 2000. She works with women who want to be audacious and bold, live rich, play big and do good. She has been an executive in corporate America at such companies as Merrill Lynch, Elizabeth Arden and The Fashion Group International. Her Audacious Confidence groups really help clients to ramp up their attraction quotient so they can play a bigger, more profitable and audacious game. Visit her website:

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Handcrafted Beaded Jewelry Inspired By Spring 2008 Collections

I can smell spring in the air and I've been inspired by some of the spring 2008 runway collections, so I've spent some time adding new handcrafted beaded jewelry to my Etsy shop.

This first piece was inspired by the Fendi spring 2008 collection...For only $37 you can have a unique necklace that could be worn with just about anything! Click here to buy it!

A little glamor never hurt anyone! This gold lariat necklace with a murano glass bead pendant is absolutely stunning on. It was inspired by some of the pieces in the Baby Phat spring 2008 collection. Click here to buy it!
Stay tuned for more jewelry! I also accept commissions, so if there's something you'd like custom-made for you, let me know!

Related Post:
Spring 2008 Jewelry: Big, Bold, and Beautiful

Monday, February 25, 2008

skyn ICELAND Pure Cloud Cream: Soft & Dreamy

Although spring is just around the corner, my skin is still feeling the effects of winter - or maybe it's just me getting older! During my 20's my skin was very oily, but now that's all changed. My skin looks like the Sahara Desert all year long. Not to mention that old habits die young - I still wash my face with plain soap and water...*gasp*

skyn ICELAND Pure Cloud Cream available at Amazon.comHowever, skyn ICELAND Pure Cloud Cream has come to the rescue! For the past month I've tested out this face moisturizer that has been dubbed as being "light-as-air". That's certainly an understatement. Here are some of the ingredients in skyn ICELAND Pure Cloud Cream:

Peptides help relieve skin irritation and discomfort by stimulating the release of endorphins—natural messengers
of happiness—and modulating release of tension-causing neurotransmitters.
Oat extract is an active extract that acts as an anti-irritant to reduce discomfort after skin trauma.
■ Hydrolyzed rice protein helps preserve healthy collagen.
Almond oil moisturizes and is rich in vitamins A, B and E.
Sodium hyaluronate is a powerful moisturizer.
ImmunoBoost absorbs UVB light that compromises skin’s immune function, thus stabilizing and fortifying skin.
Bisabolol is an anti-irritant that keeps skin calm and soothed.
Aloe moisturizes and helps heal irritated, stressed skin.
Biospheric Complex, a proprietary blend that delivers the unmatched purity and vital nutrients of Iceland’s natural resources (water, earth and air) to restore and rebalance stressed-out skin; mineral-rich Icelandic glacial water (water), indigenous arctic berries (earth) and oxygenated liposomes, butterfly bush and thyme extracts (air) unite to dramatically
soothe, strengthen and stabilize stressed skin.

What I like about this moisturizer is that a little bit goes a long way. At $75 for a 1.7 oz jar, those of us on a beauty budget need as much help as we can get in terms of stretching the dollar! The only problem I had with it is that I couldn't stop putting it on after I had already covered every inch of my face. It just feels so goood...and sooo soft!

Ok, so you know how it feels, but does the cream actually work?

It hasn't worked for everybody, but I would say it worked for me to a certain extent. My skin at the top of my forehead tends to get real dry and it didn't quite work for this area. I do attribute this moisturizer to a noticeably softer and even skin tone. It's helped with some of the blotchiness around the nose and chin. I know that this cream is targeted for people who have over-stressed skin due to peels, facials, and laser treatment, so I didn't really expect any miracles as far as relieving my super-dry skin.

Read more reviews of skyn ICELAND Pure Cloud Cream over at Total Beauty...

Want to know what I think about other products? Check out the beauty product review archives...

Monday, February 18, 2008

Finding Inspiration for the Spring Wardrobe

Whatever your style, whatever your favorite color, this spring 2008 season there is something for you.

If you love Monet-ish flower prints and want to try something different, perhaps you'll find inspiration in the looks created by Nicolas Ghesquiere for Balenciaga. Ok, maybe you're not so bold and daring, but you enjoy all the bright colors that spring has to offer...then you might like this hibiscus maxi tube dress by Hot Tempered (pictured here). It's on sale for $19.99!

As for me, well, I'll be experimenting with new styles this spring. Typically I turn to khaki-colored or denim looks with a punch of flower print here and there. I'm usually all about the bohemian look.

This spring, however, I'm going to invest in timeless high-end pieces. I really liked Michael Kors' Spring 2008 collection. Some of the pieces remind me of relaxing days at the beach, having lunch at the coffee shop overlooking the ocean, and then enjoying a couple hours shopping at the boutiques...or simply taking in some of the art at the museums in Balboa Park.

For trendy pieces, I probably will turn to Forever 21...and definitely Heavenly Couture which I talked about before.

One item I think would be a great addition to the wardrobe is, of course, the little black dress. No matter what season it is, you can always use a new LBD! I really like this corset-style dress by Abaete (available at

Friday, February 8, 2008

My Beauty Secret for Soft and Healthy Hair

Back in the day I had really, really dry hair. In fact, a mama bird would have been able to build a nest in my hair without having to gather any twigs! All she had to do was tease my hair a little and voila! Instant bird's nest!

Now my hair is very soft and healthy. My hair is so soft that I think I've turned into one of those girls in that funny Sunsilk commercial ;)

So, what's my secret to soft, healthy hair?

Well, I mentioned before that I've been using organic shampoo and conditioner, but in order to protect my hair from the damage caused by blow dryers and hair straighteners I've been using Nioxin Bliss Thermal Protector. My hair dresser recommended it to me and I've been using it for the past year. I spray it on before I blow dry or use the curling iron...Love it!

What's your secret to soft and healthy hair?

Shower Yourself With Gifts on Valentine's Day

Valentine's Day is less than a week away! Why not shower yourself with a little love with these gifts... has a wide assortment of flowers, plus they even have fair trade gifts. I especially like the Treleela Organic Tea gift set.

YOOX is having a Special Sample Sale: "Be My Valentino" Treat yourself to a designer gift!

For those of you who are into fashionable design for your kitchen, check out this pair of "Kissing" salt and pepper shakers available at (Click on the picture to purchase...)

'Love' Handcrafted Beaded BraceletWhat about a "Love" bracelet from my collection of handcrafted beaded jewelry? It's a great piece to remind yourself of how much love there is within you!

Canvas Tote Whimsical Graphic DesignOr what about a whimsical tote that lets everyone know that it's great to be Queen? (I had so much fun creating the graphic!)

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Karen Walker Fall/Winter 2008: Get In Touch With the Inner Little Girl

I've never paid much attention to fashion designer Karen Walker, but her Fall 2008 collection was so fun to look at that I think I'll add her on the list of favorite designers for this season. The collection was inspired by Edwardian children's wear and dolls' clothes which tells me that because I adore this collection I must still be in touch with my inner little girl style...

Check out this video of the runway show...

Here's an interview with a M.A.C. makeup artist explaining the beauty look for the show...

Read about another fashion designer who's made it on my Top 10 list...

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Discover Your Inner Beauty at San Diego Spa Retreats

This week here at Beauty Is Within we're talking about luxurious spa retreats and although I've lived in San Diego almost 16 years now, I have yet to enjoy a spa getaway in this gorgeous city! Back in my 20's my idea of a relaxing retreat was heading out to the beach and basking in the sunshine. However, with a 30-something birthday right around the corner I'm thinking of treating myself to a whole day at the spa. Here are a few spa retreats in the San Diego area that La Costa Resort and Spahave caught my eye...

La Costa Resort and Spa is at the top of my list because the Chopra Center for Well Being is there. I'm a huge fan of Deepak Chopra's work. Just driving by the spa puts you in a relaxing mood!

Cal-a-Vie is located just north of San Diego in the hillsides of Vista.Cal-a-Vie logo They offer vacation spa packages so that you can relax and revitalize your mind, body, and spirit! It was voted #1 destination spa for programs and settings by Conde Naste Traveler Magazine.

Spa Velia logoI love to hang out in downtown San Diego, so Spa Velia is a choice if I do decide to go with a day spa. DaySpa Magazine gave Spa Velia the Diamond Day Spa of the Year Award in 2007. I like that I can go have lunch at one of the many restaurants downtown afterwards ;)

A Relaxing Spa Day – Win A Gift – Give A Gift
Related Posts:

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

New York Fashion Week: Beauty Blogger Roundup

New York Fashion Week Fall 2008There are quite a few fellow beauty bloggers from the Total Beauty network at New York Fashion Week, so I thought I'd check out some of the beauty blogs I've never visited before plus catch up on some of my favorite reads. Here are a few posts that I'd like to share...
For more articles, videos and photos from the runway shows, make sure to check out the Coutorture network. Read some of my thoughts and commentary of Fall 2008 fashion over at The Runway Scoop.

Nigel Barker's "It Thing"

We can always count on Nigel Barker to say the right thing. Here's a little video clip of him talking about New York Fashion Week. Play close attention to the end where he tells us where the real "It Thing" comes from...

Read Nigel Barker's blog...

Monday, February 4, 2008

Discover Bliss, Beauty, and Ultimate Rejuvenation in New Zealand

Spa MassagePart of creating and discovering your inner beauty is being able to just relax and appreciate the beauty in the world around us. Imagine taking a holiday to a far-off exotic place and enjoying a spa retreat where you can rejuvenate and experience true bliss!

Lately I've been thinking about my list of places to visit in this lifetime. New Zealand is one of those places on the top 10 countries to visit. Taking a look at the top spas in New Zealand, I'm immediately drawn to the Paihia Beach Resort. A mocha-chino body wrap sounds absolutely tantalizing! In fact, there are many benefits of spa therapies.

So, what are you waiting for? Start your search for flights to New Zealand and begin the journey to beauty, bliss, and ultimate relaxation!

Stay tuned this week for other spa retreats to visit!

Always In Fashion: Trench Coats For Spring

If there is one fashion staple that everyone should have during the spring season, it is the trench coat. A good trench coat can give your outfit that little "oomph" it needs - it takes you from "nice" to "fabulous!" Here are a few trench coats that have caught my eye lately...

DKNY Belted Cotton-Blend Trench Coat
The classic trench coat gets a chic, modern update from DKNY with
an exaggerated collar and two times the pockets

Jones New York Belted Leopard Trench Coat
A double dose of the biggest trends: animal print and shine!

Juicy Couture Canvas Trench Coat

Saturday, February 2, 2008

New York Fashion Week: Not in the Mood

Baby Phat/KLS Fall 2008 collectionNew York Fashion Week is in its second day and to be quite honest, I'm not that excited about it. Normally at this time my heart does palpitations as I browse through all the fashion blogs living vicariously through my fellow bloggers as they engage in the New York experience. I'm sure my Runway Scoop readers are anticipating my next post and wondering where the heck I am!

The only fall collection I've looked at so far is the Baby Phat/KLS collection which I love. I'm always happy to see anything in purple come down the runway. This is my favorite dress out of the whole collection...although I'd probably wear it with a pair of black skinny jeans...
Tyra Banks at Baby Phat runway show
I must say that Tyra Banks was looking very pretty at the Baby Phat show...

Friday, February 1, 2008

Have You Discovered Your Inner Girl Mogul?

As someone who truly believes that beauty starts within, I believe that in order to discover that beauty you have to follow your dreams and do things in life that fulfill your passion. That said, I love to endorse companies that follow this line of thinking and have the same philosophies as I do. Girl Mogul is one of those businesses. According to the Girl Mogul website:

"GirlMogul is an attitude, a way of approaching life that says you can be and do what you want. It’s defies convention and stereotyping and is inspiring and encouraging. GirlMoguls come in all ages, shapes and sizes. It’s an approach to living that encourages big and little dreams, to forging your own path. It’s a commitment to be being smart, independent, to having fun, to helping other, to dreaming and to building and growing those dreams."

Truly inspiring!

One of my favorite products from the Girl Mogul shop is this t-shirt that says, "Dream Big". Dreaming big is something I do on a daily basis. There is simply no time to be worrying about how much weight I've gained or what people are thinking about the way I dress. I have things to do and goals to achieve!

Have you discovered your inner Girl Mogul? What kinds of messages are you sending to little girls out there about beauty? How are you inspiring other people?